According to Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation, what hardships did the Pilgrams face aboard the Mayflower and in Plymouth?

Expert Answers
Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Bradford's history details many of the hardships the Pilgrims endured, especially during their voyage and first winter at Plymouth. Making their way across the Atlantic in the Mayflower, which was a very small ship by today's standards, they experienced terrible storms, "furious seas," and many rounds of seasickness. When one of the main beams in the ship "bowed and cracked," they lived in fear of even completing their voyage. Additionally, throughout these great difficulties, the Pilgrims had to endure the taunts and abuse of the Mayflower's crew, sailors who showed contempt and deliberate cruelty toward them. One of their group, John Howland, was swept overboard during a storm; he was saved, but the experience left him sometimes ill. Another of their group, William Butten, died during the voyage. 

Because their passage took far longer than expected, the Pilgrims landed during the dead of the New England winter, their supplies mostly depleted. Bradford called this, appropriate, "The Starving Time." The Pilgrims suffered and died, "sometimes two or three of a day." Bradford reported that of more than one-hundred, barely fifty survived. During the worst of this suffering, only six or seven of the Pilgrims remained unafflicted and worked night and day to care for the sick. 

In establishing their colony at Plymouth, the Pilgrims faced enormous odds, as Bradford recounted:

. . . they had now no friends to welcome them nor inns to entertain or refresh their weather-beaten bodies; no houses or much less towns to repair to, to seek for succor . . . . what could they see but a hideous and desolate wilderness, full of wild beasts and wild men--and what multitudes there might be of them they knew not.

In spite of these hardships, however, the Pilgrim's endured. With the special help of Squanto, their Native-American gide whom they considered an agent of God, their colony survived.

waleedhalawa | Student
  •  It was not easy for immigrants for even settlers . It was not easy life. For examples Pilgrims suffered from sickness, diseases, hardships, hostilities as well but pilgrims had a great faith in God and that He would support them. In the way they did have the cause to fight for and sacrifice for was their fate. Now, they have a big island indeed. You know America was founded to be a religious country but it changed to have capitalism  and consumerism. Of course, there is a value that should be stressed which is (multi ethnicity ) in American society even today. Americans look at themselves as a multi ethnic, multi cultural, multi religious society but this is a general situation so it is the land of freedom and liberty.
  •          Now, I think what is the most noted here specially n the writings of Bradford is the hardships that he talks about the sufferings as well as the rules. Page 157  Now when we read page .I think he talks about the hardships that they faced on the way to North America. I just summarized the five major incidents.  For instance they suffer the hardship of the weather , the storm. The ship was about to collapse but they were finally saved .
Read the study guide:
History of Plymouth Plantation

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question