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The Puritans a.k.a. "The pilgrims"
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Who were the Pilgrims
The name Puritan was first applied to any person
who belonged to the Protestants in England.
Puritan religious beliefs were first expressed
in England in the late 1500's. the actual name
puritan was first applied around 1566.
The basic beliefs varied widely, yet they held
one simple common idea. They wanted simple religious
beliefs, simple order of worship and a simple
organization of the church. Most Puritans wanted
to purify the church of priestly vestments and
elobrate ceremonies. Some wanted to do away
with colored windows others wanted to do away
with religious music.
Why did they leave England
Disagreement among the Puritans led to small
groups breaking away from the Church of England
during the reign of King James I. These
independent groups were known as Seperatists or
Brownist after Robert Brownist after Robert
one of their early leaders.
The Seperatists under the leadership of William
Brewster in 1608 fled from England to Holland
to avoid persecution. While in Holland the
Seperatists dicovered they prefered farming to
city life and they feared their children were becoming
more Dutch than English.There was also the
loaming threat of war between Spain and Holland.
America appealed to them
The Separtists longed to return to their English way
of life and still keep their own kind of
worship. The new land in America appealed to them.
A group of English merchants agreed to finance
a trip to the new land. In July 1620 the
group under the leadership of William Brewster
was led back to England.
Landing in America
September 1620 they set sail for the new land in
America. They landed in what is now Provincetown Harbor
on November 20, 1620 and settled Plymouth
Colony on the shore of Cape Cod Bay. The term Pilgrim
might of been taken from William Bradfords History.
Bradford wrote "they knew they were pilgrims
when they left Holland."
The Mayflower: Built in 1610 and looked like any other
ship of its time. It consisted of two decks,
three masts and resembled a cods head and a
mackerel's tail in shape. It was probably 90 feet long
and weighed 180 tons.
It is believed that Christopher Jones one of its quater
owners served as master.
One hundred and two passengers were aboard.
A day of giving thanks decreeded
The first Thanksgiving: After facing many perils and
hardships during the first winter, nearly half of
the colonists had died. New hope grew
in the summer of 1621. Govenor William Bradford
decreed a three day feast to be held.
This event was never repeated.
The first "Thanksgiving Day"
set aside for the special purpose of prayer
and celebration was held.
Preperation for feast
In July 1623. The women of the colony spent many days
prepairing for the feast. The children lent
a hand turning roasts on a spit over the
open fires. Indiand brought wild turkeys and venison.
The men of the colony brought geese, ducks, and fish.
The women served the meats with Journey Cake
cornmeal bread with nuts, and succotash. The feast
of giving thanks to God who had seen them through
and provided for them was held outside at long tables.
Years later becomes National Holiday
Later Thanksgivings in the U.S. The custom of Thanksgiving
spread from Plymouth to other New England Colonies
and on. For many years there was
no regular day given, President Lincoln proclaimed
that the last Thursday in November 1863, as a
"day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent
Father" Each year afterward for 75 years the President
would formally proclaim Thanksgiving should
be celebrated on the last Thursday in Nov.
Congress ruled in1941 that the fourth Thursday in Nov
would be observed as a legal federal holiday.
On this day people give thanks with feasting and prayer
for the blessings they may have received
during the year.
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