As editor of the Winthrop Papers, Francis J. Bremer is well qualified to compose a new life of the man who spent most of his nearly two decades in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in positions of leadership. Because Bremer insists that the key to understanding John Winthrop’s role as the first governor of the colony lies in the values which he absorbed over four previous decades in his native England, the author devotes nearly half of his text to this earlier phase of his subject’s life. The East Anglian Stour River valley produced many fervent Puritans like Winthrop in the later sixteenth century, but in his case an appreciation of English common law tempered his religious enthusiasm.
Only a local magistrate in his native land, Winthrop was chosen to direct the establishment of an overseas enterprise perceived to be of minor importance. But unlike a number of similar ventures in the early seventeenth century, the Massachusetts Bay Colony prospered, and it owed a large measure of its success to the judicious and temperate exercise of Winthrop’s administrative power. This twelve-year governor of the colony, later criticized as an intolerant persecutor of religious radicals like Anne Hutchinson, fell out of favor with his constituents only when they came to regard him as too lenient in his treatment of suspected heretics.
Nonspecialist readers are likely to find John Winthrop: America’s Forgotten Founding Father somewhat slow-paced and factually overburdened. Bremer enlivens his account, however, by prefacing each chapter with a vignette that imaginatively evokes a significant scene, replete with vivid sensory details, from his subject’s life.
Booklist 99, nos. 19/20 (June 1, 2003): 1733.
Kirkus Reviews 71, no. 10 (May 15, 2003): 725.
Library Journal 128, no. 11 (June 15, 2003): 80.
The New York Times Book Review, September 21, 2003, p. 11.
Publishers Weekly 250, no. 20 (May 19, 2003): 62.
The Times Literary Supplement, November 14, 2003, p. 28.
Winthrop, John (Vol. 107)
John Winthrop 1588-1649
British-born American writer of sermons, diarist, speechwriter, chronicler and epistler.
The following entry presents criticism on John Winthrop from 1964 to 1996. See also John Winthrop Literary Criticism (1400-1800) (Volume 31).
As the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Winthrop is regarded as one of the most influential men in the colony's history. Despite his presence in the political arena, Winthrop is best remembered as a historian and writer whose work provides an insightful glimpse into the history of New England. His most significant work, A Journal of the Transactions and Occurrences in the Settlement of Massachusetts and the Other New-England Colonies, from the Year 1630 to 1644 (1790), is highly regarded for its detailed documentation of the events of the colony, from the mundane to the extraordinary, as well as for Winthrop's personal insight and evolution as a leader, Puritan, and writer.
Winthrop was born in Suffolk, England in 1588. His father served as auditor of the accounts at Trinity College at Cambridge, where Winthrop was enrolled at the age of fourteen. While at school, Winthrop became deathly ill and, as a result, underwent a religious conversion—he began to identify himself as a Puritan. Soon after his conversion, Winthrop left Trinity and married his first wife, Mary Forth, in 1605. The couple had six children in a ten-year period. Winthrop, despite his withdrawal from Trinity, went on to study law at Gray's Inn in London, and records indicate that he served as a justie of the peace in Suffolk. Winthrop's wife died in 1615, and his second wife, Thomasine Clopton, died a year after their marriage in 1617. By the time he was married to his third wife, Margaret Tyndal, in 1618, Winthrop was finding it difficult to support a large, growing household. He continued to practice law, often traveling to London for work, and in 1627 was appointed as attorney to His Majesty's Court of Wards and Liveries. This position gave Winthrop a firsthand view of the tensions between Charles I and Parliament, which Charles I dissolved in March of 1629. This act perpetuated Winthrop's dissatisfaction with his life in England, and he joined a group of Puritans determined to relocate to America. In 1629, Winthrop was elected governor of the royal chartered Massachusetts Bay Company, and in April of 1630 Winthrop and three of his sons traveled on the Arbella to America. During the journey, Winthrop delivered what was to be his most important sermon, “A Modell of Christian Charitie,” where he introduced several concepts which would become central in American Puritanism. Winthrop served four terms as governor of the Massachusetts Bay colony. He continuously sought to apply the Puritan philosophy not only in conflict resolution, but also to the practical necessities of governance. Winthrop was intent on making the colony a model of the perfect Puritan community. Until his death in 1649, Winthrop meticulously documented the daily life of the colony in his journal, which remains one of the foremost works on New England's history.
