The Puritan/Pilgrim’s First Thanksgiving at America’s Plymouth Colony – Painted in 1914 by Jennie A. Brownscombe (1850-1936)
The “Pilgrim story on the Mayflower” began in England in a small hamlet in north Nottinghamshire called Scrooby. Here in 1606, a group of English religious dissidents, later known as the “Pilgrims” formed their own church covenant independent of the National Church of England under King James I. Included in this community of believers were William Brewster, Richard Clifton, William Bradford and John Robinson. This was an act of treason against the English crown and against the country of England.
They moved to Boston in Lincolnshire but were discovered and imprisoned. They then more successfully moved to Immingham along the Humber River before they made the decision to
immigrate to new safe haven with religious freedom in the Netherland in the year of 1609.
“The Apocalypse of the Jewish False Messiah, Shabbatai Tzevi, enthroned as the Messiah” – Jewish Publication, “Tikkun”, Amsterdam 1666
Yet, the Pilgrim Calvinists in Holland discovered that here also was an economy that was failing to pay adequate wages and compensation of labor to support a family. So eleven years later, they decided that it was time to flee the continent of Europe; for religious freedom had shut most of its doors for those who still felt that human man still had the “freedom” given to him by G-d with the “power of choice to think and the do” especially in the area of religious and political freedom.
The Protestant Reformation was just in its infancy. Martin Luther’s reformation never did take hold in parts of independent Netherlands, but Geert Groote did establish a mystical order called the Brethren of the Common Life in Holland.
One century later, just after the Mayflower’s voyage, the Jews in Eastern Europe were experiencing an apocalyptic reformation with the false messiah called Shabbatai Tzevi who thought to bring in the Jewish messianic age on June 18, 1666 while at the same time, Netherland was affected by the apocalyptic Anabaptists who believed that the end of the world was near. The Anabaptists later in part became the Mennonites which became popular in Holland and Friesland. Netherland even earlier had the creation of a new town called the “New Jerusalem” founded by the Anabaptist, Jantje van Leyden and officially recognized in 1578.
Then there arrived the Calvinists in the 1560s, which affected both the common folk and the upper echelon of the Flanders society. They were reformers of religious liberty and were active in reforming state politics. They were quickly attacked by Philip II of Spain, the husband of Queen Mary I of England who became know in English history as “Bloody Mary”.
The Roman Catholic Inquisition was brought into the Netherlands by King Phillip II of Spain but even the Protestant Calvinists continued to rebel. The persecution became so severe that it erupted into the Eighty Years' War (1568-1648) that eventually liberated the Dutch Calvinists in Holland and Zeeland from the Catholic Spaniards.
In 1581, the Northern Provinces of the Netherland adopted their “Declaration of Independence” with the Act of Abjuration and officially now as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands threw off the yoke of oppression of the Roman Catholic Church and deposed Philip II of Spain as reigning monarch from the northern seven provinces of the Netherland.
The Holy Roman Empire was now in its decaying years after the “Golden Years” as the last emperor of the United Holy Roman Empire, Charles V and also King of Spain when the Netherland was part of the Seventeen provinces that included modern day Belgium, Luxembourg and parts of France and Germany before the “Act of Abjuration” in Netherland.
With the death of “Bloody Mary I” of England and the rise to power of Queen Elizabeth I of England (1558-1603), England forged a treaty with the Dutch against the Spanish crown and the remnants of the Holy Roman Empire that ruled the Dutch people’s by the Spanish King Phillip II of Spain. This opened the doors to religious freedom in the Netherland not only for Christian dissenters such as the Puritans political activists and the Pilgrim separatists, plus also Jewish people in Europe. The Netherland became a safe haven and the enterprising Jew returned to bolster the economy of this maritime kingdom.
In the midst of the Eighty Years’ War, there was also a Twelve Years' Truce between the years of 1609 to 1621. Officially it ceased the civil and political war but the religious war continued along religious lines. The Roman Catholic Jesuits then entered the religious wars of Holland with large campaigns to rekindle the Catholic faith. The reason was that the Protestant reformation was also bringing wealth, commerce, and a revitalization of the Dutch economy with the new religious freedoms. At the same time, the economy of the Catholic sectors of the Netherlands was decaying.
