Friday, December 21, 2012

December 21

On December 21, 1620, the first landing party of English religious separatists, later known as “Pilgrims,” arrived at the site of what would become the Plymouth settlement. Congregationalists from Nottinghamshire were the core group, led by William Bradford. They were not the first people in the area. Besides indigenous tribes, Europeans including  
Englishman John Cabot had explored, fished and settled North America’s east coast for nearly a century. In 1605 Frenchman Samuel de Champlain had studied the Plymouth Harbor area, and his maps showed the native village of Patuxet (where Plymouth would be built) as a thriving settlement. But an epidemic in 1617–1619 wiped out 90% of Native Americans along the Massachusetts coast. Lack of serious native opposition to the Pilgrims was pivotal to their success and to English colonization.

Correction: John Cabot was an Italian explorer, sailing for Henry VII of England.

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1 comment:

  1. John Cabot was no Englishman. John Cabot was Giovanni Caboto, an Itlian navigator, along with son Sebastino sailed for the English and "Discovered" le Bras d'Or and Nouvelle Terre.