In "Of Plymouth Plantation", what sort of hardships did the Puritans endure in the first winter?
During the first winter, the Puritans went without food, they were cold and they had little understanding of the savages they encountered. Many grew sick. During their voyage, they had lost many to illness as well.
It was a time of great searching in terms of location to build a community. They wanted to make sure they had a harbor ready to take in goods. They also struggled with the fact that this location just looked like an incredible wilderness. Used to London, this place's inhabitants were far from the civilized place they normally encountered. To have viewed such a place must have been mildly devastating to say the least after having endured such a terrific voyage. The fact that their arrival gave them no time to plan for winter made things increasingly difficult. Had they time to cultivate crops and harvest them, they could have prepared for this land and it's different weather patterns. As it was they did build a common meeting place right away.