Mayflower Lands in Plymouth



One hundred and two individuals, most of whom were Puritans, received a grant of land on which to set up their own colony. They set sail from England on the Mayflower, arriving in Massachusettes in December. When they landed, the colonists called their new home "New Plymouth." The colonists all signed the "Mayflower Covenant" before landing, promising to establish "just and equal laws."

The Anglican Church was the official church of England. It was headed by the King. There were groups within England who opposed the policies of the church . They wanted to purify and simplify the church. Puritans were persecuted in England and many emigrated to Holland. They were not happy in Holland, as it was not England. Thus, they were enthusiastic about the possibility of settling the new world. More on the Puritans

On September 6th, 1620, the Mayflower left Plymouth, England. The second part of the voyage was stormy, but finally, on November 11th, the ship anchored off of Cape Cod. The members of the Mayflower spent over six weeks exploring different location to find an appropriate one to settle. On December 21st the Pilgrims made their first landfall at Plymouth Harbor. More on the Voyage

The Pilgrims established a settlement at what had been an abandoned Indian village known as Patuxet. There were a limited number of houses that first winter in New Plymouth. Many of the colonista were forced to stay on the Mayflower. Half of the settlers died that first winter. William Bradford became the governor of colony, after the death of John Carver in 1621. The colony grew slowly and eventually became part of the much larger Massachusetts Bay Colony. More on Settling

The Native Americans who they met were very friendly. The settlers entered into an alliance with them. When spring came, the colonists, with help from the natives planted the native corn crop. By the time the second fall came around, the colonists harvested a bountiful crop of corn, along with other crops. To celebrate that crop yield the colonists had a feast. Thus began the tradition of Thanksgiving.
Smith was forced to return to England after being injured. The winter following his departure was the worst winter in the short history of the colony. It became known as "the starving time". Starving Time