Of Plymouth Plantation, 1620-1647 Book 1, Chapter 5 Summary
After deciding on the Americas as a general location, the Pilgrims start to debate where in particular they need to settle. Bradford discusses that the Pilgrims quickly deserted some propositions, like Guiana, due to concerns about everything from tropical illness to competition with Spanish settlers. Virginia, however, is an appealing choice, in part since it was currently home to a group of English settlers. The Pilgrims, though, are concerned that these ties to England might as soon as again result in religious persecution, so they formally request a warranty of religious liberty from the king.
He decreases to provide concrete assurance, however the Virginia Business– which is funding the Pilgrims– encourages the Pilgrims that the king will leave them in peace as long as they stay tranquil themselves. At this moment, Bradford inserts several letters connected to the Pilgrims’ settlements with the Virginia Business. The first, sent out by a representative of the Virginia Business to the inhabitants in Leyden, applauds the representatives the Pilgrims have sent out to England– Robert Cushman and John Carver– and ensures Robinson and Brewster of the business’s support.
The next is written by Robinson and Brewster and details a number of reasons they feel the Virginia Company must support their endeavor: their previous experience as inhabitants, their nearness as a community, and their belief that God “will graciously succeed [their] endeavours according to the simplicity of [their] hearts therein” (17 ). Numerous letters clarifying the Pilgrims’ spiritual practices follow, in response to “unjustified insinuations” (18 ). The Pilgrims’ views on the appointment of ministers do not seem to discuss well, while fighting within the Virginia Business slows down the Pilgrims’ strategies, regardless.
The Pilgrims also learn, in a letter from England, that a former member of the Amsterdam parish– Mr. Blackwell– has died on board a ship bound for America, in addition to the majority of the passengers. Because Blackwell himself was accountable for the passengers being “packed together like herrings” (20) on the ship, Bradford sees his death as rather been worthy of and elaborates on Blackwell’s character after the letter has actually completed: “He declined from the reality with Mr. Johnson and the rest, and chose them when they parted from parish in that woeful manner, which brought such excellent dishonor to God, scandal to the fact, and ruin to themselves in this world” (21 ).
Regardless of all these problems, nevertheless, the Pilgrims eventually prosper in securing a patent from the Virginia Company. They do not end up utilizing it, however, which Bradford states is a “real symbol of the uncertain things of this world, which, when guys have toiled to acquire them vanish into smoke!” (22 ).