Edward Winslow

Last updated
Edward Winslow
Edward Winslow.jpg
3rd Governor of Plymouth Colony
In office
1633–1634
Preceded by William Bradford
Succeeded by Thomas Prence
6th Governor of Plymouth Colony
In office
March 1, 1636 March 7, 1637
Preceded byWilliam Bradford
Succeeded byWilliam Bradford
10th Governor of Plymouth Colony
In office
June 3, 1639 June 5, 1644
Preceded byWilliam Bradford
Succeeded byWilliam Bradford
Personal details
Born(1595-10-18)18 October 1595 [1]
Droitwich, Worcestershire, England
Died8 May 1655(1655-05-08) (aged 59) [1]
Near Jamaica
ProfessionPolitician and governor
Signature EdwardWinslowSignature.png

Edward Winslow (18 October 1595 8 May 1655) was a Separatist who traveled on the Mayflower in 1620. He was one of several senior leaders on the ship and also later at Plymouth Colony. Both Edward Winslow and his brother, Gilbert Winslow signed the Mayflower Compact. In Plymouth he served in a number of governmental positions such as assistant governor, three times was governor and also was the colony's agent in London. [2] In early 1621 he had been one of several key leaders on whom Governor Bradford depended after the death of John Carver. He was the author of several important pamphlets, including Good Newes from New England and co-wrote with William Bradford the historic Mourt's Relation , which ends with an account of the First Thanksgiving and the abundance of the New World. In 1655 he died of fever while on an English naval expedition in the Caribbean against the Spanish.

Contents

He is the only original Plymouth colonist with an extant portrait painted from life. This, along with portraits of Winslow's son and daughter-in-law, and various Winslow family artifacts, are in the Pilgrim Hall Museum, in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

English origins

Coat of Arms of Edward Winslow Coat of Arms of Edward Winslow.svg
Coat of Arms of Edward Winslow

Edward Winslow was born in 1595 and would have been baptized a few days later. He was the eldest son of Edward Winslow Sr. of Droitwich, in Worcestershire, England, by his wife Magdalene Oliver whom he had married the previous year at St. Bride's Church, Fleet Street, London. Edward Winslow, the father, according to family records, was born October 17th., 1560 and was a descendant of the Winslow family of Kempsey, Worcestershire, a line that had existed in the county at least since 1500. The Winslow estate in Kempsey was called Kersweil with a similar name of Careswell later being given to the gentrified Plymouth estate of Governor Josiah Winslow, son of Edward Winslow and Susanna.

Author Charles Banks notes that it is highly probable that this Edward, Sr. was the son of Kenelm Winslow of Kempsey. Author Eugene Stratton believes that no one has been able to discern Kenelm Winslow's ancestry with any certainty. Kenelm Winslow, probably a brother of Edward Sr., born in 1551, was called a resident of Worcester, yeoman, in 1605. It is not certain if the family was gentry, but were at least fairly well-off. Edward Sr. was an under-sheriff and involved in the salt production trade. [3]

Edward Winslow had four younger brothers: Gilbert (who accompanied him on the Mayflower in 1620), John, Josiah and Kenelm, all of whom followed Edward and Gilbert to America over the next decade.

Between April 1606 and April 1611, Edward Winslow attended the King's School at Worcester Cathedral, under Henry Bright. Two years later, in August 1613, he became an apprentice contracted for a total of eight years to John Beale, stationer and citizen of London. After an apparent legal dispute with Beale, however, Winslow's contract was re-made with his being apprenticed in October 1615, for eight years. But Winslow apparently did not fulfil his contract with Beale as about two years later, in 1617, he moved to Leiden, Holland to join the Separatist church there. [4] [5] [ self-published source ]

In Leiden, 1617–1620

In 1617 Edward Winslow traveled to Leiden Holland to join the English exile Separatist church and help Elder William Brewster with his underground (illicit) printing activities. Brewster and young Edward Winslow in 1618 were responsible for a religious tract, Perth Assembly , critical of the English king and his church bishops which caused an angry King James to order Brewster's arrest, sending English government agents to Holland to try to find and seize him. The Pilgrims had bad fortune in this, as Elder Brewster was forced to hide, first in Holland, then in England, from the agents just when the Pilgrims needed his leadership in preparation for their departure for America.

