As you celebrate the birth of America and its independence on July 4th, take a moment to consider our country’s rich heritage. For instance, everyone knows about the Mayflower sailing to the new world in 1620, but who remembers the Speedwell? The Separatists (later known as Pilgrims) were traveling on both the Mayflower and the Speedwell, when the latter ship proved leaky and had to return to port.
Once the Speedwell passengers and their belongings were relocated to the Mayflower, the group set sail at the height of storm season. Their two month-journey brought rough seas and sea sickness that kept many too sick to even stand up. Despite their dire circumstances, one woman gave birth to a son while they were at sea, and another son was born once they landed.
Although the intended landing point was the mouth of the Hudson River, the Mayflower landed at Cape Cod Harbor. That first winter was spent on board the docked Mayflower where diseases like scurvy, flu and tuberculosis killed roughly half of the company.
Thanks to the help of the native Americans, they learned what crops to plant and survive. They overcame incredible obstacles to settle in the new world and start a new life. They carried with them the seeds of democracy and freedom that we all enjoy today.
We are all very grateful to the ones who took risks, left the life they knew and embarked on a journey for freedom’s sake. May you and your family enjoy a very happy Independence Day this July Fourth.