How did the Pilgrims describe America upon arrival?

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Those Pilgrims who wrote about their experiences at Plymouth described the area in different ways. In his History of Plymouth Plantation, the most famous account of the settlement, William Bradford, the governor of Plymouth, described the region alternately as a "hideous and desolate wilderness, full of wild beasts and wild men." Bradford's purpose in writing the History was to illustrate the workings of God in providing for his band of Separatists in such a hostile environment. In an often-cited passage, Bradford describes, for example, a Patuxent village, deserted due to a smallpox epidemic that preceded the Pilgrims, as being cleared out by God for their benefit. Another famous Pilgrim leader, Edward Winslow, described the area as teeming with natural resources, including fish, shellfish, berries, and good land for growing Indian corn. Winslow concluded that "men might live as contented here as in any part of the world." Winslow, who developed a friendship of sorts with the local Wampanoag leader Massasoit, described the inhabitants of the area as "people without any religion, or knowledge of any God," yet "very trusty...quick-witted, and just." Winslow assured a correspondent that Pilgrims could "walk as peaceably and safely in the in the highways in England." The Pilgrims, in short, believed that the world they had come to inhabit was provided for them by God.

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