John Howland was one of the passengers of the Mayflower that reached Plymouth in 1640. Howland married Elizabeth Tilley, daughter of John and Joan (Hurst) Tilley, also Mayflower passengers.
On the Mayflower as a manservant to Governor John Carver, John Howland nearly became one of the earliest casualties of the journey when he was swept overboard in a storm, but he managed to hang on to a rope long enough to be rescued by the crew. Once in the New World, Howland rose to prominence and later agreed to join a group of men in assuming the settlers’ debt to its investors in exchange for a monopoly on the colony’s fur trade. In that capacity he was involved in an infamous trading dispute that saw one of his men, Moses Talbot, killed, and the shooter killed in retaliation. National Geographic – Who’s Who in Saints and Stranger