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Prof. Boerner's Explorations

Thoughts and Essays that explore the world of Technology, Computers, Photography, History and Family.


Archive for November 21st, 2009

The morphing of Facebook…

Facebook started out as a social communication phenomenon among college students, especially women. It was basically like a electronic sorority which let them blow off steam and explore their other sides. It is changing now, with a significant influx of parents and elderly. The core function remains, but the audience is more varied.

This article focuses in on five types of parents who can drive their ‘friends’ batty. Read over this list and their descriptions. You should at least get a good laugh out of it and maybe identify some of your habits that can drive your ‘friends’ crazy. Enjoy the read and take some of the appropriate problems to heart…

Facebook’s Five Most Annoying Parents on Shine 

What was once the domain of rowdy college co-eds has now become a centralized hub for new parents. You can’t so much as check your status updates without seeing some adorable tyke smiling a toothless grin or a parent giving the latest update on what their little genius is up to today. With everyone from Dr. Sears to CafeMom hanging up their FB shingle, it seems this former bastion of social networking cool has been taken over entirely by parents — oftentimes with mixed results. Here are the five biggest offenders. … [MORE]

Thanksgiving around the World…

We in the U.S. are not the only ones who celebrate Thanksgiving Day. But several celebrations in Asia honor the ‘Moon Festival’ (which goes by many names) and some European countries use the celebration to honor their war dead from identified conflicts. Only in Canada is there a celebration similar to ours.

This article will give you a brief glimpse into the diversity of celebrations. Be sure to check my blog tomorrow for a more complete coverage of some of these celebrations. Enjoy it…

Giving Thanks Around the World – Parenting on Shine 

thanksgivingThe turning of leaves and crispness in the air signal that autumn is officially upon us.

With the advent of fall comes many holidays and opportunities to celebrate that for which we are thankful–our families, the food on our table, and our general well-being. Thanksgiving is a holiday as American as the apple pie sometimes served during it (for those who aren’t big fans of the pumpkin variety), but did you know that it’s not a holiday exclusive to the United States? We didn’t either. Well, ok, we had a suspicion; we did some research and are here to share with you how people give thanks around the world.

Our good neighbors to the north, Canada, celebrate the Thanksgiving most resembling our own, right down to the turkey and pumpkin pie. The main differences between the two holidays are that Canada didn’t officially start celebrating their day until 1957 and they hold their festivities on the second Monday of October. … [MORE]

Behind on your bills because you lost your job?

That might just keep you from getting that great job you just got an interview for! That’s right, you current financial (read that as: credit) situation may actually keep you from getting that job for which you are so well qualified and need to get you out of your dilemma.

That is because many companies request a ‘soft’ credit report (without the score) before the interview. Many of these companies don’t know how to interpret the report and/or they might equate being behind on bills due to layoff (or similar events) as being a bad risk.

So what is one to do? Know your credit report information and make sure that it is accurate. Then be ready to explain any negatives during an interview. A word to the wise…

Bad Credit and Not Getting Hired – TRCB 

Bad Credit and Not Getting Hired.

job_interview_1 That’s a catch 22! Your credit is bad because you either can’t get a job or you are under-employed. But you can’t get a job because your credit is bad. Hey I get it, been there, done that.

That’s a catch 22! Your credit is bad because you either can’t get a job or you are under-employed. But you can’t get a job because your credit is bad. Hey I get it, been there, done that.

But what really happens during the interview process? Well it is perfectly legal for an employer to check your credit but its not the same as when you are applying for a mortgage loan or getting a new credit card.

You see there are many different types of credit reports that you don’t see behind the scenes. In fact you can have a different score for auto loans than for mortgage loans. But the big difference with employment checks is that there is NO score involved. And the big difference to you is that when an employer checks your credit it does not have any affect on your score. In other words you don’t get a "hard" inquiry. So what your employer gets is just information including the following: [MORE]

Surprise! Surprise! Who would have guessed…

Barnes & Noble has announced that it will not be able to fill some orders for their ‘Nook’ eBook reader until after Christmas. Who knows if it is market manipulation (claiming short supply when they underestimated demand) or an actual flocking to this new reader?

