William Byrd and William Bradford were colonial writers who took two differing approaches towards their work while accounting for their pilgrimage and early settlement to the New World. Their most renowned works were A History of the Dividing Line and Of Plymouth Plantation respectively. Bradford came to America after a long exile in Holland where he was running away from persecution in England together with a group called “Separatists” who saw no hope to reform the Church of England unlike other Puritans. On the other hand, Byrd came to America as a merchant equipped with extensive inheritance from his uncle.
Bradford used Puritans’ plain style of writing which never used figures of speech and was simple and to the point. This is seen when he explains the first experiences of settlers when they arrived. The settlers had no one to welcome them nor bars to entertain them, no houses or towns for them to rest and get help (31). This shows how it was difficult to arrive in a barren land despite their sailing hardships. In contrast, Byrd wrote about his encounter with the New World differently. Byrd ridiculed what was taking place. A good instance of his technique is where he described the rapid immigration of the settlers to the New world as “modish frenzy” (50). This shows that it was a fashion of the time. He also criticizes settlers who he say the spent fifty Pounds to build a church whereas they spent five hundred Pounds on a tavern.
Bradford and Byrd viewed Indians as a means of survival. Byrd engages two Indians to hunt for them (159). They used them for their own gains because they did not know how to hunt for meat. However, Indians were still being viewed as an enemy to many of the Anglo-Europeans.