October 28, 2014 / by admin / American History / No Comments

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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engenders—they were willing to try just about anything if it meant they might survive their first year. As a result, the Pilgrims proved to be more receptive to the new ways of the New World than nearly any English settlers before or since. They were also experienced exiles. Their twelve years in Holland had given them a head start in the difficult process of acculturation. Going native—at least to a certain degree—was a necessary, if problematic, part of adapting to life in a strange and foreign

fairer mats. Among the Indians’ clay pots, wooden bowls, and reed baskets was an iron bucket from Europe that was missing a handle. There were several deer heads, one of which was still quite fresh, as well as a piece of broiled herring. As they had done with the graves of the blond-haired sailor and Indian child, the Pilgrims decided to take “some of the best things” with them. Looting houses, graves, and storage pits was hardly the way to win the trust of the local inhabitants. To help offset

made it a proper Puritan thanksgiving. But as Winslow’s description makes clear, there was also much about the gathering that was similar to a traditional English harvest festival—a secular celebration that dated back to the Middle Ages in which villagers ate, drank, and played games. Countless Victorian-era engravings notwithstanding, the Pilgrims did not spend the day sitting around a long table draped with a white linen cloth, clasping each other’s hands in prayer as a few curious Indians

excommunicated. Purged of the ungodly, a Separatist congregation shared in an intense fellowship of righteousness that touched every facet of every communicant’s life. The Separatists believed in spiritual discipline, but they also believed in spontaneity. After the minister concluded his sermon, members of the congregation were encouraged to “prophesy.” Instead of looking into the future, prophesying involved an inspired kind of improvisation: an extemporaneous attempt by the more knowledgeable

happened, Plymouth magistrates found themselves presiding over the colony’s first murder trial just as the Puritans began to arrive at Boston Harbor. In the summer of 1630, the profane John Billington fell into an argument with his English neighbor John Newcomen. A few days later, while hunting for deer, Billington happened upon Newcomen and shot him down in cold blood. Billington had believed, the historian William Hubbard later reported, “that either for want of power to execute for capital

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