Saturday, December 15, 2012

Ball Game Manscript final draft

Kellie Johnson 
Professor Coronado 
Archive Assignment Final Copy 
11 December 2012  
The Ball Game Manuscript 
The pursuit of knowledge is indeed a noble goal, and there are few places that offer the depth and extent of knowledge that is found in literature.  Origin and Beginning of the Game of Ball that the Apalachee and Yustagan Indians Have Been Playing Since Pagan Times until the Year of 1679 is certainly valuable in the knowledge that it offers. It provides historical insight on both the Spanish in early America, and on the Apalachee tribe, delving into what the relationship between the two groups looked like. In addition to being a wealth of historical knowledge, this account also provides valuable information on the Apalachee culture and customs. As a first hand account containing a depth of both historical and cultural knowledge, Origin and Beginning of the Game of Ball that the Apalachee and Yustagan Indians Have Been Playing Since Pagan Times until the Year of 1679, is a valuable piece of American literature with much to offer its reader. 
Origin and Beginning of the Game of Ball that the Apalachee and Yustagan Indians Have Been Playing Since Pagan Times until the Year of 1679, is a record written by Spanish clergyman, Reverend Father Friar Juan de Paiva (after referred to as Paiva), who was stationed at the Spanish mission settlement of San Luis de Talimali. The purpose of the Spanish mission settlements was to convert Indians to and educate them in Catholicism, and as a Friar at San Luis de Talimali,  Paiva was considered a spiritual shepherd or leader to the Apalachee people. (Perron). In the writing of this manuscript, Paiva was aided by two interpreters, one of which was an Apalachee leader,  who helped him better understand and translate what was told to him by the Apalachee people, this allowed him to create a more accurate account since it was based not only on his own observations, but also the knowledge passed on to him by the Apalachee people. Pavia's work was written in September of 1679 not as a document to explain Apalachee culture, but  as a document stating why he believed that the ball game, played by the Apalachee people, should no longer be played. Because of the nature of this document, it was seen by the people it concerned, but not published into a work until 1982. In 1982, John H. Hann, published it as part of a larger work on the Apalachee people, called Apalachee:the Land Between the Rivers. Hann's use of the document helps to show the historic value that can be found in it.  (Early visions of Florida).
While Paiva may have intended for his document to communicate why he believed the Apalachee people should no longer play their ball game, in doing so, he provides a very detailed description of the Apalachee tradition. This text is enormously valuable due to the fact that there are not many of its kind that exist.  It is one of very few documents in existence that provides a written first-hand account of a Native American custom. Many of the Native American tribes did not have a written language and so did not have a written record of their history or culture. Not only does  Origin and Beginning of the Game of Ball that the Apalachee and Yustagan Indians Have Been Playing Since Pagan Times until the Year of 1679 provide documentation of a piece of Native American culture, but has the added benefit of being a first- hand account, as it was written by Paiva who actually viewed the game, and spoke about it with the Apalachee people. Through this document, a piece of Native American history is preserved in a way that would have been impossible without a written record. Had the history of this tradition simply been passed on verbally throughout generations, as was common, it would have no doubt, been changed and distorted over time, but, contained within a written work it has been able to remain unchanged no matter how many generations separate it from when it was written to the present time. Clearly this makes  Paiva's manuscript a valuable piece of American literature, but its value does not end with its ability to preserve a part of Native American culture. The value of this document extends even further than that. 
There is great value in a work that can preserve traditions, namely those that would have otherwise died and been forgotten. If that was all that Paiva's manuscript on the Apalachee ball game accomplished, it would still be an incredibly valuable text, but Paiva's document manages to accomplish more than that, increasing the value of such a text. Origin and Beginning of the Game of Ball that the Apalachee and Yustagan Indians Have Been Playing Since Pagan Times until the Year of 1679, additionally provides insight into Spanish- Indian relations in southeastern America during this time period. First, this document shows the very religious tones in the relationship between the Spanish and the Indians. This can be seen not only in existence of the missions, but also in Paiva's reasons for writing the text in the first place. Paiva wrote this manuscript to express why he believed that the Apalachee people should no longer play their traditional ball game. One of Paiva's main reason's for wanting the game banned was because he believed it to be pagan and harmful to the salvation and wellbeing of the Apalachee people. Paiva's work is religiously based, as is his reason for being among the Apalachee people in the first place. While not all Spanish interaction with the Indians was religiously based, the interaction on the Spanish missions certainly was (Spanish Missions).

