Smith vs. Bradford Have you ever wondered whose hands our country was in at the start of our time? Captain John Smith was one of the first American heroes. He was the first man to promote a permanent settlement of America. William Bradford was a Puritan who was courageous and determined to set up a colony where citizens could worship freely. Although both of these men were two of America's heroes, they had more differences than known. Thus, Smith was a very proud and boastful man.
Before reaching 25, he battled in many areas, such as the Netherlands and Hungary. He fought at sea off the Atlantic coast, where he was captured as a slave. As a slave, he was rough and beaten. The Indians that captured him brought him to their leader named Powhatan. Powhatan didn't like him, so he threatened him to death and began to plan his death. Powhatan's daughter, Pocahontas, fell in love with Smith and gained her fathers trust.
He soon became Powhatan's son. Burned severely in a gunpowder explosion, Smith was sent back to England for recovery. He returns to America in 5 years, only this time to New England. Because of his restlessness in England, Smith became actively involved with plans to colonize Virginia, which had been granted a charter from King James I. After setting sail, this famous expedition finally reached Virginia in April, after enduring a lengthy voyage of over four months in three tiny ships.
John Smith was one of the seven chosen to govern and start the colony. He took action and founded Jamestown, Virginia, the first English colony. Little did he know, this colony wouldn't succeed. As a result of the harsh winter, lack of fresh water, and the spread of disease, life in Jamestown was difficult for the settlers. Attacks by the native Indians made life almost impossible. The Indians, hoping that the settlers would give up and leave, raided their camps, stealing pistols, gunpowder, and other necessary supplies.
John Smith became leader of the colonists and did his best to fight off the Indians. He also became a writer. He wrote the first English book on America, A True Relation of Virginia, and The General History of Virginia, New England, and the Summer Isles. Captain John Smith generally wrote for the people and their entertainment. Similarly, William Bradford typified most of the first settlers of New England. He was the son of an English farmer and began to read the Bible daily.
As a boy he quickly became a Puritan for study and discussion. This took much courage because Puritans in England were usually thrown in prison. Bradford's parents were even against this. Because many were against Puritanism, they fled to Holland, including Bradford. Doing badly in Holland, Bradford soon traveled to America.
Finally, Bradford reached Plymouth, Massachusetts, in December 1620, aboard a tiny ship named the Mayflower. This ship was falling apart, almost ready to sink. Bradford faced many hardships, such as the trip to America, the death of his wife, and the fierce winters where many of his friends died. William Bradford became the governor of Plymouth. The setters loved Bradford as a governor.
They kept him around for about 30 years. But, soon the people began to corrupt the town and it also didn't succeed. Bradford too, was also a writer. He wrote Of Plymouth Plantation. Unlike Smith, Bradford wrote for the grace of God. He didn't care if the people didn't like his writing.
He cared more about the Lord. Both of these men were American heroes. But both of these men's lives were different, although there were some similarities. One main difference was the reason's they became writers. Now you have learned whose hands our country was in at the early point in time.
Our country was in good hands, and still is. We should appreciate what these men have done for us, and acknowledge them.