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´╗┐Title: Ruth of Boston - A Story of the Massachusetts Bay Colony
Author: Otis, James, 1848-1912
Language: English
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     RUTH OF BOSTON

     A STORY OF THE MASSACHUSETTS BAY COLONY


     BY
     JAMES OTIS


     NEW YORK -:- CINCINNATI -:- CHICAGO
     AMERICAN BOOK COMPANY



     COPYRIGHT, 1910 BY
     JAMES OTIS KALER
     ENTERED AT STATIONERS' HALL, LONDON



FOREWORD


The purpose of this series of stories is to show the children, and
even those who have already taken up the study of history, the _home
life_ of the colonists with whom they meet in their books. To this end
every effort has been made to avoid anything savoring of romance, and
to deal only with facts, so far as that is possible, while describing
the daily life of those people who conquered the wilderness whether
for conscience sake or for gain.

That the stories may appeal more directly to the children, they are
told from the viewpoint of a child, and purport to have been related
by a child. Should any criticism be made regarding the seeming neglect
to mention important historical facts, the answer would be that these
books are not sent out as histories,--although it is believed that
they will awaken a desire to learn more of the building of the
nation,--and only such incidents as would be particularly noted by a
child are used.

Surely it is entertaining as well as instructive for young people to
read of the toil and privations in the homes of those who came into a
new world to build up a country for themselves, and such homely facts
are not to be found in the real histories of our land.

     JAMES OTIS.



CONTENTS


                                                 PAGE
     A PROPER BEGINNING                             9

     ON THE BROAD OCEAN                            11

     MAKING READY FOR BATTLE                       13

     THE REST OF THE VOYAGE                        15

     THE FIRST VIEW OF AMERICA                     17

     THE TOWN OF SALEM                             19

     OTHER VILLAGES                                21

     VISITING SALEM                                22

     MAKING COMPARISONS                            25

     AN INDIAN GUEST AND OTHER VISITORS            27

     A CHRISTENING AND A DINNER                    30

     DECIDING UPON A HOME                          33

     A SAD LOSS                                    35

     REJOICING TURNED INTO MOURNING                36

     THANKSGIVING DAY IN JULY                      38

     LEAVING SALEM FOR CHARLESTOWN                 39

     OUR NEIGHBORS                                 40

     GETTING SETTLED                               42

     THE GREAT SICKNESS                            44

     MOVING THE TOWN                               46

     MASTER GRAVES PROHIBITS SWIMMING              48

     ANNA FOSTER'S PARTY                           49

     THE TOWN OF BOSTON                            51

     GUARDING AGAINST FIRES                        53

     OUR OWN NEW HOME                              54

     THE FASHION OF THE DAY                        56

     MY OWN WARDROBE                               59

     MASTER JOHNSON'S DEATH                        60

     MANY NEW KINDS OF FOOD                        61

     THE SUPPLY OF FOOD                            64

     THE SAILING OF THE "LYON"                     66

     THE FAMINE                                    67

     THE SEARCH FOR FOOD                           69

     THE STARVATION TIME                           70

     A DAY TO BE REMEMBERED                        73

     THE COMING OF THE "LYON"                      74

     ANOTHER THANKSGIVING DAY                      75

     A DEFENSE FOR THE TOWN                        78

     THE PROBLEM OF SERVANTS                       79

     CHICKATABUT                                   80

     BUILDING A SHIP                               82

     HOUSEHOLD CONVENIENCES                        84

     HOW THE WORK IS DIVIDED                       86

     LAUNCHING THE SHIP                            88

     MASTER WINTHROP'S MISHAP                      90

     NEW ARRIVALS                                  92

     ANOTHER FAMINE                                94

     FINE CLOTHING FORBIDDEN                       96

     OUR FIRST CHURCH                              97

     A TROUBLESOME PERSON                         100

     THE VILLAGE OF MERRY MOUNT                   101

     PUNISHING THOMAS MORTON                      102

     PHILIP RATCLIFF'S CRIME                      105

     IN THE PILLORY                               107

     STEALING FROM THE INDIANS                    108

     THE PASSING OF NEW LAWS                      110

     MASTER PORMONT'S SCHOOL                      112

     SCHOOL DISCIPLINE                            114

     OTHER TOOLS OF TORTURE                       116

     DIFFICULT LESSONS                            118

     OTHER SCHOOLS                                119

     RAISING FLAX                                 121

     PREPARING FLAX                               123

     SPINNING, BLEACHING, AND WEAVING FLAX        125

     WHAT WE GIRLS DO AT HOME                     127

     MAKING SOAP                                  129

     SOAP FROM BAYBERRIES                         132

     GOOSE-PICKING                                133

     A CHANGE OF GOVERNORS                        135

     THE FLIGHT OF ROGER WILLIAMS                 136

     SIR HARRY VANE                               138

     MAKING SUGAR                                 140

     A "SUGARING DINNER"                          143

     TRAINING DAY                                 146

     SHOOTING FOR A PRIZE                         149

     LECTURE DAY                                  151

     PUNISHMENT FOR EVIL-DOERS                    152

     THE MURDER OF JOHN OLDHAM                    154

     SAVAGES ON THE WAR-PATH                      156

     PEQUOT INDIANS                               158



RUTH OF BOSTON



A PROPER BEGINNING


  [Illustration]

Truly it seems a great undertaking to journey from London into the
land of America, yet I have done so, and because of there being very
few girls only twelve years of age who are likely to make such a
voyage, it seems to me well if I set down those things which I saw and
did that might be interesting to myself in the future, when I shall
have grown to be an old lady, if God permits, or to any other who may
come upon this diary.

Of course I must first set down who I am, in case strangers should
some day chance to find this book, and, growing interested in it--for
who can say that I may not be able to tell a story which shall be
entertaining, because of there being in it much which the people of
England have never seen--give me credit for having written a diary
without a proper beginning.

You must know, then, that my name is Ruth. In the year of our Lord,
1630, when, as I have said, I was but twelve years of age, my father
joined that company led by Master John Winthrop, whose intent it was
to go into America to spread the gospel, and there also build up a
town wherein should live only those who were one with them in the
worship of God.

This company was made up of four classes of people. First there were
those who paid a sum of money for their passage to America, and,
because of having done so, were to be given a certain number of acres
of land in the New World.

In the second class were those who, not having enough money to pay the
full price for their passage, agreed to perform a sufficient amount of
work, after arriving in America, to make up for the same.

In the third class were those called indentured servants, which is
much the same as if I said apprentices.

The fourth and last class had in it those people who were to work for
wages, at whatsoever trade or calling they were best fitted.

It needs not that I should say more by way of a beginning, for surely
all the people in England, if they do not know it now, will soon come
to understand why we, together with those who have gone before us,
and the companies that are to come after, have journeyed into
America.



ON THE BROAD OCEAN


It was decided that my parents, and, of course, myself, should sail in
the same ship with Master Winthrop, and the name of that vessel was
the _Arabella_, she having been so called in honor of Lady Arabella
Johnson, who journeyed with us.

My mother was sadly grieved because of Mistress Winthrop's deciding
not to go on the voyage with her husband, but to join him in the New
World later, and this decision was a disappointment to very many of
the company. I am in doubt as to whether the Lady Arabella would have
gone with us on this ship, had she not believed Mistress Winthrop also
was to go.

It was on the twenty-second day of March, in that year which I have
previously set down, that, having already journeyed from London to
Southampton, we went aboard the _Arabella_, counting that the voyage
would be begun without delay, and yet, because of unfriendly winds and
cruel storms, our ship, with three others of the company, lay at
anchor until the eighth day of April.

Then it was, after the captain of the ship had shot off three guns as
a farewell, that we sailed out on the broad ocean, where we were
tossed by the waves and buffeted by the winds for nine long, dreary
weeks.

  [Illustration]

Had it not been for Master Winthrop's discourses day after day, we
should have been more gloomy than we were; but with such a devout man
to remind us of the mercy and goodness of God, it would have been
little short of a sin had we repined because of not being carried more
speedily to that land where was to be our home.

There was one day during the voyage, when it seemed verily as if the
Lord was not minded we should journey away from England.

We had not been out from the port many days, when on a certain morning
eight ships were seen behind us, coming up as if counting to learn
what we were like; and then it was that all the men of the company
believed these were Spanish vessels bent on taking us prisoners, for,
as you know, at that time England was at war with Spain.

It was most fearsome to all the children, but very much so to Susan, a
girl very nearly my own age, with whom I made friends after coming
aboard, and myself.



MAKING READY FOR BATTLE


When Susan and I saw the men taking down the hammocks from that
portion of the vessel which was called the gun deck, loading the
cannon, and bringing out the powder-chests, truly were we alarmed.

  [Illustration]

Standing clasped in each other's arms, unheeded by our elders, all of
whom were in a painful state of anxiety or fear, we watched intently
all that forenoon the ships which we believed belonged to the enemy.

Then I heard one of the sailors say that the Spaniards were surely
gaining on us, and the captain of the vessel, as well as Master
Winthrop and my father, must have believed it true, for all
preparations were made for a battle.

The small cabins, leading from the great one, were torn down that
cannon might be used without hindrance, and the bedding, and all
things that were likely to take fire, were thrown overboard. The boats
were launched into the sea and towed alongside the ship so that when
the worst came we might fly in them, and then that which was most
fearsome of all, the women and children were sent down into the very
middle of the vessel, where they might not be in danger when the
Spaniards began to send iron balls among us, as it seemed certain they
soon would.

While we were huddled together in the darkness, many weeping, some
moaning, and a few women, among whom was my mother, silent in the
agony of grief, Master Winthrop came down to pray with us, greatly to
our comforting, after which, so I have been told since, he went up
among the men where he performed the same office.

It was not until an hour after noon that our people discovered that
those ships which we believed to be Spanish, were English vessels,
from which we had nothing to fear.

Then word was sent down to us in that dark place that we might come up
above, and once in the sunlight again, we found all the passengers
rejoicing and making merry over the fears which had so lately beset
them.

How bright the sun looked to Susan and me as we stood near the rail
of our ship, gazing at the vessels which only a few hours before were
a fearsome sight, but now seemed so friendly! It was as if we had been
very near to death, and were suddenly come into a place of safety.



THE REST OF THE VOYAGE


From that time until St. George's Day, which you all know is the
twenty-third of April, nothing happened deserving of being set down
here. Then it was, however, that during the forenoon the captain moved
our sails so that the ship would remain idle upon the waters, which is
what sailors call "heaving to," and the captains of the other vessels,
together with Master Pynchon and many more gentlemen, came on board
for a feast.

Lady Arabella and the gentlewomen of our company had dinner in the
great cabin, while the gentlemen partook of their good cheer in the
roundhouse, as the sailors call it, which is a sort of cabin on the
hindermost part of the quarter-deck.

By four o'clock in the afternoon the feast was at an end; the
gentlemen who had come to visit us went on board their own ships, and
again were the vessels headed for that country of America in which we
counted to spend the remainder of our lives.

Susan and I were much together during this voyage, for neither of us
made very friendly with the other children, and I do not remember that
anything of import happened until we were come, so the captain said,
near to the New World.

It is not needed I should set down that again and again were there
furious storms, when it seemed certain our ship would be sunk, for
there was so much of such disagreeable weather during the nine weeks
of voyaging, that if I were to make a record of each unpleasant day,
this diary would be filled with little else.

  [Illustration]

I have set down, however, that on the seventh day of June, which was
Monday, we had come, so Master Winthrop said, off "the Banks," where
was good fishing to be found; but why this particular spot on the
ocean should be called the Banks, neither Susan nor I could
understand. The waves were much like those we had seen from day to
day; but yet, in some way, the captain knew that we had come to the
place where it would be possible to take fish in great numbers, and so
we did.

It is not seemly a young girl should set down the fact, with much of
satisfaction, that she enjoyed unduly the food before her, and yet I
must confess that those fish tasted most delicious after we had been
feeding upon pickled pork, or pickled beef, with never anything fresh
to take from one's mouth the flavor of salt.

It was a feast, as Susan and I looked at the matter, far exceeding
that which we had on St. George's Day, and surely more enjoyable to
us, for what can be better pleasing to the mouth than a slice of fresh
codfish, fried until it is so brown as to be almost beautiful, after
one has had nothing save that which is pickled?



THE FIRST VIEW OF AMERICA


Five days later, which is the same as if I said on the twelfth day of
June, early in the morning, when Susan and I came on deck, we saw
spread out before us the land, and it needed not we should ask if this
was the America where we were to live, for all the people roundabout
us were talking excitedly of the skill which had been displayed by the
master of the _Arabella_, in thus bringing us directly to the place
where we had counted on coming.

It can well be fancied that Susan and I overhung the rail as the ship
sailed nearer and nearer to the land, watching intently everything
before us; yet seeing, much to our surprise, little more than would
have been seen had we come upon the coast of England.

