September 6 - Pilgrims Depart Plymouth, England (1620)
Today in 1620
the Pilgrims depart
from Plymouth, England
for the New World
On September 6, 1620 the Pilgrims set sail for the New World on a ship called the Mayflower. They sailed from Plymouth, England. Onboard were 44 Pilgrims, who called themselves the "Saints", and 66 others, whom the Pilgrims called the "Strangers".
The long trip was cold and damp and took 65 days. Since there was the danger of fire on the wooden ship, the food had to be eaten cold. Many passengers became sick and one person died by the time land was sighted on November 10th.
The long trip led to many disagreements between the "Saints" and the "Strangers". After land was sighted a meeting was held and an agreement was worked out, called the Mayflower Compact, which guaranteed equality and unified the two groups. They joined together and named themselves the "Pilgrims".
Although they had first sighted land off Cape Cod they did not settle until they arrived at Plymouth, which had been named by Captain John Smith in 1614. Plymouth offered an excellent harbor and a large brook for fish.
What do you think life was like aboard the Mayflower?
If you discovered a "new world", what is the first thing you would do?
Click here to download and print a Daily Escapades form for this date.
Scholastic Research Starter More information regarding the Pilgrims, the Mayflower, and Plymouth are discussed at this website. Includes information for teachers, as well as additional links.