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

Living in the Wilderness

You must know that in this land everything is different from what you see in England. Of course the trees are the same; but oh, so many of them! We are living now, even after our homes have been made, in the very midst of the wilderness, and in that winter time when Squanto and Samoset came to us, bringing the corn we needed so sorely, we were much like prisoners, for the snow was piled everywhere in great drifts.

[Illustration] from Mary of Plymouth by James Otis

The trees, growing thickly over the ground, save where they had been cut down to build our homes and to provide us with wood for the fires, prevented all, except such of the men as were well enough to go out with their guns in the hope of shooting animals that could be eaten as food, from going abroad, save from one house to the other.

And little heart had we for leaving the shelter of our homes. In nearly every house throughout the village was there sickness or death; the cold was piercing, and, however industriously we had worked filling the cracks between the logs with clay, the wind came through in many places, so that for the greater part of the time we needed to hug closely to the fire lest we freeze to death.

There were days when it seemed indeed as if the Lord had forgotten us; when, with the hunger, and the cold, and the sickness on every hand, it was as if we had been abandoned by our Maker.