On April 27, 1618 Winslow married in Leiden Elizabeth Barker, he being called a printer from London. Johnson reports that a search of possible English ancestral and baptismal records for Elizabeth does not reveal anything of note.

Winslow quite soon became a leading member of the English exiles meeting as the Leiden church group. On June 10, 1620, Winslow was one of four men – the others being William Bradford, Isaac Allerton and Samuel Fuller, who wrote a letter representing the Leiden congregation to their London agents John Carver and Robert Cushman regarding the terms upon which the Pilgrims would travel to the America. The trip preparations became quite taxing on everyone's patience and pocket-book due to the various Thomas Weston financial schemes that used up what monies they had and as author Nathaniel Philbrick wrote: "..during preparations to sail for America, the Pilgrims demonstrated an extraordinary talent for getting duped." [6] [7]

Mayflower voyage

Winslow and his wife Elizabeth were part of the Leiden Separatist group who had decided to travel far away from England and the repressive regime of King James I to more freely practice their religious beliefs. Merchant Adventurer investment group agent Thomas Weston assisted in this venture by providing the ship Mayflower for the Pilgrim's journey. Traveling on the Mayflower in company with the Winslows were his brother Gilbert and family servant/employee George Soule and a youth, Elias Story. Also in the care of the family was Elinor (Ellen) More, a girl of eight years. In all there were four unaccompanied More children from Shipton, Shropshire in the care of senior Pilgrims on the Mayflower: Elinor, Jasper, Mary and Richard. [8] [9] [10] Elinor perished the winter of 1620 with only one brother Richard More surviving.

Signing the Mayflower Compact 1620, a painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris 1899. Winslow is the person standing in the center of the painting, with his right hand on the document and the ink horn in his left hand. The Mayflower Compact 1620 cph.3g07155.jpg
Signing the Mayflower Compact 1620, a painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris 1899. Winslow is the person standing in the center of the painting, with his right hand on the document and the ink horn in his left hand.
Statue of Edward Winslow in St. Andrew's Square, Droitwich Spa, England. Edward Winslow - statue in St Andrew's Square, Droitwich Spa (36435122551).jpg
Statue of Edward Winslow in St. Andrew's Square, Droitwich Spa, England.

The Mayflower departed Plymouth, England on September 6/16, 1620. The small, 100-foot ship had 102 passengers and the crew is estimated to be approximately 30 but the exact number is unknown. [11] They lived in extremely cramped conditions. By the second month out, the ship was being buffeted by strong westerly gales, causing the ship's timbers to be badly shaken with caulking failing to keep out sea water, and with passengers, even in their berths, lying wet and ill. This, combined with a lack of proper rations and unsanitary conditions for several months, attributed to what would be fatal for many, especially the majority of women and children. On the way there were two deaths, a crew member and a passenger, but the worst was yet to come after arriving at their destination when, in the space of several months, almost half the passengers perished in cold, harsh, unfamiliar New England winter. [12]

On November 9/19, 1620, after about 3 months at sea, including a month of delays in England, they spotted land, which was the Cape Cod Hook. After several days of trying to get south to their planned destination of the Colony of Virginia, strong winter seas forced them to return to the shelter of Cape Cod hook, now called Provincetown Harbor, where they anchored on November 11/21. The Mayflower Compact was signed that day. [12] [13]

In Plymouth Colony

Governors of Plymouth Colony [14]
DatesGovernor
1620 John Carver
1621–1632 William Bradford
1633Edward Winslow
1634 Thomas Prence
1635William Bradford
1636Edward Winslow
1637William Bradford
1638Thomas Prence
1639–1643William Bradford
1644Edward Winslow
1645–1656William Bradford
1657–1672Thomas Prence
1673–1679 Josiah Winslow
1680–1692 Thomas Hinckley

The ill-prepared and poorly supplied colonists lost over half of their population through a multitude of problems – including hunger, scurvy, other diseases and their first bitter winter on the North American mainland. In the spring of 1621, Winslow and the others attended what would become known as the first Thanksgiving. [15]