I had foolishly believed that even the shores of this New World would
be unlike anything to be found elsewhere, and yet they were much the
same. The rocks rising high above the waters, with the waves beating
against them, made up a picture such as we had before us even while we
lay at anchor off Cowes. The trees were like unto the trees in our own
land, and the grass was of no different color. Save that all this
before us was a wilderness, we might have been off the coast of
Cornwall.

I have said it was all the same, and yet because of the fears and the
anxieties regarding the future, was it different.

This was the land to which we had come for the making of a new home;
the place where our parents had pledged themselves to spread the
gospel as the Lord would have it spread.

We knew, because of what had been written by our friends who had
journeyed to this new world before us that here we were to find brown
savages, many of whom, like wild beasts, would thirst to shed our
blood. Here also could we expect to see fierce animals, such as might
not be met with elsewhere in the world; and, in the way of blessings,
we should meet those friends of ours who, for conscience sake and for
the will to do God's bidding, had come to prepare the land that it
should be more friendly toward us.



THE TOWN OF SALEM


I had not yet been able to discover any of the dwellings which marked
the town of Naumkeag, or Salem, when all the cannon on board our
vessel were set off with a great noise. Then, as we came around a
point of land, there appeared before our eyes a goodly ship lying at
anchor, and beyond her the town that was--much to my disappointment,
for I had fancied something grander--made up of a few log houses which
seemed rather to be quarters for servants than dwellings for
gentlemen's families, although we had been told that the habitations
would be rude indeed.

  [Illustration]

A boat was put into the water from our ship, and as the sailors rowed
toward the vessel which was at anchor, I heard my father say to my
mother that they were going in quest of Master William Pierce, a
London friend of ours.

As we watched, I asked that question which had come often in my mind
during the voyage, which was, why this new town that Master Endicott
had built should have two names.

Mother told me that the Indians had called the place Naumkeag, and so
also did those men who first settled here; but when some of our people
came, and gathered around them several from the Plymouth Colony,
together with a number of planters who had built themselves homes
along the shore, it was decided to name the new town Salem, which
means peace, for here it was they hoped to gain that peace which
should be on this earth like unto the peace we read of in the Book,
which passeth all understanding.

And now before I set down that which we saw, and while you are
picturing our company on the deck of the _Arabella_ looking shoreward,
impatient to set their feet once more on the earth, let me tell you
what I had heard, since we left England; regarding this town of peace,
and those of our people, or of other faiths, who settled here two
years or more ago.



OTHER VILLAGES


Master Endicott, who was of our faith, had come to these shores in
March of the year 1628, with a company of thirty or forty people, and,
finding other men living at the head of this harbor which the
_Arabella_ had entered after her long voyage, decided to build his
home at this place.

In the next year, Master Higginson, coming over with six vessels in
which were eighteen women, twenty-six children, and three hundred men,
joined the little colony. These last brought with them one hundred and
forty head of cattle, and forty goats.

However, only two hundred of this last company remained at Salem, the
others having chosen to build for themselves a new town, which they
called Charlestown, on that large body of water which is set down on
the maps as Massachusetts Bay.

In addition to these two villages, it was said that there were five or
six houses at the place called Nantasket; that one Master Samuel
Maverick was living on Noddles Island, and one Master William
Blackstone on the Shawmut Peninsula.

I have set this down to the end that those who read it may understand
we were not come into a wild country, in which lived none but savages,
and I must also add that not so many miles away was the town of
Plymouth, where had been living, during ten years, a company of
Englishmen who had worked bravely to make for themselves a home.

And now since I am done with explaining, and since the boat which put
out from our vessel and which I left you watching, has come back from
that other ship, bringing Master William Pierce, let me tell you what
we did on the first day in this new world.



VISITING SALEM


  [Illustration]

The gentlemen and ladies of our company were invited on shore to a
feast of deer meat, while the servant women and maids were allowed to
land on the other side of the harbor, where they feasted themselves on
wild strawberries, which were exceeding large and sweet.

It would be untrue for me to say that deer meat made into a huge pie
is not inviting, because of my having enjoyed it greatly, and yet I
could not give so much attention to the dainty as I would have done at
almost any other time, so intent was I upon seeing this village
concerning which Master Endicott had written so many words of praise.

Had Susan and I come upon it within an hour after leaving the city of
London, it would have looked exceedingly poor and mean; but now, when
we were on the land after a voyage of nine long weeks, verily it
seemed like a wondrous pleasant place in which to live.

More than an hundred dwellings, so my father said, had been built.
Some were of logs laid one on top of the other in a clumsy fashion,
with the places where windows of glass should have been, covered with
oiled paper, and doors that were so cumbersome and heavy it was a real
task for Susan and me to open and close them, but yet they had a
homely look.

Then there were what might be called sheds, made of logs, or the bark
of trees, and, in two cases, dwellings of branches laid up loosely as
a child would build a toy camp.

It was as if each man had built according to his inclination and
willingness to labor, the more thrifty having log dwellings, and the
indolent ones rude huts.

Even Susan and I could understand that whosoever had decided upon the
places where these homes should be built, had in mind the making of a
large town; for paths, like unto streets, led here and there, while
all around grew trees, not thickly, to be sure, but yet in such
abundance as to show that all this had lately been a wilderness.

  [Illustration]

Even in these streets had been left the stumps of trees after the
trunks were removed, which served to give an untidy look to the whole,
making it seem as if one were in a place where had been built shelters
only for a little time, and which would shortly be abandoned.

The welcome which was given us, however, was even warmer than we would
have received at home in England, and little wonder that these
gentlefolk whom we had known there, should be overjoyed to see us
here.

Both Susan and I came to understand, not many months afterward, how
great can be the pleasure one has at seeing old friends whom he had
feared never to meet again in this world.

It was a veritable feast which these good people of Salem set before
us, and yet so strange was the cookery, that I am minded to describe
later some of the dishes at risk of dwelling overly long upon matters
of no importance.



MAKING COMPARISONS


Master Winthrop said, when we were going on board the ship again, that
although it was nothing but peas, pudding, and fish, quite coarse as
compared with what we would have had at home in England, save as to
the venison pie, it all seemed sweet and wholesome to him.

When the day was come to an end, we went into the ship once more, for
there were not spare beds enough in all the town to serve for half our
party, and you may be very certain that once we were gathered again in
the great cabin, all talked eagerly concerning what had been done; at
least our parents did, for it would have been unseemly in us children
to interrupt while our elders were talking.

Mother was not well satisfied with the houses, believing it would be
possible to make dwellings more like those we left behind; but father
bade her have patience, saying that a shelter from the weather was
the first matter to be thought of, and that the pleasing of the eye
could well come later, after we had more with which to work.

  [Illustration]

She, thinking as was I at the moment, of the floor in the house where
we ate the venison pie, declared stoutly that there would be no more
of labor in laying down planks, at least in the living-room, than in
beating the earth hard, as it seemingly had been where we visited.

Then, laughingly, he bade her rest content, nor set her mind so
strongly upon the vanities of this world, saying that if God permitted
him to raise a roof, so that his wife and child might be sheltered
from the sun and from the rain, he would be satisfied, even though
the legs of his table stood upon the bare earth.

It was this conversation between my parents that caused the other
women to talk of how they would have a home built, until Lady Arabella
put an end to what was almost wrangling,--for each insisted that her
plan for a dwelling in this New World was the best,--by saying that
whatsoever God willed we should have, and that it would be more than
we deserved.



AN INDIAN GUEST AND OTHER VISITORS


Both Susan and I had gazed about us eagerly when we went on shore,
hoping to see a savage. We were not bent on meeting him near at hand,
where he might do us a mischief; but had the desire that a brown man
might go past at a distance, and we were grievously disappointed at
coming aboard the ship again without having seen one.

Therefore it is that you can well fancy how surprised and delighted we
were next morning when, on going on deck just after breakfast to have
another look at this new town, whom should we see walking to and fro
on the quarter-deck with Master Winthrop, as if he had been one of the
first gentlemen of the land, but a real Indian!

There were the feathers, of which we had heard, encircling his head
and ending in a long train behind. His skin was brown, or, perhaps,
more the color of dulled copper. He wore a mantle of fur, with the
skin tanned soft as cloth, and that which father said was deer hide
cunningly treated until it was like to flannel, had been fashioned
into a garment which answered in the stead of a doublet.

  [Illustration]

I cannot describe his appearance better than by saying it would not
have surprised me, had I been told that one of our own people had
painted and dressed himself in this fanciful fashion to take part in
some revel, for truly, save in regard to the color of his skin, he was
not unlike the gentlemen who were on the ship.

As Susan and I learned later, he was the king, or chief man, among
those Indians who called themselves Agawams. Father said he was the
sagamore, which, as I understand it, means that he was at the head of
his people, and his name was Masconomo.

A very kindly savage was he, and in no wise bloodthirsty looking as I
had expected. He was a friend of Master Endicott as well as of all
those who lived with him in this town of Salem, and had come to
welcome our people to the new world, which, as it seemed to both Susan
and me, was very thoughtful in one who was nothing less than a
heathen.

The Indian sagamore stayed on board the ship all day, and our company,
together with the people of Salem, were as careful to make him welcome
as if he had been King James himself.

The reason for this, as father afterward explained to me, was because
of its being of great importance that we make friends with the
savages, else the time might come when they would set about taking our
lives, being in far greater numbers than the white men.

Neither Susan nor I could believe that there was any danger that these
people with brown skins would ever want to do us harm. Surely they
must be pleased, we thought, at knowing we were willing to live among
them, and, besides, if all the savages were as mild looking as this
Masconomo, they would never be wicked enough to commit the awful crime
of murder.

In the evening, after the Indian went ashore, the good people of Salem
came on board in great numbers, and, seeing that it was a time when he
might do good to their souls, Master Winthrop gathered us on deck,
where he talked in a godly strain not less than an hour and a half.

  [Illustration]

It was indeed wicked of Susan to say that she would have been better
pleased had we been allowed to chat with the people concerning this
new land, rather than listen to Master Winthrop, who, so mother says,
is a most gifted preacher even though that is not his calling, yet way
down in the bottom of my heart I felt much as did Susan, although,
fortunately, I was not tempted to give words to the thought.



A CHRISTENING AND A DINNER


When another day came, we girls had a most delightful time, for there
was to be a baby baptized in the house of logs where are held the
meetings, and Mistress White, one of the gentlefolks who came here
with the company of Master Higginson, was to give a dinner because of
her young son's having lived to be christened.

To both these festivals Susan and I were bidden, and it surprised me
not a little to see so much of gaiety in this New World, where I had
supposed every one went around in fear and trembling lest the savages
should come to take their lives.

  [Illustration]

The christening was attended to first, as a matter of course, and,
because of his having so lately arrived from England, Master Winthrop
was called upon to speak to the people, which he did at great length.
Although the baby, in stiff dress and mittens of linen, with his cap
of cotton wadded thickly with wool, must have been very uncomfortable
on account of the heat, he made but little outcry during all this
ceremony, or even when Master Higginson prayed a very long time.

We were not above two hours in the meetinghouse, and then went to the
home of Mistress White, getting there just as she came down from the
loft with her young son in her arms.

Mother was quite shocked because of the baby's having nothing in his
hands, and while she is not given to placing undue weight in beliefs
which savor of heathenism, declares that she never knew any good to
come of taking a child up or down in the house without having first
placed silver or gold between his fingers.

Of course it is not so venturesome to bring a child down stairs
empty-handed; but to take him back for the first time without
something of value in his little fist, is the same as saying that he
will never rise in the world to the gathering of wealth.

The dinner was much enjoyed by both Susan and me, even though the
baby, who seemed to be frightened because of seeing so many strange
faces, cried a goodly part of the time.

We had wild turkey roasted, and it was as pleasing a morsel as ever I
put in my mouth. Then there was a huge pie of deer meat, with baked
and fried fish in abundance, and lobsters so large that there was not
a trencher bowl on the board big enough to hold a whole one. We had
whitpot, yokhegg, suquatash, and many other Indian dishes, the making
of which shall be explained as soon as I have learned the methods.

It was a most enjoyable feast, and the good people of Salem were so
friendly that when we went on board ship that night, Susan and I were
emboldened to say to my father, that we should be rejoiced when the
time arrived for our company to build houses.



DECIDING UPON A HOME


  [Illustration]

Then we learned for the first time that it had not been the plan of
our people to settle in this pleasant place. It was not to the mind of
Governor Winthrop, nor yet in accord with the belief of our people in
England, that all of us who were to form what would be known as the
Massachusetts Bay Colony, should build our homes in one spot.

Therefore it was that our people, meaning the elders among the men,
set off through the forest to search for a spot where should be made a
new town, and we children were allowed to roam around the village of
Salem at will, many of us, among whom were Susan and I, often
spending the night in the houses of those people who were so well off
in this world's goods as to have more than one bed.

Lady Arabella Johnson and her husband had gone on shore to live the
second day after we arrived, for my lady was far from well when she
left England, and the voyage across the ocean had not been of benefit
to her.

Our fathers were not absent above three days in the search for a place
to make our homes, and then Sarah and I were told that it had been
decided we should live at Charlestown, where, as I have already told
you, a year before our coming, Master Endicott had sent a company of
fifty to build houses.

