Thomas Prince 
Governor of Plymouth

"Thomas Prince (1600-1673), Governor of the Colony of Plymouth, was first elected into this office in the year 1634; afterwards, in 1638. When Governor Bradford died, in 1657, he was chosen to succeed him, and continued to be chosen as long as he lived.

For many years he was one of the assistants, and commissioner to the United Colonies. He was one of this respectable body when the disputes happened between Massachusetts and the other colonies about the war with the Dutch, and joined heartily in the letter of reproof which the colony of Plymouth sent to [the] General Court. [The historian,] Mr. Morton gives him the character 'of a very worthy, pious gentleman, capable of the office of government.'

He was a man of great integrity, a just man in private life, and so steady to his trust, as never to betray the public confidence reposed in him. [The historian,] Douglass says, he had 'strong natural powers, but no learning.'

He was a friend to learning and religion, whatever his own acquirements might be, according to the account we have 'that the most able men in the colony thought no method would be more effectual in preventing the churches being overwhelmed with ignorance, than the election of Mr. Prince to the office of Governor; and this point being gained, the adverse party from that time sunk into confusion.'

He also procured revenues for the support of grammar schools. It was this gentleman, with six others, who first settled the town of Eastham. He removed there, in 1644, and returned to Plymouth, when he was fixed in the chair of government.

Governor Prince died, March 29, 1673, in the 73rd year of his age. Having lived in New England from the year 1621.


— Biographical Dictionary...of New England, by John Eliot, 1808 (edited)

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