Mary of Plymouth - James Otis

Attacked by the Savages

On the sixth of December, the shallop having been made ready for sea, the men started away to search once more for a place in which to build homes, and on the very next day, while they were sleeping in the forest in a hut that had been built of dead tree trunks and bushes, they were set upon by savages, who shot arrows among them.

There were thirty or forty of these savages, but as soon as our men fired upon them, they speedily disappeared. Our men then picked up the arrows, some of which were fashioned with heads of brass or eagles' claws.

No one was hurt by these weapons, although one of them passed through father's coat, and many were found sticking in the logs. Then our people gave solemn thanks to God because of having been saved from the savage foe, and afterward gathered up many of the arrows to be sent back to England, that our friends there might see what were the dangers to be met with in the woods of this new world.

Five long, dreary days went by before the company came back once more, and then we were made happy by being told that a place for our village had been found. It was a long distance from where the Mayflower  lay at anchor; and on the next morning another great storm came up, which forced us to stay on board the vessel until the fifteenth of December, when we set sail, and Sarah and I hugged each other fervently, for at last did it appear as if we could begin to make our homes.

[Illustration] from Mary of Plymouth by James Otis

Even then we were forced to stay in the Mayflower yet longer, for after we were Come into the bay where it had been said we should live, the men spent a long while choosing a place in which to build the houses.


Front Matter

Why This Story was Written
The Leaking Speedwell
Searching for a Home
After the Storm
Wash Day
Finding the Corn
Attacked by the Savages
Building Houses
Miles Standish
The Sick People
The New Home
Master White and the Wolf
Inside of the House
A Chimney Without Bricks
Building the Fire
Master Bradford's Chimney
Scarcity of Food
A Timely Gift
The First Savage Visitor
Squanto's Story
Living in the Wilderness
The Friendly Indians
Grinding the Corn
A Visit From Massasoit
Massasoit's Promise
Massasoit's Visit Returned
The Big House Burned
The Mayflower Leaves Port
Setting the Table
What and How we Eat
Table Rules
A Pilgrim Goes Abroad
Making a Dugout
Governor Carver's Death
Bradford Chosen Governor
Farming in Plymouth
Cooking Indian Corn
The Wedding
Making Maple Syrup
Decorating the House
Trapping Wolves and Pigeons
Elder Brewster
The Visit to Massasoit
Keeping the Sabbath Holy
Making Clapboards
Cooking Pumpkins
A New Oven
Making Spoons and Dishes
The Fort and Meeting-House
The Harvest Festival
How to Play Stoolball
On Christmas Day
When the Fortune Arrived
Possibility of Another Famine
On Short Allowance
A Threatening Message
Pine Knots and Candles
Tallow From Bushes
Wicks for the Candle
Dipping the Candles
When James Runs Away
Evil-Minded Indians
Long Hours of Preaching
John Alden's Tubs
English Visitors
Visiting the Neighbors
Why More Fish are not Taken
How Wampum is Made
Ministering to Massasoit
The Plot Thwarted
The Captain's Indian
Ballots of Corn
Arrival of the Ann
Little James Comes to Port
The New Meeting-House
The Church Service
The Tithingmen
Master Winslow Brings Cows
A Real Oven
Butter and Cheese
Settlement at Wessagussett
The Village at Merrymount
The First School
Too Much Smoke
Schools Comforts
How Children Were Punished
New Villages
Making Ready for a Journey
Clothing for Salem
Food for the Journey
Before Sailing for Salem
Beginning the Journey
The Arrival at Salem
Sight-Seeking in Salem
Back to Plymouth