Today marks the 399th anniversary of the landing of the Mayflower at Plymouth. I am writing this on the 18th, but there is disagreement on the exact date of the landing with dates ranging from December 16 to 21.
The differences in dates is partly due to calculations of old style dates to new style dates, but there are also other reasons for the difference. It is interesting that most official Mayflower and Plymouth sites do not give an exact date on their websites.
Do I have the right date? Maybe not, it depends on which historian you ask 🙂
One of the signers of the Mayflower Compact was my ancestor George Soule.
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, etc.
Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith and 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 politic; for our better ordering, and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to 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 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, 1620.
Over the next month the area around Cape Cod Bay was explored before finally determining that Plymouth was where the colony would be located. On or about December 15 the Mayflower moved from Provincetown Harbor to Plymouth Harbor.
The Mayflower remained anchored in Plymouth Harbor over the winter and the colonists lived on board until March of 1620. The Mayflower did not sail back to England until the first part of April.
With next year being the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower landing there are many celebrations planned both in England and in Massachusetts. I am sure that a lot of new research will also be published in the next year and I look forward to learning more about Plymouth Colony.