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History: The Pilgrims Journey Documentary

History: The Pilgrims Journey Documentary
a new life in the new world in Europe Kings dictate what their subjects believe for not everyone accepts royal rule the Pilgrim Fathers preach their own way of living radical in their beliefs liberal in their social attitudes the

pilgrims

want to determine how they live themselves and are prepared to risk a

journey

into the unknown they want equal rights for everyone regardless of their religion they draw up a contract which becomes the template for a nation fear of the Native Americans danger
history the pilgrims journey documentary
and death mark their arrival in the new world but the very people they fear help them to survive radical sectarians are compelled to sit down with American Indians this is the story of the creation of the United States of America for many Americans the origins of their country begin with the Mayflower but Pilgrim Fathers have come to symbolize many American virtues in July 1620 in glee separatists set sail from their temporary home in Holland they're searching for a new home in the new world
somewhere they can live by their beliefs a place their children and grandchildren can be raised and educated according to their faith and philosophies one man becomes a prominent leader William Bradford he chronicles their adventures in his book of Plymouth Plantation it describes the first 30 years of life in the settlement a life he was to significantly shave as governor of the colony Bradford was extending the English horizon to the New World his success was not a foregone conclusion Bradford
was an orphan and had to fight for the place in

history

he enjoys today but his prospects to succeed were probably greater living within this small group of Puritans where the individual camps for more than the hierarchy the agreement of all members and important matters is paramount to the Puritans they want to live peacefully with each other for them serving the Covenant God threw free discussion and even decision making what they called the decision and the consent of the major part that was
their means of trying to understand the mind of Christ in any given situation and once a vote or a common consent was reached then that was the will of God a decision arrived at by a vote and seen as God's will an insult to every divinely ordained monarch yeah come on William Bradford was born in 1590 in northern England at the end of the Elizabethan age orphaned as a boy he finds comfort in a Puritan parish who spends every spare minute studying the Bible translated by John Calvin the
famous Protestant reformer but the Reformation in England doesn't go far enough for the Puritans after more than 50 years of religious upheaval which has shaken the state and society they continue to try and change the church from within the Puritans in early 17th century England were not happy people they had spent the better part of the last half of Queen Elizabeth's reign desperately trying to get Queen Elizabeth to legislate changes in the Anglican Church in the Church of England to
make the church more reformed to conform the church more to their idea of the kind of church it should be devoid of a lot of the vestiges of the Roman Catholic faith a lot of the ceremony the vestments the incense in all of those things those trappings that they felt needed to go away that were incompatible with Scripture she was very reluctant to make any changes at all they got nowhere with her and so when James the first comes to the throne in 16 3 they're hoping that since he was raised
in a reformed Protestant Church that he would be more sympathetic with the Puritan point of view they thought they went to see him and he was very unresponsive in fact he basically told them if you persist in trying to get me to change the church I will hire you out of the land and the harrying out of the land is what really happens to William Bradford and the people that he's close to it was not only Bradford and his people there were other people who also were harried some of them
evidently died in jail some of them went to Holland some of them kind of disappeared off into the country open opposition to the Anglican State Church borders on high treason the monarchy responds with persecution torture and execution to try and force religious conformity Bradford's perish in screwby gives up any hope of being able to change the church emigration seems the only option left to the separatists liberal Holland which has freed itself from Spanish rule seems to be the ideal
place to realize their ideals in 1608 parishioners around Bradford travelled to their new homeland the charismatic Reverend John Robinson leads the group to the Dutch city of Leiden Leyden is the right place for a new beginning the city is flourishing there are thousands of small businesses and everyone is welcome who wants to work and will obey the laws religious refugees from all corners of the world flocked to Holland were a surprisingly tolerant climate for the times exists work Commerce and
profit are what counts here work shapes people's lives from sunrise to sunset Reverend Robinson and his people take up residence in the narrow alleyways around Peters CAC Robinson's home visitor Grune report it's the meeting place for the parish it is here that he presents his ideas you Robinson said in his justification of separation that there are really three forms of government in a covenant at church they are first a monarchy with reference to God and Christ that even was a
threat to King James and they were a aristocracy with reference to the eldership who ruled daily affairs of a congregation and they were a democracy when it came to the whole people and decisions had to be made ultimately by the whole people of God that was that what they call the popularizing tendency that was a threat to church and crown it is also a primitive form of democracy but the separatists have not given up hope of being able to change the Anglican Church they print pamphlets and
secretly ship them to England King James is outraged and cause the Dutch ambassador under pressure the authorities in Leiden imprisoned the authors but they are soon freed as they have not broken Dutch law undeterred the separatists continue to publish their beliefs they believe they serve a higher cause I want to show England and the world their righteous way you know they were very self-assured very cocky that they were that the chosen people and had the right answer and if you didn't
agree with them you were wrong look at Winthrop same Asst speech in in in 1630 where he says we are going to be a city upon a hill in the eyes of the world are upon us and we've had to leave England because it's so corrupt and we're going to form our own experiment here and just by example we're gonna be so great and so wonderful that everyone else is going to want to be like us so I'm you know I'm not convinced we would be would these people would would be very palatable
to us today the members of the Leiden parish continue to view themselves as Englishmen in exile but the liberal Dutch attitudes which first drew them to Holland now begin to repel them their children are under no circumstances to become Dutch free thinkers the idea to find a new home slowly begins to take shape among some of the parish Bradford who was now married is one of them Robinson senses that alienating themselves from life in Leiden could be a dangerous move he preaches torrents for
dissent and hopes to present the Puritans as a more open-minded people looking at the story of Genesis Robinson decided that the story of the fall the expulsion from paradise meant that every theological dogma every doctrinal statement was itself inherently flawed and that this meant that people should be relatively patient and tolerant of other people's ideas because you couldn't yourself be sure that your own understanding wasn't flawed and that you were rejecting it by mistake if
you disagreed with someone so your own ideas could not be perfect and someone else's ideas might not be imperfect in the places you imperfectly thought they were this led to mutual toleration which is very unusual at the time the situation in Holland grossed hence the Dutch are on the brink of war again with the Catholic Habsburgs finally the separatists decide to vote whether to found a colony in North America after parish wants to risk the dangerous

