|Stephen R. Berry|
|Pages/Publication Date:||320 / 2015|
In October 1735, James Oglethorpe's Georgia Expedition set sail from London with 227 passengers aboard two merchant ships and began a transformative voyage across the Atlantic that would last nearly five months. Chronicling their passage, the migrants described the challenges of physical confinement, the experiences of living closely with people from different regions and classes, and the multifaceted character of the ocean itself. Using their journey as his narrative arc, historian and sailor Stephen Berry tells the broader and often overlooked story of how people experienced their crossings to the New World in the 18th century. Berry shows how the ocean was more than a backdrop for human events; it actively shaped historical experiences by furnishing a dissociative break from normal patterns of life and a formative stage in travelers' processes of collective identification, and it has lingered in American memory as a defining experience.
"A well-researched and beautifully written account of the important role the Atlantic has played in American history."—Mystic Seaport Magazine
"Berry's innovative reading of logs, letters, and diaries explores how cramped, uncertain voyages shaped American Protestantism. The way of the ship has never been imagined like this."—W. Jeffrey Bolster
"Nowhere has the intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and physical significance of European Atlantic crossings emerged so expressively, and seldom has the 'middle passage' for captured Africans been so graphically rendered. [This book] simply sticks in the mind, a testament to fresh, comparative research and compelling prose."—Jon Butler