In September of 1620, the Pilgrims left for America. Pilgrim Institute is pleased to share this excerpt from the The Mighty Works of God: Self-Government, A Child’s History of the United States of America, available from Pilgrim Institute for you to enjoy with your family that you may remember His mighty works.
“Two ships were hired to take the Pilgrims to America. The two ships were the Mayflower and the Speedwell. The Pilgrims knew it would take eight or nine weeks to sail to America. At last, everything was ready for the voyage.
The ships had not sailed far when the Speedwell began to leak. The Captain sailed to a nearby port to repair the ship. But the crew decided the Speedwell could not make the long voyage.
When some of the people heard that the Speedwell could not continue, they decided to stay in England. Others moved into the Mayflower. On September 6, 1620, the Mayflower finally left England for America.
The voyage across the ocean was very hard. There were so many storms that the captain could not let the Pilgrims walk on the deck of the ship. They had to stay in the lower deck. It was very crowded and they did not have fresh air.
When the storms were bad, the crew and the Pilgrims did not know whether their ship would even make it to America. The Pilgrims could only pray for God to protect them.
God answered their prayers, and, at last, they arrived in America.” 1
For Reflection and Reasoning
● “The long trip across the ocean was very difficult. What made it so hard? Were additional people crowded onto the ship? Why? How long was the trip? What sometimes happens when people travel on a ship? Do they get sick? Might these people have gotten seasick? When there were storms, what did the Captain require of them?”2
● “Review: Who controls the wind and weather? Read verses that confirm God’s control of the weather. For example, Matthew 8:23-27, where Christ rebuked the wind and the sea.”3
● “The Mayflower was a very small ship. Over 100 people were crowded on the lower deck. If a large open area is available, mark off the size of the Mayflower (approximately 90’ x 125’) and have the students try to imagine 100 men, women, boys, girls, and babies living there for over two months. They had very little space for sleeping, eating, and playing.”4
● “The students may not understand the length of time from September 6, when the Pilgrims finally left England, to November 11, when they arrived at Cape Cod. Look at a calendar and discuss the events that have happened in the classroom or at home during the past two months. Have the students imagine what it would have been like to live on board the small ship for that length of time.” 5
● “Color a picture of the Mayflower Student Activity Page 14-5.”6
1 Ruth J. Smith, 2002, The Mighty Works of God: Self Government, A Child’s History of the United States of America, Student Text, (Bradford Press, South Bend, Indiana) pp. 86-87
2 Ruth J. Smith, 2002, The Mighty Works of God: Self Government, A Child’s History of the United States of America, Teacher’s Guide, (Bradford Press, South Bend, Indiana) p. 113.
3 Ibid., page 113
4 Ibid., page 113
5 Ibid., page 113
6. Ibid., page 113