A Mayflower Descendant Remembers Her Ancestors And The Faith Of Her (And America's) Fathers
12/10/2020
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Re: Tell Us Your Stories! We Are Not A Nation Of Immigrants. Honoring 400 Years Of The Mayflower Compact

From: An Anonymous Mayflower Descendant [Email her]

I am humbly grateful to be a descendent of Degory Priest, a Mayflower Pilgrim who arrived in Plymouth in 1620. Sadly, he died after only two months in the new land. Degory was part of the Leiden contingent, a hat maker from London who married Sarah Allerton, sister of another Pilgrim. My son is a descendent of three Pilgrims: Degory Priest, William Brewster and William Bradford. He has a better understanding of what this nation is about as he has learned of his heritage.  

Considering the difficulty the Pilgrims faced just for wanting to worship God in a manner they thought to be right and the sadness they must have felt when leaving their kindred, businesses and country gives me pause and fills my heart with praise for their courage. I want to draw upon their strength at this time in history when Christians are being persecuted, where our liberty and Constitutional rights are under assault and where corruption abounds.  

I wonder what Degory Priest would do under the current circumstances in the U.S. if he were alive today. Would he suggest that we fight the tyranny, risking everything, or sail away to a new land? Would he band together with others of like minds and secretly defy government mandates in order to worship God or to support his family?  

It wasn’t until I lived overseas that I finally truly appreciated America and its greatness. I spent over seven years in Europe and I returned to the US a changed person, more grateful for our country and freedoms. America is exceptional in every way and a light to the world. It is a nation of people willing to help one another and give generously of their time, talents and treasure. As I work with charities,  I was pleased to learn that the roots of philanthropy in our country go all the way back to the Pilgrims because they had to lean on each other to provide the things they needed, since they did not have a government to turn to. I praise them for establishing the stellar tradition of American philanthropy, which to this day cannot matched by any other country.  

This precious nation was founded by people willing to risk it all. I wonder if are we willing to do the same? At this time, it appears America is headed toward ruin and people are turning against the Pilgrims and Founding Fathers, but like my ancestor Degory Priest, I will trust in God above all and do what I can to support liberty and justice for all. I urge all Americans, young and old to learn from the example of the Pilgrims and respect their courage, faith and commitment.  I believe that if we can trust in the founding principles of this country, especially the Constitution and recognize that our rights come from God and not from government, American will endure for future generations. May it so be.

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