tv Pilgrim Story Mayflower II Tour CSPAN December 23, 2020 8:36pm-9:17pm EST
eastern on real america, the weeklong goodwill trip to asia in 1962, which documents the former first lady's tour in pakistan. and at 8:00 p.m. on the presidency, take a virtual tour of the dwight d eisenhower presidential library and museum located in kansas, showcasing the legacy of the nation's 34th president. watch american history tv this weekend on c-span3. >> next, we will hear the story of the pilgrims crossing in 1620 and the origins of the mayflower compact, we will also tour mayflower two, a reproduction of the original ship to see what life was like on board. next, we will hear the story of the pilgrims crossing in 1620 and the origins of the mayflower compact. we will also tour mayflower two, a reproduction of the original ship to see what life
was like on board. >> i'm the deputy executive director of plymouth museums and we are at plymouth massachusetts. mayflower two is behind me, a full scale of reproduction of the ship, that brought the programs to new england in 1620. provided by the name of albert, getting the name of pilgrim fathers, which is still in the united kingdom today, they are called the pilgrim fathers, but americans tend to call them pilgrims. william bradford in his chronicle and also in his poetry referred to them as pilgrims, not uppercase famous pilgrims, but as pilgrims, people who went on a journey for religious regions reasons. and for personal discovery. so the use of the word pilgrims
gives them identity but we all need to remember, they themselves did not have a group identity, they were a very heterogeneous group that had to learn to live together. when you think about, how did people sound in colonial new england? the first few ships that would follow, there were upwards of 17 different dialect, representing plymouth, and they lived in an age prior to recording, very rarely unless you were in a big city did you hear anybody speak english in a way other than your own dialect or accent. so, imagine what it's like to be aboard a ship with people that you are trying to figure out, what is she saying to me. because, as moderns, we are accustomed to watching television to get our news, we are accustomed to hear people
speaking differently than ourselves, that wasn't always the case back in the 1600s. so, their vocabulary words, their grammar practices, some people might have been looking at each other and thinking, what? the mayflower was originally supposed to leave england in july of 1620 with another vessel come of the speedwell. and when they went out to sea, it proved that the speedwell was very leaky, they had to turn around twice, so they were delayed leaving until early september and they had no choice. there was no turning around, people had given up their businesses. it was not safe. so even though it was late in the year and they would be arriving at what they thought was going to be virginia late in the fall, they had to move forward. it took 3 years for them to find merchants, there was no going back. william bradford, the governor of plymouth colony wrote a
chronicle over the course of 20 years, and he described the voyage in his earliest week as being fair and pleasant. but the second half, they were troubled by constant threats at sea. the captain of the mayflower brought them to new england because he was trying to make speed. he tried to get down the coast only to discover new england's waters are very dangerous. mayflower is almost broken apart , and he refuses to go southward. now, there is no legal document holding them together and the most powerful man within the passengers, they create a covenant saying we will stand together into we can get new
authority to be here in new england where we have to stay. ultimately, the mayflower compact, for 72 years, it is the founding document, it is red and all of the court sessions, it is a very important example of american experimentation and self- governance. before the anniversary of the mayflower compact, it is particularly important during an election year because what you see are a group of strangers, there is a misconception that there were two groups aboard the mayflower. they would come out of holland and they would come for religious reasons, and the strangers, the people they did not know who were brought to the party by the merchants who had no interest in religion. and this is not the case. think of 102 people who didn't know each other well, yes, those
that have been worshiping together for 12 years but some of those people who joined them, they joined for religious reasons, they wanted the opportunity of america to worship how they wanted and to make a little money. these are all people trying to figure out, can we get along? and when there is crisis, and some people in the group say, here in new england, not virginia, i'm going to go off and i'm going to do what i want to do. these people who did not have strong experience of governance drafted a document that held them together. and what to me is amazing is at the beginning, you have a community that could have imploded. but, only six months later, when the first governor died, there is a safe transition of power, john carver dies, probably a stroke after working in a cornfield and immediately, power is transferred. the men gather and they approach william bradford to become the second governor.
