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Plimoth Plantation

The book Mourt's Relation (full title: A Relation or Journal of the Beginning and Proceedings of the English Plantation Settled at Plimoth in New England) was written primarily by Edward Winslow, although William Bradford appears to have written most of the first section. Written between November 1620 and November 1621, it describes in detail what happened from the landing of the Mayflower Pilgrims inside the fishhook tip of Cape Codmarker (became Provincetown Harbormarker), through their exploring and eventual settling of Plymouth Colony; the book describes their relations with the surrounding native Indians, up to the First Thanksgiving and the arrival of the ship Fortune in November 1621. Mourt's Relation was first published in Londonmarker in 1622, presumably by George Morton (hence the title "Mourt's Relation"). The purpose of Mourt's Relation was clear: to paint the new settlement in the brightest possible hues.

An English Puritan Separatist who had moved to Leiden, Holland, Morton stayed behind when the first settlers left for Plymouth, Massachusettsmarker, but he continued to orchestrate business affairs in Europe and London for their cause -- presumably arranging for the publication of and perhaps helping write Mourt's Relation. In 1623 Morton himself emigrated to the Plymouth Colony with his wife Juliana, the sister of Governor William Bradford's wife Alice. But George Morton didn't surive long in the New World: he died the following year, in 1624.

George Morton's son Nathaniel Morton became the clerk of Plymouth Colony, a close adviser to his uncle Governor William Bradford, who raised him after the death of his father, and the author of an influential early history of the Plymouth Colony, "New England's Memorial." (In a tradition at The Wall Street Journal, the newspaper has run for four decades a portion of Nathaniel Morton's book, its observation of the first Thanksgiving, on the Wednesday before the holiday.)


  1. The Carpenter Sisters of Leiden, Robert Jennings Heinsohn, Ph.D.,
  2. Nathaniel Morton and His Book, Mrs. Morris P. Ferris, The New York Times, August 13, 1898
  3. New-England's Memorial, Nathaniel Morton, Secretary to the Court for the Jurisdiction of New-Plimouth, Congregational Board of Publications, Boston, 1855


  • Reprint of the original version.

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