Happy Mayflower Day! On this day in 1620, the Mayflower set sail from Plymouth, England, carrying the first Pilgrims to the New World. Two months later they arrived in America, got off the ship and...celebrated Thanksgiving, possibly? No, wait, first they planted corn. Or they planted fish. Hang on, that can’t be right. Anyway, Squanto was there, and they definitely had Thanksgiving, and if I’m remembering my history classes right they pretty much just killed time for a century and a half until George Washington showed up.
If your mental image of the early Colonial period is similarly fuzzy, the Daily Life Through History database might be just the resource you need. The database provides a detailed look at how ordinary people worked, played, ate and lived during a particular time and place. You can read about every facet of life in Colonial America, or you can compare the domestic lives of early Colonials to those who stayed behind in England, or the Native American cultures of the Great Plains. The database includes entries spanning the globe and the centuries from ancient Egypt to medieval Japan all the way up to modern India.
Each section includes period art and illustrations, photographs of surviving artifacts, and scans of primary documents. The clear, concise writing and extensive citations make it a great resource for students and writers. And by focusing on the daily experiences of people without crowns or armies, it provides a view of history that is very relatable and largely ignored by most other historic sources.
So to celebrate Mayflower Day, take a few moments to explore the daily lives of the earliest English settlers in the New World using Daily Lives Through History database.