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"landed” in 1620, and of course only the Mayflower passengers did land in that year. When, therefore, during the first twenty-nine years, the participants spoke of their “ancestors," "fathers,” and “forefathers,” undoubtedly they had chiefly in mind the Mayflower passengers, even though occasionally they drank toasts to the memories of a few who, like Cushman and Morton, reached Plymouth after 1620. But in 1798 the celebration began to assume a distinctly different character. Though to commemorate the past was, and continued to be, still the main object of the occasion, yet the present assumed a much greater prominence than heretofore; current politics were emphasized; the speakers were generally chosen from beyond the limits of the Old Colony; and the horizon was greatly widened, including the early settlers of Massachusetts as distinct from those of Plymouth. When, too, in 1798, the Boston celebrations began, the field was still further broadened, for the Boston celebrators, while not forgetful of the early Plymouth settlers, naturally had principally in mind the early Massachusetts settlers. Hence by about 1800 the terms Pilgrims and Pilgrim Fathers, which had then become well established, meant any early settlers of either of the two colonies which in 1692 were united under the Province of the Massachusetts Bay. And such use of the term continued for many years — indeed, still continues.?
1 About 1800, too, while the term Pilgrim Fathers was of course applied only to the early settlers, the meaning of the word Pilgrims was extended to include living persons who participated in the celebrations. This special meaning is now rarely encountered.
2 In the following passages the term is applied either to the Massachusetts settlers only, or to the Plymouth and the Massachusetts settlers jointly it often being difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish between the two): 1820, Rev. G. Spring, A Tribute to New England, in New England Society Orations (1901), i. 18, 21; 1822, Rev. P. M. Whelpley, The Memory of the Just is Blessed, in New England Society Orations, i. 133, 135 (William Stoughton); 1828, Rev. S. Green, Discourse (1829), pp. 14, 16; 1830, “The Pilgrim Fathers, or the Lives of some of the First Settlers of New England. Designed for Sabbath School Libraries" (contains lives of Robinson, Carver, Bradford, Winslow, and John Winthrop); 1836, Rev. J. Hawes, A Tribute to the Memory of the Pilgrims (second edition), pp. 93–118, 175; 1841, C. B. Hadduck, The Elements of National Greatness, in New England Society Orations, i. 280; 1844, Rev. J. A. Albro, The Fathers of New England (1845), p. 20; 1845, Rev. J. Pierce, 2 Proceedings Massachusetts Historical Society, x. 398; 1846, C. W. Upham, The Spirit of the Day and its Lessons, in New England Society Orations, i. 446 (Roger Clap); 1856, T. Bridgman, The Pilgrims of Boston and their Descend
Towards the middle of the nineteenth century it was felt by some that the terms had been used too loosely. Thus in 1841 the Rev. Alexander Young declared that “The term PILGRIMS belongs exclusively to the Plymouth colonists.” In 1848 the Rev. Samuel M. Worcester wrote:
There are those who will "garnish the sepulchres" of the "Pilgrims” of Plymouth Rock, and the "Fathers"* their associates of Salem, Charlestown, Boston, and other primitive settlements; while they are slow to recognize the true secret of the moral worth, and energy, and endurance, by which those godly sires achieved their noble deeds and won their renowned conquests and possessions. "It is to be observed," said the Rev. Alvan Lamson in 1851, "that the term 'Pilgrims' belongs exclusively to the Plymouth colonists. It is never by accurate writers applied to the Massachusetts colonists."
.”? In 1866 Benjamin Scott spoke of “the Pilgrim Fathers of Plymouth Colony" as "the only persons to whom that term has been historically applied.” 3 This restriction, however, of the terms Pilgrims and Pilgrim Fathers exclusively to the Plymouth settlers is recognized at the present time only in the Old Colony itself.
About the middle of the nineteenth century, also, an attempt was made to define somewhat precisely the meaning of the terms. “Those who came in the first three ships,” said Young in 1841, “the May
* Those who came to Plymouth are properly called "The Pilgrims"; — because they had sojourned in Holland. We speak of them as “the Fathers.” But “the Fathers" were not all “Pilgrims." 4
ants (title); 1867, Rev. S. G. Buckingham, Memorial of the Pilgrim Fathers, p. 35; 1874, W. Winters, The Pilgrim Fathers of Nazing, in New England Historical and Genealogical Register, xxvii. 140; 1881, Epochs and Episodes of History, p. 591 (Roger Williams); 1882, W. Winters, “Memorials of the Pilgrim Fathers. John Eliot and his Friends, of Nazing and Waltham Abbey" (title); 1893, J. P. Rylands, in New England Historical and Genealogical Register, xxxix. 39 (Richard Mather); 1909, Rev. A. Whyte, Thomas Shepard, Pilgrim Father and Founder of Harvard (title); 1913, W. E. A. Axon, in Nation, xcvi. 149 (John Endicott).
1 Chronicles of the Pilgrim Fathers, p. 88 note.
3 The Pilgrim Fathers neither Puritans nor Persecutors (second edition, 1869), p. 5.
* Discourse (Boston, 1849), p. 6 and note. In the first edition of the Discourse (Salem, 1849) the footnote reads: “Those who came to Plymouth are properly called 'The Pilgrims'; — because they had sojourned in Holland” (p. 6 note).
