History Podcasts

William Bradford Timeline

William Bradford Timeline

  • 1590 - 1657

    Life of William Bradford, 2nd Governor of the Plymouth Colony.

  • Mar 1590

    William Bradford is baptized at St. Helena's Church in Austerfield, England.

  • 1597

    William Bradford lives with his uncle after his mother's death; reads the Bible and embraces the Puritan vision.

  • 1607

    William Bradford leaves England with the rest of the congregation for the Netherlands.

  • 1613

    William Bradford marries Dorothy May of the congregation; couple has one son, John.

  • 1620

    William and Dorothy Bradford leave Europe with the congregation for North America; John remains behind.

  • Nov 1620

    William Bradford is the second person to sign the Mayflower Compact establishing a democratic government for the Plymouth Colony.

  • Dec 1620

    Dorothy Bradford drowns off the coast of Massachusetts.

  • Apr 1621

    William Bradford is elected Governor of Plymouth Colony after the death of John Carver.

  • 1623

    William Bradford marries his second wife, Alice Southworth; the couple have three children.

  • 1657

    William Bradford dies of natural causes at Plymouth Colony.

William Bradford was believed to have been born in Austerfield, Yorkshire, England, in March 1590, with records indicating his baptism being held around this time. His parents died early in his childhood, leaving Bradford in the care of various relatives. Attending a religious service in Scrooby before his teen years, the youngster joined the Separatist denomination, a more radical branch of Puritanism that believed in removing itself from the Church of England. He and other congregants eventually fled to the Netherlands to escape persecution, though in their adopted land, they still faced attacks, due to the country’s affiliation with England’s King James I.

Bradford stayed in the Netherlands for more than a decade, with the idea taking root among the Separatist congregation that they should journey to the New World and settle north of the already established Virginia Colony. Bradford was in a leadership position and handled a major portion of administrative duties, including sorting out financial backing for the trip and related claims to land. After one of the two commissioned ships was deemed unworthy for travel, in September 1620 the group of 102 passengers later dubbed “pilgrims” sailed forth from England on the Mayflower. The voyagers consisted of people called “Saints,” those who followed Separatist ideology, and “Strangers,” those who paid for passage with no regard of religious affiliation.

The troubled journey took more than two months, and due to harsh weather and being forced off course, the vessel arrived a significant distance from their planned destination, in Cape Cod, where Bradford&aposs wife fell overboard and drowned. Soon afterward Bradford and the other male travelers signed the colonial contract known as the Mayflower Compact, a document emphasizing self-governance.

The Mayflower Voyage:

The pilgrims traveled to North America on a rented cargo ship called the Mayflower. The ship left Plymouth, England in September of 1620 and finally landed off the coast of Massachusetts in November.

The colonists were originally headed for Virginia, where they had a land patent to settle the area, but had drifted off course during the sea voyage and made landfall just as they ran out of supplies.

Although they didn’t have official permission to settle in what is now modern day Massachusetts, they decided to stay and settle the area anyway because they had run out of supplies and winter was setting in.

The pilgrims first landed at what is now modern day Provincetown. After some skirmishes with the local Native-American tribe there, the pilgrims decided to sail to nearby Plymouth.

“First sight of the Indians.” Illustration published in A Pictorial History of the United States circa 1852

When the pilgrims arrived they landed at an abandoned Native-American village, called Patuxet, whose inhabitants had died in the infamous disease epidemic of 1616-1618.

“The landing.” Illustration published in A Pictorial History of the United States circa 1852

There they found abundant cornfields planted by the Patuxet years ago and many areas, which had already been cleared by the Patuxet, where they could build their homes.

William Bradford Timeline - History

Bradford's history at once perpetuates and demystifies the mythic status that mainstream American culture has bestowed upon the "Pilgrims" of New England. This might be a useful place to start: the ways in which Bradford's narrative mythologizes first-generation heroism, and yet exposes the all-too-human squabbling, selfishness, and greed of the Plymouth settlers.

The tension between Bradford's desire to construct a place for Plymouth in a divine historical plan, and his eventual, implicit recognition of the diminution of Plymouth's status, lends itself to discussion of the nature of history-writing in general. This tension, which involves Bradford's painful negotiation of correctly reading providential design, shows students how the supposedly objective genre of "history," like all forms of narrative, is a construction of prevailing ideologies.

As in Winthrop's Journal , Of Plymouth Plantation 's account of the quotidian realities of a frontier society dismantles the quasi-Victorian stereotypes that students bring to the concept of the "Puritan" (or, in this case, the Separatist). As a text composed, for all intents and purposes, on the frontier, students might consider how this historical reality also shapes Bradford's treatment of Amerindians.

The issue of Bradford's composition of his history may raise issues about the coherence of the text. Do students see distinctive subjects, thematic motifs, or narrative tones in each of the two parts?

Major Themes, Historical Perspectives, and Personal Issues

The concept of community pervades the entire text of Bradford. The history demonstrates the problematic maintenance of the national covenant--the community's collective dedication to live by the purity of God's ordinances--as a parallel to the covenant of grace, by which each individual "saint" was redeemed (through Christ) by belief itself. Ironically enough, the logical extension of a "covenanted" people was a communitarian enterprise that at first simulated a kind of socialism, one which soon proved to be untenable. In Bradford's account of this minor crisis lies (as in a well crafted novel) a foreshadowing of the eventual dispersal and fragmentation that later beset the colony. In this context, Of Plymouth Plantation recounts both the internal (material greed, "wickedness") and external ( Thomas Morton, the Pequod--so far as Bradford perceives them) threats that constantly besieged the community.

