The Final Countdown To...

Monday, August 30, 2010

John Winthrop Letter

Please review this letter from John Winthrop to his wife regarding the Massachusetts Bay Colony (once it opens in Adobe, you have to rotate it...very easy controls.  Just right click on newer versions, and rotate clockwise until it's the right view.).  Students should comment regarding its relevance to this week's reading, points of interest, questions, and/or comparisons to issues in prior readings.

25 comments:

rzgraggen said...

i am curios why the french would help english settlers. wouldnt it be better for the french if the colony did die out and they could have an opportunity to settle it? (by the way the letter came up sideways)

mrowl12345 said...

At the begining of the letter Winthrop says "I praise the good Lord, though we see much mortality, sickness, and trouble, yet myself and children with most of my family are yet living and health, we enjoy prosperity" which shows me how although the colony is very harsh and he is surounded by death and sickness as long as he and his family were alive the hard times were worth it. This shows me how deticated and appeciative the settlers were to be in the new world creating a new life.

C said...

RZ-weren't we at practice at 2:39?!

Mike said...

Even those Winthrop was confronted with bad economic times for his own land, he was never happier to be around at this time. He had said, "I never fared better in my life, never slept better, never had more content on my mind, which comes merely of the Lord's good hand;". There is a mention of much sickness within, and that could possibly be referring to all the diseases that the Europeans brought over. Winthrop still had the motivation to keep on going with this new life, rather than missing his life back in England. As well he is extremely devout to his religion, which gave him hope to keep on moving forward. -Mike E.

jennaaxrae18 said...
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jennaaxrae18 said...

Winthrop seemed to be very optimistic. He was extremely confident that things would get better if he had faith. The New World appeared to promise him a better life and he wouldn't give up until that was what he received. Winthrop's dedication and ability to stick it out during tough times shows that it is people like him that made it possible for America to be a country today. I found it interesting that he had very little doubt and his main focus was staying faithful to his religion and wife. He mentions, "I thank God; I like to well to be here, as I do not repent my coming, and if I were to come again, I would not have altered my course, though I had foreseen all these afflictions," which shows that he lived with little regret and was inspired by God to not give up. -Jenna Ryan

Diana said...

When Winthrop made his journey into the New World, many things were slowing down the progress of the settlement in the area, such as economic issues, but that didn't stop him from pursuing his true intentions of making it into the New World. Even through things were difficult during that economic depression period, Winthrop knew that over time things would get better in America. You can tell that Winthrop is serious about his religion by referring to the letter to his wife. "I praise to the good Lord, though we see much morality, sickness, and trouble, yet (such is His mercy)myself and my children with most of my family, are yet living, and in health." This shows that even if things don't turn out for the better, Winthrop is hoping that the lord can help motivate him into making it a better area in the New World with less economic troubles. - Diana Yu

Jess said...

It surprises me that the English settlers were recieving provisions from the French. I would have thought that it would be to the French benefit to see the colonists die off. Another thing that surprised me was that so many Englishmen came over to Mass. If it took the French to reach them so long that only six of the eighteen goats survived, there would have been less people who had made the journey. although Winthrop seemed very optimistic, even he couldn't deny that there had been many hard days and deaths. From the sounds of it, the settlers were suffering, no matter how much hope and faith they had for the future. I would think that by the time the French came, their supplies would have dwindled so much that the setlers wouldn't have much left.
Winthrop has a lot of faith, which I credit for one of th few reasons anyone would ever stay. The way he spoke, though, seems that he expecs to see his family soon. He writes that he can't wait to see them and I wonder if that means that he will be returning to England or his family will be joining him in the Americas.

cvalenti2 said...

