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What we want you to know about the 2013 APUSH summer reading
MAYFLOWER: A Story of Courage, Community and War

Nathaniel Philbrick, 2006

Read the book in chunks. Give yourself the time to relax and sink into the 17th century.
Experience what the Pilgrims felt as they crossed the Atlantic and how they thought about life
upon their arrival. Put yourself in their shoes throughout the book. For your information, most of
this story is important to your understanding of early New England. Nevertheless, some of you
may want to skim the battle scenes in Part IV.
Philbrick uses the term "Indian" throughout the book. This is a harmful stereotype. Instead of
writing "Indian" on any quiz, test or essay throughout the course, please write Native American
or Native People. Better yet, use the person's tribal name such as Pokanokets or Mohawks.
Because not every concept, name and battle you read is important, we are offering this study
guide. Be able to explain the key characters and key concepts in 2-3 sentences, answer the
"specific questions," and discuss the "thought-provoking questions."
You do not need to write out or to turn the answers in on the first day of school; however, it is a
good idea to outline or write down your responses so that you will be able to answer the
questions, either in a class discussion or on a (open-note?) quiz/ test during the first two weeks.
Key characters:
William Bradford
Edward Winslow
Miles Standish

Key concepts:
Leiden, Holland
Saints and Strangers
Mayflower/ Plymouth - 1620
Mayflower Compact
First Thanksgiving

Tom Morton
Roger Williams
King Philip * (Metacom**)
Josiah Winslow
Benjamin Church
Samuel Moseley

Wessagusett 1623 attack

General Court
Pequot War 1637
Praying Indians
Half-way Covenant
King Philip's War - 1675-1676

Vocab: Sachem/ wigwam/ powwow/ wampum

* Philbrick spells the name with one L. Two Ls is a misspelling, as you will note on some Internet sites.
** Metacom is also know as Metacomet.

All page numbers refer to the Hardback copy of the book.

Specific questions
PREFACE - It's a good overview. It might be a great idea to read it again after you finish
reading the book.
(xiii) - "search for religious freedom?" What does Philbrick mean by this term? (see p.4). It's a
different concept than religious toleration, (see p.5).
PART I - Discovery
Chapter 1
(page 4) What did Puritans believe about the Church of England?
(4) What do the Separatists believe?
(5-6) What were the key purposes of the trip? (four possible answers)
(6-7) They were "knit together as a body in a most strict and sacred bond."...."It is not with us as
with other men whom small things can discourage..." What are the plusses and minuses
of this attitude?
(7) Maybe this definition of Pilgrims will help you remember who they are, as opposed to the
Puritans who arrive ten years later and settle in Boston?
(8) For the Pilgrims, they believed that what? gave them a direct and personal connection to God.
How do you think this will affect their beliefs and behavior?
(9) This page is important for theological information.
What is a congregation? What's the importance of knowing this concept?
What were the two covenants mentioned?
Who were the Saints?
Who were the Elect?
How was predestination seen as a positive force?
What was meant by conscience? this idea returns at the end of the book (358)
(12) "intense fellowship of righteousness" & (17) "held together by a strict and sacred bond."
What are the positives and negatives to this concept?
(33) What was the role of God for John Howland and the young sailor (30-31) and for the
(33) Their destination was supposed to be where?
Chapter 2
(35) What did Weston and others call the more northern site?
(41) Rev. J. Robinson anticipated what need? when creating a government?

What's a "civil" covenant?

