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

Tallow from Bushes

Squanto has shown us how we may get, at only the price of so much labor, that which looks very like tallow, and of which mother has made many well-shaped candles.

You must know that in this country there grows a bush which some call the tallow shrub; others claim it should be named the candleberry tree, while Captain Standish insists it is the bayberry bush.

This plant bears berries somewhat red, and speckled with white, as if you had thrown powdered clam shells on them.

I gathered near to twelve quarts last week, and mother put them in a large pot filled with water, which she stands over the fire, for as yet we cannot boast of an iron back-bar to the fireplace, on which heavy kettles may be hung with safety.

After these berries have been cooked a certain time, that which looks like fat is stewed out of them, and floats on the top of the water.

[Illustration] from Mary of Plymouth by James Otis

Mother skims it off into one of the four earthen vessels we brought with us from Scrooby, and when cold, it looks very much like tallow, save that it is of a greenish color. After being made into candles and burned, it gives off an odor which to some is unpleasant; but I think it very sweet to the nostrils.