Invisible Masters

Gender, Race, and the Economy of Service in Early New England

Elisabeth Ceppi

Invisible Masters

Elisabeth Ceppi

Distributed for Dartmouth College Press

304 pages | 6 x 9
Paper $45.00 ISBN: 9781512602968 Published July 2018
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781512602951 Published July 2018
Invisible Masters rewrites the familiar narrative of the relation between Puritan religious culture and New England’s economic culture as a history of the primary discourse that connected them: service. The understanding early Puritans had of themselves as God’s servants and earthly masters was shaped by their immersion in an Atlantic culture of service and the worldly pressures and opportunities generated by New England’s particular place in it. Concepts of spiritual service and mastery determined Puritan views of the men, women, and children who were servants and slaves in that world. So, too, did these concepts shape the experience of family, labor, law, and economy for those men, women, and children—the very bedrock of their lives. This strikingly original look at Puritan culture will appeal to a wide range of Americanists and historians.
Contents
Acknowledgments • Introduction: Unprofitable Servants • The Child Who Serves: Household Obedience and the Public Authority of Masters • Answering Back: Elizabeth Knapp’s Demonic Possession and the Gender of Public Service • Servant to a Christian: Mary Rowlandson’s Captivity and the Racialization of Obedience • Racial Vocation: New England’s Calling to Slavery • The Spirit of Mastery: Samson Occom, Benjamin Franklin, and Modern Hypocrisy • Coda: Serving the Plot • Notes • Bibliography • Index
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