The British Surrender at Yorktown

The British surrender at Yorktown on October 19, 1781 was a miracle of providential timing and intervention.  It involved at least four major ingredients that had to come together in the face of potential disaster.  The disasters included worthless paper money and the lack of an ability to support the troops.  In addition, troops outside…

Bradford Manuscript

William Bradford, second Governor and historian of the Pilgrims, began his “journal” about ten years after they landed.  With providential foresight, he said the purpose of history was, “That their children may see with what difficulties their fathers wrestled in going through these things in their first beginnings, and how God brought them along notwithstanding…

William Brewster and the Pilgrim Press

Most people think of the Pilgrims as stuffy, mournful souls who dressed in black and never smiled.  The life of William Brewster quickly dispells these myths, for he was a bold leader of the Pilgrim Church.  Born in 1566 or 1567 in Scrooby, England, he entered Cambridge University and became an assistant to William Davison,…

Family: What made Plymouth Unique

Historian and Director Emeritus of the Pilgrim Society Peggy Baker has noted, “Family is at the heart of the Pilgrim story….that makes Plymouth Colony unique amid a sea of other settlements – English, Dutch, French, and Spanish alike – that were almost exclusively masculine… The Separatist movement, from its earliest beginnings, was built around strong…

Pastor John Robinson and the Synod of Dort

During the time the Pilgrims were staying in Leyden a famous synod was called by the Dutch Reformed Church to settle a doctrinal dispute initiated by Jacob Arminius.  Though Jacob had already died, his disciples presented their objections to the teachings of John Calvin.  This challenge was called the Remonstrance of 1610.  Those defending the…

Lessons from the Life of Stephen Hopkins

Stephen Hopkins was baptized on the 30th of April, 1581 in Upper Clatford, Hampshire, England.  The adventures he would experience due to his desire for liberty of conscience could scarcely be equaled by any other who would come on the Mayflower.  Stephen was the only passenger to have previously been in Jamestown prior to his…

The Grand Union Flag of 1776

On January 1, 1776, while the British laid siege to Boston, George Washington raised the Grand Union Flag on Prospect Hill near his headquarters in Cambridge. It was the first flag of the united colonies.  It was known as the Congress Colors, the First Navy Ensign and the Cambridge Flag and could be considered the…