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Finding a locationAfter a rough passage across the Atlantic Ocean the Pilgrims had expected to settle somewhere within the limits of the orignal grant of the Virginia Company. Navigational Errors, adverse winds and the shoals off Cape Cod forced the Mayflower to anchor in Provincetown inside the tip of Cape Cod on Nov.21, 1620 (Nov.11 according to the calendar in use then)
The tired, sea-weary Pilgrims were anxious to learn more about the area. For almost one month they explored the coast around Cape Cod Bay.
During a blinding snow storm the Pilgrims had to take refuge on a island in Plymouth Harbor. On Dec. 21, 1620 (Dec.11) they landed at Plymouth. There they discovered a stream with fresh, clear clean water, an area of cleared land and a high hill that could be fortified. This site was once an Indian village, but in 1617 the village was wiped out by a smallpox plague.
Hard times facedThe first year in the new land was an especially hard time for the Pilgrims. They were confronted with an inadequate supply of food hard work and changeable weather. This led the Pilgrims to fall prey to many illnesses.
Help ArrivesHelp arrived one spring day. An Indian came to the village and introduced himself to the amazed and startled Pilgrims. This was Samoset. Two weeks later Samoset returned with Squanto. The two Indians introduced the Pilgrims to their sachem (chief) Massasoit of the Wampanoag Tribe. Squanto befriended the Pilgrims and taught them many useful things enabling them to be able to survive in this new hostile enviorment. He taught them to fish for alewives (fish in the herring family)and how to use them as fertilizer in planting corn (maze), pumpkins and beans. The harvest during that summer was most bountiful. The Govenor delared a 3 day feast for giving thanks.
The HomesThe houses of the Pilgrims were snug, sturdy built homes made with thick planks sawed out of trees from forests nearby. Each house was built around a huge chimney.Inside was a fireplace which which provided warmth and fire to cook with.
Colony GrowsPlymouth Colony grew, new people arrived from England over the course of time and Plymouth Colony became the second permanent English settlement in America. They established the town meeting form of goverment and also went on to establish the Congregational Church in America.
Their influence on usThe Pilgrims have become an important model for all Americans. Deep faith in their Father above perserverance and hard work and and the ability to live and work with people who where different from them. The Pilgrims achieved what they had set out to achieve, the right to religious freedom, preservation of their Englishways and a home in the New Land. Through many trials and tribulations their faith, courage and commitment has set an example for all future generations of Americans to look up to and follow.