An Encyclopedia in Eighteen Volumes


Edited by W. P. Trent, J. Erskine, S. P. Sherman & C. Van Doren



Chapter I. Travellers and Explorers, 1583–1763
By GEORGE PARKER WINSHIP, A.M., Librarian of the Harry Elkins Widener Collection, Harvard University

  1. The Earliest Adventures
  2. Captain John Smith
  3. Newfoundland
  4. William Vaughn
  5. Robert Hayman
  6. Robert Sedgwick
  7. Pamphlets of the Land Companies
  8. Narratives of Indian Captivities
  9. Mrs. Rowlandson
  10. John Gyles
  11. Jonathan Dickinson
  12. The Quakers
  13. Alice Curwen
  14. George Keith
  15. Sarah Knight
  16. William Byrd
  17. Dr. Alexander Hamilton


II. The Historians, 1607–1783
By JOHN SPENCER BASSETT, Ph.D., Professor of American History in Smith College

  1. Captain John Smith
  2. His Veracity
  3. Early New England Historians
  4. Mourt’s” Relation
  5. Edward Winslow
  6. William Bradford
  7. John Winthrop
  8. Edward Johnson
  9. Nathaniel Morton
  10. Later New England Historians
  11. Narratives of the Indian Wars
  12. Captain John Mason
  13. Rev. William Hubbard
  14. Benjamin Church
  15. Samuel Penhallow
  16. Daniel Gookin
  17. Cadwallader Colden
  18. John Lawson
  19. Political Histories
  20. Robert Beverley
  21. Rev. William Stith
  22. William Smith; Samuel Smith
  23. Rev. Thomas Prince
  24. Thomas Hutchinson


III. The Puritan Divines, 1620–1720
By VERNON LOUIS PARRINGTON, A.M., Professor of English in the University of Washington

  1. Puritans and Politics
  2. Puritanism as Jacobean Radicalism
  3. Types of Church Polity Corresponding to Types of State Polity—Monarchical, Artistocratic, Democratic
  4. Early New England Congregationalism a Compromise between Aristocracy and Democracy
  5. The Emigrants: the Theocratic Group—John Cotton, Nathaniel Ward, John Eliot; the Democratic Group—Roger Williams, Thomas Hooker
  6. The Second Generation: the Theocratic Group—the Mathers; the Democrats—John Wise
  7. Learning of the Puritan Divines
  8. Their Industry and Influence


IV. Edwards
By PAUL ELMER MORE, A.M., LL.D., Formerly Editor of The Nation

  1. Edward’s Early Years
  2. His Marriage
  3. His Journal
  4. His Love of God
  5. His Preaching
  6. The Great Awakening
  7. Narrative of Surprising Conversions
  8. Thoughts on the Revival of Religion; Marks of a Work of the True Spirit
  9. Treatise Concerning Religious Affections
  10. The Quarrel with the Northampton Congregation
  11. Stockbridge
  12. President of the College of New Jersey; Death
  13. The Relations of Edwards to the Deistic Controversy
  14. The Freedom of the Will


V. Philosophers and Divines, 1720–1789
By WOODBRIDGE RILEY, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy in Vassar College

  1. The Three Enemies of Orthodoxy—Rationalists, Enthusiasts, Ethical Reformers
  2. The Whitefield Controversy
  3. Charles Chauncy; Edward Wigglesworth
  4. Jonathan Mayhew
  5. Samuel Johnson
  6. John Woolman


VI. Franklin
By STUART P. SHERMAN, Ph.D., Professor of English in the University of Illinois

  1. Franklin’s Training
  2. His Early Years
  3. His First Writings
  4. Philadelphia; London
  5. The Pennsylvania Gazette
  6. His Public Activities
  7. Experiments in Electricity
  8. Missions to England
  9. Franklin in the Revolution
  10. Mission to France
  11. Death
  12. His Religion
  13. His Morals
  14. His Politics
  15. His Scientific Interests
  16. His Style


VII. Colonial Newspapers and Magazines, 1704–1775
By ELIZABETH CHRISTINE COOK, Ph.D., Instructor in English in Teachers College, Columbia University

