Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What were the relationships between people on board the Mayflower?

Relationships between people (the English authorities, the Dutch, and the ';strangers';) on board the MayflowerWhat were the relationships between people on board the Mayflower?
Complex topic:

Here's some relevant paragraphs from Wiki Perspective (web linked below)

102 passengers onboard the Mayflower during its trans-Atlantic voyage of September 6 - November 9, 1620, among them the 50 Pilgrim settlers of Plymouth Colony in what is now Massachusetts. The Mayflower launched with 102 passengers, as well as at least two dogs. One baby was born during the trip and named Oceanus Hopkins. Another, Peregrine (meaning ';wanderer';) White, was born on the Mayflower in America on November 20, before the settlement at Plymouth. About half of these emigrants died in the first winter. Many Americans can trace their ancestry back to one or more of these individuals.

Locations of birth for Mayflower passengers follow Caleb Johnson's list as found at Mayflower History.com, accessed August 29, 2006 ;

In 1608, under increasing pressure of persecution and fearful that they would be imprisoned, the Scrooby group crossed the North Sea to Holland, the group was aided by Longdon profiteers and merchants, who lent them a ship and a crew as an investment. In September the Nonconformists sailed for America in order to found a community where they would be free to worship and live according to their beliefs.

For Bradford the hardships of the long ocean voyage did not end with landing at Plymouth. In December, while the Mayflower was anchored in Provincetown Harbor, Bradford and other men took a small boat ashore to scout for a place to land and build shelter. When they returned, Bradford learned that his young wife had fallen or jumped from the ship. Perhaps Dorothy Bradford was in despair when land was finally sighted and she did not see the hoped-for green hills of an earthly paradise. Beyond the ship lay only the bleak sand dunes of Cape Cod. That bitter winter, half the settlers were to die of cold, disease, and malnutrition.

The following year, Bradford was elected governor of the plantation. ';If he had not been a person of more than ordinary piety, wisdom, and courage,'; the Puritan preacher Cotton Mather later recorded, Bradford would ';have sunk'; under the difficulties of governing such a shaky settlement. Bradford proved to be an exemplary leader, and he went on to be elected governor of the Colony no fewer than thirty times.

As the Plymouth Colony prospered and grew, it also gradually disintegrated as a religious community, despite Bradford's efforts to hold it together. The ideal of the ';City on a The Hill,'; the Pilgrims' dream of an ideal society founded on religious principles, gradually gave way to the realities of life in the new land. Bradford's record of this grand experiment ends in disappointment. When more fertile areas for settlement were found and when Boston became a more convenient port to England, Plymouth lost much of its population.

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