Pennsylvania John Morton was born in in Ridley Township, Pennsylvania and died April 1, at the age of 51 of tuberculosis. He was the son of John Morton senior and Mary Archer. He may have immigrated to Pennsylvania earlier making him one of first settlers in this region.
Although not as artistically accomplished as "My Kinsman, Major Molineaux" and "Young Goodman Brown," it rewards analysis because it presents a fateful moment in early New England history and foreshadows central themes in The Scarlet Letter.
Hawthorne's Puritan tales not only dramatize the melancholy fact of human depravity, they also explore the possibilities of happiness. How can satisfaction be found and Thomas morton essay avoided in the world? The confrontation between Morton's "silken colonists" and Endicott's "men of iron" juxtaposes polarized extremes, of which the maypole and the whipping post are the most telling examples.
Was there a golden mean? Hawthorne, a student of how American character evolved, wanted to understand himself in terms of that evolution. He knew that "the future complexion of New England was involved in this important quarrel" In "The May-Pole of Merry Mount" jollity and gloom are contending for an empire, but they are also contending for Hawthorne.
Hawthorne claims in his brief preface that "the facts, recorded on the grave pages of our New England annalists, have wrought themselves, almost spontaneously," into a "philosophical romance" and "a sort of allegory" He later refers to these "true" and "authentic passages from history" as "a poet's tale" Yet to anyone familiar with the sources available to Hawthorne, nothing is more striking than how much authentic history he has left out—most notably, Thomas Morton himself!
What do we know about the man who put up the maypole that so outraged his pious neighbors? Why has Hawthorne omitted Morton from his story?
Governor Dudley termed Morton "a proud insolent man," "an attorney in the West countries" who fled to New England "upon a foul suspition of murther" Adams He was, in sum, an Elizabethan man, with a hankering to walk on the wild side.
In he married one of his clients, an elderly widow. When her sons inquired about her estate, he slipped away, reappearing in the summer of with Andrew Weston in New England. A man of many vices, certainly Morton's most persistent and appealing virtue was his infatuation with America: His enduring love of the natural beauties of the land is the key to understanding Morton's subsequent behavior.
In he was back with Captain Wollaston, who departed after one New England winter for Virginia with a few of his indentured servants. The rest Morton convinced to stay, on the promise that they would "converse, trad, plante, and live togeather as equalls" Bradford As if they had anew revived and celebrated the feasts of the Roman Goddes Flora, or the beastly practises of the madd Bacchinalians" They called their den of joyous iniquity "Meriemounte, as if this jolity would have lasted ever" Bradford Morton, with his love of word play, had chosen a name susceptible to many meanings—ma-re, mare, Mary, marry, merry-mount: The place could connotate a seaside mountain, sodomy in the stable, honoring or dishonoring the Virgin, marriages of various sorts, and a cornucopia of ways to be happy.
What it meant to the Puritans was trouble. Morton had violated their cherished beliefs while undercutting their economy and security. As an Anglican cavalier with literary pretensions and an hedonistic bent, Morton epitomized the "eat-drink-and-be-merry" England the Puritans had hoped to leave behind.
His maypole festivities smacked of folk superstitions and pagan practices; his consorting with Indian "lasses" violated their sexual and racial taboos; his hospitality to indentured servants threatened their labor supply and social order; and his trading of guns for furs not only stole the beaver and deerskin trade away but it also armed their deadly enemies, who became "a terrour unto them, who lived straglingly" Bradford The Pilgrims wrote him two letters, citing King James's prohibition against selling firearms to the natives, but he responded with "scurillous termes full of disdaine Morton was legally correct, but that did not prevent Miles Standish, in a slapstick skirmish where more rounds were drunk than fired, from taking him prisoner the following May.
Before being shipped to London, he was imprisoned on the Isle of Shoals, off the mouth of the Piscataqua, without "so much as a knife" to procure food "or any other clothes to shelter him with at winter then a thinne suite" Had not friendly Indians provided aid, he would have perished.
The Pilgrims were no more successful inducing England to punish Morton than Claudius had been in the case of Hamlet, for the following year he sailed back to Plymouth as Isaac Allerton's secretary.
In no time he was up to his old tricks, employing his Indian friends to hunt for him and beating his envious competitors to the best furs. Endicott, peeved that Morton had rejected a trading partnership, arrested him on the trumped-up charge of stealing a canoe.Note: Jelly Roll Morton, in Alan Lomax’s book Mister Jelly Roll, offers the following personnel: “About the time, in , Fritz Pollard, the famous baseball [sic] player, introduced me to Ink Williams who was then a scout for .
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE. Drew Morton is an Assistant Professor of Mass Communication at Texas A&M University-Texarkana. He the co-editor and co-founder of [in]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies, the first peer-reviewed academic journal focused on the visual essay and all of its forms (co-presented by .
Thomas Morton and the Puritans An anti-"city on a hill" with a maypole compensating for something? A pleasurable refuge for indentured servants freed from service and respected natives?
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Go to: Distributed Proofreaders. To me there is something cathartic about going outside for a brisk walk.
For instance, when I am really stressed and need to clear my head, a walk in the neighborhood can help me become more lucid. For Thomas Morton, the New World truly was a new English Canaan. As one of the very earliest English settlers on the Massachusetts coast, Morton experienced the New World as a singular and direct contrast to life in late feudal or early modern Europe.