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Prospero's AmericaJohn Winthrop, Jr., Alchemy, and the Creation of New England Culture, 1606-1676$
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Walter W. Woodward

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780807833018

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807895931_woodward

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Founding a New London

Founding a New London

(p.75) Three Founding a New London
Prospero's America

Walter W. Woodward

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter describes how John Winthrop, Jr. returned to New England in 1643 filled with a sense of possibility. Inspired by the alchemical contacts he had made in England and in Europe, Winthrop had formed a pansophic vision of New England's potential to serve as a vanguard in the restoration of knowledge and improvement of the human condition. In cooperation with other alchemical philosophers, he set out to implement a series of projects that would help transform New England and make it an example to the world of a society improved by the application of godly science. Through the creation of the New England ironworks and, more important, the establishment of a regional riverine plantation in what is now central Connecticut, Winthrop hoped that New England might become a magnet for alchemical research and a model for pansophic regeneration.

Keywords:   John Winthrop, alchemical contacts, pansophic vision, restoration of knowledge, alchemical philosophers

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