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The Pilgrims Come
(These are the notes to a program Brooksyne Weber
uses to share the history of the Pilgrim's coming to
Pilgrim – A pilgrim is one who goes on a very long journey.
Mayflower – 102 pilgrims; 41 Separatists, also called saints wanting freedom of religion. 61 Strangers - those who wanted to buy land, soldiers, etc. (30 Sailors making a total of 132 aboard)
Early 1600's –
Persecution, imprisonment and death for those who separated themselves from
King James rule of the church of England.
The Pilgrims (separatists) found corruption and practices that were in
conflict with the Holy Word of God and thus began to meet in secret so they
could worship God according to the way the Bible told them. It was time to flee form
Exiled in 1608 –
The pilgrims exile to
Prepare for first Departure
That night was spent ashore, "with little sleepe by ye most, "and early the next morning they and their friends boarded the Speedwell to exchange a last farewell, and truly dolfull was ye sight of that sad and mournfull parting, to see what sighs and sobbs and praires did sound amongst them, what tears did gush from every eye, and pithy speeches peirst each harte." Falling upon his knees, and everybody with him, Pastor Robinson (who stayed behind) gave them his blessing and "with watrie cheeks commended them with most fervente praiers to ye Lord….and then with mutual imbrases and many tears, they tooke their leaves one of another, which proved to be ye last leave to many of them.
"So they left that goodly and pleasant city which had been their resting place for twelve years, but they knew that they were Pilgrims and looked not much on those things, but lifted up their eyes to the heavens, their dearest country, and quieted their spirits….and then with mutual embraces and many tears they took their leave one of another, which proved to be the last leave to many of them."
THE MAYFLOWER – A small sailing vessel made to carry cargo, not a passenger ship. It carried things like cloth, hats and wine. The wine had leaked into the wood over the years making it a very "smelly" vessel. The Mayflower only sailed when there were significant winds filled the sails.
SIZE – 90' (about two long trailer trucks.)
1) Sleeping – Very crowded. 80 persons slept in a cabin made to hold 30 people. Imagine the snoring, coughing, seasickness, babies crying, diapers, expectant moms, body odor, no privacy.
2) Lack of Comfort – There was only one main cabin which was only five feet tall. The pilgrims were wet, dirty, sick, had lice and fleas and most of them wore the same article of clothing the entire journey.
3) Food – Ship's biscuits – dry as rocks (called "hardtack"). Dried beef and dried pork (also called salt horse), salted fish, cheese that quickly molded, dried peas and beans. Roaches, weevils, and maggots infested the hardtack so pilgrims preferred to eat in the dark so they couldn't see these little creatures. By dipping the hardtack into their coffee it softened the very hard bread, but weevils would be swimming in the top of the coffee afterwards. Expecting to have warm meals on board the pilgrims found this to be nearly impossible due to possibility of fire starting due to winds blowing flame towards sails. So warms meals were a rare exception.
4) Supplies – People could bring very little
due to lack of space – one trunk per family.
Included with supplies were farming and building tools, seeds, blankets,
clothing, cookware, weapons, animals and each Pilgrim family brought a Bible
along. This was the
5) Relations with Sailors. The sailors, were harsh, swore often and found great pleasure in making fun of the pilgrims and their religious habits. They taunted them when the pilgrims got seasick referring to them as "glib-glabbety puke stockings." The sailors resented the daily prayers, hymns, and Scripture reading sessions that pilgrims faithfully held. But in the end the sailors had to admit that the Pilgrims were strong and brave.
6) Sickness – There was much sickness due to lack of food, good hygiene, constant wetness from the storms. The fresh water quickly contaminated so the only beverage they could drink was beer. One boy pilgrim and one of the saltiest and mean-spirited sailors died on the way over. One baby was born midway and was named "Oceanus."
7) Danger – Besides the terrible storms they weathered the main beam in the ship eventually cracked after one terrible storm. A very large bolt brought to anchor the cannons in the new world was used for repairing the beam and saved the ship from sinking.
THE NEW WORLD
Prayer upon landing – "Being thus arrived in a good harbor, and brought safe to land, they fell upon their knees, and blessed the God of heaven who had brought them over the vast and furious ocean and delivered them from all the perils and miseries thereof…" William Bradford
Mayflower Compact –
"This day, before we came to harbour, observing some not well affected to unity and concord, but gave some appearance of faction, it was thought good there should be an association and agreement, that we should combine together in one body and to submit to such government and governors as we should by common consent agree to make and choose, and set our hands to this that follows, word for word."
Search Party – 18 men (those who were strongest and healthiest) went on exploratory trips to find a good location for building their colony. Three trips were made. They got lost in winter storm "the water froze on our clothes, and made them like coats of iron." They also dealt with Indians.
December 11 – The search party finds the place John Smith had discovered years earlier which he had named Plimouth (running brooks, fields already cleared, two rivers, harbor safe for small boats and no enemy Indians)
December 16 – The Mayflower sails to Plimouth arriving on Dec. 21.
Workdays – The Sabbath began on Saturday afternoon through Monday morning.
The Great Sickness – Some days in the spring only 6 or 7 were well enough to care for the sick. Children are dying, parents are dying leaving orphans, sailors are dying.