It pleased me to know that we were not going directly into the
wilderness, as both Susan and I had feared; but that we should be able
to find shelter with the people who had already settled there, until
our own houses could be built.

It appeared that all the men of our company were not of Governor
Winthrop's opinion, regarding the place for a home. Some of them,
discontented with the town of Charles, went further afoot, deciding to
settle on the banks of a river called the Mystic, while yet others
crossed over that point of land opposite where we were to live, and
found a pleasing place which they had already named Rocksbury.



A SAD LOSS


Susan and I believed, on the night our fathers came back from their
journey, that we would set off in the ship to this village of
Charlestown without delay, and so we might have done but for my Lady
Arabella, who was taken suddenly worse of her sickness; therefore it
was decided to wait until she had gained her health.

But alas! the poor lady had come to this New World only to die, and it
was a sad time indeed for Susan and me when the word was brought
aboard ship that she had gone out from among us forever.

We had learned during the voyage to love her very dearly, and it
seemed even more of a blow for God to take her from us in this
wilderness, than if she had been at her home in England.

Although it is not right for me to say so, because, of course, our
fathers know best, yet would my heart have been less sore if some word
of farewell could have been said when we laid my Lady Arabella in the
grave amid the thicket of fir trees.

Mother says, that she is but repeating the words of Governor Winthrop,
that it is wrong to say prayers over the dead, or to utter words of
grief or faith. Therefore it was in silence we followed my lady in the
coffin made by the ship's carpenter, up the gentle slope to the
thicket of firs, the bell of the _Arabella_ tolling all the while; and
in silence we stood, while the body was being covered with earth,
little thinking how soon should we be doing a like service for another
who had come to aid in building up a new nation.

On the day after we left my Lady Arabella on the hillside, the ship
_Talbot_, which was one of the vessels that should have sailed in
company with the _Arabella_, arrived at Salem, and the grief which
filled our hearts for the dead, was lightened somewhat by the joy in
greeting the living who were come to join us.

  [Illustration]



REJOICING TURNED INTO MOURNING


Governor Winthrop was among those who seemingly had most cause for
rejoicing, because of his son Henry's having arrived on the _Talbot_,
bringing news of his mother and of the remainder of the family.

Good Master Winthrop had so much of business to look after on this
day, that he could not spend many moments in talking with his son, and
mayhap he will never cease to regret that he did not give his first
attention to the boy, for, during the afternoon, while his father was
engaged with public affairs, Henry was moved by curiosity to visit
some Indian wigwams which could be seen a long distance along the
coast.

  [Illustration]

Not being of the mind to walk so far, he cast about for a boat of some
kind, and, seeing a canoe across the creek, plunged into the water to
swim over that he might get it.

Susan and I were watching the brave young man when he sprang so boldly
and confidently into the water, never dreaming that harm might come to
him, and yet before he was one quarter way across the creek, he
suddenly flung up his arms with a stifled cry. Then he sank from our
sight, to be seen no more alive.

He had been seized with a cramp, while swimming most-like because of
having gone into the cold water heated, so my father said, for the day
was very warm; but however that may be, eight and forty hours later we
walked, a mournful procession, up the hill, even as we had done behind
the earthly clay of Lady Arabella, while the bells of the ships in the
harbor tolled most dismally.

Verily Governor Winthrop's strength is in the Lord, as my mother said,
for although his heart must have been near to bursting with grief, no
one saw a sign of sorrow on his face, so set and stern, as he stood
there listening to the clods of earth that were thrown upon the box in
which lay the body of his son.

Susan, who is overly given to superstition, I am afraid, declared that
it was an ill omen for us to have two die when we had but just come
into the new country, and when I told her that it was wicked to place
one's faith in signs, she reminded me that I found fault because of
Mistress White's baby's being taken out of the room for the first time
with neither gold nor silver in his hands.



THANKSGIVING DAY IN JULY


The ship _Success_, which was also of our fleet, having been left
behind when we sailed from England, came into the harbor on the sixth
of July, and then it was, although our hearts were bowed down with
grief because of the death of Lady Arabella and the drowning of Henry
Winthrop, that our people decided we should hold a service of
thanksgiving to God because of His having permitted all our company to
arrive in safety.

Word was sent to the people of Charlestown, and to those few men in
the settlement which is called Dorchester, that they might join with
us in the service of praise, and many came to Salem to hear the
preaching of Master Endicott, Master Higginson, and Governor Winthrop.

  [Illustration]



LEAVING SALEM FOR CHARLESTOWN


Four days later, which is the same as if I said on the twelfth of
July, the fleet of ships sailed out of Salem harbor with those of our
people on board who could not bear the fatigue of walking, to go up to
the new village of Charlestown.

Before night was come, we were at anchor off that place where we
believed the remainder of our days on this earth would be spent.

Because of the labor performed by those men whom Master Endicott had
sent to this place a year before, there were five or six log houses
which could be used by some of our people, and the governor's
dwelling, which of course would be the most lofty in the town, was
partially set up; yet the greater number of us did not go on shore
immediately to live.

Governor Winthrop remained on board the _Arabella_, as did my parents
and Susan's, and now because there is little of interest to set down
regarding the building of the village, am I minded to tell that which
I heard our fathers talking about evening after evening, as we sat in
the great cabin when the day's work was done.

To you who have never gone into the wilderness to make a home, the
anxiety which people in our condition felt concerning their neighbors
cannot be understood. To us, if all we heard regarding what the
savages might do against us was true, it was of the greatest
importance we should know who were settled near at hand, if it so came
that we were driven out from our town.



OUR NEIGHBORS


Now you must know that many years before, which is much the same as if
I had said in the year of our Lord, 1620, a number of English people
who had been living in Holland because of their consciences not
permitting them to worship God in a manner according to the Church of
England, came over to this country, and built a town which was called
Plymouth.

  [Illustration]

This town was not far by water from our settlement; indeed, one might
have sailed there in a shallop, if he were so minded, and, in case the
wind served well, perform the voyage between daylight and sunset.

It was, as I have said, settled ten years before we came to this new
world, and the inhabitants now numbered about three hundred. There
were sixty-eight dwelling houses, a fort well built with wood, earth
and stone, and a fair watch tower. Entirely around the town was a
stout palisade, by which I mean a fence made of logs that stand eight
or ten feet above the surface, and placed so closely together that an
enemy may not make his way between them, and in all respects was it a
goodly village, so my father declared.

Near the mouth of the Neponset river Sir Christopher Gardner, who was
not one of our friends in a religious way, had settled with a small
company, and farther down the coast, many miles away, it was said were
three other villages; but none among them could outshine Salem, either
in numbers of people, or in dwellings.

When we were on the shore in Charlestown, looking straight out over
the water toward the nearest land, we could see, not above two miles
away, three hills which were standing close to each other, and Master
Thomas Graves, who had taken charge of the people that first settled
in the town of Charles, had named the place Trimountain; but the
Indians called it Shawmut. There only one white man was living and his
name was Master William Blackstone, as I have already told you.

It seemed to me a fairer land, because of the hills and dales, than
was our settlement, and yet it would not have been seemly for me to
say so much, after our fathers and mothers had decided this was the
place where we were to live.



GETTING SETTLED


The days which followed our coming to Charlestown were busy ones, even
to us women folks, for there was much to be done in taking the
belongings ashore, or in helping our neighbors to set to rights their
new dwellings.

  [Illustration]

The Great House, in which Governor Winthrop would live, was finished
first, and into this were moved as many of our people as it would
hold.

Then again, there were others who, not content with staying on the
_Arabella_ after having remained on board of her so long, put up huts
like unto the wigwams made by the Indians, which, while the weather
continued to be so warm, served fairly well as places in which to
live.

If I said that we made shift to get lodgings on shore in whatsoever
manner came most convenient for the moment, I should only be stating
the truth, for some indeed were lodged in an exceeding odd and
interesting fashion.

Susan's father, going back some little distance from the Great House,
cut away the trees in such a manner as to leave four standing in the
form of a square, and from one to another of these he nailed small
logs, topped with a piece of sail cloth that had been brought on shore
from the _Talbot_, finishing the sides with branches of trees, sticks,
and even two of his wife's best bed quilts. Into this queer home Susan
went with her mother, while my parents were content to use one of the
rooms in the Great House until father could build for us a dwelling of
logs.

  [Illustration]



THE GREAT SICKNESS


It seemed much as if Susan was in the right, when she said that the
deaths of Lady Arabella and Henry Winthrop were ill omens, because no
sooner had all our people landed from the ships, or come up through
the forest from Salem, than a great sickness raged among us.

Many had been ill during the voyage with what Master Higginson called
scurvy, which is a disease that attacks people who have lived long on
salted food, and again many others took to their beds with a sickness
caused by the lack of pure, fresh water.

Our fathers had but just begun to build up this new town when it was
as if the hand of God had been laid heavily upon us, for, so it was
said, not more than one out of every five of our people was able to
perform any work whatsoever.

Those were long, dismal, dreadful days, when at each time of rising in
the morning we learned that this friend or that neighbor had gone out
from among us, and it seemed to Susan and me as if there were a
constant succession of funerals, with not even the tolling of bells to
mark the passage of a body from its poor home to its last resting
place on earth, for by this time the ships had gone out of the harbor.

The graves on the side of the hill increased tenfold faster than did
the dwellings, and all of us, even the children, felt that our only
recourse now was to pray God that He would remove the curse, for of a
verity did it seem as if one had been placed upon us.

Again and again did I hear men and women who had ever been devout and
regular in their attendance upon the preaching, ask if we had not
offended the Lord by breaking off from the English church, or if we
might not have committed some sin in thus abandoning the land of our
birth, thinking to ourselves that we would build up a new nation in
the world.

Therefore it was that even Susan and I felt a certain relief of mind,
when Governor Winthrop set the thirtieth day of July as a day of
fasting and of prayer; and in order that all the English people who
had come into this portion of the New World might unite with us in
begging God to remove the calamity from our midst, word was sent even
as far as Plymouth, asking that every one meet on that day with words
of devout petition.



MOVING THE TOWN


I have no doubt, because of mother's having said so again and again,
that the good Lord heard our fervent entreaties, although the sickness
was not removed from among us for near to six weeks.

  [Illustration]

Then it was that Master William Blackstone came across from
Trimountain, and told Governor Winthrop it was his belief we should do
more toward aiding ourselves than simply praying. He advised, because
of there being plenty of good water in Trimountain, that we forsake
this village of Charlestown, and go across to the opposite shore.

I might set down many words, repeating what I heard our fathers say
concerning the wisdom of such a move, and yet this story which I am
telling would not be improved thereby, for the day finally came when
it was decided that, even at the cost of building new dwellings, we
should take all our belongings across the water to the cove, back of
which was a small hill, and, yet further behind, a circle of
mountains.

The cove would make an agreeable harbor for our boats; the hill
straight behind it would serve as a location for a fort, while here
and there were pleasant streams, or gushing springs, whereas in
Charlestown we had only the water of the river, or from the marsh.

That I may not weary you by much explaining, it is best I say that on
the seventeenth of September, when the sun had risen, we gathered at
the Great House to pray that God would bless us in this which was much
the same as our second undertaking, for without delay, and before
night had come, we were to go across the bay and make for ourselves
other homes.

And now lest it seem as if I were telling the same story twice, I will
not set down anything concerning the building of this second village,
because of that which we did in Trimountain being the same as had
been done in Charlestown.

The Great House was taken apart and carried across the water, as were
also the dwellings of logs, and while this was being done, the women
and children stayed in Charlestown, where Master Thomas Graves had
made, what seemed to Susan and me, odd rules and regulations.



MASTER GRAVES PROHIBITS SWIMMING


He had been placed in command of the settlement by Master Endicott,
and among his first acts was the appointment of tithing men, one of
whose duties it was to prevent the boys from swimming in the water, as
some lads of our company speedily learned when they would have enjoyed
such sport.

They were arrested straightway, and but for the fact of being
strangers, who were not acquainted with the rules of the settlement,
would have been fined three shillings each.

Susan and I had no desire to spend our time swimming, even had it been
seemly for girls so to do; but during very warm days it would have
pleased us much to go down into the water, properly clad, in order to
take a bath. Therefore did we believe Master Graves had done that
which was almost cruel, and it surprised us no little when, later,
our own fathers passed the same law.



ANNA FOSTER'S PARTY


There were good friends of ours in England who believed that we had
come into a wilderness where was to be found naught save savages and
furious beasts, and it would have surprised them greatly, I believe,
if they could have known how much of entertainment could already be
found.

  [Illustration]

It was while we were waiting in Charlestown for the homes in
Trimountain to be built, that Anna Foster, whose father is one of the
tithing-men, invited all of us young girls who had come under Governor
Winthrop's charge, to spend an evening with her, and we had much
pleasure in playing hunt the whistle and thread the needle.

Anna was dressed in a yellow coat with black bib and apron, and she
had black feathers on her head. She wore both garnet and jet beads,
with a locket, and no less than four rings. There was a black collar
around her neck, black mitts on her hands, and a striped tucker and
ruffles. Her shoes were of silk, and one would have said that she was
dressed for some evening entertainment in London.

