|This book was helpful!|
We've been studying Thanksgiving (a little late because I've been at my grandparent's!) and here is my report on it:
England in the 1600's was a time of fighting for religious freedoms and power. The King wanted everyone to attend his church. The Separatists was one of the groups that refused. They filled two ships, the Mayflower and the Speedwell with 102 people. The group sailed from Southampton, England, but had to turn back twice because the Speedwell was leaking. Finally, on September 6,1620, the Mayflower sailed alone from Plymouth, England. All 102 people were crammed on board. How did they pay for the ship? The London Company would pay for passage and supplies if, once in the New World, the group would send fish, furs, and lumber back to them for 7 years!Only 44 of the 102 passengers on board were Separatists. The others, some sent by the London Company, were called "Strangers" by the Separatists.
There were plenty of problems on board the ship. The quarters were damp and smelly.They were also too crowded. The sailors hated the Separatist's daily Psalm-singing and loud praying. The Separatists and the "Strangers" hated the crew's cursing.Seasickness, scurvy, and lice were a constant problem. A doctor's assistant died and was buried at sea. Storms came and one cracked the ship's main beam. Eventually it was repaired with an iron screw. A man fell over board, but he managed to grab a rope and was pulled to safety.
Some good things happened; a baby was born and named Oceanus. For the weary group, the best time of all came on November 11, 1620, when a lookout cried "Land ho!"They had been on board for 66 days! Since they'd landed so far from their original destination(they were in what is now Massachusetts but they were heading to Virginia) the Strangers suggested not keeping their agreement with the London Company. "Besides", they argued, :"it's winter!" The two groups finally decided to work together and keep their agreement to the London Company.This agreement was called the Mayflower Compact. After this, they were all known as the Pilgrims. They spent their first winter on the Mayflower. It was long and hard. Many people died and were buried in the night so the "savages" wouldn't notice their dwindling numbers.
In the spring the Pilgrims worked on houses. They were astounded when a tall "savage" walked into town and said,"Hello, Englishmen!"His name was Samoset. Soon Samoset brought his friend Squanto, who could speak fluent English, and Massasoit, a chief. Squanto explained he'd learned English after being kidnapped by white men. He eventually returned home -to find his whole village wiped out by the plague.
Travelling north, he met Samoset and Massasoit's tribe and joined them. Samoset had been taught a little English by fishermen. Squanto taught the Pilgrims how to grow crops, how to fish, hunt, and catch clams and eels. Thanks to him, they had a wonderful harvest. So the Pilgrims told him to bring Samoset and Massasoit, plus a few friends.
They had made a peace treaty a few months earlier, so the Pilgrims tried to act friendly to all 90 men that came!The Native Americans brought 5 deer to the feast. The thanksgiving feast lasted for 3 days. The men had shooting matches and children played ball games.A peace had been established that would last for 50 years. A little later a ship arrived bringing farm animals and more settlers. The Pilgrims were here to stay! They are now well-known for establishing the first Thanksgiving in the New World ( America). So, next Thanksgiving, when you eat turkey, pumpkin pie, and watch parades and football games,think of the Pilgrims. It it wasn't for them we wouldn't have thanksgiving.