Mary of Plymouth - James Otis

John Alden's Tubs

It was during this winter that John Alden, who is a cooper as well as Captain Standish's clerk, spent three days in our home, making for mother two tubs which are fair to look upon, and of such size that we are no longer troubled on washdays by being forced to throw away the soapy water in order to rinse the clothes which have already been cleansed. You may think it strange to hear me speak thus of the waste of soapy water, because you in Scrooby have of soap an abundance, while here in this new land we are put to great stress through lack of it.

[Illustration] from Mary of Plymouth by James Otis

It would not be so ill if all the housewives would make a generous quantity, but there are some among us who are not so industrious as others, and dislike the labor of making soap. They fail to provide sufficient for themselves, but depend upon borrowing; thus spending the stores of those who have looked ahead for the needs of the future.

Well, as I have said, the winter passed, and we were come to the second summer after making this settlement of Plymouth.

Once more was famine staring us in the face, therefore every man, woman and child, save those chosen to go fishing, was sent into the fields for the planting.


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