Blue Umbrella Official Blue Umbrella Winter 2018 Issue - Page 11

The Hist or y of Plymout h By: Suricke B. The history of the Plymouth colony started in the United Kingdom, when Separatists were forced to stop worshiping the Lord. To escape the English persecution, they moved to the Netherlands. There, they found the religious freedom that they longed for, but they could not avoid the English persecution. They also realized that if they were to stay, their children would pick up the Dutch traditions and lose their English ones. They decided to secure themselves a land patent from the London Virginia Company in June 1619. The Mayflower and Speedwell were chosen for the journey, and they set out in July 1620. But the Speedwell started leaking not long after they left, so they had to turn back. They tried to put as many passengers as possible on the Mayflower and set out once again in early September 1620. They drifted off course and sighted Cape Cod in November. Realizing that they weren?t going to reach their destination, and running out of supplies, the Pilgrims decided to settle in the north, without permission. They landed in Provincetown, and here the Mayflower Compact was crafted. The Compact stated that the colonists were loyal to the King of England, that they were Christians who served the Lord, that they would make fair and just laws, and that they would work for the good of the colony. After crafting the Compact, Captain Miles Standish led an expedition, and they discovered a hidden cache of Indian corn which they robbed from the Native American graves. After a few more expeditions, they had a skirmish with the Indians, and the Pilgrims left and sailed further. They were not prepared for winter; however, the corn they raided helped them through. In December 1620, they stepped ashore Plymouth ? an abandoned Native American village whose previous inhabitants died in an epidemic. The area was cleared for houses, and there were numerous cornfields. During this time though, many were ill, and the colonists cared for them, placing their own health at risk. In March 1621, Samoset, one of the Wampanoag Indians approached the colonists, and spoke to them. Not long after, he introduced his chief, Massasoit, to them, and the tribe let Squanto, a former inhabitant of the land the colonists took over, stay with them. He taught them how to survive the winters, how to plant corn, and where to hunt and fish. Much later, a peace treaty was established between the colony and the tribe, and it stated that they would protect each other if the other was attacked. After having their first successful harvest in 1621, the Pilgrims held a feast in November and invited some of the Wampanoag Indians to join them. This tradition was continued in the following years, but it wasn?t until 1623, at the end of a long drought, that they started calling it ?Thanksgiving.? 11