Historical images of Plymouth in the Old Card Game of The Mayflower
On the old cards in the Game of The Mayflower published by The Fireside Game Company in 1897 can be seen historical images of Plymouth.
Collecting games, whether they are old board, card, or other types of games, often provide the collector with an amazing glance at historical times. The Mayflower card game is an exceptional example of just how a game can offer such a unique look. The game consists of 52 cards which relate the story of the voyage of the Mayflower and the life of the pilgrims during their early arrival at plymouth.
On many of the cards are displayed images of a past time. Below is an image, which the card reads as the oldest house in Plymouth. It is of the Doten house. The card reads, “The Doten house, built in 1660, by Sergt. William Harlow, a prominent citizen of the town, stands on the seaward site of Sandwich Street, and is one of the ancient landmarks pointed out to tourists. Since the card game was published in 1897, they are tourists of that era.
Another card (shown below) shows Governor Bradford’s house. The base of the card reads, “The first Governor, John Carver, died shortly after the landing, and William Bradford succeeded him. For him was built a house of rough, hewn logs, the roof thatched, the windows covered with oiled paper.
Playing the old card game of the Mayflower is like taking a history lesson. Although the cards can be used to play the game like ‘Authors’, the Mayflower game is played by the Letters and Numbers found in the corner of the cards.
All 52 cards are dealt completely out to any amount of players. The player to the left of the dealer goes first and must begin by placing a card numbered either 1 or 13. If the player cannot set a card of that number down then he or she receives a penalty point and play moves on to the next person. This player can lay a 1 or 13 card down of any letter or may lay a 2 on a 1 or a 12 on a 13 on a matching letter, if the first person was able to set a card down.
Players continue to set cards down by the sequence of numbers on matching letters going forward or backward. If any players are unable then penalty points are given and play moves on. Once the Lettered series gets to 1-6 and 8-13, the 7 is placed to complete the series (only once the 6 and 8 are both played can the 7 be placed across).
An example of the A Lettered series is as follows. It depicts the departure of the pilgrims to an image of the Old Fort.
A-1 Departure from Delft Haven
A-2 Embarkation of the Pilgrims
A-3 The Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor
A-4 Landing of the Pilgrims
A-5 John Alden and Priscilla
A-6 Treaty with Massasoit
A-7 The pilgrims going to church
A-8 Pilgrim exiles
A-9 Two farewells
A-10 Gov. Bradford’s House
A-11 Plymouth in 1622
A-12 Pulpit Rock, Clark’s Island
A-13 The old Fort/ Burial hill
The object of the game is to be the first player to get rid of all his or her cards from their hand. Although a great card game to play over a hundred years ago, it is still (and even more so) a great old card game to play today. The history found in the game can be appreciated and reminds players of life during those times. Thanksgiving may hold new meaning for those who play.