Friday, November 23, 2012

After the Mayflower: The Good Ship Fortune

Now that you've had your fill of turkey and possibly tales of the first Thanksgiving, it's interesting to note what came a few weeks after Thanksgiving. And that was a ship called, Fortune, but really we never hear about the second ship because the Mayflower gets all the press. But here's the thing, the investors who sent the Mayflower to America didn't finance the journey because they were nice guys. They did it because they wanted to make money. So much so, they named the ship for the Fortune they were sure they would make.  

But good ship Fortune didn't really live up to it's name. By the time it reached Massachusetts with thirty-five people aboard, it was out of much needed supplies - for both passengers on the Fortune and the colonists of Plymouth who were still short on food because while Thanksgiving was a great meal, the hard living continued after the feast.

Of course the investors also sent along a letter demanding that the Fortune be filled with treasure and sent back to England immediately. It seems the boss is the boss no matter what time and place. 

According to accounts, the settlers rallied and filled the ship with what treasure they could - mostly furs. Then they got together to figure a way to buy themselves out of debt, but it took seven long years to achieve.  

So even after the feast, the Pilgrims had to work hard to get themselves out of a massive debt. Hmmm. It doesn't sound so different than the United States today. 

To learn more about the Fortune, visit

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