Time will tell and we will see if this new competition to Amazon’s Kindle is real. But all the ballyho over these readers may indicate that the time is finally here for the ebook. The next two months should tell the real story…

Barnes & Noble warns of delay in shipping new e-readers : Business : The Buffalo News 

Reading off hand-held devices might be catching on. Nook, the Barnes & Noble’s device for reading digital versions of books, has sold out, and new orders won’t ship until after Christmas.

Last month, in introducing the $259 device, the retailer said it would ship purchases by Nov. 30. Friday, however, the New York-based company said all new orders will ship the week of Jan. 4. Shoppers who want to give the product as a gift can have a holiday certificate shipped to the recipient.

"While we increased production based on the high consumer interest, we’ve sold out of our initial Nook allotment available for delivery before the holidays," Mary Ellen Keating, a Barnes & Noble spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. [MORE]

by Gerald Boerner


“Just as typography is human speech translated into what can be read, so photography is the translation of reality into a readable image.”
— Herbert Bayer

“During his time in Berlin, the artist also devoted his time to the design of exhibitions, painting and photography and was art director of ‘Vogue’ magazine in Paris.”

“If Herbert Bayer had produced nothing after the age of 28, his accomplishments to that point alone would make him one of the great pioneers in visual communication.”
ArtDirectorsClub, 1975 Hall of Fame

“Photography presents above all a document. It was false to overlook the new possibilities. We must adopt it, and put it to work, like pigment and brush. The control is not in the manipulation of the brush, but in the complete technical realization of what is seen.”
— Herbert Bayer


Herbert Bayer (1900 – 1985)

Herbert Bayer Herbert Bayer, Austrian graphic designer, painter, photographer, sculptor, Art Director, environmental & interior designer and Architect, was widely recognized as the last living member of the Bauhaus. Bayer is exactly as old as the century. He was born in Austria in 1900 and became a student at the Bauhaus in Weimar when he was 21. His main interests were typography and advertising, but as there was then no workshop in these subjects at the Bauhaus, he studied mural painting under Kandinsky.

He was instrumental in the development of the Atlantic Richfield Company’s corporate art collection until his death in 1985.

Bayer apprenticed under the artist Georg Schmidthammer in Linz. Leaving the workshop to study at the Darmstadt Artists’ Colony, he became interested in Walter Gropius’s Bauhaus manifesto. After Bayer had studied for four years at the Bauhaus under such teachers as Wassily Kandinsky and László Moholy-Nagy, Gropius appointed Bayer director of printing and advertising.

Bayer_Ascension In the spirit of reductive minimalism, Bayer developed a crisp visual style and adopted use of all-lowercase, sans serif typefaces for most Bauhaus publications. Bayer is one of several typographers of the period including Kurt Schwitters and Jan Tschichold who experimented with the creation of a simplified more phonetic-based alphabet. Bayer designed the 1925 geometric sans-serif typeface called universal, now issued in digital form as Bayer Universal. The design also inspired ITC Bauhaus and Architype Bayer, which bears comparison with the stylistically related typeface Architype Schwitters.

Architype Bayer Herbert Bayer’s 1925 experimental
universal typeface combined
upper and lowercase characters
into a single character set.

In 1928, Bayer left the Bauhaus to become art director of Vogue magazine’s Berlin office. He remained in Germany far later than most other progressives. In 1936 he designed a brochure for the Deutschland Ausstellung, an exhibition for tourists in Berlin during the 1936 Olympic Games – the brochure celebrated life in the Third Reich, and the authority of Hitler. However, in 1937, works of Bayer’s were included in the Nazi propaganda exhibition "Degenerate Art", upon which he left Germany in 1938 to settle in New York City where he had a long and distinguished career in nearly every aspect of the graphic arts. In 1944 Bayer married Joella Syrara Haweis, the daughter of poet Mina Loy.

Emigration to the U.S.

When Bayer was 38, he came to the United States and began a new career of great distinction in advertising. In succession, he become consultant art director for J. Walter Thompson and art director of Dorland International. He then formed what would be a long, fruitful association with the Container Corporation of America, which produced some of the most innovative and widely applauded print advertising of the last several decades.

Bayer-Kandinsky PosterIn 1946 the Bayers relocated. Hired by industrialist and visionary Walter Paepcke, Bayer moved to Aspen, Colorado as Paepcke promoted skiing as a popular sport. Bayer’s architectural work in the town included co-designing the Aspen Institute and restoring the Wheeler Opera House, but his production of promotional posters identified skiing with wit, excitement, and glamour.

