Things the Pilgrims Brought on the Mayflower

The Pilgrims did not leave behind any lists of the items they brought with them on the Mayflower, but historians have used a provision list put together by Captain John Smith (of Pocahontas fame) to take an educated guess.  However, in 2012, Caleb Johnson, Simon Neal, and Jeremy Bangs started transcribing and studying a rare manuscript (a page of which is here illustrated) in the possession of the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants, that was written by one of the investors in the Pilgrims' joint-stock company.  This manuscript actually contains several lists of suggested provisions the colonists should bring with them.  It is the closest thing we can get to a list of what the Pilgrims would have actually brought.  A summary of some of the key items on the provision lists:

Food and Drink
Biscuit, beer, salt, (dried) beef, salt pork, oats, peas, wheat, butter, sweet oil, mustard seed, ling or cod fish, "good cheese", vinegar, aqua-vitae, rice, bacon, cider.

Monmouth cap, falling bands, shirts, waistcoat, suit of canvas, suit of cloth, Irish stockings, 4 pairs of shoes, garters.  Slippers, plain shoes, little shoes, French soles.  Sewing needles.

Canvas sheets, bolster "filled with good straw", rug and blankets

Light armor (complete), fowling piece, snaphance, sword, belt, bandoleer, powder horn, 20 pounds of powder, 60 pounds of shot

Iron pot, kettle, frying pan, gridiron, two skillets, spit, platters, dishes, spoons of wood, napkins, towels, soap., hand mill, mortar and pestle 

Broad hoes, narrow hoes, broad axe, felling axe, steel handsaw, whipsaw, hammers, shovels, spades, augers, chisels, gimlets, hatchets, grinding stone, nails, locks for doors


A 17th century Monmouth cap.

Example of 17th century armor and musket.

Iron cooking pot believed to have been owned by Myles Standish.  On display at the Pilgrim Hall Museum.

17th century woodcut of men working in an orchard with some various tools.  (Countrie Farme, 1616).