The Mayflower was the little three-masted sailing ship that brought the Pilgrams to the New World in 1620. A tough little ship of 180 tons, about 90 feet long, roughly the size of harbor tugboat.Before the Pilgrams hired it, the ship had been carrying wine from France to England.On September 20, 1620, the Mayflower sailed from Plymouth, England with just over 100 men, women, children including a crew of about 28 men. The Mayflower crossed the Atlantic Ocean at its stormiest season. Sailing westward across the Atlantic Ocean was very difficult, the wind almost always blows strongly right from that direction-west- in which the ship must go.
They ate the same food everyday – sea biscuits, salted meat, dried fish and cheese, washed it all down with beer. Some people were seasick for weeks. Just before they landed one young man died, but the number of passengers remained unchanged because a baby boy was born on shipboard a month after the vessel arrived safely.
The first landfall was where Provincetown, Massachusetts is today. they then went on to the site of Plymouth, across Cape Cod Bay. The Mayflower Compact was written and expressed the idea that everyone would have fair treatment in the government that would be set up to rule the colony. 41 men signed the compact in the ships’ cabin and agreed to obey the laws they themselves would pass. The Mayflower Compact was a very important step along the road to self-government in the New World.
There is a replica of the wonderful old ship near a reconstruction of the early colony at Plymouth. More than 250,000 visitors go abroad the Mayflower II, gaining a new admiration for the courage and fortitude of a little band of men, women and children who sailed in a ship with no engines, only sails to America more than 350 years ago.
posted by liz
source :Grolier/Alan Villiers