(41) Who is NOT mentioned as being necessary in the decision-making process of the
"Mayflower Compact"?
(46) How does Bradford explain why half the people survived?
Chapter 3
(48) What's the irony of the title for Chapter 3 - Into the Void?
(48) Why was the bubonic plague so deadly? How many were affected?
What was the significance for the arriving Pilgrims?
(50) Why was the curling finger of land called Cape Cod? What's cod - be specific?
(52) What set Squanto apart from the other Native People? (3 key ideas)
Chapter 4
(56) What's the meaning of the title for Chapter 4 - Beaten with their Own Rod?
(56) When is "wash day" in your home?
(57) You are introduced to Captain Shrimp and his "martial pugnacity." (59) Why did they not
pick John Smith (of Jamestown fame)?
(64) Why were the Pilgrims more receptive to the ways of the New World, than perhaps any
other arriving European settlers?
(68) Wigwam - can you find a picture of a Wampanoag wigwam?
(73) How did the Pilgrims interpret the results of the First Encounter?
Could you have managed to survive the frigid temperatures? You must admire the tenacity of the
Pilgrims, if nothing else.
Chapter 5
(79) How did the Pilgrims interpret their discovery of the land already "cleared by the Indians"?
(87) What was the benefit of "burning the landscape"?
Chapter 6
In what ways did Squanto ingratiate himself with both the Massasoit and the Pilgrims?
(99) Note the 6 terms of the first written peace treaty between the English and the Native
Americans. Anything unusual?
Chapter 7
In an effort to better relations with Massasoit and the other sachems, how well did the Pilgrims
do? How does Standish's midnight raid fit in?
(105) "Memory holes" - what are they? Do you know about a similar system with the Australian
Aborigines called "songlines"? Does that suggest anything?
(117) Does the description of the "First Thanksgiving" match with what you remember about the
myth of Thanksgiving?
(119-20) Focus on these questions 1) How was it a remarkable year? 2) How DID the Pilgrims
survive? 3) What are New World concerns, differences and commonalities? 4) How did
Massasoit manage a comeback? 5) What's Squanto up to? (note how this last paragraph
acts as a transition to Part II)
PART II - Accommodation
Chapter 8
(128-9) Why was the Christmas Day confrontation a "crucial incident"? What's the big picture?

(130) What's the significance of the 8-foot high wall that surrounded Plymouth? (2 reasons)
Chapter 9
(146) Why did Philbrick include the story about Massasoit's typhoid scare?
(146-154-157) The Massacre at Wessagussett in 1623 - what are 6 conclusions?
PART III - Community
Chapter 10
(161) What happened in 1630?
(161) How many people lived in Plymouth at that time?
(161) Massachusetts Bay Colony grew to include which modern states?
(161) Rhode Island was a religiously tolerant colony, and was a haven for whom?
(162) How did a "mean-spirited fanaticism" rise up in the Pilgrims?
(163) Thomas Merton - how were his actions and beliefs so different from the Pilgrims'?
(163-4) What does Philbrick mean when he writes, "The Pilgrims had come face-to-face with a
figure from a future America"?
(164) In Morton's mind, who "were now the true savages"?
(164) What happened in 1624 and what's the significance?
(165) Why had Standish and his ideas become omnipresent?
(165) Why did communal (commun-ism) farming fail yet capitalism farming succeed in
(168) How did wampum revolutionize trade with the Native Americans?
(169) "Massasoit had entered into a devil's bargain..." Explain the plusses and minuses of such a
bargain for Massasoit.
(170) What was Roger Williams' influence on Plymouth?
(170) Roger Williams will found what colony?
(170) How different was the English concept of land ownership from the Native American's
(173) Why did so many Puritans arrive in New England during the 1630s?
(173) Why did Plymouth become "a backwater"?
(173) Note: The Puritans will become the Congregational Church.
(173) How did Bradford believe that Plymouth was "one small candle"?
(174) "Cambridge-educated divines" refers to the establishment of Harvard University in 1636.
You need to remember this fact. It's on nearly every AP USH test.
(175) The key difference between Pilgrims and Puritans is what?
(175) What is a General Court? What does it do?
(175) Who governs the Massachusetts Bay Colony?
(177) What's the Great Migration?
(178) Explain: "The Pequot War of 1637 was the Puritans' Wessagussett."
(178) What was one key difference between English and Native American concepts of warfare?
(180) What was the key purpose of the United Colonies of New England?
Chapter 11
(183) What were two immediate reactions in New England when England became a Puritan
country in 1649 with the British king's execution?
(185) What did Bradford think would be the "ruin of New England"?
(185) Referring to the chapter title, who was the "ancient mother"?
(186) What was Bradford's organizing principle behind each of the colony's new towns?

