When we think of the pioneers who made the trek from much more established cities to the windy, dusty prairie of Kansas in covered wagons with only their most prized possessions and much determination, it’s just awe inspiring. It begs the question: Could we do the same today?
And when we consider the people that came over on the Mayflower all those years ago and helped to establish the country we so often take for granted, we ask ourselves, what was it like, that long journey and how did the first pilgrims fair?
A woman by the name of Gail Hennessey has offered us a glimpse of those first pilgrim-adventurers. She outlines some interesting facts in an activity notebook she’s written for those looking for “interactive education” for younger guests at a traditional family gathering or for teachers instructing their young charges in what it was like to be the bravest and the first.
Possible Interactive Notebook Activity
Gail Skroback Hennessey
- Over the years, many people took samples of Plymouth Rock. Today, it is now 1/3 the size it was during the time of the Pilgrims.
- The sailors on the Mayflower didn’t care for the Pilgrims and called them “flib-gabbety puke stockings” because so many of the Pilgrims got seasick.
- Would you wear the same clothes for 66 days? The Pilgrims did!
- The Pilgrims didn’t have forks on the table at Thanksgiving. Forks weren’t popular until the 18th century.
- There weren’t any ovens to make pumpkin pie and sugar was in short supply. The Pilgrims also didn’t have cranberry sauce to eat at Thanksgiving.
- Historians believe that in addition to turkey, the Pilgrims ate lots of venison, cod, clams, sea bass and lobster at their Thanksgiving feast.
- Did you know that there wasn’t any milk at the first Thanksgiving? There weren’t any cows brought over on the Mayflower!
- Here is a list of some of the unusual names of some of the Pilgrims: Oceanus, Resolved, Peregrine, Wrestling, Love, Remember, Humility
- The Mayflower traveled at a speed of 2 mph and traveled 2750 miles from England to North America. The voyage took 66 days.
- During the first winter, most of the Pilgrims lived aboard the Mayflower. Half the Pilgrims did NOT survive the first winter.
- Of the 102 passengers, there were 34 children on the Mayflower’s voyage.
- The Wampanoag Indians were guests at the first Thanksgiving.