Saturday, March 16, 2013

Plymouth Colony: A Love Story

John Alden and Priscilla Mullins were most likely the third couple to be married in the Plymouth Colony. The story goes that Miles Standish asked John to court Priscilla on his behalf and that Priscilla smiled demurely and asked John if he wanted to speak for himself.
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And he did.
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And he got the girl.
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Aw.
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The stuff of romance.
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Then there's the story of Humility Cooper. Humility came on the Mayflower in 1620, in the custody of her aunt and uncle Edward and Ann (Cooper) Tilley. She was little more than a year old at the time. When Edward and Ann died the first winter, Humility was sent back to England. There is no record that she ever married or had children.
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This intriques me. What if things had turned out differently for Humility Cooper? What if she had not gone back to England? What if she fell in love and married?
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Ah, the tales we could weave....
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And then there's Mary Chilton. In 1620, at the age of 13, Mary came with her parents on the Mayflower. Her father was one of the first who died after the ship had anchored off Provincetown Harbor. Edward Winslow's brother John had come to Plymouth on the ship Fortune in 1621. Sometime between 1623 and 1627, John Winslow married Mary Chilton.
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I can just picture Mary and her girlfriends rushing to the shore at the news that a ship had been spotted on the horizon! Mary would have watched the passengers disembark, her gaze landing on the handsome (of course he's handsome. It's my story!) fellow seated third from the back of the rowboat.
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I imagine she and her friend Priscilla (Priscilla and John A. were not yet married) giggled and batted their lashes at the newcomers...discreetly, of course. Maybe John A. was already in love with Priscilla by this time. What if John A. saw Priscilla giggling with Mary and his heart grew heavy?
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What if became worried that Priscilla might throw him over for one of the men who had just arrived? Oh, the torture! John Alden had hired on as a cooper on the Mayflower, never intending to stay in Plymouth. But given the choice, he decided to stay.

I submit that he fell in love.
Who knows the romantic intrigue that might have transpired in the months between these two couples, and the other unmarried men and women in the Plymouth Colony?
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Could it be possible that Constance Hopkins was a contender for John Alden’s affections? Constance came with her father Stephen, step-mother Elizabeth, brother Giles, and step-sister Damaris on the Mayflower in 1620, at the age of 14. Constance's future husband, Nicholas Snow, arrived on the ship Anne in 1623.
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Constance was probably one of the young ladies who stood with Mary and Priscilla when that first ship arrived. But she had to wait until Nicholas arrived in 1623. What if she thought she'd never have a chance at the happiness her friends were experiencing? It wasn't like there was a plethora of eligible bachelors (or bachelorettes) in Plymouth Colony.
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What fun to look at our forefathers (and mothers) as something other than the staid Pilgrims who gave us Thanksgiving turkey and dressing, and squash dressing, and pumpkin pie!
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Some of them were young, and optimistic, and longing for a wonderful life in a new land.
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A new life with the right man or woman by their side.
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If you'd like to look at the list of passengers on the Mayflower and weave a tale or two of your own, click here.
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Don’t forget to leave a comment to be in our daily giveaways!

Grand Prize – Kindle, drawn on April 1st
2nd Place Prize - $25 Amazon gift card
For each day you comment on CFHS, you’ll receive one entry in the Kindle and one in the $25 Amazon gift card giveaway. Comment on every post in the month of March and earn 31 entries!

***Also if you comment on this post, I am giving away an eCopy of Claiming MariahThanks for stopping by and have a blessed day.


BIO
Pam Hillman was born and raised on a dairy farm in Mississippi and spent her teenage years perched on the seat of a tractor raking hay. In those days, her daddy couldn’t afford two cab tractors with air conditioning and a radio, so Pam drove the Allis Chalmers 110. Even when her daddy asked her if she wanted to bale hay, she told him she didn’t mind raking. Raking hay doesn’t take much thought so Pam spent her time working on her tan and making up stories in her head. Now, that’s the kind of life every girl should dream of! Claiming Mariah is her second novel. www.pamhillman.com


56 comments:

  1. Great post, Pam, you helped put life into our forefathers/mothers. All I've ever thought about when it came to the Plymouth Colony was Pilgrims, Indians, Thanksgiving...thanks for opening up some 'what ifs'.....gets the imagination flowing. God bless.

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    1. Debbie, isn't it amazing the stories we can weave around historical figures given half-a-chance? lol

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  2. I hadn't thought of the romances etc and the wait. It would be cool to read a historical set at that time with a romance.

    I know when the first fleet arrived in Australia and there were a few boats. They had free settlers and a lot of convicts. When they arrived there was a lot of bad stuff happen which led to a lot of weddings. The male convicts were of the ship first and when they unloaded the female convicts they were not protected like they should have been. There were some who were able to fight of the advances and an aussie author Carol Preston has written a story starting with the arrival of the first fleet about 2 of these convicts who were able to stay safe and has written of the next generations.

