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Plymouth Colony

The Plymouth Colony was a British colonial venture in North America from 1620 until 1691. The first governing document of the colony was the Mayflower Compact, drafted and ratified by the first group of colonists aboard their ship, the Mayflower, as it lay off-shore. On December 21, 1620, 102 Pilgrims from the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock on the eastern shore of Cape Cod Bay in southeastern Massachusetts.

The first settlement of the colony was New Plimouth, later Plymouth, Massachusetts. By the end of that winter almost half of them were dead, including their leader John Carver. Thus began the one of the most well-intended, historically renowned, and yet strangely ill-fated colonial ventures in America. When the Massachusetts Bay Colony got its new charter in 1691 Plymouth ended its history as a separate colony.

William Bradford became governor in 1621 on the death of Carver, served for eleven consecutive years, and was elected to various other terms until his death in 1657. On March 22, 1621 the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony signed a peace treaty with Massasoit of the Wampanoags.