Myles Standish: Defender of the Pilgrims and the Massasoit in Sowams

Myles Standish was an English military officer hired by the Pilgrims as military adviser for Plymouth Colony. He accompanied them on the Mayflower journey and played a leading role in the administration and defense of Plymouth Colony from its inception. Click here for a 15-minute video presentation about Myles Standish. [Text from Wikipedia]


On February 17, 1621, the Plymouth Colony militia elected him as its first commander and continued to re-elect him to that position for the remainder of his life.[3] He served as an agent of Plymouth Colony in England, as assistant governor, and as treasurer of the Colony.[4] He was also one of the first settlers and founders of the town of Duxbury, Massachusetts. [Painting by Ruth Major @]


A defining characteristic of Standish’s military leadership was his proclivity for preemptive action which resulted in at least two attacks or small skirmishes against Indians in the Nemasket raid and the conflict at Wessagusset Colony. During these actions, Standish exhibited courage and skill as a soldier, but he also demonstrated a brutality that angered the Indians and disturbed more moderate members of the Colony.[


He supported and defended the Pilgrims’ colony for much of his life, though there is no evidence to suggest that he ever joined their church. One of the best known depictions of him in popular culture was the 1858 poem The Courtship of Miles Standish by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Click here for a 15-minute video presentation about Myles Standish.