journey

into the unknown William
Bradford is among them the inexperienced Pilgrim Fathers rushed to buy a ship the Speedwell is to travel first to Southampton where they believe fellow believers are waiting to join them their plan is to then set sail for the new world in two ships on the southern coast of England but they are ill-prepared for the harsh

journey

across the Atlantic everything seems to go wrong first a storm forces them back then the Speedwell springs a leak their

journey

doesn't seem to have God's
blessing many families decide to give up but William Bradford is determined to make the trip treacherous autumn storms arrive as 102 passengers finally set sail in a rented freighter the Mayflower the Puritans are not the only passengers on board there are also adventurers seeking their fortune in Virginia the

pilgrims

call themselves Saints and the rest of the passengers strangers but they realized that they all need to get along if the new beginning is going to succeed John Robinson urgently
history the pilgrims journey documentary
calls upon his followers to exercise tolerance and respect for others it is clear to him that a new colony will only succeed if there is harmony among the settlers the Mayflower set sail too late for a safe passage across the Atlantic the travelers pay a heavy price for their lack of planning fears storms batter the ship the captain has no choice but to drop sail and leave the Mayflower to the mercy of the elements the physical and psychological strain on the passengers is tremendous they come
from death every day in the dark stinking steerage added to that is the knowledge that if they do survive they have no idea what the future will bring it was a big leap into the unknown for all of them for the passengers for the sailors for everyone involved about halfway across the Mayflower was in a very severe storm large waves are crashing on deck water was leaking down below and during one of those storms the main beam the beam that helps support the main mast of the ship bowed and then
cracked sagged down allowing a lot of water to run on board it must've been a very frightening thing I must have thought that they were foundering and even the sailors who are used to a life at sea and the dangers of being on the ocean were concerned about what was happening they were fortunate in that they were able to prop that beam back up into place using an iron screw that was probably brought over for house construction to get that beam up into place and then they supported it with a
couple of posts working with the ship's carpenter and they were making a decision about whether to continue on to the new world or to turn back at that point they knew that if they turn back that that was probably the end of the plymouth adventure at the end of their opportunity to start a colony in general their diet was slowly degrading their health they lack of vitamin C wasn't helpful the extra the amount of salt in their diet and the inactivity all lent itself to causing them to
become type more tired and weaker as the voyage went on many of the sailors probably hadn't been over to the side of the world before really didn't know what to expect we often related to going off into outer space it's a completely unknown alien world that all these people were traveling into you during a crossing a child is born his parents naming Oceanus the sailors are contemptuous of the pious land rats when often cursed the seasick

