The Pilgrim Fathers





There was a time when the people of England were not allowed to pray to

God in the way they thought right, but were punished if they did not

worship as the king ordered. This was very hard, and when James I was

king, a little band of brave people, who found that they could not obey

the king, left their country to make a new home across the sea, where

they could be free. They are called the "Pilgrim Fathers".



A hundred people--men, women, and children--set sail in a little ship

called the Mayflower for the new world which a great explorer called

Columbus had discovered away in the west, and which we now call America.

They had a long and stormy voyage, but at last, in mid-winter, they

landed on the shores of North America, and set up their huts.



At first they had much trouble, for the ground was frozen and barren.

They suffered from hunger and sickness, and the wild Indians who lived

in that land came down upon them and tried to drive them away. But the

Pilgrim Fathers did not lose courage. They were free, and they worked

hard, and waited in patience for brighter days. By and by other ships

from England brought food to keep them alive, and more people to help

them. Then they made friends with the Indians, and when spring came they

planted seeds and grew crops for themselves.



After a time many other Englishmen, who wished to be free, followed the

Pilgrim Fathers, and settled in America. They founded the colonies of

New England, which are now a part of the United States.





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