The Dead – By spring half of the pilgrims are now dead and their remains must be buried. The pilgrims did this in secret after dark and did not mark the sight for fear that they might be overtaken by the Indians after they find the number of pilgrims so few.
SOS Prayers spoken for God to send aid.
Indians Arrive –
Samoset arrives and speaks English.
Within a couple days he brings Squanto along who also speaks English and
chooses to live with the pilgrims and help them farm, hunt, and work with the land. He was Christianized while living as a slave
Peace Treaty – Indians and Pilgrims live in harmony for over 50 years.
Prosperous Growth – Summer of 1621
Thanksgiving Celebration for God's goodness – The governor declares a Thanksgiving celebration over a three day period and invites Chief Massasoit. They also said he could bring a few friends. The pilgrims gave thanks for
Plenty to eat
Seven houses finished with others started
Danger of sickness over
No fear of Indians due to a peace treaty
Most importantly they could worship God according to His Word
The feast was held in the middle of October 1621.
- 50 pilgrims,
- Chief Massasoit and a "few" friends (he brought 90)
The Food – Wild turkey, meat pies, wild geese, wild duck, lobsters, eels, clams, oysters, fresh fish of all kings. Indians brought five deer, popcorn, corn, carrots, cucumbers, turnips and onions, radishes, beets and cabbages. Berries picked in the spring and dried to eat later.
Activities – Men and boys played games, had contests, shot bows and arrows, hand wrestled, jumping, running and racing.
Parade – Myles Standish, army commander, held a parade where soldiers marched and fired their guns.
Woman and girls – Constantly cooked and preared the meals.
Time of Sharing - For all the pilgrims it was a time of sharing and giving thanks to God.
Resources: Information pulled from "Saints and Strangers", "Stories of the Pilgrims" "If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620" "Of Plimouth Plantation" and other readings.
The following resources are recommended by Brooksyne and can be ordered by clicking on the link
Of Plymouth Plantation, 1620-1647
By William Bradford / Random House, Inc
A new edition. The complete text with notes and an introduction by Samuel Eliot Morison. The definitive edition of one of the great American classics. Bradford's history is a story of a simple people inspired by an ardent faith to a dauntless courage in danger, a resourcefulness in dealing with new problems, an impregnable fortitude in adversity that exalts and heartens one in an age of uncertainty, when courage falters and faith grows dim. It is this story, told by a great human being, that has made the Pilgrim Fathers in a sense the spiritual ancestors of all Americans, all pioneers. Thus Samuel Eliot Morison, the preeminent American historian in this field, in his Preface to this great American classic. For the first time the printed text of Bradford's history has been compared word for word with the original manuscript; for the first time the difficult abbreviations and contractions used by Bradford have been filled out and his archaic and variant spellings made uniform. This edition has a double value: it presents Governor Bradford's text in readable form and it provides contemporary readers with a history of that text and its enduring significance by the historian clearly elect to interpret it.
Saints & Strangers (DVD) By Vision Video
What role did faith and religion play in the founding of our country? From the landing of the Mayflower to the Great Awakening, from the fervent patriotism of the pre-Revolutionary era to the War of Independence, this survey examines groups of the faithful who wielded important spiritual influence during the colonial period, including the Anglicans, Puritans, Baptists, Quakers, and others.
Stories of the Pilgrims By Margaret B. Pumphrey / Christian Liberty Press
Faith, bravery, perilous journeys, hardships---the stories of the Pilgrims make for exciting reading! This illustrated text follows the Pilgrims from England to Holland to the New World. Your students will meet William Brewster, Miles Standish, John Alden, Massasoit, and others, and learn how our nation was founded on Christian principles. Includes comprehension questions throughout. Grade 4. 244 pages, softcover
If You Sailed on the Mayflower By Ann McGovern / Scholastic Trade
Imagine being a Pilgrim on the Mayflower, anxiously awaiting arrival in a new land. This popular book in the If You series answers a variety of questions about Pilgrim life--both on the ship and on shore--helping readers understand what it was like to have lived at that time. Four-color illustrations. Grades 2-5
Three Young Pilgrims By Cheryl Harness / Simon & Schuster Trade Sales
When Bartholemew, Remember, and Mary Allerton and their parents first step down from the Mayflower after sixty days at sea, they never dream that life in the New World will be so hard. Many in their Plymouth colony won't make it through the winter, and the colony's first harvest is possible only with the help of two friends, Samoset and Squanto. Richly detailed paintings show how the pilgrims lived after landing at Plymouth, through the dark winter and into the busy days of spring, summer, and fall. Culminating with the excitement of the original Thanksgiving feast, Three Young Pilgrims makes history come alive. Recommended for ages 5 to 10.
Turkeys, Pilgrims, and Indian Corn: The Story of Thanksgiving Symbol By Barth / Houghton-Mifflin
Why did some of the Pilgrims call Miles Standish "Captain Shrimp" behind his back? Who are the Three Sisters of Iroquois lore, and what do they have to do with our Thanksgiving celebrations today? The amazing stories behind our familiar Thanksgiving symbols and the history of the ancient festivals that led up to the first American Thanksgiving all remind us how much we have to be thankful for...and are revealed in the pages of this entertaining book.
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