Synopses & Reviews
Here are the fascinating stories of twenty-three little-known but remarkable inhabitants of the Spanish, English, and Portuguese colonies of the New World between the 16th and the 19th centuries. Women and men of all the races and classes of colonial society may be seen here dealing creatively and pragmatically (if often not successfully) with the challenges of a harsh social environment.
Such extraordinary "ordinary" people as the native priest Diego Vasicuio; the millwright Thomas Peters; the rebellious slave Gertrudis de Escobar; Squanto, the last of the Patuxets; and Micaela Angela Carillo, the pulque dealer, are presented in original essays. Works of serious scholarship, they are also written to catch the fancy and stimulate the historical imagination of readers. The stories should be of particular interest to students of the history of women, of Native Americans, and of Black people in the Americas.
The Editors' introduction points out the fundamental unities in the histories of colonial societies in the Americas, and the usefulness of examining ordinary individual human experiences as a means both of testing generalizations and of raising new questions for research.