cover image Voyagers to the West

Voyagers to the West

Bernard Bailyn. Alfred A. Knopf, $35 (667pp) ISBN 978-0-394-51569-4

Bailyn's superbly documented history advances our knowledge of the migration of English and Scottish laborers and farmers from their native soil to wilderness colonial America. Researching this study for 10 years, Bailyn, a Pulitzer and Bancroft prize-winner for Ideological Origins of the American Revolution, with this new book is now well advanced into his Peopling of America series. This indefatigable historian is the first to achieve a full-scale follow-through on a remarkable London Register naming every person known to have left Britain for North America between December 1773 and March 1776. From town records, letters and contemporary newspapers, Bailyn describes dangerous ship-passages and arrivals of thousands of Scots, Yorkshiremen and Londoners in Nova Scotia, Carolina, Georgia, Florida and even the Gulf-Delta area. Focusing on rich British-Scots entrepreneurs, he describes one of the great land-grabs of historyand more than incidentally shows why the ""indentured servant'' aspect of this feverish migration petered out, to be replaced by black slavery. Illustrations not seen by PW. (October 31)