Saturday, 5 August 2017

William Bradford (1590-1657)

The first real Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1623 after a providential rain shower saved the plantation’s crops. Apart from the end of the drought, the 1623 Thanksgiving also celebrated the news that a ship carrying new colonists was safe. 

Sometimes there is confusion with a 1621 harvest celebration on the fourth Thursday in November that lasted days and Indian guests, who brought deer for dinner, were also invited. 

This and other interesting issues can be learnt reading William Bradford thanks to his letters, journals and the play “Of Plymouth Plantation” that covers a trip from England to Holland, from whence they traveled to America and their lives therein from 1620 to 1646. However, these books were not published until the year 1857.


William Bradford
William Bradford

William Bradford was born in Yorkshire, England. At a very age he abandoned his family to join a community of believers who had separated from the Church of England, strict Calvinists. 

They wanted the separation of Church and state; this was seen as treason to the king. As a consequence, they left England and moved to Holland and then, they moved to New England, America. They wanted to establish the city of God on earth; looking for a promised land they were called the Pilgrim Fathers and also Puritans. 

They parted alongside other people on merchant vessel called Mayflower from Southampton. After arriving at the new world, William Bradford was elected governor of Plymouth Colony, being re-elected thirty times. Thanks to his pieces of writing, we have a real account of historical events as well as the very bleak impression they had when they saw America for the first time.

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