The Bradford Legacy
Governor Gavigan scowled as he contemplated his next chess move.
“Husband, what is bothering you?”
“Mary, I must find a way to attract new settlers to our little portion of New Simland. It is
one of the duties I was charged with when I received this appointment.”
“I am sure that you will come up with a way to do so,” Mary reassured. “Now, it is your
Governor Gavigan sighed.
“I must, Mary. I must, or I may not be Governor much longer.”
Later that day, Governor Gavigan stood in his study thinking about his dilemma.
“There must be a way to entice sims from Simland to this colony. But what is it?”
What to do, what to do? the Governor mused. There is much land to be had, fertile land
at that. Perhaps that is the key. Now, who from Simland would be interested in that
“That’s it!” he exclaimed. “There must be many young men who are third or forth in line
to inherit their family estate. They would be most interested in a plot of land to call their
own. I will advertise in the Simdon Times, letting them know of the large parcels of land
up for grabs. I’m certain that someone will see the advertisement and want to settle
“Have you figured out what you are going to do to bring new colonists to New Simland?”
asked Mary the next day over lunch.
“Yes, I have. I shall advertise in the Simdon Times, letting people know of the vast
quantities of land to be had here. I am certain that there will be many young gentleman
who are not near enough to their family inheritance who will be eager to settle here.”
“Husband, that is a marvelous idea,” said Mary.
“I know,” the Governor grinned.
“Papa, do you think the new settlers will have children so that I may have more
playmates?” asked Isaiah.
“Perhaps son. More than likely, they will be bachelors when they arrive. That’s not to
say that they won’t marry and have children eventually.”
An ocean away, John Bradford sat on the steps of his family home. The third son of a
family with old land and old money, his future prospects were grim. His oldest brother,
Henry, would inherit the family lands and fortune. The second brother, Arthur, was set to
marry the only daughter of a wealthy neighbor. But John had no such luck. He would be
expected to go into a trade. John had a strong desire to pursue a career in medicine, but
he had not the means to make his dreams into a reality.
Later that morning, John leafed through the Simdon Times. As he pondered what he
should do with his future, an advertisement caught his eye.
New Simland Colonies offer great quantities of rich, fertile land to those willing to bear an
ocean crossing. Hard working gentleman of good character are of particular interest.
Upon arrival in New Simland, please report to Governor Nathan Gavigan.
John folded the newspaper up and went to find his father. He now knew what he wanted
“Father?” John asked. “May I have a few moments of your time?”
“Of course, my son.” Henry Sr. responded. “Just let me mark my place.”
“Now John, what is on your mind. You seem to be greatly excited about something.”
“Yes Father, I am. I read an advisement in the Simdon Times today that greatly intrigued
me. They are looking for people to settle the New Simland colonies, and I would like to
do so. I think that it is a great opportunity for me.”
“What!” Exclaimed Henry. “Why would you think such a thing would be a good idea?
You have a home here! Your family is here! It will take months to get there, and there is
no guarantee of anything once you arrive.”
“Father,” began John, “I have no prospects here. Henry will wed within the month, and
his children will inherit this house. Arthur will also marry soon, and be gone. The odds
are that they will both have sons, and I will be cut out of the inheritance line entirely. I
know that I shall always have a home here, but you and Mother shall not be here forever,
and I do not want to be a burden to my brothers. Starting over in New Simland will allow
me the chance of land, and will also give me the chance to pursue my dream of
becoming a doctor. I have been trying to figure out what to do with my life for some time,
and I believe this to be my best option.”
Henry Sr. sighed.
“John, I know that since you were a little boy you dreamed of setting out on your own
and making a name and fortune for your own family. I had hoped that you wouldn’t go so
far away to do so. I accept the reasoning behind your decision, but I must ask if you
have thought about all the consequences of your choice. If you go to New Simland,
there is a very real chance that you will never see your mother, myself, and your brothers
John got up from his chair and looked at the map of the world that hung on the wall of his
“I have thought of that, Father. And it pains me to leave my family and all I know behind.
But I know that I will meet new people and start a family of my own. A family that I will be
proud of. One that I will love and care for as you have with my brothers and I.”
John and his father studied the world map for a moment.
“Father, I know that this is the path for which I am destined. I plan on leaving on the next
available ship. I hope that I can take your blessing along with me.”
“My youngest son,” muttered Henry Sr. as he pulled John into an embrace. “You have
my blessing. God speed and safe passage, my boy.”
“Thank you, Father,” said John as he returned the tight embrace. “I shall miss you more
than you shall know. I promise to write often to keep you informed of what happens.”
“Thank you, John. Now, I suggest you get ready for dinner. Your mother will take a bit
more convincing, I believe.”
“Yes, Father,” agreed John as he exited the study.
After John had left the study, Henry Sr. looked up at the map of the world one more time.
“So far away,” he murmured to himself. “My son, my little boy.”
Henry Sr. sighed again. “If any of my sons can set out into a strange land and make a
new start, it’s John. I just hope that his mother will see things the same way.”
Later that evening, the Bradford family sat down to dinner.
Henry Sr. cleared his throat. “I believe that John has something he would like to share
with the family.”
