For Christmas, my wife got me the book, Stuff Every American Should Know, by Denise Kiernan and Joseph D'Agnese, published by Quirk Books in 2012. An early chapter addresses the question of what's the difference between a Pilgrim and a Puritan.
The Church of England was formed as part of the Reformation when Protestants were unhappy with the Roman Catholic Church.
A group of Protestants felt that the Church of England was not different enough from the Roman Catholic Church and wanted to purify it further, hence the name Puritans.
Some Puritans wanted to separate from the Church of England and form their own church, whereas others wanted to remain and reform the Church.
The Separatists made their way to Holland and continued to the New World and dubbed themselves Pilgrims while aboard the Mayflower. They believed they were making a pilgrimage to a better world and settled in Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts. The name originates from the Old French word "pelegrin," and ultimately from the Roman "peregrinus," meaning literally "a traveler through the fields."* Pilgrims are associated with the first Thanksgiving.
Ten years later, when anti-Puritan sentiment rose in England, the non-Separatists also fled to America and settled the Massachusetts Bay Colony and the city of Boston.
So, all Pilgrims are Puritans, but not all Puritans are Pilgrims.
Q: if April showers bring May flowers, what do Mayflowers bring?
"Take 'er easy there, Pilgrim." — John Wayne
This book (available on Amazon) has some fascinating tidbits that I will share in some upcoming blog posts. I recommend it.
American history is very alive in the lab.