In 1959, he designed his "fonetik alfabet", a phonetic alphabet, for English. It was sans-serif and without capital letters. He had special symbols for the endings -ed, -ory, -ing, and -ion, as well as the digraphs "ch", "sh", and "ng". An underline indicated the doubling of a consonant in traditional orthography.

herbert-bayer photosWhile living in Aspen, Bayer had a chance meeting with the eccentric oilman, outdoorsman and (to those who knew him) visionary ecologist, Robert O. Anderson. When Anderson saw the ultra-modern, Bauhaus-inspired home that Bayer had designed & built in Aspen, he walked up to the front door and introduced himself. It was the beginning of a life-long friendship between the two men and instigated Anderson’s insatiable passion for compulsively collecting contemporary art.

Bayer_1932-Seeing HandsWith Anderson’s eventual formation of the Atlantic Richfield Company, and as his personal art collection quickly overflowed out of his New Mexico ranch and other homes, ARCO soon held the unique distinction of possessing the world’s largest corporate Art Collection, under the critical eye and sharp direction of Bayer as Arco’s Design Consultant.

Overseeing accquisitions from within Arco Plaza, the newly-built twin 51 story office towers in Los Angeles, Bayer was also responsible for the Arco logo and designing all corporate "branding" related to the company. Prior to the completion of Arco Plaza, Anderson commissioned Bayer to design a monumental sculpture-fountain to be installed between the dark green granite towers. Double Ascension still stands between the twin skyscrapers to this day.

Bayer_Articulated WallUnder Bayer’s and Corporate Art Curator Leila Mehle’s direction & supervision, Arco’s Collection grew to nearly 30,000 Artworks nationwide. Arco’s collection was quite eclectic, and consisted of an extremely wide range of media & styles; ranging from large resin sculptures by Dewain Valentine to original signed photographs by Ansel Adams. The vast majority of the collection consisted of original "signed" prints & "artist’s proofs" of hand-pulled prints. Major works were reserved for lobbies, reception areas and executive & upper management offices.

Bayer and Ms. Mehle instigated a unique program for the collection in that large paintings and sculptures were often "circulated" within the company and transported from one Arco building to another, often making the journey from LA to New York and back again.

Honors and Publications

With the purchase of Anaconda Copper, Arco built an office tower in downtown Denver, and again, Anderson commissioned Bayer to oversee Anaconda’s Art Collection for the new company. Eventually, Bayer gave the Denver Art Museum a collection of around 8,000 of his works.

Herbert Bayer 2 In recent years, Herbert Bayer has done much distinguished work as an architect, an interior designer, and a painter. Noteworthy is the book on Bayer, "The Way Beyond Art: The Work of Herbert Bayer," by Alexander Dorner. He has also authored and edited several volumes, including "Bauhaus 1919-1928," co-edited with Walter and Ise Gropius, "Herbert Bayer Book of Drawings," and "World Geo-Graphic Atlas." A new book soon to be published on the artist was written by Ida Rodriguez Prampolini.

Bayer’s works appear in prominent public and private collections including the MIT List Visual Arts Center. In 1974 the artist moved to Montecito, California, where he died in 1985. Herbert Bayer received numerous awards and honors, including an honorary doctorate of the ‘Technische Hochschule Graz’, the ‘Österreichisches Ehrenkreuz für Wissenschaft und Kunst’, the ‘Ambassador’s Award for Excellence in London and the ‘Kulturpreis für Fotografie’ in Cologne.


Background and biographical information is from Wikipedia articles on:

Herbert Bayer that can be found at…

Herbert Bayer Biography in ArtDirectorsClub…

by Gerald Boerner


“…how many families there were, willing all single men that had not wives to join with some family as they thought fit, that so we might build fewer houses; which was done and we reduced them to nineteen families.”
— William Bradford

“Most likely, they [the cottages in the Plymouth Colony] were modeled after the English cottage—a wooden frame with a steeply pitched roof that allowed for a small storage or sleeping area above the main room. They were sided with wide boards or narrow clapboards, not logs. Undoubtedly, they were very small.”
History of American Women blog

