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“Plymouth Witness to the Civil War”
PIDC Changing Exhibition Gallery, Pilgrim Hall Museum
May 17 – December 30, 2014
Exhibit Reception, May 17, 5-7 p.m.

Plymouth Witness to the Civil War focuses on a remarkable collection of letters in the archives of the Pilgrim Society written by Private William S. Robbins (1843-1920) of Plymouth. The letters tell of his experiences during the war—his connections to family back home, his trials in camp and on the battlefield. Seventeen years old at the start of the war, Robbins was working as a clerk in Plymouth. In February 1862, he enlisted with a group of 20 other men from Plymouth and was mustered into the 32nd Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. The central storyline of Private Robbins’s experiences is supplemented by Civil War artifacts from the collections of Pilgrim Hall Museum and other organizations.

"Plymouth Witness to the Civil War" is generously sponsored by Eastern Bank

Pilgrim Hall Museum’s 190th Birthday
Monday, September 1, 9:30 – 4:30

Join the celebration of the 190th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone of Pilgrim Hall Museum. Enjoy birthday cake and see the Pilgrim possessions that really did come over on the Mayflower.

The Museum's 190th Birthday is generously sponsored by Newfield House

"Early Books About Plymouth Colony"
Friday - Tuesday, September 5 -9

Special Display in the Museum's Steinway Library to coincide with the Mayflower Triennial Congress. This special display in the Museum’s Steinway Library will feature rare original first editions of books written about Plymouth Colony during the 17th century. Among the books on display will be Mourt’s Relation published in London, 1622, and written by Mayflower passengers William Bradford and Edward Winslow, documenting the first year of the colony; Edward Winslow’s Hypocrasie Unmasked published in London in 1646 as a defense of Plymouth Colony against the banished Samuel Gorton’s accusations; Barnstable minister Rev. Thomas Walley’s Balm in Gilead, an election-day sermon preached to the Plymouth General Court in 1669; and Nathaniel Morton’s New Englands Memoriall, published in Cambridge, 1669, as the first history of the New England colonies.

Generously sponsored by the Plymouth Education Foundation

October Lecture Series

Each Wednesday evening in October, coffee at 6:30 p.m., lectures begin at 7:00 p.m.

October 1, Rob Cox, head of the UMass Amherst Libraries Department of Special Collections and University Archives on his popular book, Massachusetts Cranberry Culture.

October 7 (Tuesday), Nick Bunker on his new book An Empire on the Edge: How Britain Came to Fight America. A new British account of the Boston Tea Party and the origins of the American Revolution, showing how a lethal blend of politics, personalities and economics led to a war that few people welcomed but nobody could prevent. (Please note this is our only October lecture that takes place on a Tuesday)

October 15, Stephen Puleo on his recent book The Caning: The Assault That Drove America to Civil War. The assault on Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner on the floor of the Senate was a shocking incident and a turning point in American history.

October 22, “The Starry Night Duo,” Barry and Patty Simon. Come hear period music, including selections from the Civil War era. Barry (hammered dulcimer) and Patty (fife), in addition to performing, will also discuss a bit of the history behind their musical selections.

October 29, Stephen O’Neill, Associate Director/Curator, Pilgrim Hall Museum, "Where the Bodies Are: Pilgrim Graves and Burying Grounds." More than 200 people immigrated to Plymouth Colony between 1620 and 1623, yet only a very few of them have graves marked with original gravestones. This illustrated lecture will examine the possibilities of where most of the first settlers were buried.

The October Lecture Series is generously sponsored by Rockland Trust

"Architecture from Archaeology"
Saturday and Sunday, October 11 and 12, 11 am to 4 pm

Special display in the Museum's Steinway Library. As part of Massachusetts Archaeology Month, we will display archaeological pieces recovered from 17th century sites in the greater Plymouth area from Pilgrim Hall Museum’s and other collections, along with other objects, documents and photographs. See how archaeology has contributed to, and raised questions about, Plymouth Colony’s architectural history.

Generously sponsored by Brian and Barbara Alosi

"See the Signatures"
Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 27, and Friday, November 28, 2014, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Special display in the Museum's Steinway Library. Original documents with the signatures of people who attended the First Thanksgiving in the Fall of 1621 will be put on display for two days only. Visitors will once again have the chance to see rare examples of unique documents bearing the signatures of William Bradford, William Brewster, Myles Standish, Massasoit, and others. The documents date from long after the First Thanksgiving, but provide a remarkable way to connect with the real English and Native people who were in Plymouth in 1621.

Holiday House Tour
December 6 – 7, 2014, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days 

Don't miss Pilgrim Hall Museum's ninth annual Holiday House Tour. Beautiful homes across Plymouth will be opened Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Lunch will be served both days at Plymouth Country Club and is included in your ticket. Tickets are $45 if purchased by November 14 and $50 if purchased after that date. The exact location of houses on the Tour is kept confidential until the day of the tour. You must pick up the booklet and map that will serve as your ticket (and that reveal the locations of the houses) at Pilgrim Hall Museum between 9:30 and 4:30 either Saturday or Sunday. To purchase tickets, stop by Pilgrim Hall Museum, 75 Court Street, or call 508-746-1620 x7. 

Forefather’s Day Dinner
Radisson Hotel Plymouth Harbor, 180 Water Street, Plymouth
December 20, 2014, 5:30 p.m. reception, 6:30 p.m. dinner

The annual dinner of the Pilgrim Society has traditionally taken place on the anniversary of the landing of the Pilgrims, also known as Forefathers Day. This year, due to the anniversary falling on a Sunday, Forefathers Day will be observed on Saturday, December 20. Advance payment is required to attend the dinner. Members $68 and non-members $75. A table of 10 may be purchased for $610. To register, please contact development[at]


Looking toward the Future!
In 2020, we will commemorate the 400th anniversary of the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth
(and the 200th anniversary of the founding of the Pilgrim Society).
You can learn more about the plans already being developed by visiting the Plymouth 400 web site at:


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Updated February 19, 2014

Pilgrim Hall Museum
75 Court St, Plymouth, MA 02360 | Phone (508) 746-1620