Neither Susan nor I wore our best, because of the candles here being
made from a kind of tallow stewed out of bayberry plums, which give
forth much smoke, and mother was afraid this would soil our clothing.
We were also told that because of there not being candles enough, some
parts of the house would be lighted with candle-wood, which last is
taken from the pitch pine tree, and fastened to the walls with nails.
This wood gives forth a fairly good light; but there drops from it so
much of a black, greasy substance, that whosoever by accident should
stand beneath these flames would be in danger of receiving a most
disagreeable shower.

This entertainment was not the only one which was made for our
pleasure while we remained in Charlestown; but because of the sickness
everywhere around, very little in the way of merrymaking was indulged
in, and it seemed almost a sin for us to be thus light-hearted while
so many were in sore distress.



THE TOWN OF BOSTON


The first thing which was done by the governor and his advisors, after
we had moved from Charlestown, was to change the name of Trimountain
to that of Boston.

As you must remember, Boston in England was near to the home of
Captain John Smith, who explored so much of this New World and planted
in Jamestown a prosperous settlement. It was also in Boston that the
Lady Arabella, and the preacher, John Cotton, who had promised to come
here to us, had lived; therefore did it seem as if such were the
proper name for a town which we hoped would one day, God willing, grow
to be a city.

It is true our new village is built in a rocky place, where are many
hollows and swamps, and it is almost an island, because the neck of
land which leads from it to the main shore, is so narrow that very
often does the tide wash completely over it; but yet, after that time
of suffering in Charlestown, it seems to us a goodly spot.

Our dwellings, except the Great House, are made of logs, and the roofs
thatched with dried marsh-grass, or with the bark of trees. That each
man shall have so much of this thatching as he may need, the governor
and chief men of the village have set aside a certain portion of the
salt marsh nearby, where any one may go to reap that which is needed
for his own dwelling; but no more.

  [Illustration]

In time to come, so father says, we shall have chimneys built of brick
or stone, for when our settlement is older grown some of the people
will, in order to gain a livelihood, set about making bricks, and
already has Governor Winthrop sent out men to search for limestone so
we may get mortar. But until that time shall come, we have on the
outside of our houses what are called chimneys, which are made of logs
plastered with clay, or of woven reeds besmeared both as to the
outside and the inside with mud, until they are five or six inches
thick.



GUARDING AGAINST FIRES


It needs not for me to say that these chimneys are most unsafe, for
during our first winter in this new town of Boston, hardly a week
passed but that one or another caught fire; and among the first laws
which our people passed was one providing for the appointment of
firewardens, who should have the right, and be obliged, to visit every
kitchen, looking up into the chimneys to see if peradventure the
plastering of clay had been burned away.

Because of the number of these fires, and the likelihood that they
would continue to visit us frequently, another law was made, obliging
every man who owned a dwelling of logs to keep a ladder standing
nearby, so that it might be easy to get at the thatched roof if the
flames fastened upon it; and, as soon as might be, iron hooks with
large handles were made to be hung on the outside of the buildings,
for the purpose of tearing off the thatch when it was burning.

It has also been decided that when we have a church, as we count on
within a year, a goodly supply of ladders and buckets shall be kept
therein for the use of the entire town, and then, when a fire springs
out, our people will know where to go for tools with which to fight
against it.



OUR OWN NEW HOME


It must not be supposed that because of our dwellings being unsightly
on the outside, they are rough within, for such is not the case. Many
of the settlers, as did father, brought over glass for the windows,
therefore we are not forced to put up with oiled paper, as are a great
many people living in this New World.

It was partly the dampness inside our homes, so Governor Winthrop
believed, which caused the sickness in Charlestown, and therefore it
was that my father insisted we should have a floor of wood, instead of
striving to get along with bare ground which had been beaten hard. Our
floor is made of planks, roughly hewn, it is true, but nevertheless it
serves to keep our feet from the ground. We have on the door real iron
hinges, instead of leather, or the skins of animals, as we saw in
Salem.

Save for the roughness of the floor and the walls, the inside of my
father's house is much the same as we had in England, for he, like all
of Governor Winthrop's company who were able to do so, brought over
the furnishings of the old home, and while some of the things look
sadly out of place here, they provide us with a certain comfort which
would have passed unheeded in the other country, because there we were
not much better off in this world's goods than were our neighbors.

  [Illustration]

Here, when I see a table made only of rough boards spread upon
trestles, I can get much pleasure out of the knowledge that we brought
with us those tables which we had been using in England, and, when our
dinner is spread, save for the difference in the food, I can well
fancy myself in the old home. We have our ware of pewter and of
copper, and our trencher bowls are of the best that can be hewn from
maple knots.

In order that the walls and crevices, filled with moss and plastered
over with clay, may not offend the eye, mother has put up all the
hangings which she brought with her, and these, with some skins my
father bought at Salem, hide entirely that which is so unsightly in
other dwellings.

Contrasting our home with many which we saw in Salem, or in
Charlestown, I am come to believe my lines are truly cast in pleasant
places, and I strive to be thankful to God for having given me the
father which I have.



THE FASHION OF THE DAY


I am afraid it may be almost sinful for me so to set my mind upon the
garments which one wears, and yet I cannot but contrast my father with
some of the common men in the village.

The ruff which he wears around his neck is always well starched,
clean, and stands out in beautiful proportions. On his low, peaked
shoes, mother ever has fixed rosettes, or knots made of ribbon. His
doublet, which is gathered around the waist with a silken belt, is
slashed on the sleeves to show the snowy linen beneath. His trunk
hose, meaning those which reach from his waist to his knees, are of
the finest wool. His stockings, when he is dressed to meet with the
Council, are of silk, while his mandilion, or cloak, is always of silk
or velvet.

  [Illustration]

Perhaps one may think such attire hardly befitting a wild place like
this, yet I know of nothing which serves to set off a man's figure,
making him seem of importance in the world, better than that he be
clad with due regard to the fashion of the day. Master Winthrop would
not present the gentlemanly appearance which he does if he wore, as do
the common people here, a band, or a flat collar with cord and
tassels, breeches of leather, and a leather girdle around his waist.
If he had, as do they, heavy shoes with heels of wood, or if his
clothing were fastened together with hooks and eyes, instead of silken
points, and if his hat were of leather, would we be pleased to call
him Governor?

My mother often says that it is unseemly in a child like me to speak
of the clothing worn by gentlemen, and yet I have noticed often and
again, that she is as careful of my father's attire when he goes out
of doors as she was at home in England, where all gentlemen were
dressed becomingly.

Verily one need not go abroad in tatters, or oddities, simply because
of having come into this New World, where much of work is required,
and he who cares for his personal appearance, to my way of thinking,
is to be given due credit.

Surely so the Massachusetts Bay Company thought, for they furnished to
every man who came from England to settle here, save it be those who
could afford such things for themselves, four pairs of shoes and the
same number of stockings; four shirts; two suits of doublet, and hose
of leather lined with oiled skin; a woolen suit, lined with leather,
together with four bands and two handkerchiefs, a green cotton
waistcoat, two pairs of gloves, a leather belt, a woolen cap and two
red knit caps, a mandilion lined with cotton, and also an extra pair
of breeches. Of course such an outfit was for the common people, not
the gentlefolk.

  [Illustration]

In our company, the boys are clothed exactly as are their fathers, and
many of them present a most attractive appearance, although my mother
would not think it proper for me to say so, much less to put it down
in writing.



MY OWN WARDROBE


It surely cannot be wrong for me to think of that which I wear, for if
the good Lord has given me a comely body, why shall I not array it
properly? Or if it be wrong, why did my father buy for me those
things, a list of which I am here setting down, not from vanity, but
simply to show how kind were my parents?

I had a cap ruffle and a tucker, the lace of which cost five shillings
a yard; eight pairs of white kid gloves, with two pairs of colored
gloves, two pairs of worsted hose and three pairs of thread, a pair
of laced silk shoes, and a pair of morocco shoes, not to speak of four
pairs of plain Spanish shoes, or two pairs made of calf-skin for every
day use; a hoop coat and a mask to wear when the wind blows too
roughly, and a fan for use when the sun is hot. Susan had two
necklaces, one of garnet and one of jet; but I had only garnets. Then
I have a girdle with a buckle of silver; a mantle and coat of
lutestring; a piece of calico to be made up when mother has time; four
yards of ribbon for knots or bows, and one and one-half yards of best
cambric. All these were bought especially for me when we left home,
and surely it can be no sin that I take pride in them.



MASTER JOHNSON'S DEATH


It was shortly after coming to this town of Boston that we heard of
the death of Master Johnson, Lady Arabella's husband. A friendly man
was he, ever ready with a kindly word for us children, and we would
have mourned his loss much more, but for knowing that it pleased him
right well to go out of this world of sorrow, that he might join his
wife in God's country.

Susan and I had hoped we should hear of no more deaths among those we
cared for, after having come into this last place of abode, and the
news of Master Johnson's taking away caused her superstitious fears to
break out anew; but I reminded her that we were in God's keeping,
whatsoever might befall, and that for us to look forward into the
morrow, searching for evil, was the same as an injustice to our Maker,
who would do toward us whatsoever seemed good in His sight.

As I look back now upon the time when our town of Boston first came
into being, I can understand how well it is for us that we may not
read the future. Had we at that time, when the winter was coming on,
known how much of sorrow and of suffering was in store for us, before
the earth would be freed from its bonds of ice, then I believe of a
verity we must have given up in despair.

However, it is not for me to look ahead even in this poor attempt at
setting down what we did in the new land. Rather let me go back to our
home life, and tell somewhat concerning the odd dishes which were
frequently set on our table.



MANY NEW KINDS OF FOOD


There is little need for me to say that we had lobsters in abundance,
and of such enormous size that one was put to it to lift them. I have
heard it said that twenty-pound weight was not unusual, and whosoever
might could catch, in traps made for the purpose, all the lobsters he
would.

  [Illustration]

As for other fish, I can not set down on one page of this paper, the
many kinds with which the housewife might provide herself for a
trifling sum of money. We often had eels roasted, fried, or boiled,
because of father's being very fond of them, and mother sometimes
stuffed them with nutmegs and cloves, making a dish which was not to
my liking, for it was hot to the tongue.

Some of the good wives in Salem had shown my mother how to prepare
nassaump, which those who first came to Salem learned from the Indians
how to make: It is nothing but corn beaten into small pieces, and
boiled until soft, after which it is eaten hot, or cold, with milk or
butter.

Nookick is to my mind more of a dainty than a substantial food, and
yet father declares that on a very small quantity of it, say three
great spoonfuls a day, a man may travel or work without loss of
strength. It is made by parching the Indian corn in hot ashes, and
then beating it to a powder. Save for the flavor lent to it by the
roasting, I can see no difference between nookick, and the meal made
from the ground corn.

Mother makes whitpot of oat meal, milk, sugar and spice, which is much
to my taste, although father declares it is not unlike oatmeal
porridge such as is eaten in some parts of England; but it hardly
seems to me possible, because of one's not putting sugar and spice
into porridge.

We often have bread made of pumpkins boiled soft, and mixed with the
meal from Indian corn, and this father much prefers to the bread of
rye with the meal of corn; but the manner of cooking pumpkins most to
my liking, is to cut them into small pieces, when they are ripe, and
stew during one whole day upon a gentle fire, adding fresh bits of
pumpkin as the mass softens. If this be steamed enough, it will look
much like unto baked apples, and, dressed with a little vinegar and
ginger, is to me a most tempting rarity. But we do not often have it
upon the table because of so much labor being needed to prepare it.

Yokhegg is a pudding of which I am exceedingly fond, and yet it is
made of meal from the same Indian corn that supplies the people
hereabout with so much of their food. It is boiled in milk and
chocolate, sweetened to suit one's taste after being put on the table,
and while to English people, who are not accustomed to all the uses
which we make of this wheat, it may not sound especially inviting, it
most truly is a toothsome dainty.

  [Illustration]

The cost of setting one's table here is not great as compared with
that in England, for we may get a quart of milk by paying a penny, or
a dozen fat pigeons, in the season, for three pence, while father has
more than once bought wild turkeys, to the weight of thirty pounds,
for two shillings, and wild geese are worth but eight pence.



THE SUPPLY OF FOOD


The season had come when, if we had been in England, the people would
have been gathering the harvest; but here we had none, having come so
late in the year that there was no time to plant, and, consequently,
we had no crops.

I had never before realized how necessary it is for people that the
earth shall yield in abundance; but I came to know it now right well
through hearing father, as he talked with mother regarding the fears
which the chief men of the colony had concerning the supply of food.

Of course, girls such as Susan and I would not have been likely to
learn anything of the kind, save that matters had come to such a pass
as made the situation serious, in which case it was no more than
natural we should hear our parents talking about it.

It seems, from what I learned, that a portion of the provisions
brought from England were spoiled during the voyage, and also, that
many of our people had taken with them no more than enough to sustain
life for a month or two, believing that in this New World food of all
kinds would be found in abundance.

