Why Pilgrims Arriving in America Resisted Bathing

Why Pilgrims Arriving in America Resisted Bathing

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When the Mayflower Pilgrims arrived in Plymouth in the early 17th century, they didn’t smell terrific, according to Native American accounts. Unlike the Wampanoag, these Europeans didn’t bathe regularly. A surviving member of the Patuxet nation named Tisquantum (or “Squanto”) even tried and failed to convince them to start washing themselves, according to a 1965 biography.

“Bathing as you and I know it was very, very uncommon [among western Europeans] until the later part of the 18th century,” says W. Peter Ward, a professor emeritus of history at the University of British Columbia and author of the new book The Clean Body: A Modern History.

This went for people of all social classes. Louis XIV, a 17th-century king of France, is said to have only taken three baths in his entire life. Both rich and poor might wash their faces and hands on a daily or weekly basis, but almost no one in western Europe washed their whole body with any regularity, says Ward. The Separatist Pilgrims and the Puritans who followed them may have even thought that submerging their whole body in water was unhealthy, and that taking all of their clothes off to do so was immodest.

“The idea of being clean wasn’t closely associated with water in the 17th century anywhere in the western world,” Ward says.

READ MORE: What's the Difference Between Puritans and Pilgrims

Although bathhouses did exist in the colonies, they were not for bathing in the modern sense. Rather, bathhouses were thought of as a kind of medicinal cure, or else a place for wealthy people to relax. In the 1770s, the royal governor of the Colony of Virginia used his bathhouse to cool down on a particularly hot day. And the handful of baths Louis XIV took? Those were on the advice of a doctor, to treat his convulsions.

“Cleanliness, to the extent that people thought about it in the 17th century, had much more to do with what we now call underwear than anything else,” Ward says. Colonists kept themselves “clean” by changing the white linens under their clothes. The cleaner and whiter the linens, the cleaner the person—or so the thinking went.

“It was thought that the linen underwear was what really kept the body clean…because it was assumed that the underwear itself was the agent that cleaned the body; that it absorbed the body’s impurities and and the dirt and the sweat and so on,” he says.

These linens were supposed to be a little visible around the collar, so that others could see how clean and morally pure the person wearing them was. A Puritan “minister’s distinctive display of white linen marked him as not only a man of God but also a gentleman,” writes Kathleen M. Brown, a professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania, in Foul Bodies: Cleanliness in Early America.

“In an age not characterized by regular full-body bathing,” she continues, “no gentleman wearing white linen at the neck could neglect to change it regularly, for a collar worn for too many days would display his skin’s effusions to the world.”

Puritans also thought that keeping their bed linens clean was a way of keeping their bodies clean. Going to bed without taking off one’s outer clothes was considered unhygienic and immoral. In a letter from 1639, a colonist in Maine accused his maid of being “sluttish” for going “beed with her Cloth & stockins,” thus dirtying her bed linens.

READ MORE: Did Colonists Give Infected Blankets to Native Americans as Biological Warfare?

The Native Americans that colonists encountered had different priorities in terms of hygiene. Like the Wampanoag, most Native Americans bathed openly in rivers and streams. And they also thought it was gross for Europeans to carry their own mucus around in handkerchiefs.

Most Native people’s teeth were also in much better shape than Europeans’. Native people cleaned their mouths using a variety of methods, including brushing their teeth with wooden chew sticks, chewing on fresh herbs like mint to freshen their breath and rubbing charcoal on their teeth to whiten them. In contrast, most Europeans who came over may not have brushed their teeth at all, and had a diet that was generally worse for their oral health.

The colonists’ lack of hygiene was more than just a smelly inconvenience to the Native Americans they encountered. It also posed a very real danger. Unwashed colonists passed along microbes to which Native Americans had no prior exposure, and therefore no immunity.

Historians estimate that European diseases wiped out more than 90 percent of the Native people in coastal New England before 1620, the year the Pilgrims arrived. Over the next few decades, European diseases would wipe out millions more.

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Artifacts found from 1620 Pilgrim settlement in Plymouth represent landmark discovery

While American history books have long detailed how the Pilgrims settled in Plymouth when they landed on the continent in 1620, there has been no physical evidence of their first arrival.

But in an incredible discovery, archaeologists from the University of Massachusetts Boston have found the first definitive, physical evidence of remains from that 1620 Plymouth settlement.

The discoveries, made nearly 400 years after the first Thanksgiving was celebrated in Plymouth, include stained soil where buildings once stood, 17th century pottery, musket balls and the skeleton of a calf.

Kathryn Ness, curator of collections at Plimoth Plantation, said that the museum has been partnering with UMass on this project. She called the discovery“phenomenal.”

“We’ve known generally where the [settlement] was but we haven’t had any physical evidence yet,” she said, “so this is the first time we’ve had objects that the Pilgrims owned, that they’ve brought over from Europe.”

Ness said that for a “living history” museum like Plimoth, these findings will help inform the exhibits and what researchers know about the Pilgrims’ early, daily lives.

“Our collections and our exhibits are based on archeology and historical records,” she said. “We have been making educated guesses from other 17th century sites in Virginia and elsewhere about what the original settlement would have looked like, and now we have evidence.”

The discoveries have actually raised more questions than they’ve answered, Ness said. That includes the calf skeleton. The animal was killed, but not butchered, researchers found, so they’re still trying to figure out why it was buried.

Ness hopes that as more artifacts are found, a clearer picture of how Plimoth can adapt its exhibits to be most accurate will come into view.

“It’s definitely an ongoing story,” Ness said.

Archeologists have been working on this dig for four years. They have been comprised of teams from the UMass FiskeMemorial Center for Archeological Research. David Landon, associate director of the Fiske Center, has been running the summer field schools in Plymouth, taking graduate and undergraduate students to dig in the downtown area.

The artifacts were found over the summer, but their importance just recently came to light. For every one day digging in the field, researchers spend four to seven days analyzing the artifacts in a lab, Ness said.

“We literally take back [to the lab] every little grab of broken pottery, every nail, and study them intensely to make sure we’re confident about how old they are,” Landon said.

Though they’re still cleaning, labeling and photographing all of their findings, Landon said, they couldn’t resist sharing their discovery around Thanksgiving time as the country thinks of that “first Thanksgiving” in Plymouth.

This evidence wasn’t discovered earlier partly because the site is in downtown Plymouth, buried under roads and buildings, Landon said.

“It’s wonderful digging in the town of Plymouth because we’ve learned about all different time periods, starting with Native settlements thousands of years ago through the history of the town,” he said. “It’s great to add this piece from the 17th century about the original settlement.”

Students involved in the project were just as excited as Landon about their findings. Landon said that the experience has “definitely committed some students to an archeology career.”

Landon, along with more students and researchers, will be back digging for more gems at the site next summer.

“The preserved section of the settlement, it’s a small sliver but a sliver nonetheless,” he said. “We found the first slice and we want more slices.”

Missing the Point of Plymouth Rock

The Pilgrims Signing the Compact, on board the Mayflower, Nov. 11th, 1620, engraving by Gauthier (Library of Congress)

O f course the Pilgrim landing at Plymouth Rock in 1620 explains American history. Of course the 1619 Project’s shoddy exercise in vituperation is meant to delegitimize America. John G. Turner’s recent article in National Review is an extended exercise in missing the point.

Turner, a scholar of the history of American religion, and the author of a recent book on the Plymouth colony, surveys the debate about the New York Times’s 1619 Project with the traditional attitude of a liberal scholar — a facile resort to moral equivalence.

Turner, positioning himself as the neutral and expert arbiter, frames the 1619 Project and its critics as equally mistaken — the one unduly obsessed with the 1619 arrival of blacks in Virginia as the foundation of an America built on slavery, and the other unduly obsessed with the 1620 arrival of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, as the foundation of an America built on liberty. Neither view, says Turner, is correct. Nor are views of America as built on liberty in 1776 or 1787. All the supposed foundations of liberty are compromised by racism or elitism: The proper way to understand America is to look at the endless details of Americans’ flaws, and not their sweeping aspirations.

Turner’s entire approach is misguided. To begin with, he obscures the 1619 Project’s entirely unprofessional abuse of historical facts to create a denigratory Black Legend of American history — an abuse entirely absent in the 1619 Project’s critics. The 1619 Project includes errors of astonishing magnitude, such as:

  • Obscuring the long history of slavery throughout the world, not least in Africa, to create a false impression that slavery is a uniquely American institution.
  • Falsely foreshortening the history of chattel slavery in America, so as to claim that the chattel slavery that developed by ca. 1680 already existed in Virginia in 1619.
  • Falsely claiming that Americans fought the American Revolution to protect slavery — and, after revision under fire, still using the deceptive qualifier some Americans — when there is no evidence that any American rebelled against Britain to defend the slave regime.
  • Sweeping aside the substantial evidence of racially egalitarian and abolitionist sentiment involved in the composition of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, to present a grotesque caricature of these documents as exercises in white supremacy and the protection of slavery.
  • Falsely attributing the development of elements of modern capitalism, such as double-entry bookkeeping, to the plantation South.
  • Committing elementary accounting errors so as to attribute most antebellum American growth to slavery, even though the free North’s war-winning economic preponderance over the slave South would be inexplicable if slavery had truly been so profitable.
  • Eliminating all examples of black reformism and cross-racial reformist alliances so as to argue that only monoracial black resistance has had any importance or success in American history.
  • Caricaturing Abraham Lincoln as a white supremacist who disliked blacks, against the overwhelming evidence of his longstanding commitment to blacks’ civic and human dignity, far beyond that of most white Americans of his day, and fundamental to his political strategy, which culminated in one of the great emancipations of human history, as well as the vast majority of the spadework for the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, which would finally abolish slavery throughout the United States.

