Featuring Mary Ann Jung – Actor, as she brings History Alive! You won’t want to miss this performance as she takes us back in time with the recreation of one of our Ancestors, Susanna (Jackson) White.
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Susanna (Jackson) White, who married later Edward Winslow:
Susanna’s origin was discovered and presented in Sept. 2017 in Plymouth at the GSMD General Congress by Caleb Johnson, Simon Neal, and Sue Allan who did the research. This material was published by Sue Allan, Caleb Johnson and Simon Neal, “The Origin of Mayflower Passenger Susanna (Jackson)(White) Winslow,” The American Genealogist 89-4(October 2017):241-264.
Huddled together in the ship, the 3 of them, hoping and dreaming of their new life and the baby to come. Williams hand gently resting on her swollen belly. They dreamed of The ability to worship freely twithout fear of a king. Then came the confusion as they neared land an found that they were way off course. The awful reality that they were entering winter as the first snow flakes brushed their cheeks. The pride she felt for her dear William as he and the other men concluded that survival meant both parties working together and they forged the Mayflower compact. They were English after all, rules and rights from the days of the Magna Carta were deeply engrained. As the days grew shorter and confined to the ship, she restlessly roamed the ship when her chores allowed and prayed for a safe delivery of her baby. In late November when William was off ship working with the other men, her water broke. The women passengers rushed to her side and did what women did for millennia, they helped her deliver Peregrine. When William returned to the ship, he was greeted with the news that he had a son. His eyes filled with tears as he kissed Susanna, the baby at her breast, Resolved at her side, two sons, what more could a man ask. Susanna only saw the tiredness in his eyes and he, never a robust man, seemed diminished somehow. And as the cruel winter raged, the cold like a living thing, tore at their faces, practically shredded their clothes, there was no escape except for the dying and dead. The sound of wailing became almost a continual background noise and survival became harder and harder. Food, warmth, all the things they left behind became scarcer and scarcer. Susanna, a robust woman, now found her clothes hanging on her and she felt like an old woman but as she looked at her sons she vowed with all the strength she had that they would live even if she didn’t. It was February when she last saw William. He left with the other men, cold, tired and weak. The men were merciful, told her how hard he worked how much he loved her and the fever and cough he tried to hide from her finally took his life out there in the wilderness. As she sank to her knees in her grief, both boys crying with her, she was angry with God for the first time in her life. Her dear William would never see Peregrine take his first steps, call him father and she wept until no more tears came. How could God be so cruel. The weeks passed in a daze. Edward Winslow came to her distraught, his wife was dying, would she come. Susanna had become friends with her on the ship and she confided how she looked forward to becoming pregnant as well and they shared stories of their childhood. Susanna got Priscilla to stay with the boys. Priscilla newly orphaned, was good with the children, she would sing songs to them that her mother sang to her when she was a little girl. Susanna stifled a sob when she saw her friend. As she sat beside her and held her hand, Edwards wife beckoned her close, her voice barely a whisper, “promise me” she said, “that if Edward asks you to marry him you will say yes. “She begged her to say yes and Susanna said yes and kissed her friend goodby and left them in their grief. This was March and often she wondered how much easier it would be to die than to live but her sons, despite it all, gave her joy and she saw so much of her husband in them. Often Edward would come by with a little extra food or some kindling and stay and play with the boys and her spirits were buoyed a bit.
Gradually, The water in the streams broke free from the ice and growth in the forest began its annual renewal and the last dreadful grip of winter was losing its hold. Early May, Edward asked to see Susanna alone. He told her that he promised his wife before she died that he would remarry and over the past few months his fondness and admiration for her grew. If she would consent to marry him, he would take care of her, be a father to her sons and he knew in time, love would blossom. Susanna remembered her vow to his wife and with a little hesitation said she would be proud to be his wife. They were married on May 12, 1621. Priscilla was her bridesmaid, she wore a dress from her trunk, that she was saving for a special occasion. The women gathered greens from the forest and some wildflowers for her bonnet and she and Edward become the first to marry in Plymouth colony. the whole colony rejoiced. The saying of their vows symbolized the renewal of the colony. They would survive, they thanked God for the blessings they had. They rejoiced. Susanna and Edward went on to be parents of Edward, John, Josiah, and Elizabeth. It was a noisy, laughter filled household. Peregrine lived to the ripe old age of 83. Josiah became the 13th governor of Plymouth colony.
In 1654, Susanna fell ill. In her delirium, she smiled, remembering how she and Eleanor Billington, Elizabeth Hopkins and Mary Brewster were preparing the first Thanksgiving dinner and How surprised they when the first Wampanough joined them bringing all sorts of game. She rallied from her delirium to look with joy upon her family, the grandchildren she adored and fussed over. She admonished them not to feel sad, she was the most privileged of women to have loved and been loved by two remarkable men. She recalled the Bible verse in the book of Joel 2:23 “I (God) will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten.” She was buried in Winslow cemetery which boasts of a stone monument to the early settlers of Green Harbor Marshfield, naming among others, Susanna, resolved, Peregrine and Edward.