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    1. Just reading your account of the events lets me know what a horrific time that had to have been for all those women. Convict or not, innocent or guilty, they deserved better than that. Grrrr, my mama bear protective nature is rising up...

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    2. Thanks Pam, it wasn't a good start. everyone thinks Australia started out as a Christian country and while there was some inpact it wasn't at that stage. The first pastor came with the first fleet and would have been a Church of England and was known as the flogging priest as he thought the convicts if they did something wrong needed flogging. We then with all the irish convicts had Catholic priests. It was later we became a Christan nation. We don't have that heritage America has which is sad.

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  3. I live near Jamestown VA and love historical books. RHONDA
    nashhall@aol.com

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    1. Rhonda, what an amazing place to live for research. Love visiting historical spots. Have to choose my travelling partners though.

      Dh and young adult boys scatter when I mention research trip. Why is that, I wonder? lol

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  4. I love your post! Thanks for the giveaway!
    bcrug(at)myfairpoint(dot)net

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    1. Connie, so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for stopping by. The CFHS31 authors are posting some amazing historical articles, aren't they? It's like being in a virtual history lesson every day. Right down my alley! :)

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  5. Pam, we visited Plymouth Colony when we were in New England. My husband's ancestors have been traced back to England and the Mayflower. I loved seeing it all and my imagination went wild with all kinds of scenarios of what might have happened in those days. You've put into words that really give insight into the time period. Thanks for bringing up those memories for me.

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    1. Martha, I remember visiting Charleston with dh and the boys when they were young. Of course they ran through everything like a whirlwind while I attempted to savor it. Those old homes drew me like a magnet. I entered the door, and BOOM!...I was transported immediately back in time....

      But then, I heard, "Mama! Mama! MOMMA!!!!!"

      Sigh.

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  6. Loved the info you shared. Thanks.

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  7. I love that I always learn something new on this site!

    Thanks for the opportunity to win books....

    Karen Schulz
    aregeetee5162 at yahoo dot com

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    1. The CFHS ladies love research and it shows! :)

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  8. Wow, I love the way you think! All the possibilities of romance of our forefathers! I love it.

    sherrinda (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Thanks Sherrinda. My imagination knows no bounds! lol

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  9. Love stories about the Pilgrims!

    Don't have an e-reader, but would like to be included in the grand prize drawing.

    bonnieroof60@yahoo.com

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    1. Bonnie, so glad you stopped by and commented! :)

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  10. Your story ideas do put a different perspective on the Pilgrims. I think most people give little thought to them as real people.
    may_dayzee (at) yahoo (dot) com

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    1. Kay, I agree 100%. It's hard to visualize such strong, determined, and God-fearing men and women as "real", isn't it?

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  11. Love your ideas about the Pilgrims. I never really thought about them in these ways. I am not a writer, but might even be able to try, with such wonderful suggestions :)
    bettimace(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Betz, many times common people in uncommon situations is what triggers my imagination. No, I don't write about them, but I take that situation and put fictional characters in that situation.

      Way too many ideas though to get them all written down! :)

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  12. It's interesting to realize the pilgrims were real people with feelings. This sounds like a great book. Thanks for having the giveaway.

    Rose
    harnessrose(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  13. I can't wait to read Pam's new release! I've heard it's wonderful.

    marissamehresman(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Marissa, thank you for such kind words. I've been so blessed by the reviews. I want people to close my books with a pleased sigh of contentment. :)

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  14. I do hope there was romance back then! The life seems to be wrought with heartache over so many people lost in the sickness...I also hope there were the Florence Nightingale stories too!!

    thanks for the chance to win...looks like a great book

    truckredford (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Glad you made it to CFHS today, Eliza. They did have it tough back then, didn't they? We've got amazing technology, doctors, medicine right at our fingertips. Amazing what all has been accomplished in the last 250+ years.

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  15. Hi Pam, It is hard to imagine that as hard as the pilgrims had it they would have time for romance but love makes the world go 'round! Since I'm a hopeless romantic I'm going to think that's the way it happened and not think about the not-so-good stuff! Thanks for the opportunity to win...Linda McFarland
    dmcfarl101(at)juno(dot)com

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    1. I agree, Linda. Let's just pretend those young ladies longed for and found a bit of romance in their lives. Yes, I've read plenty of true-life accounts of loveless marriages...but I've also read some true-life-true-love stories, too, so even in hard practical times in years gone by, romance could blossom! :)

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  16. Thanks for giving us this perspective of the pilgrims. I work at a school, part of the time with kindergarteners. Each year, we watch the Peanuts version of the Mayflower journey so the images that flash in my head when I think of pilgrims are of Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Snoopy, and friends!
    Claiming Mariah looks like a great book so I'd be very pleased to win your drawing. Thanks for giving away a copy.

    pmk56[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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    1. Pam K, I love Charlie Brown's Mayflower version. Watched it this past year visiting with my friend in the nursing home. Charlie Brown makes me smile...as he and his friends should. :)

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  17. oh, that was fun. I love to think about people in history and picture how their lives were. I have written a few short stories on some people, my own ancestors among them.

