Shortly after Jamestown was founded, Plymouth was settled. For a couple of decades, the population grew relatively slowly, with the Dutch and the English being the two primary countries colonizing the area, primarily for the fur trade. But in 5 years in the 1630s, New England’s population expanded from 300 to 5000 in a great migration. Soon, people were moving inland, particularly to the Connecticut River valley. Source: Empires, Furs and Fortune.
Am reading “Fur, Fortune and Empire” and am finding it to be an interesting book. For exampple, the settlers on Plymouth were more or less coerced at the final momnent to sign a new and less favorable agreement with their employer, and although they sought religious freedom their journey was paid for by investors who had them focus first and foremost on trading for valuable Beaver pelts with the Native Americans. The company that paid for their voyage was led by a sociopath, who didn’t give enough goods and supplies to the pilgrims, and made unreasonable demands of them. Also, they were supposed to settle farther south than Plymouth (and those lands had better fur trapping locations) but settled in Plymouth for safety reasons, then virtually hunted the Beaver to extinction in that area. Finally, they expected to find a thriving Native settlement in Plymouth, but found it nearly abandoned – most of the Natives had been wiped out by the diseases that Europeans brought with them (and wiped out much of all the native populations in the Americas).