Historical & Editorial Notes


The Tomaquag Museum Edition of Roger Willliam’s A Key Into the Language of America includes cultural commentary provided by the Narragansett Tribal Community as well as modern linguistic information provided by a leading authority in the study of Native American & Indigenous languages. For more information about the Tomaquag Museum, visit their website.

William Bradford’s manuscript Of Plimoth Plantation appears courtesy of the State Library of Massachusetts. When citing the text, footnotes refer to the original manuscript pages. For more information or to view the digitized version of the original “Of Plimoth Plantation,” visit their website.

Images of Mourt’s Relation were from the original pamphlet courtesy of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. When citing the text, footnotes refer to the 1963 edition edited by Dwight B. Heath.

Please see the bibliography for a complete list of sources.


All 17th-century English spelling has been modernized for comprehension. If you want to use the original source material with your students, explore the list of primary sources including in the bibliography.

People & Places

Whenever possible, Indigenous place names have been used with English names added parenthetically to provide geographical context for students and teachers who may not be familiar with the Northeast region.

Modern Native people prefer to be identified by their specific nations. Whenever possible, we have tried to identify people as affiliated with the contemporary 17th-century communities and nations by which they identified themselves, often to English writers. If it is impossible to tell, we have used “Indigenous” or “Native,” which are the preferred general terms for tribal nations in the Northeast.

Where known, texts have been annotated whenever possible to replace general words such as “Native” with the individual’s name. Teachers may choose to use the original language to explore cultural bias and worldview in colonial writings.


All dates have been written as if the new year began on January 1st rather than March 25th which was the start of the new year in 17th-century England and New England.

Special Thanks

This project is the result of dozens of historians, geneologists, archaeologists, knowledge keepers, over Plimoth Patuxet Museums’ 75-year history.