This letter from John Winthrop, addressed to his wife and family, is relevant to our weekly reading as Winthrop exemplifies the struggles of the growing colony, such as death, illness, and other troubles. These downfalls in the sprouting region of Massachusetts were the overall point portrayed in chapters 3&4 because this letter and the book both demonnstrate the work and sacrifice it took into colonizing and how settlers were able to pull through the hardest times in order to form their colony and pursue spreading their religion.
One thing that was interesting was that despite the constant death in the area and spreading disease, the Puritans were able to overcome their losses through their faith in God. This shows how dedicated John Winthrop and other Puritans were to building life anew in America and devoting themselves to their religion because no matter what occured around them, the Puritans found comfort and strength in their God and were thankful every day that God mercifully allowed them to stay alive, as stated frequently in Winthrop's letter.
~Sarah V.

C.Slotter said...

It seems that Winthrop had a great faith in God and, despite all the struggles, he believed his colony would be successful. Regardless of all the "morality, sickness, and trouble," Winthrop remained faithful to his God, fellow colonists, and family. While I am surprised that the French would be willing to send colonists and supplies to their rival's colony, I can understand how important these supplies and settlers were to helping the struggling colony survive. Winthrop seemed happy to be in America, and he felt that all the struggles were worth the chance for freedom and a new life.
Winthrop's letter reveals the dedication and faith required of the leaders that helped the New World's colonies survive.

tboroski44 said...
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tboroski44 said...

To me, Winthrop just seems like my idea of what a typical Puritan settler was like. He is very religious, referring to God many times throughout the letter, which makes sense because they left England to avoid religious persecution, and so now in America they unofficially possessed freedom of religion. Also, he seems very positive and happy, but depressed at the same time. Winthrop may have enjoyed his newfound freedoms in America, but on the other hand he probably worried about his family's safety and well-being back in England.

- Tim Boroski

Michelle said...

This letter showed Winthrop's devotion to God. All around him he saw people dying but he still prayed to God thanking him for what little they had. He says, "It is enough that we shall have heaven, though we shall pass through hell to it." This is ironic to me because they fleed from England's religious persecutions and then they face more disasters. But Winthrop did show that he was very optimistic. I wouldn't be so grateful if I found out that a French ship, that arrived late, came with less food then intended and more people dead. It shows Winthrop appreciation for every little thing that God has sent him.

Krista said...

I was surprised to see the confidence John Winthrop had in his God despite the large number of deaths that occurred when they reached the new land. It gives us an idea of how strong peoples religious devotion was then compared to most people now. Winthrop wrote, "We here enjoy God and Jesus Christ. Is not this enough? What would we have more?" It shows that although he hopes to gain religious freedom he will not be disappointed whatever the outcome. The letter also gives me the feeling that John Winthrop was a strong leader based on the care he expressed for his neighbors and his devotion to his wife and fellow colonists.

Yazan said...

I was surprised at his complete surrender to God. as he says: "if He please, He can still uphold us in this estate; but if He shall see good to make us partakers with others in more affliction, His will be done. He is our God and may dispose of us as He sees good." i have to dmit, i have to respect that type of adoration and devotion to god

Michelle said...

withrop had a great faith in religion, which has to do what we've been talking about in class this week. the way people established religious freedom colonies (roger williams) to be able to express their faith. religion seemed to pull these people throw the hard days, & that no matter what they'd always have god. i quote from the letter above "i praise to the good lord, though we see much morality, sickness, and trouble"

Jeanette said...

I praise John Winthrop's optimism because he faced much sickness and troubles. Even though the situation he's in is not a good one for now, he still has an extremely strong faith in God; that God will help them through the rough times. This letter also shows that he is happy with the decision he made of coming to the New World, since he said, "I never fared better in my life, never slept better, never had more content of mind". Lastly, I can see Winthrop cares very much about his family, and believes God will take good care of them.

BigBri said...

As a read this letter, I took under consideration that Winthrop and his family are far seperated by the Atlantic Ocean. Winthrop has been through a lot in his travels through sickness, trouble with Natives, and the fact of being away from his family so they can live healthy and successful lives. But, I do not understand why Winthrop would go to the New World without his family. I understand that women did not go to the Americas in the early years of colonized America, but in Winthrop's letter it says, "The Lady Arbella is dead". Thus I cannot figure out why he did not bring his family to America.
How do they find letters from the past such as this? Or are these letters created from third person sources passed on from generation to generation?

sukhmeetkohli said...

