The only Pilgrim to have his portrait painted, Edward Winslow was born OCTOBER 18, 1595.
He joined the Separatists, a persecuted group of Christian refugees, in Leyden, Holland. Edward Winslow helped their pastor, William Brewster, print illegal religious pamphlets which were smuggled back into England. After many hard years, at age 25, Edward Winslow departed with 102 Pilgrims to the New World.
In 1622, Winslow cured Indian chief Massaoit of an illness, resulting in a 50 year peace. If the chief would not have recovered, Winslow would have been killed by the Indians.
Serving three times as the Plymouth Colony’s Governor, Edward Winslow kept the finances and often sailed to England for business, bringing back the colony’s first cattle.
On a trip to England in 1625, mentioned by Governor William Bradford in his History of the Plymouth Settlement, Edward Winslow encountered Turkish Muslim Pirates:
Two fishing ships…ordered to load with corfish…to bring home to England…and besides she had some 800 lbs of beaver, as well as other furs, to a good value from the plantation. The captain seeing so much lading wished to put aboard the bigger ship for greater safety, but Mr. Edward Winslow, their agent in the business, was bound in a bond to send it to London in the small ship… The captain of the big ship…towed the small ship at his stern all the way over. So they went joyfully home together and had such fine weather that he never cast her off till they were well within the England channel, almost in sight of Plymouth.
But even there she was unhapply taken by a Turkish man-of-war and carried off to Saller (Morocco) where the captain and crew were made slaves… Thus all their hopes were dashed and the joyful news they meant to carry home was turned to heavy tidings… In the big ship Captain Myles Standish…arrived…in London…The friendly adventurers were so reduced by their losses…and now by the ship taken by the Turks…that all trade was dead.
Once, while in England, Edward Winslow was thrown in jail by Anglican Bishop William Laud for 17 weeks.
Edward Winslow served in Oliver Cromwell’s army during the English Civil War and sailed with Admiral Sir William Penn, father of Pennsylvania’s founder, in an attempt to capture Hispaniola from Spain. After defeat at Santo Domingo, Winslow died of a fever on the way to Jamaica, which Penn captured.
In Young’s Chronicles, Edward Winslow wrote of the Pilgrims:
Drought and the like…moved not only every good man privately to enter into examination with his own estate between God…but also to humble ourselves together before the Lord by fasting.
The Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.