The Pilgrims owed their lives to an English speaking native they called Squanto, who both translated for them with Massasoit and helped negotiate the first Indian treaty, but who also taught the Pilgrims how to cultivate and harvest native foods. He was generous with his knowledge, teaching the Pilgrims survival skills in this new land. I think Squanto would like the Web if he could reappear. We are generous with our knowledge here, as well.
Here’s how Squanto taught the Pilgrims to grow corn, you can try it, too.
When the leaves of the oak tree are as big as a mouse’s ear [You know how little they are, right?], put three or four corn seeds on little mounds.
Put three fish on the mound, too, arranged evenly with their mouths toward the seeds. [These days we buy fish emulsion at the garden store.]
The fish will feed the corn as the corn will feed you, with meal for bread and pudding. [Look on the labels of food cans and boxes. Which ones can you find that have “corn” or “corn-something” in them? Hint: look on a Jell-O Pudding box.]
Guard your cornfields, for the wolves will try to steal the fish. [Today it would probably be the local cats, who will dig up your corn, looking for the fish that smells so good — to them. You’ll not like the smell!].
We used a wad of cotton balls and a bit of leftover dinner fish or fish emulsion to duplicate this method of growing corn. Put wet cotton in two clean jars (Peanut butter or mayonnaise jars will do.). Into one bury the bit of fish. Put 3-4 corn seeds from your local plant nursery on each wad of cotton. Label the jars “Fish” and “No Fish.” Make a guess which corn will grow tallest. Put a star on that label.
Close the jars, and put in a bathroom, or other dark room that you visit occasionally, until the seeds begin to sprout. Then you can move them to a sunny window sill. Keep your cats away! Check with your finger to see if the cotton is starting to feel dry. Add just enough water so the cotton feels damp, not soggy. Measure the height of the sprouting corn each day. Which grows faster?
First Thanksgiving Proclamation
It set aside the 29th of June as a day of Thanksgiving. Hmmm?
John Alden Museum
The most noted romance among the Pilgrims was between John Alden and Priscilla Mullins. Their home is the last remaining structure built by the colonists. House gif from this site.
History Channel video. How many people were on the Mayflower? And how long did it take for them to get to Plymouth? Get the facts. Other historical videos also available.
Possibly the most complete site for source documentation, especially great for those tracing family trees.
The Pilgrims and Plymouth Colony:1620
Within these webpages are some lesson plans that are being made available to assist you in the instruction of topics relating to the Mayflower journey and Plymouth Colony.
Plimoth on the Web
Take a Virtual Tour of Plimoth Plantation if you can’t visit the museum in person.
Here is a stone which the feet of a few outcasts pressed for an instant; and the stone becomes famous; it is treasured by a great nation; its very dust is shared as a relic. Alexis De Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1835. Unfortunately, as Plymouth Rock increased in fame, it began to decrease in size under the hands of souvenir hunters.
The fact of its identity has been transmitted from father to son, particularly in the instance of Elder Faunce and his father, as would be the richest inheritance, by unquestionable tradition.
The Scarlet Letter
The full novel, online. “On the breast of her gown, in fine red cloth, surrounded with an elaborate embroidery and fantastic flourishes of gold thread, appeared the letter A. It was so artistically done, and with so much fertility and gorgeous luxuriance of fancy, that it had all the effect of a last and fitting decoration to the apparel which she wore; and which was of a splendor in accordance with the taste of the age, but greatly beyond what was allowed by the sumptuary regulations of the colony.”
Thanksgiving Information From Indian Point of View
This is from The Center For World Indigenous Studies and The Fourth World Documentation Project.
Thanksgiving on the Net: Roast Bull with Cranberry Sauce
Setting people straight about Thanksgiving myths has become as much a part of the annual holiday as turkey, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. But should historians bother? by Dr. Jeremy D. Bangs, Director, Leiden American Pilgrim Museum.
Answer to riddle at the top of the page: Because April showers bring May flowers!