Also during these times, dissent was erupting between Orthodox and liberal Calvinism. Orthodox Calvinism became a de facto state religion where official offices could only be held by Calvinist Orthodox and on occasion, Jews. Yet religious liberty flourished. Judaism was publically allowed and Christian Lutheranism was allowed as long as they maintain a décor in their church without crucifixes and crosses as is seen in cathedrals in Scandinavia today.
In this turbulent era of the decline of Roman Catholicism in Europe, we witness the rise of Protestantism especially along the lines of Calvinist Christianity and here we are introduced to this Puritan separatist congregation that were actually Puritans but called “Pilgrims” from Scrooby because they disavowed all political interference into religious life and maintained a belief in the “complete Separation of Church and State”.
sThe Pilgrims first home abroad was in Amsterdam, but the English congregations there were in discord, so they moved to the cloth and linen manufacturing districts of Leiden, Holland. The religious life was tolerant and under the guidance of Pastor John Robinson, they enjoyed a certain respite and peace. Yet, life was harsh for new immigrants arriving into a new country, so the jobs were predominately at the bottom of the economic scale and poorly paid.
The young people had to work especially harsh jobs with long hours. Some of them began to assimilate into the Dutch economy leaving their cultural and religious roots behind. As such, peace and security was still elusive to the Pilgrim separatists.
As the years progressed the “Twelve Year Truce” was coming to an end. They saw the handwriting on the wall. England’s borders were closed to them to return and to live. The Netherland was experiencing a rising fear that the War between the Netherland and Spain would reignite. They feared the lost of their English traditions living in Dutch land and discussed various options; settling in South America but the climate would “not well agree with our English bodies”.
They could have joined the English colony in Jamestown but feared the eruption of religious persecution. They even considered settling in the New Amsterdam still under the rule of the Dutch government, but refused the offer. In the end, they laid their fate with their own Englishmen, and agreed to settle in Virginia, but as far away as possible in the northernmost boundary of the Virginian Company grant near the mouth of the Hudson River.
So the “Pilgrim” separatists in 1620 purchased a small 60 “tun” vessel called the Speedwell. It could hold 60 tun barrels in its hold, and hence its name. They then made provision in Leiden to set sail from a Dutch seaport on the Atlantic coastline called Delfshaven. It was their intention that the Speedwell would also voyage over to America and later remain with them to use in commerce and exploration.
The English claim to colonize in America was initially called "Virginia" in its entirety. The promotion and investment in this “claim” was divided between two English chartered companies that were responsible to manage the "plantations" or colonies on behalf of the English Crown.
The London Virginia Company had jurisdiction over the land from what is today North Carolina to New Jersey. The Plymouth (Devon) Virginia Company had jurisdiction over the land from what is today known as the region from New York to Maine.
In 1618, the Pilgrims began negotiations with the Virginia Company of London. It was their desire to obtain assurance from the “Crown” that they would be left alone to practice their religion in America. Although the king would not formally sign this or specify it in contract, the Pilgrims decided to accept what they understood was his implicit assent and proceeded with their plans of colonization.
They then signed a contract with the London Virginia Company that had patent jurisdiction over all the land in America from what is today North Carolina to New Jersey. They also joined a group of English investors called the “merchant adventurers” that was organized by a London merchant by the name of Thomas Weston. The Pilgrims sent two agents, Robert Cushman and John Carver, to England to work with Weston to prepare for the expedition.
Together they formed a joint-stock venture and in the agreement, they agreed to “adventure” (risk) their money, and the settlers to invest their personal labor and build the community for a period of seven years. During that seven years, all the land, all the livestock and all the produce grown would have to owned in partnership. After seven years the company would be dissolved and all the assets divided between the settlers and the English investors.
The Mayflower and the Speedwell set Sail to the New World - Detail from: Mayflower & Speedwell in Dartmouth Harbor by Wilcox
On the date of July 22, 1620, this group of Puritans set sail. They were “Pilgrim separatists” who had settled first in Scrooby, England and later moved to Holland twelve years prior, then made a collective decision to seek to worship the G-d of Israel in the New Land in America. They were planning to rendesvoux with a larger group of English Puritans political activists in Southampton, England who were now disillusioned that the English crown would ever provide religious and civil liberties to its people. Together, both of these Puritan groups with disparate ideologies would voyage together to the New World.
