Learn about America’s Founding Story!
Plymouth 400’s deep and diverse network of Organizational Partners, Business Partners, and committee members offer great educational resources to learn about our rich history. From fun activities for children and families to advanced reading materials for adults, we have something for everyone! Get started right here on the Plymouth 400 website by entering our Postal Artwork Contest or learning more about Wampanoag history through the Plymouth 400 “OUR”STORY exhibit. Below is a partial list of resources with links to learn more. This list will be updated frequently so please check back.*
BARNICLE AND HUSK
Barnicle and Husk are the stars of the children’s books Barnicle and Husk: The Adventure Begins for ages 7-11, and the Barnicle and Husk: The Beginning, pre-reader by Mary Shields. The first of a historical book series, the chapter book provides an educational and accurate platform to teach children about American history and Wampanoag culture. The book includes a detailed glossary and a native impact statement by Linda Jeffers Coombs, Aquinnah Wampanoag Historian.
Visit BarnicleandHusk.com for fun educational materials for children ages 3+, including:
- A free 10-minute Barnicle and Husk movie
- Free educational activity sheets
- Learn about Plymouth’s historic landmarks on our “History Hunt” page!
- Download a 73-page PDF of Barnicle and Husk: The Adventure Begins (Book One), for just $2.99
- Download a free PDF of Barnicle and Husk: The Beginning pre-reader
- Sign up to receive our newsletter and be the first to preview chapter one of Book Two!
THE MASSACHUSETTS CHRONICLES: THE HISTORY OF MASSACHUSETTS FROM EARLIEST TIMES TO THE PRESENT DAY
The Massachusetts Chronicles represents a new way of looking at more than 400 years of state history. Specially written with Plymouth 400 and a range of prestigious partners, including Plymouth Public Schools, Bridgewater State University, The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, The Wampanoag Tribe of Gayhead, The Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe, The Nipmuc Nation, Plimoth Plantation, Pilgrim Hall Museum, The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum, and The Freedom Trail. The book features more than 60 stories, written in the style of a newspaper, that begin before the Pilgrims began to settle on these shores more than 400 years ago. Visit our Massachusetts Chronicles webpage to learn more.
THE MAYFLOWER SOCIETY
Visit The Mayflower Society website for educational materials, including:
- The Pilgrims: Here, we share some backstory on the Pilgrims, including a list of the Mayflower passengers who left descendants; if you can provide documentation that you are descended from one of these names, you are eligible to join the Mayflower Society!
- Children on the Mayflower: This includes a list of the children who came over on the Mayflower and left descendants.
- Pilgrim History: More about the Pilgrims’ origins.
- Notable Descendants: A list of famous folks who are proven descendants of Mayflower passengers!
- Dress Like a Pilgrim: So you want to dress like a Pilgrim? This resource provides examples of how the Pilgrims actually dressed (not all in black and white!) along with links to find similar clothing and videos with instructions on how to create your very own Pilgrim attire.
- Resources: Do you believe you may be descended from a Mayflower passenger? This page lists several resources that can help with your research.
- Join: For those who have done their research, compiled their documentation, and are ready to join the Mayflower Society, this page details how to do just that!
- Patriot to Passenger: Descendants of Revolutionary War Patriots may also have a Mayflower Pilgrim in their family tree; this project seeks to help these descendants find their Mayflower link.
PLYMOUTH PUBLIC LIBRARY
The Plymouth Public Library website, plymouthpubliclibrary.org, provides remote access to all of their databases. You can also send requests by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
VISIT NEW ENGLAND
This blog post on the Plymouth Tapestry project at Pilgrim Hall Museum was recently featured on the website.
Plimoth Plantation is bringing history into your home with a range of online programs and resources for families and individuals – from their new History @ Home™ live virtual visits with Plimoth educators to coloring pages for children and their Interwoven podcast series. To view their virtual offerings, visit Plimoth.org/learn.
