A Relation or Journall of the beginning and proceedings of the English Plantation Setled at Plimoth in New England (also called Mourt’s Relation) written by the settlers themselves and published in 1622. Many of the familiar stories from the first year (The First Encounter, planting of corn, the First Thanksgiving) are told with the freshness of those who just experienced it. This version edition edited by Dwight Heath is available for free on Gutenberg.org
Of Plimmoth Plantation – William Bradford was the Governor of Plimmoth Colony, and his ‘Of Plimoth Plantation’ is the history to read. A bit difficult going but a great way to understand the thinking that sent these English first to Holland and then to the distant shores of America. Read online or download for free, or listen to an audio version on Librivox.org
Three Visitors to Early Plymouth – Edited by Sydney James.
Three independent accounts of Plymouth written by visitors from England, Holland and Virginia in the early years of the settlement. Many interesting details about the Plantation, it’s residents, the native peoples, and the abundance of fish and game.
Read or download for free.
Good Newes from New England — Edward Winslow’s “Good Newes from New England”, published in 1624, is a contemporary account of the years 1621-3 and covers the expansion of the settlement and the difficult relationship with the native people during the early years. Read free at Gutenberg.
The Cry of a Stone – Written by Mayflower passenger Robert Cushman in 1619, The Cry of a Stone is a layperson’s description of Separatist beliefs. Still easily understood 400 years later. Edited and with an excellent introduction by Jim Baker. Purchase at GSMD
The Works of John Robinson, the Pilgrim Father — A three-volume work by the spiritual leader and Pastor of the Separatists, this is a study on their beliefs as well as Robinson himself. Read at Archive.org
The Plymouth Colony Archive — A collection of fully searchable texts, including: Court Records, Colony Laws, Seventeenth Century Journals and Memoirs, Probate Inventories, Wills, Town Plans, Maps, and Fort Plans. Also research and seminar analysis of numerous topics, biographical profiles of selected colonists and architectural, archaeological and material culture studies. Search the collection here: The Plymouth Colony Archive.
They Knew They Were Pilgrims —By John G Turner – Yale University Press 2020 “On this 400th anniversary of Plymouth Colony, John G. Turner offers a masterful narrative that reassesses the ‘Thanksgiving Story,’ detailing a poignant yet complicated legacy that resonates in our time of social and political turmoil.” – Dr. Walter L. Powell Available by mail from Pilgrim Hall.
This Land is Their Land – By David J Silverman – Bloomsbury Publishing 2019 Ahead of the 400th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving, a new look at the Plymouth colony’s founding events, told for the first time with Wampanoag people at the heart of the story. Available at Amazon and other booksellers.
Plymouth Colony – By Eugene Stratton – Includes a concise history of the colony, both chronologically and topically, and more than 300 biographical sketches of its inhabitants. Richly documented and illustrated with maps and photographs, the three-dimensional Plymouth Colony: Its History & People, 1620-1691 was written for historians and genealogists alike and provides and in-depth view of this important epoch in American history. Available at Amazon or other booksellers.
The Mayflower Pilgrims – By David Beale – This book is the fascinating account of one of the greatest adventures of all time, recounted here in its entire breadth, from Reformation backgrounds to the nineteenth century. Engagingly written, this complete and up-to-date account includes research never before published. Dispelling numerous popular myths concerning the English Separatist Movement, The Mayflower Pilgrims establishes the movement’s true role in the English, American, and Christian heritage. – Back cover. Available at Amazon or other booksellers.
The Worship of the English Puritans – By Horton Davies – Dr. Davies, professor of religious history at Princeton University, wrote this classic work on Reformed worship in the mid-1940’s as his doctoral work. There are chapters on the theology of Reformed worship, the nature of English Puritanism, the place of the Word of God in worship, Puritan preaching, church discipline, extemporaneous prayers, prayer books, ordinations, and the sacraments. Available at Amazon or other booksellers.
Arms and Armor of the Pilgrims, 1620-1692 – by Harold L. Peterson. Descriptions and photos of the weapons used by early English settlers, including many example from Pilgrim Hall Museum. Read it here.
An Account of Two Voyages to New-England, Made During the Years 1638, 1663 – John Josselyn wrote extensively about the plants, herbal medicine and wild animals found in New England; and also about the native population and English settlers and their farming and cultural practices. Read his fascinating account here.
Exercise of Arms — Jacob de Gheyn’s landmark book was first published in Holland in 1607, and was almost certainly the manual of arms for matchlock musket and pike used by the Plymouth colonists. We still use de Gehyn’s manual in our drills today, with only minor adjustments. Wonderful illustrations by one of the great artists of the time. The version published by Greenhill Books is very reasonable. Buy it here: Renaissance Drill Book – via AbeBooks.com
Massasoit’s town Sowams in Pokanoket, its History, Legends and Traditions – by Virginia Baker. Ousamequin (now often called Massasoit) was the great sachem of the Wampanoag people at the time of the Plymouth settlement. This book looks at him, his family and his settlement at Sowams, now known as Warren, RI. Read it here.
The English House-wife — Gervase Markham — The English house-vvife Containing the inward and outward vertues which ought to be in a compleate woman. As her skill in physicke, surgery, cookery, extraction of oyles, banqueting-stuffe, ordering of great feasts, preseruing of all sorts of wines, conceited secrets, distillations, perfumes, ordering of wooll, hempe, flax, making cloth, and dying, the knowledge of dayries, office of malting, of oates, their excellent vses in a family, of brewing, baking, and all other things belonging to an houshold. A worke generally approued, and now the fourth time much augmented, purged and made most profitable and necessary for all men, and the generall good of this kingdome. View the entire text