July 3rd, 2006

Brad @ Burning Man

What Puritanism Really Looks Like

This needs no comment from me:
September 15, 1682
To the Aged and Beloved
Mr. John Higginson:

There is now a ship at sea called the Welcome which has on board an hundred or more of the heretics and malignants called Quakers, with W. Penn who is the chief scamp at the head of them.

The General Court has accordingly given secret orders to Master Malachi Huscott, of the Brig Porpoise, to waylay the said Welcome, slyly as near the Cape of Cod as may be, and make captive the said Penn and his ungodly crew, so that the Lord may be glorified, and not mocked on the soil of this new country with the heathen worship of these people. Much spoil can be made by selling the whole lot to Barbados, where slaves fetch good prices in rum and sugar, and we shall not only do the Lord great service by punishing the wicked, but we shall make great good for his ministers and people.

Master Huscott feels hopeful, and I will set down the news when the ship comes back.

Yours in the Bowels of Christ.
Cotton Mather
quoted from Ian Williams, Rum: A Social and Sociable History of the Real Spirit of 1776. New York: Nation Books, 2005. pp 71-72.