The people who survived all worked hard to provide food and shelter. Amidst criticism from Thomas Weston for not loading up the returning Mayflower with goods for the investors, William Bradford sent a letter stating the troubles encountered by the Mayflower passengers. He blamed Weston, and stated that Governor Carver had worked himself to death that spring and the loss of him and other industrious men lives cannot be valued at any price. [16]

The Isaac Winslow House was built by Edward Winslow's grandson. This was the third house built on land granted to Edward Winslow (1595-1655) in the 1630s who erected the first homestead there. Isaac Winslow House, Marshfield MA.jpg
The Isaac Winslow House was built by Edward Winslow's grandson. This was the third house built on land granted to Edward Winslow (1595–1655) in the 1630s who erected the first homestead there.

The following year the ship Fortune arrived at Plymouth colony but again, Thomas Weston had inadequately supplied the ship for the colony. With winter approaching, the colonists only had half the needed supplies, but as William Bradford recorded, 'they all faced it bravely'.

The following year, despite the adversities of the winter, the colonists were able to load the Fortune for England with enough furs and other supplies to pay for over half of their indebtedness to the Merchant Adventurers, but the ship was attacked by the French as it came near the English coast and all the cargo was taken by the privateers. [17] [18]

On February 21, 1621, William White died leaving a widow, Susanna, and two sons, Resolved and Peregrine, the first child born in the colony. Edward Winslow lost his wife Elizabeth on March 24, 1621 and just a month and half later, on May 12, 1621, Edward Winslow and Susanna White became the first couple to marry in Plymouth Colony. They were married in a civil ceremony by Governor William Bradford. The couple had three sons, one daughter and one unknown child who died young. [19]

Leadership at Plymouth Colony and with Cromwell in England

Winslow's first house in Plymouth was located on the site of what is now the 1749 Court House Museum on Town Square in downtown Plymouth. Old County Courthouse in Plymouth MA.jpg
Winslow's first house in Plymouth was located on the site of what is now the 1749 Court House Museum on Town Square in downtown Plymouth.

Winslow had established a friendship with native leader Massasoit, whose people were trading with the colonists. In January 1629 a new patent for land at Kennebec was approved which provided for a fishing and trading post at Pentagoet and a fortified trading post at Cushnoc on the Kennebec which opened the area to Plymouth colonists. At the same time, Isaac Allerton opened his own trading post on the Kenebec and thereby became a rival of Edward Winslow, setting a pattern for adversarial rivalry between them that would continue from that time on. [21] [22]

In 1632, he made an exploratory tour up the Connecticut River for colonization. It is suggested that he landed and selected the settlement which became Windsor. [23]

Edward Winslow was an experienced diplomat acting for Plymouth in its relationship with English officials. He later was Plymouth governor for one-year terms from 1633–34, 1636–37 and 1644–45. Additionally, in 1643 Winslow was one of the commissioners of the United Colonies of New England, which was a military group uniting the various New England colonies against the natives. [22]

By the early 1640s England was engaged in a great civil war. Some settlers returned to England to join the efforts to overthrow the reigning King, Charles I. In 1646, Winslow began working for Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector. After King Charles was executed in 1649, Edward Winslow had plans to return to Plymouth but soon became involved in the problems of England. He would never return to Plymouth. [24]

Winslow lived for a short time in Clapham, Surrey together with a number of radical puritan merchants, including James Sherley one of the financiers of the Mayflower. These merchants supported his campaign to send missionaries to the Indians in North America. [25]

In 1654, Winslow was commissioner of an English naval mission against the Spanish in the West Indies. They were victorious but Winslow contracted yellow fever and died on May 7, 1655 near Jamaica.

