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Mayflower, Day by Day - Wednesday, 30 December 1620

30 Dec 2020 2:56 AM | Soule (Administrator)

At anchor, Plymouth harbour, many ill

After service the colonists decided to go ashore this morning and determine upon one of two places which were thought most fitting for their habitation.  “After we had called on God for direction, we came to this resolution: to go presently ashore again, and to take a better view of two places, which we thought most fitting for us, for we could not now take time for further search or consideration, our victuals being much spent, especially our beer. After our landing and viewing of the places, so well as we could we came to a conclusion, by most voices, to set on the mainland, on the first place, on a high ground, where there is a great deal of land cleared, and hath been planted with corn three or four years ago, and there is a very sweet brook runs under the hillside, and many delicate springs of as good water as can be drunk, and where we may harbour our shallops and boats exceedingly well, and in this brook much good fish in their seasons; on the further side of the river also much corn-ground cleared. In one field is a great hill on which we point to make a platform and plant our ordnance, which will command all round about. From thence we may see into the bay, and far into the sea, and we may see thence Cape Cod.”  It is interesting to note the “voice vote” -- probably calling out names and asking for a choice (as opposed to a written ballot), rather than using the equivalent of an applause meter.  The site known as Plimoth, and Cole’s Hill in particular, was chosen.  A considerable party went ashore and left twenty of their number there on the hill to make a rendezvous, the rest returning to the Mayflower at night, “resolving in the morning to come all ashore and to build houses.”  “Our greatest labour will be fetching of our wood, which is half a quarter of an English mile, but there is enough so far off.  What people inhabit here we yet know not, for as yet we have seen none.”

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