“So they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery. At length, after much debate of things, the Governor (with the advise of the chiefest among them) gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves; in all other things to go in the general way as before. And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of the number, for that end, only for present use (but made no division for inheritance) and ranged all boys and youth under some family.”
— William Bradford

“A married women in Plymouth Colony had fewer rights and responsibilities than a man. She couldn’t hold positions of authority, and wasn’t allowed to own land, or material possessions. But her rights changed dramatically if her husband preceded her in death. A widow was expected to fulfill the responsibilities of both mother and father, as well as husband and wife—which gave her the right to control money, land, and other resources from her deceased husband’s estate, and to conduct business on her own.”
History of American Women blog

“The experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years and that amongst godly and sober men, may well evince the vanity of that conceit of Plato’s and other ancients applauded by some of later times; that the taking away of property and bringing in community into a commonwealth would make them happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God. For this community (so far as it was) was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort.”
— William Bradford


[Part 2 of a series on our Thanksgiving Celebration]


Thanksgiving: The Plymouth Colony

Plymouth Colony (sometimes New Plymouth) was an English colonial venture in North America from 1620 to 1691. The first settlement was at New Plymouth, a location previously surveyed and named by Captain John Smith. The settlement, which served as the capital of the colony, is today the modern town of Plymouth, Massachusetts. At its height, Plymouth Colony occupied most of the southeastern portion of the modern state of Massachusetts.

Landing in Plymouth_Bacon Founded by a group including separatists who later came to be known as the Pilgrim Fathers, Plymouth Colony was, along with Jamestown, Virginia, one of the earliest successful colonies to be founded by the English in North America and the first sizable permanent English settlement in the New England region. Aided by Squanto, a Native American of the Patuxet people, the colony was able to establish a treaty with Chief Massasoit which helped to ensure the colony’s success. The colony played a central role in King Philip’s War, one of the earliest and bloodiest of the Indian Wars. Ultimately, the colony was annexed by the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1691.

Despite the colony’s relatively short history, Plymouth holds a special role in American history. Rather than being entrepreneurs like many of the settlers of Jamestown, the citizens of Plymouth were fleeing religious persecution and searching for a place to worship as they saw fit. The social and legal systems of the colony became closely tied to their religious beliefs, as well as English custom. Many of the people and events surrounding Plymouth Colony have become part of American folklore, including the North American tradition known as Thanksgiving and the monument known as Plymouth Rock.


Plymouth Colony was founded by a group of people who later came to be known as the "Pilgrims". The core group—roughly 40% of the adults and 56% of the family groupings—was part of a congregation of religious separatists led by pastor John Robinson, church elder William Brewster, and William Bradford. While still in the town of Scrooby in Nottinghamshire, England, the congregation began to feel the pressures of religious persecution. During the Hampton Court Conference, King James I had declared the Puritans and Protestant Separatists to be undesirable and, in 1607 Tobias Matthew, Archbishop of York raided homes and imprisoned several members of the congregation. The congregation then left England and emigrated to the Netherlands, first to Amsterdam and then to Leiden, in 1609.

In Leiden, the congregation found the freedom to worship as it chose, but Dutch society was unfamiliar to these immigrants. Scrooby had been an agricultural community, whereas Leiden was a thriving industrial center, and the pace of life was hard on the Pilgrims. Furthermore, though the community remained close-knit, their children began adopting Dutch language and customs. The Pilgrims were also still not free from the persecutions of the English Crown; in 1618, after William Brewster published comments highly critical of the King of England and the Anglican Church, English authorities came to Leiden to arrest him. Though Brewster escaped arrest, the events spurred the congregation to move even farther from England.

In June 1619, after declining the opportunity to settle in New Netherland because of their desire to avoid the Dutch influence, the Pilgrims obtained a land patent from the London Virginia Company, allowing them to settle at the mouth of the Hudson River. They then sought financing through the Merchant Adventurers, a group of Puritan businessmen who viewed colonization as a means of both spreading their religion and making a profit. Upon arriving in America, the Pilgrims began working to repay their debts.

Using the financing secured from the Merchant Adventurers, the Pilgrims bought provisions and obtained passage on two ships, the Mayflower and the Speedwell. Though they had intended to leave early in 1620, difficulties in dealing with the Merchant Adventurers, including several changes in plans for the voyage and in financing, resulted in a delay of several months. The Pilgrims finally boarded the Speedwell in July 1620 from the Dutch port of Delfshaven.