PILGRIM HALL MUSEUM
Pilgrim Hall Museum is the nation’s oldest continuously operating public museum and houses an unmatched collection of Pilgrim possessions. Their website features online learning activities for students in grades 6-12.
JOIN THE MAYFLOWER KIDS CHALLENGE!
Did you know that over 30 boys and girls were passengers aboard the Mayflower in 1620? All of the historical Mayflower kids will be featured in an upcoming Pilgrim Hall Museum exhibit with a recreated image to represent each individual. Your challenge is to create your own photo portrait of a boy or girl who sailed across the Atlantic in 1620! Your portrait will become part of a digital collection to be launched this summer as our contribution to Free Fun Fridays. The challenge is open to any kid who wants to participate! To sign up, see our easy-step guidelines:
Five Easy Steps to Join the Challenge:
1. Select a Mayflower kid to represent. Choose a boy or girl whose age in 1620 is close to your own! Click here for a list of Mayflower children and their ages. You can also look up details about your passenger at Caleb Johnson’s MayflowerHistory.com.
2. Research a 17th-century style costume that you can recreate using materials at home. Visit our Historypin collection for examples of how kids dressed in 1620 or do additional research on your own.
3. Have your photo taken against a plain background, like an empty wall or plain sheet. Be sure to focus clearly! Full-length pictures are fun to try, but include a half-length or head-and-shoulders shot, too.
4. A parent or guardian needs to do this next step: review our terms of agreement before uploading the submission. It says that by submitting photos, you agree to allow the Museum to add the images of your child or legal ward to our digital collections and use them for exhibition, catalog, and related media purposes.
5. Submit up to three photos of at least 300 dpi to email@example.com by November 21, 2020. Tell us which Mayflower child you are representing; your name, age, town and state; who took the picture and the date it was taken. We will create an online exhibit to launch at pilgrimhall.org this August, in honor of Free Fun Fridays. Selected images may also be featured in upcoming Pilgrim Hall Museum exhibitions and related materials.
MAYFLOWER.AMERICANANCESTORS.ORG BY NEW ENGLAND HISTORIC GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY
Visit Mayflower.AmericanAncestors.org to view a map and gallery of more than 3,000 modern Mayflower descendants from around the world. You’ll also find authoritative, in-depth biographies of the Mayflower passengers and crew, the latest scholarship on the Mayflower journey, pilgrims, and the Wampanoag nation — including a gallery of Wampum belts and an explanation of their importance in Wampanoag culture and tradition — a historical timeline of events, and many more Mayflower family history resources.
Here are a few ways you can mark the Mayflower 400th anniversary — find out more on our website:
- View a gallery of Wampum belts, and learn about the history of the Wampanoag
- Discover which passengers and crew lived through the first winter, who stayed in America, and who went back home
- Learn how to confirm your own Mayflower or Native ancestry
- Discover how you can search millions of Mayflower genealogical records in the world’s largest online Mayflower database
- Watch how-to videos and webinars that can help you explore your Mayflower family history research
NEWLY-ANNOTATED EDITION OF GOV. WILLIAM BRADFORD’S OF PLIMOTH PLANTATION
The newly-annotated 400th-anniversary edition of the personal journal of Pilgrim Governor William Bradford – Of Plimoth Plantation – is the most important first-hand account in existence giving details surrounding the arrival of the people on the Mayflower and their lives in colonial America. Interpreted in various works over the centuries by numerous historians, none have directly addressed the issues of conflict between Native Americans and the settlers of Plymouth Colony until now. This new edition does so on a grand scale, with introductory material that brings together Native and non-Native commentary offering recent information and new interpretations upon traditionalist, white American, Eurocentric points-of-view. This groundbreaking edition also restores, unabridged, much of Bradford’s original language, formatting, and notes. The book can be purchased online from the American Ancestors Bookstore.
