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A Thanksgiving Quiz

1. What was Squanto's real name?

a. Tisquantum.

b. Hiawathasquan.

c. Squanto.

d. Mabotesquantimentocontik.


2. Who was considered the leader of the Pilgrim settlers whose ship, originally bound for Jamestown, North Carolina, wound up at Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts?

a. John Smith

b. William Bradford

c. William Brewster.

d. George Washington’s great-grandfather.


3. When was Thanksgiving proclaimed a national holiday? And by whom?

a. In 1628, by William Bradford as an amendment to the Mayflower Compact.

b. In 1754, by Massachusetts Bay Governor Adam Sussex, in his proposed Articles of Confederation.

c. In 1782, by George Washington, as one of his first executive orders.

d. In 1863, By Abraham Lincoln, after descendants of settlers lobbied him and Congress.


4. What were the religious people aboard the Mayflower called?

a. Pilgrims.

b. Puritans.

c. Separatists.

d. Fundamentalists.


5. How many of the 102 people aboard the Mayflower when it arrived at Plymouth Rock were religious Pilgrims?

a. 102.

b. 88.

c. 35.

d. 3.


6. Why did the Pilgrims draw up the Mayflower Compact (which provided standards of conduct and gave each person in the party a say in decision making)?

a. Because they had left England to avoid the monarchy and embrace democracy.

b. Because, as religious fanatics, they liked rules.

c. Because the non-Pilgrim majority of the Mayflower passengers forced it on them.

d. Because they were outnumbered and didn't want the non-pilgrim majority to determine their fate.


7. How did Squanto learn English?

a. He was abducted as a boy by a British Captain.

b. From a friendly English fisherman.

c. He was abandoned by his Native American parents and adopted by early settlers.

d. He took English classes at Oxford when he went back to England on the return trip of the first English fishing vessel to arrive on New England’s shores.


8. In what year did Americans start using the term “pilgrims” for the Plymouth settlers?

a. 1698

b. 1776.

c. 1870.

d. 1953.


9. How much of the food eaten at the First Thanksgiving was from the supplies brought over from England by the settlers?

a. None.

b. Some dry crackers.

c. The flour and salt used in baked goods.

d. All of it.


10. Which of the following American Indians DID NOT assist the Plymouth Rock settlers?

a. Hobomak.

b. Chief Massasoit.

c. Squanto.

d. Pocohantas.


11. When Squanto escaped from slavery in England and Spain after being abducted and managed to get a boat back to his home village of Patuxet, how many members of his village remained upon his arrival?

a. 0.

b. 10.

c. 100.

d. Thousands.


12. Besides the voyage taken by the Pilgrims, how many other times did the Mayflower bring passengers to the New World?

a. Zero.

b. Two.

c. Ten.

d. Dozens.


13. What eventually happened to the Mayflower after its final voyage two years after carrying the Pilgrims to New England?

a. It was taken over by Spanish mutineers.

b. After a couple years of commercial shipping, it was tied up in probate after its owner died.

c. The British captured it and burned it as a symbol of upstart Americans.

d. It sank in a storm at sea.


14. After first landing at Provincetown in New England, and sending out a boat to explore possible settlement areas, why did the Pilgrims choose the town of Plymouth to settle?

a. Because it had access to a port for shipping and trade.

b. Because it was already the developed Indian village of Patuxet which had been inhabited by Squanto's Algonquin tribe before they died of disease.

c. Because no American Indians had been there before and there were no claims on the land.

d. Because it was near the ocean and thus was not as cold as inland locations.


15. According to historians, roughly how many of the settlers in the Plymouth Rock colony married Native Americans?

a. None.

b. A few.

c. Some.

d. Many.


16. Of the many colors worn by the New England settlers, what color was “taboo”?

a. Purple.

b. Blue.

c. Orange.

d. Red.


17. What was the average age of the people on the Mayflower when it arrived at Plymouth Rock?

a. 19.

b. 32.

c. 44.

d. 57.


18. What did English biologist Charles Darwin say in 1839 about the European arrival in the New World?

a. Wherever the European had trod, death seems to pursue the aboriginal.

b. Among all of mankind, it is the European who is possessed of the strongest survival instinct.

c. What we are witnessing in the Americas is proof of my theories.

d. Why would anyone care what happens to unsuccessful people who ran off to the Americas to escape the inevitability of their fate at home?


19. Which of the following reasons WAS NOT a reason for settlers to settle in a particular place in New England?

a. Because it had never been inhabited.

b. Because they were invited by Indians hoping for protection against other Indians.

c. Because they were invited by Indians hoping for protection against other European settlers.

d. Because they purchased it from the Indians that were there.


20. What does historian Karen Kupperman say was the prime reason for the success of the Pilgrims’ early settlements in New England?

a. They had superior technology.

b. They settled on land that was already cleared and cultivated by American Indians who had died from diseases brought by the earliest settlers.

c. They were immune to the diseases of the New World.

d. They had guns and the Native Americans didn't.


21. What does historian William McNeil estimate that the population of the Americas was in 1492?

a. About 200,000

b. About 1 million

c. About 5 million

d. About 100 million.


22. What does historian William McNeil estimate that the population of Europe was in 1492?

a. About 200,000

b. About 5 million

c. About 70 million.

d. About 200 million


23. How many times had Squanto crossed the Atlantic before he eventually died in England?

a. None.

b. Two.

c. Six.

d. Forty-six.


24. How many of the original Mayflower passengers died in the first year of the Plymouth Rock settlement?

a. None.

b. A few.

c. Half.

d. All of them.





3-d. There’s no such person as Adam Sussex. Lincoln would have approved just about anything that made the Union seem more patriotic and united in the midst of the Civil War.

4-c. Puritans wanted to purify the Church of England, while Separatists wanted to separate entirely from it. There was a Puritan church in Leyden, Holland, as well, which the Pilgrim Separatists did not generally associate with because the Puritans thought the Separatists were too extreme.

5-c. Most of the non-Pilgrims were economic refugees from England who had hoped to start a new life in the tobacco trade in Jamestown which is where they were told the Mayflower was heading. But by either hijacking, trickery or by accident (historians disagree) the Mayflower ended up in New England.

6-d. Fortunately for the Pilgrims, the non-Pilgrims agreed to the Compact, thus assuring their survival as a religious faith in New England.


8-c. The term was invented by descendents of the Mayflower passengers.



11-a. They had all died of disease (the plague) between the time the first settlers arrived and Squanto was abducted and when Squanto returned from Europe.)

12-a. After transporting the Pilgrims, the Mayflower returned to commercial shipping.

13-b. After majority owner Christopher Jones' death, the ship sat in harbor slowly decaying while it was in probate. Jones gave his majority ownership of the ship to his widow, Josian, and in 1624 an inventory of the Mayflower was taken. It was described as being “in ruins” and broken up and sold for wood — an extremely valuable commodity in England at the time.

14-b. The Pilgrims took the buried corn, abandoned huts and other belongings of the dead Indians to supplement their meager supplies and early failures at growing crops and hunting.


16-a.       Purple was considered the color of English royalty and wealth which the Separatist settlers had left England to get away from.

17-b. The oldest Mayflower passenger was 57. Only five of the 104 Mayflower passengers were over 50 — and only 14 Mayflower passengers were over 40. About 60 passengers were between 20 and 40 years old. At least 30 passengers were under the age of 17.




21-d. About 20 million were estimated to live in what is now the continental United States.


23-c. Two of the crossings to Europe were as a slave after being abducted, one was just before the end of his life as a free man.


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