This work, originally published by the American Antiquarian Society, chronicles the various oaths of allegiance that New England colonists were required to take at one time or another prior to American Independence. While the author has omitted the simple oaths of office required of military or civilian officers of the colony or Crown, he has otherwise included all oaths to which the general populace of New England were required to swear their allegiance. Mr. Evans weaves verbatim transcriptions of the oaths into the narrative fabric of an historical essay, which gives the context for each oath and, in a number of instances, furnishes facsimiles of the 17th- or 18th-century documents under study. What follows is a sample of the oaths included in the volume, some of which pertained to all of New England and others to one or more colonies: The Oath of Supremacy (1534), The Oath of Abjuration (1687-88), The Mayflower Compact (1620), Freeman’s Oath (various dates), Oath of Fidelitie (various dates), Stranger’s Oath (1652, which was aimed at New England Quakers), Freeman’s Charge (of New Haven, 1639), Civil Compacts (in Rhode Island, 1637-38), The Engagement of the Officers (Providence, 1654), The Elders or Rulers Oath (New Hampshire, 1640), and the Oath of Councillors of the Province of Mayne (1653).
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