PLYMOUTH 400 – 2020 COMMEMORATION VIDEOS
BY PACTV (PLYMOUTH AREA COMMUNITY TELEVISION)
Visit PACTV’s library of Plymouth 400 Commemoration videos on YouTube.
MAYFLOWER 400 UK
VIRTUAL VOYAGES AND MY MAYFLOWER – DIGITAL PROGRAMS
Mayflower 400 UK is presenting two new series of digital programs in the build-up to the 400-year anniversary of Mayflower’s historic voyage on September 16, 2020. Called My Mayflower and Virtual Voyages, the two series explore the people and places connected to Mayflower story.
The My Mayflower series tells stories through the eyes of those forever linked to the ship’s legacy and impassioned by the anniversary of its pioneering sailing to America in 1620.
Virtual Voyages showcases the places woven into the Mayflower story including their hidden secrets and fascinating backstories that make up the richness of the Mayflower story.
You can watch these fascinating digital programs on the Mayflower 400 website.
PILGRIM MONUMENT | PROVINCETOWN MUSEUM
The Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown, MA was built between 1907 and 1910 to commemorate the first landing of the Mayflower Pilgrims in Provincetown on November 11, 1620. President Theodore Roosevelt laid the cornerstone in 1907. President William Howard Taft dedicated the finished 252-foot tower on August 5, 1910, the anniversary of the day the Pilgrims set sail for America. Click the link to learn more about the Pilgrim Monument.
THE LAND THEY CALLED NAUSET
Ron Petersen’s column in the Cape Codder newspaper tells the Plymouth 400 story with a focus on the links to “the land they called Nauset” at the elbow of Cape Cod. Click the links below to view recent articles.
- The Plymouth Rock Legend: Myth or Reality?
- Thomas Prence, A Consequential Link
- The Sparrow-hawk and the Pilgrims
- The Nefarious Deeds of Captain Thomas Hunt
- The Unheralded Role of Capt. John Smith
- Plymouth Colony: Legends, Lore, and Fact
- When Plymouth Almost Moved to Nauset
- The Compact: A Foundation of Self-Governing
- Diplomacy 1621 Style (Part One)
- Diplomacy 1621 Style (Part Two)
- The Complex Departure of the Mayflower
- Realities of the Thanksgiving legend
CONGREGATION BETH JACOB
Congregation Beth Jacob has prepared a video depicting the history of Jewish Plymouth and the activities of their Temple over the past 111 years.
EASTHAM 400 COMMEMORATION
Learn about the Eastham 400 commemoration by visiting the Eastham – The First Encounter website.
Check out their News & Videos.
View their Image Gallery.
SOWAMS HERITAGE AREA PROJECT
The Sowams Heritage Area Project covers the 17th-century history of Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts which includes the Pokanoket Tribe and their history. Their website features more than 100 pages, many with links to other relevant sites: SowamsHeritageArea.org.
FULLER CRAFT MUSEUM
To mark its own “golden anniversary” in 2019, Fuller Craft Museum presented “Striking Gold: Fuller at Fifty,” a dazzling exhibition about the world’s most beguiling metal. Take a virtual tour.
SELF GUIDED TOUR OF PLYMOUTH
The Self Guided Tour of Plymouth, a book by L.J. Dunham, features all of the historic sites in Plymouth along with history and directions. It’s available via email for a brief time at the wholesale price of $12. Please email LJDocsEtc@aol.com for more information.
DUXBURY 2020, INC., DUXBURY RURAL & HISTORICAL SOCIETY, AND THE ALDEN KINDRED OF AMERICA
To commemorate the Mayflower arrival and Plymouth 400 – you are invited to order a copy of “Duxbury: Our Pilgrim Story – a 2020 Perspective”.
Published by Duxbury 2020, Inc., Duxbury Rural & Historical Society, and the Alden Kindred of America this collection of essays is about early leaders and Mayflower passengers who settled “Across the Bay” in Duxbury.
