Bowdoin Historian Questions the ‘Wolves’ the Pilgrims Met

Assistant Professor of History Strother Roberts

In the fall of 1620, a pilgrim named John Goodman walked a short ways from Plymouth Colony with his dog, a little Spaniel. On his walk, he encountered two fierce animals that chased his dog. Goodman defended his pet with a stick, and the “wolves” sat back on their tails, “grinning at him a good while” before they went on their way.

This anecdote, reported in the account William Bradford’s Of Plimoth Plantation in New England, piqued historian Strother Roberts’ interest, resulting in a new research project that could change how we think about pilgrims, Native Americans, animals, and pets. Read the story.

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