There awaiting the group was a 180 tun ship from London, three times larger than the Speedwell, called the Mayflower. Christopher Jones as the ship’s master. A few contract disputes had to be settled that took five weeks and soon the entire group was ready to set sail.
The 17th century has just begun. The Puritans political activists in England who had hoped to reform the British nation with the fall of the reign of King Charles I, and the rise of the English Protectorate with Oliver Cromwell, soon learned that totalitarianism and “freedom with liberty” do not reside in the same nest together. They hoped to live with religious freedom under the Protectorate rule of Oliver Cromwell, yet, he gave them worse civil and political freedoms. The Scrooby Pilgrims, who were political pacifists were looking for a land of religious freedom, to worship with the Calvinist beliefs in freedom.
The first colony of the Puritans in the New World had already been built in the first American town in Virginia called Jamestown in 1603. Now new colonists were seeking their freedom and the ability to express their religious sentiments with the new found banner of “religious liberty”.
On August 15, 1620, the Dutch ship, Speedwell with the Dutch Pilgrim Separatists from Scrooby aboard and the Mayflower, now with the Puritans Political Activists from England set sail together and headed west across the Atlantic Ocean. Both ships were sailing with good sailing winds and weather when about two hundred miles offshore, the Ship Speedwell was discovered to be leaking in its hold. It appeared that it was destined to sink into the ocean. They both turned around and returned to the port at Dartmouth in Devonshire. After repairs were made, they set sail again, but the leak in the Speedwell continued so they were forced to return to land, this time in the neighboring port called Plymouth.
There the Ship Speedwell was abandoned and the entire group planned to continue together in the Mayflower. So on September 6, 1620, the Mayflower set sail from Plymouth, England to America with its famous 102 passengers and the world’s most famous travel voyage in history was entered into the annals of history.
Since the Mayflower was an investor ship taking passengers to the New World, circumstantial evidence suggests that the Speedwell was “intentionally rigged to fail” so that when the colonists disembarked in the New World, they would have no ship in which to explore the American Virginia coastline.
“The Mayflower at Sea” – Painting by Margeson
The Mayflower was a goodly sized cargo ship of about 100 feet in length that had plied the seas for years in the wine trading business. It was stout and worthy, and now with together 102 passengers plus the ship’s crew were prepared to set sail for the third time going west across the Atlantic Ocean.
Both the Pilgrims Separatists from Scooby and the English Puritans families resided together in close and cramped quarters. Yet, there was a unity of togetherness for all of them were seeking a life of religious freedom and political opportunity for forge the destiny in a New Land in a New World. As their future governor, William Bradford, wrote:
William Bradford – “The dangers were great, but not desperate; the difficulties were many, but not invincible...their ends were good & honorable... and therefore they might expect the blessing of God.”
The beginning of the journey was quite pleasant. According to their ship logs, they sailed “with a prosperous wind which continued divers [many] days together." Many of the passengers were seasick especially far out into the ocean when they entered a period of numerous storms and crosswinds.
The main beam in between the decks cracked but was repaired with a large iron screw. There was even one time during adverse weather conditions and they questioned whether the condition of the ship was sound, and considered turning around and returning back to England. Yet, they chose to continue, since they were halfway there and complete the journey.
It was also reported that during the entire voyage, there were only two casualties, two fatal and one a rescue at sea. One was a sailor who harassed and mocked the passengers, and died when they were half way across the ocean. The second was William Butten, a servant of Samuel Fuller, who died just prior to sighting America for the first time. A third casualty was John Howland, who was swept off the deck of the ship in a storm, but was able to seize hold of a trailing topsail halyard and was pulled in and rescued. To cheer them all, there was also one birth, when Elizabeth Hopkins delivered a son that was named, “Oceanus”.
Two months later, the Mayflower was nearing its voyage’s end. Frequent storms had wrestled their ship during their 66 day trans-Atlantic trip. Yet, when they were first elated upon sighting land, they were also disappointed for they had been pushed farther north up the American coastline into what is now the State of Massachusetts’s coastline at Cape Cod instead of in Virginia where their charter defined where they could settle. So they prepared to disembarkment from the Mayflower. With thanksgiving, they kissed the ground of the land to be their new homeland and set about to prepare for their new life.
