"Long dismissed by critics as a novel of merely historical interest, Colonel Jack is one of Daniel Defoe's most entertaining, revealing, and complex works. It is the supposed autobiography of an English gentleman who begins life as a child of the London streets. He and his brothers are brought up as pickpockets and highwaymen, but Jack seeks to improve himself. Kidnapped and taken to America, he becomes first a slave, then an overseer on plantations in Maryland. Jack's story is one of dramatic turns of fortune that ultimately lead to a life of law-abiding prosperity as a plantation owner. Historical appendices relate to eighteenth-century Virginia and Maryland and to contemporary crime, punishment, and imprisonment."--Page  of cover.