Edward Winslow, b. Droitwich, England, Oct. 18, 1595, d. May 8, 1655, was a founder and leader of the Plymouth Colony and its most effective diplomat. A member of the Pilgrim community in Leiden, he helped arrange the passage of the group to America on the Mayflower
. In 1620 he negotiated a treaty with Indian chief Massasoit, and he subsequently went on several missions to secure supplies and establish fur-trading posts. He procured cattle on his first trip (162324) toEngland. During a later mission (1635), Archbishop William Laud imprisoned him for 17 weeks for his religious activities. Winslow was governor of the Plymouth Colony for three years (163334, 163637, 164445) and, except for those years, an assistant from 1624 to 1646. Winslow went to England in 1646 to defend the Massachusetts Bay Colony and never returned to New England. He held several posts in Oliver Cromwell's Puritan government.
Bibliography: Bradford, William, Of Plymouth Plantation, 16201647, ed. by Samuel E. Morison (1952); Stratton, Eugene A., Plymouth Colony: Its History and People, 16201691 (1987); Willison, G. F., Saints and Strangers: Pilgrim Fathers (1945; repr. 1983).