How did the Pilgrims travel to America?


The Mayflower II resembles the Mayflower I


The English ship the Mayflower carried the Separatist Puritans, later known as Pilgrims, to Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620. The 180-ton vessel was about 12 years old and had been in the wine trade. It was chartered by John Carver, a leader of the Separatist congregation at Leiden, Holland. The ship was made ready at Southampton with a passenger list that included English Separatists and other crew. These crew members were to be taken along to make money for the London businessmen, who were giving money for the expedition.

In the meantime, the Leiden Separatists, who had started the venture, sailed for Southampton on July 22, 1620, with 35 members of the congregation and their leaders, William Bradford and William Brewster, aboard the 60-ton Speedwell.

To start on the trip to America,both the Speedwell and the Mayflower, carrying a total of about 120 passengers, sailed from Southampton on August 15,. But they were twice forced back by dangerous leaks on the Speedwell. So it was decided, at the English port of Plymouth, some of the Speedwell's passengers would regroup on the Mayflower, leaving some things behind because there was no room enough for everything. On September 16, 1620, the historic voyage began with only one ship, the Mayflower.

This time the Mayflower carried 102 passenger, only 37 of whom were from the Leiden congregation in addition to the crew.

The voyage took 65 days, during which two persons died. A boy, Oceanus Hopkins, was born at sea, and another, Peregrine White, was born as the ship lay at anchor off Cape Cod. The ship came insight of Cape Cod on November 19 and sailed south. The colonists had been granted territory in Virginia but probably headed for a planned stop near the mouth of the Hudson River. The Mayflower turned back, however, and dropped anchor at Provincetown on November 21.

That day 41 men signed the so-called Mayflower Compact. This agreement was thought necessary because there were rumors that some of the non-Separatists, called "Stranger,"among the passengers would defy the Pilgrims if they landed in a place other than that specified in the land grant they had received from the London Company. The compact became the basis of government in the Plymouth Colony. After it was signed, the Pilgrims elected John Carver their first governor.

After weeks of scouting for a suitable settlement area, the Mayflower's passengers finally landed at Plymouth on December 26, 1620. Although the Mayflower's captain and part-owner, Christopher Jones, had threatened to leave the Pilgrims unless they quickly found a place to land. The ship remained at Plymouth during the first terrible winter of 1620-1621, when half of the colonists died. The Mayflower left Plymouth on April 15, 1621, and arrived back in England on May 16, 1621.

This is the Mayflower II, as it sits in Plymouth Harbor today.


Answer these questions.

 1. The Mayflower was used for what purpose, before carrying passengers?
 2. Who paid for the ship and the crew?
 3. Name the 2 ships which left Plymouth twice carrying the Pilgrims.
 4. Why was only one ship taken?
 5. How many passengers left Plymouth, England, on September 16?
 6. How many days did the Mayflower spend at sea until they landed at Plymouth?
 7. How many days did it take the Mayflower to return to England?

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