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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Chatham in Barnstable County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
 

The Mayflower Story

 
 
The Mayflower Story Marker image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, September 23, 2012
1. The Mayflower Story Marker
Inscription.  A group of Separatist from the Church of England, later named Pilgrims, left England for Holland in 1608 in settled in Leiden in 1609. After staying there for 11 years, the group sailed back to England on the ship Speedwell, where they joined by more immigrants along with a larger ship, the Mayflower. Although both ships set out together, the Speedwell was unable to continue, but the Mayflower left from Plymouth, England, for America on September 6th, 1620 with 102 passengers. After a voyage of 66 days, they cited the coast of Cape Cod on November 9th, turned South and sailed past this spot in an attempt to reach that original destination of the Hudson River. About 9 miles south east of here the shoal of Pollack Rip forced the Mayflower to turn back and head north, passing this spot again. The ship continued north in search of a safe harbor and on November 11th came around the tip of Cape Cod anchored in what is now Provincetown Harbor.

Because the Pilgrims decided to settle outside the limits of their charter, they believed a written document was needed for self government of the new colony. Thus, the Mayflower Compact was written.
The Mayflower II image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, September 23, 2012
2. The Mayflower II
Photographed by Jean Migre Mass Society of Mayflower Descandants
After staying in Provincetown Harbor for five weeks, the Pilgrims sailed across Cape Cod Bay and made a permanent settlement in Plymouth in December, 1620.

Chatham profoundly shaped Pilgrim history because of its dangerous waters offshore. Had the Mayflower been able to continue to the Hudson River area, there would be no Cape Cod, Plymouth or New England Pilgrim story. Nor would there have been a Mayflower Compact, the first self governing document written in the New World.

The story the Mayflower voyage and Cape Cod Pilgrim history is told at the Pilgrim Monument and Museum in Provincetown.
 
Erected 2012. (Marker Number 8.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ExplorationSettlements & Settlers.
 
Location. 41° 40.267′ N, 69° 56.951′ W. Marker is in Chatham, Massachusetts, in Barnstable County. Marker is on Main Street. This marker is next to the parking lot facing the Atlantic Ocean and across the road from the Chatham Lighthouse. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Chatham MA 02633, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Rescue of the Pendleton (a few steps from this marker); History of Chatham Lighthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); The Battle of Chatham Harbor
The Mayflower Story Marker image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, September 23, 2012
3. The Mayflower Story Marker
Once the Mayflower sighted the Cape Cod, it turned south to reach its destination. However, near the tip of South Monomoy , the ship encountered the shoals at Pollock Rip and was forced to turn back. Continuing north along the coast, the Mayflower anchored in Provincetown Harbor on the morning of November 11th.
(about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); In Memory of the Pioneers of Chatham (approx. 0.9 miles away); Samuel De Champlain (approx. 0.9 miles away); Chatham Radio/WCC (approx. 2.8 miles away); Universalist Society Meeting House (approx. 7.9 miles away); The Schooner Montclair (approx. 7.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chatham.
 
Regarding The Mayflower Story. First, the Separatists returned to London to get organized. A prominent merchant agreed to advance the money for their journey. The Virginia Company gave them permission to establish a settlement, or “plantation,” on the East Coast between 38 and 41 degrees north latitude (roughly between the Chesapeake Bay and the mouth of the Hudson River). And the King of England gave them permission to leave the Church of England, “provided they carried themselves peaceably.”


In August 1620, a group of about 40 Saints joined a much larger group of (comparatively) secular colonists–“Strangers,” to the Saints–and set sail from England on two merchant ships: the Mayflower and the Speedwell. The Speedwell began to leak

Chatham Beach image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, September 23, 2012
4. Chatham Beach
almost immediately, however, and the ships headed back to port. The travelers squeezed themselves and their belongings onto the Mayflower and set sail once again.
Because of the delay caused by the leaky Speedwell, the Mayflower had to cross the Atlantic at the height of storm season. As a result, the journey was horribly unpleasant. Many of the passengers were so seasick they could scarcely get up, and the waves were so rough that one “Stranger” was swept overboard and drowned. (It was “the just hand of God upon him,” Bradford wrote later, for the young sailor had been “a proud and very profane yonge man.”)


 
Also see . . .  The Mayflower -Wikipedia. (Submitted on February 22, 2013, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.)

 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on February 18, 2013, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA. This page has been viewed 636 times since then and 27 times this year. Last updated on October 26, 2014, by Byron Hooks of Sandy Springs, Georgia. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 18, 2013, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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Jul. 12, 2020