The relationship between sacred and secular history, if theologically reconcilable, poses another thematic tension in the text. Bradford's insistence upon the "special providences" of God (those reserved for the elect in times of crisis) exists in counterpoise with the detailed catalogues of human negotiations, contrivances, and machinations that describe daily life in England and America.

Some scholars believe that Bradford's wife committed suicide while awaiting disembarkment from the Mayflower . This personal tragedy, along with the cycles of disappointment and success that Bradford underwent, and the constant struggle to maintain the communitarian ideal, all raise the issue of his narrative tone. The text modulates tenors of resolve, sadness, and humility.

Significant Form, Style, or Artistic Conventions

Of Plymouth Plantation exemplifies, perhaps as well as any colonial New England text, the aesthetic virtues of the "plain style." The simplicity of its syntactic rhythms and the concreteness of its imagery and tropes demonstrate the rhetorical power of understatement. The plain style theoretically reflected the need to erase the self (which Bradford also achieves in referring to himself as "the governor") in the very act of creation, by having one's words stylistically approach the biblical Word of God. Bradford's history, however, shows students how the theological rigors of Puritan thought nonetheless allowed for distinctive "voices" to emerge, in this case, Bradford's uniquely compassionate, humble, and sometimes embittered one.

The issue of Puritan typology--which read the Old Testament not only as a prefiguring of the New Testament, but of contemporary history as well--is also somewhat problematic in Bradford's history. The correlation, in other words, between the Old Testament Hebrews and the Plymouth "saints" is not a stable one. For example, when Bradford alludes to Mount Pisgah in chapter IX, he, in effect, suggests a distinction between the Israelites' Promised Land and the wild terrors of New England.

Original Audience

The private nature of Bradford's history and its delayed publication in the nineteenth century complicate the issue of the text's reception. A close reading, however, suggests that Bradford appeared to have envisioned multiple audiences for the text. As certain scholars have noted, the narrative seems to be addressed to lukewarm Anglicans at home, the remaining Scrooby Congregation, members of the larger Massachusetts Bay colony, and, perhaps most visibly, to members of the second generation who had strayed from the founders' original vision.

Moreover, students might be reminded that, despite its delayed publication, the manuscript significantly influenced a number of later New England historians such as Nathaniel Morton, Cotton Mather, and Thomas Prince.

Comparisons, Contrasts, Connections

Although the latter sections of Winthrop's Journals were written retrospectively, Of Plymouth Plantation provides a useful distinction between a retrospective narrative and an ongoing chronicle of historical events.

Bradford's relatively austere prose style, as well as his problematic moments in interpreting providence--and thus the meaning of New England--contrasts strikingly with the productions of Cotton Mather. These distinctions help to prevent students' tendencies to see "Puritanism" as a monolith. There are parallels, however, between Bradford's mythologizing of first-generation founders like Brewster and John Robinson and the kind of biography Cotton Mather conducts in the Magnalia .

Bradford's history is an early instance of themes prevalent in American immigration and frontier literatures. The cycles of struggle, survival, and declension characterize, for example, a much later writer-- such as Willa Cather, who was far removed from Puritan New England. The instability of community in these genres make for a line of thematic continuity between Bradford and writers of frontier romance such as Catharine Maria Sedgwick and James Fenimore Cooper.


Cressy, David. Coming Over: Migration and Communication Between England and New England in the Seventeenth Century . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987.

Daly, Robert. "William Bradford's Vision of History." American Literature 44 (1973): 557-69.

Howard, Alan B. "Art and History in Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation ." William and Mary Quarterly , 3rd ser., 28 (1971): 237-66.

Levin, David. "William Bradford: The Value of Puritan Historiography." Major Writers of Early American Literature , ed. Everett Emerson, 11-31. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1972.

Wenska, Walter P. "Bradford's Two Histories." Early American Literature 8 (1978): 151-64.

Key Facts & Information


  • Born on March 1590 in Austerfield, Yorkshire, William Bradford saw the height of the Protestant Reformation in England. As a young boy, he became a member of the left-wing Puritan movement.
  • In search of religious freedom, he joined a nonconformist group and migrated to Holland.
  • By 1620, he led an expedition of Pilgrims to the New World. His group made up about half of the Mayflower passengers.
  • While on the Mayflower, Bradford was one of the framers of the Mayflower Compact which later became the foundation of the government in Plymouth.


  • The Mayflower was a ship full of Pilgrims who set sail at the beginning of colonial America. They were transported from England to Plymouth, Massachusetts in the New World, where the first permanent English settlement was established.
  • While on board, the Pilgrims and other settlers who sought to establish a settlement in northern Virginia signed a compact which detailed rules for self-governance. However, when the ship landed in Massachusetts and not Virginia, the passengers felt that the compact was void and was out of the Virginia Company’s jurisdiction.
  • On November 11, 1620, 41 of the adult male colonists signed the compact. One of the famous colonists who signed was Myles Standish.


  • Upon arrival, Bradford signed the first set of laws for the colony called the Mayflower Compact.
  • Bradford volunteered to be on the first expeditions to find a place to settle.
  • He was part of the group that discovered Plymouth Harbor, where the Pilgrims built Plymouth Colony.
  • Unfortunately, upon his return, Bradford learned that his wife had fallen off the Mayflower and drowned.
  • The first winter at Plymouth Colony was brutal because around half of the original settlers died that first year from disease or starvation including the first governor, John Carver.
  • That spring, William Bradford was elected the new governor of Plymouth Colony. He served a total of thirty years as governor.
  • Bradford’s strong leadership was just what the colony needed to survive.
  • He worked to keep the peace with the local Native Americans and allotted farmland to all of the settlers.
  • Bradford was also a writer. He wrote a detailed history of the Plymouth Colony titled Of Plymouth Plantation. This document is one of the best records of the Pilgrims’ struggles to survive in the early years and also gives great insight into the daily lives of the colonists. It covers much of the history of the Pilgrims up until 1647, twenty-seven years after they arrived at Plymouth.
  • Bradford married his second wife, Alice Southworth, in 1623, and they had three children together.
  • Famous descendants of William Bradford include actor Clint Eastwood, chef Julia Child, inventor George Eastman, Chief Justice of the United States William Rehnquist, and academic Noah Webster.
  • He presided over what many historians consider to be the first Thanksgiving celebration in the autumn of 1621.
  • One of Bradford’s partners in leading the colony was Captain Myles Standish, who handled the defense and military aspects of the colony.
  • Bradford performed the first marriage ceremony at Plymouth Colony in 1621.
  • William Bradford died in Plymouth on May 9, 1657.

