Penn Library

CULTURAL READINGS: Colonization & Print in the Americas

The English Colonies

Before England had an overseas empire, it had a library devoted to English imperial exploits and prospects.
de Bry
Richard Hakluyt, British colonialism's prime mover, translated continental narratives of exploration for an English-speaking audience. Theodor de Bry coupled Thomas Hariot's account of the lost Roanoke colony with maps and engravings to create an alluring Virginia for European readers.
de Bry, Virginia
Nova Britannia


Pamphlets like Nova Britannia and Virginia Richly Valued, describing Virginia's Edenic potential, were crucial in encouraging new emigrants to that colony, while John Smith promoted himself as well as his colonial vision in his Generall Historie. In the late 17th and 18th centuries, promotional literature by William Penn and others assured would-be settlers of America's fine prospects.
Virginia Richly Valued


Like the Spanish, New Englanders could supply their own rationale for conquest, as Philip Vincent did when accounting for the bloody Puritan defeat of the Pequot Indians in 1637.

Promotion & Possession

Exhibition Contents | Introduction | Essays | Bibliography & Links

Last update: Monday, 05-Oct-2015 00:01:46 EDT
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