William Bradford

 

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BRADFORD, WILLIAM, colonial governor; born in Austerfield, Yorkshire, England, in March, 1588; was a passenger in the Mayflower. At the early age of seventeen years he made an attempt to leave England with dissenters, for Holland, and suffered imprisonment. He finally joined his dissenting brethren at Amsterdam, learned the art of silk-dyeing, and, coming into the possession of a considerable estate at the age of twenty-one years, he engaged successfully in commerce. One of Mr. Robinson's congregation at Leyden, he accompanied the " Pilgrims " to America,, and was one of the foremost in selecting a site for the colony. Before the " Pilgrims " landed, his wife fell into the sea from the Mayflower, and was drowned. He succeeded John Carver (April 5, 1621) as governor of Plymouth colony. He cultivated friendly relations with the Indians; and he was annually rechosen governor as long as he lived, excepting in five years. He wrote a. history of Plymouth colony from 1620 to 1647, which was published by the Massachusetts Historical Society in 1856. He died in Plymouth, Mass., May 9, 1657. See PILGRIMS.

 

 

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