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Free History Studies: John Winthrop

Free History Studies: John Winthrop

Free History Studies: John Winthrop

John Winthrop was the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and largely credited with keeping the fledgling colony together.

Read the current chapter online: “The First Governor in Boston”

  • Explore Indian shelters.  Perhaps even make your own replica.  You’ll find resources below.
  • Find Massachusetts on a map.  Mark Boston.
  • Learn how corn is grown.  Can you understand why it would have taken so long to provide food?
  • Governor Winthrop shared the last of the flour he had.  Read and copy Luke 21:1-4.
  • What did the man mean who said, “By conquering yourself, you have conquered me?”
  • John Winthrop was a Puritan.  Compare and contrast the Puritans and the Pilgrims.
  • More about Governor Winthrop from the Book of Knowledge:

    John Winthrop is remembered and highly honored in New England as the greatest man in the history of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

    He was born in England in 1588, was educated at Cambridge University and became a lawyer. Though successful in his profession, he was not happy in England, for he was a strong Puritan, and did not like the management of religious or state affairs at that time. He determined to move to New England and was elected governor of the colony that landed in Massachusetts in 1630.

    Until his death, in 1649, he was governor or deputy governor nearly all the time, and gave his strength of body and mind and will to keep the little colony on the right path…. Through his influence a sort of union of the New England colonies was formed for defense against the Indians or other foes.

    “Some American Statesmen,” The Book of Knowledge

Further Investigation

John Winthrop: Colonial Massachusetts Governor
Brief biography.

John Winthrop
Statue at Statuary Hall.

“A Model of Christian Charity”
Read the modernized version of the speech.


“Indian Shacks and Shelters”
A chapter from Shelters, Shacks and Shanties by Dan Beard, author of The American Boy’s Handy Book, with illustrations.

Massachusetts Map/Quiz Printout

Interactive Map Maker {Free}
Make your own map of Massachusetts.


“The Founding of Massachusetts”
A chapter from This Country of Ours by H.E. Marshall.

Ruth of Boston by James Otis
A story of the Massachusetts Bay Colony from the viewpoint of a girl as she sets sail on the Arabella with Governor Winthrop.  In the public domain.

Unit  Studies & Lesson Plans

The Widow’s Mite
A lesson from Calvary Curriculum.

Utopia/Dystopia: The American Dream
A 7-lesson plan for older students from Mensa for Kids that looks at the American dream through “The City on a Hill” concept.  Excellent for thinking and discussion!

A City Upon a Hill: Winthrop’s “Modell of Christian Charity,” 1630
Vocabulary and discussion/narration questions.

Printables & Notebooking Pages

United States Map
At for locating Massachusetts.

Massachusetts State Map
Map of the state for marking Boston.

John Winthrop Notebooking Pages
Simple pages for copywork, narrations, or wrapping up.

Enjoy the complete series:
Free History Studies: Stories of Great Americans
Free History Studies: Stories of Great Americans

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