Summary and Analysis Chapter 27



The new problem had to do with the fact that Moll was reluctant to leave Virginia without making some claim to her inheritance. Nor could she bear the thought of leaving without making herself known to her brother or to her son. However, she didn't want Jemmy to know anything of them, and vice versa.

Moll considered sending Jemmy to Carolina with all their goods and following him later, but discarded this idea because she knew he would not go without her. Then she considered leaving with him for Carolina and taking part of their goods, only to return to Virginia alone for the rest; but she knew he would never let her return without him.

The problems seemed insurmountable because in addition to the above, Moll was afraid if she did not hurry and identify herself to her brother, he might die and it might be impossible for her to convince her son of her true identity and her right to her inheritance. Yet, Moll did not see fit to reveal to them that she had been brought over from England as a criminal or that she had another husband with her.

Moll continued telling Jemmy of the absolute necessity for not settling where they then were, for fear their criminal pasts might be revealed. She also explained that she had reason to believe that her mother had left her something but that it was dangerous to inquire about it at that time. Moll suggested that after they were settled in Carolina, she would visit her relations and inquire about her inheritance; she felt sure that by then she would be received with respect since she and Jemmy would have some money. Otherwise, she might be subjected to all kinds of affronts and legal suits which she knew would be painful to him. With these arguments, Moll convinced Jemmy that they should go to Carolina.


Remember that Moll was supposed to serve time as an indentured servant. She had had her goods shipped to her in Virginia under her real name. Moll was truly afraid of any great notice being taken of her and Jemmy. If this were not the case, we can assume that Moll would not have hesitated to try immediately to collect her inheritance.