The Mayflower pilgrims, Puritan separatists forming the congregation of William Bradford, landed on Cape Cod in November 1620. Their party including several ‘Strangers’, sent along by the expedition’s backers to provide necessary survival skills for the new colony. Within a few days, they moved to a more favourable settlement location, on the site of an abandoned Indian village, christening it Plymouth. After an initial fracas on the Cape Cod peninsula, their relations began well with the local native population and they formed an alliance with a local chief. Within a year half the settlers were dead of hunger or disease, and the killing of two Indian leaders by the colonists’ military specialist, Myles Standish, ended cordial relations with the tribes. However, from late 1621, new settlers began to arrive regularly, and the smaller neighbouring colony of Wessagusset was also incorporated. By the end of the decade, settler numbers had swelled to 300.
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