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Children in Colonial America


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Table of Contents

Foreword by Philip J. GrevenAcknowledgmentsIntroductionJames MartenPart I Race and Colonization1 Indian Children in Early Mexico Dorothy Tanck de Estrada2 Colonizing ChildhoodR. Todd Romero3 Imperial Ideas, Colonial RealitiesAudra Abbe DipteePart II Family and Society4 Sibling Relations in Early American ChildhoodsC. Dallett Hemphill5 "I Shall Beat You, So That the Devil Shall Laugh at It"Mariah Adin6 "Improved" and "Very Promising Children"Darcy FryerPart III Cares and Tribulations7 "Decrepit in Their Early Youth"John J. Navin8 Idiocy and the Construction of Competence in Colonial Massachusetts Parnel Wickham9 "My Constant Attension on My Sick Child"Helena M. WallPart IV Becoming Americans10 From German Catholic Girls to Colonial American WomenLauren Ann Kattner11 "Let Both Sexes Be Carefully Instructed"Keith Pacholl12 From Saucy Boys to Sons of LibertyJ. L. BellIn Search of the Historical Child: Questions for Consideration Suggested ReadingsAbout the ContributorsIndex

About the Author

James Marten is Professor and Chair of the History Department at Marquette University. He is author or editor of more than a dozen books including The Children's Civil War and four NYU Press books: Children and War: A Historical Anthology; Children in Colonial America; Children and Youth in a New Nation; and Children and Youth during the Civil War Era. Philip J. Greven is professor emeritus at Rutgers University and author of The Protestant Temperament: Patterns of Child-rearing, Religious Experience, and the Self in Early America, among others.


Marten adds to the growing body of literature on the history of family life with this rich collection of original essays and transcriptions from primary documents. Divided into thematic subdivisions relating to Europeans and Native Americans, issues of family and community, and the process of becoming American, the 12 essays contributed mainly by history academics examine children's lives from the varied cultures found in Colonial North America and contain copious footnotes and a list of suggested further reading. Such topics as parenting practices, health, education, gender roles, and rites of passage are touched on. The small selection of primary documents (excerpts from letters, diaries, and autobiographies) add depth to an already well-written and researched work whose real strength is its juxtaposition of children's lives across a variety of Colonial cultures. --Library Journal"Providing fresh historical perspectives on key features of children's lives, this book offers compelling, new materials on childhood in colonial America, and on groups--including Native Americans and Hispanics--too often left out of conventional coverage." --Peter Stearns, George Mason University"Children in Colonial America is a highly original contribution to the history of childhood. The collection's unique strength lies in its great range of regions and peoples represented: from Indian children of Mexico to young Africans in Jamaica, from Separatist Pilgrims in the Netherlands and Plymouth to Catholic girls in Germany, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania. Although ideal for the classroom, these essays offer much that will be of interest to seasoned scholars." --Gloria L. Main, University of Colorado-BoulderFew books can be all things to all people, but this one is an exception. --Kenneth J. BlumeA useful and largely impressive anthology on an under-studied topic. --PhiloBiblos

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