Of Plymouth Plantation

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Vision Forum Incorporated, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 353 pages
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Of Plymouth Plantation is the firsthand account of the Pilgrims as told by William Bradford, Plymouth Colony's longstanding governor. In this magnificent work, Bradford relates the journey of the Separatists from Screwby, England to the shores of the New World and chronicles their first fifty years in America. Of Plymouth Plantation is the true story of 50 average people who changed the world because they shared a far-reaching vision for their families. Though the Pilgrims left England because of religious persecution, they actually left Holland to protect their children from ungodly influences. These parents risked everything to protect their young. William Bradford boldly proclaimed that these families were willing to sacrifice their lives, if necessary, even though they would be but stepping stones for future generations of Christians they would never meet. One cannot truly appreciate the significance of Thanksgiving without understanding the history found within the pages of this monumental work. The heroic story of Bradford and the Pilgrims is one that every family should read and treasure.

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This is a great book! We are using it for highschool history/government curriculum in our homeschool. The kids say it is dry, but not boring. Some of the letters that William Bradford repeats and copies are very dry and seem useless, but in the end they show the progression of the Pilgrims; in their religious, political and physical search for stability and making a life for themselves in a new world.
When combined with various studies of the Mayflower Compact (the text of the compact is in the book) and other books such as A Patriot's History (Larry Schweikart) and Documents of American Democracy: A Collection of Essential Works (Rodger Kemp), it makes a wonderfully well-rounded study and a great start to studying the reasons behind the Constitution and our republic form of government!

About the author (2003)

William Bradford was born in a comfortable Yorkshire yeoman's home, but the family that might have provided him with a nurturing beginning was disrupted by the early death of Bradford's parents. Raised by his uncles to be a farmer, Bradford was a sickly youth given to private reading. In early adolescence, Bradford first heard the preaching of Richard Clyfton, a nonconformist minister who converted Bradford to the Separatist movement. A lifelong commitment to that church followed; Bradford first joined the Scrooby congregation, later migrated to Holland in 1608, and sailed with the Pilgrims in 1620. Shortly after his arrival in what is present-day Massachusetts, Bradford was elected governor of the Plymouth settlement. Bradford's principal literary contributions lie in the area of history. His account of the Puritans' early settlement provides both an invaluable document of early American life and a powerful example of how Puritan theology found expression in the literal events of history. Both Puritan theologian Cotton Mather and contemporary critics hailed Bradford's History of Plymouth Plantation (1856) as a masterpiece. Bradford's work frames the development of the Americas in biblical terms that illustrate the purposes of an omnipotent God. Bradford also employed verse in his exploration of Providence. His Collected Verse consists of largely didactic meditations. Widely read, Bradford's work influenced several generations of Puritan intellectuals. Bradford died in 1657.

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