Unpacking the Pilgrims' "Intellectual Baggage"

This week Pilgrim Hall Museum welcomed Dr. Jeremy Bangs, author, historian and director of the Leiden American Pilgrim Center, who presented a lecture on the worldview of the Pilgrims as revealed by the books they owned, read, and chose to carry with them to the New World.

In “Intellectual Baggage – Pilgrim Ideas – Ours and Theirs,” Dr. Bangs discussed the books, ideas, and institutions the Pilgrims brought to America. He spoke to over 140 Pilgrim Hall, GSMD, Plymouth, Plimoth Plantation and Native leaders and history lovers.


The audience for Dr. Jeremy Bangs’s speech, over 140, filled every seat in Pilgrim Hall.

“I’ve never seen so many people in Pilgrim Hall before,” said David A. Furlow, attorney, writer and historian, who along with his wife, GSMD Member-at-Large Lisa Pennington, sponsored the lecture. “Dr. Jeremy Bangs returned in triumph to Pilgrim Hall and Plymouth to present a compelling vision of the Pilgrims’ ‘Intellectual Baggage,’” said Furlow.


Donna Hall, Executive Director of Pilgrim Hall Museum, and Dr. Jeremy Bangs.

It was an excellent presentation on a new facet of the Pilgrim story. Through Lisa and David's generous efforts and Dr. Bangs’s own generosity, funds raised will be applied to the restoration of the iconic Edward Percy Moran painting, Signing of the Mayflower Compact. The painting had been on display at the museum since 1919, but was removed from the exhibit hall last year after staff found some problems with the frame.


Dr. Jeremy Bangs and David A. Furlow.

Wômpimeequin Wampatuck of the Cothutikut Mattakeeset Massachuset Tribe, with other relatives and representatives, presented Dr. Bangs with a beautiful wampum necklace and a traditional blanket in thanks and recognition for his remarkable work and publication of Indian Deeds. He also wears the small decoration from when he was made a Ridder (Knight) of the Order of Oranje-Nassau by King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands in recognition of his lifelong contributions to scholarly studies.

“No one has written more about the Pilgrims than Jeremy Bangs,” said Furlow. “He explored their books and beliefs in a brilliant speech.”


Historians Peggy Baker and Jim Baker, and Dr. Jeremy Bangs, engage in lively conversations about Pilgrim ideas.

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