Les 4e LCE se mettent dans la peau d’un PILGRIM et écrivent à leurs familles en Europe
Dear mother and father,
I am writing this letter to see how you are doing overseas, I hope you are doing well. I am also writing this to tell you everything that happened after I left. Believe me, it was quite ghastly.
Let me tell you the living conditions bellow deck were horrendous to say the least. All I could hear was people crying and vomiting. We were all seasick, as after all, none of us had ever been onboard a boat before.
Two people died and a child was born. God speaks in mysterious ways indeed.
Even though we had intended to settle in Virginia, Jamestown, treacherous storms forced us to go North and land further North at Cap Cod Massachusetts.
I reckon you do remember why we had to leave. When we first left England because of religious persecution we landed in the Netherlands and thought everything was solved. But our children rapidly started to speak German and assimilated the culture there. Jeremiah was starting to speak German, can you imagine ?
But here in Plymouth so many of our problems are solved. Even though we had a rocky start we now have so many new opportunities. For example there is so much land that is unoccupied, and after learning how to grow crops we gained stability, we now have a routine which is nice. It gives a feeling of safety. We can pray and worship however we want here and we aren’t forced to do it a certain way, we even have our own governor that we elected among us.
Poor William Bradford our governor, he came with his wife after leaving their son with their parents. One day the men went on an expedition while we stayed on the boat, they had to stay the night because it was raining. His wife, exhausted, was waiting for him, but jumped off into the cold water and died. He wasn’t the same after that. I would not blame him.
When we finally arrived the men allowed us to land to wash off weeks of grime. All of us were so thankful as we were all so filthy after staying months bellow deck.
We were really lucky to survive as we arrived not long before winter, we could not prepare much before the harsh coming winter. We ended up having to rob the grave of the savages, we knew we were wrong but we had to, we were starving. Luckily the tribe leader Massassoit from the Wampanoag tribe decided to send Squanto an Indian who can speak English, so he could help us. Squanto helped us and taught us how to grow the land, he taught us about the food available and he translated what we said so the Indians understood.
To thank God for leading the Indians our way, we invited them to our harvest festival, to celebrate our good harvest. It is the first time of the year we ate this much.
I had a really good time at the festival, we had so much good food to eat. The Indians were quite nice even though we couldn’t understand each other without Squanto.
How are you in England ? I really hope everything is going well for you and that you are not persecuted. Has aunt Mary given birth yet ? If so I really hope the baby is doing well, when you send me a letter could you tell me it’s name ? Has father recovered ? I hope that I will be able to see you soon.
Write to me soon.
I hope you are not persecuted and I hope you are okay. I reckon you do remember why I had to leave England. I do hope you are at peace and are not suffering from these wicked reforms.
So let me tell you what happened during the trip. First, we went to the Netherlands but we weren’t happy there because the children started to speak their language. Can you imagine ? So we traveled on board of the Mayflower to go to the New World but it was very tough. The living conditions bellow deck were horrible because everyone was seasick so many people died of this and some people fell from the boat and it was the first time I was on a boat so I was seasick too, like the other passengers. We were supposed to go to Virginia but we couldn’t because of treacherous storms so we had to go to Massachusetts and it was much easier. Our colony is called Plymouth, just like home !
Then a harsh winter followed so we didn’t have food and we were very sick and because of that there was more death. I’m only quite lucky to have survived. God helped me get through such a horrible season.
After these ordeals, a savage named Squanto came along, I was so scared mother. We all thought he wanted to hurt us but we were wrong. He actually helped us and later we even met the Wampanoag Tribe and their chief named Massasoit. We had a treaty, we had to defend the tribe against their enemy and they gave us food and help in return. We were so relieved ! Oh mother, if only you could be here with us.
Then when Spring came, to celebrate the end of winter we organized a harvest festival. It was a 3-day harvest festival with the savages in Plymouth. The food was delicious, I think it was the first time I ate that much. This festival ended yesterday and I stil can’t get anything down !
I miss you so much mother.
Please, tell me how things are at home.
I love you.
Brother and I just arrived in the New World. The journey was dreadful and tough because we didn’t have enough food, just off shortbread biscuits and very little ale. All passengers were seasick and had the scurvy. A lot of the crew died before the arrival.
Upon arrival we found a place for establish our colony but the savages attacked us because we stole corn from one of their grave. After the attack, we found a place and we put our camp. When winter came half the community starved to death. At the end of winter, a savage came to the village. We later learned his name was Squanto.
He came with his tribe the Wampanoags, to help we so we could strive. Spring finally came and we harvested our crops. We invited the Wampanoags to the harvest festival, like the ones we used to have back home. We hunted a lot of game and harvested food. The celebrations lasted three days and three nights. We had rabbits, buffaloes, pheasants, pigs, corns, carrots, lettuces, potatoes, tomatoes and we drunk a lot of ale and very little water.
What about you and mother ? How are you coping ? Is the baby born?
Brother and I hope you are fine are you feeling better despite dad’s passing. I reckon the Smiths are good neighbors and help you with the chores. Please let us know in your next letter. I do hope you are not persecuted by James the first.
As you may have guessed, onboard of the Mayflower the living conditions were dreadful because many people were seasick. Indeed, bellow deck we were so cramped and the atmosphere in the boat was terrible. A dispute broke out about a loaf of bread but don’t worry, we both are fine. You taught us better than that, didn’t you, mamma.
