The Boy Who Fell off the Mayflower

John Howland and Plymouth Colony

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June 1600
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June 7 (Wednesday)  
Religious Persecution

Religious persecution mounts and Separatist such as John Howland as the man to whom he is indentured begin looking for a safe place to worship separate from the Church of England. 

January 1601
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January 16 (Tuesday)  
John Howland Born

John Howland is born in Fenstanton, Huntingdonshire, England. 

August 1620
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August 5 (Wednesday)  
Early Trouble on the Speedwell

The Mayflower and the Speedwell depart Southampton for Virginia but the Speedwell cannot make the voyage and must stop at Dartmouth. 

September 1620
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September 16 (Wednesday)  
The Mayflower Departs Alone

The Mayflower departs alone from Dartmouth with John Howland and 101 other passengers plus crew bound for Virginia. 

October 1620
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October 1 (Thursday)  
Howland Overboard

John Howland is washed overboard during a storm at sea. He was able to grab on to one of the ropes attached to the Ship's sails and was miraculously rescued by the ship's crew. The members on board believe that God has great things in store for John Howland. 

November 1620
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November 9 (Monday)  
The Mayflower Sights Land

Mayflower spots land but due to bad weather is off course and north of the planned destination. 

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November 20 (Friday)  
The Mayflower Drops Anchor

The Mayflower drops anchor near Cape Cod. The Colonist begin to sign the Mayflower Compact which gives the separatist the right to practice their religion and creates equal laws for the settlers. John Howland's Master, John Carver, is chosen to be the New Governor. 

December 1620
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December 6 (Sunday)  
Departure Expedition

John Howland and few other brave men set out on cold journey on foot for Plymouth colony. The settlers see the Native Americans for the first time. 

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December 17 (Thursday)  
The Mayflower Anchors at Plymouth Harbour

The Mayflower finally reaches its destination, Plymouth.

April 1621
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April 1 (Thursday)  
John Carver Dies

John Carver, John Howland's Master and Governor of Plymouth Colony, survived the brutal winter that killed many of the settlers including Elizabeth Tilley's parents and brother but died shortly after of illness in April of 1621. Governor Carver's wife died shortly after and John Howland inherited most of the Carver estate. 

October 1621
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October 15 (Friday)  
The "First" Thanksgiving

Settlers hold an autumn celebration sometimes called the First Thanksgiving. The first official day of Thanksgiving was called by Governor Bradford in 1623 and was the first official Thanksgiving. 

November 1621
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November 15 (Monday)  
The Fortune Arrives

A second ship arrives at the settlement. John Howland wants to return on this ship to see his family now that he has completed his service. Elizabeth Tilley convinces him to stay. 

December 1623
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December 29 (Friday)  
John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley Marry

John and Elizabeth Tilley marry and in 1624 their first child, Desire, is born. 

February 1673
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February 23 (Thursday)  
John Howland Dies

John Howland died in Plymouth Colony at the age of 80 but never got to see his Mother again. He outlived every male passenger on the Mayflower with the exception of John Cooke, the son of Francis Cooke. Elizabeth Tilley lived 15 years longer and died in December of 1687. He and Elizabeth had a total of eleven children.  



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