Two years in the making, twelve local historians have put forth new perspectives. Our authors include Tony Kelso, Patrick Browne, James Baker, Monty Healy, Sheila Lynch-Benetton, Paula Peters, Tom McCarthy, Alicia Williams, Peggy Baker, Carolyn Ravenscroft, Stephen O’Neil, Muriel Cushing, and George DeLano.
Very readable for all ages. Discover new artifacts from a 1960’s dig at the Alden House Historic Site. Follow Native American paths through Duxbury’s Town Forest. Learn the centuries-old politics surrounding the Old Burying Ground, and more.
Order online at alden.org or duxburyhistory.org with local pick up at the Alden House or shipped to your address. Or mail check payable to Duxbury 2020 and to PO Box 2407, Duxbury MA 02331. Cost is $27.95 plus $4.95 shipping. Sales tax only applies to Massachusetts residents.
2020 marks 400 years since the Mayflower set sail from England on a journey that brought the ship into Cape Cod Bay and Plymouth Harbor in late 1620. Duxbury – about five nautical miles across the Bay – figures mightily into the Pilgrim story as important Colony leaders settled in early Duxbury including John Alden, his wife Priscilla Mullins, and their family.
Plymouth genealogist Alicia Crane Williams tells the story of “Priscilla and Her Children” in the newly released commemorative publication. Priscilla was the wife of Mayflower passenger John Alden and immortalized in the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem, “The Courtship of Myles Standish”.
Both Priscilla Mullins and John Alden were 1620 Mayflower passengers and married in 1623. Priscilla was one of few women of an age to marry in the Colony and lost her entire family the first winter. Together John and Priscilla had ten children and settled on Duxbury land which remains in the Alden family today. In 2008, their homestead including the Alden House Museum and archeological site – the Alden First Site – was designated a National Historic Landmark.
In local records, Priscilla’s name appears only twice – on William Bradford’s list of Mayflower passengers and in her father’s will written on the day he died in 1621.
John Alden was among the men on board the Mayflower who in November 1620 signed the Mayflower Compact, which established governance for the colony. He later became one of the purchasers of the Colony when the settlers bought out the original merchant adventurers. For over 60 years, John served the Colony in many capacities, rising to the title of deputy governor, for which he was given grants of land from Duxbury to current day Bridgewater.
When Longfellow adapted his family’s story (an Alden descendant through his mother’s line) for the “Courtship of Myles Standish” he was already a popular American poet, famous for such heroic works as “Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie” and “The Song of Hiawatha”. Within two months of Courtship being published in 1858, 25,000 copies had been sold worldwide and 10,000 in one day in London alone. Priscilla became an international, 19th-century romantic heroine. Artists such as George Henry Boughton who was known for painting Pilgrim events painted idealistic portraits from which thousands of prints were sold to adorn New England dining room walls as well as postcards and commercial items.
John and Priscilla are buried in Duxbury’s Old Burying Ground with stones placed in the 1950s by the Alden Kindred of America. The location of the stones follows those of son Jonathan who had the first stone marker in the Burying Ground when he died in 1697. Prior to his time, graves were marked with wooden markers.
Read about Priscilla and twelve other essays developed for the 400th commemoration by local historians in an essay collection titled “Duxbury – Our Pilgrim Story – A 2020 Perspective” published for the 400th commemoration. To order Duxbury’s commemorative publication online visit www.alden.org.
Note: written excerpts and images from “Priscilla and Her Children” by Alicia Crane Williams in “Duxbury – Our Pilgrim Story – A 2020 Perspective”
ALDEN HOUSE HISTORIC SITE
Discover the world of the famous Pilgrim couple in this video featuring the new archaeology exhibit, “In Small Things Remembered: A New Look at Mayflower Passengers John and Priscilla Alden,” at Alden House Historic Site in Duxbury, Massachusetts. Generously sponsored by the Duxbury Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, the video captures highlights of this extraordinary collection, uncovered at the Aldens’ original homesite in 1960 with new research by the University of Massachusetts-Boston.
