It’s not often that we find good Thanksgiving-related reading, but Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War by Nathaniel Philbrick is definitely worth checking out.
In vivid detail, Philbrick describes the tumultuous voyage of the Mayflower, the near catastrophe of the first winter in Plymouth, and the struggle for survival that was the first few years in the New World. Philbrick takes you off the boat and into the water as our famously “harmonious” Pilgrims scavenged off the land, stole from the native Americans, and sparked years of bloody war. It’s not the story you read in school.
For me, the most incredible realization was that the birth of our Nation might never had happened if not for a storm that blew the Mayflower off course and prevented them from reaching the British colonies down the coast.
Then, that William Bradford insisted on a pledge with the Dutch voyagers aboard that none would disembark unless they committed to survive together, not as separate national groups. This agreement, known as The Mayflower Compact, not only enabled their collective survival, but was quite literally the seed of democracy in America.
It’s an incredible story and well worth your time. Check it out!