How Much Do You Know About the Mayflower?

By | November 1, 2018

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Visitors of the Mayflower II in Plymouth. (Photo by Essdras M Suarez/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

As kids, we learned about the Mayflower at an early age. It was, in fact, probably one of our first history lessons in kindergarten. We were told that the Pilgrims set sail from England aboard the Mayflower and they landed on Plymouth Rock just in time to have a great Thanksgiving feast with the Native Americans. Much of the story of the Pilgrims and the Mayflower has, however, been simplified and white-washed. What do we really know about the ship that carried the Pilgrims to the New World? You may be surprised at how little you know about one of the most famous boats in U.S. history. 

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The Mayflower was tiny by today’s standards.

Historians estimate that the Mayflower was approximately 100 feet in length and perhaps about 25 feet wide. By comparison, the average yacht today is about 300 feet long. The Mayflower had three levels, the main deck, a cargo hold and the gun deck. The ship also had three sailing masts. Taking on an ocean voyage in a ship as small as the Mayflower took a lot of bravery and skill.