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The Women Who Came in the Mayflower   By:

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Dave Maddock, Charles Franks and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.

THE WOMEN WHO CAME IN THE MAYFLOWER

BY

ANNIE RUSSELL MARBLE

FOREWORD

This little book is intended as a memorial to the women who came in The Mayflower , and their comrades who came later in The Ann and The Fortune , who maintained the high standards of home life in early Plymouth Colony. There is no attempt to make a genealogical study of any family. The effort is to reveal glimpses of the communal life during 1621 1623. This is supplemented by a few silhouettes of individual matrons and maidens to whose influence we may trace increased resources in domestic life and education.

One must regret the lack of proof regarding many facts, about which are conflicting statements, both of the general conditions and the individual men and women. In some instances, both points of view have been given here; at other times, the more probable surmises have been mentioned.

The author feels deep gratitude, and would here express it, to the librarians of the Massachusetts Historical Society, the New England Genealogic Historical Register, the American Antiquarian Society, the Register of Deeds, Pilgrim Hall, and the Russell Library of Plymouth, private and public libraries of Duxbury and Marshfield, and to Mr. Arthur Lord and all other individuals who have assisted in this research. The publications of the Society of Mayflower Descendants, and the remarkable researches of its editor, Mr. George E. Bowman, call for special appreciation.

ANNIE RUSSELL MARBLE. Worcester, Massachusetts.

CONTENTS

FOREWORD

I ENDURANCE AND ADVENTURE: THE VOYAGE AND LANDING

II COMMUNAL AND FAMILY LIFE IN PLYMOUTH 1621 1623

III MATRONS AND MAIDENS WHO CAME IN "THE MAYFLOWER"

IV COMPANIONS WHO ARRIVED IN "THE FORTUNE" AND "THE ANN"

INDEX

CHAPTER I

ENDURANCE AND ADVENTURE: THE VOYAGE AND LANDING

"So they left ye goodly and pleasante citie, which had been ther resting place near 12 years; but they knew they were pilgrimes, & looked not much on those things, but lift up their eyes to ye heavens, their dearest cuntrie, and quieted their spirits."

Bradford's History of Plymouth Plantations. Chap. VII.

December weather in New England, even at its best, is a test of physical endurance. With warm clothes and sheltering homes today, we find compensations for the cold winds and storms in the exhilarating winter sports and the good cheer of the holiday season.

The passengers of The Mayflower anchored in Plymouth harbor, three hundred years ago, lacked compensations of sports or fireside warmth. One hundred and two in number when they sailed, of whom twenty nine were women, they had been crowded for ten weeks into a vessel that was intended to carry about half the number of passengers. In low spaces between decks, with some fine weather when the open hatchways allowed air to enter and more stormy days when they were shut in amid discomforts of all kinds, they had come at last within sight of the place where, contrary to their plans, they were destined to make their settlement.

At Plymouth, England, their last port in September, they had "been kindly entertained and courteously used by divers friends there dwelling," [Footnote: Relation or Journal of a Plantation Settled at Plymouth in New England and Proceedings Thereof; London, 1622 (Bradford and Winslow) Abbreviated In Purchas' Pilgrim, X; iv; London, 1625.] but they were homeless now, facing a new country with frozen shores, menaced by wild animals and yet more fearsome savages. Whatever trials of their good sense and sturdy faith came later, those days of waiting until shelter could be raised on shore, after the weeks of confinement, must have challenged their physical and spiritual fortitude.

There must have been exciting days for the women on shipboard and in landing. There must have been hours of distress for the older and the delight in adventure which is an unchanging trait of the young of every race... Continue reading book >>




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