Mary of Plymouth - James Otis

Master Bradford's Chimney

Master Bradford built what is a perfect luxury of a chimney, which shows what a man can do who has genius, and my mother says he showed great skill in thus building. If you please, his chimney is of stone, even though we have no means of cutting rock, such as is known at Scrooby. He sought here and there for flat stones, laying them one upon another with a plentiful mixture of clay, until he built a chimney which cannot be injured by fire, and yet is even larger than ours.

Its heart is so big that I am told Master Bradford himself can climb up through it without difficulty, and at the bottom, or rather, where the fireplace ends and the chimney begins, is a shelf on either side, across which is laid a bar of green wood lest it burn too quickly; on this the pot-hooks and pot-claws may be hung by chains.

[Illustration] from Mary of Plymouth by James Otis

It would seem as if all this had made Master Bradford over vain, for because the wooden bar, which he calls a back-bar, has been burned through twice, thereby spoiling the dinner, he has sent to England for an iron one, and when it comes his family may be proud indeed, for only think how easily one can cook when there are so many conveniences!

We are forced to put our pots and pans directly on the coals, and it bums one's hands terribly at times, if the fire is too bright. Besides, the cinders fall on the bread of meal, which causes much delay in the eating, because so much time is necessary in scraping them off, and even at the best, I often get more of ashes than is pleasant to the taste.

[Illustration] from Mary of Plymouth by James Otis

Bread of any kind is such a rarity with us that we can ill afford to have it spoiled by ashes. During the first two years we had only the meal from Indian corn with which to make it, but when we were able to raise rye, it was mixed with the other, and we had a most wholesome bread, even though it was exceeding dark in color.


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