Of Plymouth Plantation, 1620-1647 Book 2, Chapter 4 Summary
Weston’s colony continues to struggle, which Bradford attributes to disorganization and lax morals. Some of the inhabitants there even start to steal from local people, so relations in between the settlers and the Native Americans weaken. A coalition of tribes colludes to prepare an attack on both settlements, however Massasoit reveals the strategies to the Pilgrims, who round up and eliminate some of the “primary conspirators” (74 ). In the end, the 2nd settlement simply fizzles out since Weston never sends the materials he assured them.
Weston himself does come by, however, and encounters a series of misfortunes consisting of a shipwreck and the theft of all his valuables. As an outcome, he has no option but to seek aid from the inhabitants at Plymouth, who take pity on him and give him beaver skins to reclaim to England: “Thus they assisted him when all the world failed him … […] However he requited them ill, proving himself a bitter enemy upon every opportunity, and never ever repaying them to this day– other than in reproaches and calumnies” (75 ).
Given that the Pilgrims understand they can no longer depend on Weston to send supplies, they choose to try to increase their crop yields by having each family plant and tend their own corn rather than farming a typical area. This shows to be a great success, making “all hands extremely industrious, so that much more corn [is] planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could create” (76 ). However, food is still in short supply as the Pilgrims wait on their newest harvest to come to fulfillment.
On the other hand, ships continue to set sail from England for Plymouth, though not all reach their location. Storms require one ship to reverse, which shows lucky because the leader of that exploration later on reveals himself to be untrustworthy and power-hungry. A ship under the command of a guy named William Pierce does reach Plymouth, accompanied by a “pinnace” (87 ), or a little ship, for the Pilgrims’ usage in the nests. Pierce also brings 60 brand-new inhabitants, including private individuals unaffiliated with the Leyden parishes.
A letter from the financiers apologizes for not sending over more of the Leyden churchgoers however argues that the people they have selected will show helpful to the nest. Cushman, meanwhile, notes in a separate letter that there are lots of people eager to settle in America and cautions that the best risk facing the Pilgrims is “corrupt and disorderly persons” (80 ). Food is still scarce, so the Pilgrims and the new inhabitants quickly agree that the latter will rely only on the provisions they brought over with them till their own crops are prepared for harvest.
In addition, the settlers who came by as private people work out an agreement with the Plymouth federal government specifying which laws, responsibilities, taxes, etc. they need to comply with. Stress quickly begins to install in between these two groups, and some of the private inhabitants return home. In the autumn of 1622, another ship gets here, carrying a guy called Captain Robert Gorges, who had actually been designated Governor-General of New England. Georges hopes to establish a brand-new settlement where Weston’s individuals had been.
One of Gorges’ very first actions is to charge Weston both with mismanagement of his nest and with dishonest company transactions. Eventually, Weston is able to get away penalty, in part since jailing him and seizing his ship would indicate taking on duty for his financial obligations. Gorges himself, meanwhile, ultimately returns to England, “as he [does] not find the state of things here correspond to his station and way of living” (86 ), and the settlement he developed fails.