We Fed the Pilgrims

Early European settlement of New England

July 12, 2023 - 7pm to 8pm

Mike Dekker

During the last half of the 16th century, a huge cod fishing industry was created in the Grand Banks east of Newfoundland. Most of the fishing crews came over seasonally. At the beginning of the 17th century this industry was expanding along the Nova Scotia and Maine coast. The cod season here was earlier than in the Grand Banks. By 1610 many English crews were coming yearly to fish and sold most of these fish to Catholic Europe. By 1620 there were permanant year-round settlements on islands in the Gulf of Maine. In 1623, the pilgrims in New Plymouth sent ships to these settlements to buy fish.

Throughout the colonial period, the export of dried and salted fish, especially cod, was the primary driver of the New England economy. The atlantic fishery was of such economic importance that it figured heavily in war, peace, and dipolmacy. However, despite the seemingly unlimited supply of cod as seen by the colonial settlers, the industry now is near collapse from overfishing and climate change.

Growing up and residing in Mid Coast Maine, Mike Dekker has developed a life-long passion for the region’s past. An avid student of early American history and material culture, he presents educational programs for historical societies, museums, historic sites, schools and the public. Mike is the author of the book The French and Indian Wars In Maine, which uncovers the tragic and largely forgotten story of the six wars which ravaged Maine between 1675 and 1760. In 2017 Mike participated in an international conference hosted by the Maine Ulster Scots Project and the Ulster-Scots Agency dedicated to the history and culture of the Scots-Irish. The paper Mike presented at the conference, Resistance and Reprisal: The Scots-Irish of Mid-Coast Maine During the French and Indian War has been published in the book 1718-2018 Reflections on 300 Years of the Scots Irish in Maine

Mike Dekker

This is the fifth in a series of 8 in the 2023 Summer Lecture Series. This year the lectures will be held on

Wednesday evenings. The lectures will be held at the Bath Freight Shed and via Zoom.

If you register using the form below we will send you a reminder a couple of days before the lecture.

Topic: We Fed the Pilgrims
Time: Jul 12, 2023 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 826 7498 9620
Passcode: 118342

Dial in  309-205-3325

If you enjoy our educational programming, please consider adding a donation in the form below, or become a member using the Donate button at the bottom of any page.