Imprisoned twelve years for preaching without a license from the King, he penned Pilgrims Progress, an allegory of a man named Christian fleeing the City of Destruction and directed by Evangelist to follow a narrow path to the City of Zion.
The friends and dangers he meets along the way inspired the modern story of the Wizard of Oz.
This classic of John Bunyan, who died this day, August 31, 1688, was translated into over a hundred languages and found in nearly every colonial American home.
Ronald Reagan, greeting Australias Prime Minister, June 1981, remarked: "Robert Louis Stevenson wrote, We are all travelers in what John Bunyan calls the wilderness of this world. And the best that we find in our travels is an honest friend-they keep us worthy of ourselves."
Franklin Roosevelt stated January 1936: "When Theodore Roosevelt died, the Secretary of his class at Harvard, in sending to his classmates a notice of his passing, added this quotation from Pilgrims Progress: My sword I give to him that shall succeed me in my pilgrimage, and my courage and skill to him that can get it. My marks and scars I carry with me, to be a witness for me that I have fought His battles who now will be my rewarder." (quote from www.AmericanMinute.com by Bill Federer)