December 21, 1620

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Scaramouche, Dec 21, 2018.

  1. Scaramouche

    Scaramouche Student of the Columbian Exchange Supporting Addict

    Sep 15, 2015
    After banging around Cape Cod Bay for more than a month the Mayflower set a shallop ashore amidst gale-force winds and stormy seas, two anchors out the Mayflower wasn't able to disembark that gang of intrepid Pilgrims for another two days. We know they were inside Plymouth Harbor and were thankful to be on solid land. What was the first thing they stepped on was secondary to it being solid ground, hence the cultural icon and myth of Plymouth Rock.


    When I was a kid the family visited Plymouth Rock and we had ice cream cones.


    In 1741 the 95 year old Thomas Faunce, a life long resident of Plymouth, Mass was on a mission when he asked to be carried in a litter to the town's waterfront. Faunce has heard that a pier was going to be constructed over a undistinguished rock at the high tide line near Town Brook. He explained once at the site that his Daddy who had arrived in Plymouth in 1623 had told him that the boulder was where the Pilgrims first landed.


    In 1769 a group of Plymouth locals started the Old Colony Club so they had a centralized place to drink, party hardy and get through them long New England winters without killing themselves. They also designated December 22 as Forefather's Day (splitting the difference between when the scouting party landed and when the main group on board the Mayflower came ashore) celebrating the landing of the "Pilgrims on the Rocks".


    As time went on and because the Massachusetts Bay Colony was the hot bed of the American Revolution the group soon disbanded into factions of Loyalists and Sons of Liberty. Meanwhile despite Mr. Faunce's sworn testimony a pier had been built, though a small portion of the rock he claimed was the stepping stone of America still poked out from the solid built structure.


    So on Founder's Day 1774 Colonel Theophilus Cotton and his Army Engineers yanked the rock out of it's crypt. As they attempted to load the rock on a wagon they dropped it and it broke in half, a useful metaphor at the time as the wags insisted it was a clear portend of the coming split of the American colonies from Britain.

    A side note: Colonel Cotton, a member of the Sons of Liberty, commanded a rebel unit on the day of Concord and Lexington, he repeatedly did not take his unit into action before, during or after that opening day of the American Revolution. In his favor it should be stated he did take an active role in the Siege of Boston. He was an ardent American patriot and many feel the events of history moved to quickly for him to grasp his need to seize the moment.


    Cotton and his men left the bottom of the Rock in the ground, and hauled the other piece to the town square, where they deposited it beside a newly erected Liberty Pole.

    Plymouth Rock cover_GC.JPG

    Since that time the Rock has been moved, history rewritten and if you go today the Rock is back to where it was, or close to where it was when Tom Fraunce said it was.


    Last edited: Dec 21, 2018
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  2. nmbuzz

    nmbuzz Livin Large

    Apr 9, 2013
    Great post Mouch. What flavor ice creme?

    Of note: If the rock is back in the same spot it doesn't seem like the seas have risen much in 400 years.
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  3. Scaramouche

    Scaramouche Student of the Columbian Exchange Supporting Addict

    Sep 15, 2015
    Don't remember the ice cream, but I do remember the rock looked different and us all be mildly underwhelmed. My Dad pointing to the higher ground covered by homes as the original settlement site and us being to young to appreciate his point.
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  4. isialk

    isialk Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Jan 7, 2017
    Thanks for the interesting post scaramouche.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  5. 7.62Kolectr

    7.62Kolectr On guard

    Jun 6, 2018
    Cool post. Thanks for the history and pics.
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  6. limbkiller

    limbkiller Pulling my hair. Supporting Addict

    Aug 18, 2011
    Great post Mouche.
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