Front Matter A Proper Beginning On the Broad Ocean Making Ready for Battle The Rest of the Voyage First View of America The Town of Salem Other Villages Visiting Salem Making Comparisons An Indian Guest A Christening and a Dinner Deciding upon a Home A Sad Loss Rejoicing to Mourning Thanksgiving Day in July Leaving for Charlestown Our Neighbors Getting Settled The Great Sickness Moving the Town Master Prohibits Swimming Anna Foster's Party The Town of Boston Guarding Against Fires Our Own New Home The Fashion of the Day My Own Wardrobe Master Johnson's Death Many New Kinds of Food The Supply of Food The Sailing of the Lyon The Famine The Search for Food The Starvation Time A Day to be Remembered The Coming of the Lyon Another Thanksgiving Day A Defense for the Town A Problem of Servants Chickatabut Building a Ship Household Conveniences How the Work is Divided Launching the Ship Master Winthrop's Mishap New Arrivals Another Famine Fine Clothing Forbidden Our First Church A Troublesome Person The Village of Merry Mount Punishing Thomas Morton Philip Ratcliff's Crime In the Pillory Stealing from the Indians The Passing of New Laws Master Pormont's School School Discipline Other Tools of Torture Difficult Lessons Other Schools Raising Flax Preparing Flax Spinning, Bleaching, Weaving What We Girls Do at Home Making Soap Soap from Bayberries Goose-picking A Change of Governors Flight of Roger Williams Sir Harry Vane Making Sugar Sugaring Dinner Training Day Shooting for a Prize Lecture Day Punishment for Evildoers Murder of John Oldham Savages on the Warpath Pequot Indians

Ruth of Boston - James Otis

The Problem of Servants

Since coming here we have seen so many Indians as to become acquainted with them, which is to say, that we no longer look upon them as savages, and have no fear to stand in the road when they pass. But those whom Susan and I had seen, up to the day when Chickatabut, the chief man of the Massachusetts tribe, came, were only common people, and such servants as are employed here in the town, for you must know that more than one family has a Narragansett Indian, or, to work in the house.

[Illustration] from Ruth of Boston by James Otis

Mother says that she would rather do all the work of the house alone, than have one of the brown women to help her, for they are not cleanly to look upon, but as for myself, I think I could stand the sight of one of them, especially when it comes to soap making, of which I will tell you later.

Of course there are times when housewives must have some one to aid them, and those girls or women among us who would go out to work in the house are not many in numbers, therefore one must put up with the Indians, which is unpleasant, or take those who are known as indentured servants, meaning the people who have agreed with the Massachusetts Bay Company to work for so many years, in order to pay for their passage over from England.

As for these last people, mother will not have them in the house, because of being afraid that we may not get one of (food morals. Therefore in our home mother and I do all that is needed, rather than have around us people of whom we know nothing.