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10 Things You Might Not Know about the Mayflower

  • Monday, March 25, 2024
10 Things You Might Not Know About The Mayflower

In September of 1620, 102 passengers and 30 crew members boarded the Mayflower and departed from Plymouth, England to cross the Atlantic Ocean in search of the New World. November 2020 commemorates the 400th anniversary of the famous merchant ship’s arrival on the shores of Massachusetts and the first permanent settlement of New England that laid the foundation for the United States of America.

While we are grateful for those who made the journey, it’s easy to forget the many hardships these settlers faced along the way. To honor this historic milestone, below are 10 facts you might not know about the Mayflower voyage!

1. The voyage was supposed to be made by two vessels. The second vessel, the Speedwell, was deemed to be unseaworthy, so the 130+ passengers and crew members were jam-packed on board the Mayflower along with food, tools, weapons, and many live animals.

2. The pilgrims sailed for 66 days across the Atlantic Ocean.

3. A baby named Oceanus was born during the Mayflower voyage to a woman by the name of Elizabeth Hopkins.

4. The Mayflower first landed on Cape Cod near present-day Provincetown, Massachusetts.

5. On November 11, while still anchored at Cape Cod, 41 Pilgrims signed an agreement called the Mayflower Compact. This was the first governing document on United States soil.

6. With no shelter or housing available, the Pilgrims spent their first winter in the New World living on board the Mayflower.

7. Nearly half of the 102 Mayflower passengers who arrived in Cape Cod died during the first winter.

8. The Mayflower passengers arrived on land that belonged to the Wampanoag Nation.

9. Twenty-six families of passengers are known to have left descendants, and it is estimated that over 30 million people can trace their ancestry back to the Mayflower.

10. There was no Thanksgiving feast in 1620. The first “Thanksgiving” meal (though it was not called Thanksgiving) did not occur until the following fall in 1621.

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