Library Blog

Mayflower Day, September 16

Mayflower II historic sailing ship on ocean

On September 16, 1620, 102 passengers set sail from Plymouth England.  Many boarded the ship in the hope of finding a new land where they could practice their religion freely away from the persecution of King James in England. Some were more interested in the North American trade market and better living opportunities. 

The living conditions on the Mayflower ship were horrid.  They were ill-prepared and did not have enough fresh water.  Chamber pots were used on the ship, and although they were emptied into the ocean, the air became foul and unhealthy.  Their intended destination was the Colony of Virginia, but because of the bad weather and storms, they were not able to get there.  They landed about two months later on the coastline near Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  They named this land, Plymouth after Plymouth, England.  The first winter in New England was brutal and cold.  Only half of them would survive to see the warm spring.  The settlers came into contact with the Patuxet Native Americans who assisted and saved the settlers from starvation.  One Native American in particular was Squanto who devoted his time in teaching the settlers how to plant maize, beans, and squash. 

Our traditional Thanksgiving holiday was inspired by a harvest feast that was held over a three-day period during the Autumn of 1621, where both Native Americans and Settlers would interact.  Thanksgiving dinner for the Pilgrims and Native Americans was not the usual fare that we are accustomed to today.  They did not have apple or pecan pie, dressing, sweet potatoes, or mashed potatoes.  There is no reference that turkey was consumed either.  Historians have found surviving documents that indicate they ate fresh-killed deer, wild fowl, cod, shellfish, bass, and a variety of corns that were probably consumed as corn bread or porridge.  Squash, peas, and beans were most likely served as well.  Pumpkin may have been served but not as pie; it was probably stewed in vinegar and currants. 

To learn more, check out these many books, ebooks, & more available in our Library Catalog and Hoopla:





And, finally, here’s a few Mayflower videos from the web:


Judy Jones

Judy is a certified Career Facilitator. She has worked with many patrons over the past four years assisting them in writing effective resumes and cover letters. She has guided individuals through the online job application process and has helped them register for Ohio Means Jobs. If you need assistance or would like to send her your resume for review, please email her at If you would like to call her to book an appointment, please call 330-744-8636. Judy in also an avid Anglophile! She likes to read British History, fiction and non-fiction, likes to watch TV shows and movies related to British History and often likes to pick at the historical accuracy of such shows.