This morning in the lecture hall we finished our discussion of colonial Virginia. I made the connection between mercantilism and tobacco culture and challenged the teachers to consider the social and cultural influence of tobacco on race, social structure, gender, and labor in the seventeenth century colony. We ended this lecture with an examination of Bacon’s Rebellion.
Midway through the morning session we turned to colonial New England. We did a lot of background work today. My lecture developed along these lines:
- The settlers of New England were Christians
- The settlers of New England were Protestant Christians
- The settlers of New England were Calvinist Protestant Christians
- The settlers of New England were English Calvinist Protestant Christians
We then discussed Winthrop’s idea of a “City Upon a Hill” and how Puritan theology influenced politics and regional identity in Massachusetts Bay. On Thursday, when we return to New England, I am hoping to say a few words about social life in the region, drawing heavily from Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s Good Wives.
The teachers spent the afternoon with master teacher Nate McAlister. He continues to work with the teachers on their lesson plans and the use of primary documents.
After dinner we all headed over to the Princeton Cemetery. I gave a very brief lecture at the graves of the early Princeton presidents–Aaron Burr Sr., Jonathan Edwards, Samuel Davies, Samuel Finley, and John Witherspoon. For some reason the grave of Aaron Burr Jr. got more attention than it has in years past. 🙂
We will be in Philadelphia tomorrow with George Boudreau!