Marriage and children

Edward Winslow married:

  1. Elizabeth Barker after May 12, 1618 in Leiden Holland. She died on March 24, 1621 in Plymouth Colony. One child born to her: Margaret Winslow (Aft. c. 1618–1655). Elizabeth was buried in 1621 in the Cole's Hill Burial Ground in Plymouth. She is memorialized on the Pilgrim Memorial Tomb, Coles Hill, as "Elizabeth, first wife of Edward Winslow." [26] [27] [28]
  2. Susanna White (Jackson) daughter of Richard and Mary (Pettinger) Jackson on May 12, 1621 in Plymouth Colony. She died between December 18, 1654 (Edward Winslow's will) and July 2, 1675 (date of son Josiah's will). [29]

Children of Edward Winslow and his wife Susanna White Jackson:

Children of Susanna White's first marriage with William White who became Edward Winslow's step-sons:

Death and memorial of Winslow

Winslow is reported to have been buried at sea in the Caribbean somewhere between Hispaniola and Jamaica, sometime after May 7, 1655. [33] Winslow Cemetery in Marshfield, Massachusetts has a stone monument to "The Settlers of Green Harbor Marshfield" with the name of Edward Winslow and his wife Susanna and many others. This includes the names of Susanna's sons Resolved and Peregrine White and their wives. Also in Winslow Cemetery is a memorial stone with plaque stating "Edward Winslow, Founder of Marshfield".

Works

His writings, though fragmentary, are of the greatest value to the history of the Plymouth colony. They include:

Edward Winslow, along with William Bradford are believed to have prepared a Journal of the Beginning and Proceeding of the English Plantation settled at Plymouth in New England, published in 1622, which is generally known as Mourt's Relation , owing to its preface having been signed by "G. Mourt."

Some of his writings may be found reprinted in Alexander Young's Chronicles of the Pilgrims. [34]

Cultural references

See also

Related Research Articles

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Plymouth Colony English colonial venture in America (1620–1691)

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William Bradford (governor) 17th-century English Separatist leader

William Bradford was an English Puritan separatist originally from the West Riding of Yorkshire in Northern England. He moved to Leiden in Holland in order to escape persecution from King James I of England, and then emigrated to the Plymouth Colony on the Mayflower in 1620. He was a signatory to the Mayflower Compact and went on to serve as Governor of the Plymouth Colony intermittently for about 30 years between 1621 and 1657. His journal Of Plymouth Plantation covered the years from 1620 to 1646 in Plymouth.

John Carver (Plymouth Colony governor) Mayflower passenger and New World colonist

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Josiah Winslow

Josiah Winslow was born in Plymouth Colony about 1628 and died in 1680 in Marshfield, Plymouth Colony. In records of the time, historians also name him Josias Winslow, and modern writers have carried that name forward. He was born one year after the Charter which founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony, bringing over 20,000 English immigrants to New England in the 1630s. Josiah was the Harvard College-educated son of Mayflower passenger and Pilgrim leader Edward Winslow and was Governor from 1673 to 1680. The most significant event during his term in office was King Philip's War, which created great havoc for both the English and Indian populations and changed New England forever. Josiah was the first native-born governor of an American Colony.

Peregrine White

Peregrine White was the first baby boy born on the Pilgrim ship the Mayflower in the harbour of Massachusetts, the second baby born on the Mayflower's historic voyage, and the first known English child born to the Pilgrims in America. His parents, William White and his pregnant wife Susanna, with their son Resolved White and two servants, came on the Mayflower in 1620. Peregrine White was born while the Mayflower lay at anchor in the harbor at Cape Cod. In later life he became a person of note in Plymouth Colony, active in both military and government affairs.

John Howland accompanied the English Separatists and other passengers when they left England on the Mayflower to settle in Plymouth. He was an indentured servant and in later years an executive assistant and personal secretary to Governor John Carver.

James Chilton

James Chilton was a Leiden Separatist passenger on the historic 1620 voyage of the ship Mayflower and was the oldest person on board. Upon arrival in the New World, he was a signer of the Mayflower Compact. James Chilton was one of the earliest to die that winter, perishing within the following month.

Isaac Allerton

Isaac Allerton Sr., and his family, were passengers in 1620 on the historic voyage of the ship Mayflower. Allerton was a signatory to the Mayflower Compact. In Plymouth Colony he was active in colony governmental affairs and business and later in trans-Atlantic trading. Problems with the latter regarding colony expenditures caused him to be censured by the colony government and ousted from the colony. He later became a well-to-do businessman elsewhere and in his later years resided in Connecticut.