so, to look at the skillfulness and to look at the practice of conversation and consensus, that was because they were trying to create a community, they wanted rules and they wanted a rule of law. so they spent the time determining what they would do together. when the pilgrims arrived in new england, they are anchored off what is now massachusetts, and it takes them a month to find a place to settle. they do three voyages of discovery on what we now call the lower cape, and went on the third discovery, then they came to plymouth harbor. during their explanation, they realized they found a place of constant water and soil. that was one of the concerns about staying on cape cod, they
could not find good water down there that they thought would be with them all year round. they thought the summer would be harsh. so, they moved mayflower to plymouth harbor, in december. they landed, there is a traditional story that they landed on plymouth rock and they began to build their houses on christmas day, 1620. this essentially becomes the place where the colonists live until the housing is built for everyone. when they return home in april, that charter, think of mayflower as a bus, it has been hired to bring these people over, the charter is getting more and more expensive the longer that the ship stays. she leaves 1861, and nobody from plymouth returns to board
her, she arrives in the middle of may. much to the stress of the merchants, she returned utterly empty with nothing to compensate for the investment they made. i can't even imagine what the first winter was like, 102 passengers arrived in november and by the end of february, half of them are gone. and we know from the writings of william bradford and edward winslow that there were times in february when two or three per day were dying, so imagine houses that are collapsing on the outside, and as for insulation, there's two or three inches of clay that people are just watching wash away. imagine the houses literally melting in the winter weather.
they set their seed in february , they didn't know it would be followed by a brutal, new england march. the native people came late in march, this is the first time they have seen each other and a motion to each other that the first time they can actually talk was march 1621, and they treat them with peace, that will be sustained with a series of problems for the next 65 years. they had a translator among all the people, and he would teach them how to plant the indian corn. there are people living on just the other side of the town, so the english can look over and see what the native women are doing in their cornfield and also learn doing it that way. the first harvest comes in, it is a good harvest. so, william bradford, the
governor sets aside a harvest feast but, part of that harvest feast tradition, but as reformed christians that would be practicing it, their neighbors across the way, and for three days, there are at least 90 native men, probably the women and children are coming from the other side of the brook as well. there are 52 living english men, women and children who at a minimum, there are two native people to every english person. for englishmen, there are four wampanoag men, just imagine the old traditional way we once thought about thanksgiving as a long table full of english people with a couple of native people at the end. flip that imagination, it is far more native people and half of the english people, children
under the age of 16 years old and some that are just infants. what we see in the first year in new england is an excellence of diplomacy. think about how much the wampanoag have suffered before the english came. there has been a plague that took away upwards of 70% of the population from what is now the border of massachusetts and rhode island. some communities completely disappeared off the face of the earth. when he came to the english in 1621, he was making a choice for the preservation of those people, because as power politics were shifting in native new england, that made him and his people a little more stable in that shift, and for the english, he gave them access to native technology, knowledge, entrance into the
beaver trade. in march, when a peace treaty is agreed to, the first thanksgiving that will follow for many, that is confirmation of that treaty, those face-to- face encounters. they just kept alive the relationship that they were able to sustain for 55 years. >> what you are seeing is the ship as it would have looked when she returned to england in april, 1621. everything gone. i'm able to stand up aboard the mayflower because when the ship was designed in the 1950s, it was understood that eventually it would be at the museum site and people would be able to walk comfortably, but the height would have been afoot, up to 1.5 feet left, because
the ships were not made for people, they were made for cargo. this was not a 2000 pound vessel, and this ship could carry 180 tons. this area would have all been cargo, it was adapted, and imagine the passengers are bent over much of the time to get wherever they are going, if indeed they can get up on deck. for us, it is brightly lit, the ports are open, and in 1620, it would have been pitch black with the ports closed, and a canvas over the top to keep them dry so imagine, you've got all of the cabins running on both sides and then in the middle of how there are pieces
of a 33 foot long boat, and so many people down here that they have to sleep in these parts of the boats, so there are mattresses in these pieces. it takes the ship carpenter days to put the shelves up, because it has been driven apart by people sleeping in it. think of how congested it was, and the smell, because the chamber pods are being emptied, and the bilge is collecting below. and we know that when they were at cape cod, one of the first things they did was they cut juniper because juniper burns so sweetly and was such a fine perfume that they could fumigate down here. we know that at least once they were anchored in the area, they
had braziers to keep themselves warm. so imagine, all of these cramped wooden cabins, people practically on top of each other trying to get along with these people they didn't know very well and there was one family. over time, they would prove to be very troublesome and we know that while john billington senior was a sure, one of the boys was cramped in the cabin and he decided to play with his father's guns. so he sets off the gunpowder, and imagine right nearby, there are people around, try to keep themselves warm and they were spilling gunpowder on the deck, the ship could have blown up because of that boy.