One of Winthrop's most significant pieces of writing is the sermon “A Modell of Christian Charitie,” which he delivered in 1630. In this sermon, Winthrop introduced two key concepts that would prove influential in shaping American Puritanism. The first is the concept of The City on a Hill. Winthrop maintained that if the colony practiced righteousness and enjoyed material success, it would serve as an example to other communities. The second idea Winthrop introduced was that of a divine covenant that would legally bind the community to work for the good of the whole and for spiritual glory. On another level, the sermon allowed Winthrop to address his plans for the community—he urged acceptance of social inequalities because they would encourage charity, therefore linking the community together according to God's divine plan. Winthrop sought to document this divine plan and the signs of the colonists' achievements in his most significant work, A Journal of the Transactions and Occurrences in the Settlement of Massachusetts and the Other New-England Colonies, from the Year 1630 to 1644. The Journal, which was originally comprised of three notebooks, was not published until 1790. The Journal consists of day-by-day journal entries and lacks literary structure; however, the flow of the text is maintained by Winthrop's writing style, thoughts and motivations. The Journal represents an eyewitness account of two decades of colonial history in Massachusetts. Winthrop documented everything from the everyday happenings of the colony to major events as well as weather patterns, flora, and fauna, all the while commenting on how these items fit into God's divine plan for the community. Of the historical works Winthrop published while he was alive, the most studied is Antinomians and Familists condemned by the synod elders in New-England: with the proceedings of the magistrates against them, and their apology for the same (1644). This work documents the controversy of the Antinomians, led by Anne Hutchinson, who believed in achieving salvation not through good deeds but through God's grace alone. The group's dissension resulted in Hutchinson’s banishment from the colony.
During his lifetime, Winthrop was highly respected by his fellow colonists and considered to be an excellent leader, both spiritually and politically. Some modern critics, such as Richard S. Dunn and Lee Schweninger, have examined Winthrop's writing as literature instead of as historical documentation by focusing on the narrative style and growth of the writer. The vast majority of Winthrop scholars, however, examine his works, especially the Journal, as historical documents that provide a unique insight into the day-to-day events of life in the Massachusetts Bay colony. In addition, Winthrop's works provide a record of the ideals and beliefs upon which the Puritans founded their colony, illustrating not only their organization, but their religious aims. These same ideals continue to shape American politics, ideology and literature to this day.
“A Modell of Christian Charity” (sermon) 1630; also published as Christian Charitie. A Modell Hereof
Antinomians and Familists condemned by the synod of elders in New-England: with the proceedings of the magistrates against them, and their apology for the same (history) 1644; also published as A Short Story of the rise, reign, and ruin of the Antinomians, Familists & libertines
A Declaration of Former Passages and Proceedings Betwixt the English and the Narrowgansets, with Their Confederates, Wherein the Grounds and Justice of the Ensuing Warre are Opened and Cleared (history) 1645
A Journal of the Transactions and Occurrences in the Settlement of Massachusetts and the Other New England Colonies, from the Year 1630 to 1644 (journal) 1790; also published as The History of New England from 1630 to 1649, 1825-26, rev. ed. 1853
Winthrop Papers. 5 vols. (prose, journal, history, letters) 1929-47
SOURCE: Baritz, Loren. “Political Theology: John Winthrop.” In City on a Hill: A History of Ideas and Myths in America, pp. 13-39. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1964.
[In the following excerpt, Baritz examines how “A Modell of Christian Charity” outlines not only Winthrop's argument for the journey to Massachusetts but also his thoughts about the meaning of the organic community.]
It is a mistake to think that Winthrop's view of politics was separate from his other views. His intellectual system was a political theology; its purpose was the Christianization of the state. The westward-moving Puritans thought that they had a special commission from God...
(The entire section is 11278 words.)
SOURCE: Benton, Robert M. “The John Winthrops and Developing Scientific Thought in New England.” Early American Literature 7, no. 3 (winter 1973): 272-80.
[In this essay, Benton argues how the lives and practices of Winthrop and two of his descendents influenced the evolution of scientific thought in America, beginning with Winthrop's meticulous documentation of natural phenomena.]
Plantations in their beginnings have work ynough, & find difficulties sufficient to settle a comfortable way of subsistence, there beinge buildings, fencings, cleeringe and breakinge up of ground, lands to be attended, orchards to be planted, highways & bridges...
(The entire section is 3859 words.)
