Congratulations to Carly Rich who is this year's regional and state winner of the Daughters of the American Revolution writing contest. Fifth grade students across the State of Maine wrote this year's essay on the Mayflower crossing. Click here to see Carly’s essay and hear her read it. She was scheduled to read her essay in Augusta as part of the the DAR state convention but because of the Covid-19 the event was cancelled. Join us in congratulating Carly on her wonderful writing. Thank you to Tina Runge who helped with the project.

Click here to see Carly read her Essay

Carly's Essay

My name is Mary Allerton. I was born in 1607 in Sandwich, England. My parents’ names were Mary and Issak. I have two siblings Barthomew (8) and Remember (6), and a servant John Hooke. My mother went to a secret burial. For that reason my family had to escape from the Church of England. My family, and many other Separatist families, sailed on the Speedwell from Leiden, Holland. That ship was not strong enough to take us on the long journey to the New World. We had to switch to the Mayflower.

         The Mayflower was a 100 foot ship with three gigantic masts. The sailors prepared supplies for over four months of sailing to and from Virginia Colony. They loaded barrels of beer, salted fish, fresh water, peas, oats, hard bread and tools. They knew the trip would be difficult  with terrible deathly waves, in the vast and stormy ocean. They did not know that this journey would take 66 days and land far north of Virginia Colony.

          I was terrified to leave my home and my friends -  never to see them again in my entire life. I can only bring one pack filled with 2 dresses, 2 bonnets, leather shoes, 3 shirts, 2 aprons, thick wool stockings, yarn to knit a sweater and hat, and one bar of soap.  After I took my first step onto the Mayflower, I felt ready for a new adventure. The sailors untied the ship and we sailed off into the ocean. Soon my stomach was turned upside down on the rough sea. I was seasick. I did have a little time to play with my friends and tell stories. Elizabeth Tilley and I shared responsibilities of washing dishes, changing diapers, serving beer, cooking, cleaning, and washing clothes.

All through the night I was constantly waking up hearing the waves crash onto the deck. My stomach was aching with starvation. Most people ate their food at night because they didn’t want to see all of the dirty filthy bugs on their food. People were getting sicker day after day with life threatening coughs and scurvy. There were rats and lice everywhere. Day and night all the smells made me nauseous.

I prayed for my family before bed and right when I woke up. My dad was worried all the time.  My mom was constantly crying because my dad was close to death. I did not bring herbs for sickness, a big warm blanket, or a pair of boots. I needed them. The only thing that's kept me going was the dream of freedom and a new life.

Many people were suffering, sick, wet, hungry, tired but prayed, sang songs, and continued to have hope. There was a terrifying storm on it’s way with fog, wind and rough seas. Sailors have to climb all over the rigging to pull down or hoist the sails. The rudder was most important for survival. We all wanted to end this journey and to land safely.

          After this storm, on day 66, I heard a shout  from the crow’s nest saying “Land Ho!”  My heart started to beat faster and faster with excitement. I burst into tears. We were getting off this ship! I Iooked up and saw a flock of birds. That means we were not too far from land. We were finally saved. I was so happy to end this journey, to safely reach the land of freedom and liberty.


I died in Plymouth Colony in 1699. I was the last survivor of all who sailed to the New World on the Mayflower in 1620.