Another aspect of Spanish-Indian relations in San Luis de Talimali that can be seen in Paiva's manuscript, is the way that Native American culture and traditions are treated. From this document on the Apalachee ball game, one can see that Paiva expected certain Indian traditions to be abandoned. In this area, religion is once again an aspect. The Spanish expected the Indians to abandon their native religions and convert to Catholicism. The undertones of this desired conversion can be seen throughout the entire text, and once more can even be seen in the existence of the text itself. If the Spanish did not clearly expect the Indians to convert to Catholicism, there would have been no reason to dismiss their ball game on the grounds that it appeared to be a pagan practice. In regard to culture and tradition, this text shows that religion was not the only cultural aspect that the Spanish expected the Indians to give up. The ball game played by the Apalachee was considered one of their oldest traditions, It served as a form of sport, recreation, and as a way to settle disputes between tribes and clans without resorting to war. This aspect of their culture was valuable and important to the Apalachee people. Paiva recognized all that the ball game represented to the Apalachee people, and still expected them to give it up and adopt "more civilized" forms of recreation, or rather, a more spanish-like culture. This text give a first-hand look into Spanish dealings in regard to Native American culture and tradition, and shows how the Apalachee were expected to adapt to the Spanish ways, rather than the Spanish adapting to the Apalachee ways, regardless of the fact that it was the Spanish who were the newcomers in the Indian's native land. 
There is so much about the relationship between the Spanish and the Indians in southeastern American that can be learned from Origin and Beginning of the Game of Ball that the Apalachee and Yustagan Indians Have Been Playing Since Pagan Times until the Year of 1679; still another thing that can be seen through this text is the power relationship between the Apalachee and the Spanish. One can see that the Spanish felt themselves to be superior to the Indians, in that, they expected the Indians to convert to their religions and their ways. If the Spanish did not believe their ways to be better, then  there would have been no need for conversion. In his manuscript, Paiva also assumes that he should be able to stop the Apalachee people from playing their traditional ball game. To be able to order the Apalachee people to cease one of their oldest traditions, then the Spanish must be in a place of power over them, or else they would not be able to make the Indians submit to what they wanted. 
America even in the 1600's was a diverse place, but when looking at commonly read early American literature, the vast majority are works by people of English descent. In reading Origin and Beginning of the Game of Ball that the Apalachee and Yustagan Indians Have Been Playing Since Pagan Times until the Year of 1679, as a piece of early American Literature, it broadens the window of who the early Americans were. There are not many commonly read early American works by authors of Spanish descent, never the less, the Spanish role in early America was still important and influential to the development of the America that is known today. 
Origin and Beginning of the Game of Ball that the Apalachee and Yustagan Indians Have Been Playing Since Pagan Times until the Year of 1679, as a text has so much to offer as a piece of American literature. It serves to educate the reader culturally,   giving unique insight into a piece of Native American tradition. It is enlightening historically in many ways, and gives the reader a  better understanding of the people who inhabited Florida in the 1600's. The text provides a unique first-hand look into various aspects of the relationship between the Spanish and the Indians, including their power relationship, and views on customs and religion. This manuscript is valuable treasury, containing a wealth of knowledge and insight. While not a commonly read text, it has much to offer its reader.

"Works Cited"
"Apalachee (people)." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2012. < Apalachee>.

"Mission San Luis." European Age of Exploration. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2012. <http://>.

"New Georgia Encyclopedia: Spanish Missions." New Georgia Encyclopedia: Spanish Missions. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2012. < nge/Article.jsp?id=h-572>.

De Paiva, Juan. "Early Visions of Florida." Juan De Paiva, Ball Game Manuscript. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2012. <>

Perron, Mikaela. "Early Visions of Florida." Early Visions of Florida. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2012. <>.

Worth, John E. "Chapter 5 The Transformation of the Timucuan." The Timucuan Chiefdoms of Spanish Florida. Gainesville: University of Florida, 1998. N. pag. Print.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

“The Whistle”: Aldridge Rucker, “Franklin’s ‘Whistle’ Still Ringing True Today”

