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

Master Bradford's Chimney

Master Bradford built what is a perfect luxury of a chimney, which shows what a man can do who has genius, and my mother says he showed great skill in thus building. If you please, his chimney is of stone, even though we have no means of cutting rock, such as is known at Scrooby. He sought here and there for flat stones, laying them one upon another with a plentiful mixture of clay, until he built a chimney which cannot be injured by fire, and yet is even larger than ours.

Its heart is so big that I am told Master Bradford himself can climb up through it without difficulty, and at the bottom, or rather, where the fireplace ends and the chimney begins, is a shelf on either side, across which is laid a bar of green wood lest it burn too quickly; on this the pot-hooks and pot-claws may be hung by chains.

[Illustration] from Mary of Plymouth by James Otis

It would seem as if all this had made Master Bradford over vain, for because the wooden bar, which he calls a back-bar, has been burned through twice, thereby spoiling the dinner, he has sent to England for an iron one, and when it comes his family may be proud indeed, for only think how easily one can cook when there are so many conveniences!

We are forced to put our pots and pans directly on the coals, and it bums one's hands terribly at times, if the fire is too bright. Besides, the cinders fall on the bread of meal, which causes much delay in the eating, because so much time is necessary in scraping them off, and even at the best, I often get more of ashes than is pleasant to the taste.

[Illustration] from Mary of Plymouth by James Otis


Bread of any kind is such a rarity with us that we can ill afford to have it spoiled by ashes. During the first two years we had only the meal from Indian corn with which to make it, but when we were able to raise rye, it was mixed with the other, and we had a most wholesome bread, even though it was exceeding dark in color.