Some of the first immigrants to come to what is currently the United Sates of America were the English Pilgrims. The Pilgrims were English Separatists who decided to immigrate to present day America in the early to mid 1600’s. The Mayflower and the Speedwell were two of the very first ships to leave from England to the New World. Although both of these ships were set to sail together, the Speedwell developed dangerous leaks and had to be abandoned before crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Finally, on September 16, 1620, one hundred two men, women, and children boarded the Mayflower and embarked alone for the New World.
On this ship there were two main groups of people: the Puritans and the “strangers,” which refers to Pilgrims who joined the original Puritans at Plymouth Port. Although these two clusters of people had very different beliefs, they bonded together in the close confines of the ship. Once the Pilgrims arrived in present day America, some of the Puritans left to construct a new settlement, Massachusetts Bay Colony, while the remaining Pilgrims formed Plymouth Colony. The early Pilgrims faced many hardships such as Indian attacks, disease, and lack of adequate supplies. Though the first years in the New World were difficult for Pilgrims and Puritans alike, many survived and managed to lay a solid foundation for what would eventually become the United States of America.