Governor William Bradford Worksheets

This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Governor William Bradford across 20 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Governor William Bradford worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about William Bradford (1590-1657) who was a founder and longtime governor of the Plymouth Colony settlement. Born in England, he migrated with the Separatist congregation to the Netherlands as a teenager.

Complete List Of Included Worksheets

  • Governor William Bradford Facts
  • Governor Bradford
  • Mayflower Compact
  • The Mayflower
  • Bradford and the Colony
  • First Thanksgiving
  • In a Foreign Land
  • Starving Time
  • Say the Truth
  • Saints and Strangers
  • Bradford’s Lesson

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Use With Any Curriculum

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Excerpts From William Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation With Text-Dependent Questions

Students will better understand what led to and what happened during the Pilgrims' journey to America after reading these excerpts from Of Plymouth Plantation.

William Bradford was among the first Pilgrims to arrive in Plymouth on the Mayflower. He helped write and also signed the Mayflower Compact when the ship arrived in Cape Cod. Bradford was the designated governor of Plymouth from 1621 to 1656, except for five years as the Govenor's Assistant. He wrote many texts about Plymouth Plantation, including part of Mourt’s Relation, A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth(written in 1622 with Edward Winslow) and a series called Dialogues about church government, which was later published in the Massachusetts Historical Society's Publications. The following excerpts are from his text Of Plymouth Plantation, which recounts the history of the colony from 1620-1647.

Religious Beliefs

The one side [the Reformers] laboured to have ye right worship of God & discipline of Christ established in ye church, according to ye simplicitie of ye gospell, without the mixture of mens inventions, and to have & to be ruled by ye laws of Gods word, dispensed in those offices, & by those officers of Pastors, Teachers, & Elders, &c. according to ye Scripturs.

The other partie [the Church of England], though under many colours & pretences, endevored to have ye episcopall dignitie (affter ye popish maner) with their large power & jurisdiction still retained with all those courts, cannons, & ceremonies, togeather with all such livings, revenues, & subordinate officers, with other such means as formerly upheld their antichristian greatnes, and enabled them with lordly & tyranous power to persecute ye poore servants of God.

Questions for Religious Beliefs

  1. What did the Reformers believe in?
  2. What do the Pilgrims (Reformers) see as the problem with the Church of England?

Moving to the City of Leiden, Holland (1609)

For these & some other reasons they removed to Leyden, a fair & bewtifull citie, and of a sweete situation, but made more famous by ye universitie wherwith it is adorned, in which of late had been so many learned man. But wanting that traffike by sea which Amerstdam injoyes, it was not so beneficiall for their outward means of living & estats. But being now hear pitchet they fell to such trads & imployments as they best could valewing peace & their spirituall comforte above any other riches whatsoever. And at lenght they came to raise a competente & comforteable living, but with hard and continuall labor.

Being thus settled (after many difficulties) they continued many years in a comfortable condition, injoying much sweete & delightefull societies & spirituall comforte togeather in ye wayes of God, under ye able ministrie, and prudente governmente of Mr. John Robinson, & Mr. William Brewster, who was an assistante unto him in ye place of an Elder, unto which he was now called & chosen by the church.

So as they grew in knowledge & other gifts & graces of ye spirite of God, & lived togeather in peace, & love, and holiness and many came unto them from diverse parts of England, so as they grew a great congregation. And if at any time any differences arose, or offences broak out (as it cannot be, but some time ther will, even amongst ye best of men) they were ever so mete with, and nipt in ye head betims, or otherwise so well composed, as still love, peace, and communion was continued or else ye church purged ot those that were incurable & incorrigible, when, after much patience used, no other means would serve, which seldom came to pass.

Questions for Moving to the City of Leiden, Holland (1609)

Deciding to Emigrate to America

All great & honourable actions are accompanied with great difficulties, and must be both enterprised and overcome with answerable courages. It was granted ye dangers were great, but not desperate the difficulties were many, but not invincible. For though there were many of them likely, yet they were not cartaine it might be sundrie of ye things feared might never befale others by providente care & ye use of good means, might in a great measure be prevented and all of them, through ye help of God, by fortitude and patience, might either be borne, or overcome.

True it was, that such atempts were not to be made and undertaken without good ground & reason not rashly or lightly as many have done for curiositie or hope of gaine, &c. But their condition was not ordinarie their ends were good & honourable their calling lawfull, & urgente and therfore they might expecte ye blessing of god in their proceding. Yea, though they should loose their lives in this action, yet might they have comforte in the same, and their endeavors would be honourable. They lived hear but as men in exile, & in a poore condition and as great miseries might possibly befale them in this place, for ye 12. years of truce [the truce between Holland and Spain] were now out, & ther was nothing but beating of drumes, and preparing for warr, the events wherof are allway uncertaine.

