What was the Winthrop Fleet that Anne Bradstreet and her family arrived to America with?

As I read the biography about Anne Bradstreet, I came across something that I wasn’t very familiar with. After talking about how educated she was and her marrying at age 16, the biography says that she came to America as a part of the Winthrop Fleet. I’ve never heard of that and really wanted to know more about it. What was the Winthrop Fleet? Why did the people want to leave England? Why did she go on a voyage to an unknown place? All of these questions are things that I’m interested in finding out.

As we learned from the biography we read, Anne Bradstreet and her family were Puritan. The Puritans were a significant religious group in England. They disagreed with the practices of the Church of England and looked that the rituals as superstitions. They became an activist movement within the church. The Puritans tried to get the people in England to follow their religious views.



King James did not like that idea at all. He wanted to put an end to the rebellious group that was moving so fast and becoming so popular. Eventually, the Puritans gained controlled of the Parliament. King James’ son, King Charles had a serious disagreement with the Parliament and saw them as a threat. In March of 1629, he permanently removed the Parliament. Puritans were blocked from changing established churches from within. They were restricted in England by laws controlling the practice of religion. The Puritans felt hopeless. Like there was nothing else they could do to change anything. Some of them stayed within the Church of England, but still had Puritan beliefs. They were known as non-separating Puritans. Others that believed they had to leave the Church of England because it was so corrupt were called Separatists. Many of these Puritans decide to leave England permanently and start a new life in New England.


So, what does that have to do with the Winthrop Fleet? Well, a very wealthy group of the Separatists decided to get some large ships together and set sail to a colony at Massachusetts Bay. About 300 people left for New England. Many stayed behind just so the first few people could make sure it was safe to settle there. Later that year, the remaining Puritans in England decided to make John Winthrop governor of the fleet and the new colony. The summer of 1630, Winthrop lead a “fleet” of 7 ships with about 700 Puritans on them going to Massachusetts Bay.



This is a short video that describes the Puritans a little bit more.

The Winthrop Fleet was a group of Puritans, including Anne Bradstreet and her family, going to New England. They wanted to leave England because they weren’t allowed to express their religion the way they wanted to there. They picked New England because it was a fresh place. There were no rules and no one told you what to believe in. That was a perfect place for them to start over and believe what they wanted to believe.


Why did Pocahontas save Captain John Smith?

While reading the two excerpts “The General History” and “From New England’s Trails,” something caught my attention. I was very interested in Pocahontas. Not anyone just jumps to save someone the barely know, but the way she saved Captain John Smith from being killed was brave. One question that I really wanted to know is why did Pocahontas save Captain John Smith? If it was a “ritual ceremony,” why not just let it happen? Did she secretly love him? I really wanted to know, so I did a little research.

After John Smith spent two months in captivity, the chief Indian, Powhatan decides to have Smith’s head clubbed to death. Could there have been a reason for bashing his head with a club? The Powhatan Indians made offerings and sacrifices with rituals to appease spirits. There were many spirits the Powhatan Indians worshipped, but Okee was worshipped on a day-to-day basis. He approved all activities of the Powhatan Indians and they offered him many things, including blood. Powhatans were constantly at war, so they often sacrificed their prisoners. “The Powhatans tied their captives to a nearby tree and over a period of hours broke his bones, cut off parts of his body, including pieces of skin, and threw them into the fire.” Men were killed. Only the lives of children and women were spared.



When I picked my question, I thought “They were probably secretly dating.” She was a young girl in love with a Englishman. When her father decides to kill him, she jumps in the way of her lover and her father and risk her life to save him. A love story, something like the Disney movie.

I know that can’t be true. According to John Smith, Pocahontas was very young and John Smith didn’t meet her until after she saved him. Many people question if the Pocahontas story is real. Some historians believe that the story is not true because he told the story after her and her husband, John Rolfe died. They also think that it could have been some kind of “adoption” ritual, in which Smith thought he was getting saved. In 1608, John Smith published A True Relation of Such Occurrence and Accidents of Noate as Hath Happened in Virginia and in 1612, he published Proceedings of the English Colony of Virginia.The story of Pocahontas saving Captain John Smith’s life wasn’t mentioned in 1608 or 1612, but appeared in print for the first time in 1624.” Why leave something so important out of the books?


So, why did Pocahontas save Captain John Smith? Maybe she just wanted to save a life that day. Maybe it was just a story John Smith made up. This question is really unknown. From the articles I’ve read while trying to answer this question, no one really knows why Pocahontas saved him. No one knows if it really happened. We will never know the truth. What we do know is that Pocahontas was a real person who helped save the colonist from starvation in Virginia’s first years.

My First Blog

Hi everybody!!!! I’m Jasmin Nicole Parks and I’m a sophomore. Nursing major. I’m very excited about this class this semester. I signed up for this class because it was a hybrid class and students on Rate My Professor said that Mrs. Christopher was a good teacher. Never did I think we were gonna get iPads in the class. When I found out that we were getting the iPads, I smiled so hard because I was so excited to use one. I think that it’s so cool that we get iPads for a semester. It’s making me really want one after this semester is done. I’m looking forward to the rest of the semester.