Author: John Cotton


Bacon’s Death and “Bacons Epitaph”; an excerpt from “The History of Bacon’s and Ingram’s Rebellion, 1676” by John Cotton (1677)

In this excerpt of “The History of Bacon’s and Ingram’s Rebellion, 1676,” the likely author, John Cotton, describes the death of Nathaniel Bacon, whose rebellion against Governor Sir William Berkeley came to an end soon after. Cotton’s writing style is witty, bombastic, and full of literary allusions, and here he includes two poems the first of which, “Bacon’s Epitaph,” has been lauded as the first notable poem composed in America. It is not known whether Cotton wrote either or both of the poems. Cotton’s narrative was likely written soon after the rebellion but not published until 1814.