<i>Mourts Relation</i>

The booklet Mourt's Relation was written primarily by Edward Winslow, although William Bradford appears to have written most of the first section. It was written between November 1620 and November 1621 and describes in detail what happened from the landing of the Mayflower Pilgrims on Cape Cod in Provincetown Harbor through their exploring and eventual settling of Plymouth Colony. The book describes their relations with the surrounding Native Americans, up to what is commonly called the first Thanksgiving and the arrival of the ship Fortune in November 1621. Mourt's Relation was first published and sold by John Bellamy in London in 1622. This significant tract has often been erroneously cited as "by George Morton, sometimes called George Mourt".

Samuel Fuller (Pilgrim) Mayflower colonist (1580-1633)

Samuel Fuller was a passenger on the historic 1620 voyage of the Pilgrim ship Mayflower and became a respected church deacon and the physician for Plymouth Colony.

Richard More (<i>Mayflower</i> passenger)

Richard More was born in Corvedale, Shropshire, England, and was baptised at St. James parish church in Shipton, Shropshire, on 13 November 1614. Richard and his three siblings were at the centre of a mystery in early-17th-century England that caused early genealogists to wonder why the More children's father, believed to be Samuel More, would send his very young children away to the New World on the Mayflower in the care of others. It was in 1959 that the mystery was explained. Jasper More, a descendant of Samuel More, prompted by his genealogist friend, Sir Anthony Wagner, searched and found in his attic a 1622 document that detailed the legal disputes between Katherine More and Samuel More and what actually happened to the More children. It is clear from these events that Samuel did not believe the children to be his offspring. To rid himself of the children, he arranged for them to be sent to the Colony of Virginia. Due to bad weather, the Mayflower finally anchored in Cape Cod Harbor in November 1620, where one of the More children died soon after; another died in early December and yet another died later in the first winter. Only Richard survived, and even thrived, in the perilous environment of early colonial America, going on to lead a very full life.

William White (<i>Mayflower</i> passenger)

William White was a passenger on the Mayflower. Accompanied by his wife Susanna, son Resolved and two servants, he travelled in 1620 on the historic voyage. He was a signatory to the Mayflower Compact and perished early in the history of Plymouth Colony.

Resolved White

Resolved White was a passenger on the Pilgrim ship Mayflower. In 1620, he accompanied his parents, Pilgrims William and Susanna White, on the journey. He married Judith Vassall, daughter of William Vassall, a founder of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Later in life White became a notable person of Plymouth Colony.

William Bassett was an English artisan, a migrant to North America.

Mayflower Compact signatories

The Mayflower Compact was an iconic document in the history of America, written and signed aboard the Mayflower on November 11, 1620 while anchored in Provincetown Harbor in Massachusetts. The Compact was originally drafted as an instrument to maintain unity and discipline in Plymouth Colony, but it has become one of the most historic documents in American history. It was published in London in Mourt's Relation in 1622, and the authors had added a preamble to clarify its meaning: "it was thought good there should be an association and agreement, that we should combine together in one body, and to submit to such government and governors as we should by common consent agree to make and choose."

Susanna White was a passenger on the Mayflower and successively wife of fellow Mayflower passengers William White and Edward Winslow.

