Author: William Wood
From the edition of: 1634, published at London, England
This edition: Copyright 2011, Norman P. Burdett
In New England´s Prospect you will find an enthusiastic description of what life was like in the Massachussetts Bay Colony in the 1630s.
William Wood arrived in Massachusetts in 1629 with great expectations. He came to see what it was really like, with a mind to spread the word back in England.
Wood´s book reads like a travelogue extolling the virtues of New England. In it, he is impressed with the good harbors, and amazed by the bountiful supply of fish and game. The book tells of the great resources of timber and grazing for livestock.
He declares that the soil is at least the equal of that already under cultivation in England and expects it might even be better.
The second half of the book is a treasure. Wood describes the way of life of the native people, going into detail about the neighboring tribes. He tells us about their appearance and dress and marvels at their helpful, friendly dispositions. We see how they hunted the land and fished in the rivers and lakes as well as the sea.
He includes some vocabulary from the local tribes, with definitions to help visitors communicate.
Wood encourages his countrymen to come to New England to take advantage of the wonderful opportunities, and to that end he includes a section telling newcomers what they will need to bring along to establish themselves in the new world without becoming a burden to their neighbors.