The Mayflower Passengers

The silhouettes below give a stark illustration of that first harsh and tragic year. Husbands, wives, children, friends and servants—entire families were wiped out. The names of those who never saw that first harvest festival are highlighted in red. Consider their endurance, their perseverance, and their dependence on God for strength and grace in the worst of circumstances.

Let the Lord have the praise Who is the High Preserver of men.
William Bradford

William Bradford’s account of the Mayflower passengers:

The names of those who came over first in the Mayflower in the year 1620 and were by the blessing of God the first beginners and founders of the Settlements and Colonies of New England with their families written down A.D. 1650.

JOHN CARVER; Katherine his wife; DESIRE MINTER; two men servants JOHN HOWLAND and ROGER WILDER; a boy WILLIAM LATHAM; a maid servant; a child who was put under his charge called JASPER MORE. Mr and Mrs Carver, Wilder, and Jasper More all died here during the first general sickness. Desire Minter returned to England. Latham stayed twenty years and then returned. the maid servant married here and died a year or two after. Howland married Elizabeth Tillie. Both are living .They had ten children.

WILLIAM BREWSTER; Mary his wife; two sons Love and Wrestling; a boy in his charge called Richard More; and another of his brothers [sic: sister Mary]. The rest of his children were left behind and came over afterwards. Mr Brewster lived here 23 or 24 years being about 80 when he died. His wife died some time before Wrestling died unmarried. Love had four children and died in 1650. The eldest son who came after had nine children and is still living and the daughters who came with him married and are dead. The brother [sic] of Richard More died the first winter. Richard married and has four or five children.

EDWARD WINSLOW; Elizabeth his wife; two men servants GEORGE SOWLE and ELIAS STORY;a little girl in his charge ELLEN sister of Richard More. Mr Winslow’s wife died the first winter. He married later the widow of Mr White and has two children living. Story and Ellen More died soon after the ship’s arrival. George Sowle is living and has eight children.

WILLIAM BRADFORD Dorothy his wife. Their only child a son was left behind and came over after. Mrs Bradford died soon after their arrival. Mr Bradford married again and had four children.

ISAAC ALLERTON Mary his wife three children Bartholomew Remember and Mary a servant boy JOHN HOOK. Mrs Allerton and the boy Hook died in the first general sickness. Bartholomew married in England His daughter Remember married at Salem and has three or four children living Mary married here and has four children Mr Allerton married secondly a daughter of William Brewster and had one son he married a third time and left this place long ago

SAMUEL FULLER; a servant WILLIAM BUTTON. His wife and a child were left behind and came over afterwards. Two more children were born here and are living. Button died at sea. Mr Fuller died 15 years ago.

JOHN CRACKSTON; his son John. John Crackston died in the first sickness. His son died 5 or 6 years after he lost himself in the woods in winter and his feet were frozen which brought on fever.

MYLES STANDISH; Rose his wife. Mrs Standish died in the first sickness. Captain Standish married again and has four sons living.

CHRISTOPHER MARTIN; his wife; two servants SOLOMON PROWER and JOHN LANGMORE. All these died in the first sickness soon after their arrival.

WILLIAM MULLINS; his wife; two children Joseph and Priscilla; a servant ROBERT CARTER. All but Priscilla died in the first sickness. She married John Alden both are living. They have eleven children.

WILLIAM WHITE; Susanna his wife; one son Resolved; and one born aboard ship called Peregrine; two servants WILLIAM HOLBECK and EDWARD THOMSON. Mr White and his two servants died soon after their landing. His widow married Mr Winslow. His two sons are living.

STEPHEN HOPKINS; Elizabeth his wife; two children by a former wife Giles and Constanta and two by this wife Damaris and Oceanus the latter born on the voyage two servants. EDWARD DOTY and EDWARD LISTER. Mr and Mrs Hopkins lived here over twenty years and had one son and four daughters born here. Doty is living and has seven children by a second wife Lister went to Virginia and died there

RICHARD WARREN. His wife and four daughters were left behind and came afterwards and two more were born here. Mr Warren lived some four or five years here.

JOHN BILLINGTON; Ellen his wife; two sons John and Francis/ Billington was executed after he had been here ten years/ His eldest son died before him/ his second is married.

EDWARD TILLIE; Anne his wife; two children (their cousins) HENRY SAMSON and HUMILITY COOPER. Mr and Mrs Edward Tillie died soon after their arrival. Humility Cooper returned to England and died there. Henry Samson is living and has seven children.