And so on December 11, 1620, just before disembarking from their ship at Plymouth Rock, both the Pilgrim separatist colonists and the English Puritan religious and political Activists collectively laid out and signed the group charter, titled the “Mayflower Compact”. It was to become America’s original document of civil government and the first colony to introduce the laws of self-governance.
There anchored in the harbor later known as the Harbor of Provincetown, and with their signatures, the Pastor John Robinson counseled these words:
Pastor John Robinson – “You are become a body politic…and are to have them for your…governors which yourselves shall make choice of.”
This charter became the foundation of their new dreams for a Christian government that in their collective memory of their ancient Hebrew ancestors was founded upon the principles of the “613 Commands” given on Mount Sinai to Moses the Lawgiver for the Children of Israel. The Mayflower Compact would later be used as a model to establish a covenant and a national consciousness that would seem to be for “all ages”, and why not, they were the Lost Tribes of the House of Israel, even though they had no concept of that fact at the time. As Governor William Bradford wrote:
Governor William Bradford – “Being thus arrived in a good harbor and brought safe to land, they fell upon their knees and blessed the G-d of Heaven who had brought them over the vast and furious ocean.”
The “Mayflower Compact” became a “type” and “pattern” of what would make America the greatest nation and empire of all ages. The Mayflower Compact crystallized the laws of Torah later upon the Constitution of the United States. It shared the hopes and aspirations of these rebel Christians, who were actually Lost Israelites ready to become reawakened at a future day. Why?
These “Lost Tribes” were exiled from the land of their forefathers twenty three hundred years earlier for defying the G-d of Israel and living in harmony with their cousins, the Jews of the House of Israel. They were exiled because they refused to worship in the House of G-d in Jerusalem, accept the kingship of the Dynasty of Kings David and Solomon as their ruler, and accept the rabbanim of the House of Judah to be their Mechoqeck, or legal jurists to interpret the Torah given to them through Moses on the mount called Sinai.
Unknown to them, they were experiencing the same fates and anxieties as their 17th century Jewish cousins, for unknown to all, these futurist colonists to America, they were part of the Lost Tribes of the House of Israel. Their lives were paralleling the same fates of their Jewish cousins living in the Polish and Germany social economy whose lives were beset with the upheavals of the false messianic revival of Shabbatai Tzevi and his later protégé, Jacob Frank.
With the financing of the founder of the Rothschild Banking Dynasty, Mayer Amschel Rothschild, that has destroyed the European and American economies today, plus the corruption of the Hebrew Torah and the Jewish mystical kabala by Rothschild’s protégée, Jacob Frank, along with the Jewish Catholic Jesuit, Adam Weishaupt who created the Bavarian Illuminati, the Jews of Eastern Europe were undergoing worse crisis since the fall of Jerusalem and the Temple of Herod in 70 CE and European Jewry was converting en-mass to Islam or Catholicism.
Now again the Lost Tribes of Israel would be given a new destiny. They would seek to forge a new “City on the Hill”, and once again give the Puritans the reason for political-spiritual activation. It was the Massachusetts’ “Body of Liberties” that became the first code of laws established in the New England and compiled by Nathanial Ward (c. 1578-1652). Yes, he was an English Puritan minister trained as an attorney.
Nathanial Ward came to the Massachusetts Colony in 1634 and became a pastor of the Ipswich Church. Yet, his fame in the quest for personal freedom and liberty of the American colonists was in the articulation of these “Liberties” and forging them into a political document that was established by the Massachusetts General Court on December 1641.
Taking a look at these concepts in the article, titled, “Remember why the Colonists left England…Freedom” and the “The Liberties of the Massachusets Collonie in New England, 1641”, that were written and accepted by the “Early Founding Fathers” of America”. It gives us a concept of the liberties that the Puritans and the Pilgrims were denied in Europe by the Papal Inquisitions and in England by the English monarchs defending the Anglican State Religion.