pilgrims

one crew member even wishes out loud
that the passengers could be tipped overboard in white shrouds just like the dead when this bitter crewman himself dies just days later the Pilgrim Fathers see it as a divine message the Mayflower's destination is the north coast of America where the English holds some sway they hope to settle in the Hudson River Valley the area which is now known as New York at the time this was the northern tip of Virginia the site where several years before the Jamestown Colony was established the

pilgrims

have purchased a patent to colonize this region in England and they're after the endless storms the fobian father's only have a vague idea how far off course they've been blown they suspect that as the

journey

has lasted so long the Mayflower is too far north the passengers are sick and emaciated after the

journey

their supplies have nearly vanished there is nothing left to do but put their fate in God's hands on the morning of November the 9th 1620 after 65 days below
deck the long fall cry finally echoes from the crow's nest the

pilgrims

can already smell the land they watch in wonder as the tint of the sea merges from deep blue to pale green America a quick glance of the coastline tells the captain that this must be Cape Cod a very well known to many English fishermen the captain realizes they have drifted hundreds of miles too far north he steers back and begins the

journey

south along the coast only to turn back again they can be fatal at this time of
year to try and sail through the reefs off the Cape the ship finally lowers anchor at the tip of the bay some said in the Mayflower when it reached Provincetown since we are not in new New York since we are not in the Hudson River Valley or area turn the boat around and go home and others said since we are not where we were bargained to be we will do as we please when we get ashore and that's when they set down and the cabin and the Mayflower and drew up the compact so that everything they
did was an extension of that basic coven ental idea of freedom you agreed to do something I agree to do something ultimately hope that it would all serve God that way and therefore it became a part of their modus operandi gentlemen we are here no matter where we are supposed to be this is where we have landed we must sign to make ourselves one will you sign gentlemen will you sign to make as a company I'll sign mr. Bradford will you sign I will sign this was the

pilgrims

way to achieve unity
democracy and equal rights for all are a new phenomena in an age when monarch rule and rights are allocated according to social status here in the new world the settlers set their own terms rights and responsibilities are written down in a social contract which takes into account the many different groups living in the colony Puritans wanted to have everything written down you know we talk about the English Constitution which doesn't really come into existence in a written form until the
late 17th century well the Puritans were writing rules down because they wanted to know what was expected of them they were very legalistic everything needed to be written down including the system of government how would elections take place who would have the right to vote what would be the conditions of the voting rights of the individuals how are the laws going to be formed and what are expected in terms of people to their laws and the government to the people so that's what made this
first document such a critical thing it was such an important thing it was a it was a constitution very primitive but nevertheless the first constitution in American

