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Adventures of a time-traveling freelance hussy

Pilgrim Sex
and Other Thanksgiving Pleasures

Ah, that subtle curve of a black wool stocking, the saucy shine of a shoe buckle...pilgrim lust...did it exist? There may have been damn good reasons they called each other Good.

Let me take you back...back into the past of this fairly young country, to a time when a new population began their lives, their farms and families in and around the Plymouth, Mass. area after fleeing religious persecution.

According to Wikipedia - 

Pilgrims is the name commonly applied to early settlers of the Cape Cod in present-day Plymouth, Massachusetts. Their leadership came from a religious congregation who had fled a volatile political environment in the East Midlands of England for the relative calm of the Netherlands to preserve their religion. Concerned with losing their cultural identity, the group later arranged with English investors to establish a new colony in North America. The colonists faced a lengthy series of challenges, from bureaucracy, impatient investors and internal conflicts to sabotage, storms, disease, and uncertain relations with the indigenous people. The colony, established in 1620, became the second successful English settlement in what was to become the United States of America, the first being Jamestown, Virginia, which was founded in 1607. Their story has become a central theme in United States cultural identity.

Now, don't get me wrong, these folks were pious and followed their heartfelt religious laws and commandments, but there are always other things involved.  At least...wherever you find humans procreating, you'll find oddities and fetishes. But, considering the Pilgrims favorite source for carnal law was Leviticus, it's no wonder for the most part, they stayed true to the biblical commands.  Death was the inevitable end result for those disobeying the laws regarding lust.  Bestiality, homosexuality, etc.  The final curtain was drawn and it was death. 

A bit rigid for most tastes, even in those days, but it seemed to work for the Pilgrims.  Or did it?

Nope, it didn't.  Only one execution ever took place and that was a keystonecopian tragedy of the best kind, involving a young man's testosterone-driven behavior, a number of sheep and possibly other farm animals and a hanging.  Not a pretty picture, but it stands alone as the only execution for lustful acts seen in that area. 

Lustful acts brought harsh punishments, whipping, beating, public displays of guilt, stocks and other undesirable practices. Life and lust were not part and parcel of every day.  One had to push the lustful thoughts from one's mind, in and effort to be less corrupt on this very corrupt earthly plane...yes yes.  We get it.  Purity, pioty, and prudence.

Not completely.

A few women were known to dally with a local native or two and each faced whipping or the stocks, etc.  

"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."       see

It was the babies and pregnancies that ultimately outed at least the guilty woman.  No hiding that result.  The timing of a birth told the tale. 

As with any society, short of the most militant and brutal, there were pilgrims who could not or would not follow the laws of their community and their god.  They were the fringe of their time.  They lusted and likely paid for their "crimes" in some way.

Nathaniel Hawthorne had plenty of fodder for his Scarlet Letter.


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