Questions for Deciding to Emigrate to America

Arriving Safely at Cape Cod

Being thus arived in a good harbor and brought safe to land, they fell upon their knees & blessed ye God of heaven, who had brought them over ye vast & furious ocean, and delivered them from all ye periles & miseries therof, againe to set their feete on ye firme and stable earth, their proper elemente. And no marvell if they were thus joyefull, seeing wise Seneca was so affected with sailing a few miles on ye coast of his owne Italy as he affirmed, that he had rather remaine twentie years on his way by land, then pass by sea to any place in a short time so tedious & dreadfull was ye same unto him.

But hear I cannot but stay and make a pause, and stand half amased at this poore peoples presente condition and so I thinke will the reader too, when he well considered ye same. Being thus passed ye vast ocean, and a sea of troubles before in their preparation (as may be remembred by yt which wente before), they had now no friends to wellcome them, nor inns to entertaine or refresh their weatherbeaten bodys, no houses or much less townes to repaire too, to seeke for succoure.

Let it also be considred what weake hopes of supply & succoure they left behinde them, yt might bear up their minds in this sade condition and trialls they were under and they could not but be very smale. It is true, indeed, ye affections & love of their brethren at Leyden was cordiall & entire towards them, but they had litle power to help them, or them selves and how ye case stode betweene them & ye marchants at their coming away, hath already been declared. What could not sustaine them but ye spirite of God & his grace? May not & ought not the children of these fathers rightly say : Our faithers were Englishmen which came over this great ocean, and were ready to perish in this willdernes but they cried unto ye Lord, and he heard their voyce, and looked on their adversitie…

Questions for Arriving Safely at Cape Cod

The Pilgrims’ Exploring Party Lands at Plymouth

From hence they departed, & co[a]sted all along, but discerned no place likely for harbor & therfore hasted to a place that their pillote, (one Mr. Coppin who had bine in ye cuntrie before) did assure them was a good harbor, which he had been in, and they might fetch it before night of which they were glad, for it begane to be foule weather.

After some houres sailing, it begane to snow & raine, & about ye midle of ye afternoone, ye wind increased, & ye sea became very rough, and they broake their ruder, & it was as much as 2 men could doe to steere her with a cupple of oares. But their pillott bad them be of good cheere, for he saw ye harbor but ye storme increasing, & night drawing on, they bore what saile they could to gett in, while they could see. But herwith they broake their mast in 3 peeces, & their saill fell over bord, in a very grown sea, so as they had like to have been cast away yet by Gods mercie they recovered them selves, & having ye floud with them, struck into ye harbore.

But when it came too, ye pillott was deceived in ye place, and said, ye Lord be mercifull unto them, for his eys never saw yt place before & he & the mr. mate would have rune her ashore, in a cove full of breakers, before ye winde. But a lusty seaman which steered, bad those which rowed, if they were men, about with her, or ells they were all cast away the which they did with speed. So he bid them be of good cheere & row lustly, for ther was a faire sound before them, & he doubted not but they should find one place or other wher they might ride in saftie. And though it was very darke, and rained sore, yet in ye end they gott under ye lee of a smale iland, and remained ther all yt night in saftie. But they knew not this to be an iland till morning, but were devided in their minds some would keepe ye boate for fear they might be amongst ye Indians others were so weake and cold, they could not endure, but got a shore, & with much adoe got fire, (all things being so wett,) and ye rest were glad to come to them for after midnight ye wind shifted to the north-west, & it frose hard.

But though this had been a day & night of much trouble & danger unto them, yet God gave them a morning of comforte & refreshing (as usually he doth to his children), for ye next day was a faire sunshinig day, and they found them sellvs to be on an iland secure from ye Indeans, wher they might drie their stufe, fixe their peeces, & rest them selves, and gave God thanks for his mercies, in their manifould deliverances. And this being the last day of ye weeke, they prepared there to keepe ye Sabath.

On Munday they sounded ye harbor, and founde it fitt for shipping and marched into ye land [Plymouth], & found diverse cornfeilds, & litle runing brooks, a place (as they supposed) fitt for situation at least it was ye best they could find, and ye season, & their presente necessitie, made them glad to accepte of it. So they returned to their shipp againe with this news to ye rest of their people, which did much comforte their harts.

Questions for The Pilgrims’ Exploring Party Lands at Plymouth

  1. To what do the Pilgrims attribute their safety and survival?
  2. What happened to the Pilgrims’ exploring party before they arrived in Plymouth?
  3. How did the Pilgrims react to hearing about Plymouth?

Meeting Squanto, the Native American Who Spoke English

All this while the Indians came skulking about them, and would sometimes show themselves aloof off, but when any approached near them, they would run away and once they stole away their tools where they had been at work and were gone to dinner.

But about the 16th of March, a certain Indian came boldly amongst them and spoke to them in broken English, which they could well understand but marveled at it. At length they understood by discourse with him, that he was not of these parts, but belonged to the eastern parts where some English ships came to fish, with whom he was acquainted and could name sundry of them by their names, amongst whom he had got his language. He became profitable to them in acquainting them with many things concerning the state of the country in the east parts where he lived, which was afterwards profitable unto them as also of the people here, of their names, number and strength, of their situation and distance from this place, and who was chief amongst them. His name was Samoset. He told them also of another Indian whose name was Sguanto, a native of this place, who had been in England and could speak better English than himself.

Being after some time of entertainment and gifts dismissed, a while after he came again, and five more with him, and they brought again all the tools that were stolen away before, and made way for the coming of their great Sachem, called Massasoit. Who, about four or five days after, came with the chief of his friends and other attendance, with the aforesaid Squanto. With whom, after friendly entertainment and some gifts given him, they made a peace with him (which hath now continued this 24 years) in these terms:

1. That neither he nor any of his should injure or do hurt to any of their people.

2. That if any of his did hurt to any of theirs, he should send the offender, that they might punish him.

3. That if anything were taken away from any of theirs, he should cause it to be restored and they should do the like to his.

