1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Winslow, Edward
WINSLOW, EDWARD (1595–1633), one of the founders of the Plymouth colony in America, was born in Droitwich, Worcestershire, England, on the 18th of October 1505. In 1617 he removed to Leiden, united with John Robinson's church there, and in 1620 was one of the " pilgrims " who emigrated to New England on the " Mayflower " and founded the Plymouth colony. His wife, Elizabeth (Barker) Winslow, whom he had married in May 1618 at Leiden, having died soon after their arrival, he married, in May 1621, Mrs Susannah White, the mother of Peregrine White (1620–1704), the first white child born in New England. This was the first marriage in the New England colonies. Winslow was delegated by his associates to treat with the Indians in the vicinity and succeeded in winning the friendship of their chief, Massasoit (c. 1580–1661). He was one of the assistants from 1624 to 1647, except in 1633–1634, 1636–1637 and 1644–1645, when he was governor of the colony. He was also, in 1643, one of the commissioners of the United Colonies of New England. On several occasions he was sent to England to look after the interests of Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay, and defend these colonies from the attacks of such men as John Lyford, Thomas Morton (q.v.) and Samuel Gorton (q.v.). He left on his last mission as the agent of Massachusetts Bay, in October 1646, and spent nine years in England, where he held a minor office under Cromwell, and in 1654 was made a member of the commission appointed to determine the value of certain English ships destroyed by Denmark. In 1655 he was the chief of the three English commissioners whom Cromwell sent on his expedition against the West Indies to advise with its leaders Admiral Venables and Admiral William Penn, but died near Jamaica on the 8th of May 1655, and was buried at sea. Winslow's portrait, the only authentic likeness of any of the " Mayflower " " pilgrims," is in the gallery of the Pilgrim Society at Plymouth, Mass.
His writings, though fragmentary, are of the greatest value to the historian of the Plymouth colony. They include: Good Newes from New England, or a True Relation of Things very Remarkable at the Plantation of Plimouth in New England (1624); Hypocrisie Unmasked; by a True Relation of the Governor and Company of Massachusetts against Samuel Gorton, a Notorious Disturber of the Peace (1646), to which was added a chapter entitled " A Brief Narration of the True Grounds or Cause of the First Plantation of New England "; New England's Salamander (1647); and The Glorious Progress of the Gospel amongst the Indians in New England (1649). With William Bradford he also is supposed to have prepared a Journal of the Beginning and Proceeding of the English Plantation settled at Plymouth in New England (1622), which is generally known as " Mourt's Relation," owing to its preface having been signed by " G. Mourt." Some of his writings may be found reprinted in Alexander Young's Chronicles of the Pilgrims (Boston, 1841).
See J. B. Moore's Memoirs of American Governors (New York, 1846); David P. and Frances K. Holton's Winslow Memorial (New York, 1877) and J. G. Palfrey's History of New England (3 vols., Boston, 1858–1864). Also see a paper by W. C. Winslow, " Governor Edward Winslow, his Place and Part in Plymouth Colony," in the Annual Report of the American Historical Association for 1895 (Washington, 1896).
His son, Josiah Winslow (1629–1680), was educated at Harvard College. He was elected a deputy to the General Court in 1653, was an " assistant " from 1657 to 1673, and governor from June 1673 until his death. From 1658 to 1672 he was one of the commissioners of the United Colonies of New England, and in 1675, during King Philip's War, he was commander-in-chief of the united forces of New England.