George Washington by Gilbert Stuart

Myles Standish

Pilgrim Military Leader


Captain Myles Standish was a military man aboard the Mayflower. He excelled at building forts and led early exploratory missions into Cape Cod. He was one of the few who did not get sick during the first winter and therefore helped care for those who did fall ill. Upon finding the New World, Standish became the military leader of Plymouth Colony.

As military leader, he organized the defense of the village of Plymouth. He led expeditions for both trading and military purposes and fought numerous battles in the New World. Standish had a short temper, often wore armor and carried weapons. He was not very tall and was rudely once called “Captain Shrimp.” Despite his faults, Standish was a great military leader for the Pilgrims.

“War is a terrible trade.”

Standish represented Plymouth in England.


Standish served as one of the governor’s assistants and as the treasurer for Plymouth Colony.


He was one of the founders of Duxbury, Massachusetts in 1632.


Standish was responsible for finding the most suitable land for the Pilgrims to finally settle.


Myles Standish has a forest named after him in Massachusetts, called Myles Standish State Forest.