Saturday, November 28, 2015

PBS Documentary: The Pilgrims

Th Pilgrims: An American Experience, PBS, 2015
This documentary does hit home with it telling of the story of the Pilgrims.  A group of people, separatist, who wanted to worship God their way and not in the way prescribed by the king.  They based their worship on the scriptures, "When two or three of you will gather, there will I be also."  They took this to mean they did not need any authority to worship.
However the King did not agree.  They first fled to Holland, which required learning a new language and culture.  They government tried to prevent them, but a group did get away.  Their wives and children were arrested, but later released as authorities didn't want to pay for their keep.  They slowly also made it to Holland.
However, after a few years the realized their children were losing their culture, and determined another solution had to be found.  This solution was found din the Americas.  They found a sponsor for their venture.  The sponsor would not fund an entirely religious group, and insisted others also go.  Those who traveled on the Mayflower were a mixture.  However the did all sign the Mayflower Compact and agree to live communally when they disembarked at Plymouth Rock.
If not for the support of native Americans, the colony would have failed.  Squanto befriended this group and provided need knowledge on how to survive in the wilderness.  They also stole corn seed from the Native Americans.  After the first year the decided to hold a feast to not only give thanks but to also celebrate there having survived a full year.  It happened that Chief Massasoit arrived this time with about 90 warriors.  Seeing they were having a feast his warriors killed five venison to add to the feast.  This provided additional food and they did have a feast although not much was recorded.  Most certainly they did not have pie as sugar and flour where not readily available.
Although William Bradford did not write about this feast, much of what is known about the company comes from William Bradford who was the second governor.  He wrote an extensive history of the colony.  Also effecting the colony were other later settlements which were established, including Boston.  Most of the new emigrants coming were not part of ecclesiastical groups.  Consequently there was some difference of opinion.  The greatest difference was with regards to the native population.  Because of conflict, the Indians decided to wipe out one community, but fearing reprisal the decided the would also have to wipe out the Mayflower group.  Word of these attacks reached Bradford and his group, and rather than waiting they decided to attack with other groups.  They mets some pretending to be hosting a time of trade.  Instead they murdered about six or seven native Americans.  Miles Standish (one of the newer members) took a head which he put on a pike outside the community  Hear it was for several years warning the native population to not cause problems.  This prevented attack, but also put a strain on relationships.

No comments:

Post a Comment