Then again, many had bartered provisions, which they should have kept
for the winter use, with the Indians in exchange for beaver skins,
thinking thereby to make much money. So general had this traffic
become, that early in September the Governor gave strict orders
against it, and it was also ordered that no person in the town be
allowed to carry out therefrom anything eatable.

But yet the store of food grew smaller and smaller, for there were
many mouths to feed, and it seemed as if we children were more often
hungry because of knowing that there was little to be had.

Susan reminded me of what she was pleased to call the "omen," when it
was as if the first of our duties in the New World had been to bury
two members of the company, and as the days wore on I began really to
believe it a sin to harbor such thoughts.

As it had been in Charlestown, so did it come to be here in Boston,
when the rains of autumn set in.

Many of the dwellings had not been built with due regard to sheltering
those who were to live therein, and because of the dampness--although
mother says it was owing quite as well to the homesickness and gloom
which came upon us when the leaves in the forest turned brown, and
yellow, and golden in token of the dying year--the people sickened.

However it was, much of sickness prevailed among us in Boston, until
the time came when my father and mother, to both of whom God had
allowed good health, were absent from home day after day, nursing
those of our neighbors who were unable to aid themselves.

  [Illustration]



THE SAILING OF THE "LYON"


It seemed at this time as if the Lord had set His face against the
rearing of a nation in this new land, which he had given to the brown
men for their homes, and Susan and I were not the only ones who came
to believe we were offending Him in some way by thus having come here.

Then Governor Winthrop caused it to be known throughout the town that
he had hired Captain Pierce, of the ship _Lyon_, which was then in
Salem Harbor, to go with all haste to the nearest town in England,
there to get for us as much of food as could be bought.

This news cheered the people somewhat, for now was the season when the
winds blew strong, and it was believed the ship would have speedy
passage. Indeed, some of the women declared she must return before the
middle of October, and said so much concerning such possibility, that
in time they came to believe it true. Therefore, when the month of
October had nearly passed, their disappointment was great, and they
were more despondent than at first.



THE FAMINE


  [Illustration]

Each day saw the store of provisions in the town grow smaller. Every
family husbanded that which could be eaten, with greatest care,
putting no more on the table than was absolutely necessary for a
single meal, and those things which we had considered dainties, were
no longer prepared.

Then came the Angel of Death, and man after man, woman after woman,
laid themselves down to die, not from being starved, but, so Governor
Winthrop declared, from having sickened through scurvy, which had come
upon them during the voyage, after which, falling into discontent and
giving way to home-sickness, they no longer struggled to live.

Before October had come to an end, food was so scarce in Boston that
the poorer people had nothing save acorns, clams, and mussels to eat.
During the summer it had seemed as if the sea were actually filled
with fish, and yet now, when every boat that could be found in the
town and nearby had been sent out, it was difficult for our men to
take even fifty pounds weight in a day.

As Susan said, even the fish forsook us, as the clams and mussels
would have done had they legs or fins.

The fowls of the forest also appeared to have departed, and by
November the most any family could boast of was meal boiled in salt
and water. In more happy days I would have turned up my nose at such
food, and yet now it was like unto some sweet morsel, for so scanty
had our store become that my mother would cook for each meal no more
than half as much as we could have eaten.

I have heard father say that for a bushel of flour which had been
brought from England, he paid in those dark days fourteen shillings,
and there was so little of it even at such price, that mother saved
what store we had that it might be made into gruel, or something
dainty, which the sick could keep upon their stomachs.



THE SEARCH FOR FOOD


Then it was that our pinnace was made ready for a voyage, and with
five of the strongest men on board, was sent along the coast to trade
with those Indians who called themselves Narragansetts, taking with
them everything in the way of trinkets which was in the general store,
or could be gathered up from among the housewives.

  [Illustration]

Great was our rejoicing, five days later, when the men came back,
bringing with them an hundred bushels of Indian corn. This seemed like
a large amount of food, and yet, so many were the mouths to be fed
from it, it was, so father said, scarce enough to hold life in our
bodies three days, if so be it had been divided equally among all.

Father told us that three men, who were of the poorer people, had
walked all the way from Boston town to Plymouth; but even there, where
a harvest had been gathered, they could get no more than one
half-bushel of meal made from Indian corn.

It was a time of famine such as I pray God we may never know again. In
my home, until these dreary days, there had been no scarcity of food,
and yet again and again did I save a crust of rye bread, thinking it a
dainty to be nibbled upon slowly so that I might have longer the
pleasure of eating.



THE STARVATION TIME


It was as if the ship _Lyon_, on whose return a few weeks before we
had counted so hopefully, was gone, never to come back.

Even the children watched the direction of the winds, saying on this
day that it was a favoring one if the _Lyon_ were on her course for
Boston, and on the morrow mourning because of the breeze being
against her.

Yet she came not, nor did we hear aught concerning her, or any other
from the world beyond us.

We were alone in what was much the same as a wilderness, and all those
around upon whom we had counted to aid us in time of distress were in
nearly the same dismal straits as were we.

Even the Indians declared that they were hard pressed for something to
eat, and more than once did they come in twos or in threes to beg from
us who were starving, something that could be eaten.

Susan and I, as we sat clasped in each other's arms hungry, and pining
for the home over-seas which we had left, came to fancy that the
famine which held possession of the land was like unto some terrible
monster who hung above us as a cloud, settling slowly but surely day
after day, until the hour would come when his terrible fangs would be
securely fastened upon us.

During the month of January the deaths through scurvy, if that indeed
were the cause, grew less; but all believed that in the stead of being
removed by disease, our people were slowly perishing from starvation.

All the food in Boston was brought together, and portioned out, so
that no one, whether he had of money, or was penniless, should suffer
more than another. And yet again and again in the night have I been
awakened by the gnawing of hunger in my stomach.

  [Illustration]

With the beginning of January, Governor Winthrop appointed a day on
which we should all fast and pray, as if indeed we had been doing
other than fasting throughout the long, dreary winter. On this day
every man, woman, and child in Boston town was to spend his or her
time in praying to the Lord to deliver us from our affliction.

We no longer hoped for the coming of the _Lyon_. Surely she must have
been destroyed by the tempest, otherwise had we seen her before this,
for nearly five months had gone by since she left Salem Harbor.



A DAY TO BE REMEMBERED


It was on the fifth day of February, which is the same as if I had
said Saturday, and the fast was to be kept on the next Thursday. Susan
had come to my home on Friday night to sleep in my bed with me, so
that we might have such poor comfort as could be found in each other's
company when we were nigh to starving.

She had awakened before the day dawned on this Saturday morning, which
will be remembered by me so long as the Lord permits that I live, and
moaned in distress because of the desire for food, until I opened my
eyes, fretting because of not being allowed to sleep yet longer, for
while I slumbered the pangs of hunger were not known.

Seeing me awake, Susan began to speak of the fast day on the following
Thursday, saying that if we had no food whatsoever during the
twenty-four hours, at a time when we were so near to starvation,
surely would we die, and she was going back to what she called the
omens, which came to us shortly after we arrived, when we were
startled by a loud shouting in the street next beyond, where could be
had a view of the sea.



THE COMING OF THE "LYON"


Dimly, like one in a dream, for there was no thought in my mind this
might be a signal that our time of trial was come to an end, I
wondered how it was that any in this famine-stricken Boston of ours
could raise their voices as if in joy, until I heard father cry out
from the living-room below:

"The _Lyon_ has arrived! The _Lyon_ has arrived!"

  [Illustration]

It might be that I could give you, by the aid simply of words, some
faint idea of how we suffered during the time of starvation, of
sickness, and of death; but it is impossible for me to set down that
which shall picture the heartfelt rejoicings and fervent thanksgiving
that were ours at thus knowing we were soon to have enough with which
to drive death from our doors.

It was a time of the wildest excitement. I hardly know what Susan and
I did or said on that day, save that we dressed hurriedly, running
down to the very shore of the cove, finding there nearly every person
in Boston, and stood with the water lapping our feet as we watched the
oncoming of the ship which was bringing relief.

Never before had I thought a vessel could be beautiful; but I have not
seen a fairer sight than was the _Lyon_ on that morning, and before
night came, our stomachs, which had been crying out in distress
because of lack of food, were groaning through being overly well
filled.

The time of famine had passed, at least for this season, and it was as
if the sick began to gain new life, and health, and strength, simply
through knowing that we were no longer in such dire straits.



ANOTHER THANKSGIVING DAY


Governor Winthrop gave voice to his relief and pleasure by ordering,
even before the _Lyon_ had come to anchor, that the fast which had
been appointed for the next Thursday should be a day of thanksgiving
instead, and so we made it, with prayers all the more fervent because
of our stomachs being well filled, and the fear of dying by starvation
being put behind us.

The ship was loaded with such things as wheat, peas, oatmeal, pickled
beef and pork, cheese and butter, and, with what my mother declared
was of the greatest value, lemon juice, which is said to be a remedy
for those who are suffering with scurvy.

It was not allowed that those who had money should buy plentifully of
this cargo; but it was paid for by the town authorities, and divided
equally among us all.

When the day for thanksgiving came, my mother allowed me to have an
unusually hearty breakfast, for, she said, there was so much for which
to be thankful, and so many who would be present to give thanks, that
no one could say when we might be able to have dinner.

It was well she was thus thoughtful, for one of the preachers who came
over with us, Master Wilson, preached, while Governor Winthrop treated
us to a lecture, and Master Phillips was so blessed with the spirit
that he prayed a full hour.

Susan and I feared we would have yet more preaching, for on the ship
_Lyon_ had come a young man whom my father said was gifted, and
Susan's father believed he would make his influence felt among us. It
was Master Roger Williams, and I am ashamed to say that I sat in fear
and trembling lest Governor Winthrop should call upon him for a
sermon, after we had already had much the same as two; but,
fortunately, so it seemed to me, Master Williams did not raise his
voice during the service.

It was near to night before we were done with giving thanks, and then
at each home was held a feast.

  [Illustration]

During Governor Winthrop's lecture on this thanksgiving day, he urged
that all the people, children as well as grown folks, should take this
time of famine as a lesson, reminding us that it would not be a long
while before we could hope to reap a harvest, and in the meantime
there was very much of labor to be performed.

He declared that even with the cargo of the _Lyon_, we had not enough
to satisfy our wants until crops could be gathered; but it was certain
other ships would come to Boston during the summer, with more stores.
Yet because of its being possible we might come to a time of
suffering again, so must we be careful that not the smallest grain of
wheat be wasted.



A DEFENSE FOR THE TOWN


When the spring had come, and before it was time to put seed into the
ground, our fathers set about building a defense for the town.

If you remember, I have already set down that this new village of ours
was on a point, connected with the main coast only by a very narrow
strip of land. Now to defend our town from an attack by enemies, save
they should come by water, it was only necessary the defence be built
on this narrow neck, or strip, and so it was built.

  [Illustration]

From one side to the other, extending even down into the water, was a
palisade, or fence, of heavy logs, in the middle of which stood a gate
to give entrance, and the law was that it should be shut at sunset,
not to be opened again until day had dawned.



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, mayhap, a
Nipmuck, to work in the house.

  [Illustration]

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 good morals.
Therefore in our home mother and I do all that is needed, rather than
have around us people of whom we know nothing.



CHICKATABUT


It was not regarding the Indians, or free willers, as indentured
servants are called, that I intended to write when I began. That which
I counted to say was, that when the spring had come, after the arrival
of the _Lyon_, and we were free for the time being from fears of a
famine, the Indian by the name of Chickatabut came to see Governor
Winthrop, having been invited to the end that he might sell us, who
are here in Boston, this piece of land on which we are building our
town.

You must know that he is quite the most important savage roundabout
here, and father believes, as does Governor Winthrop, that if he sells
us the land, it will be a lawful bargain, because of his standing, as
I have said, at the head of all these brown people nearabout.

Now it so chanced that he was the first savage of note I had seen, and
really he was something grand to look upon. He had feathers on his
head, like unto a crown, and from this drooped a long trail of
feathers reaching to the ground, while his leggings and doublet of
tanned deer skin were covered with beads, worked in fanciful patterns,
together with the claws of beasts. His arrows were carried across his
back, in a covering embroidered with the quills of the porcupine
painted in various colors, and he held his bow in his hand.

  [Illustration]

I cannot set down as I would, exactly how he was dressed, because,
having come upon him suddenly while on my way to Susan's house, of
being startled by so much of adornment that I was like to have run
away.

He came, as I have said, to visit Governor Winthrop, and father
declares that he sat at the table as a white man would have done, save
that instead of using the knife and spoon, he took up food with his
fingers. Mother thinks that the Governor must have been relieved
indeed when his guest departed, for no one insists so strictly upon
proper table manners as does Master Winthrop.

It must have been that Chickatabut was pleased with his visit, for two
or three days after having gone back to his people, he sent the
Governor as much Indian corn as would fill a hogshead, and, in return
for the gift, Master Winthrop presented him with a suit of clothing
made in English fashion by a tailor.