So many scholars have criticized the 1619 Project because it commits malpractice whenever it speaks on any matter of American history.

Turner then claims that the focus on 1620 and liberty as the foundation of American history is somehow misguided, both because Plymouth and its liberty were not that important in American history and because the Plymouth colony was complicit in an original national sin at least as important as slavery, the conquest of Indian land and the expulsion of Indian peoples. Both arguments are fallacious.

The argument for the importance of Plymouth and liberty was always made by intelligent Americans who were perfectly aware of historical nuance in the story of America’s origins. But the perfectly tenable argument, well-supported by facts, would be something like this:

The history of liberty depends upon the slow transformation, and expansion, of a number of discourses and institutions of liberty. The Puritan conception of communal liberty of conscience vis-à-vis royal authority, and the remarkably egalitarian self-rule of the Puritan township, constituted the strongest seed of liberty in all the English colonies on the North American mainland — and, indeed, a discourse and practice of liberty virtually unparalleled in world history until that point. Plymouth Colony influenced the immediately succeeding Massachusetts Bay settlement, not least by providing a model that shifted it, unexpectedly, from affiliation with the Church of England to independent congregationalism — thus transforming all of New England’s Puritan religion into a model of egalitarian liberty, which would be enormously influential for American politics. The Mayflower Compact likewise set the mold for consensual self-government, as ideal and practice, which would also spread throughout New England.

New England, spared the diseases that killed so many 17th century colonists in the Chesapeake colonies, became the most culturally and political influential of the colonial regions, by dint of an ever-expanding population, a mature commercial class, influential divines such as Jonathan Edwards, and finally the constellation of political thinkers and warriors of the Revolutionary Era. This constellation included notables such as John and Abigail Adams, Samuel Adams, James Otis, Ethan Allen, and the émigré Bostonian Benjamin Franklin. Alongside these leaders, the mass of Massachusetts farmers and Boston workingmen, formed in a culture, society, and government they had inherited from Plymouth, constituted the revolutionary vanguard of the American colonies, and swept their more hesitant peers away from compromise with Britain’s Parliament and toward the Declaration of Independence. Revolutionary New England in turn provides the hinge that links the narrower Puritan liberty of Plymouth with the universal American liberty of the future. Revolutionary-era Boston was the home of black Revolutionary martyr Crispus Attucks and pioneering and emancipated black poetess Phyllis Wheatley. Every state in New England abolished slavery between 1777 and 1784.

When Daniel Webster in 1820 praised Plymouth as the birthplace of American liberty — a speech that Turner dismisses as old-fashioned mythmaking — he correctly described, and continued, the tradition of liberty that had grown from its cradle on Cape Cod to embrace a continental empire of liberty.

Is this the entire story of American liberty? No, of course not — as the names of the eminent Virginians George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison amply testify. But it is the essential, central component of that story. The narrative of New England liberty as the heart of America is true — as the 1619 Project’s narrative of slavery as the heart of America is false, and Turner’s narrative of white mistreatment of Indians, somehow to incorporate every mutual slaughter from King Philip’s War (1675–78) and the The Raid on Deerfield (1704) to Bloody Point Massacre (1850) and the Battle of Wounded Knee (1890), is — to be charitable — insufficient. Turner might add that the moral condemnation of America, on behalf of American Indians, is itself a product of the New England tradition, by way of writers such as the Massachusetts-born Helen Hunt Jackson, author of the seminal, sentimental A Century of Dishonor (1881).

Turner concludes his essay with the banality that, “A single birth year cannot unlock the very meaning of the nation, not least because how historians and others explain the past hinges on how they understand the present.” But it is precisely the continued meditation on liberty, and the multiplication of events, that makes 1620 so important. Every generation of Americans has built upon the traditions of liberty they inherited from Plymouth, and every generation of Americans has meditated upon what we owe to Plymouth. Plymouth becomes more important with every year, not less, as the ripples of its impact grow and grow. There is a wonderful, complex story to be told of how Plymouth and 1620 roots itself ever deeper in the American present. To pretend that story does not exist is not to be sophisticated, but to be blind.

Many Native Americans do not celebrate the arrival of the Pilgrims and other European settlers. To them, Thanksgiving Day is a reminder of the genocide of millions of their people, the theft of their lands, and the relentless assault on their cultures.

“The Pilgrims actually had no reason to leave the Dutch Republic in order to go to America to seek religious toleration—because they already had it,” says Simon Targett, co-author of New World, Inc.: The Making of America by England’s Merchant Adventurers.


Virginia Edit

Anglican chaplain Robert Hunt was among the first group of English colonists, arriving in 1607. In 1619, the Church of England was formally established as the official religion in the colony, and would remain so until it was disestablished shortly after the American Revolution. [4] Establishment meant that local tax funds paid the parish costs, and that the parish had local civic functions such as poor relief. The upper class planters controlled the vestry, which ran the parish and chose the minister. The church in Virginia was controlled by the Bishop of London, who sent priests and missionaries but there were never enough, and they reported very low standards of personal morality. [5] [6]

The colonists were typically inattentive, uninterested, and bored during church services, according to the ministers, who complained that the people were sleeping, whispering, ogling the fashionably dressed women, walking about and coming and going, or at best looking out the windows or staring blankly into space. [7] There were too few ministers for the widely scattered population, so ministers encouraged parishioners to become devout at home, using the Book of Common Prayer for private prayer and devotion (rather than the Bible). This allowed devout Anglicans to lead an active and sincere religious life apart from the unsatisfactory formal church services. The stress on personal piety opened the way for the First Great Awakening, which pulled people away from the established church. [8] By the 1760s, dissenting Protestants, especially Baptists and Methodists, were growing rapidly and started challenging the Anglicans for moral leadership. [9] [10]

New England Edit

A small group of Pilgrims settled the Plymouth Colony in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620, seeking refuge from conflicts in England which led up to the English Civil War.

The Puritans, a much larger group than the Pilgrims, established the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1629 with 400 settlers. Puritans were English Protestants who wished to reform and purify the Church of England in the New World of what they considered to be unacceptable residues of Roman Catholicism. Within two years, an additional 2,000 settlers arrived. Beginning in 1630, some 20,000 Puritans emigrated as families to New England to gain the liberty to worship as they chose. Theologically, the Puritans were "non-separating Congregationalists". The Puritans created a deeply religious, socially tight-knit and politically innovative culture that is still present in the modern United States. They hoped this new land would serve as a "redeemer nation". By the mid-18th century, the Puritans were known as Congregationalists. [11]

The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings before local magistrates followed by county court trials to prosecute people accused of witchcraft in Essex, Suffolk and Middlesex counties of colonial Massachusetts, between February 1692 and May 1693. Over 150 people were arrested and imprisoned. Church leaders finally realized their mistake, ended the trials, and never repeated them. [12]

Tolerance in Rhode Island and Pennsylvania Edit

Roger Williams, who preached religious tolerance, separation of church and state, and a complete break with the Church of England, was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony and founded Rhode Island Colony, which became a haven for other religious refugees from the Puritan community. Anne Hutchinson, a religious dissenter also banned from the Massachusetts Bay Colony, was another notable founder of the Rhode Island Colony. Some migrants who came to Colonial America were in search of the freedom to practice forms of Christianity which were prohibited and persecuted in Europe. Since there was no state religion, in fact there was not yet a state, and since Protestantism had no central authority, religious practice in the colonies became diverse.

The Religious Society of Friends formed in England in 1652 around leader George Fox. Quakers were severely persecuted in England for daring to deviate so far from Anglicanism. This reign of terror impelled Friends to seek refuge in New Jersey in the 1670s, formally part of New Netherland, where they soon became well entrenched. In 1681, when Quaker leader William Penn parlayed a debt owed by Charles II to his father into a charter for the Province of Pennsylvania, many more Quakers were prepared to grasp the opportunity to live in a land where they might worship freely. By 1685, as many as 8,000 Quakers had come to Pennsylvania. Although the Quakers may have resembled the Puritans in some religious beliefs and practices, they differed with them over the necessity of compelling religious uniformity in society.

The first group of Germans to settle in Pennsylvania arrived in Philadelphia in 1683 from Krefeld, Germany, and included Mennonites and possibly some Dutch Quakers. These mostly German settlers would become the Pennsylvania Dutch.

The efforts of the founding fathers to find a proper role for their support of religion—and the degree to which religion can be supported by public officials without being inconsistent with the revolutionary imperative of freedom of religion for all citizens—is a question that is still debated in the country today.

Anti-Catholicism Edit

American Anti-Catholicism has its origins in the Reformation. Because the Reformation was based on an effort to correct what it perceived to be errors and excesses of the Catholic Church, it formed strong positions against the Roman clerical hierarchy and the Papacy in particular. These positions were brought to the New World by British colonists who were predominantly Protestant, and who opposed not only the Roman Catholic Church but also the Church of England which, due to its perpetuation of Catholic doctrine and practices, was deemed to be insufficiently reformed [13] (see also Ritualism). Because many of the British colonists, such as the Puritans, were fleeing religious persecution, early American religious culture exhibited a more extreme anti-Catholic bias of these Protestant denominations, thus were Roman Catholics forbidden from holding public office.

