Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, English and Literary Arts

First Advisor

Laird Hunt


Creative writing, Fiction


This dissertation, Beheld, seeks to reexamine the Mayflower story through fiction and archival research. The novella-length book tells the story of two women aboard the Mayflower that have been mostly overlooked by history: Dorothy Bradford and Ellen Moore. Both exist only in the footnotes of larger stories. In her husband’s account of the pilgrim’s journey, Dorothy Bradford’s husband provides the only firsthand account of the Mayflower trip. Though her husband, William Bradford, accounts for the deaths aboard the ship—particularly the sailor who mocked their seasickness—and the deaths the winter of their first arrival to North America, he leaves out of his quite detailed book any mention of the only death that occurred in early December: the death of his own wife. Meanwhile, one man sent away his four children on the Mayflower as indentured servants to the Puritans, without his wife’s knowledge. Court records indicate the children’s mother searched for years to locate where her children were. In reimagining the Mayflower story and puritans, more broadly, in the context of the 17th century, this project may be of interest to prose writers, as well as historians and early American scholars.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. This work may only be accessed by members of the University of Denver community. The work is provided by permission of the author for individual research purposes only and may not be further copied or distributed. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

TaraShea Nesbit


Received from author

File Format




File Size

191 pgs


Creative writing