The last of the
flower, the Fortune, and the Ann, are distinctively called the old
The arrival of the Anne and Little James, with their
founders of Plymouth, marks a period of peculiar in-
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The above list closes the catalogue of those who are known as the Pilgrims, the First Comers, or the Forefathers. These names, therefore, are used synonymously for those who came in the “Mayflower," the “Fortune," and the “Anne,” with her consort. The number at landing, it will be remembered, was: “Mayflower,” 102; “Fortune,” 35; “Anne," about 96: total, 233.3
In 1897 the late Edward Arber made this elaborate statement:
All those members of the Separatist Church at Leyden, who voted for the emigration to America; whether they were actually able to go there or not: together with such others as joined their Church from England.
Membership in the Pilgrim Church was the first qualification: intended, or actual, emigration to New England was the second one.
This general definition will include the Rev. JOHN ROBINSON and his family; who were unable to leave Leyden. It also includes the 35 members of the Leyden Church who arrived, at Plymouth in New England, in the Fortune, in November 1621; the 60 who arrived, in the Ann and Little James in August 1623; the 35 with their families, who arrived in the Mayflower in August 1629; and the 60 who arrived in the Handmaid, in May 1630.
1 Chronicles of the Pilgrim Fathers, p. 352 note.
? The Pilgrim Fathers, in History of the Puritans in England, and the Pilgrim Fathers, p. 441.
3 Pilgrim Republic (1888), p. 244.
F Enchantment Episodes the Plans
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It likewise includes CHRISTOPHER MARTIN and his wife, who joined from Billericay in Essex: and RICHARD WARREN, and JOHN BILLINGTON sen. and his family; who came from London.
It also embraces WILLIAM KING, who started from Southampton in the Mayflower on the 5th of August 1620; but who, with ROBERT CushMAN, returned back from the voyage, at Plymouth; ...
It further includes hired men, such as John HOWLAND, a Man-servant in Governor CARVER's family; and JOHN ALDEN the cooper: who both came out in the Mayflower, and eventually embracing the Pilgrim Cause, became honoured men among the Pilgrim Fathers.
On the other hand, it excludes all those members of the Pilgrim Church who had no wish to go to America. ...
It also excludes all hired men who went out in the Mayflower; and who did not become members of the Church in the Old Colony. So all the Mayflower passengers were not Pilgrim Fathers.
It likewise excludes THOMAS WESTON and all the seventy Adventurers, as such: for having Shares in the Joint Stock did not make them Pilgrim Fathers.
It further excludes (though it is very hard to make the exclusion) three of the four London Merchants, now known as the noble FRIENDS OF THE PILGRIMS; who were among the number of the Adventurers, and who also joined with the eight Undertakers of the Colony in the Composition of 15/25 November 1626: RICHARD ANDREWS, JOHN BEAUCHAMP, and JAMES SHIRLEY; but it includes the Fourth of these, TIMOTHY HATHERLEY, because he settled at Scituate about the year 1635.1
In 1898 the Rev. William E. Griffis remarked:
The affectionate term “Pilgrim Fathers," coined by later generations, includes (1) the members of the Leyden church who voted for emigration, whether able or unable to go; (2) those who came from England and joined the church. The Mayflower passengers constituted the “Old Stock” of Bradford's meaning. Those who reached New Plymouth in the Mayflower, Anne, and Little James were called the "Old Comers,” or “Forefathers.” 2
The terms Pilgrims and Pilgrim Fathers are of popular origin, and so necessarily are incapable of precise definition; and Arber's finespun distinctions are too fanciful and absurd for serious consideration. Suffice it to say that at the present time by the terms are gen
1 Story of the Pilgrim Fathers, pp. 355,356.
erally meant the passengers who came in the first four ships - the Mayflower in 1620, the Fortune in 1621, and the Anne and the Little James in 1623.
How the terms came to be applied to them in particular has already been shown. It now remains to point out that the word Pilgrim was also applied to others, though Plymotheans are so accustomed to appropriate the word to their own ancestors as to resent its application to others. Yet it would be strange indeed if a word which had been in common use for four centuries before the sailing of the Mayflower should in the seventeenth century have been restricted to the men and women who came on that historic vessel. There was a ship named Peregrine in 1594, at least two others of the same name between 1603 and 1625, and one of the same name in Boston in 1659.3 In 1591 there was a ship named Pilgrim; 4 another in 1595; 5 another between 1603 and 1625; 6 and in a letter to Endicott dated London, May 28, 1629, the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay wrote, “Wee send yow also herewth a pticuler of
what goods, cattle, or other pvisions, wee now send vpon these 3 shipps, viz, the Mayflower, of Yarmouth, ... the Fower Sisters, of London, the Pilgrim, of London.” ? Writing about 1651 Edward Johnson said:
ce de sex
1 Hakluyt's Voyages (1904), xi. 46.
2 R. G. Marsden, English Ships in the Reign of James I, in Transactions of the Royal Historical Society (1905), New Series, xix. 328.
3 Suffolk Deeds, iii. 245.
? Massachusetts Colony Records, i. 400, 404. Late in the eighteenth century