Edward Winslow

(1595—1655) colonial governor

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(1595–1655), English-born Puritan, came to America on the Mayflower. Mourt's Relation (1622), concerning this voyage and the earliest days of the Plymouth Colony, is considered to be based on his journal and that of William Bradford. When Winslow returned to England (1623–24) as agent of the Colony, he published Good News from New England (1624), a continuation of his previous narrative to September 1623. The graphic account ends with a warning “to discourage such as with too great lightness undertake” the business of colonization. On his return, he took a leading part in the Colony's affairs, serving three times as governor (1633, 1636, 1644), and was continuously assistant until 1647. On a journey to England (1634) he was briefly imprisoned for his religious beliefs. He went to England again (1646) to remain after the triumph of Cromwell, and published Hypocrisie Unmasked (1646), a spirited defense of the colony, attacking Samuel Gorton. New Englands Salamander Discovered by an Irreligious and Scornfull Pamphlet (1647), a reply to Major John Child's New-Englands Jonas Cast Up at London (1647), answers this criticism, which was unfavorable to the Puritan regime and specifically to Winslow. The latter was sent by Cromwell on a mission to the West Indies, where he died of a fever.


From The Oxford Companion to American Literature in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.

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