(186) What was the ecological and moral effect of homes and towns?
(191) What is a "Praying Town" and a "Praying Indian"?
(191) The Seal of Massachusetts is located on p. 181
(192) In what ways did Native Americans borrow or adopt ideas from the English and vice
versa? (4 ideas)
(194) In 1638, how did the English's legal system react to A. Peach's killing of a Native
American? (note how will this system will change by 1675?)
(195) "The Indians and English ....did the best they could to settle their differences." The
alternative was what?
Chapter 12
(198) What the purpose of the Half-way Covenant?
(198) Instead of the afterlife, what became the focus of the Pilgrims' children?
(199) The New England economy demanded more than farmers - such as? What are the
ramifications of this insight?
(199) What city became the key port and economic center?
(199) Why did Plymouth officials "set aside" Mount Hope Peninsula?
(200-1) By 1660, how had the English's perception of the Native People changed and vice versa?
(204) In what ways did the death of Alexander affect Philip?
(204) Note: The slow-burning fuse refers to the time between when Alexander died in 1662 and
the start of King Philip's war in 1675.
(205) Why did he become "King" Philip? How does the title affect his ego?
(206-7) How did pressures grow among English and Native Americans (5 key reasons)
(207) Why did Philip sell land after agreeing to a 7-year embargo?
(214) Why did Philip detest the new governor Winslow? (Imagine if they had liked each other
like their fathers had - or was that no longer possible?)
(215-8) Philbrick believes the colonists unintentionally "pursued economic prosperity at the
expense of the Indians" which caused King Philip to start the war. Or do you think it was
(221) What do the English fear after John Sassamon's death?
(223) How was the necessary "second witness" found? Was it done intentionally? If so, what do
you think of that tactic?
Chapter 13
Some of you love reading about battles and tactics; some of you don't. We tried to ask questions
which looked at the bigger picture.
(231) What was the purpose of dehumanizing the Native Peoples?
(233 - throughout the chapter) Welcome to Benjamin Church. What are his key characteristics?
Philbrick pays close attention to this fellow's actions. He will describe his actions for
the rest of the book. He evens ends the book talking about Church.
(238 - throughout the chapter) Welcome to Captain Samuel Moseley. What are his key
characteristics? He will describe his actions off-and-on for the rest of the book. He even
ends the book comparing Moseley with Church. There must be a reason why.
(249) What was the soldier's version of "predestination"?
(250) Church escapes the Pease Field Fight unharmed and to him, this was indisputable proof of
what? It also meant that he was one of the what?
(252) Based on the August 4 decision, all Native People were guilty and then what happened?

(252) - Think back to page 194 - why the big change in the colonists' justice system?
(253) For what three reasons were Native Americans sold as slaves?
(253) Why does this bother Church?
(258) By escaping capture three times and by fighting his way out of Plymouth Colony, Philip
was poised to do what?
Chapter 14
(259) What colonies were now engaged in King Philip's War? Which colony was not?
(261) What was Moseley's doctrine concerning Native Peoples?
(262) The burning of Springfield proved to many Puritans that what? (be precise)
skim the rest of the chapter if you are not interested in reading about attacks, battle plans,
savagery, death and gore. The key concept is that in the winter of 1675-76, the colonists
had blundered and were in retreat while the Native Americans gained strength.
Chapter 15
How would you summarize the action of this chapter in three or four sentences?
Terms that should be included are Philip, Mohawks, Mary Rowlandson, Praying
Indians, March 1676, Canonchet, Nipmucks, Ben Church
Chapter 16
(312-15) Church needs to find his own army. He did. Who were they?
(320) A more humane way to eliminate the Native People, other than killing them all, was to
make them what?, which could help the colonists pays for their war costs.
(321) Church, on the other hand, believed what? about the Sakonnets, Pocassets, Narragansetts,
and many Pokanakets.
(321) For Church, the highest priority was to do what?
(323) "The better side of the hedge" refers to what concept?
(331) How did Church treat his prisoners at Bridgewater?
(332) Plymouth Colony lost close to % of it men compared to America's loss of % in World
War II. Meanwhile, the Native Americans lost somewhere between % and %.
(332) How was the winner of the King Philip's War determined? (this will be true of nearly all
the wars we will study in US History.)
(337) What happened on August 12, 1676?
(342-3) How did Church treat Annawon and his fierce warriors after their surrender?
(344) On the other hand, Massachusetts Governor did what?
(345) 56 years after the sailing of the Mayflower, what had the Pilgrim's children done? (2 ideas)
(345) It was a "Pyrrhic victory for the colonists." Why?
(346) Why did King Philip's war lead, not to peace, but more frontier attacks?
(347) "By forcing the English to improvise...." What's the major point of the paragraph?
(347) By the midpoint, what issue forced the "Indians and the English" to reevaluate their
attitudes to one another?
(347-8) How does Philbrick blame Philip for the war?
(347-8) How does Philbrick blame Winslow for the war?
(348) What was the key lesson for all of us to remember?
(354) Thanksgiving holiday was established by whom and in what year?
(356) North Americans declare Thanksgiving as a Day of what? and observed where?