we also know in the middle of the voyage, of young man went overboard. so think about the size of mayflower. if a man goes overboard for the most part, they just keep sailing because it would take almost one hour for the ship to take a complete turn to get back to somebody. people don't swim in the 17th century, we consider it god's will to put yourself at that kind of a risk. for some reason, he was out during a storm and he washes overboard. we are told by william bradford that he was summoned below the ship but he was able to catch onto a rope and they pulled him out. as the men pulled up their trousers with belts, even in the past, men had belts, and they were able to put a hook and
pull him out and he lived. one thing to think about, if that man had not lived, it's his wife who had not survived the first winter, she was the only member of her family, there are 2.5 million americans today who would not be alive, not 2.5 million people over time, there are 2.5 million americans today descended from that one couple. had either one of them died, the history would be radically different. john and elizabeth howland were the grandparents of joseph, there would be no church of jesus christ of latter-day saints, the churchill family, the bush family, that would have affected american history. and to me, as a film lover,
there would be no casablanca. so, every life matters, when we brought the ship home, some of the crew were living history educators who portrayed john howland and they talk about what it was like to be working on the ship and suddenly have these insights. they saw themselves as the ship was moving, how the ropes were moving, and the three young men talked amongst themselves and they could see how the rope spilled over, and that is how it ended up in the water with john howland. we experiment in archaeology, meaning, we try to re-create
the work of the past. in that recreation, we discover something about those people that came before us, so sailing the ship gave us insight into the original 1620 voyage. and the restoration would bring the ship closer to the original vision that william baker had for the ship, the ship rides differently than it has since 1957, it gets us closer to the physics of the ship, there's so much discovery yet to be done. the passengers brought a years supply with them because they knew that they were going to have to depend on dried beans, salted beef, salted pork to get them through until the first harvest could come in. so the deck below us was the
hole that was filled with supplies. there is a tradition that families were allowed one just in six feet of space, i have no idea where that tradition came from but it is so romantic and compelling. people brought what they had because they were going to be moving from england to here, so there was furniture, there's linens, and what we know is one of the men who started out on the companionship with mayflower , the speedwell, ultimately when it was decided that only one ship could come to new england, that some people might have to stay behind, robert was one of those that remained behind not only for reasons of health, but also that he could
be helpful to those remaining behind. and he said, isn't it sad that we are all students and there is no one to teach us? so, we know that the letters that go back early on, the colonies are writing to friends , or those interested in coming to england and saying, this is what you should do? he wrote a letter in 1621, he advises, bring a goat that you can slaughter and have some fresh meat halfway across, if you can, bring lemons or other fruit because these things fight off scurvy. so they are trying to teach those that will follow them in the record, but they bring everything they have, but they didn't have as much as we do today. there are probate inventories that exist, plymouth started a practice of writing down everything that the deceased owned so it could be divided
equitably. this is a perfect catalog of the household in the 1620s. they didn't have a great deal. their beds are mattresses that go down at night, and the family would have space to move about, but they did everything with forethought. and reading about the voyage, as they planned to the best of their ability. so one year of supply, all of their personal goods coming. and we even know that books came over on the mayflower because libraries were also inventoried. it's possible that a copy of the prince came over
on the mayflower. earliest english translation of the iliad. we know that he owned an english translation of -- not only furniture and linens and food, but also, this was a place of thought. these were people who read and brought her libraries with them. the deck that we are standing on would have been filled with things that were needed every day. linens, canvas bedding, stuffed out with straw. curtains, to give families a little bit of privacy in their small bunk. we are not sure how they fed themselves. that is still a matter of
controversy and up for grabs. we don't know whether the cooking is being done by the ship's cook, and then food distributed among the passengers, to keep down the dangers of fire. at one point we thought possibly there were sandboxes with little braziers that were used for cooking during the voyage. we don't know. the record just is not thick enough for us to get through those kinds of details. so you might have had cooking implements, here on this deck, we don't know. we do know that the young man who made barrels and took care of barrels, he was given the responsibility of, under supervision, going down and getting the allotment of food so that the supplies would last and they would stay free from salt water. and being ruined while they were in the cargo. but we don't know.