Father says that now indeed do we own all the land this side of the
neck, for Master Blackstone, who had a farm here, as I have already
said, sold it to our people before we moved over from Charlestown, and
now with Chickatabut's selling of the same, there should be no
question as to who has a lawful claim upon it.



BUILDING A SHIP


Although, in my own mind, there was never any doubt but that the land
was rightfully ours without consulting a savage about it, yet I
believe, from all I heard said, that our people felt better in mind
after this Indian chief had agreed to our staying here, for it seemed
as if he had no sooner made the bargain than work was pushed forward
more as it would have been done in England.

As for instance, Governor Winthrop began building a vessel, and now,
if you please, we are to have a ship of our own, made in Boston,
launched in Boston, and to sail from Boston.

  [Illustration]

When she is finished, and has sailed to Southampton or Liverpool, the
people there must begin to believe that we of the Massachusetts Bay
Colony are getting well on in the world if we can own fleets, for in
case one vessel can be built, there is no reason why we should not
have many, while there is so much of lumber everywhere around.



HOUSEHOLD CONVENIENCES


Do you know what a betty-lamp is? We have two in our house, which were
brought over by Captain Pierce of the _Lyon_, as a gift to my mother.

You, who have more or less trouble with your rush lights, cannot fancy
how luxurious it is to have one of these betty-lamps, which costs in
care no more than is required to fill them with grease or oil.

Fearing lest you may not know what these lamps are, which Susan's
mother says should be called brown-bettys, I will do my best to set
down here such a description as shall bring them before you.

The two which we have are made of brass; but Captain Pierce says they
are also to be found of pewter or of iron.

These are round, and very much the same shape as half an apple, save
that they have a nose an inch or two long, which sticks out from one
side. The body of the bowl is filled with tallow or grease, and the
wick, or a piece of twisted cloth, is threaded into the nose, with one
end hanging out to be lighted.

  [Illustration]

Ours hang by chains from the ceiling, and the light which they give is
certainly equal to, if not stronger than, that of a wax candle; but
they are not so cleanly, because if the wick be ever so little too
long, the lamps send forth a great smoke.

Father says he has seen a phoebe-lamp, which is much like our
betty-lamps, save that it has a small cup underneath the nose to catch
the dripping grease, and that I think would be a great improvement, if
indeed it is possible to improve upon so useful an article of
household furniture as this.

Speaking of our betty-lamps reminds me that Susan's mother had sent
over to her in the _Lyon_, a set of cob irons, which are something
after the fashion of andirons, or fire-dogs, save that they are also
intended to hold the spit and the dripping pan. She had also a pair of
"creepers," which are small andirons, and which she sometimes used
with the cob irons.

  [Illustration]

The andirons which we brought from England are much too fine to be
used in this fireplace, which is filled with pothooks, trammels,
hakes, and other cooking utensils.

They were a wedding present to my mother, and are in what we call
"sets of three," meaning that on each side of the fireplace are three
andirons; one to hold the heavy logs that are at the bottom of the
fire; another raised still higher to bear the weight of the smaller
sticks, and a third for much the same purpose as the second; or,
perhaps, to make up more of an ornament, for they are of iron and
brass, and are exceeding beautiful to look upon.

I have used the words trammels and hakes, but it is possible that you
may not know their meaning, and so I will add by way of explanation
that though they are both hooks upon which we may hang pots and
kettles, the trammel is so constructed that it may be lengthened or
shortened, being made of two parts.



HOW THE WORK IS DIVIDED


There is no good reason why I should make any attempt at setting down
here all that was done by our people in the way of planting, in order
that we might have such a harvest in the fall as would put far from us
the fear of another famine.

It should be easy for you to fancy how we are employed here in this
new town. Some of the men are working at the palisade, or barricade on
the Neck; others are in the field planting and hoeing, while yet
another company is in the shipyard on the Mystic River.

Ten or twelve of the people are constantly fishing, or hunting, to add
to the food supply, while those servingmen or laborers who are not
skilled at other work are cutting trees into fuel, and otherwise
clearing the land that it may be tilled another year.

  [Illustration]

The women and children are no less busy, and it is easy for you to
guess what their duties are. These log houses, while not requiring as
much care as if they were mansions, need very much in the way of
woman's work.

Lest the shiftless ones, who have no pride in the appearance of the
town, or are too lazy to do other than what may be absolutely
necessary, should allow the dirt to gather round about the outside of
the houses, a law has been made obliging each person to keep free from
dirt or filth of any kind, all the land surrounding his dwelling for a
distance of fifty paces, whether in the street or garden, and it is
upon us children that this last work falls.

Save for the babies, and those who are abed with sickness, there are
no idle ones in Boston, and well indeed it should be so, for it surely
is true that "Satan finds some mischief still for idle hands to do."
If we were not busily engaged during all the waking hours, then would
we have opportunity to grow homesick, for much as we are growing to
like this New World, there will come now and then thoughts of the
homes we left in England, and one's heart falls sad at realizing that,
perhaps, never again will we see those whom we left behind when the
_Arabella_ sailed out of Southampton.



LAUNCHING THE SHIP


It is not well that I let my mind go back into the past. I should
think only of the future, and of what we are doing here in Boston, the
most important of which just now is the launching of our ship.

She is what sailors call "bark rigged," which is the same as saying
that she has three masts; but yet not as much of rigging as a ship.

Her name, painted on the stern, is _Blessing of the Bay_, and there is
hardly any need for me to say that every man, woman, and child in the
town stood near at hand to see her as she slipped down the well
greased ways into the river, where she rode as gracefully as a swan.

I have already said that when the _Lyon_ came in, at the time of the
famine, she appeared the most beautiful vessel I had ever seen, and
next to her comes the _Blessing of the Bay_. As Governor Winthrop said
in the short lecture he gave us before launching, she was Boston made,
of Boston timber, and would be sailed by Boston sailors, so that when
she goes out across the ocean, people shall know that there are
Englishmen far overseas who are striving, with God's help, to make a
country which shall one day stand equal with the England we have left
forever.

  [Illustration]

It is while speaking of the launching that I am reminded of a very
comical mishap to Master Winthrop, and I may set it down without
disrespect to him, for he is pleased to join in the mirth whenever it
is spoken of as something to cause laughter.



MASTER WINTHROP'S MISHAP


It seems that the wolves had been worrying some of the goats that
Master Winthrop brought over to this country with him, and on a
certain day, after supper, he went out with his gun in the hope of
killing a few of the ravenous beasts.

He had not traveled more than half a mile from home when night came
on, and, turning about to go back, as was prudent, for it is not safe
that one man shall be alone in the forest after dark, because of the
wild animals, he mistook his path, wandering directly away from the
river, instead of toward it.

I myself have heard him say that he must have walked a full hour, and
was growing exceeding uncomfortable in mind, when he came to an Indian
hut that was built of branches of trees and of skins, so that it
formed a fairly comfortable dwelling, and was of sufficient strength
to resist the efforts of any one to enter, save through the door.

There was no person inside this hut or wigwam; the door was
unfastened, and the Governor, understanding that he must have some
shelter during the night, else was he in danger of being devoured by
wild beasts, entered as if it were his own dwelling.

With his flint and steel he built a fire, and by its light, saw, piled
up in one corner of the place, mats such as the savages use to sleep
upon. Having taken a mouthful of snakeweed, which is said to be of
great benefit in quieting one's nerves, and prayed to God for safe
keeping during the night, he lay down.

Before much time had passed, and certainly while his eyes were yet
wide open, it began to rain, and some of the water finding its way
through the carelessly thatched roof, disturbed his rest, so that it
was impossible to sleep.

He spent the night singing psalms, gathering such wood as he could
handily come at from the outside, to keep the fire going, and pacing
to and fro in the narrow space, until near to daylight, when an Indian
squaw came that way.

  [Illustration]

The Governor, hearing her voice as she cried out to whosoever owned
the hut and was evidently a friend of hers, barred the door as best he
might, while she stood on the outside beating it with her hands, and
calling aloud in the Indian language, first in friendly terms, and
then angrily; but yet he made no reply.

The door held firm against her efforts until day came, when the
Governor walked out of the hut, not dreaming the woman would make an
attack upon him, but straightway he was forced to take to his heels,
or, as he laughingly declared, she would have clawed out his eyes.

Although we children knew nothing whatsoever concerning it, the chief
men of the town had been greatly alarmed because of the Governor's
disappearance, and during the whole of the night no less than twenty
had walked to and fro in the forest hunting for him; but by an unkind
chance never going in the direction of this hut. When Master Winthrop
made his appearance, it had just been decided that a hue and cry
should be raised, and all the men in Boston be called to aid in the
search.



NEW ARRIVALS


It was during this summer, when Captain Pierce brought the _Lyon_ to
us for the third time, that Mistress Winthrop, the Governor's wife
came over.

John Eliot, the preacher, was also one of the passengers, and they had
even a longer voyage than had we in the _Arabella_.

The _Lyon_ left Southampton about the middle of August, and did not
arrive here until the fourth of November, when she came to anchor off
Nantasket.

Then indeed did we have a week of rejoicing, sharing in the Governor's
gladness that his family was with him once more. All those who could
get boats to convey them, went down off Nantasket, and when Mistress
Winthrop stepped ashore at the foot of our cove, she was honored by
volleys from all the firearms in the town.

  [Illustration]

During three days that followed, it was as if the people believed
Master Winthrop and his loved ones were in danger of starvation, for,
from the highest to the lowest in the town, each brought some gift of
food, such as fat hogs, goats, deer meat, geese, partridges,--in
fact, anything that could be eaten, save clams, fish, and lobsters, of
which we had already more than plenty enough to dull one's appetite
for such eating.

Those who read what I have here set down, may charge me with speaking
overly much concerning what we had to eat, and yet I question whether
any of our company who passed through the famine of the year of 1630,
and the pinching times of 1631 and 1632, could do otherwise than dwell
upon our store of food.



ANOTHER FAMINE


  [Illustration]

Now, if you please, I will set down at once that which is in my mind
concerning it, so that I need not weary you by repeating. This first
year of harvest was a fairly plentiful one, and would have sufficed
for all our wants during the coming winter, had it not been that other
people were joining us by every ship, nearly all of whom were poorly
provided for, having left England in the belief that we were dwelling
amid plenty.

Therefore it was, that to feed these new comers as well as ourselves,
we were frequently hard pressed for what was actually needed to save
ourselves the pangs of hunger.

It is true that during this summer of 1631 many cattle were sent from
England; but so many died during the voyage, that those which lived
seemed extremely precious, because from them were we counting on our
future herds. People who had spent their money in England buying
twenty cows, but succeeded in bringing to Boston only four, could not
afford to kill them for the sake of meat, more especially since the
very life of our colony depended upon their increase.

We had famine in the first year; we were cramped for food during the
second year, yet consoled ourselves with the thought that when another
season had come, there would be so much seed put into the ground that
there could be no question of lack of whatever might be needed.

But the summer of our third year in Boston was cold and wet; the crop
of corn failed almost entirely, and again were we forced to seek our
food from the sea, or to dig for clams; but even this last was
extremely difficult, owing to the exceedingly cold winter of that
season.

The Charles river was frozen from shore to shore, and it was as if
the snow fell almost every day, until the drifts were piled so high
roundabout our town that, save in the very center of the village, we
could not move about.

Another famine was staring us in the face when the winter came to an
end, and we knew that unless help should reach us from the outside, we
could not add to our stores until another harvest time.

Then it was that we realized the value of having neighbors, and truly
these were neighbors indeed, who, at Jamestown in the New World, had
such store of food, as would allow them to lade a ship wholly with
corn, sending her, through God's direction, to that port where the
supply was most needed.

Lest I weary you with too many words regarding our hunger, I will set
it down thus briefly, that, except at rare intervals, we were pinched
for food during the first five years we lived in Boston, and not until
that time had passed were we free from further fear of famine.



FINE CLOTHING FORBIDDEN


And yet we did not spend all our time complaining one to another lest
on the morrow we should be hungry, and in proof of this I am minded to
set down here that which I have copied from the law made in our town
four years after we came across from Charlestown:

     "That no person, either man or woman, shall hereafter make
     or buy any apparel, either woolen, or silk, or linen with
     any lace on it, silver, gold, or thread, under the penalty
     of forfeiture of said cloths. Also that no person, either
     man or woman, shall make or buy any slashed cloths, other
     than one slash in each sleeve, and another in the back;
     also all cut-works, embroideries, or needle-work,
     capbands, and rails are forbidden hereafter to be made and
     worn under the aforesaid penalty; also all gold and silver
     girdles, hatbands, belts, ruffs, beaver hats are
     prohibited to be bought and worn hereafter."

Mother says it is because of our people having given themselves up to
vanity that the Lord laid His hand heavily upon us by cutting off the
harvest, and yet it seems to me, although I question not that which
she has said, that the good God would never punish all our people for
the sin which a few committed.

Yet, perhaps, there were more than a few who committed the sin, else
why should it have been that our wise men felt it necessary to forbid
fanciful dress, as they did in this law which I have set down?



