The story of William Bradford’s Of Plymouth Plantation is nearly as intriguing as the story Bradford informs in his foundational historic file. The initial manuscript went missing out on from its location in Boston at some point following the Revolutionary War. Thankfully, everything through Chapter IX had formerly been transcribed into a copy held among the church records of Plymouth. Everything from Chapter X onward, however, was assumed to be lost permanently until one providential day in London when a British bishop discovered the initial manuscript in its totality. The book was subsequently published in 1856. It would not be until 1897, however, that Bradford’s account was finally gone back to its homeland.
When it comes to the history contained within the volume itself, Of Plymouth Plantation represents a historical account tape-recorded by Bradford over a two-decade period. Bradford himself spent thirty years as Guv of Plymouth and the result of his effort to provide an in-depth personal reporting– never ever actually intended for publication– became critical in offering insight into a few of the most renowned minutes of early colonial history, ranging from the landing of Mayflower at Cape Cod to the very first Thanksgiving. Checking out Bradford’s history presents students with a stunning– and not always completely lovely– detach in between reality and the myths which emerged from the truths.
For example, that world-changing anchoring of the Mayflower on November 11, 1620 did not include a rock of any sort. “Plymouth Rock” was an unknown and unmentioned element of the New World until practically a century later on. In addition, the actual landing of the Mayflower on what came to be known as Plymouth Rock is exposed through reading Bradford’s account as one that is a far cry from the standard representation in art and cinema: the landing did not involve the Mayflower itself, however a small dinghy on which there were no ladies and which was not welcomed by any “Indians.”
The history Of Plymouth Plantation follows the numerous travails, difficulties, indignities, victories and stories of the founding of a nation as much as 1646.