Alexa Garcia-Del Rio, Staff Writer

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The pilgrims were a group of English settlers. The pilgrims left Europe in search of religious freedom in the Americans. They established their first colony in 1620.

The reason pilgrims traveled to American was in search of a new world. Many pilgrims were called Separatists because they wanted to “separate” from the Church of England and worship God in their own way. In England, they were not allowed to do this, they were persecuted and put in jail for their beliefs. Other pilgrims were just looking for a new way of life in a new world.

The pilgrims initially sail aboard two ships; the Speedwell and the Mayflower. The Speedwell was the first ship to leave England, however, not long after leaving England the Speedwell started to leak and the pilgrims had to return to England. When the Speedwell returned to England, the Mayflower deported and they tried to fit as many pilgrims as possible in the ship that were recently in the Speedwell. The Mayflower once again sailed to America on September 6, 1620. They managed to fit 102 passengers in the ship, but they had to leave twenty of the original Speedwell passengers behind. Additionally, thirty crewmen were aboard the ship not counting the 102 passengers.

The pilgrims arrived in New England. They decided that they needed to make an agreement to how everything was going to be run in the colony. They signed a document called the Mayflower Compact. They Mayflower Compact was signed by forty-one pilgrim men. The compact declared that the colonists were loyal to the king of England, and that they were Christians who served God. They also agreed that John Craver was going to be the first governor of the colony.

After arriving in New England, pilgrims looked for a place to build a settlement. They found a place called Plymouth. It had a calm harbor for their ships, a river for water, and flat lands where they could plant crops. It was here where they built their village called the Plymouth Colony.

Many pilgrims were happy to be in America; however, they were not ready for the winter. Many of the pilgrims died over the first winter.  By the end of the winter, only forty-seven survived out of 102 settlers. Governor John Carver died as well, and William Bradford was elected the new governor.

Native Americans lived closed to where the pilgrims were settled.  Native Americans taught them how to plant corn, where to hunt and fish, and how to survive though winter. Finally, the pilgrims held their first feast after their first harvest in 1621.  They continued this as a tradition and in 1623 they began to call the feast “Thanksgiving.”