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Mayflower, Day by Day - Monday, 28 December 1620

28 Dec 2020 2:41 AM | Soule (Administrator)

At anchor, Plymouth harbour

The Master of the ship, with three or four of the sailors and several of the Pilgrims, went on land: “We marched along the coast in the woods some seven or eight miles, but saw not an Indian nor an Indian house; only we found where formerly had been some inhabitants, and where they had planted their corn.”  Bradford noted that the Indians’ “skulls and bones were found in many places lying still upon the ground,” since there had not been sufficient people to bury them when they had died several years earlier; they were now eerie, bleached testimony to the epidemic -- the sight must have been chilling. “We found not any navigable river, but four or five small running brooks of very sweet fresh water, that all run into the sea. The land for the crust of the earth is a spit's depth, excellent black mould, and fat in some places, two or three great oaks but not very thick, pines, walnuts, beech, ash, birch, hazel, holly, asp, sassafras in abundance, and vines everywhere, cherry trees, plum trees, and many other which we know not. Many kinds of herbs we found here in winter, as strawberry leaves innumerable, sorrel, yarrow, carvel, brooklime, liverwort, watercresses, great store of leeks and onions, and an excellent strong kind of flax and hemp. Here is sand, gravel, and excellent clay, no better in the world, excellent for pots, and will wash like soap, and great store of stone, though somewhat soft, and the best water that ever we drank, and the brooks now begin to be full of fish.” The party came aboard at night, “many being weary with marching.”

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