OUR FIRST CHURCH


Not until the second year after Boston was settled, did we have a
building devoted entirely to the worship of God. Then was built of
logs, neatly hewn and set together with much care, so that both the
outside and the inside were smooth and fair to look upon, that which
we called our church.

The sides did not stand as tall as some of our dwellings; but the roof
was much higher and sharper, so that inside it looked to be very
large. There were four windows in each side, and all of them contained
glass, if you please.

  [Illustration]

The pulpit, with a well fashioned sounding-board of odorous cedar
above it, stood at the end of the building farthest from the door, and
there were near about it eight pews made much after the same shape as
those in the church at home. In these sit the magistrates, the elders
and the deacons, with the men on one side, the women and girls on the
other, and the boys in one corner, where the tithing-men may keep them
in order.

Back of these pews were benches sufficient in number to give seats to
all our people, and if it could have been that Master Winthrop and
those in authority believed we might worship God quite as well while
comfortable in body, so that we had a fireplace, it would have
delighted me much.

It seems almost a sin to complain because of being cold while one is
praising God, and yet during this long, dreary winter when the earth
was piled high with snow, and the river imprisoned in ice, it was well
nigh impossible, after having remained in the same position two or
three hours, to prevent one's teeth from chattering so sharply that
the noise might disturb others.

It seems to me that one could enjoy a sermon much better if one were
not wishing for the warmth of the fireplace at home.

Many of our people have what is called a foot-stove to take with them
to meeting, and it seems to me a most comfortable arrangement; but
mother says that if our love of God be not strong enough to prevent
discomfort simply because of the frost, when such a man as Master
Wilson, or either of the preachers, or Governor Winthrop, is pleased
to deliver a sermon, then are we utterly lost.

  [Illustration]

Susan declares that she _was_ lost the first winter we came here, when
her cheeks were frost-bitten during one of Master Winthrop's lectures,
which took no more than two hours in the speaking.

These foot-stoves, which I wish most fervently my father would believe
we might be permitted to use, are square boxes made of iron, pierced
with many tiny holes, and having a handle by which they can be
carried. One of these, filled with live coals, will keep warm a very
long time, especially if it be covered with skins, and I envy Mistress
Winthrop and her daughter, even while knowing how great is the sin,
when they sit in the Governor's pew so comfortably warm that there is
no fear their teeth will, by chattering, cause unseemly disturbance.



A TROUBLESOME PERSON


There are certain matters concerning which I was minded not to speak,
because of their causing both Susan and me very much of sadness at the
time, and it has seemed as if I had set down little else except
trouble and suffering, whereas there was very much of the time when we
of Boston enjoyed our life in the New World.

That some will not live as God would have them, we know only too well,
and we found one such among us during the second year after our
village was built. Thomas Morton was the person who gave the officers
of Boston no little trouble, and in order to tell understandingly the
story of what he did, I must go back to that time, two years before we
landed here, when the people of Plymouth had cause to complain against
this same man.

From what I have heard father say, he had been a lawyer in the city of
London, and came over to Plymouth hoping to better his fortunes; but
because of not being a God-fearing man, the religious spirit of the
colonies was little to his liking.



THE VILLAGE OF MERRY MOUNT


Within five or six miles of where stands our village, had been, a few
years before, a settlement which one Captain Wollaston began, and,
tiring of the enterprise, went back to England, leaving there some few
of his followers, who were ungodly people.

This Thomas Morton, believing himself held in too close restraint at
Plymouth, sought out these people at Wollaston, and became one of
them, to the shame and reproach of all godly-minded people in this New
World. He changed the name of the village to Merry Mount; was chosen
leader of the company there, and made of the place a perfect Sodom.

It is said, so I have heard my father say, that they had no religious
services, save now and then, when in a spirit of wickedness this
Thomas Morton read from the prayer book. He increased the number of
his following by enticing the servants away from the good folks of
Plymouth.

It gave much offence to them that such a village should be in the land
where they had come to set up the true worship of God, therefore
Captain Miles Standish, a soldier of Plymouth, went with a force of
men to Merry Mount, seized this Thomas Morton, and sent him to England
that he might answer for his crimes to the London Company.

  [Illustration]



PUNISHING THOMAS MORTON


What happened there my father does not know; but certain it is that
when the _Lyon_ came on her second voyage, she brought among her
passengers this same Thomas Morton, and from the moment he arrived
our people had trouble with him.

He brought considerable property in the way of firearms, powder and
shot, and, without asking permission from the chief men of our town,
set about trading these goods with the Indians for furs, as he had
done at Merry Mount, which was not only a menace to all the white
people in this new country, because of furnishing the savages with
arms that might be used to kill us, but directly against the law which
forbade trafficking with the Indians.

He must have been a wicked man indeed, for, not content with doing
that which our people had forbidden, he cheated the savages by selling
them black sand for powder, and demanding more of furs than was fair
and just for such goods as he gave them.

Of course one may think that his crime against us was lessened when he
weighed out worthless sand, instead of powder that might be used to
our harm; but the chief men of Boston claimed that the savages must be
dealt with fairly, otherwise would they look upon us, who were willing
to trade honestly, as rogues and thieves.

Therefore it was that our people seized this Thomas Morton, gave him
fair trial before the court, and sentenced him to four and twenty
hours in the bilboes, after which he was again to be sent as prisoner
to England.

It may be that some do not know what bilboes are, and I can explain
because of having seen them while they were on Thomas Morton.

A bilboe is a long bar of iron, on which are two heavy clamps, in
shape not unlike bracelets which ladies of quality wear upon their
arms, fastened by a ring to the bar in such manner that they may slide
back and forth. These clamps, or clasps, are placed upon the
prisoner's ankles, and pushed apart until his legs are stretched wide.
His hands are tied behind his back, and he is forced to sit upon the
ground, unable to give relief to his aching limbs, because of the
bar's being too weighty for him to move it.

  [Illustration]

All of Thomas Morton's goods were seized to pay the charges of the
trial, and also to make good to the Indians what they had lost through
his knavishness. The house which he had built, and it was a fair one
made of heavy logs, was burned in the presence of the prisoner and the
court, as a sign that we of Boston would not countenance dishonest
tricks, even when they were played upon the savages.



PHILIP RATCLIFF'S CRIME


The punishment of Thomas Morton saddened Susan and myself sorely; but
not so much as when one Philip Ratcliff was punished.

He was such a wicked man that he went around the town saying he
believed the devil was at the head of our church, and in every way
casting reproach upon religion, despite the fact of his having been
warned again and again that unless he put a bridle to his tongue,
punishment would speedily follow.

He did not give heed to the warning, however, and after a time, which
was during the third summer of our being in this land, he was brought
before the court as one who had cast reproach upon God. For this he
was sentenced to be whipped, to have his ears cut off, to be fined
forty shillings, and afterward to be banished to England.

Because of this man's being so very, very wicked, Susan and I believed
we should go to see him whipped, and gathered with the people at the
pillory, where he stood with his neck and arms clutched by the heavy
bars of wood; but when Samuel Morgan made ready the heavy whip, just
as the man's back was bared to receive the lashes, we turned away in
horror, not daring to look.

Father said, when he came home in the evening, that Ratcliff bore the
whipping and the ear-cutting without a cry; but when it was over, he
threatened vengeance against us, after he should be set free in
England, and later we came to know what he meant by such threats.

  [Illustration]

He went everywhere about in the old country, telling that the New
World was a hideous wilderness in which roamed the wildest savages
thirsting for the blood of white people; that the land was rocky and
barren, and not fit for farms, for no crops could be raised upon it;
that the weather was cold, and that the climate caused deathly
sickness.

All this, father said, worked to our harm among those godly people who
were inclined to join us, for they feared to come into such a place,
not understanding that these things were lies which had been told out
of a spirit of revenge.



IN THE PILLORY


Another wicked person who had come to Boston was Henry Linn, who was
no sooner living among us than he wrote letters to England by every
vessel, full of slander against the churches, and of those who took
part in the government.

He was forced to stand in the pillory from sunrise to sunset, and was
then sent back to England with the warning that if he ever returned,
worse punishment would follow.

It has come to my mind that possibly some who read these words may not
have seen a pillory, for I am told that there are places in this world
where the people so fear God and love their neighbors that there is no
need they be punished, therefore will I set down as best I may, a
description of that instrument of shame that stands near to where
lives Master Wilson.

First a platform of logs is made of such height that he who stands
upon it can be seen of all the people, and from the center of this
rises a stout log to the height of four feet or more. On the top of
the upright timber, and fastened immovable, is a puncheon plank on the
upper edge of which are cut three grooves, the middle one large enough
to contain a man's neck and the other two his wrists. Now a second
plank is fashioned to fit down over the first one, with other grooves
in it to match.

Whosoever must be punished is forced to stand upon this platform with
his head and arms fastened securely in the holes of the planks,
exposed to the view of all the people during so long a time as the
sentence demands.

In addition to being a most shameful punishment, it must be exceeding
painful, for one may not stand very long in the same position without
becoming cramped, and he who is in the pillory cannot move hands or
head.



STEALING FROM THE INDIANS


I grieve to say that there were some among our people who seemed to
believe there was nothing of crime that could be committed against a
savage, and Master Josias Plastow, whom we had ever looked upon as a
godly man, showed himself to be knavish where the brown people were
concerned.

Chickatabut, the chief of the Massachusetts Indians, of whom I have
already spoken, brought proof to Boston that Master Plastow had stolen
three half-bushels of corn from some of his people, living near
Neponset, and on being charged with the offence by Governor Winthrop,
Master Plastow confessed that he had done so, claiming that it was not
stealing to take from the savages.

  [Illustration]

The Governor and his assistants thought differently, though, for
Master Plastow was fined five pounds in money, and ordered to send six
half-bushels of corn to the Indians from whom he had stolen, after
which all people were forbidden to call him Master any more, but must
give him only the name of Josias.

Captain Stone believed this sentence to be wrong, and openly called
the justice unseemly names. He was straightway summoned before the
court, and fined one hundred pounds in money for speaking
disrespectfully of one in authority.

Nor was this the only case where fault was found with the punishment
inflicted upon Josias. Henry Lyon wrote a letter to a cousin of his in
Plymouth, another to a friend in Salem, and sent four to London, all
of which were filled with harsh words against the Governor of Boston,
and the manner in which justice was dealt out. He was given twelve
lashes on the bare back, and banished to England.



THE PASSING OF NEW LAWS


When we had been in this village two years, there was much vexation
because of the greater portion of the gold and silver money, which our
people had brought with them, having been sent back to England in
order to purchase goods there, and the result was that even those who
were well off in the things of this world, found themselves unable to
pay their debts.

Therefore it was that the court ordered corn to be taken in the stead
of gold and silver, unless money, or beaver skins, were set down in
the writing as the method of payment agreed upon.

At the same time another law was passed, part of which seemed to bear
heavily upon those who were homesick to the point of going back to
England, and yet may have offended the officers of the law in some
way. It was declared that no person should be allowed to depart out of
the town of Boston, either by sea or by land, or to buy goods out of
any vessel or of the Indians, without permission from the magistrates.

I know it is not seemly for a girl to question that which her elders
have done, and yet there were many times when it seemed to me as if
such a law worked injury to us of Boston.

I might not have given so much heed to matters which do not concern
girls, but for the fact that Susan's father had crossed the Neck on
his way in search of wild animals, and having come some four miles
into the forest, he met an Indian who had on his back a half-bushel of
corn in a basket.

The savage took a fancy to the girdle he wore, offered to give him the
corn, and bring as much more on the following day, if the belt were
given to him then.

  [Illustration]

Susan's father, believing that the law against buying provisions of an
Indian would not be carried so far as to prevent a bargain like the
one which the savage had offered, stripped off his belt and took the
corn.

On coming back to the town, Samuel Goodlove, one of the tithing-men,
met him, and asked how it chanced he had set forth in search of wild
fowl and brought back corn.

Thinking no harm, Susan's father told all that had been done in the
forest, and straightway he was brought before Governor Winthrop, who
fined him ten shillings and the corn he had brought on his back four
miles, for having offended the law. In addition, he was sentenced to
give back to the Indian as much corn as he had taken, but without
demanding from him the girdle that had been given over.



MASTER PORMONT'S SCHOOL


Five years after we were settled in this town of Boston, a school was
set up for young people, and such children of the Indians as wished to
attend were allowed to do so freely without payment, although every
white man was forced to pay each year a certain amount, either in
money or in goods, for the hire of the teacher, who was Master
Philemon Pormont.

It must not be supposed that we children knew nothing whatsoever of
reading, writing, or of doing small sums in arithmetic, up to this
time. A certain portion of each day did my mother or father teach me
my lessons, and when Master Pormont opened his school, I could write
as fair a hand as I do now, which seems fortunate, for he was not
skilful in teaching the art of writing.

As for myself, I truly believe that had my first lessons in the use of
a quill come from him, I had never known how to form a letter, because
of his being exceeding harsh in his ways.