SOURCE: Schweninger, Lee. “In Response to the Antinomian Controversy,” “The Journal: A New Literature for a New World,” and “Cheerful Submission to Authority: Miscellaneous and Later Writings.” In John Winthrop, edited by Barbara Sutton, pp. 47-66; 87-98; 99-115. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1990.
[In the first essay that follows, Schweninger examines the Antinomian controversy, providing historical details to demonstrate the significance of Winthrop's writings on the subject. In the second, Schweninger considers Winthrop's Journal as a literary rather than historical document. In the third, Schweninger examines Winthrop's lesser‐known writings, their contributions to the...
(The entire section is 21193 words.)
SOURCE: Michaelsen, Scott. “John Winthrop's ‘Modell’ Covenant and the Company Way.” Early American Literature 27, no. 2 (1992): 85-100.
[In the following essay, Michaelsen proposes that “A Modell of Christian Charity” served two purposes, suggesting that Winthrop's aim was not only to instill a sense of pride in the participants but also to create a contractual agreement that would benefit both sides of the venture.]
As Andrew Delbanco has noted, first Massachusetts governor John Winthrop's departure sermon, “A Modell of Christian Charity” (1630), is “enshrined as a kind of Ur-text of American literature” (72).1...
(The entire section is 6759 words.)
SOURCE: Moseley, James G. “The Perils of the Text.” In John Winthrop's World: History as a Story, the Story as History, pp. 121-29. Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press, 1992.
[In the essay which follows, Moseley proposes that the textual history of Winthrop's Journal has contributed a misunderstanding of the text's meaning, maintaining that the text should be read in the historical context of the various editing processes.]
John Winthrop learned to see and to write history as a story, but it is impossible for us simply to read his story straight. His actions as governor have so overshadowed his work as a historian, and his character and...
(The entire section is 4015 words.)
SOURCE: Dunn, Richard S. Introduction to The Journal of John Winthrop, 1630-1649, edited by Richard S. Dunn and Laetitia Yeandle, pp. viii-xx. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1996.
[In the essay below, Dunn examines Winthrop as a writer, focusing on his narrative style the author uses in the Journal.]
For 350 years Governor John Winthrop's journal has been recognized as the central source for the history of Massachusetts in the 1630s and 1640s. Winthrop was both the chief actor and the chief recorder in New England for two crucial decades. He reported events—especially religious and political events—more fully and more...
(The entire section is 4107 words.)
Bush, Sargent. “A Text for All Seasons: Winthrop's Journal Redivivus.” Early American Literature 33, no. 1 (1998): 97-107.
Reviews the publication of a new edition of Winthrop's Journal and discusses the work's importance.
Bremer, Francis J. “The Heritage of John Winthrop: Religion along the Stour Valley, 1548-1630.” New England Quarterly: A Historical Review of New England Life and Letters 70, no. 4 (December 1997): 15-47.
Offers a detailed biography of the Winthrop family to aid in the understanding of Winthrop's motivations and beliefs.
Dawson, Hugh J....
(The entire section is 294 words.)
Winthrop, John (Vol. 31)
John Winthrop 1588–1649
English-born political thinker, historian, and journal writer.
The first and most influential governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Winthrop is primarily remembered for his A Journal of the Transactions and Occurrences in the Settlement of Massachusetts and the Other New-England Colonies, from the Year 1630 to 1644, in which he chronicled the daily life, tribulations, and important events in the colony. Along with his writings on theology, the Antinomian controversy, and treaties with Native Americans, Winthrop's Journal constitutes one of the seminal records of the everyday life of early settlers in America. Critics also consider Winthrop a primary architect of American Puritanism. In his sermon "A Modell of Christian Charitie," delivered on board the ship Arbella in 1630 while he was on his way to America, Winthrop introduced two concepts that proved extremely influential in shaping colonial thinking and policy: the "City on a Hill," or the idea that the righteousness and material success of the Puritan colony would serve as an example to others, and the concept of adivine covenant binding the community together through shared responsibility.
