When it comes to Pilgrim lore, Plymouth, England, gets most of
attention as the town from which the Pilgrims first set sail, but this
Thanksgiving you might want to give a little thanks to the town of
Harwich on England's east coast, according to CBS News' Charlie
Irishman Tom Daly - the voice of the Harwich-based
Mayflower Project, an ambitious plan to build a full-size replica of the
Mayflower and sail it to America - told D'Agata that Harwich "is the
birthplace of the ship that brought the Pilgrim fathers across to
The story goes that the Mayflower set off from Plymouth,
located on England's southwest coast, in 1620 on its journey to the new
world. But supporters of the Mayflower Project say that Harwich was the
Mayflower's original home port and insist that therefore the ship's
real journey began there. They claim the pilgrims boarded in London,
made several stops on the south coast and only turned back to Plymouth
briefly to pick up passengers because her sister ship sprang a leak.
can say for sure where the Mayflower came from and, to complicate
matters, Mayflower was a popular ship name, with more than two dozen
ships of the same name sailing the seas at the time.
no doubt, however, that the ship's captain, Christopher Jones, came from
Harwich, D'Agata said in a report broadcast Thursday on "CBS This
Morning." Citing the town charter, which dates back four centuries,
Harwich town historian David Whittle explained, "Thomas Twit was father
to Sarah Twit, who married Christopher Jones in 1593."
Whittle joked that without the Twits, without Jones, there would be
no Mayflower and no Thanksgiving. "No Thanksgiving ... turkeys would be
safe," he told D'Agata.
But, today, Whittle and other residents
of Harwich are looking to the future, hoping to raise the $4 million
needed to turn a pile of oak into a 100-foot replica vessel in the next