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Through analyses of the process of migration and settlement and of the symbolic meaning that participants attached to their experiences, the book tells the story of New England's origins as one of dynamism and change. Focusing on the lives of nearly 700 emigrants, the narrative examines such topics as the settlers' motives for leaving England, their experience of the voyage, their patterns of settlement in the New World, and their search for economic security in a new land. The descendants of the founders erected the story of their great migration into early British America's only effective foundation myth--a record of achievement that succeeding generations could never match. Rich in detail and insight, this exploration of New England's founding examines both the lives of ordinary people and the transcendent meanings that those lives ultimately acquired.