William Blackstone: Sage of the Wilderness


Born in 1595 in Durham County, England, William Blackstone grew up in genteel circumstances, earned a bachelor’s degree in 1617 and a master’s in 1621 from Cambridge University, and received Holy Orders in the Church of England soon thereafter. Having disagreements with the Anglican Church, he sailed to New England with the Gorges expedition in 1623. Although the venture failed and most of the people returned to England, Blackstone opted to stay in the New World. In 1659, he married Sarah Fisher Stevenson, a widow.

This major work looks at William Blackstone, the man and his life. He was the first European to settle in what is now Boston and the first to live in what is now Rhode Island. He developed the first American variety of apples and conducted the first Anglican services in Rhode Island. His private library may have been the largest in the British colonies at that time. Was he a sage? Did he influence history? Was he “a mover and a shaker”? Chapters include: Birth of an Unlikely Pioneer; A Whole New World; The Hospitable Hermit; Another House On A Hill; The Two Tolerationists; Golden Years On Study Hill; Family Life, Two Deaths; John Stevenson, Stepson; John Blackstone, Minister’s Son, & His Family; The Sage’s Grandsons; The Hill That Disappeared; William Blackstone’s Wandering Grave; and, Who Was William Blackstone.... Really? Photos and a bibliography enhance the text.

Louise Lind

(1993), 2016, 5½x8½, paper, 114 pp.

ISBN: 9781556139109