mayflower


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Mayflower,

ship that in 1620 brought the PilgrimsPilgrims,
in American history, the group of separatists and other individuals who were the founders of Plymouth Colony. The name Pilgrim Fathers is given to those members who made the first crossing on the Mayflower.
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 from England to New England. She set out from Southampton in company with the Speedwell, the vessel that had borne some of the English separatists from the Netherlands back to England for the momentous voyage. However, the Speedwell proved unseaworthy, and the ships put back to Plymouth, where the Mayflower took on some of the smaller ship's passengers and supplies. The Mayflower, under the captaincy of Christopher Jones, then set sail alone on Sept. 16. After a two-month voyage the ship sighted land (Cape Cod) on Nov. 19. Some time was spent in selecting a suitable place for the colony, and on Dec. 26 the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth. Before landing, an agreement for the temporary government of the colony by the will of the majority was drawn up in the famous Mayflower CompactMayflower Compact,
in U.S. colonial history, an agreement providing for the temporary government of Plymouth Colony. The compact was signed (1620) on board the Mayflower
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. Much effort has been spent on the identification of the Mayflower. It is known that she was a wineship, of 180 tons burden, and presumed that she was of a type commonly used in that period. In 1957 a British group sponsored the voyage of a replica of the original Mayflower from Plymouth, England, to Plymouth, Mass. The vessel was given to the United States as an expression of international goodwill and remains on exhibit at Plymouth, Mass.

Bibliography

See studies by W. Charlton (1957), C. Gill (1970), and N. Philbrick (2006).


mayflower,

in botany, name for several spring-blooming plants. In England the hawthornhawthorn,
any species of the genus Crataegus of the family Rosaceae (rose family), shrubs and trees widely distributed in north temperate climates and especially common in E North America.
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 is called mayflower, or may; in North America the name is used for the trailing arbutustrailing arbutus,
 Mayflower,
or ground laurel,
one of the best-loved American wildflowers, said by Whittier to have been the first blossom seen on these shores by the Pilgrims (introduction to "The Mayflowers").
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, the hepaticahepatica
or liverleaf,
any plant of the genus Hepatica of the family Ranunculaceae (buttercup family), low, woodland, spring wildflowers of the north temperate zone, popular for wild gardens.
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, and an herb (Maianthemum canadense) of the family Liliaceae (lilylily,
common name for the Liliaceae, a plant family numbering several thousand species of as many as 300 genera, widely distributed over the earth and particularly abundant in warm temperate and tropical regions.
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 family). The latter, a common wildflower of northern forests, bears a cluster of small white blossoms and has many local names, e.g., Canada mayflower and false lily-of-the-valley. It is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Liliopsida, order Liliales, family Liliaceae.

Mayflower

ship that brought the founding Puritans. [Am. Hist.: Jameson, 313]
See: America

Mayflower

ship which brought Pilgrims to New World (1620). [Am. Hist.: NCE, 1730]

mayflower

of Massachusetts. [Flower Symbolism: Golenpaul, 633]

Mayflower

vessel of America’s pilgrims (1620). [Am. Hist.: Hart, 530]
See: Journey
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