Aldridge Rucker
Dr. Teresa Coronado
English 226
13 December 2012

“The Whistle”: Aldridge Rucker, “Franklin’s ‘Whistle’ Still Ringing True Today”
     Commonly, while reading works from the canon of early American literature, one might feel alienated, or unable to relate to the material at hand; the settings and interactions, morality, daily routines, etc. all seeming foreign and even fantastical – or, at the least, a little different from contemporary life. However, not everything in Early America was entirely different. Some major problems in modern America took root in the Colonial days, and we feel the presence of these issues if not in an even stronger sense today. “The Whistle,” by Benjamin Franklin, written in 1779 and first published in 1921 by Brad Stephens & Company, is a truly American piece, years ahead of its time, and it deserves a place in the canon of American literature as it is a critical text on the effects of materialism (a truly relatable topic, given the 200 year gap) on one’s health.    
     Franklin’s work (originally written as a letter to a friend) points out the negative effects of having a materialistic mindset, a problem he observed in many of his fellow Americans. Although “The Whistle” is a brief piece, it touches on a wide range of issues concerning materialism that can still be felt, if not more predominately in modern society. In his book, Consumerism: As a Way of Life, Steven Miles supports Franklin’s keen observation by stating, “Everyday life in the developed world appears… to be dominated by our relationship with consumer goods” (1). Miles’ statement about modern society (similar to many contemporary opinions) shows how important the topic of materialism is today. Due to the modern relevance of the problems Franklin discusses, it is remarkable that “The Whistle” was written over 200 years ago.  With the potential flaws of materialism that Franklin discusses, his work also shows how it was a concern then, too.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) is undoubtedly one of the most famous men in American history - he even holds the popular nickname “The First American” (Brands). In 1732, he began to issue the “Poor Richard’s Almanac” filled with “borrowed or composed… pithy utterances of worldly wisdom which are the basis of a large part of his popular reputation” (Franklin 3). So, Franklin gained a reputation through his literature, another reason why all his works are important. He also wrote, “Father Abraham’s Sermon,” which is “now regarded as the most famous piece of literature in Colonial America” (3). He gained fame in science, philosophy, literature, and public affairs among other realms (3). Although the highly esteemed Benjamin Franklin wrote many famous works of literature, “The Whistle” remains fairly unknown, despite its crucial depiction of early America and what Franklin viewed as a major problem – materialism.
In “The Whistle,” Franklin tells an anecdote of when he was younger in which he paid a large sum for a whistle which brought him great joy; however, after returning home, his parents laughed and told him he paid four times too much for the toy whistle’s worth (“The Whistle”).  This disheartened Franklin, and the idea of “paying too much for one’s whistle” became, to him, a metaphor for the way that some people place too much value in what he calls “things” (“The Whistle”). Franklin’s idea of “paying too much for one’s whistle,” is very similar to the idea of “materialism,” which can be defined as an “interest in and desire for money, possessions, etc., rather than spiritual or ethical values” (“The Whistle”; “Materialism”). 
What makes this such an important piece of American literature, is how throughout “The Whistle,” Franklin hints at the ways materialism can become a competition, effecting one’s relationships with others and how materialism can affect one’s own mental well-being. What also makes this piece so important is the way it touches on groundbreaking observations that show up in modern research.  
One way in which Franklin criticizes capitalism, is by pointing out flaws in competition – a major driving force of capitalism.  By stating, “When I saw one ambitious of Court favour, sacrificing his … Virtue and perhaps his Friend, to obtain it; I have said to myself, This Man gives too much for his Whistle,” Franklin seems to suggest that by desiring one thing so heavily, such as “court favour” (or flattery), one often sacrifices “virtue” and friendship (“The Whistle”). The quest for material, or impersonal things, becomes a competition, as Franklin suggests, standing in the way of personal relationships.  Franklin also states that, in search of these “things” (in this particular instance - “popularity”), one “neglect[s] his own Affairs, and ruin[s] them by that Neglect,” which can be interpreted as stating that one often forgets (“neglects”) family members or friends (“Affairs”) in the competition for wealth or material possessions, and even if they achieve the possession, they destroy their relationships in the process (“The Whistle”). Franklin furthers his critique of competition by suggesting that it becomes worse than a competition. In a normal competition, one is aware of his/her competitors; however, Franklin suggests that one becomes so consumed by the quest for material possessions, that one simply forgets about all other people entirely. In other words, materialism leads to selfishness, as one becomes solely concerned with self-gain.
