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EDITORIAL PREFACE.

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THE History of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford, the second Governor of the colony, after having remained in manuscript for more than two hundred years, is now given to the public in this present form.

It is evident that Governor Bradford early formed the plan of writing a history of this colony; and this doubtless led to the careful preservation by him of the valuable materials which officially came into his possession previously to the time when the work was commenced. One evidence of this is seen in his Letter-Book, which contained an invaluable collection of letters and other public papers, chronologically arranged, afterwards freely used by him in preparing his History. In a note appended to one of these papers, alluding to the necessitous condition of the colony in 1625 and 1626, he says: "It was God's marvellous providence that we were ever able to wade through things, as will better appear if God give me life and opportunity to handle them more particularly in another treatise more at large, as I desire and purpose, (if God permit,) with many other things, in a better order."

It is well known to all students of our early annals, that Governor Bradford wrote, and left at his decease, a History of this colony; and that this, which was never published, was freely used by Morton in compiling his

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