Created by Bob Helmbrecht, collection development librarian
Four hundred years ago today, on September 16, 1620, 102 people set sail on the Mayflower. They left Plymouth, England, with the intention to settle in Virginia. Bad weather drove them off course, however, and they landed and settled at Cape Cod. We tend to think of the Pilgrims as all Puritans seeking religious freedom, but there were also political radicals, and entrepreneurs seeking to make their fortune in the New World. You can learn more about the Mayflower’s voyage, and the stories and legacies of its travellers, in many books in the library’s collections.
- “The Journey to the Mayflower: God’s Outlaws and the Invention of Freedom” by Stephen Tomkins
An authoritative and immersive history of the far-reaching events in England that led to the sailing of the Mayflower.
- “A Stranger Among Saints: Stephen Hopkins, the Man Who Survived Jamestown and Saved Plymouth” by Jonathan D. Mack
The fascinating story of Stephen Hopkins, perhaps the most important person on board the Mayflower when it sailed from England in 1620. He was the only member of the expedition who had been across the Atlantic before, as a survivor of the colony at Jamestown.
- “They Knew They Were Pilgrims: Plymouth Colony and the Contest for American Liberty” by John G. Turner
An ambitious new history of the Pilgrims and Plymouth Colony, published for the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s landing.
- “Mayflower Lives: Pilgrims in a New World and the Early American Experience” by Martyn J. Whittock
A fresh and revealing history of one of the most seminal events in American history as seen through 14 diverse and dynamic figures.
- “The Mayflower: The Families, the Voyage, and the Founding of America” by Rebecca Fraser
Draws on contemporary documents to examine the lives of an ordinary family, the Winslows, made less ordinary by their responses to the challenges of the New World after their passage on the Mayflower.
The Pilgrims were entrepreneurs as well as evangelicals, political radicals as well as Christian idealists. “Making Haste from Babylon” tells their story in unrivaled depth, from their roots in religious conflict and village strife at home to their final creation of a permanent foothold in America.
- “Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War” by Nathaniel Philbrick
From the perilous ocean crossing to the shared bounty of the first Thanksgiving, the Pilgrim settlement of New England has become enshrined as our most sacred national myth. Yet, as author Philbrick reveals, the true story of the Pilgrims is much more than the well-known tale of piety and sacrifice; it is a 55-year epic.
- “The Mayflower Papers: Selected Writings of Colonial New England” edited with an introduction and notes by Nathaniel Philbrick and Thomas Philbrick.
The rare and fascinating documents gathered in this volume offer vivid glimpses into the experiences of early New England and the beginnings of what would become the United States.