Franklin’s idea of materialism becoming a selfish quest is supported by modern studies.
Russell W. Belk, Ph.D., states that, “materialism is an essentially egotistic trait that opposes altruism and… sharing” (Belk). Modern social scientist, Daniel Yankelovich, is quoted in Belk’s work as stating, “consumption has led American consumers away from each other,” which is also in agreement with Franklin that a materialistic mindset can destroy relationships (3). These contemporary ideas show how important and foretelling Franklin’s views truly were. The idea of the impersonality among those who “pay too much for their whistles,” or, materialistic types, again resonates in Belk’s argument, when he states that “our society of shoppers has produced social relations that are more impersonal… and certainly less community-minded than we wish” (3). All of this seems to suggest that while consuming is an important factor of capitalism, one must be careful not to let the luster of material objects, and the appeal of more abstract things such as popularity stand in the way of human relationships. However, disconnected relationships and selfishness aren’t the only negative effects of materialism that Franklin alludes to.
When discussing the drawbacks of “paying too much for one’s whistle,” Franklin also alludes to the psychological effects materialism can produce.  Franklin states how, while attempting to gain material possessions, some people “sacrific[e] every laudable Improvement of [their] Mind … ruining [their] Health,” which shows just how detrimental Franklin believed materialism to be to one’s mental health (“The Whistle”). This is another reason why Franklin’s, “The Whistle” is crucial to the literary canon; Franklin’s perception of the psychological problems of materialism are drastically ahead of his time as, today, this problem has been given notable scientific attention.  In his book, The High Price of Materialism, Tim Kasser states, “People who strongly value the pursuit of wealth and possessions,” (or, like Franklin says, people who “pay too much for their whistle,”) Kasser continues, “report lower psychological well-being than those who are less concerned with such aims,” in other words, putting high value on material objects can end up effecting one’s own mental health (2). This point only adds to the seriousness which Franklin took the subject of materialism among Americans.
In Franklin’s view, putting too much value on material items is “a great [misery] of mankind” (“The Whistle”). The grandiosity of this statement implies that Franklin (again, arguably one of the most famous and admired Americans in history) saw materialism as a major problem in American society and the seriousness in which this esteemed American viewed materialism again proves why this text is so crucial to a true depiction of American history.  
Although Franklin lists what he believes to be the reasons for materialistic pursuit; that is, the ultimate goals that he believes people are aspiring toward in their pursuits (“court favour,” “popularity,” “wealth,” “corporeal satisfactions,” “appearance,” and, perhaps the most materialistic, “cloathes [sic], fine houses,” and “fine furniture”), he never clearly indicates why, in his opinion, one might sacrifice his/her relationships and health for these objects (“The Whistle”). He only states that the “great Part of the Miseries of Mankind are brought upon them by the false Estimates they have made of the Value of Things,” in other words, the main argument Franklin is making is that one of the largest producers of “misery” in America, is the way that people place to much value on material things (“The Whistle”). The broad critique of American materialism made in “The Whistle” calls for many questions such as: What do people see as the ultimate reward of materialism? Do people think this reward is worth more than personal relationships? There are many questions proposed by “The Whistle” which are now being explored scientifically (Kasser).
All in all, Franklin’s incredible perception of his fellow men, especially impressive being written  at such an early time in American history before mass media advertising and shopping malls, begs for further exploration into why people place such a high value on material items and the scientific search, as stated earlier, is underway today.  The seriousness that many modern studies place on materialism and its impact on one’s health and relationships with others shows that Franklin’s “whistle” can still be heard today, now louder than ever.  Although “The Whistle” might be viewed as a brief parable, it not only contains a highly important lesson, especially to Americans, but also evidence that the darker side of materialism was rearing its ugly head over 200 years ago.

