So what happened after they got off the Mayflower?
It wasn’t easy for the Pilgrims.
They had a lot of work ahead of them,
and needed a lot of help.
Luckily they weren’t alone.
The Wampanoag were here for many,
many years before the Pilgrims
or anyone else arrived in America.
They knew the land better than anyone else,
and if it weren’t for them,
the Pilgrims would have never survived.
In fact, for years before the Pilgrims arrived,
I watched the Wampanoag fish and farm the land,
and they taught all these skills to the Pilgrims.
So the Wampanoag let the Pilgrims live with them?
The story gets a little more complicated than that,
but we’ll save the lesson on colonization
for your teacher for another day.
Thank you. Can you share with the students
what life was like for you
after the Pilgrims arrived?
Of Course! Children would play
on the beach around me, and sometimes they’d
even sit on me to take a rest
from all their running around and exploring.
It was so exciting
seeing all this new life around me,
and my long days of feeling bored seemed to be over.
As the Pilgrims got more comfortable
in their new home, their families grew.
They had children and more of their family and friends
made the journey across the Atlantic Ocean.
That’s right. I loved watching the village grow.
I felt so special when some of the older Pilgrims
would show the young villagers and newcomers the
spot where I had helped them come ashore
for the first time. However, over time,
less people would come to visit me.
I started to feel like I wasn’t important to them anymore!
But what about the ships after the Mayflower?
Didn’t you help those people get ashore?
You see, as more and more people arrived,
the villagers built wharves and docks
to handle the increased shipping traffic.
What’s a wharf?
It’s like a big dock, where ships can park.
That’s exactly right, Will.
Just look at the Mayflower.
It rests alongside a wharf.
My grandfather said there used to be
several wharves in Plymouth Harbor.
That’s right. There’s still a few,
but there were even more
when Plymouth Harbor was used as a port.
Did you know I was almost thrown into the harbor
when the people of Plymouth
wanted to build their first wharf?
Yes, but luckily one of the Pilgrim’s ancestors
stuck up for me. He told the people who
wanted to build the wharf how important I was
and they agreed to let me stay
and build the wharf around me!
That must have let you see people everyday!
It did! And what a busy pier it was.
Plymouth was growing and ships were
constantly coming and going. I watched fishermen
unload their catches and trade ships
unload their chests full of supplies.
Usually Mr. Seagull would watch with me too!
During this time, America was growing,
and from what started in Plymouth as a single village,
several colonies now existed along the coast.
Were these colonies America or England?
Great question. Although they were in America,
the colonies were still ruled by the King of England.
But then the Boston Tea Party happened
and we had the war against England, right?
Partly, but there were a lot of events
that led to America fighting for its independence.
England’s tightening rule began to
interfere with the colonists’ lives.
People would gather to share their frustrations.
In Plymouth, people would gather around me.
I was becoming a symbol for independence.
At this time, the colonists wanted
to move me to the center of town.
How would they get you there?
With a lot of help, that’s for sure.
A large crowd with a cart and twenty oxen
arrived to haul me into town.
But can you guess what happened next?
They couldn’t lift you because you were too heavy?
Oh no, they managed to lift me alright.
They wrapped me in chains, but as they were
lifting me into the cart, the chains broke
and I fell hard on the ground and split in two!
I was devastated but the colonists
saw this as a sign of wanting
to separate from England. They had the idea
of leaving a part of me here by the sea,
and taking my top half to Town Square.
So that’s what they did.
Play song #7: To Town Square (sample)