About a year before the first Thanksgiving festival, in early November 1620, pilgrims landed at Cape Cod. In Mayflower, Nathaniel Philbrick recounts how pilgrims designed and signed the Mayflower Pact before landing at Provincetown Harbor. The Mayflower Compact fully notes that the pilgrims designed this secular alliance in such a way that they had an agreement on governance when they left the Mayflower. „Now, the only way to avoid this shipwreck and take care of our descendants is to follow Miche`s advice: do justice, love mercy, walk humbly with our God. To do this, we must be knitted as a man in this work. We must be entertained in fraternal affection; we must be prepared to depart from our abundance to provide for the needs of others; We must maintain a familiar business in a gentle, gentle and liberal manner. We must rejoice in each other, make conditions of each other our own, rejoice together, grieve, work and suffer together; Always before our eyes our Commission and our Community in work, our community as members of the same body“ (O`Connell, 1983, 32). A baby was born during the trip. Elizabeth Hopkins gave birth to her first son, Oceanus, on Mayflower. Another baby boy, Peregrine White, was born after Mayflower arrived in New England. It must have been a great challenge to give birth on a boat on the move, with so many people and so many seasickness.
After more than two months (66 days) at sea, the pilgrims finally arrived at Cape Cod on November 11, 1620. A few weeks later, they sailed the coast to Plymouth and began to build their town, where a group of wampanoag people had previously lived (a disease had killed most of them). The pilgrims lived on the boat for a few months, rowed ashore to build houses during the day and returned to the shuttle at night. Many people began to get sick from the cold and the water; After all, it was December! About half of Mayflower`s residents died this first winter from a kind of „general illness“ of colds, coughs and fever. Immediately after the approval of the Mayflower Pact, the signatories chose John Carver (one of the pilgrimage guides) as the governor of their colony. They called it Plymouth Plantation. When Governor Carver died in less than a year, William Bradford, 31, replaced him. Each year, the „politics of the civil body,“ made up of all adult men except naturalized servants, met to elect the governor and a small number of assistants. Bradford was re-elected 30 times between 1621 and 1656. In the early years Governor Bradford decided fairly precisely how the colony should be managed.
Few people have contradicted his one-man rule. When the colony`s population grew because of immigration, several new towns emerged. The wandering and increasingly dispersed population had difficulty participating in the court, as the government meetings in Plymouth were called. In 1639, deputies were sent to represent each city at other court meetings.