Mary of Plymouth - James Otis

The Visit to Massasoit

That which gave mother and me a great fright was Governor Bradford's command that Edward Winslow and Master Hopkins visit the village of the Indian chief, Massasoit, in order to carry as presents from our settlement of Plymouth a suit of English clothing, a horseman's coat of red cotton, and three pewter dishes.

It seemed to my mother and me as though it was much like going to certain death; but Squanto, who was to act as guide, claimed that no harm could come to them. I trust not these savages, who look so cruel, and cried heartily when our people set out; but God allowed them to return in safety, although they were not overly well pleased with the visit.

[Illustration] from Mary of Plymouth by James Otis

Massasoit treated them in the most friendly manner, and seemed to be well pleased with the gifts; but he set before them only the very smallest quantity of parched corn, no more than two spoonfuls to each one, and failed to offer anything else when that had been eaten.

Except that they were hungry during all the five days of the stay, the savages treated them kindly, and my father believes that we need have no fear this tribe will do us any harm; but there are other Indians in the land who may be tempted to work mischief.


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