Edited by Gerald Boerner
Although the Mayflower arrived at Cape Cod in November of 1620, the Pilgrims did not go ashore until after the passing of the winter storms. The did go ashore, onto a sandy beach, not on Plymouth Rock as traditional legend tells it, and set about building a town. Housing was allocated to families with single men being “adopted” by families to minimize the number of houses that needed to be built. When the settlers tried to plant the crops that they had brought from the old country, they quickly died due to the weather and soil.
The local Native American tribe, the Wampanoag Confederacy, helped them with native maize and other crops that would grow in the Plymouth climate. They managed to grow sufficient foods to supplement the hunting of wild game in the forests so that the fall harvest would sustain them through the next winter. To celebrate, the Pilgrims held a feast and the local Indians joined into the festivities WITHOUT INVITATION.
Thus, the first Thanksgiving took place. It was a time to praise their God for the bountiful harvest. Unfortunately, they did not give credit to the Indians who has helped them survive. The colony grew and eventually was brought under the Massachusetts Bay Company in the 18th century. And the rest, as they say, is history.
So, let’s get started on our exploration of this successful survival of the first year in this brave, new world of America… GLB
These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved
[ 4574 Words ]
Quotations Related to Pilgrims:
“Marriage was considered a civil, rather than religious ceremony.”
— Plymouth Colony rules
“[W]e had much damaged our trade, for there where we had [the] most skins the Indians are run away from their habitations…”
— William Bradford
“…of these one hundred persons who came over in this first ship together, the greatest half died in the general mortality, and most of them in two or three months’ time.”
— William Bradford