Landings at Provincetown and Plymouth

pilgrim-fathers-first-landingThe Mayflower anchored at Provincetown Harbor on November 11, 1620. The Pilgrims did not have a patent to settle this area, thus some passengers began to question their right to land; they complained that there was no legal authority to establish a colony. In response to this, a group of colonists, still aboard the ship as it lay off-shore, drafted and ratified the first governing document of the colony, the Mayflower Compact, the intent of which was to establish a means of governing the colony. Though it did little more than confirm that the colony would be governed like any English town, it did serve the purpose of relieving the concerns of many of the settlers.

Plymouth Colony Landing 1 The group remained onboard the ship through the next day, a Sunday, for prayer and worship. The immigrants finally set foot on land at what would become Provincetown on November 13. The first task was to rebuild a shallop, a shallow draft boat that had been built in England and disassembled for transport aboard the Mayflower. It would remain with the Pilgrims while the Mayflower returned to England. On November 15, Captain Myles Standish led a party of sixteen men on an exploratory mission, during which they robbed Native American graves and located a buried cache of Indian corn. The following week Susanna White gave birth to a son, Peregrine White, on the Mayflower. He was the first English child born to the Pilgrims in the New World.

The shallop was finished on November 27, and using it, a second expedition was undertaken, under the direction of Mayflower master Christopher Jones. Thirty-four men went, but the expedition was beset by bad weather; the only positive result, from their perspective, was that they found the previously discovered cache of corn and raided it to provide for the colony. A third expedition along Cape Cod left on December 6; it resulted in a skirmish with local Native Americans known as the "First Encounter" near modern-day Eastham, Massachusetts. Having failed to secure a proper site for their settlement, and fearing that they had angered the local Native Americans by robbing their corn stores and firing upon them, the colonists decided to look elsewhere; the Mayflower left Provincetown Harbor and set sail for Plymouth Harbor.

Plymouth Houses The Mayflower dropped anchor in Plymouth Harbor on December 17 and spent three days surveying for a settlement site. They rejected several sites, including one on Clark’s Island and another at the mouth of the Jones River, in favor of the site of a recently abandoned Native American settlement named Patuxet. The location was chosen largely for its defensive position; the settlement would be centered on two hills: Cole’s Hill, where the village would be built, and Fort Hill, where a defensive cannon would be stationed. Also important in choosing the site, the prior Indian villagers had cleared much of the land, making agriculture relatively easy. Although there are no contemporary accounts to verify the legend, Plymouth Rock is often hailed as the point where the colonists first set foot on their new homeland.

The area where the colonists settled had been identified as "New Plymouth" in maps by John Smith published in 1614. The colonists elected to retain the name for their own settlement—after their final point of departure from England: Plymouth, Devon.

First winter

On December 21, 1620, the first landing party arrived at the site of what would become the settlement of Plymouth. Plans to immediately begin building houses, however, were delayed by inclement weather until December 23. As the building progressed, twenty men always remained ashore for security purposes, while the rest of the work crews returned each night to the Mayflower. Women, children, and the infirm remained on board the Mayflower; many had not left the ship for six months. The first structure, a "common house" of wattle and daub, took two weeks to complete in the harsh New England winter. In the following weeks, the rest of the settlement slowly took shape. The living and working structures were built on the relatively flat top of Cole’s Hill, and a wooden platform was constructed to support the cannon that would defend the settlement from nearby Fort Hill.

Many of the able-bodied men were too infirm to work, and some died of their illnesses. Thus, only seven residences (of a planned nineteen) and four common houses were constructed during the first winter.

During the first winter in the New World, the Mayflower colonists suffered greatly from diseases like scurvy, lack of shelter and general conditions onboard ship. 45 of the 102 emigrants died the first winter and were buried on Cole’s Hill. Additional deaths during the first year meant that only 53 people were alive in November 1621 to celebrate the first Thanksgiving. Of the 18 adult women, 13 died the first winter while another died in May. Only four adult women were left alive for the Thanksgiving.

By the end of January, enough of the settlement had been built to begin unloading provisions from the Mayflower. In mid-February, after several tense encounters with local Native Americans, the male residents of the settlement organized themselves into military orders; Myles Standish was designated as the commanding officer. By the end of the month, five cannons had been defensively positioned on Fort Hill. John Carver was elected governor to replace Governor Martin.