  1. Literature in the Colonial Newspapers
  2. The New England Courant
  3. The New England Weekly Journal
  4. Franklin as Journalist
  5. Advertisements of Books
  6. The South Carolina Gazette
  7. The Virginia Gazette
  8. Politics in the Later Newspapers
  9. The Vogue of French Radicalism
  10. The Massachusetts Spy
  11. Magazines
  12. The General Magazine and Historical Chronicle
  13. The American Magazine
  14. The Pennsylvania Magazine; The Royal American Magazine


VIII. American Political Writing, 1760–1789
By WILLIAM MACDONALD, Ph.D., Professor of History in Brown University

  1. The Pre-eminence of American Political Literature
  2. James Otis
  3. The Stamp Act Controversy
  4. The Stamp Act Congress
  5. John Dickinson
  6. Samuel Adams
  7. The First Continental Congress
  8. The Loyalists
  9. The Satirists
  10. Franklin
  11. Thomas Paine
  12. A Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms
  13. The Declaration of Independence
  14. The Journal of the Continental Congress
  15. The Crisis
  16. The Constitutional Convention
  17. The Federalist


IX. The Beginnings of Verse, 1610–1808
By SAMUEL MARION TUCKER, Ph.D., Professor of English in the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute

  1. The Three Periods
  2. Verse in the Southern and Middle Colonies
  3. The First New England Poets
  4. The Memorial Poems
  5. Anne Bradstreet
  6. The Bay Psalm Book
  7. Michael Wigglesworth
  8. Dryden and Pope in New England
  9. Philadelphia Poets
  10. The Long Poems of the Eighteenth Century
  11. Timothy Dwight
  12. Political verse
  13. David Humphreys
  14. Joel Barlow
  15. John Trumbull
  16. Tory Satirists
  17. Lyric Poetry
  18. Philip Freneau


Chapter I. Travellers and Observers, 1763–1846
By LANE COOPER, Ph.D., Professor of English in Cornell University

  1. The Background of the Travellers
  2. Nature and the Natural Man
  3. The Routes of the Travellers
  4. The Varities of their Aims
  5. Their Common Interests
  6. Jonathan Carver
  7. William Bartram
  8. St. Jean de Crévecœur
  9. Notes on the State of Virginia
  10. The Lewis and Clark Expedition
  11. The Literary Wars between England and America
  12. The Answers of Cooper and Irving
  13. The Influence of the Travellers
  14. The Travellers and Wordsworth


II. The Early Drama, 1756–1860
By ARTHUR HOBSON QUINN, Ph.D., Dean of the College, University of Pennsylvania

  1. The Origins of the Drama in College Exercises
  2. Influence of the Early Companies; Godfrey’s Prince of Parthia, the first American Play
  3. The Closing of the Theatres
  4. The Revolutionary Satirists
  5. Tyler’s Contrast
  6. William Dunlap
  7. J. N. Barker
  8. J. H. Payne
  9. Beginning of the Creative Period
  10. Stone’s Metamora
  11. The Philadelphia Group: R. M. Bird, R. P. Smith, Conrad, Boker
  12. Types of Drama
  13. Romantic Tragedy
  14. Historical and National Plays
  15. Comedy and Melodrama
  16. The “Yankee” Plays
  17. The Realistic New York Drama
  18. Social Satire
  19. Romantic Comedy
  20. Gothic Melodrama
  21. Domestic Drama; Farce
  22. The Periods in the Development of the American Drama


III. Early Essayists
By GEORGE FRISBIE WHICHER, Ph.D., Associate Professor of English in Amherst College

  1. The Periodical Essay in America
  2. Joseph Dennie
  3. William Wirt
  4. James Kirke Paulding
  5. Richard Henry Dana the elder
  6. Nathaniel Parker Willis
  7. Henry Theodore Tuckerman


IV. Irving

  1. Early Years
  2. First Voyage to Europe
  3. Salmagundi
  4. Diedrich Knickerbocker
  5. England
  6. Spain; The Spanish Books
  7. A Tour on the Prairies
  8. A New Publisher
  9. Later Years
  10. Irving’s Cosmopolitanism
  11. A History of New York
  12. The Sketch Book
  13. Bracebridge Hall
  14. Tales of a Traveller
  15. Life of Columbus
  16. The Conquest of Granada
  17. Legends of the Alhambra
  18. Life of Mahomet
  19. Life of Washington


V. Bryant and the Minor Poets
By WILLIAM ELLERY LEONARD, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of English in the University of Wisconsin

