Every Day Life in the Massachusetts Bay Colony


What did they eat? What did they wear? How did they live? This wonderfully informative sourcebook has the answers to all of your questions about everyday life in the colony from c1600 to c1750. Within these pages you will find fascinating information on early apparel, manners and customs, building techniques, herbal remedies and much more. In addition to early farming techniques, find out about sports and games, crimes and punishments, and home furnishings. The book begins with a description of the voyage from England to Massachusetts, including the food ration supplied to every passenger, lists of necessary equipment and household implements for families coming to New England, and approximate prices and freight costs for those items. Once they arrived, many people constructed “English wigwams” for shelter. Photographs show reconstructions of these and other shelters, such as a wooden garrison house, a thatched cottage, wattle-and-daub construction, and clapboard houses. Framing detail, latches and window styles are also shown. The furnishings and room designs of the early homes are described very specifically. Types of fabric, fashions and taboos in clothing, Puritan influences, trades, manufacturing and shipping are also discussed. Documentary evidence of lifestyles is presented in the appendices, which include two early shop inventories, three estate inventories and more. So if you’ve ever wondered what “sagathy” is; if you don’t know that nosebleeds should be cured by smelling a dried toad; if you aren’t aware that ageratum “dryes the brain;” or if you just want to know how to decorate your colonial-style home, you need this book! Copiously illustrated with photos and drawings, it belongs in the library of every reenactor, interpreter, historical scholar, genealogist or curious reader.


George Francis Dow 

(1935), 2002, 5½x8½, paper, index, illus., 293 pp.

ISBN: 9780788421259