As we shall see later, the right to the freedom of religion expression was denied by the Anglican Church, the Church of England and all countries in Europe who had established State Churches even though they had rejected the religious and political intervention of their lived from the papacy in Rome, had to suppress man’s divine right to self will, self expression of their religious sentiments, and the power to make and to do.
These visions of religious and social freedom in a New World were expressions denied in real life on the continent of Europe. It was best expressed by the severe oppression of the Huguenots, the Waldensians, and the Cathars by the Roman Catholic inquisition. Though many may repute this statement, those same evil forces of totalitarian control are alive and well at that time.
Yet, the hopes of the Puritans and the Pilgrims were for the future; that a society under the inspiration of the G-d of Israel, the same G-d who declared that the Children of Israel were His chosen people for all ages, would give them a right and a privilege to create a social culture based upon those values. Those values were the same sentiments of the ancient Hebrews and were embodied in the Hebrew Bible called the TaNaKh (Old Testament).
The chartered ship, the “Mayflower”, emptied of their possessions, remained for the winter, and served as a fortress offshore in case of an Indian attack. Yet, the Puritans and the Pilgrims knew now that they were to permanently be left upon this American coastline. There was now unfinished business, as they needed permission in the form of a legal “patent” or “charter” to stay in this region, either from the king of England or a company authorized by the king. Yet, life had to go forward.
Just prior to leaving, the Puritans received the “First Peirce Patent” for a settlement in the northern part of the Virginia Colony. Now they were stranded to the north in Massachusetts and it was now winter, just a few weeks from the Christian Christmas season.
In the ravages of the winter, the Pilgrims and Puritans began to assemble their new life. Of the 102 that left England, by the end of the winter only a half remained to tell the tales of that epic year in a quest for freedom. In desperation, with the scarcity of food, they stumbled upon the Indian storage site on Cape Cod that belonged to the indigenous Indian peoples living along the coastline of Massachusetts called “The Dawn Land”. They stole ten bushels of maize and soon were to confront the largest coalition of Indians in that region called the Wampanoag.
The Indian chief of the Wampanoag was Massasoit could easily have slaughtered the remainder of the Pilgrims and Puritans, but the Indians were also a vanishing people for with the introduction of new diseases by the incoming White Man from Europe, 95% of the indigenous Indian populations in the New England region of the later 13 Original Colonies had already died.
So Massasoit, the “sachem” (leader) of this once powerful tribe, strategized on what he should do. He feared with the weakened state of his warriors, that war with the arriving white man could provoke a regional war between the Indians. Besides, the arriving white men had assets that Massasoit felt would be to his advantage; the English cannons and guns. So in his wisdom, he waited, for the appropriate time would come sometime in the future.
Destination Yisra’el’s Series:
“America’s First Thanksgiving between the Puritan Pilgrims and the Indians”
You might want to Read –
“The Lost Tribes of Israel as Hashem’s Emissary of Divine Judgment upon Rome”
Go to Part One – “The Lost Tribes of Israel as G-d’s Emissary of Divine Judgment upon Rome”
Go to Part Two – “The Legacy of the Visigoths and the Vandals upon Protestant Christianity”
The facts exist; the Torah Law given to Moses on the Mount of Sinai was given not just to Jews of the House of Judah but also to the Lost Tribes of Israel. Though our covenant was lost, according to the Prophet Hosea, we will be redeemed. If you are chosen, as a Lost Tribal Member of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, your destiny is to return to your Homelands first in Shomron (Samaria), Israel. If you want to learn more, click the link and Contact “Kol Ha Tor Vision”, the Voice of the Turtledove.
Here is a joint Orthodox Jewish and 10-Triber Mission to bring awareness of the imminent fulfillment of the Biblical Prophecies regarding the Redemption of all Israel (12 Tribes Re-conciled and Re-United). This super Event of all Times will entail Establishing the Shomron (the Ancient Bible Heartland of the Patriarchs) and the Judean Wilderness as part of the Land of Israel, and preparing the “Land” for the Return of the Lost Tribes of the House of Israel and then the Redemption of All Israel.
For inquiries about Kol Ha Tor Vision for the Lost Tribes of Israel, Visit – “Shomron Lives!”, a Spiritual Retreat and Guest House in Samaria.