Many thanks to DailyEncouragement.net for this wonderful history about the Pilgrims!
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 – Nov. 11, 1620 The Mayflower compact is signed. This compact drawn up in the cabin of the Mayflower was not a constitution. However it was the germ of popular government in America. Gov. Bradford refers to the circumstances under which this Compact was drawn up and signed:
"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.
First Building Project – "The Common House" – 26 days to build. It was the meeting house, church, storage house and it became necessarily a "hospital" for the sick.
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 inSpain. Squanto was a very good friend to the Indians and died about three years later due to illness.
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:
- Much corn
- 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. Soldiers marched and fired their guns.
Woman and girls – Constantly cooked and prepared the meals.
Time of Sharing - For all the pilgrims it was a time of sharing and giving thanks to God.
- "Saints and Strangers"
- "Stories of the Pilgrims"
- "If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620"
- "Of Plimouth Plantation"
- Other readings