The sufferings that fate inflicts on us should be borne with patience, what enemies inflict with manly courage. — Thucydides

Mary of Plymouth - James Otis

The Journey

The day had not fully dawned when we marched down to the shore where the shallop lay at anchor; but early though the hour was, we found there assembled nearly all the townspeople, come to bid us Godspeed on the dangerous journey. One would have thought we were counting to travel as far as England, to judge from the looks of sorrow on the faces of our friends, and we did not go aboard the small vessel until Elder Brewster had prayed once more for our safe return from the place where temptation in so many forms awaited us.

However much time I might spend over the task, it would be impossible for me to describe, in such a manner that you could understand it, the pleasure which Sarah and I had during the journey. It was our first voyaging in so small a vessel, but we could not well have been alarmed, for the sea was as smooth as velvet, save where it was ruffled here and there by the gentle breeze which filled the sail of the shallop.

[Illustration] from Mary of Plymouth by James Otis

Both my father and Captain Standish fretted because there was not wind enough to send us along at a smarter pace; but we girls were well content with the slow progress, since it would be but prolonging our pleasure.

As the day grew older, we partook of food, and each one, save him who was at the helm, chose such position as was best suited to comfort. Father pointed out to us certain landmarks on the coast, which he said had been set down by Captain John Smith of Virginia when he journeyed in this region, and John Alden told of settlers who had begun to make plantations on the shores of Massachusetts Bay.

At noon father read from the Book, while John Alden steered, and after a season of prayer mother spoke with Captain Standish concerning friends in Holland.

It was as if this carried the captain's mind back to the time when he had been an officer in the Dutch army, for straightway he began telling stories of adventure and of thrilling escapes from death, until Sarah and I were at the same time entranced and alarmed. Even though I burned to have him continue, it was a relief when he changed the subject to speculate upon what the future might hold for us of Plymouth.

When night came, we were yet at sea, and mother, Sarah, and I lay down on the dry beach grass in the bottom of the boat, after father had once more prayed that the Lord would hold us, as He does the sea, in the hollow of His hand. We slept as sweetly as if in our own beds at Plymouth, never once awakening until Captain Standish cried out that we should open our eyes to the glory of the sunrise.


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