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Mayflower, Day by Day - Friday, 11 December 1620

11 Dec 2020 3:11 AM | Soule (Administrator)

At anchor, Cape Cod harbour 

The carpenter was finishing work and repair on the shallop.  The colonists continued discussing locations visited as places for settlement, but no place yet seen was entirely suitable.  Edward Winslow (in Mourt’s Relation) suggested four reasons for staying near where they were: “First, … there was a convenient harbour for boats, though not for ships. Secondly, good corn-ground ready to our hands, as we saw by experience in the goodly corn it yielded, which would agree with the ground, and be natural seed for the same. Thirdly, Cape Cod was like to be a place of good fishing …; Fourthly, the place was likely to be healthful, secure, and defensible.  But the last and especial reason was, that now the heart of winter and unseasonable weather was come upon us, so that we could not go upon coasting and discovery without danger of losing men and boat, upon which would follow the overthrow of all, especially considering what variable winds and sudden storms do there arise. Also, cold and wet lodging had so tainted our people, for scarce any of us were free from vehement coughs, as if they should continue long in that estate it would endanger the lives of many, and breed diseases and infection amongst us. Again, we had yet some beer, butter, flesh, and other such victuals left, which would quickly be all gone, and then we should have nothing to comfort us in the great labour and toil we were like to undergo at the first. It was also conceived, whilst we had competent [sufficient] victuals, that the ship would stay with us, but when that grew low, they would be gone and let us shift as we could.”

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