Mary of Plymouth - James Otis

Why this Story was Written

My name is Mary, and I am setting down all these things about our people here in this new world, hoping some day to send to my dear friend, Hannah, who lives in Scrooby, England, what may really come to be a story, even though the writer of it is only sixteen years old, having lived in Plymouth since the day our company landed from the Mayflower  in 1620, more than eleven years ago.

[Illustration] from Mary of Plymouth by James Otis

If Hannah ever really sees this as I have written it, she will, I know, be amused; for it is set down on pieces of birch bark and some leaves cut from the book of accounts which Edward Winslow brought with him from the old home.

Hannah will ask why I did not use fair, white paper, and, if I am standing by when she does so, I shall tell her that fair, white paper is far too precious in this new world of ours to be used for the pleasure of children.

In the last ship which came from England were large packages of white paper for the settlers at Salem, who came over to this wild land eight years after we landed, and when I asked my father to buy for me three sheets that I might make a little book, he told me the price would be more for the three sheets than he paid for the two deer skins with which to make me a winter coat.

[Illustration] from Mary of Plymouth by James Otis

Of course I put from my mind all hope of having paper to write on; but these sheets of bark take very well the ink made from elderberries which mother and I brewed the second winter after our new home was built. The pen is a quill taken from the wing of a wild goose shot by Captain Standish.


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