Of Plymouth Plantation, 1620-1647 Book 2, Chapter 13 Summary
Allerton once again travels to England in 1632, and Sherley– in spite of his previous misgivings about Allerton– sells him the White Angel outright at a low price. Allerton then resells the ship in Spain, and Bradford implies that he uses the money to clear his private debts. What’s more, Hatherley attempts to charge some of Allerton’s financial obligations to the Pilgrims when he visits them on service: “But they [tell] him they had actually been tricked enough time in that method, and [program] him that it was no concern of theirs” (160 ).
More issues develop, however, when the Pilgrims attempt to communicate with the English partners about problems and inconsistencies in Allerton’s accounts. The ship bring the accounts, in addition to numerous hundred pounds worth of beaver and otter skins, sinks in a storm. Thankfully, the people on board the ship make it through, as a letter from William Pierce describes: “By this we have actually lost our worldly goods– yet a delighted loss if our souls are the gainers” (162 ).
In spite of all these troubles, the colony and its citizens continue to prosper, with corn and cattle in specific showing financially rewarding. As Bradford describes it, this success is in numerous ways a double-edged sword since cattle-farming in particular needs a great deal of space. As a result, the Pilgrims buy bigger and bigger holdings, successfully spreading themselves out over more land: “By this implies they were rapidly scattered all over the Bay, and the town in which they had lived compactly previously was left very thinly peopled, and in a short time practically desolate” (160 ).
This in turn causes the church to get into different local branches– a development Bradford finds especially uncomfortable and tries to discourage by supplying especially option land to some “special individuals […] likely to be helpful to the church and commonwealth” (160-61). In the end, however, “imagined necessity” (161) draws these settlers away as well, which Bradford “fear [s] will be the destroy of New England– at least of the churches of God there– and will provoke the Lord’s displeasure” (161 ).