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Mayflower, Day by Day - Wednesday, 21 July 1621

21 Jul 2021 3:56 AM | Soule (Administrator)

Scarcity and Plenty

One last comment about the visit to Pokanoket -- despite the glowing reports of what was available for the taking in the wild and in the waters, this was clearly a subsistence economy: there was not much left over, and while the travellers regularly met natives who were happy to share with them, as the Pilgrims had been sharing with the hordes of visitors to their new settlement, there was nothing left over.  This is a part of Massasoit’s great embarrassment about their visit: he had been away, and thus there was nothing prepared for the entertainment.  Each person probably brought his own food, and there was very little left over for the two messengers to share.  There was only a limited means to preserve food, and the Pilgrims were constantly careful to put aside food for the winter, as well as having seed for the next spring’s planting.  And nothing, absolutely nothing, could go to waste; everyone had to be on the lookout for what use could be made of what God had provided.

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