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Dear America Wiki
Not to be confused with A Journey to the New World (book).

"What a relief it is to sit in the open sunshine, after the unrelenting horrors of our Mayflower voyage and the cruel winter that followed. Today I'm most cheered—we finally have a home."
Mem opens the story

"Dear America: A Journey to the New World" is an adaptation of A Journey to the New World by Kathryn Lasky. It was the third installment of the Dear America film series. The film aired on May 6, 1999 and starred Alison Pill in the lead role. It was followed by "Standing in the Light".

Remember Whipple is a Pilgrim living in Plymouth Colony, after sailing on the Mayflower.


The Pilgrims have survived the arduous journey on the Mayflower and the harsh winter that followed. Now in March 1621, Remember Patience Whipple (Alison Pill), or Mem for short, has adapted well to her new life in Plymouth Colony. She is curious about Indians and leaves a doll as a present for them. Once she leaves, Squanto (Kenneth Charlette) picks it up with a smile. Captain Standish (Donald Burda), however, is suspicious of the Indians and wants to form a militia for protection. Both of Mem's parents speak in defense of the Indians.

One day, Squanto approaches the villagers and welcomes them in English. Recognizing Mem, Squanto voices his hope that they may be friends, which she readily accepts. The once suspicious Captain Standish then accepts Squanto's handshake. At the welcoming feast, Mem's mother Grace (Brenda Bazinct) becomes seriously ill. She passes away some days later, despite Mem's nursing and Squanto's gifts. Beside herself with grief, Mem stops writing in her diary.

Three months later, Mem loses her temper with Hannah Potts (Susannah Hoffman), who is especially sensitive since the deaths of her husband and baby. Her father (Andrew Airlie) reprimands her and Mem grudgingly apologizes to Hannah. Later, Mem follows a group of Indians to their village. Squanto spots her and introduces her to his family, including a girl named Noami (Alana Brascoupe) around Mem's age.

Mem's father later tells her that he has asked Hannah to marry him, which she is not exactly happy about. Hannah stays with Mem, while her father goes on an expedition with the other men. Mem starts to warm to Hannah and even defends her when John Billington (Cody Jones) makes an insulting comment. Upon the men's return, they decide to invite Squanto and the surrounding tribes for a feast. During the feast, Mem writes in her diary about the things she has learned and her hopes for the future.

Cast and characters[]

Crew and credits[]

  • Directed by: Don McCutcheon
  • Teleplay by: Eric Tuchman
  • Adapted from the book: "A Journey to the New World" written by Kathryn Lasky
  • Based on: the Scholastic book series "Dear America" created by Jean Feiwel
  • Executive producer: Deborah Forte
  • Co-executive producers: Bill Siegler, Martha Atwater
  • Editor: Richard Wells
  • Production designer: Ian Brock
  • Director of photography: Barry Bergthorson
  • Line producer: Lena Cordina
  • Executive in charge: Christie Dreyfuss
  • Music by: Jack Lenz and Douglas John Cameron
  • Story editor: Rhonda Jayne Olson
  • Production manager: Lena Cordina
  • 1st assistant director: Mark Tataryn
  • Location manager: Karen Perez
  • Art director: Roderik Mayne
  • 1st assistant art director: Theresa Tindall
  • 2nd assistant director: Eric Banz
  • Production coordinator: David Hardy
  • Script supervisor: Susan Walker
  • Set decorator: Elizabeth Calderhead
  • Costume designer: Joyce Schure
  • Property master: Alan Doucette
  • Make-up: Leslie Dumbleton
  • Hairstylist: Etheline Joseph
  • Camera operator: Doug Lawrence
  • Sound recordist: Bryan Day
  • Re-recording engineer: Steve Foster
  • Gaffer: Bob Davidson
  • Key grip: Darren Boyce
  • 1st assistant camera: Lori Longstaff
  • Post production supervisor: Lynda McKenzie
  • Assistant editor: Douglas Crawford
  • Construction coordinator: Bill White
  • Transport coordinator: J. Skavinsky
  • Stunt coordinator: Anton Tyukodi
  • Special effects by: Brock Jolliffe
  • Casting: Susan Forrest and Sharon Forrest
  • Production accountant: Kelly Decooman
  • Scholastic financial executive: Diane Vilagi
  • Production associate: Tessa Abdull
  • Production services provided by: Protocol Entertainment Inc.
  • Special thanks to: Dome Audio Video & Effects, The Lab

Home media[]


The film on the VHS

"A Journey to the New World" was released on VHS tape in 1999.[2] It was also released in a three pack with "A Picture of Freedom and "Dreams in the Golden Country."[3] The movie is now available for purchase on various streaming services.

Back of tape description:
"Twelve year old Remember Patience Whipple ("Mem," for short) arrives in the New World after a grueling 65 day journey on the Mayflower. Mem has an irrepressible spirit, and leaps headfirst into life in her new home. Despite harsh conditions, Mem is fearless. She helps to care for the sick and wants more than anything to meet an Indian. Join Mem as she embarks on a journey of triumph, tragedy and thanksgiving."

Differences from the book[]

  • Several supporting and minor characters are missing from the film, including Blessing Whipple, Humility Sawyer, Samoset, Francis Billington and his father, William Bradford and Will Butten.
  • The film starts in March 1621, skipping the Mayflower voyage and most of the first winter in Plymouth.
  • Squanto approaches the Pilgrims on his own, instead of Samoset introducing them.
  • Remember leaves a doll for the Indians, which Squanto finds and gives to Noami. In the book, the doll's fate is not revealed.
  • In the book, Grace Whipple becomes sick soon after arriving in Plymouth and dies in April 1621. She falls ill towards April and passes away quickly in the film.
  • Squanto introduces a group of Indians as his family, including an original character named Noami. He does not have a family in the book.
  • John Billington makes a comment about Mem's father wanting to marry Hannah Potts for her feather mattress. In the book, his mother is the person who said this.
  • Mem's last entry in her diary is dated October 16, 1621, though the book ends in mid-November.

Behind the scenes[]



From the Dear America website (August 2000)


See also[]

External links[]