Giles Hopkins & Captain Michael Campbell: Stories At Sea - February 5, 2020

Submitted by Giles Hopkins on Wed, 02/05/2020 - 05:00
mullins will
giles by black dress shoe
child with Miles standish reinactor
boy and girl climb on cannon


Giles Hopkins:  Good morning, Captain Campbell!  I have noticed cadets wearing a variety of different shoes throughout their day on the TS Kennedy.  That made me think of William Mullins, a Mayflower passenger.  His will stated that he had,

 “XXI dozen of shoes, and thirteene paire of bootes w[hi]ch I give into the Companies hands for forty pounds at seaven years and if they like them at that rate”  

I brought along a copy of his will.  Can you figure out how many pairs of shoes he brought? 

Captain Campbell:  That’s a lot of footwear!   I will leave it up to our followers to figure out the exact amount.  Storage space is limited on the TS Kennedy.  Each of our cadets are asked to bring a pair of black leather shoes, a pair of black safety boots, a pair of gym shoes, and a pair of shower shoes.  Most cadets also brings a pair of sandals to wear in port.

Giles Hopkins:  Little Buc and I helped distribute the black leather shoes on Drop Off Day at the start of Orientation 2019.  Most of the shoes were much bigger than me.

Of course, all of the shoes and boots brought aboard Mayflower by William Mullins weren't just for him!  He was a shoemaker who traveled on the Mayflower with his wife, Alice, and his children, Joseph and Priscilla.

I imagine that you’ve heard of Myles Standish.  He was an English soldier stationed somewhere around Leiden in Holland.  The Pilgrims hired him to serve as their military captain.  His job was to organize and maintain the settlement’s defense against any threats that came their way- foreign or native.  It was Miles Standish’s experience in Holland that helped him lead the military in New Plymouth so successfully. 

Here is a photo that 4/C Anthony Petrillo from Norwell, Massachusetts shared with me.  It was taken at Plimoth Plantation when this Marine Transportation major was was just five years old.  He is looking at the first-person interpreter playing the role of Miles Standish.   

The Pilgrims brought a wide assortment of military equipment including muskets, guns, and swords.  They also brought cannons.  Cadet Petrillo also shared this photo with me.  He and his twin sister are sitting on a replica of one of Mayflower's cannons during his visit to Plimoth Plantation.  

One brass cannon could weigh 1,200 pounds or more!  I have been told that it could send a cannon ball almost a mile.

I haven't seen any cannons or swords since boarding the TS Kennedy.  Where do you keep them? 

Captain Campbell:  Things are quite different aboard the TS Kennedy.  Our Sea Term Manuel states, “It is prohibited for any person on board to have concealed about his/her person any deadly weapon or any explosive substances, or have any such weapons or explosive in his/her possession or custody while on board except by authority of the Master.  This includes fireworks of any type.”    Also, “Folding knives with blades in excess of three inches in length are prohibited.”

When we talk about protection on the TS Kennedy, we aren’t talking about a militia.  Instead, we are talking about the Personal Protection Equipment that keep the cadets safe such a hard hats and life jackets.

Giles Hopkins: There were no hardhats on the Mayflower – and no life jackets.  If there had been a shipwreck on the Mayflower, the passengers would have been forced to cling to floating debris such as chests, boards or piece of the mast.  There was a ship’s boat, but it could not have fit all of the ship’s crew and passengers. 

Captain Campbell:  As you know, safety is our number one priority.  Each cadet was required to pack a foul weather suit.  The suit was included on a list of safety items.  Although the cadets hope for sunny skies throughout Sea Term, that is not always the case.  A foul weather suit will protect cadets from driving rain and sea spray.  

Giles Hopkins: There was plenty of rain and sea spray during the Mayflower’s voyage.  Water on the main deck even leaked below deck.  The passengers had to get very creative to stay dry.  Some of their clothing might have repelled water at first, but once they were wet, they were wet.  Although there are no primary source documents to prove it, some historians believe that the sailors might have covered their clothing in pitch, or possibly wax, to make them slightly more water repellent. 

I am glad that our cadets don’t have to worry about getting wet while they are in their racks. 

I always look forward to our early morning chats.  Until next Wednesday, Captain Campbell! 









giles with hard hat
giles with a pile of duck suits
mayflower painting during storm
The Mayflower At Sea By Gilbert Margeson

painting of squanto leading pilgrims with miles standish
March Of Miles Standish  Lead By Squanto Lithograph 1873

signature of miles standish
Signature of Miles Standish

william mullins signature
Signature Of William Mullins