mayflower steps memorial plymouth

September 16th or 6th Mayflower Voyage

Whichever calendar you believe in … Julian or Gregorian – today the 16th of September 1620 this happened….

Today in history: Sept. 16, 1620, English Separatists, known today as the Pilgrims, set sail from Plymouth, one small candle plymouthDevon, England, for Virginia, where another English colony was already established. Storms blew them off course, and they eventually landed on Nov. 21 in what is now Massachusetts.

According to law all people in England had to belong to the Church of England, and other church services were illegal. The Separatists thought Christian churches should not be run by bishops, or kings, but local congregations should govern themselves. They also wanted freedom to believe only what the Bible says, and not what church creeds require. The Separatists had illegally separated from the Church of England, and thus, as “Pilgrims,” sought religious freedom for themselves (but not necessarily for anyone else) in America.

The arrival of Spanish, Portuguese, French, English, Dutch, and Swedish colonists in the Americas was a disaster for the Native Americans. Diseases — that the Native Americans had no immunities to — arrived with the Europeans, and had already wiped out perhaps three-fourths of the Natives before the Pilgrim Separatists arrived. The Pilgrims set up their village, Plymouth, Massachusetts, on the site of a Wampanoag village where all of the inhabitants had died from an unknown plague.

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