was that supply divided up among the different households who would have the opportunity to cook, or did it go off to the ship's cook and then food was redistributed for the passengers. these are mysteries, still. down below is everything that would remain in new england. and you can see the grading right here below me, and there is a grading above as well, once they were in plymouth harbor, it was the job of the sailors to remove everything from the decks to use cranes to lift everything up and over and out and everything would go in the boat to get it the mile and a half to shore, from the house yard, the part of the harbor where the ship was, down to the village. it is often imagined that the mayflower compact was signed
in master jones' cabin. we think that in their day they were considered important. for master jones and his crew, they were cargo. that needed to be moved from point a to point b. the paintings that you see imagining the "mayflower" compact, they always look like the signing of declaration of independence, but with everybody a little closer up probably, the "mayflower" contact is signed down here, between decks, where we are. it is possible that the leaders are carrying the document from cabin to cabin, talking one on one with the men and getting them to sign it or if they could not write, then to make their mark upon it. it was determined no one was getting off the ship until every man had signed, representing his household, so that they would be bound together by a covenant.
those have lived together under a church covenant for more than a decade. they agreed that they would walk together, commonly, in the way of christ, and what they wanted to do was take the church government and bring it into the civil world. tying all of the households together, that they would walk together, civilly. can you imagine going from cabin to cabin to cabin, trying to negotiate? it is at the very cramped area, maybe they were carrying a lantern with them. remember, none of these lights was here. it was dark as pitch down here. so not the kind of glorious, glamorous signing of the declaration of independence, but something cramped, something one on one. conversations and pressure. because there are some men who did not want to sign that document what happened down here was political drama of the
highest order. >> so, "mayflower ii" is a reproduction of the original "mayflower" which was a cargo vessel, simply a cargo vessel, rented or leased, like you rent a u-haul, to bring the pilgrims and other passengers to the new world. mayflower was a typical early 17th century merchant vessel. this ship was what we call 180 tons of burden. that is how many one ton barrels the ship could hold. so it is a volumetric measure, it does not matter if there is feathers or light, it could carry 180 tons of those barrels. at cargo. typical size, kind of small, very small, like today's standard.
also, we have some pretty cool parts on the ship that we use every day, here, today, when we sell the ship, it is a fully operational vessel. this is used for loading and unloading cargo. it is used for raising and lowering yards, which hold the sales of the ship. any heavy work is done with the captain. i am sure everyone has seen in the movies, this is the bar. we have all seen sailors walking around, and what you will do is you will wrap your line or rope or auger around the drum and we simply walk around. with two bars appear on the main deck, and two down low on the tween deck, we can put as many as 8 or 10 balers on the
bars and do some very heavy, heavy lifting work with this captain. at some point we can see it does the same thing on the tween deck but it is for raising the anchors. when they are vertical like this on the ship it is called a captain. when it is horizontal, which we can look at on the tween deck, it is both the same job. the steering wheel was not generally used on a ship it came out about 1890 by the dutch for about 1620 and earlier, ships of this size were using essentially a vertical stick that you move from side to side that is attached to the rudder, one deck below that goes out to the rudder, and as you can see, you can't see much here. but we have a compass and we
have the officer of the deck who would be up on the half deck, and the helmsman down here would simply be using magnetic compass to steer north, north by northeast, northeast, whatever direction he is given by the officer of the deck. if you look at some of the colorful geometric patterns and the way the ship is painted, you wonder why it is so brightly colored paint, with geometric patterns. well, i was told that you could actually identify a ship over a long distance so if you are looking across a mile or two, you have no cell phones, no radio for communication. you can look at the specific colors and patterns of the way a ship is painted. they all say "mayflower." the crews get together, all of the captains know each other,
when they are all on the decks next to each other, they would get to know each other. back here we have, this is the great cabin. this would be the master cabin, this is where master christopher jones would have slept, he is the master of the ship he had some other furnishings in here for him to do the work, and probably a hanging caught or bunk for him to sleep in. just coming back from the recreation, we still have not gotten all of the furnishings sorted out yet. he might have had a couple of gentlemen in bunk beds here with him but no ordinary family.
