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It Came on the Mayflower?

Most items brought on the Mayflower were practical. The Pilgrims probably relied on the advise in "Provisions lists" written by earlier settlers to Virginia. These lists gave the amount of clothing, tools, household implements and food that each colonist needed to survive for a year in America. Ironware, such as the Standish pot, is mentioned, as are swords and muskets. A sturdy chest, like the Brewster chest, would be a practical means of storage.




"Bring good store of clothes and bedding with you. Bring every man a musket... Bring paper and linseed oil for your windows, with cotton yard for your lamps." - Edward Winslow

Mayflower passengers had little space for purely personal possessions. They had to make hard choices. The Peregrine White cradle, the Brown tankard, the Allerton-Cushman cup, the Warren napkin - these are among the very few, but highly prized, private belongings that came on the Mayflower.

The Peregrine White cradle, c1620

According to tradition, Susanna and William White brought this cradle from Holland in anticipation of the birth of their child. Their son Peregrine, meaning "traveler" or "Pilgrim," was born on board the Mayflower in Provincetown Harbor in November of 1620. He was the first child born to the Pilgrims in America (Oceanus Hopkins was born during the Atlantic crossing). The hooded wicker cradle is typical of those made in Holland. Similar cradles can be seen in period paintings by Dutch artists. This cradle is a symbol of the Pilgrims' commitment to staying in America and raising their families.

What would you have brought?

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Pilgrim Hall Museum
75 Court St, Plymouth, MA 02360 | Phone (508) 746-1620