In the middle of the journey a you woman gave birth to a fine baby, thanks we help of the women aboard. The sex of the child is a boy, which made everyone happy and hopeful. The mother was really very happy and our newly appointed governor was relieved the baby was alive.
It did not last long though, as the journey went on, hunger and thirst began to demoralize everyone. I was bellow deck when I heard someone shout «man overboard» so I ran up deck to help the men pull the poor man up. We thought he had been saved, but only a few hours later he died. We had to throw his body in the sea and Wiliam Bradford said a prayer. It was all very moving and sad.
But oh, mother, suddenly a seagull landed on the boat and a man screamed «land in sight». Everyone was really happy. Wiliam Bradford and some of the men left the ship onboard a tiny dinghy to go explore this new world.
Seeing her husband had not retuned after several days. Mrs Bradford was waiting on deck one rainy night, but fell in the freezing waters and it was not before several days she was found dead, floating. When William came back with happy news of the land they had discovered, we had to break him the sad news of his wife’s passing. It was a dreadful scene…
Your beloved children,
I am writing this letter to tell the story my voyage accross the seas onboard the Mayflower. At the start, we were 102. Today, we are less than 50. We were supposed to land in Jamestown but because of treacherous storms we had to land further North in Plymouth.
Few of us died of sickness, during the crossing. Most of us died during the winter which followed our arrival.
The living conditions below deck were awful. I reckon you do remember why we had to leave England. We wanted stability and safety as well as religious freedom.
Yet, when we arrived in the New World, the savages attacked us, because we stole their food and desecrated their graves.
When we eventually settled, winter started, and we didn’t have sufficient food. One of us met a savage, named Squanto, who could actually speak English. We asked him to help us, and he said he would try. He then led his leader, Massassoit, a man who commands respect, towards us to negotiate. He accepted to help us if we helped him defend his tribe against their ennemies.
Yesterday, we celebrated the end of the winter. We had a nice harvest festival thanks to the Indians.
So, now tell me about you. How are you ? Have you got any news from London ? How is good King James I ?
I hope you are good.
I have so many things to tell you. So much has happened since I last saw you. We left on September 6th as Strangers. This is how the Pilgrims onboard called us fellow travelers. I reckon you remember we were supposed to go to the Low Countries so we tried to go Holland but their kids started to speak Dutch so they had to change plans. I confess we followed suit.
Believe me, it was so very crowded onboard the Mayflower. We were 102 souls. Indeed there are 40 Pilgrims who were supposed to settle in Jamestown as they had a contract with Virginia. However because there was a big storm that was ghastly, we had to land further North in Massachusetts. Mind you, I really didn’t care as long as we could go ashore.
The atmosphere onboard the Mayflower was terrible. During the voyage I was so bored and the living conditions bellow deck were awful. There was nothing to do but wait around and get seasick. Dreadful.
Upon arrival, we explored the new world and we met some savages who attacked us after we founded our little city. We just took corn that was on our path. They claim we desecrated graves ! 3 days later we had to fight back.
Then winter came and along with it there were many deaths due to the cold. Then the conflicts caused a lot of attacks between the local tribes. Fortunately William Bradford managed to secure a pact and the Wampanoag agreed to help us and they sent a friendly Indian called Squanto who showed us how to grow crops. To thank the neighboring tribe we organized a big meal with a lot of food. We ate turkeys, this was all so strange, Mary !
Thank the Good Lord, I finally arrived in the New World.
I reckon you remember why we had to leave England. Here, in America, we are safe, we have religious freedom and new opportunities. But, before going any further, let me tell you about my travel.
At first, we wanted to settle in the Netherlands, but our children started to speak Dutch, so, we decided to go to Virginia, inJamestown by the Hudson River instead, because we had a contract with the colony. But, because of treacherous storms, we decided to go further North and settle in Cap cod, Massachusetts.
On the Mayflower, the boat that took us there, believe me when I tell you the living conditions bellow deck were horrible as everyone was seasick.
As I left the boat with the other men for go explore the New World before sending women and children, in the damp woods, we found corn by a savage tomb. But these savages saw us and shot arrows at us until we arrived at the sea. Arrows were flying everywhere, it was dreadful.
Later, onboard, everyone was so relieved we had food. I hope God will forgive us for stealing from the Natives, but I reckon he put this corn on our path for us to find. The Lord speaks in mysterious ways does He not ?
We eventually settled and built a small village. Williams Bradford our newly appointed governor called our colony Plymouth like the port we left from in England.
When winter arrived, many houses were build but we did not have enough food. I am sorry to say, sister and my son both died like 50 other people. I still cannot bear to think about it, but I had to go on as the chores on the camp are very important for our survival and I cannot let everybody down.
When spring arrived, an Indian came down to Plymouth. His name is Squanto, a friend of the tribe Wampanoag, he speaks both English and Western Abenaki, the Wampanoag tongue. Thank the Good Lord we were able to understand what these savages were saying ! He proposed to conclude a pact with Massassoit, the Wampanoag chief.
They agreed to help us farm the land for and in exchange, we helped the Wampanoag to beat their ennemi tribe, the Narraganset. After many good harvests, we organized a meal with the Wampanoag. At first, Massassoit scared me but, he’s quite nice. The meal with the Wampanoag was delicious. There was turkey, corn… after the meal, we made a shooting competition. I could shoot arrows with a bow ! Of course, we thanked God to have put the Indians on our path.
And you, tell me all about you. How is my brother ?