From the Associated Press:
A first-hand account of the first permanent European colony in New England, including the fall harvest meal that inspired America’s Thanksgiving tradition, has been reprinted for a wider audience as Massachusetts marks 400 years since the arrival of the Pilgrims on the Mayflower this year.
Massachusetts’ State Library and Plimoth Patuxet Museums (formerly Plimoth Plantation) are unveiling on Thursday a new printed version of the historical account of Plymouth Colony by William Bradford, a Mayflower passenger and the English colony’s longest serving governor.
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Of Plimoth Plantation is considered by many to be one of Massachusetts’ – and indeed the Nation’s – greatest treasures. Since its return to Massachusetts at the end of the 19th century the original has been carefully preserved by the State Library of Massachusetts. The book details the major events in the lives of a small group of religious Separatists, known as the Pilgrims, who set out from England to seek the religious freedom that was not available to them back home. Bradford presents in manuscript format the authoritative account of the Mayflower voyage, relationships with 17th-century Indigenous communities, and the settling of what would become the first permanent European colony in New England, using the Mayflower Compact as its governing document.
“The State Library of Massachusetts works very hard to make primary sources available to as many people as possible. The Bradford Manuscript, which the Library has cared for for over 120 years, is now available to a new audience in a format that is very close to the original,” said Elvernoy Johnson, the Massachusetts State Librarian. “We are grateful to our colleagues at Plimoth Patuxet for helping us achieve that goal in this historically-significant anniversary year.”
The book, available exclusively through Plimoth Patuxet’s gift shops and at www.plimoth.com, will be launched November 19, 2020 at 7:00 p.m., via a special online event hosted live by Plimoth Patuxet and featuring comments by bestselling author Nathaniel Philbrick. The event is free, but registration is required.
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