history

the compact is just a seedling on the way to full constitutional democracy but it was the ground out of which seeds could grow that people could order themselves freely in a freely democratic way and that the majority would rule those principles continue to linger strongly when everyone has signed Bradford is sent to explore
the coastline with an armed party of men the water is so shallow that the Mayflower has to anchor a long way from shore they reach land in a small sloop and wade the last few yards through freezing surf it is November the 15th 1620 winter has already arrived Bradford later writes we fell on our knees and gave praise to God who has letters over a mighty and angry ocean and freed us from all dangers and want the dunes the scouting party wander over remind them of the Dutch coastline they find the
remains of a shipwreck washed ashore years before it almost seems as if no humans have ever been here before they fear the silence but it also reassures them as what they fear most is the Native Americans they know little about the people who live here but back in Europe have heard many horror stories about the indigenous people here in the sand they find traces of human life they discover a wealth of seed stockpiles of a type of corn they have never seen before the settlers have precious little
seed left and winter has arrived the discovery seems to be a gift from heaven the pious men have no qualms that simply taking what they need it is it is as they were coming from their landing place and up the coast they went into the storage areas the Cape Cod was not a habitable place for the native populations through the winter months once the fall set in they all moved out of Cape Cod but because it was a favorable place for summer and this is where they had their gardens etc they left there
in the storage pits there are seed plants and and the whole bit that they were going to need and it has been said that the the people the newcomers took the seed and left a note that they would pay later which they never did of course and so the Indians we have a laugh about that so they were lying from the beginning the Pilgrim Fathers continued to search for a suitable area to establish their colony they need arable farmland which is easy to defend and ships must be able to anchor off the
coast the men wander the tidal flats as they search life is very hard the damp penetrates everything the bitter winter nights are freezing some never recover from the ordeal the fire to keep warm is out of the question so great is their fear that the Native Americans might see them suspicious noises and eerie shadows surround them you fire the fire as if by a miracle no one is harmed but now they have proof people live here who do not welcome their arrival when they fail to find somewhere to
history the pilgrims journey documentary
settle they make their way across to the other side of the huge Bay there Matt has an English name for this area Plymouth the adventurer John Smith founded a colony in southern Virginia years before is a familiar name in a mysterious land a sign that they should settle here they have searched for more than a month it is now December the 12th the heart of winter as William Bradford caused it in his book draws closer well when they arrived here even though they did have John Smith's maps of
New England and probably Virginia as well the maps were not that great of help in deciding where to settle they had to find whether it was fresh water they had to find where they were good Anchorage's they had to find where there was arable land none of those things are indicated on the map and the maps not altogether accurate even then unless you know what it looks like today and so they had to make trips up and down along the coast until they found a place to settle and they finally did at
the Harbor that on Smith's map was called Plymouth because Plymouth had been named this the haba had been named by Prince Charles and an attempt to ingratiate himself Smith had given the the prints of the map and he said put names on it and Charles did but they make a gruesome discovery on the plymouth coast human remains strewn all over the beach they have no way of knowing what happened here was it a battle or disease which claimed the lives of these people it would be possible to settle
here but bradford and his exploratory party are not convinced death seems to surround them the men are exhausted their initial euphoria vanishes they are too weak to continue their search there was just this barren empty land he said we've gone through all this in England and Holland and we get to this godforsaken place which is nothing but a sand pit and here we are after all of that and this is all there is a much more painful laughs awaits William Bradford when he returns to the Mayflower
he learns that his wife Dorothy has fallen overboard and drowned he's from frost oh my lord Bradford is devastated by the loss of his wife and the uncertain future in this wasteland but he clings to his faith he believes that when fate is at work one is led by God this test must have a deeper meaning after an arduous

journey

after persecutions in England there are some who theorized that Dorothy may have jumped overboard that she may have committed suicide there are some theorize that based
on the fact that Bradford is absolutely silent about anything but that she died on December the 21st 1620 the first group of settlers finally land on the frozen Plymouth Beach the Mayflower is a hotbed of fever men women and children have died on board so they arrive they have no opportunity to plant there are no fresh vegetables there there is nothing that they can resort to many of the Plymouth people died there their level of nutrition Falls away they suffer from vitamin deficiencies scurvy
is a problem vitamin D deficiency is a problem and they also of course contract fever so as a result is a 50% attrition rate 50% of these individuals who arrive alive died in that first winter Christmas arrives the setters work hard and build their first houses the celebration has little meaning for the Puritans like many others William Bradford is desperately ill fever and dysentery SAP his strength some seem to hear strange cries in the darkness are they Native Americans or is it Satan and his
minions come to punish them there is almost no one left fit enough to care for the ill everyone is sick settlers die every day on top of everything they live in constant fear of the indigenous people living here none of the satyrs has actually seen an American Indian up close but surely some of her Ania obvious threat to the colony what kind of people are they little is known in Europe about the Native American people apart from the propaganda spread by the Spaniards and Portuguese to morally
justify their gruesome repression and extermination campaign in Central and South America they speak of depraved cannibals who will muss force-feed Christian culture and civilization at the point of the sword savages worse than savages slaves not even human it is now March and winter doesn't seem to want to end the constant cold and damp drained the lest of the settler strength every day is a struggle for survival the settlers know that they are being watched this is not the time to show any
sign of weakness an attack now would spell the end of the colony for those who remain behind for they remain in the strife and confusion of life ashes to ashes dust to dust amen during the day even the 6-ton guard exhausted men the propped up against trees as decoys the day's dead have buried at night in order to prevent those watching from counting how many able men left to fight in spite of everything no one thinks of returning one of the great American traits is perseverance you know
you've got to the Apostle Paul kick against the pricks and you've got to go on no matter what and you you you can't give up or give in we often do but the ultimate goal is to endure anything for the sake of the kingdom for the sake of the Covenant or some principle not in oneself and that's what they did the first warmth of spring in 1621 fills the settlers with hope perhaps the worst is behind them now they have only one fear left the Native Americans will they tolerate new
arrivals in their homeland carver bradford and the others finally settle in an abandoned protected Indian village March 16th 1621 is the day of the first encounter a Wampanoag Indian appears on Watson's Hill on the edge of the village he is tall self-assured and seems to have little fear of foreigners Europeans in general had a very grave misunderstanding of what the people's the Native peoples were they thought of the more in terms of wild animals in the woods when they were very highly
unskilled and intelligent people there seems to be a much better record among the