Winthrop was the son of the lord of the manor at Groton in Suffolk, England. He enrolled at Trinity College, Cambridge, when he was fourteen years old; while a student, he fell gravely ill and underwent a religious conversion, becoming identified with the Puritan group within the Church of England. Winthrop's essay entitled "Experiencia," written in 1607-13 and the only surviving record of this time of his life, deals with his religious experience and documents that he had made "a new Covenant with the Lorde." Winthrop soon left Trinity and in 1605 married Mary Forth. He studied law in London at the Inns of Court, and records identify him as a justice of the peace in Suffolk in 1617. Around this same period Winthrop assumed supervision of the manor from his father, and was also facing tragedy in his personal life: his wife had died in 1615, and Winthrop's second wife, Thomasine Clopton, died a year after they married, in 1617. Now married to his third wife, Margaret Tyndal, and finding it difficult to support his many children because
of a regional economic crisis, Winthrop received a government post as a common attorney in the Court of Wards and Liveries in London. It was also about this time that Winthrop officially joined the Puritans, a militant subgroup of the Church of England which was frequently in conflict with the high Anglicanism of King Charles I. Unwilling to continue to make the compromises needed to placate government and church authorities in England, some Puritans organized the New England Company in 1628, intending to relocate to America; they reorganized in 1629, became chartered as the Massachusetts Bay Company, and elected Winthrop governor. He served terms from 1629 to 1633, 1637 to 1640, 1642 to 1644, and from 1646 until his death in 1649. As governor, Winthrop was often summoned to mediate between warring parties, contend with conflicts relating to jurisdiction, settle conflicts with the Indians, and decide questions of economics. Along with other colonial leaders, Winthrop sought to apply Puritan philosophy to the practical affairs of the Bay Colony, advocating broad participation by members of the community, a mixture of democracy and aristocracy, the growth of churches, and experiments in wages and prices designed to keep citizens from preying upon each other. Anyone dissenting from their consensual orthodoxy was obliged to leave, for Winthrop and his magistrates were determined to shelter their model society from any civil or religious influence that might adversely affect it. Winthrop died in 1649, in the midst of his political career and still engaged in writing his journal.
Winthrop's first and, as many scholars have asserted, most significant legacy to New England was the sermon "A Modell of Christian Charitie," in which he explained to his fellow immigrants the magnitude of the task they were undertaking. They were chosen by God to perform a role and would be watched by all other people, Winthrop maintained; as in the biblical City upon a Hill, everyone would be interpreting their success or failure in America as a sign of God's pleasure or displeasure with them. By virtue of sailing to New England they had entered into a covenant with God involving each person in the community. If they adhered strictly to the divine will, they would be rewarded with prosperity, security, and success; and those evidences of God's favor would inspire England and other nations to emulate the New England way. If they settled for less than perfection in themselves and in those around them, they would suffer God's wrath. Like "A Modell of Christian Charitie," Winthrop's Journal was an effort to discern the divine pattern in the events of daily life in the colony and to justify the role New Englanders believed themselves called to play. Written as a diary and never revised, the Journal remained unpublished long after Winthrop's death, though colonial historians drew upon the work as a source of information. In 1790 Jonathan Trumbull, Governor of Connecticut, copied the first two of the three Journal notebooks and submitted them to Noah Webster for printing. Critics agree that Winthrop's Journal provides the fullest eyewitness rendering of the first two decades of Massachusetts colonial history: Winthrop provides a rich record of events, explicates political and religious points of view held by the colonists, and presents anecdotes that illustrate the Puritans' notion of themselves as fulfilling a divine mission. He reported on all matters impersonally, usually only identifying himself as "the governour," and only occasionally stating his own opinions. Winthrop also wrote two other historical works, the only ones published during his lifetime. Antinomians and Familists condemned by the synod of elders in New-England: with the proceedings of the magistrates against them, and their apology for the same is a collection of materials related to the Anne Hutchinson controversy of the 1630s. Hutchinson and her followers dissented from the teachings of Puritan ministers who emphasized salvation through good works rather than through God's grace; following a trial in which Winthrop defended the right of the community to protect itself from dissenters, she was banished from the colony. Winthrop's A Declaration of Former Passages and Proceedings Betwixt the English and the Narrowgansets with Their Confederates, Wherein the Grounds of Justice of the Ensuing Warre are Opened and Cleared explores in pamphlet form the conflict between the colonists and the Rhode Island Indians and outlines Winthrop's fears concerning the future.
