[lit-ideas] The Old Country

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 4 May 2004 16:33:21 EDT

R. Paul quotes:
>>That's the whole point, that they 
>>became Americans in their new 
>>home in which they planned to stay, 
>>rather than fantasizing about returning
>>to the old country.

Very true. One of my favourites is the baptismal certificate for "New 
London", Connecticut -- below. No "Take me back to dear old Blighty" nonsense 




      "Whereas it hath been a commendable
      practice of the inhabitants of all the colonies
      of these parts, that as this country hath its
      denomination from our dear native country of
      England, and hence is called New England; 
      so the planters, in their first settling of new 
      plantations, have given names to those
      plantations of some cities and towns of
      England, thereby intending to keep up and
      leave to posterity the memorial of several
      places of note there, as Boston, Hartford,
      Windsor, York, Ipswich, Braintree, Exeter.
      This court, considering, that there hath
      yet no place in any of the colonies, been
      named in memory of the city of London, there
      being a new plantation within this jurisdiction
      of Connecticut, settled upon the fair river 
      Monhegin, in the Pequot country, it being
      an excellent harbour and a fit and convenient
      place for future trade, it being also the only
      place with the English of these parts have 
      possessed by conquest, and that by a very
      just war, upon the great and warlike people,
      the Pequots, and therefore, they might
      thereby leave to posterity the memory of
      that renowned city of London, from whence
      we had our transportation, have thought fit,
      in honour of that famous city, to call the
      said plantation New London." (*)

(*From E. V. Mitchell, "It's an Old New England Custom", Vanguard: -- 

Mitchell writes: "From the many mistakes which were made in naming towns, it 
might be concluded that the early legislators were indifferent to the matter, 
but the records show that they took the business seriously. They demurred when 
asked to legalize the name of New London, Connecticut, suggesting that the 
town be called Fair Harbor instead; but to this the inhabitants would not 
consent, preferring to adhere to the Indian name Pequot, or to one of the other 
aboriginal names which they had tried, if they could not have the one of their 
choice. Evidently it was thought that the New Londoners wanted to adopt the 
of the great English metropolis as bait, or had delusions of expected 
grandeur; but at length they succeeded in convincing the authorities that their 
for the name was based on affection, not vainglory, and on March 24, 1658, 
the place was named New London. The act by which this was done constitutes so 
unusual a baptismal certificate that I quote it in full [above]." (p. 223).

To change your Lit-Ideas settings (subscribe/unsub, vacation on/off,
digest on/off), visit www.andreas.com/faq-lit-ideas.html

Other related posts:

  • » [lit-ideas] The Old Country