Monsignor Ellis wrote that a universal anti-Catholic bias was "vigorously cultivated in all the thirteen colonies from Massachusetts to Georgia" and that Colonial charters and laws contained specific proscriptions against Roman Catholics. [14] Ellis also wrote that a common hatred of the Roman Catholic Church could unite Anglican clerics and Puritan ministers despite their differences and conflicts. [ citation needed ]

Against a prevailing view that 18th-century Americans had not perpetuated the first settlers' passionate commitment to their faith, scholars now identify a high level of religious energy in colonies after 1700. According to one expert, religion was in the "ascension rather than the declension" another sees a "rising vitality in religious life" from 1700 onward a third finds religion in many parts of the colonies in a state of "feverish growth." Figures on church attendance and church formation support these opinions. Between 1700 and 1740, an estimated 75-80% of the population attended churches, which were being built at a headlong pace. [ citation needed ]

By 1780 the percentage of adult colonists who adhered to a church was between 10 and 30%, not counting slaves or Native Americans. North Carolina had the lowest percentage at about 4%, while New Hampshire and South Carolina were tied for the highest, at about 16%. [15]

Great Awakening Edit

Evangelicalism is difficult to date and to define. Scholars have argued that, as a self-conscious movement, evangelicalism did not arise until the mid-17th century, perhaps not until the Great Awakening itself. The fundamental premise of evangelicalism is the conversion of individuals from a state of sin to a "new birth" through preaching of the Word. The Great Awakening refers to a northeastern Protestant revival movement that took place in the 1730s and 1740s.

The first generation of New England Puritans required that church members undergo a conversion experience that they could describe publicly. Their successors were not as successful in reaping harvests of redeemed souls. The movement began with Jonathan Edwards, a Massachusetts preacher who sought to return to the Pilgrims' strict Calvinist roots. British preacher George Whitefield and other itinerant preachers continued the movement, traveling across the colonies and preaching in a dramatic and emotional style. Followers of Edwards and other preachers of similar religious piety called themselves the "New Lights," as contrasted with the "Old Lights," who disapproved of their movement. To promote their viewpoints, the two sides established academies and colleges, including Princeton and Williams College. The Great Awakening has been called the first truly American event.

The supporters of the Awakening and its evangelical thrust—Presbyterians, Baptists and Methodists—became the largest American Protestant denominations by the first decades of the 19th century. By the 1770s, the Baptists were growing rapidly both in the north (where they founded Brown University), and in the South. Opponents of the Awakening or those split by it—Anglicans, Quakers, and Congregationalists—were left behind.

American Revolution Edit

The Revolution split some denominations, notably the Church of England, whose ministers were bound by oath to support the king, and the Quakers, who were traditionally pacifists. Religious practice suffered in certain places because of the absence of ministers and the destruction of churches, but in other areas, religion flourished.

The American Revolution inflicted deeper wounds on the Church of England in America than on any other denomination because the King of England was the head of the church. The Book of Common Prayer offered prayers for the monarch, beseeching God "to be his defender and keeper, giving him victory over all his enemies," who in 1776 were American soldiers as well as friends and neighbors of American Anglicans. Loyalty to the church and to its head could be construed as treason to the American cause. Patriotic American Anglicans, loathing to discard so fundamental a component of their faith as The Book of Common Prayer, revised it to conform to the political realities.

Another result of this was that the first constitution of an independent Anglican Church in the country bent over backwards to distance itself from Rome by calling itself the Protestant Episcopal Church, incorporating in its name the term, Protestant, that Anglicans elsewhere had shown some care in using too prominently due to their own reservations about the nature of the Church of England, and other Anglican bodies, vis-à-vis later radical reformers who were happier to use the term Protestant.

Massachusetts: church and state debate Edit

After independence the American states were obliged to write constitutions establishing how each would be governed. For three years, from 1778 to 1780, the political energies of Massachusetts were absorbed in drafting a charter of government that the voters would accept.

One of the most contentious issues was whether the state would support the church financially. Advocating such a policy were the ministers and most members of the Congregational Church, which had been established, and hence had received public financial support, during the colonial period. The Baptists, who had grown strong since the Great Awakening, tenaciously adhered to their long-held conviction that churches should receive no support from the state.

The Constitutional Convention chose to support the church and Article Three authorized a general religious tax to be directed to the church of a taxpayers' choice. Despite substantial doubt that Article Three had been approved by the required two thirds of the voters, in 1780 Massachusetts authorities declared it and the rest of the state constitution to have been duly adopted. Such tax laws also took effect in Connecticut and New Hampshire.

In 1788, John Jay urged the New York Legislature to require office-holders to renounce foreign authorities "in all matters ecclesiastical as well as civil.". [16]

Second Great Awakening Edit

During the Second Great Awakening, Protestantism grew and took root in new areas, along with new Protestant denominations such as Adventism, the Restoration Movement, and groups such as Mormonism. [17] While the First Great Awakening was centered on reviving the spirituality of established congregations, the Second Great Awakening (1800–1830s), unlike the first, focused on the unchurched and sought to instill in them a deep sense of personal salvation as experienced in revival meetings.

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Bishop Francis Asbury led the American Methodist movement as one of the most prominent religious leaders of the young republic. Traveling throughout the eastern seaboard, Methodism grew quickly under Asbury's leadership into one of the nation's largest and most influential denominations.

The principal innovation produced by the revivals was the camp meeting. The revivals were organized by Presbyterian ministers who modeled them after the extended outdoor communion seasons, used by the Presbyterian Church in Scotland, which frequently produced emotional, demonstrative displays of religious conviction. In Kentucky, the pioneers loaded their families and provisions into their wagons and drove to the Presbyterian meetings, where they pitched tents and settled in for several days.

When assembled in a field or at the edge of a forest for a prolonged religious meeting, the participants transformed the site into a camp meeting. The religious revivals that swept the Kentucky camp meetings were so intense and created such gusts of emotion that their original sponsors, the Presbyterians, soon repudiated them. The Methodists, however, adopted and eventually domesticated camp meetings and introduced them into the eastern United States, where for decades they were one of the evangelical signatures of the denomination.

Separation of church and state Edit

In October 1801, members of the Danbury Baptists Associations wrote a letter to the new president-elect Thomas Jefferson. Baptists, being a minority in Connecticut, were still required to pay fees to support the Congregationalist majority. The Baptists found this intolerable. The Baptists, well aware of Jefferson's own unorthodox beliefs, sought him as an ally in making all religious expression a fundamental human right and not a matter of government largesse.

In his January 1, 1802 reply to the Danbury Baptist Association Jefferson summed up the First Amendment's original intent, and used for the first time anywhere a now-familiar phrase in today's political and judicial circles: the amendment established a "wall of separation between church and state." Largely unknown in its day, this phrase has since become a major Constitutional issue. The first time the U.S. Supreme Court cited that phrase from Jefferson was in 1878, 76 years later.

African American churches Edit

The Christianity of the black population was grounded in evangelicalism. The Second Great Awakening has been called the "central and defining event in the development of Afro-Christianity." During these revivals Baptists and Methodists converted large numbers of blacks. However, many were disappointed at the treatment they received from their fellow believers and at the backsliding in the commitment to abolish slavery that many white Baptists and Methodists had advocated immediately after the American Revolution.

When their discontent could not be contained, forceful black leaders followed what was becoming an American habit—they formed new denominations. In 1787, Richard Allen and his colleagues in Philadelphia broke away from the Methodist Church and in 1815 founded the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, which, along with independent black Baptist congregations, flourished as the century progressed.

Abolitionism Edit

The first American movement to abolish slavery came in the spring of 1688 when German and Dutch Quakers of Mennonite descent in Germantown, Pennsylvania (now part of Philadelphia) wrote a two-page condemnation of the practice and sent it to the governing bodies of their Quaker church, the Society of Friends. Though the Quaker establishment took no immediate action, the 1688 Germantown Quaker Petition Against Slavery, was an unusually early, clear and forceful argument against slavery and initiated the process of banning slavery in the Society of Friends (1776) and Pennsylvania (1780).

The Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage was the first American abolition society, formed 14 April 1775, in Philadelphia, primarily by Quakers who had strong religious objections to slavery.

After the American Revolutionary War, Quaker and Moravian advocates helped persuade numerous slaveholders in the Upper South to free their slaves. Theodore Weld, an evangelical minister, and Robert Purvis, a free African American, joined Garrison in 1833 to form the Anti-Slavery Society (Faragher 381). The following year Weld encouraged a group of students at Lane Theological Seminary to form an anti-slavery society. After the president, Lyman Beecher, attempted to suppress it, the students moved to Oberlin College. Due to the students' anti-slavery position, Oberlin soon became one of the most liberal colleges and accepted African American students. Along with Garrison, were Northcutt and Collins as proponents of immediate abolition. These two ardent abolitionists felt very strongly that it could not wait and that action needed to be taken right away.

After 1840 "abolition" usually referred to positions like Garrison's it was largely an ideological movement led by about 3000 people, including free blacks and people of color, many of whom, such as Frederick Douglass, and Robert Purvis and James Forten in Philadelphia, played prominent leadership roles. Abolitionism had a strong religious base including Quakers, and people converted by the revivalist fervor of the Second Great Awakening, led by Charles Finney in the North in the 1830s. Belief in abolition contributed to the breaking away of some small denominations, such as the Free Methodist Church.

