Arthur George Kamya

“Anglicizing an American Colony”: The Restoration in Massachusetts Bay Colony

  • Title “Anglicizing an American Colony”: The Restoration in Massachusetts Bay Colony
  • Office B09
  • Education BA in Economics and Political Science, University of Pennsylvania;
    MA in English, Clark University;
    JD, Harvard Law School

Arthur was born and raised in Kampala, Uganda. His research ascribes to the 1660 Restoration of Charles II a fundamental change in Massachusetts’ penal-regulatory regime to primarily policing colonists with neither landed property nor agency. Cuttingly critical royal letters charging Massachusetts rulers with administering harsh justice to the masses of the king’s freeholding subjects, not to mention meddling royal commissioners determined to find evidence of maladministration actuated a course correction in governance. The overweening pre-Restoration penal-regulatory regime that entrapped (and antagonized) freeholders and non-freeholders alike was replaced by one largely geared to controlling non-freeholding colonists whose (mis)treatment did not pique royal interest. Synthesizing a comprehensive set of primary sources–legal, governance, and private documents–Arthur’s dissertation locates the non-freeholding (essentially unfree) objects of Massachusetts post-Restoration social regulation consensus–laborers, servants, convicts, apprentices, youth, Native Americans, and Africans and African-Americans–in their habitus–the merchant ship, the farm, the household, the alehouse, the ironwork, the prison, the house of correction, the military company, and the battleground. Rather than innovate new law and procedure for this reconfigured regime–and risk falling afoul of their charter–Massachusetts magistrates cribbed pre-existing English statutes governing laborers, servants, and the poor, thereby instantiating in the sixteen-sixties a moment of Anglicization in Massachusetts earlier than scholars have previously observed. Arthur’s dissertation advisor is Professor Brendan J. McConville of the Department of History at Boston University.

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