Mary of Plymouth - James Otis

Searching for a Home

Father was wet, cold, weary, and almost discouraged when he came on board the vessel after that first day on shore. The men had found no place which looked as if it might be a good spot for our village. Father said that he was not the only member of the company who had begun to believe it would have been better had we stayed in Leyden, or in any other place where we would have been allowed to worship God in our own way, rather than thus have ventured into a wild forest where were fierce animals, and, perhaps, yet more cruel savages.

On that very night, soon after our fathers were on board again, a great storm came up. The vessel tumbled about as if she had been on the broad ocean, and when we heard the men throwing out more anchors, we children were afraid and cried, for Sarah's father said he believed the Mayflower  would be cast ashore and wrecked on the cruel rocks over which the waves were dashing themselves into foam.

[Illustration] from Mary of Plymouth by James Otis

Some of the women were frightened, although my mother was not of the number, and it was only when Master Brewster came among us, praying most fervently, and saying that God would watch over us even as He had on the mighty ocean, that the cries and sobs of fear were checked. Truly did I think, while Sarah and I hugged each other very hard so that we might not be heard to cry, that this was a most wretched place in which to make a new home, and how I wished we had never left Leyden, or that we had gone back to Scrooby instead of coming here!


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