Carver, John

Carver, John,

c.1576–1621, first governor of Plymouth Colony. A wealthy London merchant, in 1609 he emigrated to Holland, where he soon joined the Pilgrims at Leiden. His excellent character and his fortune, of which he gave liberally to the congregation, served to make him a leader. Carver, the chief figure in arranging for the Pilgrim migration to America, secured the backing of merchant friends in London, enlisted a number of capable settlers who came directly from England, and hired and provisioned the Mayflower for the journey. After the signing of the Mayflower CompactMayflower Compact,
in U.S. colonial history, an agreement providing for the temporary government of Plymouth Colony. The compact was signed (1620) on board the Mayflower
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 he was elected (1620) governor for one year and was probably responsible for the choice of the site at Plymouth. On his death, William BradfordBradford, William,
1590–1657, governor of Plymouth Colony, b. Austerfield, Yorkshire, England. As a young man he joined the separatist congregation at Scrooby and in 1609 emigrated with others to Holland, where, at Leiden, he acquired a wide acquaintance with theological
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 succeeded him.


See G. F. Willison, Saints and Strangers (1945).

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