By Sarah Vowell
Essayist and public radio usual Vowell (Assassination holiday) revisits America's Puritan roots during this witty exploration of the ways that our country's current predicaments are inextricably tied to its previous. In a mode much less colloquial than her earlier books, Vowell lines the 1630 trip of a number of key English colonists and participants of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. leading between those males was once John Winthrop, who may turn into governor of Massachusetts. whereas the Puritans who had previous sailed to Plymouth at the Mayflower have been separatists, Winthrop's fans remained unswerving to England, spurred on via Puritan Reverend John Cotton's proclamation that they have been God's selected humans. Vowell underscores that the likely minute alterations among the Plymouth Puritans and the Massachusetts Puritans have been as significant because the present Sunni/Shia Muslim rift. Gracefully interspersing her historical past lesson with own anecdotes, Vowell deals reflections which are either fun (colonial background lesson through The Brady Bunch) and smooth (watching New Yorkers patiently ready in line to donate blood after 9/11).
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Additional info for The Wordy Shipmates
His men released several hundred pigs that they had shepherded across the continent (which became, according to legend, the Arkansas razorback hogs of today) and journeyed south to the Gulf and Spanish settlements in Mexico. They did attempt to take their horses, loading them on a raft roped to their own canoes, but they recorded that Indians cut the raft loose and slaughtered the horses. Even assuming that an animal of each sex escaped from the Spanish expeditions, there is a problem of distance.
Their dwellings are large and spacious, and are divided into apartments by broad planks. Nothing is left lying about, all their belongings being kept in large bags hung from posts. Their beds are made like tombs, surrounded by hides. Everyone sleeps naked, both men and women. The men go completely naked all the time, except for a buffalo robe covering. 5 All the women have this kind of covering even when they wear a skirt, so that they are never embarrassed or keep their legs closed when they sit down, as all other Indian women do.
In addition to powder, ball, and tobacco, Vérendrye issued to each Frenchman a pair of souliers, leather boots that he had apparently brought from Montreal. While paddling canoes, French traders had adopted the soft deerskin moccasins worn by the Indians of the Great Lakes because anything more sturdy was apt to punch a hole in a fragile birchbark canoe. In bringing a supply of boots, Vérendrye had clearly anticipated a long overland excursion. The expedition departed Fort La Reine (Queen’s Fort) on October 18 and began a trek southwestward across a never-ending sea of grass.
The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell