Summary and Analysis
Chapter 28 - A Home at Last
After a number of inquiries, Moll and Jemmy learned that a ship had arrived in Maryland from Carolina and would be returning soon. Therefore, they hired a sloop to take their possessions to Maryland.
The voyage was a long and unpleasant one, and much worse than the trip from England because the weather was unpleasant and the ship small. In addition, the river was so broad that they could not see the shore on either side. Moll worried that they might lose their lives — or keep their lives while losing their goods — leaving them destitute in a wild, strange place without friends.
Five days later, however, they arrived in Maryland, only to discover that the ship bound for Carolina had left three days earlier. Nevertheless, since the land in Maryland was fertile and good, they decided to settle there.
When they landed they met an honest Quaker who directed them to a place near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Here, they bought two servants, one an English woman-servant and the other a Negro man-servant, absolute necessities for people who intended to settle there. The Quaker helped in the purchase and also led Moll and Jemmy to convenient lodgings.
In two months' time they bought a large piece of land from the governor of Maryland.
A year later they had almost "fifty acres of land cleared, part of it enclosed, and some of it planted with tobacco." They also had a garden and sufficient corn "to help supply [their] servants with roots and herbs and bread."
Moll was now able to convince her husband to let her return to Virginia. He was willing to do so since he had work enough to do, as well as hunting to occupy his leisure time.
In a year's time Moll and Jemmy had a profitable plantation. The fact that Moll had remained out of prison so long attests to her management skills. It seems quite possible that if she had put as much effort into making an honest living before this, she could have done so.