THE MAYFLOWER COMPACT
The document giving rise to the trip to the new world in 1620
IN The Name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honor of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the first colony in the northern Parts of Virginia; Do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually in the Presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid; And by Virtue hereof do enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions, and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general Good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due Submission and Obedience. In WITNESS whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King James of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth and of Scotland, the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini, 1620
Massasoit's treaty with the Pilgrims
Massasoit was a chief of the Wampanoag tribe. Also known as Ousamequin, or "yellow feather," he was born about 1590 in the village of Pokanoket which was near the present-day Bristol, Rhode Island.. The peace treaty which Massasoit and the Pilgrims signed on March 22, 1621 was never broken. Because of this agreement, the Wampanoag and Pilgrims lived in peaceful coexistence. Massasoit's friendship with the colonists kept the Wampanoags neutral during the Pequot War of 1636. Until his death in 1661, Massasoit remained a friend and ally of the Pilgrims.
The Mayflower that brought the Pilgrims to America was never used again as a passenger ship.
There were 51 men, 22 boys, 20 ladies, and 11 girls on board the Mayflower. The oldest Mayflower passenger to participate in the first Thanksgiving was William Brewster. He was 54 years old.
Thanksgiving Day, legal holiday in the U.S., first celebrated in early colonial times in New England. The actual origin, however, is probably the harvest festivals that are traditional in many parts of the world. After the first harvest was completed by the Plymouth colonists in 1621, Governor William Bradford proclaimed a day of thanksgiving and prayer, shared by all the colonists and neighboring Native Americans.
During the American Revolution a yearly day of national thanksgiving was suggested by the Continental Congress. In 1817 New York State adopted Thanksgiving Day as an annual custom, and by the middle of the 19th century many other states had done the same. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln appointed a day of thanksgiving, and since then each president has issued a Thanksgiving Day proclamation, generally designating the fourth Thursday of November as a holiday. Thanksgiving is a statutory holiday in Canada, celebrated, since 1957, on the second Monday in October. Observance of the day began in 1879.
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