pilgrims

than among later later immigrations who did terrible things to the Native Americans here and saw them not as wild animals but as people to be converted which was not a negative thing we you have to accept them as human beings who can also be a part of the Covenant eventually welcome Englishmen the stranger greets them in English no one anticipated that the man asked for bread and beer items only Europeans
have his name his Somerset and he has learned to speak English from Cod fisherman he proves a priceless source of information for the colonists Massasoit has sent Somerset the mighty chief rules over all the people in a wide area to meet him Somerset it promises to return with Chief Massasoit and his interpreter whose English is even better than his his intention seemed peaceful they had a pretty good idea as to what they were getting themselves into when they were dealing with these folk and
understood very well the significance of the relationship but also to that that it was a symbiotic relationship where both sides had something to gain by forming an alliance the Native Americans at the time in Massachusetts were very weak they they had been decimated by European diseases things that we would call harmless childhood diseases like chickenpox and mumps but that Native Americans had had no experience with no immunity to so as many as 70 80 90 percent of the inhabitants of a village
could be wiped out people who know both American Indians and European settlers can have great influence as mediators Squanto Massasoit interpreter is such a man years before he'd been sold as a slave and taken to England now he pursues his own goals as an advisor to the chief squad ro did provide a great service to the English but he was also out for his own benefit and to do this he tried to undermine Massasoit society and assert his own he wanted to achieve a leadership position as the one
intermediary five days after Sam Assad's first visit he returns to the English village with Squanto and the great meso soit Massasoit and hit and the whompin augs wanted the English to be there they were a good buffer against their enemies they had all this really cool high-tech stuff like weed no would you rather chop down a tree with a stone axe or steel axe it's a reciprocal relationship that I think both sides understood quite well welcome to our village this is my my Chief Massasoit
please come in pick us up please into my house take some comfort you seat it follow me please one of the most important adjustments shall we say that they were able to make was that they were able to strike on somewhat uneasy peace which lasted for quite a while with the Wampanoag people Massasoit who was the chieftain of the Wampanoag people forms a treaty which he keeps throughout the remainder of his life which enables plymouth to to establish itself without fear of reprisal from the from the
local people from the local Native Americans and as a result of that they were able to focus more on settlement land clearing the land getting their crops in survival these are makers that come to my lab just as far as our friendship we are very pleased to be here here we just want them on to you very happy there are more there are more here we will honor this treaty from we will keep it sacred to our people also I'm very pleased to have your first without very pleased to have your
friendship and we would give you these knives I would still do towels steel however what we do is we seal our friendship fight Massasoit is carefully considered his response to the settlers arrival for a long time he has spent months in the swamps with his priest to establish contact with the spirits hoping for inspiration about what best to do for the good of his people some of Massasoit advisers demand the expulsion of the English given their superior strength it would not be difficult but
Squanto who knows the english better than most exerts a great influence he explicitly warns Massasoit about the european superior weapons Squanto hopes to secure and strengthen his standing he leads meso soit to believe that the men from across the ocean have their deadly diseases stored in barrels and can release them at will in order to destroy the Whomper not it is a brazen lie intended to push Massasoit towards a peace treaty and consolidates cleansers position the treaties was basically one
of mutual understanding and respect it was a little heavily weighed towards the English but than English were making it and we're not sure exactly what the native people who didn't have a written language understood about what had been agreed but whatever it was it worked it worked for many years it worked as long as everybody basically respected and left each side to do as they wanted shortly after the conclusion of the treaty governor Carver dies unexpectedly the fledgling colony needs
a strong successor in these testing first months when simply surviving is the priority William Bradford is selected after initially hesitating he accepts it is to become the greatest challenge of his life the peace treaty allows the colonists fears and Plymouth prospers the Pilgrim Fathers are able to establish themselves in the new world the one for nog teach them how to cultivate the native plants the seed they stole from Cape Cod flourishes here the seed April from Europe flounders the one
panel also teach them how to live in harmony with the rhythm of the seasons they show them what nature has in store for them in the spring the summer and the fall a Massasoit and the Native Americans with him helped to help the colonists with providing them food and in many cases you know showing them for example showing them how to plant Indian corn and it is the Wonder crop you know the wheat that this that helps the world eat today and if it hadn't been for Native Americans showing that
the

