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Bookshelf: Colonial Cornucopia
12/1/2006
Give thanks for these five books about Puritans and American Indians in early New England.

1. Beyond Conquest: Native peoples and the Struggle for History in New England by Amy E. Den Ouden (University of Nebraska Press). Beyond Conquest discusses the Puritans' tactics to rule Connecticut native peoples — the Mohegan, Pequot and Niantic tribes — and examines the ways the Mohegans, in particular, challenged Colonial authority. It shows the conflict between the races, the subjugation of American Indians and the rise of British Colonial power. You'll learn how the lives of American Indians changed as a result of the Puritans' authority and hunger for land. Although this book isn't a light read, it documents an important part of American Indian history, and highlights another aspect of the Colonial story to remember this Thanksgiving.

2. From Puritan to Yankee: Character and the Social Order in Connecticut, 1690-1765 by Richard L. Bushman (Harvard University Press). After our Puritan ancestors built shelter and found food in the New World, they became concerned with five major issues: maintaining social order, distributing land, making money, practicing religion and dealing with politics. Using manuscripts and published sources, Bushman looks at everyday life and the way society transformed itself in Colonial Connecticut from 1690 to just before the American Revolution, detailing life on farms and in meetinghouses. Whether your ancestors lived in Connecticut or another New England colony, it'll provide you with insight into their early history, culture and community.

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