Evangelical abolitionists founded some colleges, most notably Bates College in Maine and Oberlin College in Ohio. The well-established colleges, such as Harvard, Yale and Princeton, generally opposed abolition, [ citation needed ] although the movement did attract such figures as Yale president Noah Porter and Harvard president Thomas Hill.

One historian observed that ritualist churches separated themselves from heretics rather than sinners he observed that Episcopalians and Lutherans also accommodated themselves to slavery. (Indeed, one southern Episcopal bishop was a Confederate general.) There were more reasons than religious tradition, however, as the Anglican Church had been the established church in the South during the colonial period. It was linked to the traditions of landed gentry and the wealthier and educated planter classes, and the Southern traditions longer than any other church. In addition, while the Protestant missionaries of the Great Awakening initially opposed slavery in the South, by the early decades of the 19th century, Baptist and Methodist preachers in the South had come to an accommodation with it in order to evangelize with farmers and artisans. By the Civil War, the Baptist and Methodist churches split into regional associations because of slavery. [18]

After O'Connell's failure, the American Repeal Associations broke up but the Garrisonians rarely relapsed into the "bitter hostility" of American Protestants towards the Roman Church. Some antislavery men joined the Know Nothings in the collapse of the parties but Edmund Quincy ridiculed it as a mushroom growth, a distraction from the real issues. Although the Know-Nothing legislature of Massachusetts honored Garrison, he continued to oppose them as violators of fundamental rights to freedom of worship.

The abolitionist movement was strengthened by the activities of free African-Americans, especially in the black church, who argued that the old Biblical justifications for slavery contradicted the New Testament. African-American activists and their writings were rarely heard outside the black community however, they were tremendously influential to some sympathetic white people, most prominently the first white activist to reach prominence, William Lloyd Garrison, who was its most effective propagandist. Garrison's efforts to recruit eloquent spokesmen led to the discovery of ex-slave Frederick Douglass, who eventually became a prominent activist in his own right.

Liberal Christianity Edit

The "secularization of society" is attributed to the time of the Enlightenment. In the United States, religious observance is much higher than in Europe, and the United States' culture leans conservative in comparison to other western nations, in part due to the Christian element.

Liberal Christianity, exemplified by some theologians, sought to bring to churches new critical approaches to the Bible. Sometimes called liberal theology, liberal Christianity is an umbrella term covering movements and ideas within 19th- and 20th-century Christianity. New attitudes became evident, and the practice of questioning the nearly universally accepted Christian orthodoxy began to come to the forefront.

In the post-World War I era, Liberalism was the faster-growing sector of the American church. Liberal wings of denominations were on the rise, and a considerable number of seminaries held and taught from a liberal perspective as well. In the post-World War II era, the trend began to swing back towards the conservative camp in America's seminaries and church structures.

Fundamentalism Edit

Christian fundamentalism began as a movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to reject influences of secular humanism and source criticism in modern Christianity. [ citation needed ] In reaction to liberal Protestant groups that denied doctrines considered fundamental to these conservative groups, they sought to establish tenets necessary to maintaining a Christian identity, the "fundamentals," hence the term fundamentalist.

Especially targeting critical approaches to the interpretation of the Bible, and trying to blockade the inroads made into their churches by secular scientific assumptions, the fundamentalists grew in various denominations as independent movements of resistance to the drift away from historic Christianity.

Over time, the movement divided, with the label Fundamentalist being retained by the smaller and more hard-line group(s). Evangelical has become the main identifier of the groups holding to the movement's moderate and earliest ideas.

Roman Catholics in the United States Edit

By the 1850s, Roman Catholics had become the country's largest single denomination. Between 1860 and 1890 the population of Roman Catholics in the United States tripled through immigration by the end of the decade it would reach 7 million. These huge numbers of immigrant Catholics came from Ireland, Southern Germany, Italy, Poland and Eastern Europe. This influx would eventually bring increased political power for the Roman Catholic Church and a greater cultural presence, led at the same time to a growing fear of the Catholic "menace." As the 19th century wore on animosity waned, Protestant Americans realized that Roman Catholics were not trying to seize control of the government. Nonetheless, fears continued into the 20th century that there was too much "Catholic influence" on the government.

Anti-Catholic sentiment and violence Edit

Anti-Catholic animus in the United States reached a peak in the 19th century when the Protestant population became alarmed by the influx of Catholic immigrants. Fearing the end of time, some American Protestants who believed they were God's chosen people, went so far as to claim that the Catholic Church was the Whore of Babylon in the Book of Revelation. [19]

The resulting "Nativist" movement, which achieved prominence in the 1840s, was whipped into a frenzy of anti-Catholicism that led to mob violence, the burning of Catholic property, and the killing of Catholics. [20]

This violence was fed by claims that Catholics were destroying the culture of the United States. Irish Catholic immigrants were blamed for raising the taxes of the country [ citation needed ] as well as for spreading violence and disease.

The nativist movement found expression in a national political movement called the Know-Nothing Party of the 1850s, which (unsuccessfully) ran former president Millard Fillmore as its presidential candidate in 1856.

The Catholic parochial school system developed in the early-to-mid-19th century partly in response to what was seen as anti-Catholic bias in American public schools. [ citation needed ] The recent wave of newly established Protestant schools is sometimes similarly attributed to the teaching of evolution (as opposed to creationism) in public schools.

Most states passed a constitutional amendment, called "Blaine Amendments, forbidding tax money be used to fund parochial schools, a possible outcome with heavy immigration from Catholic Ireland after the 1840s. In 2002, the United States Supreme Court partially vitiated these amendments, in theory, when they ruled that vouchers were constitutional if tax dollars followed a child to a school, even if it were religious. However, no state school system had, by 2009, changed its laws to allow this. [21]

Scopes Monkey Trial Edit

The Scopes Monkey Trial was an American legal case that tested the Butler Act, which made it unlawful, in any state-funded educational establishment in Tennessee, "to teach any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals." [22] This is often interpreted as meaning that the law forbade the teaching of any aspect of the theory of evolution. The case was a critical turning point in the United States' creation-evolution controversy.

After the passage of the Butler Act, the American Civil Liberties Union financed a test case, where a Dayton, Tennessee high school teacher named John Scopes intentionally violated the Act. Scopes was charged on May 5, 1925 with teaching evolution from a chapter in a textbook which showed ideas developed from those set out in Charles Darwin's book On the Origin of Species. The trial pitted two of the pre-eminent legal minds of the time against one another three-time presidential candidate, Congressman and former Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan headed up the prosecution and prominent trial attorney Clarence Darrow spoke for the defense. [23] The famous trial was made infamous by the fictionalized accounts given in the 1955 play Inherit the Wind, the 1960 film adaptation, and the 1965, 1988, and 1999 television films of the same title.

Evangelicalism Edit

In the U.S. and elsewhere in the world, there has been a marked rise in the evangelical movement. It began in the colonial era in the revivals of the First Great Awakening and the Second Great Awakening in 1830–50. Balmer explains that:

Evangelicalism itself, I believe, is quintessentially North American phenomenon, deriving as it did from the confluence of Pietism, Presbyterianism, and the vestiges of Puritanism. Evangelicalism picked up the peculiar characteristics from each strain – warmhearted spirituality from the Pietists (for instance), doctrinal precisionism from the Presbyterians, and individualistic introspection from the Puritans – even as the North American context itself has profoundly shaped the various manifestations of evangelicalism.: fundamentalism, neo-evangelicalism, the holiness movement, Pentecostalism, the charismatic movement, and various forms of African-American and Hispanic evangelicalism. [24]

The 1950s saw a boom in the Evangelical church in America. The post–World War II prosperity experienced in the U.S. also had its effects on the church. Church buildings were erected in large numbers, and the Evangelical church's activities grew along with this expansive physical growth. In the southern U.S., the Evangelicals, represented by leaders such as Billy Graham, have experienced a notable surge displacing the caricature of the pulpit pounding country preachers of fundamentalism. The stereotypes have gradually shifted.

Evangelicals are as diverse as the names that appear: Billy Graham, Chuck Colson, J. Vernon McGee, or Jimmy Carter— or even Evangelical institutions such as Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (Boston) or Trinity Evangelical Divinity School(Chicago). Although there exists a diversity in the Evangelical community worldwide, the ties that bind all Evangelicals are still apparent: a "high view" of Scripture, belief in the Deity of Christ, the Trinity, salvation by grace through faith, and the bodily resurrection of Christ, to mention a few.

Pentecostalism Edit

Pentecostalism arose and developmented in 20th-century Christianity. The Pentecostal movement had its roots in the Pietism and the Holiness movement, and arose out of the meetings in 1906 at an urban mission on Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles, California

The Azusa Street Revival and was led by William J. Seymour, an African American preacher and began with a meeting on April 14, 1906 at the African Methodist Episcopal Church and continued until roughly 1915. The revival was characterized by ecstatic spiritual experiences accompanied by speaking in tongues, dramatic worship services, and inter-racial mingling. It was the primary catalyst for the rise of Pentecostalism, and as spread by those who experienced what they believed to be miraculous moves of God there.

