Mary of Plymouth - James Otis

Ministering to Massasoit

It was early in this second springtime that had come to us in Plymouth, when Samoset brought word into the village that Massasoit, the savage chief that had been so kind to us, was ill unto death, and that those jealous Indians whom Captain Standish had disarmed so valiantly, were only waiting until their king should die before they made an attack upon our town.

This news was believed to be of such importance that straightway Governor Bradford commanded Captain Standish to gather as many of his melt as could be spared from Plymouth, and go at once to Massasoit's village.

This of itself would have received but scant attention from my parents or me, for it seemed as if the captain was ever going out in search of some adventure or another; but on this occasion, it was urged by the governor that Master Winslow, who had shown himself during our first winter on these shores to have some considerable knowledge regarding sickness, go and try if he might not lend the savage king some aid.

[Illustration] from Mary of Plymouth by James Otis

It was a fearsome time for everyone. We knew, because of what Samoset had said, that many of Massasoit's people were awaiting an opportunity to murder us, and, when Master Winslow should go into the village among so many enemies, it was to be feared the savages might fall upon him, knowing the chief was so ill he could not give the white man any help.

During eight long, weary days we waited for the return of Master Winslow, fearing each hour lest we should hear that he was no longer in this world, and then, to our great relief, he came into the village late one evening, while my mother and I were praying for his safe-keeping.

Master Winslow had been most fortunate in the visit, for the good Lord allowed that the savage chief should be restored to health, and by way of showing his gratitude for what had been done, Massasoit told Master Winslow that the white people of Wessagussett had so ill-treated the Indians along the coast, that a plot was on foot to kill not only them, but us at Plymouth.


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