4. If any did unjustly war against him, they would aid him if any did war against them, he should aid them.

5. He should send to his neighbors confederates to certify them of this, that they might not wrong them, but might be likewise comprised in the conditions of peace.

6. That when their men came to them, they should leave their bows and arrows behind them.

After these things he returned to his place called Sowams, some 40 miles from this place, but Squanto continued with them and was their interpreter and was a special instrument sent of God for their good beyond their expectation. He directed them how to set their corn, where to take fish, and to procure other commodities, and was also their pilot to bring them to unknown places for their profit, and never left them till he died.

He was a native of this place, and scarce any left alive besides himself. He we carried away with divers others by one Hunt, a master of a ship, who thought to sell them for slaves in Spain. But he got away for England and was entertained by a merchant in London, and employed to Newfoundland and other parts, and lastly brought hither into these parts by one Mr. Dermer, a gentleman employed by Sir Ferdinando Gorges and others for discovery and other designs in these parts.

Questions for Meeting Squanto, the Native American Who Spoke English

  1. What did the agreement between Squanto and the Pilgrims state?
  2. Why did the Pilgrims owe Squanto gratitude?

The Winter of 1621

In these hard & difficulte beginings they found some discontents & murmurings arise amongst some, and mutinous speeches & carriags in other but they were soone quelled & overcome by ye wisdome, patience, and just & equall carrage of things by ye Govr and better part, wch clave faithfully togeather in ye maine. But that which was most sadd & lamentable was, that in 2. or 3. moneths time halfe of their company dyed, espetialy in Jan: & February, being ye depth of winter, and wanting houses & other comforts being infected with ye scurvie & other diseases, which this long vioage & their inacomodate condition had brought upon them so as ther dyed some times 2. or 3. of a day, in ye foresaid time that of 100. & odd persons, scarce 50. remained.

And of these in ye time of most distres, ther was but 6. or 7. sound persons, who, to their great comendations be it spoken, spared no pains, night nor day, but with abundance of toyle and hazard of their owne health, fetched them woode, made them fires, drest them meat, made their beads, washed their lothsome cloaths, cloathed & uncloathed them in a word, did all ye homly & necessarie offices for them wch dainty & quesie stomacks cannot endure to hear named and all this willingly & cherfully, without any grudging in ye least, shewing herein their true love unto their friends & bretheren. A rare example & worthy to be remembred. Two of these 7. were Mr. William Brewster, ther reverend Elder, & Myles Standish, ther Captein & military comander, unto whom my selfe, & many others, were much beholden in our low & sicke condition.

Questions for The Winter of 1621

The First Thanksgiving Feast

They begane now to gather in ye small harvest they had, and to fitte up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health & strenght, and had all things in good plenty fFor as some were thus imployed in affairs abroad, others were excersised in fishing, aboute codd, & bass, & other fish, of which yey tooke good store, of which every family had their portion. All ye somer ther was no want. And now begane to come in store of foule, as winter approached, of which this place did abound when they came first (but afterward decreased by degrees). And besids water foule, ther was great store of wild Turkies, of which they tooke many, besids venison, &c. Besids, they had about a peck a meale a weeke to a person, or now since harvest, Indean corn to yt proportion. Which made many afterwards write so largly of their plenty hear to their freinds in England, which were not fained, but true reports.

Questions for The First Thanksgiving Feast

  1. The Pilgrims have been in Plymouth for almost a year. Which line from this excerpt signifies this?
  2. What was the result of the harvest and the Thanksgiving feast?

Overall Question for William Bradford’s Of Plymouth Plantation

Why might Bradford have written this in third person point of view instead of first person narrative?

William Bradford Timeline - History

Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild

Some sites are listed under several topics due to the
vast amount of information contained within the sites.

Mayflower II
A diagram illustrates some of the important areas and equipment aboard ship. Big Doings Down at Mayflower II: What is involved in long-term restoration and what will the Mayflower look like at the end of the current restoration effort?
The First Mayflower - 1620: What was the Original Vessel Like?
Re-creating the Mayflower: The Story of Mayflower II.
The Mayflower Compact: The Pilgrims in American Culture
Mayflower Passengers
The Mayflower's Crew - 1620
Mayflower II Crew: 1957

From England to New England: (The Voyage of the Mayflower)
The first permanent settlers of New England, later known as the Pilgrims, arrived on the English ship the Mayflower at Plymouth, Mass., in 1620. The 180-ton vessel was about 12 years old and had been in the wine trade.

Mayflower Links
Five generations before and seven generations after Gov. William Bradford. Links to info about the Mayflower. They include passenger lists, history about the ship itself, stories written by 5th grade children about what they thought life was like for the children on the Mayflower, wills, the Mayflower Compact, and others.

Mayflower Passenger List
Marital Status The Mayflower: Article and Passenger List
The Mayflower sailed from England on the 16th of September, 1620, with 102 passengers. ----->

