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Harmsworth Professor of American History publishes new book on the tumultuous formative decades of the American experience

9 January 2020

Current Harmsworth Professor of American History Peter Mancall has published The Trials of Thomas Morton: An Anglican Lawyer, His Puritan Foes, and the Battle for a New EnglandThis book provides a new look at Thomas Morton, his controversial colonial philosophy, and his lengthy feud with the Puritans, as well as adding new depth to our understanding of early New England society.

Infamous for dancing around a maypole in defiance of his Pilgrim neighbours, Morton was reviled by the Puritans for selling guns to the Natives. Colonial authorities exiled him three separate times from New England, but Morton kept returning to fight for his beliefs.
This compelling counter-narrative to the familiar story of the Puritans combines a rich understanding of the period with a close reading of early texts to bring the contentious Morton to life.

Peter C. Mancall is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities and Professor of History and Anthropology at the University of Southern California and the author of six books about early America.  You can watch his 2019 Harmsworth Lecture below or here:

Book cover for The Trials of Thomas Morton