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

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.