Winthrop was revered by his contemporaries and later New Englanders as an inspired spiritual leader and wise politician. Cotton Mather, in his Magnalia Christi Americana; or, The Ecclesiastical History of New England (1702), extolled Winthrop's integrity and sa gacity, comparing him to the biblical Nehemiah. In the twentieth century, critics have explored various aspects of Winthrop's thought, for example his economic ideas, political philosophy (particularly his concept of the social covenant and the rights and responsibilities of individuals within it), and his complex role as both admirer and prosecutor in the trial of Anne Hutchinson. Some have criticized Winthrop as a narrow-minded and authoritarian leader who sought a homogenous society at the price of personal liberty. Winthrop's Journal continues to attract scholarly at tention, with commentators focusing on stylistic and structural elements, narrative tone and perspective, and the interplay between history and spiritual autobiography in the work. Lee Schweninger, summarizing Winthrop's overall contribution to American literature, has written, "He was able to preserve for future generations both the actual historical record of the building of Boston in New England and his vision of a city on a hill, not only as a model but as an emblem, a symbol of the potential of humanity."
Antinomians and Familists condemned by the synod of elders in New-England: with the proceedings of the magistrates against them, and their apology for the same (prose) 1644; also published as A Short Story of the rise, reign, and ruin of the Antinomians, Familist & libertines, 1644
A Declaration of Former Passages and Proceedings Betwixt the English and the Narrowgansets, with Their Confederates, Wherein the Grounds and Justice of the Ensuing Warre are Opened and Cleared (prose) 1645
A Journal of the Transactions and Occurrences in the Settlement of Massachusetts and the Other New-England Colonies, from the Year 1630 to 1644 (journal) 1790; also published as The History of New England from 1630 to 1649, 1825-26, rev. ed. 1853
Winthrop Papers. 5 vols. (prose, journal, history, letters) 1929-47
SOURCE: A sermon delivered in 1630, in Life and Letters of John Winthrop, Vol. II, second edition, by Robert C. Winthrop, Little, Brown, and Company, 1866, pp. 18-20.
[In the following excerpt from his famous sermon "A Modell of Christian Charity, " delivered on board the ship Arbella in 1630, Winthrop outlines the nature of the covenant forged between the colonists and God.]
Thus stands the case between God and us. We are entered into a Covenant with Him for this work. We have taken out a commission. The Lord hath given us leave to draw our own articles. We have professed to enterprise these and those ends, upon these and those accounts. We have hereupon besought of...
(The entire section is 772 words.)
SOURCE: "Nehemias Americanus: The Life of John Winthrop, Esq., Governour of the Massachuset Colony," in Magnolia Christi Americana; or, The Ecclesiastical History of New-England, Vol. I, Silas Andrus and Son, 1855, pp. 118-31.
[Mather was a renowned American clergyman and scholar who was associated with the Salem witchcraft trials, but later repudiated them. His works include Wonders of the Invisible World (1693), Essays to Do Good (1710), and Ratio Disciplinae (1726). In the following excerpt from his best-known work, first published in 1702, Mather praises the wisdom, integrity, and sagacity Winthrop exhibited in his role as governor of "our American Jerusalem....
(The entire section is 7495 words.)
SOURCE: "Economic Ideas of John Winthrop," in The New England Quarterly, Vol. III, April, 1930, pp. 235-50.
[In the following essay, Johnson provides a detailed examination of Winthrop's ideas regarding wealth. He notes that Winthrop's ideas, though not original, are significant because they accurately reflect Puritan ideology.]
How important a role a philosophy plays in men's actions and lives can actually never be determined. A philosophy is never a prime mover, but often an influence so omnipresent and persistent that it becomes worth while to investigate the thoughts as well as the deeds of great men. For this reason, it seems worth while to examine the economic...
(The entire section is 4193 words.)
SOURCE: "The Political Thought of John Winthrop," in The New England Quarterly, Vol. III, October, 1930, pp. 681-705.
[Below, Gray presents an overview of Winthrop's political philosophy, stressing his reliance on the idea of the social convenant.]
God Almightie in his most holy and wise providence hath soe disposed of the Condicion of mankinde, as in all times some must be rich some poore, some highe and eminent in power and dignitie; others meane and in subieccion.
(The entire section is 6525 words.)
SOURCE: "Seventeenth-Century Nihilism" and "The New England Way," in The Puritan Dilemma: The Story of John Winthrop, edited by Oscar Handlin, Little, Brown and Company, 1958, pp, 134-54, 155-73.
[A respected American historian, Morgan is the author of such studies as The Puritan Family (1944), Birth of the Republic, 1763-89 (1956), and Roger Williams: The Church and State (1967). In the following excerpt, from his monograph on Winthrop, Morgan gives an account of Winthrop's role in the trial of Anne Hutchinson and in the writing of the Body of Liberties document.]