JOHN TILLIE; his wife; their daughter Elizabeth. Mr and Mrs John Tillie died soon after their arrival. Elizabeth married John Howland (see above).

FRANCIS COOK; his son John. Mrs Cook and other children came over afterwards. Three more children were born her. His son John is married. Mr Cook is a very old rruii and has seen his children’s children have children.

THOMAS ROGERS; Joseph his son. Mr Rogers died in the first sickness. His son Joseph is living and has six children. The rest of his children came over afterwards and are married and have many children.

THOMAS TINKER; his wife; their son. All died in the first sickness.

JOHN RIGDALE; Alice, his wife. Both died in the first sickness.

JAMES CHILTON; his wife; their daughter Mary. Another daughter who was married came after. Mr and Mrs Chilton died in the first sickness. Mary Chilton married and has nine children.

EDWARD FULLER; his wife; their son Samuel. Mr and Mrs Fuller died soon after they came ashore. Samuel Fuller is living and has four children or more.

JOHN TURNER; two sons. All died in the first sickness. His daughter came some years after to Salem and is married.

FRANCIS EATON; Sarah his wife; their baby Samuel. Mrs Eaton died in the general sickness. Mr Eaton married a second and third time having three children by his third wife. Samuel is married and has a child.

MOSES FLETCHER; JOHN GOODMAN; THOMAS WILLIAMS; DIGERIE PRIEST; EDMUND MARGESON; RICHARD BRITTERIDGE; RICHARD CLARK; RICHARD GARDNER; PETER BROWN; GILBERT WINSLOW. The first seven died in the general sickness. Digerie Priest’s wife and children came afterwards she being Mrs Allerton’s sister. Gardner became a sailor and died in England or at sea. Peter Brown married twice leaving four children he died about sixteen years since. Gilbert Winslow after several years here returned to England and died there.

JOHN ALDEN. Mr Alden was hired at Southampton as a cooper. Being a likely young man he was desirable as a settler but it was left to his own choice to stay here or return to England. he stayed and married Priscilla Mullins see above

JOHN ALLERTON; THOMAS ENGLISH; WILLIAM TREVOR; and one ELY. The first two were hired as sailors the one to stay here with the shallop the other to go back and help over those left behind but both died here before the Mayflower returned The last two were hired to stay here a year both returned when their time was out

Of these 100 or so of persons who came over first more than half died in the first general sickness. Of those that remained some were too old to have children. Nevertheless in those thirty years there have sprung up from that stock over 160 persons now living in this year 1650 and of the old stock itself nearly thirty persons still survive. Let the Lord have the praise Who is the High Preserver of men.
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List from Bradford’s History of the Plymouth Settlement 1608 1650. Rendered into Modern English by HAROLD PAGET (E. P. Dutton & Company, New York NY:1920) 340–344.
I saw the image of the silhouettes on facebook. After searching, I believe I think someone photographed his copy of the poster found at http://www.pilgrimhall.org/shop.htm

1621: The First Harvest Festival

Consider their first few years: the Pilgrim’s arrival at Cape Cod in November 1620, and the desolation and then deliverance of the following winter, spring and autumn in 1621.

November 1620:

Being thus arived 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 and ocean,
delivered them from all the periles and
miseries therof, againe to set their
feete on the firme and stable earth, their
proper elemente. . . .Being thus passed the vast ocean, and a sea of troubles before
in their preparation (as may be remembred by that which vente before), they had
now no freinds to wellcome them, nor inns to entertaine or refresh their weatherbeaten
bodys, no houses or much less townes to repaire too, to seeke for succoure.

Winter 1621 (Julian Calendar 1620*):

But that which was most sadd and lamentable was, that in 2. or 3. moneths time half e of their company dyed, espetialy in Jan : and February, being the depth of winter, and wanting houses and other comforts; being infected with the scurvie and other diseases, which this long vioage and their inacomodate condition had brought upon them; so as ther dyed some times 2. or 3. of a day, in the foresaid time; that of 100. and odd persons, scarce 50. remained., And of these in the time of most distres, ther was but 6. or 7. sound persons, who, to their great comendations be it spoken, spared no pains, night nor day, but with abundante of toyle and hazard of their owne health, fetched them woode, made them fires, drest them meat, made their beads, washed their lothsome cloaths, cloathed and uncloathed them; in a word, did all the homly and necessarie offices for them which dainty and quesie stomacks cannot endure to hear named; and all this willingly and cherfully, without any grudging in the least, shewing herein their true love unto their freinds and bretheren.

