The Pilgrim Fathers first landed at what was to become Provincetown, on Cape Cod, on November 21, 1620. Due to a lack of fresh water and poor soil, they decided to move on.
The settlers suffered terribly that first winter from both cold and disease. Of the 102 passengers who arrived on the Mayflower, only 52 remained alive by spring.
The Mayflower sailed back to England in the spring of 1621. Despite the hardships of the winter, none of the Pilgrims returned with the ship. The Mayflower resumed transporting cargo, never returning to Plymouth, New England. By 1624, the Mayflower’s sailing life was over and the ship was described as being "in ruins."