American Women Through Time
Prehistory-1599 Home Page1700-1799>>

Go to: II. RESEARCH SOURCES (Historical Overviews, Primary Sources, and Secondary Sources)


Colonization of Jamestown begins.

The first English women arrive in Jamestown.
Virtual Jamestown site offers a variety of primary sources. The Laws section includes documents relating to slavery, religion, and Laws Divine, Moral and Martial - 1612.
The Colonial National Historical Park offers numerous Jamestown Historic Briefs, including The Indispensable Role of Women in Virginia and Powhatan Indian Lifeways.

Pocahontas marries John Rolfe.
Explorations: Pocahontas & Squanto [Digital History]
Pocahontas Marries John Rolfe, 1613 [The Learning Page, Library of Congress]

The Plymouth Colony begins with the landing of the Mayflower at Cape Cod.
The Historical Background section of the Plimoth Plantation site offers information about the Wampanoag, the English colonists, Plymouth Colony, Thanksgiving, recipes, and more.

Slavery is introduced in Manhattan by the Dutch.
Slavery in New York [New York Historical Society] offers a gallery of images and documents, as well as an excellent collection of educational materials. Life Stories: Profiles of Black New Yorkers During Slavery and Emancipation includes an overview of the life of Dorothy Creole (p. 5-6), one of the first black women in New Amsterdam.
Leslie Harris and Patrick Rael discuss the importance of slavery to New York City's development in "Slavery in New York: Slavery Where? [Talking History, February 23, 2006; audio; 50 min.].

Anne Hutchinson is excommunicated from the church and is banished from Massachusetts.
Anne Hutchinson Banished [Mass Moments, Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities]
Hutchinson's testimony is featured on the Puritan Women page of American Journeys: Columbus to Kerouac from the University of Virginia Library.

LaPlante, Eva. American Jezebel [Interview online]. Interviewed by Dick Gordon. The Connection. National Public Radio, 19 March 2004. Available from: LaPlante is the author of American Jezebel: The Uncommon Life of Anne Hutchinson, the Woman Who Defeated the Puritans (Harper, 2004).

Margaret Brent (1601-1671), part of the Exploring Maryland's Roots [Maryland Public Television] site.

Anne Bradstreet: America's First Poet includes an interview with poet Charlotte Gordon, author of Mistress Bradstreet: The Untold Life of America's First Poet.

Norton, Mary Beth. Sex, Religion, and Society in Early America; or, a 17th-Century Maryland Menage a Trois and its Consequences [lecture online]. Talking History, 14 September 2000. Available from:

Mary Dyer is convicted and executed for practicing her Quaker faith.
Mary Dyer Trials: 1659 & 1660, taken from Women's Rights on Trial (Gale, 1997), offers an overview of the Dyer trials and suggestions for further reading.

Jury Finds Mary Parsons Not Guilty of Witchcraft, May 13, 1675 [Mass Moments, Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities]

A Puritan Maiden's Diary, 1675 [Pages from Her Story, Library of Congress]

Mary Rowlandson's captivity narrative is published.
Early Canadiana Online offers the 1811 edition of The Captivity and Deliverance of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, of Lancaster, Who Was Taken by the French and Indians .

Salem witch trials.

Mary Beth Norton discusses the Salem Witch Trials in a Talking History [October 2002] interview.

Elizabeth Reis discusses Women and Witchcraft in Colonial Salem, Massachusetts in a Talking History [October 29, 1998] interview.

Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive [Benjamin Ray and The University of Virginia, 2002]


Historical Overviews

Treckel, Paula A. To Comfort the Heart: Women in Seventeenth-Century America. New York: Twayne, 1996, 267p.

Historic Sites

Pilgrim Hall Museum


The Pilgrim Hall Museum web site includes portraits of Elizabeth Paddy Wensley and Penelope Pelham Winslow, as well as Painted Pilgrims: A Curriculum Unit for Grades 6-12.

Primary Source Collections

Berkin, Carol, and Leslie Horowitz, eds. Women's Voices, Women's Lives: Documents in Early American History. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1998.

Secondary Sources

The database America: History & Life offers a simple option for limiting a search for articles and other sources to a specific time period. For instance, if you are searching for articles that cover the 1600s, enter 1600h in the "Time Period" row of the search screen.

American Women Through Time

Ken Middleton
Middle Tennessee State Univ. Library
Murfreesboro, TN 37132