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

On Short Allowance

When the Fortune  had gone, the men of our settlement took an exact account of all the provisions in the common store, as well as of those belonging to the different families, and the whole was divided in just proportion among us every one.

Then it was learned that we had no more in Plymouth to eat than would provide for our wants during six months, and since in that time there would not be another harvest, it was decided by the governor and the chief men of the village, that each person should be given a certain amount less than the appetite craved; short allowance, Captain Standish called it.

Sarah and I were faint at heart on learning of this decision, for it seemed as if during this winter we were to live again in the misery such as we had known the past season of cold and frost, when we hunted the leaves of the checkerberry plant, and chewed the gum which gathers in little bunches on the spruce trees, to satisfy our hunger.

Those who had come over in the Fortune  to join us were, as can well be understood, grieved because of their putting us to such straits; it was a matter which could not be helped, and we of the Mayflower  strove earnestly not to speak of the possible distress which might be ours, lest our friends so lately come might think we were reproaching them.