The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (190721).
VOLUME XV. Colonial and Revolutionary Literature; Early National Literature, Part I.
II. The Historians, 16071783.
§ 9. Nathaniel Morton.
|Nathaniel Morton was a trusted nephew of Governor Bradford and became secretary of the Plymouth colony. Possessed of fair ability, he was long a man of note and a preserver of Plymouth tradition. In 1669 he published, as we have seen, New Englands Memorial, a history of the colony. For the early years he drew directly on his uncles book, transcribing large portions of it. Until the discovery of the Fulham manuscript, Mortons book was the best source for Bradfords text. The part which was concerned with the years following Bradford was written by Morton himself, and is meagre and disappointing, but Johnson and he were long the standard historians for the average New Englander. They may be considered the last of the early group, and in their manner and purposes they looked forward to the second group, men who were either born in America or who arrived after the American ideals were well enough formed to master the newcomers.