Beginning the Settlement

In late December 1620, the first colonists came ashore. On December 25th, the first building was built in the settlement. The site they found had been a Native American village that had been abandoned. After a common store had been built, each family built its own house. The settlers were united in their determination to succeed in building the new colony, which they called Plymouth.

As opposed to those who settled Jamestown, a collection of people brought together to seek their fortunes, the settlers at Plymouth were united by ideology and religion. The colonists did not arrive in time to grow any crops, and thus had to rely on the supplies they brought with them and whatever food they could obtain from the Native Americans. Even though the winter was relatively mild, only half of the settlers survived the winter. John Carver, the first governor, was included in the dead. William Bradford became the second governor of the colony.