On March 16, 1621, the first formal contact with the Native Americans occurred. A Native American named Samoset, originally from Pemaquid Point in modern Maine, walked boldly into the midst of the settlement and proclaimed, "Welcome, Englishmen!" He had learned some English from fishermen who worked off the coast of Maine and gave them a brief introduction to the region’s history and geography. It was during this meeting that the Pilgrims found out that the previous residents of the Native American village, Patuxet, had probably died of smallpox. They also discovered that the supreme leader of the region was a Wampanoag Native American sachem (chief) by the name of Massasoit; and they learned of the existence of Squanto—also known by his full Massachusett name of Tisquantum—a Native American originally from Patuxet. Squanto had spent time in Europe, as a slave, and spoke English quite well. Samoset spent the night in Plymouth and agreed to arrange a meeting with some of Massasoit’s men.


The most important religious figure in the colony was John Robinson, the original pastor of the Scrooby congregation and religious leader of the separatists throughout the Leiden years. Though he never actually set foot in New England, many of his theological pronouncements shaped the nature and character of the Plymouth church. For example, Robinson stated that women and men have different social roles according to the law of nature, though neither was lesser in the eyes of God. However, Robinson frequently assigned inferior characteristics to the feminine roles. He referred to them as the "weaker vessel". In matters of religious understanding, he proclaimed that it was the man’s role to educate and "guide and go before" women. He also noted that women should be "subject" to their husbands. Robinson also dictated the proper methods of child rearing—he prescribed a strict upbringing with a strong emphasis on corporal punishment. He believed that a child’s natural inclination towards independence was a manifestation of original sin and should thus be repressed.

The Pilgrims themselves were a subset of an English religious movement known as Puritanism, which sought to "purify" the Anglican Church of its secular trappings. The movement sought to return the church to a more primitive state and to practice Christianity as was done by the earliest Church Fathers. Puritans believed that the Bible was the only true source of religious teaching and that any additions made to Christianity, especially with regard to church traditions, had no place in Christian practice. The Pilgrims distinguished themselves from the Puritans in that they sought to "separate" themselves from the Anglican Church, rather than reform it from within. It was this desire to worship from outside of the Anglican Communion that led them first to the Netherlands and ultimately to New England.

Each town in Plymouth colony was considered a single church congregation; in later years some of the larger towns split into two or three congregations. While church attendance was mandatory for all residents of the colony, church membership was restricted to those who received God’s grace through personal conversion. In Plymouth Colony, it seems that a simple profession of faith was all that was required for acceptance. This was a more liberal doctrine than some other Puritan congregations, such as those of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, where it was common to subject those seeking formal membership to strict and detailed cross-examinations. There was no central governing body for the churches. Each individual congregation was left to determine its own standards of membership, hire its own ministers, and conduct its own business.

Marriage and family life

Edward Winslow and Susanna White, each of who lost their spouses during the harsh winter of 1620–1621, became the first couple to be married in Plymouth. Governor Bradford presided over the civil ceremony.

Marriage was considered the normal state for all adult residents of the colony. Most men first married in their mid-twenties and women around age 20. Second marriages were not uncommon, and widows and widowers faced social and economic pressures to remarry. On average, most widows and widowers remarried within six months to a year. As most adults who reached marriageable age often lived into their sixties, two-thirds of a person’s life was spent married.

Within the confines of marriage, women and men were not considered equal from either a legal or social standpoint. However, it should be noted that, compared to 17th century European norms, women in Plymouth Colony had more extensive legal and social rights. From the perspective of the Church, women were considered equal to men before God. The entire family worshiped together and God’s grace was available equally to all professed Christians. Women were, however, expected to take traditionally feminine roles, such as child-rearing and maintaining the household, in Puritan families.

This concludes the third part of this exploration leading up to the celebration of the first Thanksgiving and how our current celebrations relate to these antecedents. Join us again tomorrow and onward through the Thanksgiving holidays.