ordinary sailors would sleep all the way forward, and of course all of the passengers, 102 passengers all would have slept down below in the tween deck. so many different jobs for the sailors on the ship, every ship of course, the most important one on the ship you think is the captain, most important person is the cook. because the ships crew runs on their stomach. and we always joke about that. well, the captain will have a couple of mates, or officers of the deck that that ran the sailors and were in charge of the vessels as the captain gave different orders, we also, you always would've had a sale maker on the ship, to help repairs on your sails. you would have specific topic men, who were the ones who went aloft or two sail.
you would have had a mast captain for each mass, the mainmast captain, that would form their little group. you can see here, hundreds of different views for actively selling the vessel and moving the sales and the arts around. it can be a little overwhelming when you think that, yes, there is about three miles of rope or lines on the ship. when you take it one at a time you have each sailor who has his designated duty on raises, lift, sheet, tax, when you break it down that way, it is like hopefully, we like to see it as a well oiled machine and the mast captain, mates, and captain are the ones who orchestrate this team to make the ship sail safely and effectively. the sailors would have been broken up into two watches. and they would call them the
starboard watch. today we use starboard and port designating the size of the ship and also designating the different crew and what they do and what their duties are. many crew might have gone to sea as early as 10 years old. the old assaults probably would not have been much older than 40. of the sailors, sadly some of them were experienced sailors, might've been to the new world. the english did not come to the new world for quite a while. justin a settlement, yet. in 1602, he came to this new england area, on an exploratory journey. but we don't know the actual makeup of the crew on the ship. but i can say that for a lot of the crew,sailing across the
ocean for long distances, probably no big deal. they felt very comfortable sailing a ship like this on the ocean. they did it every day. but i will tell you, for the passengers and the pilgrims, it would be like you and i going to the moon. that is the fear and uncertainty coming to the new world. "mayflower ii" was conceived and came about through the work in england of sir warwick charleston. the ship was built and given to america for appreciation of our help in world war ii. it was built in brixham, england. conceived of the idea when he was on his way home from world war ii, and he was in the africa campaign with montgomery. and on this side of the atlantic, we had henry hornblower, who started plymouth plantation. now plimoth patuxet. he had conceived the idea to have a reproduction ship built.
he had already contracted with william avery baker to have plans drawn up. the two got word of what each other were trying to do. they met and got together and hornblower said, we have the plans. charleston said, i will build the ship if you guys will take care of it. and plymouth plantation has taken care of the ship for the last 64 years. and we just finished a massive restoration of "mayflower ii." just got back to plymouth on august 10 from a three-year restoration in the seaport museum in connecticut. i hope that people get the same sense of history that i do when i look at this ship. and for us, keeping the knowledge, skills, and abilities to be able to sail a
ship and maintain a ship of this age, as well as tell the multiple stories that plimoth patuxet has to tell, all of the good, the bad, and the ugly of all aspects of history is so important to where we are going. and for me, of course, the maritime part of the ship itself. and again, the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to build and sail and maintain a ship like "mayflower ii" is very, very important. you are watching american history tv, every weekend on c- span 3. explore our nation's pass up. american history tv, on c-span
3. created by america's television company, today we are brought to you by these television companies who provide this as a public service. the nantucket historical association hosted this event and provided the video. >> hello. >> that means good morning, friends. in my language. good morning, friends. good morningfr