Diverse Gashes: Governor William Bradford, Alice Bishop, and the Murder of Martha Clarke Plymouth Colony 1648


Product Details

American History Press
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.0 X 0.82 inches | 1.19 pounds

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"The 1648 murder of four-year-old Martha Clarke, by her own mother, is perhaps Plymouth Colony's most notorious but least studied community tragedy. In Diverse Gashes, Donna Watkins has masterfully pieced together the stories of family, witnesses, and magistrates, and placed the horrendous event in its social and historical contexts." - Caleb Johnson, author, historian.

"What women suffered in New England, in the so-called name of justice, is a dark stain that should not be hidden under the rug of history. I congratulate Donna Watkins on her fearless handling of this subject." - Sue Allan, author and historian

"Ms. Watkins provides the reader with an informative backstory into the lives of the Pilgrims before, during and after their arrival in the New World in 1620. In this compelling and fascinating account, Watkins explores in depth the circumstances of Alice's heinous crime as well as the many unanswered questions brought forth as a result of her actions." - Christine Cook, genealogist and Mayflower Descendant.

"In Diverse Gashes, Watkins focuses on the details leading up to the event and goes on to explain the social and religious stresses within the colony that were major contributory factors in Alice's actions. The picture Donna has drawn of life in Plymouth Colony goes well beyond other historic reading I have done in this area. I recommend this book to anyone interested in the history of the Pilgrims, particularly those with ancestral lines back to Alice Bishop." - Dennis Sutton, creator of "Home Grown in the Garden State."

"Watkins' epic historical story, Diverse Gashes, gives an insightful glimpse into the Plymouth Pilgrims' lives, their struggles, trials, and achievements against the odds. The murder of Martha Clarke by her mother, Alice Bishop, the investigation, and subsequent trial, leaves the reader with a true appreciation of modern-day justice." - Michal Marshall, descendant of Alice Bishop.

"The 1648 death of four-year-old Martha Clarke at the hands of her mother, Alice Bishop, has haunted Alice's descendants for centuries. Using primary documentation and hundreds of sources, Donna Watkins carefully investigates the murder and trial, as well as the key characters involved in this tragic story. As much a history of the Pilgrims as it is of Alice Bishop, Diverse Gashes explores the culture of "control and watchfulness" that pervaded Plymouth Colony, providing the context that family historians have long sought." - Erin Taylor and Kristin Luce, co-authors of Alice Martin Bishop: Motherhood & Murder in Plymouth Colony.