One of my favorite historical places to visit is Plymouth, Massachusetts. Hubby took me to Plymouth back in May on our Ten-Year Anniversary and my mother and sister took me in September for my birthday. (It’s a wonder I don't have more pictures!)
My two elementary-age boys have been coming home from school with fun history for me to feast on about the Pilgrims, the Wampanoags, and Plimoth Plantation. Here’s a few historical tidbits.
~Two boats started out from England with the Pilgrims—the Mayflower and the Speedwell. The Speedwell began to leak early on, so everyone boarded the Mayflower, making a tight fit of 116 people, 14 who were children.
~One passenger—William Mullins—brought 126 pairs of shoes and 13 pairs of boots to share. The Pilgrims didn’t know if they would be able to get anmal hides to make leather in the new world.
~The Pilgrims first landed at Provincetown, but decided to build their colony across the bay in Plymouth.
The fort/meeting house the Pilgrims built in their colony. Photo: wikipedia
Today, the spot where the meeting house was built is occupied by
First Parish Church in the center of Plymouth. Photo: wikipedia
~William Bradford wrote Of Plimoth Plantation, in which his most common way of spelling the town was P-l-i-m-o-t-h. That’s why the town is spelled with an “i” when referring to the village the Pilgrims settled.
~the name Wampanoag means People of the First Light
~birthdays were not usually celebrated in the 17th century. While some marked the day of their Baptism as a day of quiet and prayer, public celebrations were not the norm.
~boys and girls dressed alike until age seven, when boys were “breeched.” Instead of a child’s gown or skirts, they were given smaller versions of adult male clothing. They also began to spend more time working with the men out of doors, as opposed to staying with their mother.
~a total of 36% of children would die before they reached the age of six. Another 24% between the ages of seven and sixteen. With the loss of life, no doubt the Pilgrim’s felt a great need to look to God and the eternal importance of the soul.
~although we celebrate Thanksgiving in late November, it is thought that the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag people celebrated a feast of harvest sometime between September 21st and November 9th, 1621. During the celebration, Massasoit—a leader of the Wampanoag—brought 90 of his men for a three-day feast.
On the Plimoth Plantation website:
~How to talk like a Pilgrim, click here.
"Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that we might after a more special manner rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruits of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the Company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some 90 men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty."
Winslow’s Letter in Mourt’s Relation (ed. Heath), 82