The Mayflower Compact and the First Plymouth Thanksgiving
The Mayflower Compact
In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, defender of the Faith, etc.:
Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith, and the honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia; do by these presents, solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one another; covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic; for our better ordering, and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.
In witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, 1620.
The First Plymouth Thanksgiving
From William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation
“They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, and to fit up their houses and
dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health and strength and had all things in good plenty. For as some were thus employed in affairs abroad, others were exercised in fishing, about cod and bass and other fish, of which they took good store, of which every family had their portion.
“All the summer there was no want; and now began to come in store of fowl, as winter approached, of which this place did abound when they came first (but afterward decreased by degrees). And besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc. Besides, they had about a peck of meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to that proportion. Which made many afterwards write so largely of their plenty here to their friends in England, which were not feigned but true reports.”
From Edward Winslow, Mourt’s Relation
“…our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruits of our labors; they four in one day killed as much fowl, as with a little help beside, served the Company almost a week, at which time amongst other Recreations, we exercised our Arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five Deer, which they brought to the Plantation and bestowed on our Governor, and upon the Captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.”
THE 53 PILGRIMS
AT THE FIRST THANKSGIVING:
4 MARRIED WOMEN: Eleanor Billington, Mary Brewster, Elizabeth Hopkins, Susanna White Winslow.
5 ADOLESCENT GIRLS: Mary Chilton (14), Constance Hopkins (13 or 14), Priscilla Mullins (19), Elizabeth Tilley (14 or15) and Dorothy, the Carver’s unnamed maidservant, perhaps 18 or 19.
9 ADOLESCENT BOYS: Francis & John Billington, John Cooke, John Crackston, Samuel Fuller
(2d), Giles Hopkins, William Latham, Joseph Rogers, Henry Samson.
13 YOUNG CHILDREN: Bartholomew, Mary & Remember Allerton, Love & Wrestling Brewster, Humility Cooper, Samuel Eaton, Damaris & Oceanus Hopkins, Desire Minter, Richard More, Resolved & Peregrine White.
22 MEN: John Alden, Isaac Allerton, John Billington, William Bradford, William Brewster, Peter Brown, Francis Cooke, Edward Doty, Francis Eaton, [first name unknown] Ely, Samuel Fuller, Richard Gardiner, John Goodman, Stephen Hopkins, John Howland, Edward Lester, George Soule, Myles Standish, William Trevor, Richard Warren, Edward Winslow, Gilbert Winslow.
ALLERTON: Isaac with children Bartholomew, Mary, Remember; the Allerton servant
BILLINGTON: John & Eleanor with sons Francis, John Jr.
BREWSTER: William & Mary with sons Love, Wrestling; their ward Richard More
BROWNE / BROWN: Peter
CARVER: The Carver ward Desire Minter; the Carver servant John Howland; the Carver
COOKE: Francis with son John
EATON: Francis with son Samuel
ELY: Unknown adult man
FULLER: Samuel with nephew Samuel 2d
HOPKINS: Stephen & Elizabeth with Giles, Constance, Damaris, Oceanus; their servants
Edward Doty and Edward Leister.
TILLEY: Tilley wards Humility Cooper and Henry Samson
TREVOR / TREVORE: William
WINSLOW: Edward & Susanna with her sons Resolved White & Peregrine White; Winslow
servant George Soule
Note: In Of Plymouth Plantation, William Bradford lists the Mayflower passengers and also tells us who died during the first winter of 1620/1621 and spring of 1621. No other ships arrived in Plymouth until after the “First Thanksgiving” celebration. The Pilgrims at the “First Thanksgiving” are all the Mayflower survivors.
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God Bless, Cody Libolt