This letter shows how John Winthrop was very devoted to god. Throughout his letter he mentions God's name, and just shows how a typical Puritan was. They wanted to leave england because of religious persecution, and came to the Americas for religious freedom. He thanks God for everything he has gave them. This letter also shows how John misses his wife and children dearly because he hasn't seen them for such a long time, and is hoping they are fine.
-Sukhmeet

matthew said...

Aftter reading John Winthrop's letter to his wife regarding the colony, I found it interesting how even though the colonists were facing economic problems and deadly diseases, they did not want to leave. I also found it interesting how much John thanked god. Even through all of his problems, instead of being mad, he was happy for having religous freedom therefore often thanked god. His faith in god was so strong, that he was willing to die in the colony, instead of returning to England. A question I have is, if England tolerated Puritans, would John still elect to come to the New World? This came to mind because he's faith led him to the colonies.

smurftastic44 said...

John Winthrop was a very religious and faithful man, despite all of the hardship that he had to endure while he was in the colonies. He was very hardworking, and wanted to provide for his family, even if he didn’t get to see them very often. He was extremely dedicated to the colony, and he was extremely thankful to God for allowing him and his family to live and be healthy. I was surprised that he kept his faith intact while so many people under his care were dying. He was a very interesting and an extremely optimistic man. He always seemed to look on the bright side of things, and it is obvious that he loved his wife and family, even though he didn’t get to spend time with them. -Christine Murphy

mike51095 said...

It sounds like John Winthrop is very sad because he misses his wife. It also sounds like he is very devoted to God because he says he would rather have nothing more than to enjoy God and Jesus Christ. i found it very interesting when he said, "God may dispose of us as He sees good." This is because when he says this he is basically putting his life in the hands of God. -Mike Signore

Ross said...

One thing that utterly amazed me about this letter is the sheer devotion that John Winthrop displays toward his God. Nearing the end of his letter Winthrop states, " hope, that our days of affliction will soon have an end, and that the Lord...will abundantly recompense for all the troubles we have endured." That excerpt shows that he believes, with the utmost certainty, that even after years of struggle and hardship the Lord has a plan for him and his fellow settlers and that someday soon they will be rewarded for prevailing past those challenges. This faith in his Lord and his religion keeps Winthrop, and most likely the rest of the colony, optimistic. This simple factor could have been what drove the colony out of these difficult times and into more relaxing, less stressful predicaments. All in all, i believe the Puritan piety and worth ethic is evident throughout this letter, and may also be a determining factor in the success of this country we call America.

- Ross Barreiro

Becky said...

This letter is relevent to what we have been learning this week because we've been discusing the establishment of the New England colonies and John Winthrop was the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. We originally learned that he thought his calling from God was to lead a new religious movement. This letter backs that up with words from Winthrop himself. We can see that he attributes everything to God which is interesting because he talks about how he and his family are in good health and are just well in general, and he thanks God for that, but he also talks of how his man servent and others have died and gives God the credit for that as well saying, "thus the Lord is pleased still to humble us". Through this letter you can truely see that the Seperatists intentions or atleast Winthrop's intentions were to be able to worship ashe believed not for greed. Its hard to imagine a time like that.
-Becky Hurley

amanda said...

I love how religious and loving this man is in his letter. He shows how faithful he is which really gives me a perspective on how faithful other settlers were. I also like how positive his letter was and how graceful he is when talking to his wife. He doesn't put her down like I was expecting (due to the lack of women's rights and respect). The most inspiring part is how positive he is even after all the hardship. He still is striving forward and throughout it all he hasn't lost sight of his family. He states that he looks forward to seeing his kids again which is surprising because I would expect the letter to say other things such as how hopeless life is... The fact that John is able to stay hopeful even when he's so far from his beloved family is amazing. John sure seems like a respectable man.