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On Nov. 21, 1620 (NS), the Pilgrims signed the Mayflower Compact and began their Plymouth Colony. Five years later, in 1625, the Pilgrims filled two ships with dried fish and beaver skins and sent them back to England to trade for much-needed supplies.

Governor William Bradford wrote in his “History of the Plymouth Settlement” 1608-1650 (rendered in Modern English by Harold Paget, 1909, ch. 6, p. 165-7): “The adventurers … sent over two fishing ships. … The pinnace was ordered to load with corfish … to bring home to England … and besides she had some 800 lbs. of beaver, as well as other furs, to a good value from the plantation.

“The captain seeing so much lading wished to put aboard the bigger ship for greater safety, but Mr. Edward Winslow, their agent in the business, was bound in a bond to send it to London in the small ship. … The captain of the big ship … towed the small ship at his stern all the way over. So they went joyfully home together and had such fine weather that he never cast her off till they were well within the England channel, almost in sight of Plymouth.

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“But even there she was unhapply taken by a Turkish man-of-war and carried off to Saller (Morocco), where the captain and crew were made slaves. … Thus all their hopes were dashed and the joyful news they meant to carry home was turned to heavy tidings. … In the big ship Captain Myles Standish … arrived at a very bad time … a plague very deadly in London. … The friendly adventurers were so reduced by their losses last year, and now by the ship taken by the Turks … that all trade was dead.”

Muslim piracy had dominated the seas.

In 1605, St. Vincent de Paul was sailing from Marseille, France, when he was captured by Muslim Turks. St. Vincent de Paul was sold into slavery in Tunis, North Africa. Fortunately, St. Vincent



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