    Thanks for the post!

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    1. How fun that you just take an ancestor and write a story around them!!! I have an ancestor named Spicey Ann. No joke. I'd like to think she was quite a "spicey" character! lol

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    2. Thanks! That is funny. And my ancestors kind of make it easy on me. I learned that two brothers swapped wives!! No idea why, but it is a story just waiting to happen.

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    1. You're welcome, Melody. Thank you for visiting with us today.

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  19. I think it is interesting to read about who cam over on the Mayflower - it makes the history more personal

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    1. Digging into their past interesting, isn't it? You never know what you might uncover!

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  20. What a great scenario for a book series... The thoughts you put into what it was like and how the people arriving at the new world could only hope that God had someone in store for them in their new land.

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    1. I'm sure those girls had little choice but to come to the new world with their families, or as servants, but can you imagine how terrified they were? I just can't imagine!

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  21. Good evening, Ms. Hillman! :)

    My Mum and I uncovered more pieces of our past, whilst knitting together when one part of our family came to America, which happens to have been on her mother's side! They arrived on the Fortune, right after the Mayflower!! Which is why this particular nob of history you were revealing gave me a rekindlement of interest in knowing even more of my own ancesters and those that they might have encountered and spoken too, so very long ago! I did find out last year, that a very good friend of mine's relatives came over on the Mayflower, and that her family + mine were actually in the new colony around if not during the same time frame! Wouldn't it be keen, if they interacted with each other?! If perhaps, two girls like us, befriended each other!? History can repeat itself,...

    Please do not enter me in to the giveaway, as I was hoping it was for a paperback copy of *Claiming Mariah* as I've been following you on a blog tour hoping to win it!* I simply smiled whilst reading this and wanted to let you know 'why'...

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    1. Oh, Jorie, what fun that you and your mother researched your family history. Love it!

      And...I do wish there was a paperback copy of Claiming Mariah, but alas, it is only available as an ebook right now. BUT I hope and pray that it does go to print. That cover DESERVES to be immortalized in print. lol

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  22. Being 1/2 Irish, 1/4 Norwegian and 1/4 German, this intrigued me! How fun. My maternal grandmother came with her family from Norway when she was 16. She met and married my German grandfather; one of their daughters married my full Irish musical father. She was presented at a debutante ball ~ perhaps they became acquainted there. He did play beautifully on our Baby Grand piano! Actually, he told me she was the teller when he went into the savings and loan to refinance his spiffy car. Maybe she had noticed him before that. It was the custom that on Valentine's Day, a lady could send a gentleman a valentine ~ she did. She just happened to have the record of his address on file. By-the-way! Happy St. Paddy's Day, everyone!
    1/2-Irish Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House
    lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

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    1. Wow, loved reading this bit of genealogy about your ancestors. Amazing that you have that much information. Thanks for sharing! Loved how your mom sent your dad the Valentine. Priceless!

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  23. It's fun tot think about what ti would have been like back then! I would love to see it all however the invention/use of indoor plumbing is one thing I don't think I want to give up. :) tbaxter630[at]yahoo[dot]com

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    1. Me too! I like my AC in the summer, and heat in the winter, and that indoor plumbing ain't too shabby, either! lol

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  24. It IS fun to weave the stories of our ancestors! Thank you for the post. :)
    farmygirl at hotmail dot com

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    1. Sue, thanks for stopping back. Keep dreaming! :)

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  25. I loved your book Claiming Mariah!
    Lisa
    deiselbuffs@yahoo.ca

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    1. Thank you!!! So glad you enjoyed it! :)

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  26. I can only imagine there must have been some romance going on then, or the colony would have died out rather quickly! I am curious what romance looked like back then -- like, what things seemed romantic to a Pilgrim, or were romantic ideas considered to be worldly? Hmmm.... :)

    jimmynmatthewsmom [at] netzero [dot] com

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    1. Bethany, the Puritan's idea of romance was very prim and proper compared to what we would think of as "romantic". Just a glance could be construed as courtship, and heaven forbid a lady be in the room with a man other than her immediate family, let alone touch her! Horrors! :)

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  27. Would love to read claiming Mariah!! tammyredd@gmail.com

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  28. Thanks for stopping by, Tammy! Hope to see you in CFHS OFTEN! :)

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