The Pilgrims: Illness

posted in: Pilgrims | 0

That first winter was brutal on the passengers of the Mayflower.
A mixture of “a mixture of scurvy, pneumonia, and tuberculosis” moved through the group that first winter.

The first winter was brutal on the Pilgrims

Of the 102 passengers that arrived in the New World, only 53 survived that first winter. Illness did not only affect the passengers,but also the crew. Half of the crew died that first winter.
Fifty people are said to have died that first month. At one point it is said that only seven people were able to care for the sick and cook.

During that “first winter 75% of the women died, 50% of the men died, 36% of the boys died,” and “two girls (18%) died.”
Illness spread easily, especially among those confined on the Mayflower. Those quarters are defined as “damp, filthy and crowded.”
The ill would have been cared for onboard, probably by the women, which only increased the illness and helped it to spread quickly.
Of the seventeen women to comes over on the Mayflower, only five women survived the first winter {with another dying in May}.
Of the eleven girls to come over, only two died. Both of those girls were over without a parent, so they may have only had one another to care for each other.
Many of the children lost one or both of their parents.
Of the crew, we know the ship’s cook, boatswain, master gunner, and three of the four quartermasters all died that first winter.

The Mayflower set sail for England from Plymouth Colony in April 5, 1621. The ship made good time and arrived back in England on May 9, 1621.

If Captain Jones had not agreed to stay through the winter, there would have been no settlers left to become our forefathers.

The Mayflower never returned to the United States again.

However, a Mayflower II did bring new settlers over in 1629.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.