Mary of Plymouth - James Otis

Making Spoons and Dishes

I wish you might see how greatly I added to our store of spoons during the first summer we were here in Plymouth. Sarah and I gathered from the shore clam shells that had been washed clean and white by the sea, and Squanto cut many smooth sticks, with a cleft in one end so that they might be pushed firmly on the shell, thus making a most beautiful spoon.

[Illustration] from Mary of Plymouth by James Otis

Sarah says that they are most to her liking, because it is not necessary to spend very much time each week polishing them, as we are forced to do with the pewter spoons.

Some day, after we own cows, we can use the large, flat clam shells with which to skim milk, and when we make our own butter and cheese, we shall be rich indeed.

After the pumpkins ripened, and when the gourds in the Indian village were hardened, we added to our store of bowls and cups until the kitchen was much the same as littered with them, and all formed of the pumpkin and gourd shells.

[Illustration] from Mary of Plymouth by James Otis

Out of the gourd shells we made what were really most serviceable dippers, and even bottles, while in the pumpkin shell dishes we kept much of our supply of Indian corn.

Captain Standish gave me two of the most beautiful turkey wings, to be used as brushes; but they are so fine that mother has them hung on the wall as ornaments, and we sweep the hearth with smaller and less perfect wings from the birds or turkeys father has brought home.

[Illustration] from Mary of Plymouth by James Otis

This no doubt seems to you of Scrooby a queer way of keeping house.


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