Comparing William Bradford and John Smith
He defined himself as “a person for study as well as action; and hence notwithstanding the difficulties which he passed in his 2) Also he stated “The crown of all his life was his holy, prayerful, watchful and fruitful walk with God, wherein he was exemplary. ” (122) Bradford did not believe In reforming the Church of England from wealth and there for moved and lived in the Netherlands for 12 years. Then decided to take the Journey to Virginia.
He believed the colony of Plymouth would be a special providence. His journey was to have religious freedom and live In a place they way God Intended. John Smith on the other hand comes from a military background In which he had earned his captaincy. Smith next Joined the Austrian army in its continuing war (1593-1606) against the Turks, and while in the Austrian service, he fought valiantly in Hungary and was promoted to Smith was more interested in adventure than religion.
Smith In ways was conceited and speaks of himself In great grander. His reputation had preceded him and the men who wanted to colonize Jamestown choose Smith to Join the voyage. John Smith agreed to the Journey to explore the land and possibly find economical gain. Smith is more interested in making a name for himself than serving a higher purpose. Bradford references God throughout his book of Plymouth Plantation for the many occurrences they endure throughout the Journey.
Bradford describes sickness of certain passengers, “But it pleased God they came before half seas over, to smite this young man with a grievous disease, of which he died In desperate manner and so was himself the first thrown overboard. Thus his curses lightened on his own head; and it was an astonishment to all his fellows, for they noted it to be Just the hand of God upon him. ” (131) John Smith on the other hand will reference God in things he cannot explain. In Smith’s The General History of Flagella, New England and the Summer Isles, he states. But now all provision spent, the sturgeon gone, all the helps abandoned, each hour expecting the fury of the savages, when God the patron of all good endeavors, in that desperate extremity so changed the hearts of the savages, that they brought such plenty of their fruits, and provision, as no man wanted. ” (84) Since Smith could not fix the lack of provisions he then offers the explanation that God intervened. Bradford and the passengers which he referred to as pilgrims had constructed he Mayflower Compact. The Mayflower Compact was the document that united the pilgrims and the preservation of the colony.
The Compact states, “In the name of God Amen. We whose names are underwritten the loyal subjects of our dread sovereign Lord, King James, by the grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland king, 1 OFF of the Christian faith, and honor of our king and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves gather into a civil body politic. ” (138-139)God is involved in every aspect of the colony.
After the arrival to Jamestown Smith was appointed to managing tasks of others. Even though others were doing work to help the colony, Smith spoke of himself doing the hardest and most work. Smith writes, “to Captain Smith: who by his own example, good words, and fair promises, set some to mow, others to bind thatch, some to build houses, others to thatch them, himself always bearing the greatest of task for his own share, so that in short time, he provided most of them lodgings, neglecting any for himself. (85) Smith does not mention God but gives himself most of the credit in preparations for the colony.
Bradford colony began to have sickness but after sometime many recovered, Bradford gave credit to the Lord for such happenings. Bradford states, “The spring now approaching, it pleased God the mortality began to cease amongst them, and the sick and the lame recovered apace, which put as it were new life into them, though they had borne their sad affliction with much patience and contentedness, as I think any people could do. “(43) Bradford seeing Plymouth as a divine place God is leading hem to, people who live through sickness are meet to arrive by God’s will.
Even at the end of Smith’s account he thanks God but not for God’s divine help but for his own skills. Smith states, “l thank God I never undertook anything yet [for which] any could tax me of carelessness or dishonesty, and what is he to whom I am indebted or troublesome? Ah! Were these my accusers but to change cases and places with me[for] but two years, or till they had done but so much as I, it may be they would Judge more charitably of my imperfections. ” (93) Throughout Bradford and Smith’s accounts both write about the hardships of the rip and the life in the colonies.
The two writers face many of the same events; such as running out of food, facing sickness, and dealing with the Native Americans. Though there is a large difference in the two accounts. Bradford does not boast about his own capabilities. The whole reason that Bradford and the others made the journey is because of God, as it was God’s will. Smith writes more for a personal level. He brags of his abilities as a solider, leader and explorer. He only mentions God when things are not in his skills or cannot explain that occurrence. Unlike
Bradford which would name God for his means to lead, John Smith does not but gives himself praise. In the time that both pieces were written religion and God had a large influence on people’s choices and every life. It was not very common for someone to author a piece like John Smith had done with not much reference and honor given to God. Unlike Bradford referencing God for the very event of colonization of Plymouth, Smith promoted himself as the hero and encouraged other men like him to come. Bradford wanted men of God. Beam Nina. “John Smith” The Norton Anthology American Literature.