After sixty-six days at sea, the Mayflower arrived with 102 passengers at Cape Cod, Massachusetts on November 9, 1620. They had intended to land in Virginia, but poor weather and poor navigation led them slightly off course.
These first “pilgrims” were a mix of business traders and those escaping the jurisdiction of the Church of England. They may have brought with them the Geneva Bible—the Bible popular among English Protestants. Many “pilgrims” were from a sect known as Separatists.
Their desire was to form independent congregations strictly following their interpretation of the Bible. Their action was prompted by 2 Corinthians 6:16–18 in the Geneva Bible translation, including verse 17: “Wherefore come out from among them, and separate yourselves.”