Works Cited
Belk, Russell W. "Materialism: Trait Aspects of Living in the Material World." Journal of               
_____Consumer Research. 12.3 (1985): n. page. Print

Brands, H. W. The First American, The Life And Times Of Benjamin Franklin. New York:                  Anchor, 2002. Print.

Franklin, Benjamin. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. New York, NY: P F Collier 
            & Son Company , 1909. Print.

Franklin, Benjamin. "The Whistle." (1967): n.pag. Early Americas Digital Archive.          
______Web. 20 Nov 2012. <

Kasser, T. The High Price of Materialism. The MIT Press, 2003. Print.

“Materialism." Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition.  
______HarperCollins Publishers, 2009. Web. 20 Nov. 2010.

Miles, Steven. Consumerism: As a Way of Life. 1st ed. Sage Publications Ltd, 1998. 

The Sot-Weed Factor: Katlynne Davis, "The New World Versus the Old World"

Katlynne Davis

Dr. Teresa Coronado

English 226

13 December 2012
The New World Versus the Old World
            The genre of early American literature can conjure up images of Separatists fleeing religious persecution, preachers spewing out fiery sermons to cowering congregations, and many an Indian meeting death and destruction at the hands of English colonists. Undoubtedly, these issues portrayed by early American authors are crucial in understanding the country’s beginnings. Despite his status as a lesser-known American author, Ebenezer Cooke contributes his own unique and equally valuable perceptions to the American canon. Cooke and his poem “The Sotweed Factor; or, a Voyage to Maryland. ASatyr” both bring a rather unorthodox component to the colonial table: humor. In “The Sotweed Factor”, Cooke uses his satirical approach to express how these colonists were perceived by their English brethren, and also how they have deviated from English culture by way of their new lives in America. Cooke’s comical poem is not only a refreshing change, but it is also a text that provides readers with a window into life in the early American colonies.
            Although many works have been written about “The Sotweed Factor” as a piece of literature, biographical information concerning Ebenezer Cooke’s life is sparse. Ever since the 1660’s, Cooke’s family, beginning with his grandfather Andrew Cooke, had traveled back and forth between England and the Maryland colony in America (Cohen 7). In 1662, Cooke’s grandfather purchased 200 acres of land in Maryland where he later built his home (Cohen 7).  Both Cooke’s grandfather and his father resided temporarily at this residence, which was known as “Cooke Poynt” (Cohen 7). According to historical evidence, Ebenezer and his other siblings are considered Maryland natives who were, for the most part, raised in England (Cohen 8). It is possible that while in England, Cooke had been trained for a career in law, though no concrete evidence documenting his formal education exists (Cohen 9).  Historical records also suggest that Ebenezer Cooke had traveled to Maryland, perhaps around 1700 (Cohen 9). Unbeknownst to the author, this journey into the New World would ultimately produce the poem that defined his literary career.
After returning to England, Cooke published his work, “The Sotweed Factor”, in 1708 (Cohen 29). He then returned to the Maryland colony, where he was appointed to work as a deputy for Colonel Henry Lowe (Cohen 29). Although Cooke had sold his share of “Cooke Poynt” in 1717, he remained in Maryland for many years after (Cohen 29). Documents dating from the early 1720’s refer to Cooke as a “‘gentleman’ of Cecil County”, and in 1728 Cooke became a practicing attorney in the courts of Prince George’s County in Maryland (Cohen 36). At the end of some of his poems and in many of his other works, Cooke is referred to as the “Poet Laureate” of Maryland (Cohen 40).  However, there is, once again, a lack of historical evidence to substantiate whether or not Cooke had officially earned this title (Cohen 40). Cooke’s other works included the lesser known “Sotweed Redivivus”, a sequel to “The Sotweed Factor”, and a handful of elegies written in remembrance of close friends. In 1731, a curiously edited third edition of “The Sotweed Factor” was published in a collection known as The Maryland Muse (Cohen 70). In this edition, Cooke recants some of the harsher language and judgments of the colony that were included in the earlier version (Cohen 70). After 1732, Cooke’s name abruptly disappeared from any and all historical documents (Cohen 93). Although the end of his life is shrouded in some mystery, the legacy of Cooke’s “The Sotweed Factor”, along with its contributions to American literature, are undeniable.   
The most renowned and recognized of all of his poetry, Cooke’s “The Sotweed Factor” is largely significant in understanding American colonial life because of one key component: humor. However, the humor in Cooke’s “The Sotweed Factor” does not solely exist to entertain or criticize. Through the cynical eyes of the protagonist, Cooke reveals the transformations that have taken place between the now American colonists and their British counterparts. For the Factor, the two groups might as well be worlds apart, and in essence, they truly are. In the beginning of the poem, the Factor recognizes that he is leaving one cultural sphere and entering something completely new: “With heavy heart, concern’d that I / Was forc’d my Native soil to fly. / And the Old World bid good-buy” (Cooke 1). A factor was an agent of an English merchant who would travel to the colonies with products to trade (Cohen 10-11). A “sotweed” factor would trade his goods specifically for American-grown tobacco (Cohen 10-11). When the factor reached his destination, he would trade most of his cargo for a large quantity of tobacco, and then return to England (Cohen 11). Therefore, bound to his occupation, the Factor is “forc’d” to leave behind his home in England for the New World. The factor doesn’t find his financial prospects in America to be hopeful, but rather thinks he is “Condemn’d by Fate to way ward Curse” (Cooke 1). This journey across the Atlantic is more of a burden to the Factor than a blessing.
When he arrives in Maryland, the Factor is shocked by the people that he encounters. These colonists, once citizens of England, have strayed so far from British culture as a whole that they are not even recognizable to him. The factor ridicules the colonists, claiming that they have become a complete joke to humanity:
Figures so strange, no God design’d,
To be a part of Humane Kind:
But wanton Nature, void of Rest,
Moulded the brittle Clay in Jest (Cooke 2).
