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William Wood's Map 1633
Detail from Wood's Map of Massachusetts 1633
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 In 1633 William Wood drew a map of Massachusetts that was published the next year in London in his book New England's Prospects. A true, lively, and experimental description of that part of America, commonly called New England: discovering the state of that country, both as it stands to our new-come English planters; and to the old native inhabitants, laying down that which may both enrich the knowledge of the mind-traveling reader or benefit the future voyager. The English public gradually acquired a snese of what America was during the 1620s. By the end of the decade, readers knew about the great tribulations and even greater potential of early Virginia and Plymouth; in the early 1630s English attention shifted to Massachusetts Bay where thousands of colonists had begun a remarkable new experiment in overseas colonization. Almost everyone, whether friend or foe of the experiment, or merely curious onlooker, awaited the reports that brought news and advice. But until 1634 there was no single book to which prospective colonists and others could turn for reliable information about England's lastest American vernture.


Alden T. Vaughan's comments as editor of New England's Prospect by William Wood. Amherst: University of Masschusetts, 1977.

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Created: March 19, 2009   Modified: March 19, 2009