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

Mary of Plymouth - James Otis

The First School

I must not forget to tell you that last year there was opened a school, in that part of the old fort which was first used as a meeting-house. Our friends in England sent to us a preacher by name of John Lyford, as I have already said, and he it was who began the school, teaching all children whose parents could pay him a certain amount either in wampum, beaver skins, corn, wheat, peas, or money.

Sarah and I went during seven weeks, and would have remained while school was open, but that Master Lyford had hot words with Governor Bradford because of letters which he wrote to his friends in England, wherein were many false things set down concerning us of Plymouth. Then it was father declared that I should go on with my studies at home, rather than be taught by a man who was doing whatsoever he might to bring reproach upon our village.

It caused me much sorrow thus to give over learning, for Master Lyford taught us many new things, and neither Sarah nor I could understand how it would work harm to us, even though we did study under the direction of one who was not a friend to Plymouth.

I felt sorry because of Master Lyford's having done that which gave rise to ill feelings among our people, since it resulted in his being sent away from Plymouth. It would not have given me sorrow to see him go, for to my mind he was not a friendly man; but it seemed much like a great loss to the village, when the school was closed.

It would surprise you to know how comfortable everything was in the school; it seemed almost as if we children were being allowed to give undue heed to the pleasures of this world, though I must confess that during the first hour of the morning session we were distressed by the smoke.