Mary of Plymouth - James Otis

The Mayflower Leaves Port

All was excitement in this little village when our people began to make ready for sending the Mayflower  home. She had been lying at anchor close by the shore, giving shelter to them as were yet without homes, and affording a timely place of refuge when the Common House was partly burned; but our fathers had decided that she could no longer be kept idle. It was much like breaking the last ties which bound us to the old homes in England, when the time had been set for her to go back.

Sarah and I could have no part in making the Mayflower  ready for sailing, since we were only two girls who were of no service or aid; but we watched the sailors as they came and went from the shore, wishing, oh so fervently! that we and those we loved might remain in the vessel which had brought us so safely across the wide ocean.

[Illustration] from Mary of Plymouth by James Otis

During such time as we were forced to remain on board of her because of having no other place of shelter, she seemed all too small for our comfort, and we rejoiced at being able to leave her; but when it was known that she was going back to our old homes, where were all our friends, save those who had come to this new world with us, it was much like starting anew.

Sarah and I stood with our arms around each other as she sailed out of the harbor, while all the people were gathered on the shore to wish her a safe voyage, and I know that my cheeks were wet with tears as I saw her disappearing in the east, leaving us behind.

That night father prayed most fervently for all on board, that they might have a safe and speedy passage, and it was to me as if I had parted at the mouth of the grave with some one who was very dear to me.

Then were we indeed alone amid the huge trees, surrounded by wild beasts and savage Indians, and the sickness was yet so great among us, that I wondered if God had really forgotten that we had come to this new world in order to worship him as we had been commanded?


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