William Bradford’s non-fictional work, “Of Plymouth Plantation,” is a book about the early settlement experiences of the Puritans from 1620 to 1647. Bradford is the governor of the Plymouth Plantation, serving in this role for thirty-three years. He is responsible for the creation and government of the settlement. Bradford begins the work detailing the purpose of the Separatists’s emigration, who left England to pursue religious freedom. He also introduces the Puritans, a people “who objected to the inclusion of men’s inventions.” The Puritans split from the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church because they believed that the latter two were not upholding the true tenets of the Bible and the Christian faith.
Their belief caused them to be rejected and persecuted. Persecutions included arrest, torture, imprisonment, and death. In response to this social rejection, the Puritans attempted to flee to Holland, but not without paying a high price. By the end of “Of Plymouth Plantation,” Bradford details corruption and hardship and the first years the Pilgrims experienced in America The First Book, Chapters I-X:The Separatist Interpretation of the Reformation of the Church of England, 1550-1607 Summary and Analysis Chapter one begins with the exodus of men who had become known as professors and wanted to be able to get away from “the persecutions of the heathen and their emperors” (Chap. I, p. 4).
In these times, professors were simply those who had professed their beliefs in Christ; it had no relation to any higher education. Bradford quotes Socrates regarding the treatment of those who would not obey the principles of the established church, saying that the treatment of one Christian to another was equal to, if not worse than, the treatment thrust upon Christians in the early days.