A Workable Liberty

Plimoth Plantation’s “Mayflower II” was launched into the Mystic River on 7 September. The staff at Mystic Seaport Museum’s Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard and Plimoth Plantation have work on restoring the ship since November 2016. “Mayflower II” will sail back to Plimoth Plantation in spring 2020 for the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ arrival in 1620. Photo: Göran R Buckhorn.

21 September 2019

By Philip Kuepper

There lies anchored at Mystic
Seaport Museum a profoudness of American
history, side-by-side,
the Mayflower and the Amistad,
the original passengers of each
ship seeking
freedom from enslavement,
freedom from ideologies contrary
to their own.  America, for them,
lay a harbor of survival,
after the shackles clamped
round their minds, round their wrists
and ankles; Pilgrims and slaves
packed in holds,
human beings reduced to ballast.
And, yet, never would their hearts give way
to chains.
For their wills were bent on change,
driven by the inner
spirit of release
from enforced bondage.
The shores of American acted
as a magnet to their ships,
acted as magnet
to their souls.

(10 September 2019)

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