Spring 1621:

. . . Squanto continued with them, and was their interpreter, and was a spetiall instrument sent of God for their good beyond their expectation. He directed them how to set their carne, wher to take fish, and to procure other comodities, and was also their pilott to bring them to unknowne places for their profitt, and never left them till he dyed.

. . . The spring approaching, it pleased God the mortalitie begane to cease amongst them, and the sick and lame recovered apace, which put as it were new life into them; though they had borne their sadd affiiction with much patience and contentednes, as I thinke any people could doe. But it was the Lord which upheld them, and had beforehand prepared them; many having long borne the yoke, yea from their youth.

Early autumn 1621:

They begane now to gather in the small harvest they had, and to fitte up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health and strenght, and had all things in good plenty; for as some were thus imployed in affairs abroad, others were excersised in fishing, aboute codd, and bass, and other fish, of which they tooke good store, of which every family had their portion. All the sommer ther was no wante. And now begane to come in store of foule, as winter aproached, of which this place did abound when they came first (but afterward decreased by degrees). And besids water foule, ther was great store of wild Turkies, of which they tooke many, besids venison, etc. Besids they had aboute a peck a meale a weeke to a person, or now since harvest, Indean coree tb that proportion. Which made many afterwards write so largly of their plenty hear to their freinds in England, which were not fained, but true reports.

Account from Mourt’s Relation:

Our harvest being gotten in our Governour sent foure men on fowling that so we might after a more speciall manner reioyce together after we had gathered the fruit of our labours. they foure in one day killed as much fowle as with a little helpe beside served the Company almost a weeke. at which time amongst other Recreations we exercised our Armes. many of the Indians coming amongst vs and amongst the rest their greatest King Massasoyt with some ninetie men whom for three dayes we entertained and feasted and they went out and killed fiue Deere which they brought to the Plantation and bestowed on our Governour and vpon the Captaine and others. And although it be not alwayes so plentiful as it was at this tune with vs yet by the goodnesse of God we are so farre from want that we often wish you partakers of our plentie.

William Bradford closed his chapter describing their safe arrival at Cape Codd by saying:

May not and ought not the children of these fathers rightly say: Our faithers were Englishmen which come over this great ocean, and were ready to perish in this willdernes; but they cried unto the Lord, and he heard their voyce, and looked on their adversitie, etc. Let them therfore praise the Lord, because he is good, and his mercies endure for ever. Yea, let them which have been redeemed of the Lord, shew how he hath delivered them from the hand of the oppressour. When they wandered in the deserte willdernes out of the way, and found no citie to dwell in, both hungrie, and thirstie, their sowle vas overwhelmed in them. Let them confes before the Lord his loving kindnes, and his wonderfull works before the sons of men.

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*Before 1752 the English used the Julian calendar with the new year beginning on March 25. You’ll notice this if you read William Bradford’s Of Plimoth Plantation. I’ve added the Julian year in the 1621 winter reference.
Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor, William Halsall: PD-US.
The First Thanksgiving, Jean Leon Gerome Ferris: PD-US.
This is the artist’s rendition of this 1621 harvest festival.
Of Plymouth Plantation, An Electronic Edition, William Bradford 1590-1657 (125; 134; 143, 152; 162; 125). Original Source: Bradford’s History of Plymouth Plantation, 1606-1646. Ed. William T. Davis. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1908. Copyright 2003. This text is freely available provided the text is distributed with the header information provided.
Edward Winslow and William Love references via Wikipedia from The fast and thanksgiving days of New England” By William DeLoss Love, Houghton, Mifflin and Co., Cambridge, 1895. Books.google.com. Jan 28, 2009 971–72). Retrieved 11-21-2012.

Embarkation of the Pilgrims

Embarkation of the Pilgrims by Robert Weir is one of eight massive 12 by 18 feet historic paintings seen in the United States Capitol Rotunda.

This painting depicts the Pilgrims on the deck of the ship Speedwell on July 22, 1620, before they departed from Delfs Haven, Holland, for North America, where they sought religious freedom. They first sailed to Southampton, England, to join the Mayflower, which was also making the voyage. After leaks forced the Speedwell to make additional stops in Dartmouth and then Plymouth, its passengers boarded the Mayflower. Five months later the Pilgrims settled the Plymouth Colony in present-day Massachusetts.

The group appears solemn and contemplative of what they are about to undertake as they pray for divine protection through their voyage; the words “God with us” appear on the sail in the upper left corner. The figures at the center of the composition are William Brewster, holding the Bible; Governor Carver, kneeling with head bowed and hat in hand; and pastor John Robinson, with extended arms, looking Heavenward. Gathered around them are the men, women, and children going on the voyage. Some are dressed in traditional puritan attire while others wear more fanciful and bright garments. The armor, helmet, and musket in the foreground represent the tools that the Pilgrims will use for protection in the new and unfamiliar land. In the background on the right are the city and people the Pilgrims leave, and on the left a rainbow represents the hope and promise of what lies ahead.

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Description from Architect of the Capitol website. Click the image to enlarge.

Of plimoth plantation: Thanksgiving 2016

Years ago I had a history instructor who taught me about the importance of primary source documents—those letters, diaries, receipts and papers written by men and women during their own time about their own lives—compared with secondary sources written at a later date about people and events by those who had no first hand knowledge. I’ve always loved to go back to those primary sources because reading the actual words of those who are describing their own experience removes history from the past and brings it into our time. I begin to understand and know those people and realize they were flesh and blood as we are.

The story of the Pilgrims is not just any past, it is our past as a nation. That past is both foundation and prologue to our present, and it can also give guidance for our future. The hopes, anxieties and courage of that company Of plimoth plantation not only describe days long gone, but also gives insight for our own times. The Pilgrims are our very own historic wake-up call of compare and contrast. We’ve never experienced their reality.

During Thanksgiving week of 2012 I wrote several posts about the early years of Plimoth Plantation and the role of Thanksgiving in our nation’s history. I’ve repeated a few of them over the last four years, but now after another Presidential election I’m reediting and publishing all of them this week, because not only did the Pilgrims gave us a foundation of self-government, a beneficial prosperity, and a Christian heritage of beliefs, character, and world view, but in their writings and in their lives they also left us wisdom and warning for our future.
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Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor, William Halsall: PD-US.

Where Have You Been?

Welcome to new readers wondering why there are hardly any posts up during the last few months, and to old ones who have been thinking the same.

In case you missed An Unexpected Hiatus, two days after I wrote Ted Cruz: Constitution Man in March, I fell and broke both arms. I’ve had arm surgery, recovery in a nursing/rehab facility, and now I’m going to physical therapy. After initial optimism, my surgeon is now doubtful as to how much range of motion I’ll regain in my right arm—that elbow joint has two pins in it—but my physical therapist still fights the battle. I’ll also soon be wearing a brace that rachets out to gradually increase my arm extension.

It’s been difficult to use my computer—it’s been only a few weeks I’ve been able to type without painful elbow jars, and it’s still uncomfortable to type for any length of time. I’ve been online with twitter because I can use my phone to do retweets and brief comments. If you want my current thinking you can find it in the sidebar!

The very few posts I’ve done since March have been reposting and tweaking old ones. I’ve found it’s not just my ability to type, but also exhaustion. I’ve had to shelve re-editing my propanda series, and I’ve started drafts, but the energy hasn’t been there for finishing them for publishing! If only you could sit down with me, and we could talk!

Pamphleteer stampThis is the Pamphleteer stamp published for the Bicentennial. Bloggers have been called modern-day pamphleteers, and this is also a reminder of how important it is for us to be not only informed of current events, but to read about our American heritage and the whys and wherefores of our nation.

In Reagan’s Farewell Speech he charged us:

“If we forget what we did, we won’t know who we are. I’m warning of an eradication of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit. Let’s start with some basics: more attention to American history and a greater emphasis on civic ritual.”

Sadly, too many have forgotten what we did, and don’t know who we are, and that eradication of the American memory and erosion of the American spirit prevails in too many. However, that American spirit can be regained. Almost two hundred years ago, in 1818 John Adams tells us not only how it began, but how the American spirit is to be continued.

“But what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments of their duties and obligations.”

I continue to be very grateful to God for His sustaining help, and I’m very thankful for my family. I would appreciate your prayers for my ongoing healing. Please continue to pray with me in petitioning God for his mercy and grace in this great time of need for our nation.

Thanks!