On September 18, 1634, two hundred passengers disembarked at Boston's...
(The entire section is 11547 words.)
SOURCE: "Traditional Patterns of Puritan Autobiography: John Winthrop's 'Christian Experience'," in Spiritual Autobiography in Early America, Princeton University Press, 1968, pp. 100-10.
[In the essay below, Shea explores Winthrop's "Christian Experience" as an account of his spiritual progress.]
Any Puritan autobiography exhibits its author's awareness of the traditional stages through which a man passed as God brought him to grace. But some narratives serve as paradigms in their adherence to textbook descriptions of the order of grace. Edward Taylor's "Spiritual Relation" is one of these. Another, the "Christian Experience" of John Winthrop was written more than...
(The entire section is 2877 words.)
SOURCE: "John Winthrop: The Statesman," in The Idea of Fraternity in America, University of California Press, 1973, pp. 133-49.
[Here, McWilliams discusses Winthrop's political ideas as a system of thought "guided by the fraternal imperative."]
John Winthrop was a political man by vocation, a reflective man by nature and faith. None defended more strenuously the prerogatives of a specifically political wisdom distinct from that of the church. Yet Winthrop never conceived of a political understanding which did not depend on religious teaching; he relied on scriptural and religious authority rather more, and secular classical writings rather less, than did his...
(The entire section is 5186 words.)
SOURCE: "John Winthrop Writes His Journal," in The William and Mary Quarterly, third series, Vol. XLI, No. 2, April, 1984, pp. 185-212.
[In the following essay, Dunn examines the style, structure, and content of the journal Winthrop kept between 1630 and 1649.]
Stored in the manuscript vault of the Massachusetts Historical Society within a locked case of handsome Victorian design are two fragile vellum-covered notebooks in the distinctive and devilishly difficult handwriting of John Winthrop, first governor of Massachusetts. These are the first and third manuscript volumes of Winthrop's journal, the prime source for the history of the Bay Colony from 1630 to 1649. In...
(The entire section is 11427 words.)
SOURCE: "'This Great Household upon the Earth'," in A House Divided: Domesticity and Community in American Literature, Cambridge University Press, 1990, pp. 8-39.
[In the following excerpt, Anderson traces Winthrop's idea of community as evidenced in his writings and compares it with those of Anne Bradstreet and Edward Taylor.]
The Book of Deuteronomy, particularly its closing chapters, had an irresistible appeal for the first generation of New England Puritans because of the parallels they recognized between their own situation and that of the Children of Israel, poised upon the borders of the Promised Land. All of the Old Testament had typological significance, of...
(The entire section is 13332 words.)
SOURCE: "Winthrop's Journal: Religion, Politics, and Narrative in Early America," in Religion and the Life of the Nation: American Recoveries, edited by Rowland A. Sherrill, University of Illinois Press, 1990, pp. 235-58.
[Here, Moseley discusses the ways in which the tone of Winthrop's journal changes from a mere recording of historical fact to a personal, self-conscious narrative.]
John Winthrop has often been portrayed as a self-righteous martinet, a Puritan dictator whose love for power was matched only by his unthinking Calvinist orthodoxy. Yet reading his three-volume Journal enables us to recover a more credible, if more complicated, image of the...
(The entire section is 9629 words.)
SOURCE: "Ways of Making History in Early New England," in John Winthrop's World: History as a Story, The Story as History, The University of Wisconsin Press, 1992, pp. 130-47.
[In the following excerpt, Moseley focuses on Winthrop 's journal as a history, noting its exemplification of a Puritan point of view, and comparing it with other historical accounts.]
Winthrop's Journal was not only about Puritans; it was a Puritan history. This quality, so quickly lost by those who wrote about the early Puritans, comes clearly into focus when Winthrop's history is compared with the other great history of first-generation New England. Like the Puritans' Winthrop, the Pilgrims'...
(The entire section is 8633 words.)
Baritz, Loren. "Political Theology: John Winthrop." In his City on a Hill: A History of Ideas and Myths in America, pp, 3-45. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1964.
Overview of Winthrop's life and work, with emphasis on his ideology.
Bercovitch, Sacvan. The Puritan Origins of the American Self. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1975, 250 p.
Takes Cotton Mather's biographical essay on Winthrop as a representative text and a starting point for a discussion about the "Puritan view of the self," "the individual in history," and "the idea of national election."
(The entire section is 633 words.)