It is our hope that these postings will heighten not only your enjoyment of Thanksgiving, but that you may also gain an enhanced understanding of how it came about… [GLB]


Background and biographical information is from Wikipedia articles on:

The Plymouth Colony which can be found at…

by Gerald Boerner


“…they met and consulted of laws and orderrs, both for their civil and military government as the necessity of their condition require.”
— William Bradford

“[The Pilgrims pledged to] enact, constitute and frame such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the Colony.”
— Pilgrims and others on the Mayflower

“…they met and consulted of laws and orderrs, both for their civil and military government as the necessity of their condition require.”
— William Bradford

“Having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith, and honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant and combine our selves together…”
— William Bradford

“The Compact is often described as America’s first constitution, but it is not a constitution in the sense of being a fundamental framework of government. Its importance lies in the belief that government is a form of covenant, and that for government to be legitimate, it must derive from the consent of the governed.
— U.S. Department of State

Exploring the Mayflower Compact

The Mayflower Compact was the first governing document of Plymouth Colony. It was written by the colonists, later together known to history as the Pilgrims, who crossed the Atlantic aboard the Mayflower. Almost half of the colonists were part of a separatist group seeking the freedom to practice Christianity according to their own determination and not the will of the English Church. It was signed on November 11, 1620 (OS) by 41 of the ship’s more than one hundred passengers, in what is now Provincetown Harbor near Cape Cod.

Mayflower Compact= Before the passengers went ashore, they drew up an instrument of self-government for the little band to replace the original patent.  This immortal Mayflower Compact was modeled on the Covenant by which the Pilgrims had lived in Leyden for more than a decade and was later hailed by John Quincy Adams, among others, as the first example in modern times of a social compact or system of government instituted by voluntary agreement by men of equal rights.  It was signed by all of the adult male passengers on the 11th of November (Old Style) 1620.

The Mayflower Compact was signed in the cabin of the Mayflower, November 21, 1620 (New Style).  It was signed by forty-one of those who made the voyage.  Lines of descent have been proven from twenty-four of these men.  Richard Moore and Henry Samson were too young to sign.

Text of the Mayflower Compact

The original document was lost, but the transcriptions in Mourt’s Relation and William Bradford’s journal Of Plymouth Plantation are in agreement and accepted as accurate. Bradford’s hand written manuscript is kept in a special vault at the State Library of Massachusetts. Bradford’s transcription is as follows:

In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, etc.

Having undertaken, for the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith and Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the First Colony in the Northern Parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one of another, Covenant and Combine ourselves together into a Civil Body Politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute and frame such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the Colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape Cod, the 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France and Ireland the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini 1620.

The ‘dread sovereign’ referred to in the document used the archaic definition of dread; meaning awe and reverence (for the King), not fear.

Mayflower Compact=The following list of 41 male passengers who signed was supplied by Bradford’s nephew Nathaniel Morton in his 1669 New England’s Memorial. There are no surviving first-hand accounts of this information.

The same list in the same order but with some corrections was provided by Thomas Prince in his 1736 A Chronological History of New-England in the form of Annals. Prince added the title Mr. to ten names, which he found in a list at the end of Governor Bradford’s folio manuscript: Carver, Winslow, Brewster, Isaac Allerton, Samuel Fuller, Martin, Mullins, White, Warren, and Hopkins. He attributed the lack of Mr. Bradford to Bradford’s modesty. He also added Capt. to Standish. He corrected the spelling of five names: John Crackston, Moses Fletcher, Degory Priest, Richard Briterige, and Ed Dotey. In addition, he spelled Francis Cook and Richard Clarke. However William Bradford’s journal Of Plymouth Plantation is definitive that both Francis Cooke and Richard Clarke both had an “e” at the end of their last name.

Other Events on this Day
  • In 1620…
    Pilgrim leaders frame the Mayflower Compact
  • In 1789…
    North Carolina becomes the twelfth state to ratify the Constitution.
  • In 1877…
    Thomas Edison announces the invention of the phonograph.
  • In 1964…
    New York’s Verrazano Narrows Bridge opens to traffic.
  • In 1980…
    Millions of TV viewers tune in to Dallas to find out “who shot J.R.
  • In 1995…
    The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 5,000 for the first time.

Dates and events based on:

William J. Bennett and John Cribb, (2008) The American Patriot’s Almanac Daily Readings on America. (Kindle Edition)

Background information is from Wikipedia articles on:

The Mayflower Compact that can be found at…