Date: July 13, 2009
Travers' expertise is in Colonial & Revolutionary America; early American Republic; and New England.
This project began nearly 10 yeas ago. Travers was transcribing an Indian missionary journal Cotton kept while he worked on Martha's Vineyard, and McIntire was exploring the informal news nexuses of seventeenth-century New England, to which, Cotton was an important contributor. McIntire approached her former graduate school acquaintance Travers with the idea of getting Cotton's entire correspondence into one volume. The two researchers divided the letters up by time frame, and began the laborious process of collecting, transcribing, and footnoting.
Cotton wrote during an era when it was widely accepted that letters would circulate far beyond the immediate addressee. Thus, both his letters and those addressed to him often read more like newsletters than personal correspondence, and they document some of the most dramatic events of the late seventeenth century, including the brutal King Philip's War, and the eventual overthrow of the hated Dominion of New England. Cotton's correspondents included colonial governors, soldiers, sinners, relatives, Cotton Mather, and Roger Williams. Filled with often intimate detail, the letters in this collection, most of them printed herein for the first time, are pure gold for the student of early American political, military, family, and church history.
The Correspondence of John Cotton Jr.(1639-1699) edited by Sheila McIntire and UMass Dartmouth history professor Len Travers is published by the University of Virginia Press, distributed by the Colonial Society of Massachusetts at $49.50.
Len Travers lives in Middleborough.
For more information concerning a book launch contact.