Provincetown History Snippets: Did She Fall or Was She Pushed?
The Mayflower had to cross the Atlantic at the height of storm season, making the passage both unpleasant and dangerous passage. Many of the passengers were so seasick they couldn’t move, and waves were so rough that one passenger was swept overboard.
Through what William Bradford called “many fierce storms,” the Mayflower struggled on, finally finding a temporary safe haven in Provincetown Harbor. And it was here that William Bradford’s wife, Dorothy, “slipped” off the deck and into the harbor, where she drowned. Curiously, Bradford does not mention the tragic loss of his wife in any of his journals.
The consensus seems to be that she suicided, missing her son who’d been left behind and dealing with a difficult marriage. But others believe that William’s lack of emotion around the event might point toward murder. What do you think?