Colonial Era Colonial Events Timeline

  • Period: 1468 to

    The Colonization of the Massachusetts Colony

    A timeline of the colonization in the Massachusetts Colony.
  • 1498

    Exploring England's Claim Territory of North America

    Exploring England's Claim Territory of North America
    In 1497 and 1498, John Cabot explored the territory as part of England's original claim to North America. Other voyagers sailed through, seeking a new route to the famous treasures of the exotic East, and early colonization plans took uncertain shape.
  • The Kidnapping of Twenty Wampanoag Men

    The Kidnapping of Twenty Wampanoag Men
    Captain John Smith in 1614 explored the coastline of what he christened “New England” (to make the area sound more attractive to settlers). Within a few years, more than half the Native Americans in the region had died of smallpox introduced by European explorers.
  • The Mayflower Sets Sail

    The Mayflower Sets Sail
    The Mayflower eventually set sail from Plymouth, UK, on 16 September 1620 to start what would prove to be a dangerously crossing Atlanta on a voyage to America.
  • Too Hard to Stay Alive

    Too Hard to Stay Alive
    That winter of 1620-1621 was brutal, as the Pilgrims struggled to build their settlement, find food and ward off sickness. By spring, 50 of the original 102 Mayflower passengers were dead.
  • The First Thanksgiving

    The First Thanksgiving
    The event that Americans commonly call the "first Thanksgiving" was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in November 1621. This feast lasted three days and was attended by 90 Native American Wampanoag people and 53 survivors of the Mayflower (Pilgrims).
  • The Welcome

    The Welcome
    Four hundred years ago — on March 16, 1621 — an English-speaking Native American from the Abenaki tribe strode into the new settlement of Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts. He greeted the astonished Pilgrims and requested a beverage brewed from fermented cereal grains.
  • The Mayflower Compact

    The Mayflower Compact
    With the need to maintain order while they waited for this new patent, the male passengers signed the Mayflower Compact on November 11, 1620.
  • The Settlement of Boston

    The Settlement of Boston
    Boston is settled by William Blackstone, a member of Captain Robert Gorge's 1623 expedition to New England. In 1625, William Blackstone established a settlement on the Shawmut Peninsula. His settlement became Boston a few years later.
  • Abandoned and Settled

    Abandoned and Settled
    Gloucester is abandoned by the Dorchester Company and the remaining members, led by Roger Conant, relocate to Salem. Beverly, Peabody, and Salem (Naumkeag) were settled.
  • The Founding of Massachusetts

    The Founding of Massachusetts
    Puritans from Massachusetts Bay Colony land at Salem. Also, The Massachusetts Bay Company was a group of Puritans led by John Winthrop. The company founded the colony in 1628.