Mary of Plymouth - James Otis
When the Fortune had gone, the men of our settlement took an exact account of all the provisions in the common store, as well as of those belonging to the different families, and the whole was divided in just proportion among us every one.
Then it was learned that we had no more in Plymouth to eat than would provide for our wants during six months, and since in that time there would not be another harvest, it was decided by the governor and the chief men of the village, that each person should be given a certain amount less than the appetite craved; short allowance, Captain Standish called it.
Sarah and I were faint at heart on learning of this decision, for it seemed as if during this winter we were to live again in the misery such as we had known the past season of cold and frost, when we hunted the leaves of the checkerberry plant, and chewed the gum which gathers in little bunches on the spruce trees, to satisfy our hunger.
Those who had come over in the Fortune to join us were, as can well be understood, grieved because of their putting us to such straits; it was a matter which could not be helped, and we of the Mayflower strove earnestly not to speak of the possible distress which might be ours, lest our friends so lately come might think we were reproaching them.