October 27, 2017

Our Mayflower Pilgrams

The Mayflower at sea

The Puritans were not discouraged. With or without permission, protected or not protected by the terms of a charter which might at best be violated, they would seek asylum and rest in the Western wilderness. Out of their own resources, and with the help of a few faithful friends, they provided the scanty means of departure and set their faces toward the sea.

The Speedwell, a small vessel of sixty tons, was purchased at Amsterdam, and the Mayflower, a larger and more substantial ship was hired for the voyage. The former was to carry the emigrants from Leyden to Southampton, where they were to be joined by the Mayflower,with another company from London. Assembling at the harbor of Delft, on the River Meuse. fifteen miles south of Leyden as many of the Pilgrams as could be accommodated went on board the Speedwell. The whole congregation accompanied them to the shore. There Robinson gave them a consoling farewell address, and the blessings and prayers of those who were left followed the vessel out of sight.

Both ships came safely to Southhampton, and within two weeks the emigrants were ready for the voyage. On the 5th of August 1620 the vessels left the harbor; but after a few days' sailing the Speedwell was found to be shattered, old and leaky. On this account both ships anchored in the port of Dartmouth , and eight days were spent in making the needed repairs. Again the sails were set.but scarcely had the land receded from sight before the captain of the Speedwell declared his vessel unfit to breast the ocean, and then, to the great grief and discouragement of the emigrants, put back to Plymouth. Here the bad ship was abandoned ; but the Pilgrims were encouraged and feasted by the citizens, and the more zealous went on board the Mayflower, ready and anxious for a final effort. On the 6th day of September the first colony of New England, numbering one hundred and two souls, saw the shores of Old England grow dim and sink behind the sea.

The voyage was long and perilous. For sixty-three days the ship was buffeted by storms and driven. It had been the intention of the Pilgrims to found their colony in the beautiful country of the Hudson;but the tempest carried them out of their course, and the first land seen was the desolate Cape Cod.

On the ninth of November the vessel was anchored in the bay; then a meeting was held on board and the colony organized under a solemn compact. In the charter which they there made for themselves the emigrants declared their loyalty to the English Crown, and covenanted together to live in peace and harmony, with equal rights to all, obedient to just laws made for the common good.

Such was the simple but sublime constitution of the oldest New England State. A nobler document is not to be found among the records of the world.* To this instrument all the heads of families, forty-one in number, solemnly set their names. An election was held in which all had an equal voice,and John Carver was unanimously chosen governor of the colony. After two days the boat was lowered, but was found to be half rotten and useless and eight days were spent in making the needed repairs. Again the sails were set. More than a fortnight of precious time was required to make the needed repairs. ....

  • United States; a history: the most complete and most popular history of the United States of America from the aboriginal times to the present day.. by Ridpath, John Clark, 1840-1900
  • October 27, 2017

    The Mayflower held six relatives of ours in its journey across the ocean. The four Mullen's ,John Alden and George Soule. The Mullins family consisted of William, then about age fifty, his wife Alice, daughter Priscilla and son Joseph. The family also had a servant. Mullins was a shoemaker and businessman, and carried with him a large stock of boots and shoes. The family had left behind in Dorking the two eldest children, Sarah, about age 22 and probably married, and William, possibly in his late 20s and married.

    The Mayflower departed Plymouth, England on September 6, 1620. The small, 100-foot ship had 102 passengers and a crew of about 30-40 in extremely cramped conditions. By the second month out, the ship was being buffeted by strong westerly gales, causing the ship‘s timbers to be badly shaken with caulking failing to keep out sea water, and with passengers, even in their berths, lying wet and ill. This, combined with a lack of proper rations and unsanitary conditions for several months, attributed to what would be fatal for many, especially the majority of women and children. On the way there were two deaths, a crew member and a passenger, but the worst was yet to come after arriving at their destination when, in the space of several months, almost half the passengers perished in cold, harsh, unfamiliar New England winter.

    William Mullins, his wife Alice and son Joseph all died within months of arriving in the New World, along with their servant Robert Carter. Only their daughter Priscilla survived. William Mullins signed The Mayflower Compact 11/21 1620. Two other men that signed the Mayflower Compact were John Alden and George Soule.

    George Soule was credited to the household of Edward Winslow as a manservant or apprentice, along with Elias Story and a little girl Ellen More, who both died in the first winter. The fact that he was a servant of Edward Winslow is all that was known of his purpose for his Mayflower voyage but recent research discovered that there was much more involved in his desiring to emmigrate from England.

    Recent work in 2017 has identified the parents of George Soule through a high-quality Y-DNA match of Soule with families in Scotland and Australia. Jan Sol and his wife Mayken Labis are identified by their marriage as Protestant refugees in London, England in 1586. They also had their children babtized before 1600 in Haarlem, Holland. Johannes Sol was a printer in Leyden and it is believed that he helped William Brewster in the presswork for "Perth Assembly" ."His apprentice, Edward Raban, apparently fled to Scotland in 1619 in order to avoid being apprehended by agents of the King of England. It appears he was accompanied by the pregnant widow of his master and probably took with him the missing press of Brewster, as well as the telltale type and initials from Brewster; Raban also apparently took with him the Sol press and type. Edward Raban in 1622 published a very veiled version of his master's shocking death, well hidden in a discussion of drunkenness and resultant whoredom. It would appear all helpers in the press work and distribution of "Perth Assembly" took an oath of silence that was never breached, even after King James I died in 1625.

    For more on George and his family ......

    “Photograph of a painting signed Percy Moran, showing Myles Standish, William Bradford, William Brewster and John Carver signing the Mayflower Compact in a cabin aboard the Mayflower while other Pilgrims look on.” ca.1910-1930. From the collection of the Library of Congress and in the public domain: