In the media | NRC Weekend

Nuanced Pilgrim Fathers celebration in Rotterdam

by Marjolein Kooyman

(translated to English by Delfshaven400)
400 years ago the Pilgrim Fathers left Delfshaven. The municipality is spending 350,000 euros for the celebration of this ‘hot issue’.
On July 22, 1620, on the sandbanks in the open water in front of Delfshaven (where Schiemond was later built), eleven women, sixteen men and nineteen children boarded the Speedwell for the crossing to America. This boat turned out to be so rickety that it barely reached the coast of England. There, the company was forced to switch to the larger Mayflower to cross the ocean. Five months later, these Pilgrim Fathers reached Massachusetts in the United States.

Ideologically, the pilgrims played an important role in the creation of the current US. Their beliefs, such as the separation of church and state, form an important basis for the American constitution. Various American presidents including Obama, the Bushes and Roosevelt are descended from them.

“The story of the Pilgrim Fathers has two sides. It is the story of individuality. Defending your culture and your faith. But also of dominance, domination, predatory and exploitation.” – Ted Poot, chairman stichting Pilgrim Harbour

Read the whole article (in Dutch) on


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