The Tale of the Grimpils:
America's Forgotten Pioneers

Ask any grade school student about the first English settlers to arrive in our new world, and they'll immediately give you a blank stare. But if you bother them long enough, they might tell you about the Pilgrims who came to this great land on the Mayflower in the early 1600's. However, historians now agree that there was another group of brave pioneers who left behind their world for the promise of a new life in a new land. These people were the Grimpils and this is their story: 

About the time that the Pilgrims received their charter to settle in the new world, their leader was given the task of determining who would be a part of the brave group. He had to choose from a large number of people who were anxious to be a part of the Plymouth colony. These settlers would have to be brave, strong, and determined to make the new colony not only survive, but prosper. One hundred such people were chosen and they began to prepare for the journey. The remaining men, outraged at not being chosen, decided to form their own charter without the approval of the English government. They were cowardly, weak, and crude, but they had a dream - to beat the Pilgrims to the new world. Unfortunately, they had little money, no skill, and most importantly, no ship. Others looked down on them and calling them "grimy people" and this term eventually was shortened to simply the Grimpils. 

The Grimpils knew they needed a boat and they did the only thing they could think of - they checked the wants ads. Lady Luck smiled on the Grimpils and they found that the Spanish had lost their lease and were selling everything in a massive yard sale. They purchased a boat and a cannon which they vowed to use if they ever saw their enemies, the Pilgrims. The ship was dirty, broken-down, and had a peculiar smell, but then, so did the Grimpils. 

They christened the ship the Aprilflower and set sail under the command of their captain, Miles Standoffish. It was to be a journey that none would forget.

Although they departed several weeks after the Mayflower, they soon passed the Pilgrims because their ship made use of a series of giant oars powered by trained monkeys. The Grimpils encountered many strange and wondrous things on their voyage.

Early in the expedition, they noticed a smell that even they found offensive emanating from the ships hold. It turned out to be a mummy believed to have been a passenger on the ship's first voyage. The mummy came to life and was immediately put to work as lookout in the crow's nest because he gave everyone the willies.

Next, the loathsome group of travelers came across a creature that was part man and part ape protruding from the mouth of a great shark. They caught the shark but did not free the creature for fear that it might turn the army of monkey slaves against their masters.

According to the ship's log, one stormy night, a strange craft hovered above the Aprilflower and an alien appeared on deck. Although the alien came in peace and only wanted to help, the Grimpils' intolerance and fear of anything different made them turn on the alien and they forced it to walk the plank.

In spite of adversity, the Grimpils always managed to have a good time except when they were dying of scurvy, dehydration, and severe acne. When they finally arrived at Chevy Rock, they met a tribe of native people. They mistakenly called them Indians because they assumed that they had landed in Indiana. There was an exchange of cultural knowledge: the Indians taught the Grimpils how to farm the new land; the Grimpils taught the Indians how to hold belching contests. 
The settlers discovered that the Indians had domesticated a species of giant lizards. However, the Grimpils were short on clothing and they slaughtered the entire species to make their belts and wallets. The Grimpils formed a colony at Chevy Rock that reflected their dirty, disgusting lifestyle. This region makes up most of present-day New Jersey. 

History may have forgotten the Grimpils, but it cannot be denied that they were the first settlers in the new world.


Click on the Aprilflower below to go behind the scenes 
and learn more about this important historical exhibit.