The Factor finds these people to be separate from mankind because they have changed so much that they are now “strange” to him and his culture. The colonists are not a product of God’s creation but rather a frivolous product of Nature, who has made them only “in Jest”.  In her article on “The Sotweed Factor”, Sarah Ford claims that through his satire, Cooke dissolves any ties that the colonists and British may share; the British view the uncivilized colonists as outsiders who have cut themselves off completely from British values and principles (1). In the Factor’s eyes, the colonists are a new and bizarre breed of people who contain no trace of their British cultural past. Once one and the same, Cooke recognizes that the colonists have grown away from the British colonizers to develop their own distinct American culture.  
            As the Factor travels through the Maryland colony, he discloses some reasoning as to why he believes the colonists have become so estranged from their English homeland. When he ventures out with a local planter, he expresses the same surprise upon encountering an Indian as he does when surveying the raucous planters:
            His sable Hair in Satchel ty’d,
            Shew’d Savages not free from Pride:
            His tawny Thighs, and Bosom bare,
            Disdain’d a useless Coat to wear (Cooke 7).
The colonists are not the only strange inhabitants of the Maryland colony; the Factor finds the “tawny” Indian truly peculiar with his odd customs and dress. He ties up his hair and chooses to wear no clothing, which is radically different from British standards. Consequently, the Indian, like the colonists, must be of a savage nature that is altogether foreign to the British mind. Cooke makes the comparison between the colonists and the Indians in more than one place, stating in the beginning of the poem that the planters of Maryland appear “In Hue as tawny as a Moor:” (Cooke 2). The tanned skin color of the planters who toil outdoors adds to their peculiarity, just as the Indian is gawked at for his bare “tawny” thighs. At the end of his journey, the Factor utters his ill-wishes towards the colony: “May they sustain the Fate they well deserve: / May they turn Savage or as Indians Wild,” (Cooke 17). According to the Factor, the distance between colonial behaviors and the descent into a savage Indian lifestyle is quite short. Cooke’s choice of language reveals that by living in a country populated with “savage” Indians, the colonists run the risk of becoming just as untamed, and perhaps they already are. Through the comparison to the Indian, the colonists are even further alienated as “outsiders” to the English culture. More importantly, Cooke’s satirical correlation between the two groups shows the prevailing attitudes of the English toward the American colonists in the early 18th century.
            Cooke does not reserve his satire exclusively for the Maryland colonists. He also criticizes the English sotweed factor for his incapacity to understand and adapt to this emerging American culture. Sarah Ford claims that Cooke’s humor is targeted at both the colonists and the English as the Factor “reveals himself to be a buffoon unable to negotiate life in the New World” (1). Ford’s concept of a “dual satire” is applicable in many comical situations that crop up throughout the poem (1). In the aforementioned experience concerning the Indian, the Factor is struck with panic and alarm as he encounters the strange native: “…surpriz’d with Fear, / I spur’d my Horse as he drew near:” (Cooke 8). Just as the Factor tries to make a quick escape, his newly-made acquaintance greets the man, convincing the Factor that, in truth the “…Brute was civel” (Cooke 8). Cooke’s protagonist unknowingly plays the fool in this instance, frantically urging his horse to carry him away from a virtually harmless situation. This situation demonstrates how little he actually knows about the American colony. He struggles to assimilate to the radical change of environment, but only succeeds in revealing his own inadequacies in understanding colonial life. Where the Factor was once the criticizer, he later assumes the role of the criticized. This instance of Cooke’s satirical poem further illustrates the divide that was growing between the English and the colonists by showing how the Old World English citizen grapples with New World colonial life.
            While Cooke’s humor in “The Sotweed Factor” is entertaining, it is closer to being a witty exaggeration rather than a genuine account of colonial life. As the Factor reluctantly trudges onwards, he is appalled when he becomes entangled in the crooked dealings of the Maryland courts. The colony’s legal system is just as untamed and wild as the colonists themselves: “The Jury, Lawyers, and their Clyents, / Contending, fight like earth-born Gyants:” (Cooke 10-11). Apparently the planters of Maryland cannot be civil, not even in court. Despite many popular assumptions among the English, Edward Cohen reveals that the colonial courts were often equal to their local counterparts in England (18). Cooke creates a caricatured image of colonial life through his exaggerated humor, an image that, although amusing, is not wholly true to life. However, further research confirms that Cooke and his sotweed factor are not alone in making unfounded assumptions about colonial life. In an 1844 letter to his mother and father, English immigrant Edwin Bottomley writes about his new life in the Wisconsin territory. Although Bottomley is writing nearly 140 years after Cooke, his letter proves that these exaggerations of American life die hard. Bottomley describes a friend of the family, Joseph Nobles who rumors that the Sabbath is not kept in Wisconsin territory. Edwin urges his parents to disregard this statement: “If you have heard of it, I hope you won’t believe him. The Sabbath is kept just as it is in England” (Bottomley June 27 1844). Not unlike Cooke’s example, Joseph Nobles assumes that in this wild American territory, religious customs are completely disposed of. Settlements in American territories receive the same scrutiny that the English colonies did almost a century and a half earlier, demonstrating the ongoing differences between a unique American identity and the English identity.
 “The Sotweed Factor” is a testament to the confliction, albeit a humorous confliction, between two different identities: the English identity versus the newly-forming American identity. Cooke provides a highly critical portrait of the American colonists that is based on his own personal experiences in Maryland while simultaneously revealing the prevailing attitudes that these two groups held toward one another. The English Factor views his colonial brethren as crude and inferior, but the colonists see the factor’s struggles in their world as his inability to assimilate and ultimately become American. Exaggerated at times, the sotweed Factor’s facetious journey through the Maryland colony exposes the early beginnings of America. The Old World that had colonized America was giving way to a distinctly American culture in the New World. 

