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Literary Periods

  • Jan 1, 1580

    Birth of John Smith

    Smith was an English soldier, explorer, and author.
  • Period: to

    Age of Faith

    Considered the start of American Literature, writing focused and revolved mainly around religion and describing the new world. Different genres and writing styles included sermons, diaries, personal narratives, and slave narratives. Anne Bradstreet, Edward Taylor, Jonathan Edwards, and John Smith were the major authors during this period.
  • John Smith publishes; A True Relation of Virginia

    Written after Smith's expierences in Jamestown, the text described what colonial life was really like in Virgina.
  • Birth of Anne Bradstreet

    Born in Northampton, England
  • John Smith publishes; The General History of Virginia

    The book included the famed Pocahontas story, that is said to be distorted due to the time lapse between when it occured and when the book was written.
  • Bradstreet comes to America

  • Death of John Smith

    Death of John Smith
  • Birth of Edward Taylor

    Born in Sketchley, Leicestershire, England.
  • Anne Bradstreet publishes; To My Dear and Loving Husband

    Written in 1641, the poem was not published until nine years later. Bradstreet was the first published American poet.
  • Death of Anne Bradstreet

    The precise location of her grave is uncertain but many historians believe her body is in the Old Burying Ground at Academy Road in North Andover.
  • Edward Taylor publishes; Huswifery

  • Birth of Jonathan Edwards

  • Ben Franklin first publishes; Poor Richard's Almanac

    Ben Franklin first publishes; Poor Richard's Almanac
    Poor Richard's Almanac was written by Ben Franklin which adopted him the pseudonym "Richard Saunders".
  • Birth of Thomas Paine

  • Edwards first preaches; Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

    Edwards view on God was that He was distant and punitive towards mankind; who he considered basically evil.
  • Birth of Thomas Jefferson

    Birth of Thomas Jefferson
  • Birth of Abigail Adams

    Abigail was the wife of John Adams and campaigned for womens rights through letters.
  • Period: to

    The Age of Reason

  • Death of Jonathan Edwards

    Death of Jonathan Edwards
    Edwards is widely acknowledged as America's most important philosophical theologian. He played a critical role in starting the First Great Awakening. Edwards died of small pox inoculation.
  • Declaration of Independence is approved

    Declaration of Independence is approved
    The Declaration of Indepence stated the sucession of Colonial America from the British. It was written by Thomas Jefferson.
  • Publication of; The American Crisis

    The American Crisis was a piece of propaganda that was very influential on convincing the public to revolt against Britain.
  • Period: to


    During the Romanticism Era, writers generally believed imagination and emotion are more important than former rules used in literature. Romantic literature tends to emphasize a love of nature, a respect for primitivism, and a valuing of the common, "natural" man.
  • Publication of; The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

    Publication of; The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
    Written by Washington Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow scared children for generations.
  • Death of Thomas Paine

    Death of Thomas Paine
    Paine was mainly a pamphleteer throughout his life. His method of producing propaganda is still an influential model today.
  • Death of Abigail Adams

  • Death of Thomas Jefferson

    Thomas Jefferson was considered by many the finest writer of his era.
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne writes; The Scarlet Letter

    Nathaniel Hawthorne writes; The Scarlet Letter
    The Scarlet Letter portrays ideas reflected often in Hawthorne's work such as sin and guilt.