Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

American Literature 1: 17th Century - Mid-Nineteenth Century: Home

History of American Literature

"This history of American literature begins with the arrival of English-speaking Europeans in what would become the United States. At first American literature was naturally a colonial literature, by authors who were Englishmen and who thought and wrote as such. John Smith, a soldier of fortune, is credited with initiating American literature. His chief books included A True Relation of…Virginia…(1608) and The Generall Historie of Virginia, New England, and the Summer Isles (1624). Although these volumes often glorified their author, they were avowedly written to explain colonizing opportunities to Englishmen. In time, each colony was similarly described: Daniel Denton’s Brief Description of New York (1670), William Penn’s Brief Account of the Province of Pennsylvania (1682), and Thomas Ashe’s Carolina (1682) were only a few of many works praising America as a land of economic promise."

Giles, James R., and Morris Dickstein. “American Literature.” Https://Www.britannica.com/Art/American-Literature, Encyclopedia Britannica, 5 Dec. 2018, www.britannica.com/art/American-literature.

Quick Links

Early American Authors

Ann Bradstreet

Cotton Mather

Of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford

Roger Williams

Edward Taylor

Phillis Wheatley

Thomas Paine

Judith Sargent Murray

Librarian

Jewel (Rucker) Connell's picture
Jewel (Rucker) Connell
Contact:
WVU Tech Library
410 Neville Street
Beckley, WV 25801
304-929-1299
Website