History of Plymouth Plantation Questions and Answers
by William Bradford

History of Plymouth Plantation book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What Were Some Of The Challenges Faced By The Pilgrims And The Crew During The Journey

What problems did the settlers of the Plymouth Plantation face?

Specifically, what did they face on their voyage and during the "starving time?"  What were their relations with the Indians like?

Expert Answers info

marbar57 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write551 answers

starTop subjects are Science, Literature, and Social Sciences

My goodness!  What didn't the Pilgrims face?  From the very first instance of their accepting their religion in Europe, they faced opposition.  That's why they first fled to Holland, and then sought passage to the New World.  Aboard ship, conditions were horrific!  There were no comfortable accomodations below decks where they stayed, the ship leaked, the food spoiled, there were rats, and storms tossed the ship around, often for days at a time.  They arrived late in the year in a strange land.  Over half of them did not survive that first winter due to starvation and exposure to the elements.  Most of the unfortunate victims were men, the women seeming to have a stronger constitution than the men. 

The Wampanoug Indians were, for the most part, friendly and helpful.  Everyone has heard of Chief Massasoit and Squanto, and how they brought food to the settlers and showed them how to plant their crops, build their homes, and survive.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Susan Hurn eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write2,150 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

In his history of the Plymouth Colony, William Bradford writes quite dramatically, and often movingly, of the voyage on the Mayflowerand the settlers' first winter in the new land. The voyage over "fast and furious seas" was dangerous and miserable. Many of the Pilgrims suffered from seasickness, and they also endured the hateful taunting and verbal abuse of some of the rough sailors who made up the crew. One of the Pilgrims, a young man named John Howland, was swept overboard but was saved and brought back onboard the ship.

A terrible situation developed about halfway through the voyage when one of the main beams cracked, making it very uncertain that the ship could complete the voyage. Temporary repairs were made, and the ship sailed on, sometimes meeting with violent storms that forced them to drop the sails and drift helplessly in the ocean.

When they finally landed, their misery continued. The winter was fierce. The people stayed aboard the ship, trying to survive on the rations that were left. They had not taken food to prepare for being stranded during the winter. In the section of his history called "The Starving Time," Bradford writes that in two or three months, at least...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 727 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write35,413 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial


alexandramontoya | Student

hi my name is Alex and i need help trying to find the answer to the question be so can somebody help me please

parama9000 | Student

They had to survive harsh conditions as a result of the severe weather condition that carried them through their voyage. They had to stay below decks which would definitely resulted in a stench. They also had to learn how to survive in a new domain when they landed.

gecko15 | Student

The pilgrims had squanto help them along the way

check Approved by eNotes Editorial