New Light on the Old Colony

Plymouth, the Dutch Context of Toleration, and Patterns of Pilgrim Commemoration


Author: Jeremy Bangs
Colonial government, Pilgrims, the New England town, Native land, the background of religious toleration, and the changing memory recalling the Pilgrims – all are examined and stereotypical assumptions overturned in 15 essays by the foremost authority on the Pilgrims and Plymouth Colony.

Thorough research revises the story of colonists and of the people they displaced. Bangs’ book is required reading for the history of New England, Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts Natives, the Mennonite contribution to religious toleration in Europe and New England, and the history of commemoration, from paintings and pageants to living history and internet memes. If Pilgrims were radical, so is this book.

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Jeremy Bangs, Ph.D. (Leiden, 1976) is Director of the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum; former Visiting Curator of Manuscripts, Pilgrim Hall Museum; Chief Curator, Plimoth Plantation; Curator, Leiden Pilgrim Documents Center. Author of over 20 books including Strangers and Pilgrims, Travellers and Sojourners (2009).
List of Illustrations

Section 1: The Old Colony

Part 1: The Colony

1Plymouth’s Creation: A Congregational Commonwealth
 1The Mayflower Compact gave Structure to Plymouth Colony’s Society
 2The Mayflower Compact: Lastingly Significant and Influential, or Temporarily Expedient and Forgotten?
 3Creating a Consensual Commonwealth
 4The Mayflower Compact as the Cornerstone and Framework of Plymouth Colony Constitutionalism
 5Dividing the Land, the First New Towns, and Other Democratic Choices
 6Plymouth’s Expanded Constitution of 1636, More Towns and Churches, and the Shift to Representative Government
 7Churches, Government, Toleration, and Quakers
 8Representation by Selectmen, Taxation supporting Churches
2Tribes and Land Reserves in Plymouth Colony
 1Empty New England
 2Not Really Empty
 6The Massachusetts
 8Intrigue and Death
 9Tribal Land, Tribal Losses
 10Nauset, Manomet, and the Mashpee Reserve
 11The Pokanoket Indians and the Mount Hope (Montaup) Reserve
 12The Massachusetts and the Titicut Reserve
 13The Wampanoag
3William Bradford’s Sources for Dutch Law: Edward Grimeston and Emanuel van Meteren
 1Civil Marriage in Holland – Edward Grimeston
 2King James i and Church Reform – Emanuel van Meteren
 3The Union of Utrecht and the Act of Abjuration
 4Constructing History
4Intellectual Baggage: The Useful Pilgrims and the Culture of Plymouth Colony
 1Death Preceded Them
 3Psalm Books
 7Religious Polemics
5Towards a Revision of the Pilgrims: Three New Pictures
 2A New Departure
 3A New Plymouth?
 4Another Portrait of Edward Winslow

Part 2: The Towns

6Scituate: Excerpts from the Introductions to the Seventeenth-Century Town Records of Scituate, Massachusetts
 1Studying Families in Context: The New Antiquarianism
 2Scituate’s Reality and Historiographical Myths
 3What kind of town was Scituate? Historians provide answers
 4Topics of Conversation
 5Business and craft production in Scituate: Ships and Shipping
 6Mills, Fishing, Furniture, and Other Work
 8Prices, Wages, and Livestock
 9Some Conclusions
7Eastham Town Records Introduction
 1Eastham’s Native Leaders and the First Colonists
8Sandwich Town Records Introduction
9Marshfield Town Records Introduction
 1The Sufferings of Arthur Howland

Section 2: The Dutch Context of Toleration

10Dutch Aid to Persecuted Swiss and Palatine Mennonites, 1615–1699
 1Persecution, Reports, Response, and Remembrance
 2Doctrinal Bickering Amidst Persecution – 1614
 3Dutch Aid Begins (1640’s)
 4Isaac Hattavier’s Attempts to Help (1637–1658)
 5Hans Vlamingh’s Contacts and Dutch Government Intercession (1650’s and 1660’s)
 61663 Extract of List of the Names of Mennonite Prisoners
 7Philipp von Zesen’s Book, Against the Coercion of Conscience(1665)
 8Hans Vlamingh, Galenus Abrahamsz. de Haan, Jacob Everling, and Valentin Huetwohl: Disaster Relief in 1671–1672
 9The Disaster Year, 1672
 10Galenus Abrahamsz. de Haan, William Penn, and David Holtzhalb
 11Philippus van Limborch and John Locke’s ‘Letter on Toleration’ (1685–1689)
 12Mennonite Relief during the War of the Grand Alliance
11Dutch Contributions to Religious Toleration
 1Adriaen van der Donck and the Absence of Toleration in New Netherland
 2Why did English People in 1657 Think there was Religious Freedom in Holland?
 3Dutch Sources for Ideas on Toleration in Plymouth Colony and Rhode Island
 4Dutch International Pleas for Toleration among Protestants
 5Patterns of Pilgrim Commemoration

Section 3: Patterns of Pilgrim Commemoration

12The Triumph of the Pilgrims
 1First-Person Fun
13The Hypothetical Nature of Plimoth Plantation’s Architecture
 1Fashionable Modes of Memory
 2The background
 31947–1966: Plimoth Plantation’s Pilgrims as Prototypical Suburbanites
 41967–1985: Pilgrims as Folk
 51986–2000: Pilgrims as Identifiably Ethnic
 62000–now: Pilgrims as Representative of their Class
 7Hypothetical Nature
 8Hypothetical Future
 9Postscript 2019
14Always More Pilgrim Books
 1The Primary Sources for the Pilgrim Story
 2Nineteenth-century Histories
 3Twentieth-century Repetition and Revision
 4Into the Future – Pilgrims 2000 and Beyond
 5Where Do We Go Next?
15Thanksgiving on the Net: Roast Bull with Cranberry Sauce
 1Talking Turkey
 2The Text
 3Thanking Whom?
 4Colored Clothes, No Buckled Hats! My Goodness!
 5And, Yes, They did Call Themselves “Pilgrims.”
 6The Fake Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1623
 7The Libertarian’s First Thanksgiving
 8A Cornucopia of Grievances
 9The National Day of Mourning
 11Lies My Teacher’s Telling Me Now
Jeremy Dupertuis Bangs: A List of Publications Concerning the Pilgrims and Plymouth Colony
 Books – Author or editor of
 Book Chapters
Significant for general readers and specialists interested in New England, the Pilgrims, Native American history, church history, Mennonite history, commemorative art; will also appeal to genealogists with a Pilgrim focus.