American History

Abraham in Arms: War and Gender in Colonial New England by Ann M. Little

By Ann M. Little

In 1678, the Puritan minister Samuel Nowell preached a sermon he referred to as "Abraham in Arms," during which he suggested his listeners to recollect that "Hence it truly is no wayes unbecoming a Christian to benefit to be a Souldier." The name of Nowell's sermon was once good selected. Abraham of the outdated testomony resonated deeply with New England males, as he embodied the suitable of the householder-patriarch, instantly obedient to God and the unquestioned chief of his relatives and his humans in struggle and peace. but enemies challenged Abraham's authority in New England: Indians threatened the security of his loved ones, subordinates in his circle of relatives threatened his prestige, and other halves and daughters taken into captivity grew to become baptized Catholics, married French or Indian males, and refused to come to New England.

In a daring reinterpretation of the years among 1620 and 1763, Ann M. Little finds how rules approximately gender and kinfolk existence have been primary to the methods humans in colonial New England, and their acquaintances in New France and Indian kingdom, defined their studies in cross-cultural war. Little argues that English, French, and Indian humans had extensively related principles approximately gender and authority. simply because they understood either conflict and political strength to be intertwined expressions of manhood, colonial war can be understood as a competition of other types of masculinity. for brand new England males, what had as soon as been a masculinity in accordance with loved ones headship, Christian piety, and the obligation to guard kinfolk and religion grew to become one equipped round the extra summary notions of British nationalism, anti-Catholicism, and soldiering for the Empire.

Based on archival study in either French and English resources, courtroom documents, captivity narratives, and the personal correspondence of ministers and struggle officers, Abraham in Arms reconstructs colonial New England as a frontier borderland during which non secular, cultural, linguistic, and geographic obstacles have been permeable, fragile, and contested through Europeans and Indians alike.

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