A lawyer and fur trader, Thomas Morton (1579-1647) dreamed of a society where Algonquian peoples and English colonists could coexist. Infamous for dancing around a maypole in defiance of his Pilgrim neighbors, Morton was reviled by the Puritans for selling guns to the Natives. Colonial authorities exiled him three separate times from New England, but Morton kept returning to fight for his beliefs. Adding new depth to our understanding of early New England society, Peter Mancall's riveting account of Morton's tumultuous life explores the tensions that arose from competing colonial visions.
"With verve, tact, and insight, Mancall has teased out those strands of Morton's career that suggest an attractive alternative to some of the grim realities of early American history…. A vigorous, though not impartial, defense of a complicated man."—NYTBR