Nov 24, 2010

Women on the Mayflower

With Thanksgiving tomorrow and my recent sailboat purchase, I started wondering about the Mayflower.  You know, that big ship (or sailboat) that landed on Plymouth Rock and is part of our Thanksgiving history.  After doing some research, I then began to wonder about the women on the Mayflower.  How many were on board?  Did any perish?  What were their experiences like on such a voyage?  I thought my findings were pretty interesting.

I learned that of the just over 100 passengers, thirty of them were females ranging from the age of 1 year to mid-60's.  After a two-month voyage, the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock.  While the men spent about 4 months exploring and clearing the land, the women stayed aboard the ship in dark, damp and smelly quarters.

Three of the women were pregnant, and one gave birth during the voyage.  The other two gave birth after landing, but one of the births was stillborn.

Water could not be wasted, so the women and men drank beer.  They did not wash their hair, but put lard and oil in it instead.  Baths consisted of wiping their face, feet and hands.

Although no women perished during the voyage, one women died on the Mayflower after falling overboard during the stay in Plymouth harbor.  Many of the remaining females (at least half of them) did not survive the first winter.  Only four adult women were still alive for the first Thanksgiving celebration in 1621.

So, compared to these women and what they endured, I think we all have a lot to be thankful for!  Wanna celebrate with a cocktail, then here are some great Thanksgiving Cocktail recipes.

Wishing you all a "Happy Thanksgiving"!

wine of the month club


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