Sorry for the delay. Got waylaid by a virus.
I was thinking about that cold winter when the ‘Shield’ arrived in the Delaware River and the passengers walked to land over ice, and then, thinking about how Mahlon Stacy wrote about the bountiful life in the Yorkshire Tenth. It was a little surprising that he did not mention the chilly weather. Of course, Stacy intended his letter to be reread to English Quakers who were debating whether or not to make the trip to America, so he put the best face of things.
But it is interesting to remember that the Quakers arrived in West New Jersey during one of the coldest periods in modern history, now frequently described as the Little Ice Age, which extended from 1200 to 1850. One of the coldest periods during that era was 1670-1703. Along with lower average temperatures, Europe suffered from violent storms during this time. Brian Fagan’s book The Little Ice Age is a fascinating study, but it is based on what was experienced in Europe rather than North America (not too many people here to record the weather). But since weather in America has always been more extreme than it is in England, I think it’s safe to assume that life was a great challenge from December through March in 1677, and many winters thereafter.
The next post, which I had hoped to publish by now, was meant to cover the years 1680-1686, but as it turns out, 1680 was an incredibly interesting year, so that’s as far as I got. Read all about it soon–I hope.