pilgrims

had to grow that they probably wouldn't have survived more than more than a year or two the good relationship between colonists and Native Americans lasts for more than 50 years and is one of the reasons for the success of the English settlement in North America the first marriage in Plymouth takes place in the spring of 1621 in England at the time marriage is still performed by an Anglican cleric in a church in Plymouth it is a civil ceremony a move which will have huge
consequences for the colony Edward one of the consequences of the introduction of civil marriage was a clear concept of the separation of the duties of the civil society from those of the church in pilgrim colony in Plymouth Colony with a congregation of Covenant at members by no means was everyone expected to be a member of the church therefore one had to have civil laws and civil magistrates and civil organizations that gave fair and equal treatment to people who were not members of the church
this meant there needed to be two spheres of operation the church and the state one of them to deal with believers who were covenant in the congregation and one to be dealing with the equal treatment and application of laws for everyone else in the colony who were considered politically equal suffrage that has said the right to vote was never made conditional on being a member of the church in Plymouth Colony the first fall in Plymouth colonists harvest enough food to see them through winter and
the coming year the Harvest Festival approaches Massasoit and 90 of his men are present at this first Thanksgiving on American soil they bring five deer as a gift the celebration lasts for three days subsequent generations of Native Americans interpret this first Thanksgiving in a very different light it is no reason to celebrate it's worse than a story it's a lie it's rests on a myth it's a lie there is nothing in the Thanksgiving story that you have heard in all America has
heard that is sanctified or celebrated by native people today many American Indians who the first Thanksgiving is a day of national mourning at the same time I think they felt it very important that they would include the Native Americans in the area because even though they may not understand even though the Native Americans might not understand the the Calvinist theology behind the idea of thanking their God they wanted to also of course re reaffirm the friendship that had been established at
this point in time and we often say well would the natives really have been invited into a into this European Calvinist kind of environment and the answer's yes they were it is the ultimate American holiday a fact that would be astonishing to William Bradford after he was voted in as governor William Bradford the orphan from England helped shape the success of the Plymouth Colony for the rest of his life he rules with foresight and a firm hand but it was mainly due to the help of the Native
Americans that the colony survives Massasoit could not have known that this handful of colonists would be followed by thousands upon thousands of land hungry settlers who would bring this giant continent under their control a few years after the deaths of Bradford and Massasoit war breaks out in New England between the European settlers and the Native Americans after the settlers win the war they deny the American Indians their freedom and deport men women and children as slaves today plymouth
is a bustling tourist town with many historical attractions the name bradford can be seen everywhere the graves of the first settlers lay here on burial Hill the colony's oldest graveyard the Pilgrim Fathers accepted attitudes other than their own a groundbreaking development for the time and founded their colony on the basis of democratic consensus the Puritans felt that they had been chosen by God at the same time they lay the foundation for a society dedicated to freedom equality and
justice for all even if the reality often looks very different today religion is a private and personal matter in the United States perhaps because it has such an enormous political significance they create something new and and what is new is is is that America is this this bold experiment that is still playing out to this day the Mayflower has become a symbol it has become a part of our social consciousness I there's a Plymouth in every town in in every state in the country what
they're doing is saying this is now their land not yours anymore you have to speak their language you have to obey their laws that was the story of the conquest of America religious dedication to such a degree that they are willing to take this trip and place themselves in a foreign Shore and risk their lives for the sake of what they believe I wish I had lived back there only to warn people of what was to come we're in Bradford's garden and sometimes when I leave the church at night
and lock up I think I still see him sneaking through the town to see if we're doing well by his legacy you