This is what we all learned in school: Pilgrims on the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620. They had a rough start, but ultimately made a go of it, made friends with the Indians, and celebrated with a big Thanksgiving dinner. Other uptight religious Puritans followed them and the whole place became New England. There were some Dutch down in New York, and sooner or later William Penn and the Quakers came to build the City of Brotherly Love in Pennsylvania, and finally it was 1776 and time to revolt against King George III and become America.
That’s it. That’s the narrative of American colonial history known to one and all. Yet there are 150 years – six or seven generations between Plymouth Plantation and the 1770s – that are virtually unknown in our national consciousness and unaccounted for in our American narrative.
Who, what, when, where and why people were motivated to make a two-month crossing on the North Atlantic to carve a life in a largely uncharted, inhospitable wilderness? How and why did they build the varied societies that they did here in the New World colonies? How and why did we become America?
America’s Forgotten Colonial History tells that story.
Dana Huntley was born on a New Hampshire dairy farm to English gentry farm families on both sides, who were here before the 1640s and played a role in every piece of New England history. Dana has a Ph.D. in British Literature (Drew University), M.A. from Fordham and taught for 16 years. For many years Dana wrote reviews and features for British Heritage (now British Heritage Travel), and for seven years designed travel itineraries for the magazine. In 2004, he was recruited by the magazine to become Editor. He stepped down as Editor in 2018, but continues to contribute regular features on British history, travel and culture. He lives in Epping, New Hampshire.