Caleb Johnson's Mayflower Web Pages - The most complete Mayflower related site on the WWW.
Passenger Lists
Mayflower, 1620 (includes history and genealogy of each passenger)
Fortune, 1621
Anne, 1623
About the Mayflower
History of the Mayflower
About the Crew
Dimensions and Images
About the Voyage Itself
1624 Inventory of the Mayflower
Mayflower Documents
Mayflower Compact (1620)
Peace Treaty with Massasoit (1621)
Peirce Patent (1621)
Division of Land (1623)
Division of Cattle (1627)
Pilgrim-related Leyden Documents from the Leiden Archives (1609+)
Thanksgiving Proclamation (Abraham Lincoln, 1863)
Mayflower Passenger Wills
All Known Wills of Mayflower Passengers
Estate Inventories of the Pilgrims
Full Texts of Pilgrim Writings
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Biography of Tisquantum (Squanto)
The "First" Thanksgiving
Clothing of the Pilgrims
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Historical Info from the Plimoth Plantation Museum web site:
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Hobomok's Homesite
The Mayflower II
Pilgrim Clothing
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Myths about the Pilgrims
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Common Mayflower Genealogy Hoaxes
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Revolutionary War Soldiers with Mayflower Ancestry
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Thru the Looking Glass - Mayflower and Early Families Document Center: Hundreds of New England And Miscellaneous Early American Documents
Mayflower Families
Governor Bradford's List
First Family Stats
Mayflower Daughters
Mayflower Ship: Diagram, Photos, Passenger List and Other Ship Notes.
Pilgrim Anniversaries: The important first events for the Pilgrims.
Colonial Life
King James Grant
Mayflower Compact
The First Thanksgiving
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A Piece Of The Rock
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Mayflower Genealogy
Brewster, Sampson/Samson and Warren lines.

Crocker's Corner
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Irish Ridge Writings and Genealogy: Mayflower 1620 Greene-Browne Connection
History has over dramatized those first to set foot on Plymouth Rock. Still the journey was not without incident and mortal danger and it seemed important to see if there was a family connection.

Because They Came to America, I am here!!
Richard Warren came on the Mayflower 1620. The Mayflower is first recorded in 1609, at which time it was a.

Jeannie Winter's Mayflower Lines
Governor William Bradford (thru Wm.)
Governor William Bradford (thru Jos.)
Elder William Brewster
John Alden (thru Eliz.)
John Alden (thru Jos.)
William Mullin
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Winslow Family: First Generation.
Timothy Winslow is the son of Joseph Winslow, who was the son of John Winslow who arrived on the ship Fortune in 1621, and Mary Chilton, a Mayflower immigrant, who arrived on the Mayflower in 1620 as a 13 year old girl with her parents.

False and Faked Mayflower Genealogy
A collection of the most commonly known false and faked Mayflower lines.

Plimoth Plantation & Mayflower II
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Duane A. Cline's The Pilgrims and Plymouth Colony: 1620 (This site has a great deal of information.)
A Study Guide for anyone interested in topics relating to the Mayflower journey and Plymouth Colony.
Pilgrim Background
The Bible From Latin to English
The State Church
Pilgrims Not Puritans
First Attempt to Leave England
The Separatists Depart for Holland
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Decision to Leave Holland
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Home-Building Begun
The Spring of 1621
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Their Native American Friends
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Starvation Time
1622 Summer Harvest Fails

People of Plymouth: Its History and People
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John Carver
Myles Standish
The Winslows
Mayflower Compact
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MayFlower Passenger List

The American Sense of Puritan
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The Pilgrims and Plymouth Plantation
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Thanksgiving and the Indians
Massachusetts Bay Colony: The Puritans
Salem Witchcraft
The revealed word, antinomianism, individualism
Caveat--a note on the Jeremiad
Tradition as a Cultural Tool
The Pilgrims in the Capitol: The images in the U.S. Capitol

The Plymouth Colony Archive Project at the University of Virginia
This Plymouth Colony Archive presents a collection of searchable texts, including court records, Colony laws, seminar analysis of various topics, biographical profiles of selected colonists, probate inventories, wills, a "Glossary and Notes on Plymouth Colony", and "Vernacular House Forms in Seventeenth Century Plymouth Colony".

Archives and Analysis of Plymouth Colony, 1620-1691: Seminar and Analysis
Papers, Laws, Court Records and Texts
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Early Settlement of Plymouth Plantation
Servants and Masters and Related Laws and Court Records
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Domestic Violence in the Plymouth Colony
Coroner's Inquests
Profiles in Tedium: The Constables of Duxbury
Vernacular House Forms of the 17th Century Plymouth
Glossary and Notes on Plymouth Colony
Colony Laws, Court Records and Texts
Laws of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England
Pierce Land Patent, 1621
Land Division of 1623
Cattle Division of 1627
Bradford Land Patent, 1629
Patent Surrendered to Freemen, 1640
Laws and Court Records on Servants and Masters
Laws and Court Records on Sexual Misconduct
Mourt's Relation: A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, 1622
Goode Newes from New England, 1624

Probate Inventories
Selected Probates 1628-1672
Selected Probates 1673-1675
Selected Probates 1676-1682
Selected Probates 1683-1687

Analysis of Selected Wills
Last Wills & Testament of:
William Mullins, 1621
Samuel Fuller, 1633
Stephen Hopkins, 1644
Love Brewster, 1650/1651
Edward Winslow, 1654
Edward Doty, 1655
Myles Standish, 1655/56
William Bradford, 1657
Bartholomew Allerton, 1659
Isaac Allerton, 1659
Francis Cooke, 1663
John Howland, 1672
Mary Winslow, 1676
George Soule, 1677
Gyles Hopkins, 1682/1683
Henry Sampson, 1684
Elizabeth Howland, 1686
John Cooke, 1694
Peregrine White, 1704

Room 20's Colonial Web Page: The New England Colonies
Who settled the New England Colonies, and why
Industries in the New England Colonies
About the New England People

Informed ReSource Documents: The Mayflower Compact adopted November 11, 1620
Agreement for the system of governance to be adopted by the Mayflower Pilgrims upon landing in the New World.

Plimoth Plantation(tm) The Living History Museum of the 17th-Century
1627 Pilgrim Village
Hobbamock's Wampanoag Indian Homesite
Mayflower II
Irreconcilable Differences, 1620-1692

The "First Thanksgiving": Facts and Fancies
Primary source references to the "First Thanksgiving"
Alternative claimants to the First American Thanksgiving
A First Thanksgiving Dinner for Today
The 1621 Bill of Fare
Thanksgiving in American history
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The Alleged Gov. Bradford First Thanksgiving Proclamation
Who Attended The 1621 "First Thanksgiving"?

