New England Prison Diary:Slander, Religion, and Markets in Early America

Martin J. Hershock


New England Prison Diary:Slander, Religion, and Markets in Early America

New England Prison Diary:Slander, Religion, and Markets in Early America

  • Title: New England Prison Diary:Slander, Religion, and Markets in Early America
  • Author: Martin J. Hershock
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 162
  • Format: Kindle Edition



In 1812, New Hampshire shopkeeper Timothy M Joy abandoned his young family, fleeing the creditors who threatened to imprison him Within days, he found himself in a Massachusetts jailhouse, charged with defamation of a prominent politician During the months of his incarceration, Joy kept a remarkable journal that recounts his personal, anguished path toward spiritual redIn 1812, New Hampshire shopkeeper Timothy M Joy abandoned his young family, fleeing the creditors who threatened to imprison him Within days, he found himself in a Massachusetts jailhouse, charged with defamation of a prominent politician During the months of his incarceration, Joy kept a remarkable journal that recounts his personal, anguished path toward spiritual redemption Martin J Hershock situates Joy s account in the context of the pugnacious politics of the early republic, giving context to a common citizen s perspective on partisanship and the fate of an unfortunate shopkeeper swept along in the transition to market capitalism In addition to this close up view of an ordinary person s experience of a transformative period, Hershock reflects on his own work as a historian In the final chapter, he discusses the value of diaries as historical sources, the choices he made in telling Joy s story, alternative interpretations of the diary, and other contexts in which he might have placed Joy s experiences The appendix reproduces Joy s original journal so that readers can develop their own skills using a primary source.


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