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Edward Winslow

Winslow, Edward, 1595–1655, one of the founders of Plymouth Colony in New England, b. England. One of the leaders of the Pilgrims who traveled to America on the Mayflower in 1620, Winslow negotiated (1621) the treaty of peace and friendship with the Native American chief Massasoit. Sent back to England (1623–24) as agent of the colony, he wrote Good Newes from New England, which Samuel Purchas published in 1625. On his return to Plymouth he was elected an assistant of the colony and was continuously reelected until 1647, except for the years he served as governor (1633–34, 1636–37, and 1644–45), years in which William Bradford had declined to hold the governorship. Winslow was an active explorer and was apparently the first Englishman to visit (1632) Connecticut. He was also one of the Pilgrim leaders who successfully undertook to discharge the colony's debts to its English backers. In England again (1635) he was imprisoned for a short time for his religious beliefs and for performing the marriage ceremony in the colony. On still another journey to England, to answer charges made against Plymouth Colony, he issued a vigorous defense in Hypocrisie Unmasked (1646). With the Puritan cause triumphant in England, he decided to remain there. He was sent on several missions by Oliver Cromwell, dying on one to the West Indies. He was the father of Josiah Winslow.

See G. F. Willison, Saints and Strangers (rev. ed. 1965).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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