Smith-Bradford Essay

Having read John Smith’s The General History of Virginia and William Bradford’s Of Plymouth Plantation, you are to choose which author you think was more objective and believable in his account. Support your conclusion by examining the three topics indicated below. Be certain to give specific textual references (quotations, summary, or paraphrase) from each author in paragraphs 2, 3, and 4.

Paragraph One: Introduction and Thesis Statement:

"While John Smith and William Bradford both wrote of the survival experiences of a young colony, I believe that (choose either Smith or Bradford here) was more believable in his providential history. Their accounts differ in three important ways."

Paragraph Two: Who gets the glory or the credit in each account? How does the author refer to this person or these persons? How does this affect the credibility of the two authors? (Give textual citation from each author.)

Paragraph Three: How do the accounts differ in their discussion of the Indians? Consider how the authors refer to the native Americans. Consider the reported actions of the native Americans. How does this affect the credibility of the two authors? (Give textual citation from each author.)

Paragraph Four: Do you think either author exaggerated in telling his story? Give any examples of exageration that you find. If you believe an author does not exagerate, give an example of his plain, straight-forward writing. How does this affect the credibility of the two authors? (Give textual citation from each author.)

Paragraph Five: Summary of main points; restate which author you think is more believable.