Works Cited
Bottomley, Edwin. Bottomley Papers. 27 June 1844. M.S. University of Wisconsin-Parkside Archives.
Cohen, Edward H. Ebenezer Cooke: The Sot-Weed Canon. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1975.
Cooke, Ebenezer. “The SotWeed Factor; or, a Voyage to Maryland. A Satyr.” Early Americas Digital Archive. John Murphy Company, 1900. Web. 29 Oct. 2012.
Ford, Sarah. “Humor’s Role in Imagining America: Ebenezer Cook’s The Sot-Weed Factor”. Southern Literary Journal. 35.2 (2003): 1-12. MLA International Bibliography. 17 Nov. 2012.

"On the Equality of the Sexes": Sam Pitzen, "A Look at Early Feminism"

Sam Pitzen
Professor Teresa Coronado
English 226
13 December 2012
A Look at Early Feminism
Judith Sargent Murray dedicated her life’s work to moving women’s education forward.  As one will see through Murray’s education as a youth, at that time, women were only minimally educated in reading and writing.  They were not taught much more than just housework.  Murray was not happy about this, so throughout her life, wrote many pieces on equality.  In particular, one of her first published works, “On the Equality of the Sexes” should be added to the canon of American Literature because it is one of the first pieces suggesting the necessity of progress and equality for women in America.
Judith Sargent Murray was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts on May 5, 1751.  She grew up in a family that had become wealthy through trade in England and the West Indies.  Growing up, her brother, Winthrop, was taught in order to go to Harvard.  However, Murray was only taught rudimentary reading and writing and basic needlework before being prepared for marriage.  She was a bit bitter by this and eventually dedicated her work to improving female education and getting voting rights for women (Smith).
            In 1769, Murray married John Stevens, whose family owned a shipping company, at age 18.  Eventually the couple adopted two orphaned relatives, but had no children of their own.  During the American Revolution, where Murray “prayed for a peaceful resolution” (Smith), Stevens’ company lost a lot of money and he ran from Gloucester to avoid debtor’s prison.  He died while setting up new business in the West Indies in 1786.  While Stevens was away, Murray published her first essay in 1784 under the name “Constantia,” which she titled “Desultory Thoughts Upon the Utility of Encouraging a Degree of Self-Complacency, especially in Female Bosoms.”  In this, she wrote what became the basis for future feminist writings, “I would, from the early dawn of reason address [my daughter] as a rational being” and “by all means guard [my daughters] against a low estimation of self” (Smith).
            Murray’s romance with John Murray, a Universalist preacher from London, began in 1788 when he wrote her a love letter before leaving for a trip to England.  They were married when he returned to America and had two children together.  Their son, Fitz Winthrop (misreported as George in genealogy), was born in 1789, but survived just a few hours.  Their daughter, Julia Maria, was born in 1791 (Smith). 
            The 1790s were the height of Murray’s writing.  In 1790 she wrote the two-part essay “On the Equality of the Sexes” for Massachusetts Magazine.  In 1792, she wrote two essay series for the magazine.  The first, entitled “The Gleaner,” focused on federalism, citizenship, virtue, and female education and abilities.  The second, entitled “The Repository,” focused on philosophy, reflection, and Universalist subjects.  In 1793, John Murray was called upon by the Boston Universalists, so they moved there in 1794, where Murray was offered a column in a bi-weekly newspaper called Federal Orrery. She submitted just five essays entitled “The Reaper,” but they were too edited for her taste so she cut ties with the newspaper.  She received backlash by the editor saying that her husband John did most of the writing (Smith).
            In 1795 and 1796, Murray wrote two plays, both of which were performed.  Her first play, The Medium, or Happy Tea Party was the first play to be shown at Boston’s Federal Street Theatre after the ban on live productions was lifted.  Her second play was The Traveler Returned.  Both plays were satires on American citizenship and virtue featuring strong female characters.  In 1798 she published “The Gleaner.”  It featured her earlier “The Gleaner” essays and her plays.  In this, she acknowledged that “The Gleaner” and “Constantia” were the same person, though the book had her legal name, Judith Sargent Murray, on it.  It was then that she was established as an advocate for female progress in America (Smith).
            In the early 1800s she helped her cousin, Judith Saunders, and Clementine Beach open a women’s academy in Dorchester, Massachusetts.  The Ladies Academy was opened in 1803, teaching scholarly subjects and domestic skills.  She also continued publishing poetry in the Boston Weekly Magazine until1809 when John had a stroke.  In 1815 John died at age 74 and two funeral services were held in Gloucester and Boston.  Judith finished and published John’s autobiography in 1816.  The last two years of Murray’s life were spent on her son-in-law’s plantation, Fatherland, in Natchez, Mississippi where she died and was buried in 1820.  Murray has been recognized for her contributions to the progress of women since 1973 when Alice Rossi wrote The Feminist Papers (Smith).
Judith Sargent Murray, also known as Constantia, opens “On the Equality of the Sexes” with a poem.  The poem really shows her feelings toward education and the oppression of women.  One part in particular speaks to society silencing women’s voices and women being put down by men:
And by the lordly sex to us consign’d;
They rob us of the power t’improve,
And then declare we only trifles love;
Yet haste the era, when the world shall know,
That such distinctions only dwell below. (Murray 35-39)
She really feels like she is looked down upon and seems frustrated by this oppression.  When she says, “And then declare we only trifles love,” it is as though men think that women only love and appreciate the little things that do not really matter, when in reality, they love and appreciate many of the same things that men do.  This is also the basis of “On the Equality of the Sexes.”  She wants to show that men and women are equal intellectually and rationally and should be taught the same way growing up.
