Colonial America Bibliography

1600 to 1770

copyright 1998 by Historical Novelists Center


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Anderson, Fred

Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766 ****
Not only covers the milsci for one of the oft-skipped colonial wars, but deals with the effect it had on the colonies and on the Indian allies by eliminating the French north of the Caribbean. T1

Boucher, Francois

Twenty Thousand Years of Fashion; the History of Costume and Personal Adornment ****
Harry N. Abrams, 1966; 440 pg, index, glossary
Pretty good in this period, if you want to cover the cities and fashion. Otherwise, see Springer and Tunis. T1

Clark, Harrison

All Cloudless Glory: The Life of George Washington *****!
1074 pages in two volumes
A new biography based entirely on original documents -- letters, diaries, and such -- rather than boiling down fifteen other historians' boil-downs. Washington engaged in so many vocations before the Revolution that this also is an insight into the fields for a half-dozen of your characters. T3

Dow, George Francis

Everyday Life in the Massachusetts Bay Colony *****!
Dover, NY; 416 pg, 100 historic illos
17th C life, from butterchurns to the stocks, not excluding trade and other economic matters. T2

Drimmer, Frederick

Captured by the Indians: 15 Firsthand Accounts, 1750-1870 ****
Dover, 384 pg
Talk about your culture shock! Some were taken as prisoners of war, and accordingly treated horrendously; others were adopted in, and treated like any member of the tribe. T2

Duffy, Christopher

Fire and Stone: The Science of Fortress Warfare, 1660-1860 ****
Hippocrene Books, NY, 1975
Well-written, well-illustrated and well-designed. The Fortess Wargame for Miniatures is tactical fun while teaching you how things can work or go wrong. The other appendix, on how to tour old fortifications, is good if you get to make the research trip. T3

Ellis, Joseph J.

American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson ****
Alfred Knopf
Given sterling recommendations by one of our friends for its exploration of the man's character, but much of it has to do with his later days. Still, the picture of growing up in the Colonies may be very relevant to your work. T3

Faragher, John Mack, ed.

The Encyclopedia of Colonial and Revolutionary America ****
Da Capo.
Covers from 1600 through 1781 in 1500 entries of biography, social customs, cultural events, battles, and whatnot. Of course, this will make more sense if you have read enough histories to have a framework to drop the alphabetized information into. T2

Heath, Ernest Gerald

The Grey Goose Wing ***
New York Graphic Society, Greenwich, CN, 1971
Excellent history of the bow; last part Anglocentric, with some coverage of the Turks. Some on Native American and American usage. T3

Hogg, Ian V.

The History of Fortification ***
St. Martin's Press, NY, 1981
Clear, interesting and accurate overview from 7000 BC through the 1970's, well illustrated with photos and diagrams; bibliography and glossary. T2

Holloway, Mark

Heavens on Earth: Utopian Communities in America, 1680-1880 ****
Dover Publications, Inc., NY
And you thought "cults" were a new thing! Explore the attempts build new Edens, where your characters may get involved, or at least discuss if there's one in the neighborhood. T2

Ingraham, Holly

People's Names: A Cross-cultural Reference Guide to the Proper Use of Over 40,000 Personal and Familial Names in Over 100 Cultures *****!
McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, Jefferson, NC; 1997; 613 pgs, index, select annotated bibliography
Has the Renaissance English chapter for Puritans, especially Puritan slogan names, and chapters for all the cultural groups of Europe, besides Native American chapters. Includes lots of family names in every section where they were used, rather than being just a glorified baby-name book of first names.. T1

Kay, M. L. M. & L. L. Cary

Slavery in North Carolina, 1748-1775 ****
University of North Carolina Press, 1996
Excellent book dealing with life in terms of the terroristic code of laws applied to slaves. T2

Kohler, Carl

A History of Costume ****
Dover Publications, Inc., NY
Hand-sized, info-packed, based on surviving clothes first and artwork secondarily. Author's line drawings of construction and detail. Neophytes should use with a picture book, which it will greatly clarify. T1