Many Pentecostals embrace the term Evangelical, while others prefer "Restorationist". Within classical Pentecostalism there are three major orientations:Wesleyan-Holiness, Higher Life, and Oneness. [25]

Pentecostalism would later birth the Charismatic movement within already established denominations some Pentecostals use the two terms interchangeably. Pentecostalism claims more than 250 million adherents worldwide. [26] When Charismatics are added with Pentecostals the number increases to nearly a quarter of the world's 2 billion Christians. [27]

Data from the Pew Research Center that as of 2013, about 1.6 million adult Jews identify themselves as Christians, most are Protestant. [28] [29] [30] According to same data most of the Jews who identify themselves as some sort of Christian (1.6 million) were raised as Jews or are Jews by ancestry. [29] A 2015 study estimated some 450,000 American Muslims convert to Christianity, most of whom belong to an evangelical or Pentecostal community. [31]

National associations Edit

The Federal Council of Churches, founded in 1908, marked the first major expression of a growing modern ecumenical movement among Christians in the United States. It was active in pressing for reform of public and private policies, particularly as they impacted the lives of those living in poverty, and developed a comprehensive and widely debated Social Creed which served as a humanitarian "bill of rights" for those seeking improvements in American life.

In 1950, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (usually identified as National Council of Churches, or NCC) represented a dramatic expansion in the development of ecumenical cooperation. It was a merger of the Federal Council of Churches, the International Council of Religious Education, and several other interchurch ministries. Today, the NCC is a joint venture of 35 Christian denominations in the United States with 100,000 local congregations and 45,000,000 adherents. Its member communions include Mainline Protestant, Orthodox, African-American, Evangelical and historic Peace churches. The NCC took a prominent role in the Civil Rights Movement, and fostered the publication of the widely usedRevised Standard Version of the Bible, followed by an updated New Revised Standard Version, the first translation to benefit from the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The organization is headquartered in New York City, with a public policy office in Washington, DC. The NCC is related fraternally to hundreds of local and regional councils of churches, to other national councils across the globe, and to the World Council of Churches. All of these bodies are independently governed.

Carl McIntire led in organizing the American Council of Christian Churches (ACCC), now with 7 member bodies, in September 1941. It was a more militant and fundamentalist organization set up in opposition to what became the National Council of Churches. The organization is headquartered in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The ACCC is related fraternally to the International Council of Christian Churches. McIntire invited the Evangelicals for United Action to join with them, but those who met in St. Louis declined the offer.

First meeting in Chicago, Illinois in 1941, a committee was formed with Wright as chairman.A national conference for United Action Among Evangelicals was called to meet in April 1942. The National Association of Evangelicals was formed by a group of 147 people who met in St. Louis, Missouri on April 7–9, 1942. The organization was called the National Association of Evangelicals for United Action, soon shortened to the National Association of Evangelicals (NEA). There are currently 60 denominations with about 45,000 churches in the organization. The organization is headquartered in Washington, D.C. The NEA is related fraternally the World Evangelical Fellowship.

Neo-Orthodoxy Edit

A less popular option was the neo-orthodox movement, which affirmed a higher view of Scripture than liberalism but did not tie the doctrines of the Christian faith to precise theories of Biblical inspiration. If anything, thinkers in this camp denounced such quibbling as a dangerous distraction from the duties of Christian discipleship. Neo-orthodoxy's highly contextual modes of reasoning often rendered its main premises incomprehensible to American thinkers and it was frequently dismissed as unrealistic.

Civil Rights Movement Edit

As the center of community life, Black churches held a leadership role in the Civil Rights Movement. Their history as a focal point for the Black community and as a link between the Black and White worlds made them natural for this purpose.

Martin Luther King Jr. was but one of many notable Black ministers involved in the movement. He helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (1957), serving as its first president. King received the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end segregation and racial discrimination through non-violent civil disobedience. He was assassinated in 1968.


A congregation of approximately 400 English Protestants living in exile in Leiden, Holland, were dissatisfied with the failure of the Church of England to reform what they felt were many excesses and abuses. But rather than work for change in England (as other Puritans did), they chose to live as Separatists in religiously tolerant Holland in 1608. As separatists, they were considered illegal radicals by their home country of England. [6]

The government of Leiden was recognized for offering financial aid to reformed churches, whether English, French or German, which made it a sought-after destination for Protestant intellectuals. [2] : 17 Many of the separatists were illegal members of a church in Nottinghamshire, England, secretly practicing their Puritan form of Protestantism. When they learned that the authorities were aware of their congregation, church members fled in the night with little more than the clothes they were wearing, and clandestinely made it to Holland. [2] : 18

Life in Holland became increasingly difficult for the congregation. They were forced into menial and backbreaking jobs, such as cleaning wool, which led to a variety of health afflictions. In addition, a number of the country's leading theologians began engaging in open debates which led to civil unrest, instilling the fear that Spain might again place Holland's population under siege, as it had done years earlier. [6] England's James I subsequently formed an alliance with Holland against Spain, with a condition outlawing independent English church congregations in Holland. [2] : 26 Thus formed the separatists' motivating factors to sail for the New World, with the benefit of being beyond the reach of King James and his bishops. [6]

Their desire to travel to America was considered audacious and risky, as previous attempts to settle in North America had failed. Jamestown, founded in 1607, saw most of its settlers die within the first year. 440 of the 500 new arrivals died of starvation during the first six months of winter. [6] The Puritan separatists also learned of the constant threat of attacks by indigenous peoples. [6] But despite all the arguments against traveling to this new land, their conviction that God wanted them to go held sway: "We verily believe and trust the Lord is with us," they wrote, "and that he will graciously prosper our indeavours, according to the simplicity of our hearts therein." [6] [7]

Leaving Holland

After deciding to leave Holland, they planned to cross the Atlantic using two purchased ships. A small ship with the name Speedwell would first carry them from Leiden to England. Then the larger Mayflower would be used to transport most of the passengers and supplies the rest of the way. [8]

Not all of the Separatists were able to depart, as many did not have enough time to settle their affairs and their budgets were too meager to buy the necessary travel supplies. The congregation therefore decided that the younger and stronger members should go first, with others possibly following in the future. Although the congregation had been led by John Robinson, who first proposed the idea of emigrating to America, he chose to remain in Leiden to care for those who could not make the voyage. [8]

In explaining to his congregation why they should emigrate, Robinson used the analogy of the ancient Israelites leaving Babylon to escape bondage by returning to Jerusalem, where they would build their temple. [9] "The Pilgrims and Puritans actually referred to themselves as God's New Israel," writes Peter Marshall. [9] It was therefore the manifest destiny of the Pilgrims and Puritans to similarly build a "spiritual Jerusalem" in America. [9] [10] : 39

When it was time to leave, the ship's senior leader, Edward Winslow, described the scene of families being separated at the departure: "A flood of tears was poured out. Those not sailing accompanied us to the ship, but were not able to speak to one another for the abundance of sorrow before parting." [11] William Bradford, another leader who would be the second Governor of the Plymouth Colony, similarly described the departure:

Truly doleful was the sight of that sad and mournful parting. To see what sighs and sobs and prayers did sound among them what tears did gush from every eye, and pithy speeches pierced each heart. their Reverend Pastor, falling down on his knees, and they all with him. [12] : 23

The trip to the south coast of England took three days, where the ship took anchor at Southampton on August 5 [O.S. July 26], 1620. From there, the Pilgrims first laid eyes on their larger ship, Mayflower, as it was being loaded with provisions. [8]

Speedwell and Mayflower

Carrying about 65 passengers, Mayflower left London in mid-July 1620. [13] The ship then proceeded down the Thames to the south coast of England, where it anchored at Southampton, Hampshire. There she waited for the planned rendezvous on July 22 with the Speedwell, coming from Holland with members of the Leiden congregation. [8] Although both ships planned to depart for America by the end of July, a leak was discovered on Speedwell, which had to be repaired. [14]

The ships set sail for America around August 5, but Speedwell sprang another leak shortly after, which necessitated the ships' return to Dartmouth for repairs. They made a new start after the repairs, but more than 200 miles (320 km) beyond Land's End at the southwestern tip of England, Speedwell sprang a third leak. It was now early September, and they had no choice but to abandon Speedwell and make a determination on her passengers. This was a dire event, as vital funds had been wasted on the ship, which were considered very important to the future success of their settlement in America. Both ships returned to Plymouth, where 20 Speedwell passengers joined the now overcrowded Mayflower, while the others returned to Holland. [15]

They waited for seven more days until the wind picked up. William Bradford was especially worried: "We lie here waiting for as fair a wind as can blow. Our victuals will be half eaten up, I think, before we go from the coast of England and, if our voyage last long, we shall not have a month's victuals when we come in the country." [16] : 343 According to Bradford, Speedwell was refitted and seaworthy, having "made many voyages. to the great profit of her owners." He suggested that Speedwell ' s master may have used "cunning and deceit" to abort the voyage by causing the leaks, fearing starvation and death in America. [17] : 28

Mayflower sets sail

In early September, western gales turned the North Atlantic into a dangerous place to sail. Mayflower ' s provisions were already quite low when departing Southampton, and they became lower still by delays of more than a month. The passengers had been on board the ship this entire time, feeling worn out and in no condition for a very taxing, lengthy Atlantic journey cooped up in the cramped spaces of a small ship. [17] : 29

When Mayflower sailed from Plymouth alone on September 16 [O.S. September 6], 1620, with what Bradford called "a prosperous wind", [17] : 29 she carried 102 passengers plus a crew of 25 to 30 officers and men, bringing the total aboard to approximately 130. [18] At about 180 tons, she was considered a smaller cargo ship, having traveled mainly between England and Bordeaux with clothing and wine, not an ocean ship. [a] Nor was she in good shape, as she was sold for scrap four years after her Atlantic voyage. [2] : 39 She was a high built craft forward and aft measuring approximately 100 feet (30 m) in length and about 25 feet (7.6 m) at her widest point. [17] : 24 [19] : 37

The trip across the Atlantic

The living quarters for the 102 passengers were cramped, with the living area about 80 feet by 20 feet (1,600 sq. feet,) and the ceiling about five feet high. [17] : 43 With couples and children packed closely together for a trip lasting two months, a great deal of trust and confidence was required among everyone aboard. [2] : 45 [20]

John Carver, one of the leaders on the ship, often inspired the Pilgrims with a "sense of earthly grandeur and divine purpose." He was later called the "Moses of the Pilgrims," notes historian Jon Meacham. [10] [21] The Pilgrims "believed they had a covenant like the Jewish people of old," writes author Rebecca Fraser. "America was the new Promised Land." [2] : 44 In a similar vein, early American writer James Russell Lowell stated, "Next to the fugitives whom Moses led out of Egypt, the little shipload of outcasts who landed at Plymouth are destined to influence the future of the world." [22] [23]

The first half of the voyage proceeded over calm seas and under pleasant skies. Then the weather changed, with continuous Northeasterly storms hurling themselves against the ship, and huge waves constantly crashing against the topside deck. [24] [17] : 4 In the midst of one storm, the servant of physician Samuel Fuller died and was buried at sea. [15] A baby was also born, christened Oceanus Hopkins. [15] During another storm, so fierce that the sails could not be used, the ship was forced to drift without hoisting its sails for days, or else risk losing her masts. [19] : 59 The storm washed a male passenger, John Howland, overboard. He had sunk about 12 feet until a crew member threw out a rope, which Howland managed to grab, and he was safely pulled back on board. [16] : 349

The passengers were forced to crouch in semi-darkness below deck as ocean swells rose to over a hundred feet. [2] : 50 With waves tossing the boat in different directions, men held onto their wives, who themselves held onto their children. Water was soaking everyone and everything above and below deck. [2] : 50

In mid-ocean, the ship came close to being totally disabled and may have had to return to England or risk sinking. A storm had so badly damaged its main beam that even the sailors despaired. By a stroke of luck, one of the colonists had a metal jackscrew that he had purchased in Holland to help in the construction of the new settler homes. [16] : 349 They used it to secure the beam, which kept it from cracking further, thus maintaining the seaworthiness of the vessel. [15] All told, despite the crowding, unsanitary conditions and sea sicknesses, there was only one fatality during the voyage. [16] : 350

The ship's cargo included many stores that supplied the Pilgrims with the essentials needed for their journey and future lives. It is assumed that they carried tools, food and weapons, as well as some live animals, including dogs, sheep, goats, and poultry. The ship also held two small 21-foot boats powered by oars or sails. There were also artillery pieces aboard, which they might need to defend themselves against enemy European forces or indigenous tribes. [24]

On November 19, 1620 [O.S. November 9, 1620], they sighted present-day Cape Cod. [25] : 66 [26] : 1 They spent several days trying to sail south to their planned destination of the Colony of Virginia, where they had obtained permission to settle from the Company of Merchant Adventurers. But the strong winter seas forced them to return to the harbor at Cape Cod hook, known today as Provincetown Harbor, and they set anchor on November 21 [O.S. November 11]. [2] : 53 [25] : 66

It was before setting anchor that the Mayflower Compact was drawn up and signed by the male Pilgrims and non-Pilgrim passengers (whom members of the congregation referred to as "Strangers"). [2] : 54 Among the resolutions in the Compact were those establishing legal order and to quell increasing strife within the ranks. [27] [28] [29] [30] Myles Standish was selected to make sure the rules were obeyed, as there was a consensus that discipline would need to be enforced to ensure the survival of the planned colony. [2] : 54 Once they agreed to settle and build a self-governing community, they came ashore. [31]

The moment the Pilgrims stepped ashore was described by William Bradford, the second Governor of the Plymouth Colony:

Being thus arrived in a good harbor and brought safe to land, they fell upon their knees and blessed the God of heaven, who had brought them over the vast and furious ocean, and delivered them from all the perils and miseries thereof, again to set their feet on the firm and stable earth, their proper element. [29]

First winter

On Monday, December 7 [O.S. November 27], an exploring expedition was launched under the direction of Capt. Christopher Jones to search for a suitable settlement site. There were 34 persons in the open small boat: 24 passengers and 10 sailors. They were ill-prepared for the bitter winter weather which they encountered on their reconnoiter, as the Pilgrims were not accustomed to winter weather which was much colder than back home. They were forced to spend the night ashore due to the bad weather they encountered, ill-clad in below-freezing temperatures with wet shoes and stockings that froze overnight. Bradford wrote, "Some of our people that are dead took the original of their death here" on the expedition. [17] : 65–66 [25] : 67

Plymouth faced many difficulties during its first winter, the most notable being the risk of starvation and the lack of suitable shelter. The Pilgrims had no way of knowing that the ground would be frozen by the middle of November, making it impossible to do any planting. Nor were they prepared for the snow storms that would make the countryside impassable without snowshoes. And in their haste to leave, they did not think to bring any fishing rods. [2] : 47

From the beginning, the assistance they received from the local Native Americans was vital. One colonist's journal reported, "We dug and found some more corn, two or three baskets full, and a bag of beans. . In all we had about ten bushels, which will be enough for seed. It is with God's help that we found this corn, for how else could we have done it, without meeting some Indians who might trouble us." [32] Governor Bradford held out hope:

Friends, if ever we make a plantation, God works a miracle! Especially considering how scant we shall be of victuals and, most of all, ununited amongst ourselves, and devoid of good tutors and leaders. Violence will break all. Where is the meek and humble spirit of Moses and of Nehemiah, who reedified the walls of Jerusalem, and the State of Israel? . I see not, in reason, how we shall escape, even the gasping of hunger-starved persons: but God can do much and his will be done!" [32] : 56

During the winter, the passengers remained on board Mayflower, suffering an outbreak of a contagious disease described as a mixture of scurvy, pneumonia, and tuberculosis. After it was over, only 53 passengers remained—just over half half of the crew died as well. In the spring, they built huts ashore, and the passengers disembarked from Mayflower on March 31 [O.S. March 21], 1621. [33]

Historian Benson John Lossing described that first settlement:

After many hardships, . . . the Pilgrim Fathers first set foot December, 1620 upon a bare rock on the bleak coast of Massachusetts Bay, while all around the earth was covered with deep snow. . . Dreary, indeed, was the prospect before them. Exposure and privations had prostrated one half of the men before the first blow of the ax had been struck to build a habitation. . . . One by one perished. The governor and his wife died in April 1621 and on the first of that month, forty-six of the one hundred emigrants were in their graves, nineteen of whom were signers of the Mayflower Compact. [34]

Jones had originally planned to return to England as soon as the Pilgrims found a settlement site. But his crew members began to be ravaged by the same diseases that were felling the Pilgrims, and he realized that he had to remain in Plymouth Harbor "till he saw his men began to recover." [17] : 91 Mayflower lay in New Plymouth harbor through the winter of 1620–21, then set sail for England on April 15 [O.S. April 5], 1621. As with the Pilgrims, her sailors had been decimated by disease. Jones had lost his boatswain, his gunner, three quartermasters, the cook, and more than a dozen sailors. Mayflower made excellent time on her voyage back to England. The westerly winds that had buffeted her on the initial voyage pushed her along on the return trip home. She arrived in London on May 16 [O.S. May 6], 1621, [35] less than half the time that it had taken her to sail to America." [17] : 100–101 [b]

Some families traveled together, while some men came alone, leaving families in England and Leiden. More than a third of the passengers were Separatists who sought to break away from the established Church of England and create a society that incorporated their own religious ideals. Other passengers were hired hands, servants, or farmers recruited by London merchants, all originally destined for the Colony of Virginia. [ citation needed ]

The passengers mostly slept and lived in the low-ceilinged great cabins and on the main deck, which was 75 by 20 feet large (23 m × 6 m) at most. The cabins were thin-walled and extremely cramped, and the total area was 25 ft by 15 ft (7.6 m × 4.5 m) at its largest. Below decks, any person over five feet (150 cm) tall would be unable to stand up straight. The maximum possible space for each person would have been slightly less than the size of a standard single bed. [36]

Passengers would pass the time by reading by candlelight or playing cards and games. [24] They consumed large amounts of alcohol such as beer with meals. This was known to be safer than water, which often came from polluted sources and caused disease. No cattle or beasts of draft or burden were brought on the journey, but there were pigs, goats, and poultry. [24]

There were 26 vessels bearing the name Mayflower in the Port Books of England during the reign of James I (1603–1625) it is not known why the name was so popular. [37] The identity of Captain Jones's Mayflower is based on records from her home port, her tonnage (est. 180–200 tons), and the master's name in 1620 in order to avoid confusion with the many other Mayflower ships. [37] It is not known when and where Mayflower was built, although late records designate her as "of London". She was designated in the Port Books of 1609–11 as "of Harwich" in the county of Essex, coincidentally the birthplace of Mayflower master Christopher Jones about 1570. [38]