America's First Thanksgiving
The Mayflower Compact
Thanksgiving Proclamations: Timeline
Poems for Kids

Thanksgiving Its True History
Research materials provided by Terye Gonzalez, Apache, on the history of Thanksgiving. Welcome to Familyhonor's Thanksgiving Page!
Many Thanksgiving Links -->

The Pilgrim Society: America's Museum of Pilgrim Possessions
The Pilgrim Story
Who were the Pilgrims?
The Pilgrims in Holland
The Pilgrim Press
Who were the Native People?
The Native People & colonial exploration
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Plymouth Colony grows
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Bibliography on the history of Plymouth Colony & the Pilgrims
Of Plymouth Plantation,the Journal of William Bradford
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In Their Own Write : Native American documents from the collections
of Pilgrim Hall Museum
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Thomas Rogers was a signer of the "Mayflower Compact". --> Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants
Publishing Research Library -->

Orange County Colony of the Mayflower Society
On-line tours of Pilgrim and Early American related museums, landmarks and possessions
Important web sites related to the Pilgrims and Early American life. (under construction)
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Of Plymouth Plantation Summary

William Bradford , the Governor of the Plymouth Plantation in North America, records the history of the colony, promising to write in a plain, honest style that reflects his commitment to the truth.

Bradford begins by discussing the history of the Plymouth colony before 1620. In England, Henry VIII and his daughter, Queen Elizabeth , instituted a series of religious reforms that limited the role of Roman Catholic ceremony in Christian practice. However, some Christian reformers worried that the English crown hadn’t gone far enough, and broke with the English church altogether.

Many of the English reformers migrated to Holland, where they believed they’d enjoy more religious freedom. However, life in Holland was difficult, and the reformers had to compete with other religious sects for their congregants. William Brewster and John Robinson , two of the key leaders of the English reform movement, resolved to bring their congregants to America to find a new home. After ten years in Holland, the English reformers were able to make arrangements with the Virginia Company, which had gathered investors to send an expedition to Plymouth, located in New England.

In 1620, the English reformers in Holland, now calling themselves Pilgrims, sail for England aboard the Mayflower . During this period, John Carver and Robert Cushman serve as the Pilgrims’ business contacts in England, ensuring the Virginia Company’s cooperation. Many of the English reformers in Holland have to stay behind, both because of the size of the ship and because it is feared that they won’t be able to survive the long voyage.

In 1620, the Mayflower docks in Cape Cod, near the Hudson River. Before the settlers go ashore, they agree to recognize John Carver as their first governor, and to abide by the laws of the community. Under the command of Captain Myles Standish , an expedition of Pilgrims goes out to explore the surrounding area, and quickly encounters a group of Native Americans. The Pilgrims steal some food from the Native Americans, promising to return it when they’re able to do so. The Native Americans attack the Pilgrims, and the Pilgrims fire back, killing several people.

In the second, much longer part of his book, Bradford uses a more concise, chronological approach, and includes many excerpts from people’s letters. By 1621, much of the Mayflower expedition has died off due to disease, cold weather, and starvation. However, the Pilgrims benefit from the presence of Squanto , a Native America who has spent time among English traders and speaks good English. Squanto is instrumental in forging alliances between the Pilgrims and the Native Americans in the surrounding area. Around the same time, a plague breaks out among the Native Americans, and thousands die. Governor Carver also becomes ill and dies, and William Bradford is appointed the new governor, with Isaac Allerton as his assistant.

Throughout the 1620s, the Plymouth settlement is embroiled in a dispute concerning its considerable debts to the investors who made the Virginia Company’s Plymouth venture possible. Though the Virginia Company itself goes under, many investors demand that the Pilgrims honor their agreement and pay off their debt over the next few years. Thomas Weston , a former investor in the Company, sells off his shares, but then tries to send his own ship to the New World in the hopes of starting a new colony. Weston begins a new colony in Massachusetts, but quickly falls on hard times. By 1623, he’s wanted by the English crown for illegally selling trading licenses and other goods in America, endangering the health of England’s colonies. Meanwhile, the Pilgrims receive ships sent by Robert Cushman and the remaining investors in England, with the understanding that the Pilgrims will pay off their debts as soon as possible.

In spite of its outstanding debts to investors, the Plymouth plantation begins to thrive. Its population is disciplined and well-organized, and when Bradford makes the decision to allow each family to farm its own land, the overall health of the colony greatly improves. Bradford encounters a challenge when he learns that two new settlers in Plymouth, John Oldham and John Lyford , are secretly writing letters to their friends in England that insult the colonists, and seem to be plotting to reduce the Pilgrims’ religious authority. Bradford arranges for Lyford and Oldham to be expelled from Plymouth. Around the same time, Bradford orders for the first execution in Plymouth.

The Plymouth leadership sends Isaac Allerton to England to negotiate with outstanding investors. At first, Allerton does a good job, negotiating for a more gradual repayment and obtaining a lucrative land patent for the Plymouth colonists. However, he then begins to use his access to England for his own selfish purposes. Allerton starts to bring large quantities of goods back from England, against the Pilgrims’ request, and then selling them for inflated prices. James Sherley , a business contact of the Pilgrims, sends a secret letter to Plymouth, explaining that Allerton is no longer loyal to the colonists’ interests. Meanwhile, the Plymouth colonists begin to develop good relations with the Dutch traders in New Amsterdam. Bradford also strikes up a friendship with John Winthrop , the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

The Pilgrims face another crisis when the White Angel , a ship sent to Plymouth by Sherley and manned by Isaac Allerton, brings no cargo for Plymouth—and Sherley still charges the colonists for the shipment, plunging them further into debt. Bradford suspects that Allerton has hidden the ship’s cargo in order to sell it for his own profit, and argues to Sherley that the colonists shouldn’t be charged for the cargo. Allerton later sells the White Angel to Spain, further endangering the Pilgrims’ financial stability. The Pilgrims write to Sherley that they shouldn’t be punished for Allerton’s wrongdoings, but Sherley continues to insist that the Pilgrims pay off the debt from the White Angel . Around the same time, the Pilgrims enter into a dispute with French settlers, but due to their lack of resources, they’re unable to wage a war against the French.