“Brother, have you news?” asked Henry Jr. “Have you found yourself a bride also?”
John laughed nervously.
“No, not just yet. I have decided to relocate to New Simland. There, I will pursue a
medical career, and start a new life for myself. I am hopeful that a bride will me among
the things I find in the new world.”
Henry Jr. looked at his youngest brother.
“That is very brave of you, John. I wish you the best of luck. I take it that you will not be
here for my wedding to Phila?”
“No, I wish to get to New Simland as early in the planting season as I can. I’ll be farming
along with apprenticing with a local physician to learn medicine.”
Henry Jr. nodded. “I would have liked to have you here to celebrate, but you must do
what you think is best for your future.”
After dinner, the Bradford brothers met in the game room for a game of billiards.
“So John, the local ladies have not the charms to keep you here?” teased his brother
“Henry, you know that’s not it. I’m tired of being known only as your brother, or Arthur’s
brother. I want to be known for my own talents and abilities, not just on my family’s
name. I want a home of my own, and land. I cannot have that here in Simland.”
“I imagine that it’s hard to be the third son.”
“You have no idea, Henry.”
“And have gotten Mother’s blessing, along with Father’s?” asked Arthur.
“Not yet, why?”
“Because I believe I can hear her crying in the drawing room,” stated Arthur.
“Brothers, excuse me,” said John.
John walked across the entryway into the drawing room. Upon entering, he gasped at
the sight that met his eyes.
“My baby!,” sobbed his mother, Charity. “My beautiful baby boy is leaving me, and I’ll
never see him again.”
A wave of guilt washed over John. He had known that his departure would be hard on
his mother, but he had never imagined that the news would reduce her to tears. He
rushed to her side and sat next to her on the settee.
“Mother,” John began softly, trying to reason with her, “You know that this is for the best.
I have few, if any, prospects her in Simland. Moving to New Simland will be very
beneficial for me. I’ll have a home, and a family, and everything you ever wanted for
Charity only began to sob harder at her son’s words.
She rose from the settee, still overcome with tears.
“All those things you could have had here in Simland! I told your father that we needed
to get you betrothed. But he would not listen to me. Now, you’re going thousands of
miles away, and I shall never see you again, nor will I meet my grandchildren.”
John put his arm around his mother in an attempt to comfort her.
“Mother, I must leave home at some point. As the third son, you know that I have no
inheritance to rely on, that I will have to make a name for myself in this world. I would
much rather do so in a place where I’m not known as the youngest Bradford boy. This is
a great opportunity for me. Please, Mother, I ask that you give me your blessing.”
Charity sniffled one last time.
“My darling boy, of course you shall have my blessing. It is my selfish heart that wants
all my children close. You must do what is best for you, of course.”
John pulled his mother into a tight embrace.
“Thank you, Mother. That means much to me.”
“You must promise to write as often as you can.”
“Of course I shall. I love you, Mother.”
“As I love you, John. Now, you have much to do. “
“Yes, I do. Goodnight, Mother.”
Charity sighed as John exited the room.
I shall have to keep a brave face on for him. My heart is breaking, but John must never
A few weeks later, the Bradford family gathered to wish John farewell and good luck.
“Good bye Father, Mother, Henry and Arthur. I will write as soon as I arrive in New
Simland, and as often as I can after that.”
“God speed, my son,” said his father.
“Best of luck, my brother,” wished Henry Jr.
“Safe passage,” said Arthur.
“Be happy,” whispered his mother.
Several months later, Governor Gavigan and his family were gathered around he dinner
“Mary, a ship arrives from Simland tomorrow, and there are several gentleman who wish
to settle here upon it. My plan is a success.”
“That is wonderful, husband,” praised his wife.
The crossing was a long one for John. Having never sailed before in his life, he found
the constant rocking of the ship brought on continuous waves of nausea. He was most
grateful when about two months into the journey he heard an excited cry from one of the
A tight smile finally crossed John’s face. At long last, he was finally getting the chance to
live the life of which he had dreamed.
On the dock, John was greeted by Governor Gavigan.
“Welcome to New Simland! I trust that you had a good crossing?”
“A fair one, thank you. I am most grateful to have two legs on dry land again, I must
“Yes, that is the reaction of many of those just off the ship. What brings you to New
“I am the third son of a family with old land and old money, but not enough of either to go
around. I wish to study medicine and make a name for myself here. I must admit, your
advertisement of the large amount of land up for grabs caught my attention,” answered
“Splendid! I shall put you in touch with the doctor to see about an apprenticeship. Now,
can I interest you in a beverage at the local tavern?”
“Now, isn’t this much better than what you had on the ship?”
“Decidedly so, Governor.”
“When we are finished here, allow me to take you to one of the nicer plots of land. It has
excellent farming potential, and enough room to build a fine house.
“Sir, you are most kind to me. I shall not soon forget your kindness to a stranger.”
Governor Gavigan smiled. He enjoyed having others in his debt.
A short time later, John looked out across the vast plot of land that was now his and his
Here I shall found a legacy that will last for generations, he thought. Here, I shall raise a
family that will leave its mark, and will live up to the Bradford name.
Thank you for reading! Look for chapter one of The Bradford Legacy coming soon!