Records dating from August 1609 note Christopher Jones as master and part owner of Mayflower when his ship was chartered for a voyage from London to Trondheim in Norway and back to London. The ship lost an anchor on her return due to bad weather, and she made short delivery of her cargo of herring. Litigation resulted, and this was still proceeding in 1612. According to records, the ship was twice on the Thames at London in 1613, once in July and again in October and November, and in 1616 she was on the Thames carrying a cargo of wine, which suggests that the ship had recently been on a voyage to France, Spain, Portugal, the Canaries, or some other wine-producing land. Jones sailed Mayflower cross-Channel, taking English woolens to France and bringing French wine back to London. He also transported hats, hemp, Spanish salt, hops, and vinegar to Norway, and he may have taken Mayflower whaling in the North Atlantic in the Greenland area or sailed to Mediterranean ports. [ citation needed ]

After 1616, there is no further record which specifically relates to Jones's Mayflower until 1624. This is unusual for a ship trading to London, as it would not usually disappear from the records for such a long time. No Admiralty court document can be found relating to the pilgrim fathers' voyage of 1620, although this might be due to the unusual way in which the transfer of the pilgrims was arranged from Leyden to New England, or some of the records of the period might have been lost. [ citation needed ]

Jones was one of the owners of the ship by 1620, along with Christopher Nichols, Robert Child, and Thomas Short. It was from Child and Jones that Thomas Weston chartered her in the summer of 1620 to undertake the Pilgrim voyage. Weston had a significant role in Mayflower voyage due to his membership in the Company of Merchant Adventurers of London, and he eventually traveled to the Plymouth Colony himself. [17] : 24 [39] [40]

Later history

Three of Mayflower's owners applied to the Admiralty court for an appraisal of the ship on May 4, 1624, two years after Captain Jones' death in 1622 one of these applicants was Jones' widow Mrs. Josian (Joan) Jones. This appraisal probably was made to determine the valuation of the ship for the purpose of settling the estate of its late master. The appraisal was made by four mariners and shipwrights of Rotherhithe, home and burial place of Captain Jones, where Mayflower was apparently then lying in the Thames at London. The appraisement is extant and provides information on ship's gear on board at that time, as well as equipment such as muskets and other arms. The ship may have been laid up since Jones' death and allowed to get out of repair, as that is what the appraisal indicates. [37] [41] The vessel was valued at one hundred and twenty-eight pounds, eight shillings, and fourpence. [42]

What finally became of Mayflower is an unsettled issue. Charles Edward Banks, an English historian of the Pilgrim ship, claims that the ship was finally broken up, with her timbers used in the construction of a barn at Jordans village in Buckinghamshire. Tradition claims that this barn still exists as the Mayflower Barn, located within the grounds of Old Jordan in South Buckinghamshire. In 1624, Thomas Russell supposedly added to part of a farmhouse already there with timbers from a ship, believed to be from the Pilgrim ship Mayflower, bought from a shipbreaker's yard in Rotherhithe. The well-preserved structure was a tourist attraction, receiving visitors each year from all over the world and particularly from America, but it is now privately owned and not open to the public. [37]

Second Mayflower

Another ship called Mayflower made a voyage from London to Plymouth Colony in 1629 carrying 35 passengers, many from the Pilgrim congregation in Leiden that organized the first voyage. This was not the same ship that made the original voyage with the first settlers. The 1629 voyage began in May and reached Plymouth in August this ship also made the crossing from England to America in 1630 (as part of the Winthrop Fleet), 1633, 1634, and 1639. It attempted the trip again in 1641, departing London in October of that year under master John Cole, with 140 passengers bound for Virginia. It never arrived. On October 18, 1642, a deposition was made in England regarding the loss. [43]

Mayflower was square-rigged with a beakhead bow and high, castle-like structures fore and aft which protected the crew and the main deck from the elements—designs that were typical of English merchant ships of the early 17th century. Her stern carried a 30-foot high, square aft-castle which made the ship difficult to sail close to the wind and not well suited against the North Atlantic's prevailing westerlies, especially in the fall and winter of 1620 the voyage from England to America took more than two months as a result. Mayflower ' s return trip to London in April–May 1621 took less than half that time, with the same strong winds now blowing in the direction of the voyage. [17] : 24 [19] : 37

Mayflower ' s exact dimensions are not known, but she probably measured about 100 feet (30 m) from the beak of her prow to the tip of her stern superstructure, about 25 feet (7.6 m) at her widest point, and the bottom of her keel about 12 feet (3.6 m) below the waterline. William Bradford estimated that she had a cargo capacity of 180 tons, and surviving records indicate that she could carry 180 casks holding hundreds of gallons each. [19] : 37 The general layout of the ship was as follows:

  • Three masts: mizzen (aft), main (midship), and fore, and also a spritsail in the bow area [44]
  • Three primary levels: main deck, gun deck, and cargo hold

Aft on the main deck in the stern was the cabin for Master Christopher Jones, measuring about ten by seven feet (3 m × 2.1 m). Forward of that was the steerage room, which probably housed berths for the ship's officers and contained the ship's compass and whipstaff (tiller extension) for sailing control. Forward of the steerage room was the capstan, a vertical axle used to pull in ropes or cables. Far forward on the main deck, just aft of the bow, was the forecastle space where the ship's cook prepared meals for the crew it may also have been where the sailors slept. [45]

The poop deck was located on the ship's highest level above the stern on the aft castle and above Master Jones' cabin. On this deck stood the poop house, which was ordinarily a chart room or a cabin for the master's mates on most merchant ships, but it might have been used by the passengers on Mayflower, either for sleeping or cargo. [46] [47]

The gun deck was where the passengers resided during the voyage, in a space measuring about 50 by 25 feet (15.2 m × 7.6 m) with a five-foot (1.5 m) ceiling. It was a dangerous place if there was conflict, as it had gun ports from which cannon would be run out to fire on the enemy. The gun room was in the stern area of the deck, to which passengers had no access because it was the storage space for gunpowder and ammunition. The gun room might also house a pair of stern chasers, small cannon used to fire from the ship's stern. Forward on the gun deck in the bow area was a windlass, similar in function to the steerage capstan, which was used to raise and lower the ship's main anchor. There were no stairs for the passengers on the gun deck to go up through the gratings to the main deck, which they could reach only by climbing a wooden or rope ladder. [46] [47]

Below the gun deck was the cargo hold where the passengers kept most of their food stores and other supplies, including most of their clothing and bedding. It stored the passengers' personal weapons and military equipment, such as armor, muskets, gunpowder and shot, swords, and bandoliers. It also stored all the tools that the Pilgrims would need, as well as all the equipment and utensils needed to prepare meals in the New World. Some Pilgrims loaded trade goods on board, including Isaac Allerton, William Mullins, and possibly others these also most likely were stored in the cargo hold. [48] There was no privy on Mayflower passengers and crew had to fend for themselves in that regard. Gun deck passengers most likely used a bucket as a chamber pot, fixed to the deck or bulkhead to keep it from being jostled at sea. [47] [48]

Mayflower was heavily armed her largest gun was a minion cannon which was brass, weighed about 1,200 pounds (545 kg), and could shoot a 3.5 pound (1.6 kg) cannonball almost a mile (1,600 m). She also had a saker cannon of about 800 pounds (360 kg), and two base cannons that weighed about 200 pounds (90 kg) and shot a 3 to 5 ounce ball (85–140 g). She carried at least ten pieces of ordnance on the port and starboard sides of her gun deck: seven cannons for long-range purposes, and three smaller guns often fired from the stern at close quarters that were filled with musket balls. Ship's Master Jones unloaded four of the pieces to help fortify Plymouth Colony. [19] : 37

According to author Charles Banks, the officers and crew of Mayflower consisted of a captain, four mates, four quartermasters, surgeon, carpenter, cooper, cooks, boatswains, gunners, and about 36 men before the mast, making a total of about 50. The entire crew stayed with Mayflower in Plymouth through the winter of 1620–1621, and about half of them died during that time. The remaining crewmen returned to England on Mayflower, which sailed for London on April 15 [O.S. April 5], 1621. [49] [50]

The Pilgrim ship Mayflower has a famous place in American history as a symbol of early European colonization of the future United States. [17] : 4–5 As described by the European History channel:

Out of all the voyages to the American colonies from 1620 to 1640, the Mayflower ' s first crossing of Pilgrim Fathers has become the most culturally iconic and important in the history of migration from Europe to the New World during the Age of Discovery. [4]

The main record for the voyage of Mayflower and the disposition of the Plymouth Colony comes from the letters and journal of William Bradford, who was a guiding force and later the governor of the colony. His detailed record of the journey is one of the primary sources used by historians, and the most complete history of Plymouth Colony that was written by a Mayflower passenger. [51]

The American national holiday, Thanksgiving, originated from the first Thanksgiving feast held by the Pilgrims in 1621, a prayer event and dinner to mark the first harvest of the Mayflower settlers. [4]

The 300th Anniversary of Mayflower ' s Landing was commemorated in 1920 and early 1921 by celebrations throughout the United States and by countries in Europe. Delegations from England, Holland and Canada met in New York. The mayor of New York, John Francis Hylan, in his speech, said that the principles of the Pilgrim's Mayflower Compact were precursors to the United States Declaration of Independence. [52] While American historian George Bancroft called it "the birth of constitutional liberty." [2] : 55 Governor Calvin Coolidge similarly credited the forming of the Compact as an event of the greatest importance in American history:

It was the foundation of liberty based on law and order, and that tradition has been steadily upheld. They drew up a form of government which has been designated as the first real constitution of modern times. It was democratic, an acknowledgment of liberty under law and order and the giving to each person the right to participate in the government, while they promised to be obedient to the laws. [A]ny form of government is better than anarchy, and any attempt to tear down government is an attempt to wreck civilization. [53]

With twenty Mayflower historical societies throughout the country, along with an unknown number of descendants, the celebration was expected to last during much of 1920. As a result of World War I ending a few years earlier, the original plan to hold a world's fair in its honor was canceled. [54]

The government issued a Pilgrim Tercentenary half dollar, which portrays the ship on its reverse and passenger William Bradford on its obverse.