References

  1. 1 2 Edward Winslow in Encyclopædia Britannica
  2. William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation by 'William Bradford, the second Governor of Plymouth, (Boston: 1856), p. 306
  3. Eugene Aubrey Stratton. Plymouth Colony: Its History and People, 1620–1691, (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing, 1986), p. 373
  4. Charles Edward Banks, The English Ancestry and Homes of the Pilgrim Fathers: who came to Plymouth on the Mayflower in 1620, the Fortune in 1621, and the Anne and the Little James in 1623 (Baltimore, Maryland.: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2006) p. 98
  5. Caleb H. Johnson, The Mayflower and Her Passengers. (Indiana: Xlibris Corp., copyright 2006 Caleb Johnson), p. 251
  6. Caleb H. Johnson, The Mayflower and Her Passengers (Indiana: Xlibris Corp., copyright 2006 Caleb Johnson), pp. 251–252
  7. Nathaniel Philbrick, Mayflower: A story of Courage, Community and War (New York: Viking, 2006), p. 18
  8. David Lindsay, PhD., Mayflower Bastard: A Stranger amongst the Pilgrims, (New York: St. Martins Press, 2002), p. 29.
  9. Donald F. Harris, PhD., Mayflower Descendant, (July 1993), vol. 43 no. 2 pp. 1–5
  10. Donald F. Harris, PhD., Mayflower Descendant, (July 1993), vol. 43 no. 2, pp. 1–7
  11. Caleb H. Johnson, The Mayflower and Her Passengers (Indiana: Xlibris Corp., 2006), p. 33
  12. 1 2 Eugene Aubrey Stratton. Plymouth Colony: Its History and People, 1620–1691, (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing, 1986), p. 413
  13. George Ernest Bowman, The Mayflower Compact and its signers, (Boston: Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1920), Photocopies of the 1622, 1646 and 1669 versions of the document, pp. 7–19.
  14. "Governors of Plymouth Colony". Pilgrim Hall Museum. 1998. Archived from the original on 2007-02-15. Retrieved 2007-04-02.
  15. Edward Winslow, "Primary Sources for The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth Pilgrim Hall Museum Archived 2012-12-24 at the Wayback Machine " (link [ permanent dead link ])
  16. William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford, the second Governor of Plymouth, (Boston: 1856), p. 109
  17. Nathaniel Philbrick, Mayflower: A story of Courage, Community and War, (New York: Viking, 2006), p. 126, 135
  18. David Lindsay, PhD., Mayflower Bastard: A Stranger amongst the Pilgrims, (New York: St. Martins Press, 2002), Introduction, also p. 50
  19. Nathaniel Philbrick, Mayflower: A story of Courage, Community and War, (New York: Viking, 2006), p. 104
  20. Craig S. Chartier, "Of Plymouth Plantation: Predicting the Location of the Original Plymouth Village, Its Extent, and Its Houses," PARP May 2016, www.plymoutharch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/leyden-st-houses.pdf
  21. Nathaniel Philbrick, Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War, (New York: Viking, 2006), pp. 183-184
  22. 1 2 David Lindsay, PhD., Mayflower Bastard: A Stranger amongst the Pilgrims, (New York: St. Martins Press, 2002), pp. 72, 79, 137
  23. Albert Van Dusen, Connecticut (Random House 1961), p.19
  24. Mayflower Families Through Five Generations: Descendants of the Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Massachusetts, Dec., 1620: Family of William White, Originally compiled by Ruth Wilder Sherman, CG, FASG and Robert Moody Sherman, CG, FASG, Re-edited by Robert S. Wakefield, FASG (Pub. by General Society of Mayflower Descendants 2006 3rd Edition), vol. 13, p. 2
  25. 1 2 claphamhistorian.com
  26. Edward Winslow at Find a Grave
  27. Monument: Early Settlers of Green Harbor – Winslow/White at Find a Grave
  28. Memorial for Elizabeth Barker Winslow
  29. William Bradford, ed. by Charles Deane, History of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford, the second Governor of Plymouth, (Boston: 1856), p. 101
  30. Mayflower Families Through Five Generations: Descendants of the Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Massachusetts, Dec., 1620: Family of William White, Originally compiled by Ruth Wilder Sherman, CG, FASG and Robert Moody Sherman, CG, FASG, Re-edited by Robert S. Wakefield, FASG, (Pub. by General Society of Mayflower Descendants 2006 3rd Edition), vol. 13, p. 5
  31. Robert Charles Anderson. Pilgrim Village Family Sketch: Edward Winslow (a collaboration of American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society) (link)
  32. Mayflower Families Through Five Generations: descendants of the Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Massachusetts, Dec. 1620: Family of William White, Originally compiled by Ruth Wilder Sherman, CG, FASG and Robert Moody Sherman, CG, FASG, Re-edited by Robert S. Wakefield, FASG, (Pub. by General Society of Mayflower Descendants 2006 3rd Edition), vol. 13, p. 5
  33. David Lindsay, PhD., Mayflower Bastard: A Stranger amongst the Pilgrims, (New York: St. Martins Press, 2002), p. 137
  34. Alexander Young, Chronicles of the Pilgrim Fathers of the Colony of Plymouth, from 1602–1625, (Boston: C. Little & J. Brown 1841)

Further reading

Exhibitions