In 1620, the Pilgrims left the Netherlands and sailed on the long voyage to America inside the cramped ship called the Mayflower. Some Pilgrims also came concurrently on the ship known as the Speedwell. These two ships set sail from Southampton, England in spite of all sorts of hardships that delayed original plans to leave at much earlier times. The Speedwell would encounter many problems. One such problem would seal its fate resulting in just the Mayflower making the rough journey to America alone. The Mayflower would pick up the passengers from the Speedwell who was still interested in making a life in the New World. Along the way, some passengers would subsume from diseases such as small pox, others would die from starvation and heat.
The valiant crew of the Mayflower originally sighted Land on November 9, 1620. That was when the Mayflower cruised just off the coast of Cape Cod. The voyage took at least 60 days and was influenced by the Gulf stream and strong winds which came from out of the direction of the west. At first, there was an attempt to sail the Mayflower just south to the mouth of the Hudson because it was the designated landing site, but that proved unsuccessful nearby the region known as Pollack Rip due to tough terrain and low provisions. Then by November 11, 1620, the Pilgrims would anchor a spot known as Provincetown Harbor. This was the original spot where the Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower would agree to the Mayflower Compact.
The Mayflower Compact was the first document that laid down the governing laws of colonists in the future Plymouth Colony settlement. On November 13, 1620, immigrants aboard the Mayflower decided to seek out a better settlement. The last few attempts would not go well as first encounters and culture violations took their toll. This prompted the crew to set sail for Plymouth Harbor finally dropping the anchor on December 17, 1620. The crew aboard the Mayflower would decide to name their new settlement after the point of origin of the first departure that was Plymouth, Devon, England, 190 miles south of London, England and not Southampton, England.
Behind our romantic view of the first Thanksgiving lies a history of hardship, suspicion and disagreement. Find out what the first months in the New World were really like for the pilgrims.
What do you know about the first Thanksgiving? You'll find some interesting details among these facts about pilgrims.