Providence in William Bradford's Pilgrims

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William Branford and the Providence of God

William Branford frequently invoked providence to interpret the progress of the pilgrims in the New World. As exemplified by the material, Bradford's interpretation of good things happening for the pilgrims demonstrates abiding faith in that providence. For instance, Bradford attributes the safe voyage, the election of a God-abiding governor, and the chance of finding a common store for the pilgrim's property in winter in the providence of God (Branford, 2010). By the way he explains these events, there is the feeling that had the protective cover of God not have been with them, the pilgrims would not have found a good governor or a safe haven for their goods, including the storage for their boats among others.

God's Protection in Harsh Conditions

Even when a lot of the pilgrims were dying of bad weather, scurvy, lack of proper shelter, and among other harsh conditions, Branford explains that it is the providence of God that preserved seven sound people who took care of the rest of the sick and the dying by washing them, clothing them, feeding them, and warming the sick and the dying (Branford, 2010). Among these people who Branford highlights them as anointed by God are William Brewster and Myles Standish. He explains that God had preserved these people from the diseases and the harshest of the weather so that they can take care of the rest.

The Special Messenger: Samoset

Moreover, Samoset, a native Indian who spoke broken English is presented by Branford as a special messenger from God (Branford, 2010). He acted as the link between the pilgrims and the natives, and his knowledge about the geography and the country came in handy. The way that Samoset comes to the aid of the pilgrims and the resources that he brings is nothing but providence.


Bradford, W. (2010). History of Plimouth Plantation: From the original manuscript. Carlisle, MA: Applewood Books.

December 12, 2023

History Religion

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