Hessian Journals and Cultures of Print

By Jeremy Dibbell

Two recent publications by MHS researchers:

– An annotated translation of the journal of Hessian 2nd Lt. Friedrich von Keudell appears in the 2009 volume of The Hessians: Journal of the Johannes Schwalm Historical Association. Keudell’s journal, which covers the period 14 November 1783 – 14 April 1784, contains notes on the departure of the Hessen-Cassel grenadier battalion von Lowenstein from American soil and the transatlantic passage back to Bremerhaven, Germany. The journal was translated by Henry J. Retzer and annotated by Lt. Col. Donald M. Londahl-Schmidt. Keudell’s journal appears in the same volume as the Wilhelm Freyenhagen journal, which covers the period from 1776 through 1778. An annotated translation of Freyenhagen’s journal will appear in a later edition of The Hessians.

– MHS short-term researcher fellow (1999-2000) Jonathan Beecher Field has published Errands into the Metropolis: New England Dissidents in Revolutionary London (Dartmouth University Press, 2009). The publisher’s description notes: “Through chapters focusing on John Cotton, Roger Williams, Samuel Gorton, John Clarke, and the Quaker martyrs, Field traces an evolving discourse on the past, present, and future of colonial New England that revises the canon of colonial New England literature and the contours of New England history. In the broader field of early American studies, Field’s work demonstrates the benefits of an Atlantic perspective on the material cultures of print. In the context of religious freedom, Errands into the Metropolis shows Rhode Island’s famous culture of toleration emerging as a pragmatic response to the conditions of colonial life, rather than as an idealistic principle. Errands into the Metropolis offers new understanding of familiar texts and events from colonial New England, and reveals the significance of less familiar texts and events.”