PLYMOUTH 400 AMBASSADOR SERIES VIDEOS
These videos, produced by Plymouth 400 in collaboration with PACTV, provide highlights of the rich arts community and recreational opportunities, museums and historic houses, and the historic and inspirational statues and monuments located throughout Plymouth County.
RECREATION & THE ARTS
MUSEUMS & HISTORIC HOUSES
STATUES & MONUMENTS
The following reading suggestions may be able to be accessed through the Plymouth Public Library website at www.plymouthpubliclibrary.org for remote access of all their databases. If you have questions you can email the library at firstname.lastname@example.org as they have staff monitoring and responding to email inquiries.
Many of the books can be purchased on Amazon, as well as other sources.
· Of Plimoth Plantation by William Bradford: The 400th Anniversary Edition, by Kenneth P. Minkema, Francis J. Bremer, and Jeremy D. Bangs
· Good News from New England, edited by Kelly Wisecup
· Of Plymouth Plantation, edited by Caleb Johnson (also includes Mourt’s Relation)
· The Cry of a Stone by Robert Cushman
· Three Visitors to Early Plymouth, edited by Sydney James
Mourt’s Relation, Edward Winslow
Plymouth Colony – Its History and People, 1621-1691, by Eugene Aubrey Stanton
WAMPANOAG AND GENERAL NATIVE INFORMATION
· Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
· Original Instructions: Indigenous Teaching For A Sustainable Future by Melissa K. Nelson
· Recovering the Sacred: The Power of Naming and Claiming by Winona LaDuke
· This Land is Their Land – The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving by David J. Silverman
· Our Beloved Kin: A New History of King Philip’s War by Lisa Brooks
· The Mourning Road to Thanksgiving by Larry Spotted Crow Mann (Young Adult)
· Tapenum’s Day: A Wampanoag Indian Boy in Pilgrim Times by Kate Waters (Children)
· Barnicle and Husk: The Adventure Begins by Mary Shields (Children)
GENERAL PLYMOUTH HISTORY
· A Little Commonwealth by John Demos
· Creatures of Empire by Virginia Anderson
· Debts Hopeful and Desperate by Ruth McIntryre
· Making Haste from Babylon by Nick Bunker*
· Mayflower Bastard by David Lindsay
· Memory’s Nation by John Seelye
· One Hundred & Eleven Questions & Answers Concerning the Pilgrims by William Muttart and Linda Ashley
· Plymouth Rock History and Significance by Rose Briggs
· Thanksgiving Primer, Plimoth Plantation
· Thanksgiving: The Holiday at the Heart of the American Experience by Melanie Kirkpatrick
· The Illustrated Story of How the Mayflower II was Built by Stuart Upton
· The Mayflower and Her Passengers by Caleb Johnson*
· A Guide to Plymouth’s Historic Old Burial Hill by Theodore Burbank
· Plymouth Then & Now by Dan Rapoza
· Plymouth MA: A Scavenger Hunt (The Look Book: Family Fun For Everyone!) by Barbara Tibbetts
· Sarah Morton’s Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Girl by Kate Waters (Children)
GENERAL 16th/17th CENTURY INFORMATION
· A Voyage Long and Strange by Tony Horwitz
· A Compendium of Common Knowledge 1558 – 1603 by Maggie Secata
· Persecution and Toleration in Protestant England 1558 – 1689 by John Coffey
· Protestant Empire: Religion and the Making of the British Atlantic World by Carla Gardina Pestana
· The First Prejudice: Religious Toleration and Intolerance in Early America, edited by Chris Beneke and Christopher Genda
· Visible Saints, The History of a Puritan Idea by Edmund Morgan
· Death by Petticoat by Mary Theobald
· Lies My Teacher Told Me by James Loewen
Mayflower History by Caleb Johnson
*Please note: the views expressed at the websites above do not necessarily reflect those of Plymouth 400, Inc., the staff, or Board of Directors.