Those Naughty Pilgrims
Excerpt From the History Book Club review of "The Times of Their
Lives: Life, Love and Death in Plymouth Colony," by James Deetz and
Patricia Scott Deetz in November 2000:
"The chapter that is likely to attract the most attention deals with
sexual impropriety in Plymouth. Theres the case of Thomas Granger, a 16- or
17-year-old servant, who was hanged in 1642 for buggery, by which the Pilgrims
meant sex with animals. Apparently, Granger had carnal knowledge of a mare, a
cow, two goats, five sheep, two calves, and, believe it or not, a turkey. All
of Grangers barnyard beloveds were killed before his eyes before he himself
was executed. [Where was PETA when we needed them?]
"On page after page, the Deetzes dispel the image of the Pilgrim
Fathers and Mothers as models of godliness and self-control.
" *In 1637, John Alexander and Thomas Roberts were found guilty of often
spending their seed one upon another.
" *In 1639, Mary Mendame was convicted of committing adultery with
Tinsin, an Indian, and was condemned to wear a badge that read AD (short
for adultery) on her sleeve as long as she lived in the colony.
[Nathaniel Hawthorne, call your agent.]
" *In 1652, Katheren Winter was found guilty of sleeping with her
stepfather, James Turner.
" *In 1685, Hannah Bonny gave birth to a mixed race child; the father
was a black man named Nimrod."
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