            Through “On the Equality of the Sexes,” Murray transforms educated women from a problem to a solution.  She points out that women have potential, that their current education is wasting their potential, and that a classical education (what the males were getting) would save them from unhappiness (Galewski 86).  She points out a women’s potential throughout the work, but she says it best when she writes, “Now, was she permitted the same instructors as her brother, (with an eye however to their particular departments) for the employment of a rational mind an ample field would be opened” (Murray).  Here she is outright saying that if she, or any other woman, had been given the same instruction as their brother or any male, their minds would be just as rational as a man’s, which is part of her main argument throughout the essay.
            Murray also says that the “conventional” education is a waste of potential (Galewski 86).  It shows when she writes, “Is the needle and kitchen sufficient to employ the operations of a soul thus organized?  I should conceive not.  Nay, it is a truth that those very departments leave the intelligent principle vacant, and at liberty for speculation” (Murray).  The conventional teaching of the time allowed women to learn housework and prepare to be a wife someday.  Murray is arguing that this is not the way to stimulate the mind (“Judith Sargent…”) and that it is not allowing women to live to their fullest potential.  All Murray wants is for women to get an education equal to that of men so that their minds can develop.  She wants to be able to hold educated conversations with anybody and help the men with work.
            Murray argues that getting a classical education like men would save girls from unhappiness.  She really shows this in two separate quotes.  The first speaks of a void to be filled:
At length arrived at womanhood, the uncultivated fair one feels a void, which the employments allotted her are by no means capable of filling.  What can she do?  To books she may not apply; or if she doth, to those only of the novel kind, lest she merit the appellation of a learned lady; and what ideas have been affixed to this term, the observation of many can testify. (Murray)
Without education and the ability to learn new things, Murray argues that women cannot be happy.  She also writes, “She experiences a mortifying consciousness of inferiority, which embitters every enjoyment” (Murray).  Because they are less educated, women feel, and are made to feel, like they are less than men.  This leads to frustration and sadness that makes even the most enjoyable things in life not enough to make them happy.  Thus, Murray believes that equal education is the best thing for women both intellectually and emotionally.
            Throughout this essay, Murray contends that any intellectual inferiority that women have compared to men is due to how they were raised and not from natural abilities (“Judith Sargent…”).  In “On the Equality of the Sexes,” Murray shows the differences in how men and women are brought up:
But from that period what partiality! How is the one exalted, and the other depressed, by the contrary modes of education which are adopted! The one is taught to aspire, and the other is early confined and limited.  As their years increase, the sister must be wholly domesticated, while the brother is led by the hand through all the flowery paths of science.  Grant that their minds are by nature equal, yet who shall wonder at the apparent superiority, if indeed custom becomes second nature… (Murray)
Murray shows the opposite ends of the spectrum, which in many cases may be far off, but it made her point.  Her point is that males and females are born with the same mind, but males receive the nurturing and education that makes them more knowledgeable.  Females are taught jobs and chores that do not require much thinking, which allows men to believe that they are superior.
 Murray really relates this text to her own life.  She was not formally educated, while her brother was educated so he could attend Harvard (Smith).  Where she writes, “As their years increase, the sister must be wholly domesticated, while the brother is led by the hand through all the flowery paths of science” (Murray), she expresses her disappointment at not being allowed to learn about science and other subjects that her brother was taught growing up.  I believe this is really what fueled her writings and helped her become the feminist leader for which she is known (Smith).
            During Murray’s writing years, some incredible things happened with women’s education.  After the revolution, Murray was involved in debates that led to social changes.  The major social change related to Murray and her work was women’s education.  Between 1790, when “On the Equality of the Sexes” was written, and 1816 the literacy gap closed between men and women.  This was due to the expansion in educational facilities for women (Galewski 85), which started with the Ladies Academy in 1803 (Smith). 
            In the end, Murray was a fantastic writer who really focused on women’s issues in the late 1700s and early 1800s.  Her ideas may have been radical for the time (“Judith Sargent…”), but they helped fuel reform in the country pertaining to women’s education and progress (Galewski 85).  She wanted nothing more than to have the same education as her brother and to allow other women the same opportunity.  Murray can be considered a pioneer in feminism and women’s rights, writing and speaking out when not many people would or could.  She dedicated her life’s work to fighting for educational equality for women, arguing not only for herself, but also for her daughters.  Her essay “On the Equality of the Sexes” was one of the first works in America that really stood up for women’s rights and helped pave the way for the feminist movement.

Works Cited
Galewski, Elizabeth. “The Strange Case for Women’s Capacity to Reason: Judith Sargent Murray’s Use of Irony in “On the Equality of the Sexes” (1790).”  Quarterly Journal of Speech 93.1 (2007): 84-108.  Web. 19 Nov 2012.
“Judith Sargent Murray (1751-1820).”  National Women’s History Museum.  N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Nov 2012. 
Murray, Judith Sargent.  “On the Equality of the Sexes.”  University of Maryland Early Americas Digital Archive. Massachusetts Magazine (1790): 132-35, 223-26. Web. 1 Oct 2012.
Smith, Bonnie Hurd. “Judith Sargent Murray.” Dictionary of Unitarian & Universalist Biography.  Unitarian Universalist Association, n.d.  Web. 19 Nov 2012.