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William Bradford

William Bradford - A Klos Family Project - Revolutionary War



BRADFORD, William printer and soldier of the revolution, born in New York in 1719; died in Philadelphia, 25 September, 1791, was a grandson of William Bradford, and became a partner of his uncle Andrew; but a love-affair of the younger Bradford led to a breach of this relation. In 1741 he went to England, and the next year he returned to Philadelphia with printing material and a library, and on 2 December, 1742, issued the first number of the "Pennsylvania Journal." In 1754 he established the London coffeehouse in Philadelphia; and in 1762, in association with Mr. Rydd, he opened a marine-insurance office. He was a spirited writer, and in his journal assailed the pretensions of the British government, and inveighed against the stamp act.

When the revolutionary war began he joined the Pennsylvania militia. As a major, and afterward a colonel, he fought in the battles of Trenton and Princeton, being wounded in the latter action, and was at Fort Mifflin when it was bombarded by the British fleet on 16 November, 1777. After the withdrawal of the British troops from Philadelphia he returned from the army, broken down in health and ruined in purse. His son, Thomas, continued the publication of the "Pennsylvania Journal," which was transformed into the "True American" in 1801.

By  Ian G.   - Gotha Middle School, Windermere, Florida.

William Bradford, who was born in Austerfield, Yorkshire, England in 1590 and died in 1657, was an American colonial governor and one of the Pilgrim leaders. Bradford has many reasons for being famous. One reason is that he helped found Plymouth Colony. The second reason is that he helped make Thanksgiving Day possible by making peace with the Native Americans. And the third reason is that he was a delegate four times to the New England Confederation.

A group of people called Pilgrims, who included William Bradford, sailed from England on the Mayflower in 1620. They were looking for a place where they could have freedom to practice religion of their choice and thought Virginia would be a good place to settle. Soon after the Mayflower arrived in America, at Plymouth Bay, the Pilgrims needed to make up a form of government because they were not in the Virginia, which had a government. William Bradford was one of the people that wrote the document known as the Mayflower Compact that outlined their new governmental policies. William Bradford became their leader and historian. When the Mayflower landed in New England, he reported that all things stared upon them with a weather-beaten face.

The Pilgrims landed at the end of the harvest season and had an extremely hard first winter in their new home. Many of the families did not survive that first winter. The next year, William Bradford helped make the first American Thanksgiving possible. In 1621, he reasoned a treated with Massasoit, the Wamponoag tribe chief. Under the treaty (which was important to the maintenance and growth of the colony), Massasoit gave up Native American claims to the Plymouth colony area and made peace with the colonists. Some friendly Native Americans helped the Pilgrims plant and harvest their first crops in America. The first Thanksgiving Day in 1671 was organized by Governor Bradford to give thanks for the first harvest and for their survival. The Pilgrims and Massasoit and some of his braves feasted for three days in October.

Bradford was a delegate four times to the New England Confederation. He was elected twice as president. He also wrote a book, History of Plymouth Plantation, 1620-1647, about the early settlers in New England. The book stayed in manuscript form until it finally was published in 1856, 200 years after his death, and is an important source for information about early settlers.

In conclusion, William Bradford was a great man and he did great things for his colony and country. He helped found Plymouth Colony. He helped make Thanksgiving Day possible. And Bradford was a delegate four times to the New England Confederation.



1. Bradford, William (1590-1657),î Microsoft (R) Encarta (R) 98 Encyclopedia. (c) 1993-1997 Microsoft Corporation.
2. Schmidt, Gary D. William Bradford. U.S.A.: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 1999, Chapter 6. 3. Joyce Appleby, Ph.D.; Alan Brinkley, Ph.D.; and James M. McPherson, Ph.D. The American Journey. New York:

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