Pilgrims (Plymouth Colony)

The Pilgrims were the English settlers who came to North America on the Mayflower and established the Plymouth Colony in what is today Plymouth, Massachusetts, named after the final departure port of Plymouth, Devon. Their leadership came from the religious congregations of Brownists, or Separatist Puritans, who had fled religious persecution in England for the tolerance of 17th-century Holland in the Netherlands.

They held many of the same Puritan Calvinist religious beliefs but, unlike most other Puritans, they maintained that their congregations should separate from the English state church, which led to them being labeled Separatists. After several years living in exile in Holland, they eventually determined to establish a new settlement in the New World and arranged with investors to fund them. They established Plymouth Colony in 1620, where they erected Congregationalist churches.[1] The Pilgrims' story became a central theme in the history and culture of the United States.[2]

The Embarkation of the Pilgrims (1857) by American painter Robert Walter Weir at the United States Capitol in Washington, DC