Toward the end of the book, Bradford describes the growing conflict with the Native Americans. The Pequot and the Narragansett tribes begin to fight, and try to enlist the colonists in their war. In 1637, the Massachusetts Bay Colony and Plymouth Colony begin a war with the Pequot tribe, resulting in the beheading of their chief. Meanwhile, the Pilgrims decide to dismiss Mr. Sherley as their business contact, since he seems to have done nothing to ease the Pilgrims’ debts by paying off the investors. By 1640, the Pilgrims negotiate a final agreement with Mr. Sherley: to pay off 1400 pounds in outstanding debts.

The Plymouth leadership forms a Council of the United Colonies, enlisting the settlers in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and other areas in New England. Meeting in Boston, representatives from all colonies agree to support one another in times of war and support peaceful trade between one another. The Council’s first test arrives in 1645 when the Narragansett tribe begins to feud with the colonies and with the Monhig Native Americans. The Council sends hundreds of soldiers in preparation for war—intimidating the Narragansett into surrendering.

In the final chapter of the book, Bradford lists the original settlers of the Plymouth Plantation and thanks God for blessing the colony with health and strength.

William Bradford

William Bradford (September 14, 1755 – August 23, 1795) was a lawyer and judge from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the second United States Attorney General in 1794-1795.

He was the son of the printer William Bradford and was born in Philadelphia. He began his education at the Academy of Philadelphia, then attended Princeton University where he formed a lifelong friendship with Virginian James Madison, before graduating in 1772. When he returned to Philadelphia he read law with Edward Shippen. His progress was delayed by the American Revolutionary War.

In 1776, when the Pennsylvania militia was called out, William volunteered as a private. Later that year, the militia was organized into a “flying camp” with Daniel Roberdeau as the first brigadier general in the states forces. General Roberdeau chose the young man as an aide, and later promoted him to brigade major on his headquarters staff.

When his militia term expired, he joined the Continental Army as a captain and company commander in the 11th Pennsylvania Regiment commanded by Richard Hampton. By the end of the year, he saw action in the Battle of Trenton. While at Morristown, New Jersey, he was named a deputy to the muster master-general on April 10, 1777, and he was promoted to lieutenant colonel. During the encampment at Valley Forge in late-1777 and early-1778, his headquarters was at the David Harvard House. He resigned after two years due to ill health and returned home in early 1779.

Bradford joined the bar before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in September 1779. He was named as the state’s Attorney General in 1780, and served until 1791. In 1784, he married Susan Vergereau Boudinot, the only daughter of Elias Boudinot. On August 2, 1791 Bradford represented General William West and argued the first recorded case before the U.S. Supreme Court, West v. Barnes losing the decision. On August 22, 1791, Bradford was appointed to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, and served for three years.

In 1793, Governor Thomas Mifflin asked his help to reduce the use of the death penalty. His report to the legislature was in the form of an essay, “An Inquiry how far the Punishment of Death is Necessary in Pennsylvania”. In the next reorganization of Pennsylvania’s penal code, the use of capital punishment was substantially reduced. Other states followed the Pennsylvania example.

On January 8, 1794, George Washington named him Attorney General for the United States to replace Edmund Randolph. He died while in office in 1795, and is buried with his wife’s family in Saint Mary’s Episcopal Churchyard in Burlington, New Jersey.

  • The Exxon-Valdez oil spill is the second largest oil-spill in U.S. history, the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico being the largest.
  • Since the area that experienced the most damage is not easily accessible, the clean up time was much longer. Which, consequently, created longer lasting damage to the area.
  • The oil spilled out over 1300 miles of coastline and 11,000 square miles of ocean.
  • The animals that call Prince William Sound home were all affected by this spill.

The story of the building of the trans-Alaska pipeline

Note: This Embedded video resides on the official Alaska National Parks YouTube channel


>>Oil, hot crude, flows from the richest wells on the frozen arctic shore.

>>So much effort at such great cost to be ready to carry a 12 million barrel daily capacity

>>It took $8 billion, 20,000 workers, 12-hour days, and 7-day weeks, to finish it in three years, inside the deadline.

>>First, they built the road, 360 miles long, supplying 30 construction camps, using extra gravel to insulate the permafrost.

>>Then they needed supports to raise up the pipeline to prevent it from heating up the ground.

>>Half of the pipeline rests on 78,000 supports, 60 feet apart.

>>It’s a new design for constructing to be part of the land so caribou can march under it,

and earthquakes can rock and sway it.

>>Then the pipe 70,000 sections joined and laid, then buries or raised, crossing 3 mountain ranges, 800 riverbeds, tundra, forests, and lakes, all the way from the arctic to the pacific.

>>And now, from the richest oil field in America, 35,000 gallons of oil can flow every minute through a 48-inch pipe stretched 800 miles, the length of Alaska, to the ice-free port of Valdez.

>>In April, 1974, it began with the haul road, and on August 1, 1977, this film documented the first tanker leaving for the south, full of oil.

Watch the video: William Bradford, Governor of Plymouth Colony (January 2022).