As you know, the Pilgrims arrived in December 1620,
|and I doubt they really looked like this. (Courier and Ives)|
To say the least, they struggled. In all seriousness, it is fascinating to read Bradford’s account of their fist few years. As it turns out, there were deceitful men on both sides of the Atlantic back in those
crappy old days, too. You’ve got to give the Pilgrims a lot of credit and admiration. They persevered.
Here’s what Bradford says about the response of the Original Settlers in 1623 to another boat load of folks from the Old World who hadn’t brought provisions for the colonists.
Now the original settlers were afraid that their corn, when it was ripe, would have to be shared with the new-comers, and that the provisions which the latter had brought over with them would give out before the year was over– which indeed they did. So they went to the Governor and begged him that as it had been agreed that they should sow their own corn for their own use, and accordingly they had taken great pains about it, they might be left to enjoy it. They would rather do that than have a bit of the food just come in the ship. They would wait till harvest for their own and let the newcomers enjoy what they brought; they would have none of it except by bargain or exchange. Their request was granted them and it satisfied both sides; for the new-comers were much afraid the hungry settlers would eat up the provisions they had brought, and then they would fall into like conditions of want.
William Bradford in Of Plymouth Colony, Chapter IV: 1623. [my emphasis]
(From A Modern English Version with an Introduction, George F. Willison, Walter J. Black, Inc., 1948)
Here’s what he had to say about Harvest Time.