White, Anglo, Saxon, and Almost Protestant

The Pilgrims Signing the Compact, on board the Mayflower, Nov. 11th, 1620, engraving by Gauthier (Library of Congress)
What does the WASP inheritance include?

Editor’s Note: The piece is the first in a five-part series.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE O ne of the most heuristic things ever said about a member of my family was said by William Bradford, governor of Plymouth colony, the early American settlement located in what would, at a later day, become the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Writing in his memoir, Of Plymouth Plantation, Bradford said of my paternal ancestor William Brewster, “He was tenderhearted and compassionate of such as were in misery but especially of such as had been of good estate and rank and were fallen unto want and poverty.” What was remarkable in that encomium,

Neal B. FreemanMr. Freeman is a former editor of and columnist for National Review and the founding producer of Firing Line. This article has been adapted from his new book, Walk with Me: An Invitation to Faith.

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