    1. Early Years
    2. Bryant’s Independence as a Poet
    3. The Unity of his Life and Work
    4. His Ideas
    5. Nature in Bryant
    6. Bryant’s Images
    7. His “Surveys
    8. Bryant as Naturalist
    9. His Fairy Poems
    10. His Translations
    11. His Artistry
    12. His Style
    13. Limitations as a Poet
    14. Bryant as Critic and Editor
    15. His Prose Style
    16. Bryant the Citizen
    1. Richard Henry Dana the elder
    2. James Kirke Paulding
    3. James Gates Percival
    4. Samuel Woodworth; George P. Morris
    5. Charles Fenno Hoffman
    6. Nathaniel Parker Willis
    7. Joseph Rodman Drake
    8. The Culprit Fay
    9. Fitz-Green Halleck


VI. Fiction I: Brown, Cooper
By CARL VAN DOREN, Ph.D., Head Master of The Brearley School, Associate in English in Columbia University

  1. The Novel in the Colonies
  2. Influence of Richardson
  3. Mrs. Morton; Mrs. Foster; Mrs. Rowson; Charlotte Temple
  4. Hugh Henry Brackenridge; Modern Chivalry
  5. Charles Brockden Brown
  6. Alcuin; Arthur Meruyn
  7. Wieland
  8. Ormond
  9. Brown’s Indebtedness to Godwin
  10. Edgar Huntly
  11. Isaac Mitchell; Tabitha Tenney; Samuel Woodworth
  12. James Fenimore Cooper; Youth; Naval Career
  13. Precaution
  14. The Spy
  15. The Pioneers
  16. The Pilot
  17. The Last of the Mohicans
  18. The Prairie
  19. Residence in Europe
  20. Red Rover; The Wept of Wish-ton-Wish
  21. Notions of the Americans; Novels written in Europe
  22. Return to America and Ensuing Controversies
  23. Writings on Naval Affairs; Later Nautical Tales
  24. Later Border Tales; The Pathfinder
  25. The Deerslayer
  26. The Littlepage Manuscripts
  27. Cooper’s Rank as a Romancer


VII. Fiction II: Contemporaries of Cooper

  1. The Services of the Historical Romance in the Development of the American Novel
  2. The Influence of the Frontier
  3. The Sections Celebrated by the Romancers
  4. John Neal; Mrs. Child; Miss Sedgwick
  5. D. P. Thompson
  6. Paulding; Bird
  7. Kennedy
  8. Judge Beverley Tucker
  9. Caruthers
  10. William Gilmore Simms
  11. His Devotion to South Carolina
  12. The Variety of his Miscellaneous Work
  13. Guy Rivers; The Yemassee
  14. The Partisan Series
  15. Simms’s Border Tales
  16. His Tragic Later Career
  17. Mrs. Kirkland
  18. James Hall
  19. Kentucky in Fiction
  20. Bird’s Mexican Romances; Mayo
  21. Melville
  22. Typee; Omoo
  23. Mardi
  24. Moby Dick
  25. Ware; Judd
  26. The Victory of Fiction in the United States


VIII. Transcendentalism
By HAROLD CLARK GODDARD, Ph.D., Professor of English in Swarthmore College

  1. New England Transcendentalism a Phase of World-Wide Movement
  2. Religious rather than Political
  3. Transcendentalism the Natural Sequel of Puritanism
  4. Channing
  5. The German Influence
  6. The Transcendental Club
  7. The General Principles of Transcendentalism
  8. Its Vagaries
  9. Alcott
  10. Ripley; Brook Farm
  11. The Dial
  12. Margaret Fuller
  13. Parker
  14. Abolitionism
  15. The Relations of European and American Transcendentalism
  16. The Essentially Native Character of New England Transcendentalism


IX. Emerson

  1. The High Place of Emerson in American Letters
  2. His Youth and Training
  3. His Journals
  4. Nature; Essays
  5. The American Scholar; The Divinity School Address
  6. Representative Men; English Traits
  7. Emerson’s Optimism
  8. Emerson’s Resignation from the Ministry
  9. Its Significance
  10. His Place in the Romantic Movement
  11. Form and Style
  12. Ideas
  13. His Failure to Perceive the Meaning of Evil; The Rarity and Beauty of his Accomplishment