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For Adam's Sake: A Family Saga in Colonial New England
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For Adam's Sake: A Family Saga in Colonial New England

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  62 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
In the tradition of Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s classic, A Midwife’s Tale, comes this groundbreaking narrative by one of America’s most promising colonial historians. Joshua Hempstead was a well-respected farmer and tradesman in New London, Connecticut. As his remarkable diary—kept from 1711 until 1758—reveals, he was also a slave owner who owned Adam Jackson for over thirty ...more
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published April 22nd 2013 by Liveright (first published February 4th 2013)
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May 29, 2013 Robert rated it really liked it
An interesting insight into a topic that I have rarely seen discussed, slavery and servitude in Colonial New England. In full disclosure, this was a book I felt compelled to buy and read as several of the people discussed in the book are direct ancestors of mine. This no doubt made the book considerably more interesting to me, than it might to an unconnected reader. The side stories in the book involving the Livingstons, Winthrops, Saltonstalls, and Dudleys, although generally unflattering, are ...more
Jo Gillespie
Jan 15, 2014 Jo Gillespie rated it it was amazing
What an outstanding written history! Beautifully written, good flow, incredibly researched. I'm sure I will run out of adjectives for this one. If you're a lover of history as I am, and the pre-Revolutionary War period is of interest to you, this is a must read. Outstanding is all I can say.
Scott Strait
Oct 05, 2016 Scott Strait rated it really liked it
Different perspectives on day to day life in colonial new england with good history of slavery in new england. Well-written.
Nov 11, 2014 Linda rated it liked it
Adam Jackson, for whom this book was titled, was a black slave who spent his life working in 17th-early 18th century New London, CT. But Adam's own story does not begin until the book's second half. The title's second part, A Family Saga, is a more apt description of what this book is all about, though the word saga suggests much more drama than can be found here. Allegra Di Bonaventura, a scholar with a legal background, wrote a doctoral dissertation based upon the 47 year long Diary of Joshua ...more
Sep 11, 2016 Heidi rated it it was ok
Thesis-like; Extremely detailed saga. Tons of information so I guess it depends on what you are looking for in a book like this.
Apr 22, 2016 Candice rated it really liked it
This really brought colonial culture to life. I have never been particularly interested in the era, but found this book fascinating and vivid. Read almost like a 1600-1700's soap opera at times, which made it more contemporary, actually, and sort of humorous. - everyone is suing everyone else, but she touches on all aspects of the lifestyle. She also discusses the issue of colonial slavery in New England. The amount of research she did to pull it all together was massive! And it seems like New ...more
Sep 05, 2013 Nancy rated it liked it
The library wants this book back so I'm returning it having read a little over half plus the epilogue. The book gives some fascinating insight into colonial New England life, with a special focus on slavery and religions. Unfortunately, so much of it is speculation that I found it easy to put down in spots so never finished it in my allotted 3 weeks. Others with more of a connection to the area or the people involved might find it riveting.
May 26, 2013 Bobby rated it it was ok
Very "choppy" and hard to follow at times. Too many non central characters introduced and little development of what I assumed to be the central character, Adam Jackson. That being said, the book does provide an interesting account of the struggles and subsistence living during early American colonial times.
Diane Secchiaroli
Aug 13, 2013 Diane Secchiaroli rated it it was amazing
Riveting story of life during the early 18th century for the common man, slaves, & indentured servants. Based on historical facts, the author weaves a wonderful story of the Jackson family (slaves) , the Hempsteads (shipwrights) & other residents of New London, Ct. Fascinating story! Must visit the Hempstead House soon.
RC  deWinter
Feb 05, 2014 RC deWinter rated it really liked it
Being a native Nutmegger and somewhat familiar with the areas of the state covered in this excellent history really enhanced my reading experience. I enjoyed this well-done slice of social history.
Donald Tucker Jr
Donald Tucker Jr rated it really liked it
Jun 04, 2015
Bill rated it it was amazing
Jun 02, 2014
Nancy Cabral
Nancy Cabral rated it it was amazing
May 01, 2015
Chris Wimsatt
Chris Wimsatt rated it liked it
Dec 08, 2013
Ben Swinney
Ben Swinney rated it it was ok
Sep 21, 2014
Patty Marchand
Patty Marchand rated it liked it
Jul 20, 2013
Anne rated it really liked it
Jun 18, 2013
Kathleen Buckley
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Jun 21, 2016
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Jun 10, 2014
Jennifer Burns
Jennifer Burns rated it really liked it
Jan 08, 2014
Annika rated it it was ok
Feb 12, 2014
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May 16, 2014
Kathy Fix
Kathy Fix rated it it was amazing
Jun 10, 2014
Lindsey rated it liked it
Feb 26, 2014
Mike Crawford
Mar 31, 2014 Mike Crawford rated it liked it
Read more like a genealogy of a several families and was a bit dry.
Karen rated it really liked it
Oct 16, 2013
Rosemary rated it really liked it
Jun 17, 2013
Blewis rated it it was amazing
Jun 14, 2014
Kelly Bridges
Kelly Bridges rated it really liked it
Jul 14, 2015
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