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Bill Thayer

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History of the United States:
The Colonial Period

This orientation page collects, for convenience' sake, the main resources onsite covering the colonial period of American history. There may be others — even important ones, if I am remiss in updating this page — on my American & Military History page.

[ 617 printed pages
presented in 20 webpages ]

Modern Americans tend to forget that not all the colonies were English! The Dutch and Quaker Colonies in America, by John Fiske, is a very readable yet nicely comprehensive account of its subject.

[ 303 printed pages
presented in 11 webpages; unillustrated ]

Herbert E. Bolton's The Spanish Borderlands presents the history of Spanish exploration and colonization of the territories within the present boundaries of United States, which are viewed as defensive border marches protecting Mexico, the far more important possession from Spain's standpoint.

[ 366 printed pages
presented in 26 webpages; 2 maps ]

Less focused on the present territory of the United States, but useful background, Edward Gaylord Bourne's Spain in America recounts the Spanish voyages of exploration (as well as some of the others) and the early colonization of the Americas, and lays out the Spanish colonial system, that at one time or another governed about half the present United States.

[ 315 printed pages
presented in 20 webpages, with 24 photos ]

One of the earliest real wars fought on the soil of the United States was also the bloodiest of our history in terms of the casualty rate; and very similar in a number of respects to the Twin Towers War we are now fighting. King Philip's War by George Ellis and John Morris is a serviceable account of it.

[ 1569 printed pages ]

Charles Gayarré's History of Louisiana, written over a span of years from 1846 to 1864, provides in‑depth coverage of the early life of the state and territory; three of the four volumes cover the colonial period.


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The American History Notes section of my site is devoted to journal articles on various topics. Among these articles, the following are mostly concerned with the colonial period:

Ralph M. Brown: A Sketch of the Early History of Southwestern Virginia (17c‑18c)

Excerpts from Bossu's Travels in North America  (1729)

Bernardo de Galvez' Diary of the Operations against Pensacola (1781‑1785)

General Collot's Reconnoitering Trip Down the Mississippi  (1796)


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Site updated: 14 Jan 09