Houses in Plymouth
Houses in Plymouth
Caleb Johnson, © 2003 - Source
License: Copyright

A Second Ship, the Fortune, Arrives at the Plymouth Colony

In November 1621, one year after the Pilgrims first set foot in New England, a second ship sent by the Merchant Adventurers arrived. Named the Fortune, it arrived with 37 new settlers for Plymouth. However, as the ship had arrived unexpectedly, and also without many supplies, the additional settlers put a strain on the resources of the colony. Among the passengers of the Fortune were several additional people of the original Leiden congregation, including William Brewster's son Jonathan, Edward Winslow's brother John, and Philip Delano (the family name was earlier "de la Noye") whose descendants include President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The Fortune also carried a letter from the Merchant Adventurers chastising the colony for failure to return goods with the Mayflower that had been promised in return for their support. The Fortune began its return to England laden with £500 worth of goods, more than enough to keep the colonists on schedule for repayment of their debt, however the Fortune was captured by the French before she could deliver her cargo to England, creating an even larger deficit for the colony.

The Fortune was the first ship after the Mayflower, with almost a year’s lapse in time, a year during which many of the original pilgrims died. The remaining pilgrims were happy to see this second ship’s passengers, most of them either friends or relatives. Yet, this was a mixed blessing. It had arrived laden with few supplies and more mouths to feed.