Thanksgiving is approaching, and a nation with so much in common looks more divided than
ever. Let’s go back to an incredible, true story about the arrival of the Pilgrims, one that
demonstrates their will to survive, work together, and prosper, traits that became the
hallmarks of our nation. Here to tell us about this is author AK Patch.
HOW DOES THIS STORY BEGIN?
1. The Mayflower crosses the Atlantic in October 1620, leaving England two months
later than scheduled. They hit horrific storms. The 102 passengers are sick-sick and
packed within the ship. John Howland, 21 yrs. Old, and an indentured servant to John
Carver, goes up on deck during a storm and is thrown overboard. He’s able to grab onto
a rope hanging over the side. He plunges deep into the cold waters, but is able to grasp
the rope. The crews hauls him back aboard, and he survives the rest of the voyage to
WHAT HAPPENED TO JOHN HOWLAND AT PLYMOUTH PLANTATION?
2. John Carver becomes first governor of Massachusetts. Many parents die, leaving
children as orphans. Elizabeth Tilley loses her parents and relatives that first winter. 51
of the original 102 Pilgrims die that first winter. John Carver and his wife, childless,
perish also, leaving John Howland as Head of Household. He is absolved of his
indentured status and becomes a citizen with significant land holdings.
3. He marries Elizabeth Tilley at 17 yrs. old and an important American family is born. They
have ten children and eight-eight grandchildren (Wow). Millions of American are
descendants including Humphrey Bogart, Henry David Thoreau, Joseph Smith Jr., the
leader of the Mormon Church, Alec Baldwin and Sarah Palin.
4. They both live until the late 1600’s in a period of great expansion, but also great unrest
with the Native Americans in New England.
Why is this story Important?
1. It is well for us to remember that we are the progeny of people who took great risks
to create the country we have now. The nation is not perfect and we’re still learning,
but we a commonality as Americans. We all derive from these people who
emigrated from whatever country and fought to make a life here. We have more in
common than not, and we should celebrate this and offer thanks for our bountiful
2. A testament to their will to survive and our national commonality.
About Allan K. Patch:
Retired Navy Captain, historian, and author, Allan K. Patch’s family came over from England in 1623;
33 years before George Washington’s great grandfather came to the colonies. Allan grew up in
Plymouth, Mass with a family history that lead to his fascination with the heritage of our nation.
Allan earned a BS in biology from Boston College and a DMD from Tufts University. He then spent
over two decades in the Navy, deployed in both Navy hospitals and in active duty with the Marine
Corps and later in the Naval Reserve. His ‘Patches of History’ series brings us insights into the past
About Allan’s Books:
Allan Patch’s fast paced adventure novels bring history to life in the Delphi series. Passage at
Delphi is the first novel in the series exploring the confluence of the past, present, and future with
ordinary people tossed into extraordinary situations. Delphi’s Chosen continues the adventure…but
now the characters are volunteers rather than victims. He invites readers along for the thrilling ride
and explores the difference between heroism and celebrity in the context of past and present
culture. In the last book of the trilogy, JOURNEY FROM DELPHI, a climactic clash of past, and near
future forces, decides the fate the United States.
Passage At Delphi and Delphi’s Chosen are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and at
GO DIRECTLY TO AMAZON AND START READING THE FIRST BOOK PASSAGE AT DELPHI.
BE SWEPT UP IN THE ADVENTURE.