(357) Who is the new American type? Why does Philbrick consider Church to be a "truly
archetypal American"?
(358) Compare the Moseley and Church way of dealing with "a world suddenly gripped by terror
and contention." This quote can only be found in the hard copy. See below for the entire
paragraph, which was curiously replaced in the paperback.
(358) "Conscience," Church repeated with a smile. "Then the war is over, for that was what they
were searching for, it being much wanting." Philbrick included this idea about the old
Native American man as his last thought in the book (and on page 9). What was his
This is the annotated bibliography style. It allows Philbrick to include more of his own thoughts.
For example, the first entry allows him to criticize Americans for being obsessive about
knowing the myth but not the reality of our national origin.
Bonus question: Approximately how many resource entries did Philbrick read in order to write
this book? Can you figure out how he kept track of all his ideas?
* The story of the Pilgrims is "a 55-year epic that is at once tragic and heroic and still
carries meaning for us today." Explain.
* What were the Pilgrims' and Native Americans' values, goals and aspirations before
1620? (this answer is not found in one page, but over many chapters.)
* Why do you think Philbrick took seven chapters to describe the Pilgrim's first year?
* In what ways did both groups change in the first 20 years of their coexistence? by the
end of the century?
* Why did the proposed "Pan Indian Confederation" fail yet the "United Colonies of New
England" succeed?
* "As long as both sides recognized that they needed each other, there was peace." Why
did the next generation of leaders see things differently, which led to war?
* What are the three key differences between the Pequot and King Philip's wars?
* "The story of Mayflower still has much to teach us." Explain.
* "That crucial half-century, from 1620 1676, began in peril, ended in war and contained the
seeds of what would come to define America." Explain "the seeds."
* In what ways was "Mayflower" a story of courage, community and war?
* Why was B. Church's values highlighted in the last few chapters?
* Is the old saying true in the case of the Pilgrims and the Native People, "might make right"?
* "...discovery, accommodation, community and war - a pattern that was repeated time and time
again as the US worked its way west and ultimately out into the world." During the
year, let's find out if his thesis is true.
* (348) That it could be so quickly forgotten by their children remains a lesson for us today."
Something odd happened between the first printing of Mayflower in hard cover and the first printing
of Mayflower as a paperback. Why do you think one paragraph was edited so drastically?

On page 358, this paragraph appears in the hardback.

There are two possible responses to a world suddenly gripped by terror and
contention. There is the Moseley way: get mad and get even. But as the course of King
Philip's War proved, unbridled arrogance and fear only feed the flames of violence. Then
there is the Church way. Instead of loathing the enemy, try to learn as much as possible
from him; instead of killing him, try to bring him around to your way of thinking. First
and foremost, treat him like a human being. For Church, success in war was about
coercion rather than slaughter, and in this he anticipated the welcoming, transformative
beast that eventually became - once the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution
were in place - the United States of America.
In the paperback version, same page, the above paragraph disappears and now reads:

Early in the war, Church railed against the Plymouth officials' decision to enslave
the Indians who surrendered at Dartmouth. But by the end of the war, as he relentlessly
pursued Philip through the swamps of Plymouth Colony, he had become New England's
premier slave catcher. Late in life, Church remained proud of his role in bringing an end
to the fighting. But unlike the Puritan historians and other memorialists, such as Mary
Rowlandson, who saw the ultimate course of the conflict as inevitable and just, Church
had his doubts - and therein resides whatever promise this story holds for the future of
* There are two ways to look at "a world suddenly gripped by terror and contention." (p.358
hardback book). Although Philbrick mentions King Philip's war, what might the quote really
suggest about an incident in the 21st century? Remember, this book was printed in 2006.