Lawliss, Chuck

The Early America Sourcebook: A Traveler's Guide *****!
Crown Publishers, NY
A unique book that discusses historical places in each state east of the Mississippi, their place in the development of the country, and rates each for its historical significance. Perfect when you are planning a research trip, or want to find out what's in your immediate district! T3

Salmonson, Jessica Amanda

The Encyclopedia of Amazons: Women Warriors from Antiquity to the Modern Era *****!
Paragon House, NY, 1991; 290 pg, no index, bibliography
Discusses a number of native war-women, though fewer than she might have. T2

Scheffel, Richard L., project editor

Discovering America's Past **
Reader's Digest Books, Pleasantville, NY; 1993; 400 pg, index, no bibliography
An omnium gatherum of inventions, customs, practices and lifestyles, divided into 11 chapters by topic, such as "Educating America" which follows educational development as a series of short articles (half to full page) on unusual (to us) practices or noteworthy developments. Heavily illustrated, flashes of information, one of which may suit you. Best for the pages in the back listing Living History sites you can visit. T3

Schwartz, Seymour I.

The French and Indian War, 1754-1763 ****
Castle; 177 pgs.
A good recent book on a war and period often slighted for the popular, patriotic ones. Tons of illos. T1

Stone, Lawrence

Road to Divorce: England 1530-1987 *****!
Oxford University Press, 1990; 459 pg, index
This whole trilogy is a must read. You do not realize how much difference the suffragettes made, or what they fought against, until these books teach you what marriage law used to be. Peels off a lot of romantic gloss. At last, an explanation in detail of why couples elope to Gretna Green! Also secret marriages, Fleet marriages, marriage by avowal. Fascinating tabloid stories, not overly pedantic. Note that the Colonies, while under British law, did not have quite such a geographic mish-mash of laws, but many an immigrant had an irregular marriage behind him or her. Very important for the limitations of married women in law and property. T2
by the same author (the rest of the trilogy):
Broken Lives *****!
Uncertain Unions *****!
Family, Sex, and Marriage in England, 1500-1800 *****!
London, 1977
Think of this as the compact version, with a slightly earlier edge, less emphasis on recent law change. T2

Tunis, Edwin

Frontier Living *****!
The World Publishing Company, Leveland, OH & NY, 1961; illustrated by the author
Pen drawings manage to be technically accurate and artistic at once. Text in easy, personal style, accurate on what it covers, which is quite a lot of primitive technology. Hits early log cabin settlements, rivermen, Alta California, mountain trappers, weapons, food, milling shelter, clothes, vehicles, etc.! T1

Waugh, Norah

Corsets and Crinolines *****!
Theatre Arts Books, 1954
Underpinnings, 1600's to 1925, in period art. T3

The Cut of Men's Clothes 1600-1900 *****!
Theatre Arts Books, 1964
The most fashionable men's dress, in period illustrations, with tailor's patterns, period comments on colours and fabrics, etc. Superb. T3

The Cut of Women's Clothes, 1600 to 1930 *****!
Theatre Arts Books, 1968
The same for women. Both books show fastenings! T3


Vrooman, Taylor

Songs from a Colonial Tavern *****!

Colonial Williamsburg

Good fun songs, exactly the sort you would hear in an Eighteenth Century tavern. T2

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H-GIG Historical Times & Places ***

A thorough-going linksite maintained by the University of California at Riverside, H-GIG sorts by area, by era (ancient, Medieval, early Modern, Modern<yours, unless you are working at the very founding of the earliest colonies>, and 20th C), or by topic (military, women, etc.). It's a good place to start a hunt for books and essays online.

Internet Modern History Sourcebook ****

Halsall, whom we know from the Internet Medieval Sourcebook, is responding to demand in the world by now compiling an onl-line library on modern subjects. As it grows, you never know what has been lately added.


Project Gutenberg ****

Since 1971 putting classic books into electronic form.


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(for the triangle trade, and the source of many non-volunteer colonists)

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