The Separatists

By Lynn

Most people call Separatists Pilgrims, since the name Pilgrim means anyone who travels far away from where they live, for a religious reason. Separatists were people from England who came to America because they wanted to pray to God in their own ways, not the King's way.


The Separatists, when living in England, spoke English, but moved to Holland for religious freedom. There everyone from Holland spoke Dutch. The Separatists wanted their children to learn their original language, so about 12 years after they came to Holland they moved to America (a part "owned" by England). There they learned and spoke English. Everyone that wrote and spoke English back in those days wrote in cursive or a fancy way of writing print.


The Separatists ate corn, corn bread, plain bread, turkey, wild geese, and berries. The Native Americans taught the Separatists how to grow corn, find berries, how to hunt better, and where good fishing places were. Separatists made houses mostly out of the wood from the trees in the forests. Most people around the time of the 1620's walked or rode on horseback, and that is just what the Separatists did. For toys most of the kids would make dolls from their mother's clothes scraps.


The Separatists were Christians, but they did not like the ways the King made them worship to God so they moved to Holland. A little while later they moved to America where people spoke English, but they still could pray their own way. The Separatists would pray before meals to thank God for their food, and before they went to bed thanking him for anything that was wonderful that happened that day.


The government the Separatists started was called the Mayflower Compact. It was an agreement. In this agreement it said all the laws Plymouth would have would be fair to all. They would not have a king to rule you, but they would have a governor to make decisions and to run things, but he couldn't boss people around like a king. This governor was William Bradford. This was the first government in America to say you couldn't rule others.


The way people would choose jobs is they would have a town meeting and talk about jobs there or, they would just do what they do best. The common jobs a person could do are a farmer, a cook, a doctor, or someone who tends to the animals.


The main holiday the Separatists celebrated is now called Thanksgiving. This holiday started around Nov. 9 1621 (and we still celebrate this holiday today). It was a feast between the Separatists and Chief Massasoit and his tribe. This holiday was to be thankful for the harvest and to have a good and healthy life.

The Books I Used For This Report are:

Vivian Bernstein, America's Story, 1995

R. Conrad Stein , The Pilgrims, 1995

Herbert H. Gross, Follett Social Studies ,1980

Dwight W. Follett, Robert E. Gabler, William L. Burton, Ben F. Ahlschwede, The Americans


Student index