Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War

Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War

Nathaniel Philbrick

Language: English

Pages: 480

ISBN: 0143111973

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


"Vivid and remarkably fresh...Philbrick has recast the Pilgrims for the ages."
--The New York Times Book Review

Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in history
New York Times Book Review Top Ten books of the Year


How did America begin? That simple question launches the acclaimed author of Bunker Hill and Valiant Ambition on an extraordinary journey to understand the truth behind our most sacred national myth: the voyage of the Mayflower and the settlement of Plymouth Colony. As Philbrick reveals in this electrifying history of the Pilgrims, the story of Plymouth Colony was a fifty-five year epic that began in peril and ended in war. New England erupted into a bloody conflict that nearly wiped out the English colonists and natives alike. These events shaped the existing communites and the country that would grow from them.

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soon after the Norman Conquest in the eleventh century. But the Austerfield church, known as St. Helena’s, was—and is—unusual. Over the door is a primitive stone carving from a much earlier era depicting an openmouthed snake. One can only wonder whether this weird, almost runic figure first suggested to the young Bradford that the Puritans were right: the Church of England had been poisoned by “that old serpent Satan.” He must seek out a congregation of like-minded believers and worship God as the

are led by a sergeant without beat of drum. Behind comes the Governor, in a long robe; beside him on the right hand, comes the preacher with his cloak on, and on the left hand, the captain with his side-arms and cloak on, and with a small cane in his hand; and so they march in good order, and each sets his arms down near him. Thus they are constantly on their guard night and day. Seven years after the Mayflower had sailed, Plymouth Plantation was still an armed fortress where each male

Plymouth in 1629 as a twenty-twoyear-old émigré from Leiden. John Howland and John Alden established a second Pilgrim trading post in Maine on the Kennebec River at modern Augusta. By this time, Howland had married Mayflower passenger Elizabeth Tilley, while Alden had married Priscilla Mullins. In 1634 the Plymouth men at Kennebec got into a fatal argument with some rival English fur traders that resulted in Alden’s being briefly detained in a Boston jail. The following year, the French forced

yards of cotton. In 1652, he and Wamsutta sold the future site of Dartmouth for thirty yards of cloth, eight moose skins, fifteen axes, fifteen hoes, fifteen pairs of shoes, one iron pot, and ten shillings’ worth of assorted goods. The following year they sold lands in the vicinity of the Pokanokets’ ancestral village of Sowams for £35, currently worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $7,000. Today, the sums paid for Massasoit’s lands seem criminally insignificant. However, given the high cost of

Robinson’s death, the members of the congregation at Plymouth had resigned themselves to going their own, often ministerless way in the New World, and in the process they had become considerably less jealous about guarding their divine legacy. Now, with the arrival of the Puritans in Massachusetts Bay, it was up to others to become the spiritual arbiters of New England. One Small Candle 175 Minimal from the beginning, the religious distinction between the “Pilgrims” and “Puritans” quickly

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