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Of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford Donnie Ganshow Terrance Simmons-Brown

In General • First governor of Massachusetts; was the Pilgrims’ leader for many years and was highly respected. He wrote nonfiction works about the history of the colony’s early years.

Continued • He wrote what historians view as an accurate firsthand account of the early days of the colony of Plymouth. He came over on the Mayflower. His young wife committed suicide as the boat reached the New World so he had some personal tragedy.

The Sea Voyage • The Pilgrims worried whether the ship the Mayflower would hold up during the voyage from Holland. It was creaky and leaky. They had not been able to buy a very expensive ship. They thought about going back. The sailors were worried, too. But a carpenter fixed the main beam with a large screw, and the crew caulked the leaks. They continued on with their journey.

Continued • It was a very rough and stormy crossing. Once the seas were so rough that one young Pilgrim fell off the boat, but he was able to catch hold of a rope as he fell, and the others were able to pull him back into the boat. He was sick for a while, but then got better and lived for many more years.

Continued • Many of the passengers were very sick from seasickness and then later from disease. Only one Pilgrim died from illness on the voyage. Finally, the Mayflower reached Cape Cod. They looked around a while for better places, but decided to land at Cape Cod. They stepped off the ship at Plymouth Rock. The very first thing they did after they landed was pray and thank God.

The Starving Time • After two or three months, half of the Pilgrims had died from hunger, cold, or scurvy (caused by lack of fresh fruits and vegetables). Sometimes two or three people would die per day. Only 50 were left alive, and all except five or six people were very ill. The few healthy Puritans took care of the sick very cheerfully even though it was difficult and dirty work.

Continued • Sailors made the sick people hurry off the boat, and at first did not want to share any of their beer, only water. Then the sailors got really sick, too, and among them one out of every two died. The captain changed his mind, and shared the beer. The sailors were very selfish and would not help any of their sick companions. Some of the Pilgrims were kind and took care of the sick sailors who had made so much fun of them.

Indian Relations • Indians were seen from time to time, watching the colonists, and once, some stole their tools. But by mid-March, one Indian in particular befriended them and gave them information. His name was Samoset. Their stolen tools were returned.

continued • He introduced them to another Indian named Squanto who spoke English. He taught them where to hunt, fish, and farm successfully and lived with them until he died.

Continued • They met Massasoit, a great chief, and were able to decide on terms of a peace agreement. They agreed to live in peace and help each other and to hold their people accountable for their actions to each other. For many years there was peace between these two communities.

Of Plymouth Plantation  

A Thanksgiving Story