Of Plymouth Plantation, 1620-1647 Book 1, Chapter 10 Summary
A group of Pilgrims, led by Captain Myles Standish, choose to go checking out on foot while they wait for the “shallop” (44 ), or sailboat, they brought with them to be fixed. As they walk along the beach, they experience a group of Native Americans and pursue them for numerous miles along a creek turning inland. When the Pilgrims lose track of the group, they go back to the beach and continue searching for the river they saw from the bay. As they draw close to it, they discover indications of habitation, consisting of tombs, abandoned farmlands, homes, and baskets of corn.
After discovering the river itself, the Pilgrims take some of the corn to reveal to their fellow settlers. A 2nd expedition to the river, this time in the shallop, revives more corn and beans, which Bradford credits with conserving the Pilgrims from starvation that first winter. In December, a group of Pilgrims set out to check out the Bay more completely in the shallop and see a number of Native Americans preparing fish on the shore. The Pilgrims land nearby and invest a couple of days checking out the location, developing makeshift wood barriers for security versus both attacks and the components.
One morning, they hear a cry and are attacked by a group of Native Americans armed with weapons. The Pilgrims, nevertheless, handle to fend the attack off and follow the Native Americans as they retreated, “screaming one or two times, and shooting off two or 3 guns […] so that the natives may not think they hesitated of them” (47 ). Bradford attributes the victory and the lack of any injuries to God. After this encounter, the Pilgrims go back to their boat and set out to find the neighboring harbor they had heard of.
A winter storm comes up and nearly sinks the boat, but the Pilgrims manage to nestle for the night on an island. The weather condition improves the next morning, and within a couple of days, the group is successful in finding the harbor, together with “several cornfields and little running brooks– a location, as they expect [d], fit for settlement” (48 ). The group returns with the good news, and by the end of December, all the Pilgrims have relocated to the location and started to set up the very first buildings.