Of Plymouth Plantation
The book that I chose to write about is Of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford. I chose to write about this book because I believe that what William Bradford did for the Pilgrims was very remarkable. Bradford was the governor of Plymouth for over thirty years after the previous governor, John Carver, had died. He was a very powerful leader in the Plymouth Plantation and all the Pilgrims looked at him not only as a leader, but also as a part of their family. Bradford was by the Pilgrims side in everything that they did and was always an influential, supportive leader. He treated the Pilgrims with reverence as if they were his children. This book is Bradford’s journal describing the Pilgrims voyages and their story since the year 1608. Bradford wrote this journal between the years of 1630, ten years after the Pilgrims arrival in 1620, continuing the writing of it from time to time up to the year 1650. I enjoyed this book because it educated me about the Pilgrims. I knew that they started Thanksgiving, but I never knew what they had to go through to make such an significant mark in history for our generation. Of Plymouth Plantation was a great read and I would suggest that anyone who wants to learn more about the story of the Pilgrims should read it.
The book starts off with an introduction by Harold Paget. In this introduction, Paget simply gives readers an idea of what to expect when reading the book. In this introduction, he mentions everything in the book, from the year the first Governor John Carver died just a few months after the Pilgrims arrival in the Americas, to the year Bradford died in 1657. This book documents the Pilgrims' adventures. Of Plymouth Plantation talks about the Pilgrims first stop in Holland, their journey on the Mayflower, and the harsh, brutal first winter in the New World. This book also documents the help given to the Pilgrims by the welcoming Native Americans that saved their lives. The Native Americans helped defend the new colonists. They showed them how to grow their own crops, trade maps and fur, how to use plants for medicine, and basically how to survive the roughest winter that the Pilgrims ever experienced. If it was not for the Native Americans, the Pilgrims wouldn’t have been so knowledgeable. Of Plymouth Plantation consists of thirty six chapters, separated into two books. Bradford begins the book by stating the purpose of the emigration of the Separatists. The Separatists had left England to pursue and try to find religious freedom. They did this because they didn’t want to follow the rules of the Church of England led by King Henry VIII. The Separatists wanted to break away from the church and start their own church. They felt as if they could practice their religion more freely in the Americas. “As is well known, ever since the breaking out of the light of the gospel in England, Satan has maintained various wars against the Saints- sometimes by bloody death and cruel torment, at other times by imprisonment and banishment.” Bradford, W (1920). Of Plymouth Plantation. New York: E.P. Dutton and Company. What Bradford means by this is that ever since the Separatists and Puritans split from the Church of England, they were rejected and persecuted for their beliefs and faith. These persecutions include: as stated before, arrest, torture, death, and imprisonment. To flee from this rejection, the Puritans attempted to escape to Holland. Despite their beliefs, they couldn’t flee to Holland as easily as they thought. It was already hard to leave their family and friends and go to a country unknown to them where they must learn a new language, but the ports were shut against them, meaning that they had to seek secret means of conveyance. It was very complicated for the Separatists and Puritans to come into Holland. Bradford also talks about the Pilgrims trip on the Mayflower as they voyaged to the New World. On September 6th, 1620, the...
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