How Many Pilgrims Were Aboard the Mayflower?

many-pilgrims-were-aboard-mayflower Credit: Stephen Saks/Photolibrary/Getty Images

In Sept. 1620, 102 Pilgrims departed England on the Mayflower bound for Virginia, where they planned to begin a colony. After traveling for 66 days, they made landfall at Cape Cod, near the present-day Provincetown and more than 600 miles from their intended destination.

The English Pilgrims' journey began in 1608, when they were forced to go to Holland because their religious beliefs conflicted with those of the Church of England. By 1620, the Pilgrims decided to return to England, intending to secure passage to America.

From the start, the journey encountered problems. The group left Southampton aboard two ships, the Mayflower and the Speedwell, but were forced back when the Speedwell began leaking. A second effort went awry when the Speedwell again leaked, and the unfortunate Pilgrims again returned to port. Finally, the Mayflower began its long journey with 102 Pilgrims aboard.