400th anniversary, 2020

The 400th anniversary of Mayflower ' s landing took place in 2020. Organizations in the UK and US have planned celebrations to mark the voyage. [55] Festivities celebrating the anniversary have begun in various places in New England. Other celebrations are planned in England and the Netherlands, where the Pilgrims were living in exile until their voyage, [56] but the COVID-19 pandemic forced some plans to be put on hold. [57]

Among some of the events are a Mayflower Autonomous Ship, without any persons aboard, which uses an AI captain designed by IBM to self-navigate across the ocean, [58] while the Harwich Mayflower Heritage Centre is hoping to build a replica of the ship at Harwich, England. [59] Descendants of the Pilgrims are hoping for a "once-in-a-lifetime" experience to commemorate their ancestors. [60]

The New England Colonies and the Native Americans

While Native Americans and English settlers in the New England territories first attempted a mutual relationship based on trade and a shared dedication to spirituality, soon disease and other conflicts led to a deteriorated relationship and, eventually, the First Indian War.

Social Studies, U.S. History

Hudson Trading with Native Americans

Native American locals and English colonists had a complicated history in America that involved conflict as well as trade. They traded goods and ideas. Here, English explorer Henry Hudson and his crew trade with Indians on the shore.

Engraving from the United States Library of Congress

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Complex History

One of America's earliest and most enduring legends is the story of Thanksgiving. In 1621, pilgrims sat down with the local Wampanoag Indians to celebrate their first successful harvest. It makes for a great story. Two cultures came together and shared the bounty of the land that eventually became America. However, the history of the colonists and the local Native Americans is far more complex. It is a story of trade, cooperation, and intense conflict.

Finding Common Ground

The first English settlers began to arrive in what would become New England in the 1600s. They found about 60,000 Native Americans already living there. At first, the two sides had conflicts over territory, but the colonists eventually built thriving colonies with the help of the Native Americans.

Trade was one of the first bridges between the colonists and Native Americans. The colonists needed to build infrastructure and relationships in order to thrive in the New World. For their part, the Native Americans were interested in building alliances. Because of the economy they built with the help of the tribes, the colony became financially independent of England within five years.

Both sides benefited from trade and bartering. The Native Americans provided skins, hides, food, knowledge, and other crucial materials and supplies. The settlers traded beads and other types of currency.

Ideas were traded alongside physical goods. Wampum, a type of currency, sometimes carried religious meaning, as well. The first Bible printed in the New World was actually in the Native American language of Algonquin. The communication between the colonists and Native Americans was not just political or practical, but also spiritual.

Puritan Christianity was the main religion of the New England colonies. As the colonies grew and changed, some colonists began to move away from Puritanism. Their attitudes about Native Americans also evolved. A famous example of this is Roger Williams, who rebelled against Puritanism and began the colony of Rhode Island. Williams believed that colonists had no right to occupy land without first purchasing it from Native Americans.

Over time, however, relations between the colonies and the local tribes deteriorated. One of the reasons was disease, like smallpox, that the colonists had unwittingly brought over from England. The local Native American populations had no immunity to these ilnesses, and many died of them.

Some Colonial leaders believed that this was an act of God, which supported the colonists' right to the land. The colonists used it to convert the natives to Christianity and move them to reservations called "praying towns."

The First Indian War

Colonist-Native American relations worsened over the course of the 17 th century. It resulted in a bloody conflict known as the First Indian War, or King Philip's War. It began in 1675, when the government of the Plymouth Colony executed three members of the Wampanoag. The Wampanoag leader, Philip, also known as Metacom, retaliated, and led an army made up of Wampanoags and other Native American peoples to attack the settlements. However, some Native American peoples, including the Mohegans and Mohawks, fought against the Wampanoag on the side of the English colonists.

The war lasted 14 months, ending in late 1676. Both sides suffered heavy casualties, and historians consider it one of the deadliest conflicts in American history. Thousands of Native Americans died in war or from illness. Others were taken as slaves or fled to other regions. More than 600 colonists died, and dozens of settlements were destroyed.

The history of the New England colonies mirrors the two-sided history of the country. Native and immigrant cultures came together to create the modern United States. Yet, the two sides also clashed in conflict that claimed many lives.

Native American locals and English colonists had a complicated history in America that involved conflict as well as trade. They traded goods and ideas. Here, English explorer Henry Hudson and his crew trade with Indians on the shore.


Upon arriving in Ramleh, usually one day's journey from the last stop in Jerusalem, pilgrims were issued instructions. They were always to show Christian charity, patience, and tact. They were to avoid any behavior that could be considered aggressive or offensive. They were not to enter a mosque (a place of worship for Muslims), and they were to stay away from Muslim graveyards. They were always to travel in groups to protect themselves from bandits and pickpockets. Nobles had to be reminded not to engrave their coat of arms into walls and other objects at holy places as well as at inns graffiti was a problem even a thousand years ago. In particular, pilgrims were not to carry off pieces of holy places or relics, remnants of objects that were held sacred because of their association with saints, though many ignored this instruction and took away with them objects such as stones found at the holy sites.

Typically, visitors arrived at the gates of Jerusalem around nightfall, having left Ramleh in the morning. They paid an admission fee at the Gate of David at the western edge of the city and proceeded to the Hospital of Saint John. The "hospital," which today would be called a hostel, was run by an order of monks who came to be known as the Knights Hospitallers and who would play a role as warrior-monks during the Crusades. At the hospital, pilgrims could get accommodations, and those who were ill or injured could receive medical care.

West Africa before the Slave Trade

At the dawn of the era of transatlantic slavery, Africa was a vast and diverse land, the home of many ancient cultures and more than 800 languages. The region that would be most powerfully affected by the slave trade was in West Africa, along a strip of coast between the Senegal and Congo rivers. This vast expanse of land was marked by a rich and varied culture, having long absorbed influences from Arab North Africa, from European trading posts, and from the cosmopolitan cities of the interior. The inland city of Timbuktu was a major center for scholarship, and the work of its astronomers, mathematicians, and theologians spread throughout West Africa. Several large kingdoms, such as Mali, Songhay, and Benin, held sway over significant stretches of territory, and in the 16th century the capital of Benin was one of the largest cities in the world. In much of the region, though, people lived in small clusters of villages, ruled by tribal kings or chieftains, and worked the fields and forests for food, pooling their labor and resources as a community.

Olaudah Equiano was the son of a chief of the Igbo people in West Africa, but was kidnapped and sold into slavery as a small boy. In his autobiography of 1789, he looked back on life in his homeland, remembering it as "a charming fruitful vale."

Agriculture is our chief employment and every one, even the children and women, are engaged in it. Thus we are all habituated to labour from our earliest years. Every one contributes something to the common stock and as we are unacquainted with idleness, we have no beggars. The benefits of such a mode of living are obvious.

Feature Indentured Servants In The U.S.

Indentured servants first arrived in America in the decade following the settlement of Jamestown by the Virginia Company in 1607.

The idea of indentured servitude was born of a need for cheap labor. The earliest settlers soon realized that they had lots of land to care for, but no one to care for it. With passage to the Colonies expensive for all but the wealthy, the Virginia Company developed the system of indentured servitude to attract workers. Indentured servants became vital to the colonial economy.

The timing of the Virginia colony was ideal. The Thirty Year's War had left Europe's economy depressed, and many skilled and unskilled laborers were without work. A new life in the New World offered a glimmer of hope this explains how one-half to two-thirds of the immigrants who came to the American colonies arrived as indentured servants.

Servants typically worked four to seven years in exchange for passage, room, board, lodging and freedom dues. While the life of an indentured servant was harsh and restrictive, it wasn't slavery. There were laws that protected some of their rights. But their life was not an easy one, and the punishments meted out to people who wronged were harsher than those for non-servants. An indentured servant's contract could be extended as punishment for breaking a law, such as running away, or in the case of female servants, becoming pregnant.

For those that survived the work and received their freedom package, many historians argue that they were better off than those new immigrants who came freely to the country. Their contract may have included at least 25 acres of land, a year's worth of corn, arms, a cow and new clothes. Some servants did rise to become part of the colonial elite, but for the majority of indentured servants that survived the treacherous journey by sea and the harsh conditions of life in the New World, satisfaction was a modest life as a freeman in a burgeoning colonial economy.

In 1619 the first black Africans came to Virginia. With no slave laws in place, they were initially treated as indentured servants, and given the same opportunities for freedom dues as whites. However, slave laws were soon passed &ndash in Massachusetts in 1641 and Virginia in 1661 &ndashand any small freedoms that might have existed for blacks were taken away.

As demands for labor grew, so did the cost of indentured servants. Many landowners also felt threatened by newly freed servants demand for land. The colonial elite realized the problems of indentured servitude. Landowners turned to African slaves as a more profitable and ever-renewable source of labor and the shift from indentured servants to racial slavery had begun.

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