  [Illustration]

A child who failed in doing at the first attempt exactly as Master
Pormont thought fit, was given a sharp blow over the knuckles of the
hand which held the quill, and Ezra Whitman was punished in this
manner so severely on a certain day, that it was nearly a week before
he was able to use his fingers. Even then the teacher declared that if
the blow had been sharper, the boy would, before the pain had ceased,
have known more about that which he was endeavoring to show him.

The school was first set up in the house that had been built by Josias
Plastow. If you remember, he was one who had been under the discipline
of the court, and it was forbidden any should call him save by the
name of Josias.

Feeling that he had been harshly dealt with, Josias left Boston, and
went into Plymouth to live, therefore did his dwelling belong to the
town, according to the law. It was made into a schoolroom by having
benches set up around the four sides, in such fashion that the
scholars faced a ledge of puncheon planks, which was built against the
walls to be used when we needed a desk on which to write, or to work
out sums in arithmetic.

Master Pormont sat upon a platform in the center of the room, where he
could keep us children well in view, and woe betide the one who
neglected his task, for punishment was certain to follow.



SCHOOL DISCIPLINE


There were times when it seemed to me as if Master Pormont had eyes in
the back of his head, for once when I ventured to ask Susan Freeman
for the loan of her quill, while he was looking in the opposite
direction, I was speedily called to an account for misbehavior. Then
it was he handed me a knife he carried in his pocket, and further
command was not needed.

I knew full well that I must go outside and cut a stout switch for use
upon my own body, and if peradventure I had been so foolish as to
bring back a small one, the first would have been used to switch me
with until it was broken, after which it was my duty to go for another
of more weight.

  [Illustration]

My hands smarted a full hour after the punishment had been dealt out,
and there were such swellings upon them when I got home that mother
tied both up in linen after besmearing them plentifully with ointment.

It was not always that Master Pormont used a switch upon a child who
had been foolish enough to speak with his neighbor, for he had what
were called whispering-sticks, which were most disagreeable to wear,
and caused a great deal of pain, so Susan said; but as for myself, I
was never forced to bear such punishment.

These whispering-sticks were stout bits of wood from the oak tree,
which could not readily be broken by the teeth, and were put into a
child's mouth as you thrust a bit into the mouth of a horse, after
which the two ends were bound securely back of the neck. Thus the
unfortunate one's jaws were stretched wide open, oftentimes for a full
hour.



OTHER TOOLS OF TORTURE


It seemed to me then, and does even now, that Master Pormont spent
more time devising means of punishment than in teaching us our
lessons, for he had as many torture tools of various kinds as would
have served to make a heavy load for either of us children.

That which the lads most feared was the flapper, and truly it was well
contrived to cause pain. It was a piece of stout deer hide, or thick
leather, four or five inches wide, and twice as long, with a hole in
the center about as large as the end of my thumb. One end of this was
tied to a stout handle, and, when applying it, Master Pormont forced
the child who had disobeyed the rules of school, to lie over one of
the benches in such a manner that he could come at the lad's bare
skin. When the flapper was laid on vigorously, at each blow the flesh
would puff up through this hole in the center of the leather, in a way
most painful to behold.

There is little need for me to say that Master Pormont had a number of
dunce's caps made of bark from the birch tree, on which were painted
different inscriptions to suit the offence, such as "Stupid Boy," for
one who could not readily answer the questions he asked concerning the
day's lessons; "A Silly Dunce," to fit one who was slow in learning;
"A Wicked Liar," for some lad who had not told the truth.

In fact, I cannot set down all the names which Master Pormont had
written on these dunce's caps, and there was hardly an hour during the
day when at least one of them was not in use.

  [Illustration]

That contrivance which he had for children who would not sit quietly
on their benches, was, seemingly, the most innocent, and yet, as I
know to my sorrow, caused a vast amount of pain. It was a small square
of puncheon plank with a single stick in the center as a leg, and on
this the culprit was forced to sit, balancing himself or herself as
best might be by the feet, without being allowed to touch the hands to
anything.

As I thus set down the poor description it seems a harmless thing, and
a punishment too mild to meet a grave offence, but yet if you were to
try to balance yourself on this unipod, as Master Pormont called it,
for the space of an hour, every joint in your body would cry aloud
with pain.

As for myself, I know that more than once I would rather have fallen
headlong from this unipod, than have endured the torture a single
moment, even had I not known that more severe punishment would follow
such a disregard of the rules of school.



DIFFICULT LESSONS


The first lesson which Master Pormont gave to those of us children who
could read and write fairly well, was from the Latin grammar, and he
required that we have at our tongue's end within the first day, the
different forms of no less than six verbs; and this regardless of the
fact that we had never so much as put our eyes to the language before!

Do not let it be understood that I am in any way complaining of
whatsoever Master Pormont did, for although I could not understand
the reason for many of the lessons at that time, there can be no
question but that so wise a man as he knew what was best suited for us
children.

But surely, to Susan and me, who knew no more of arithmetic than was
to be found in the multiplying, dividing, and adding of small sums, it
was most grievous work to stumble over such terms as "fret," "tare,"
and "net," when we had no idea of their meaning.

Nor would Master Pormont give us such information, claiming that we
should seek it from our parents, or from other people in the town, to
the end that if it was gained by much labor we would the longer
remember it.



OTHER SCHOOLS


To me it was a great relief when dame schools were established, and by
this term I mean schools that were taught by women.

Some of our more tender-hearted people believed Master Pormont's
methods were too harsh for the younger children; therefore, after he
had kept school one year, Mistress Sowerby, who was the widow of
Master Sowerby who had been assistant in the church at Yarmouth, in
England, was hired at the wage of six pounds a year to teach the girls
and the smaller boys.

She did not appear to think it necessary that young ladies should know
so very much concerning Latin grammar, or arithmetic; but rather spent
her time showing us how to spin tow strings, or to knit hose or
stockings.

Because of the school's having been set up in her own home, we could
learn how to cook, and to weave, and to knit, not only for our own
use, but to sell, and any kind of knitting work done well was in great
demand. When I could do herringbone, or fox-and-geese patterns,
working them, moreover, into mittens or stockings, I felt exceeding
proud.

  [Illustration]

Indeed, we had among us one girl who knit into a single pair of
mittens, the alphabet and a verse of poetry in four lines.

Mistress Sowerby was most careful in teaching us the use of the quill,
for she claimed that the young girl or young woman, who could make
easy, flowing letters, need not consider herself ignorant, even though
she failed in arithmetic, or was unable to spell correctly the words
she set down.

It seemed to Susan and me as if the people of Boston were taking great
pride in the teaching of their children, when we learned that four
hundred pounds had been set aside from the money of the town with
which to set up a college, near those plantations which we had come to
call the New Town.

We girls were more than disappointed, however, when told that only
lads would be allowed to enter this college, and then not until having
gained a certain amount of knowledge elsewhere; but yet it was a
matter in which we could take pride, that there should be such a
school formed when only six years had passed since we began to build
the town of Boston.



RAISING FLAX


It would be strange indeed if I failed to set down anything concerning
the flax which we spin, because save for it we would have had nothing
of linen except what could be brought from England. There is no
question but that every one who reads this will know exactly how flax
is raised and spun into cloth; but yet I am minded to explain, because
we girls of Boston have more to do with raising flax than with any
other crop.

It is sown early in the spring, and when the plants are three or four
inches high, we girls are obliged to weed them, and in so doing are
forced to go barefoot, because of the stalks being very tender and
therefore easily broken down.

  [Illustration]

I do not believe there is a child in town who fails to go into the
flax fields, because of its being such work as can be done by young
people better than by older ones, who are heavier and more likely to
injure the plants.

I have said that we are obliged to go barefooted; but where there is a
heavy growth of thistles, as is often the case, we girls wear two or
three pairs of woolen stockings to protect our feet.

If there is any wind, we must perforce work facing it, so that such of
the plants as may by accident have been trodden down, may be blown
back into place by the breeze.

Wearying labor it is indeed, this weeding of the flax, and yet those
who come into a new world, as have we, must not complain at whatsoever
is set them to do, for unless much time is expended, crops cannot be
raised, and we children of Boston need only to be reminded of the
famine, when we are inclined to laziness, in order to set us in
motion.

Of course you know that flax is a pretty plant, with a sweet,
drooping, blue flower, and it ripens about the first of July, when it
is pulled up by the roots and laid carefully out to dry, much as if
one were making hay. This sort of work is always done by the men and
boys, and during two or three days they are forced to turn the flax
again and again, so that the sun may come upon every part of it.



PREPARING FLAX


I despair of trying to tell any one who has never seen flax prepared,
how much and how many different kinds of labor are necessary, before
it can be woven into the beautiful linen of which our mothers are so
proud.

First it must be rippled. The ripple comb is made of stout teeth,
either wood or iron, set on a puncheon, and the stalks of flax are
pulled through it to break off the seeds, which fall into a cloth that
has been spread to catch them, so they may be sown for the next year's
harvest.

Of course this kind of work is always done in the field, and the
stalks are then tied in bundles, which are called "bates," and stacked
up something after the shape of a tent, being high in the middle and
broadened out at the bottom.

After the flax has been exposed to the weather long enough to be
perfectly dry, then water must be sprinkled over it to rot the leaves
and such portions of the stalks as are not used.

  [Illustration]

Then comes that part of the work which only strong men can perform,
called breaking the flax, to get from the center of the stalks the
hard, wood-like "bun," which is of no value. This is done with a
machine made of wood, as if you were to set three or four broad knives
on a bench, at a certain distance apart, with as many more on a lever
to come from above, fitting closely between the lower blades. The
upper part of the machine is pulled down with force upon the flax, so
that every portion of it is broken.

After this comes the scutching, or swingling, which is done by
chopping with dull knives on a block of wood to take out the small
pieces of bark which may still be sticking to the fiber.

Now that which remains is made up into bundles, and pounded again to
clear it yet more thoroughly of what is of no value, after which it is
hackled, and the fineness of the flax depends upon the number of times
it has been hackled, which means, pulling it through a quantity of
iron teeth driven into a board.



SPINNING, BLEACHING, AND WEAVING FLAX


After all this preparation has been done, then comes the spinning,
which is, of course, the work of the women and girls. I am proud to
say I could spin a skein of thread in one day, before I was thirteen
years old, and you must know that this is no mean work for a girl,
since it is reckoned that the best of spinners can do no more than two
skeins.

Of course the skeins must be bleached, otherwise the cloth made from
them would look as if woven of tow, and this portion of the work
mother is always very careful to look after herself.

The skeins must stay in warm water for at least four days, and be
wrung out dry every hour or two, when the water is to be changed. Then
they are washed in a brook or river until there is no longer any dust
or dirt remaining, after which they are bricked, which is the same as
if I had said bleached, with ashes and hot water, over and over again,
and afterward left to remain in clear water a full week.

  [Illustration]

Then comes more rinsing, beating, washing, drying, and winding on
bobbins; so that it may be handy for the loom.

The chief men in Boston made a law that all boys and girls be taught
to spin flax, and a certain sum of money was set aside to be given
those who made the best linen that had been raised, spun, and woven
within the town.

I am told that in some of the villages nearabout, the men who make the
laws have ordered that every family shall spin so many pounds of flax
each year, or pay a very large amount of money as a fine for
neglecting to do so.

It is not needed I should set down how flax is spun, for there is but
one way to spin that I know of, whether the material be wool, cotton,
or flax.

But I would I might be able so to set it down, that whosoever reads
could understand, how my mother wove this linen thread into cloth; but
it would require more of words than I have patience to write.

If there be any who have the desire to know how the linen for their
tables, or for their clothing, is made, I would advise that the matter
be studied as one would a lesson in school, for it is most
interesting, and father holds to it that every child should be able to
make all of that which he wears.



WHAT WE GIRLS DO AT HOME


In this town of Boston, if we do not know how to make what is needed,
then must we perforce go without, because one cannot well afford to
spend the time, nor the money, required to send from Boston to London
for whatever may be desired, and wait until it shall be brought across
the sea.

I wonder if it would interest any of you to know what Susan and I are
obliged to do in our homes during each working day of the week?

I can remember a time when we were put to it to perform certain tasks
within six days, and have set down that which we did.

It was on a Monday that Susan and I hackled fifty pounds of flax, and
tired we were when the day was come to an end. On Tuesday we carded
tow, and on Wednesday each spun a skein of linen thread. On Thursday
we did the same stint, and on Friday made brooms of guinney wheat
straw. On Saturday we spun twine out of the coarser part of flax,
which is called tow, and of which I will tell you later.

  [Illustration]

All this we did in a single week, in addition to helping our mothers
about the house, and had no idea that we were working overly hard.

And now about tow: when flax has been prepared to that stage where it
is to be hackled, the fibers pulled out by the comb are yet further
divided into cobweb-like threads, and laid carefully one above the
other as straight as may be. To these a certain yellow substance
sticks, which we call tow, and this can be spun into coarse stuff for
aprons and mats, or into twine, which, by the way, is not very strong.

It would surprise you, when working flax, to see to how small a bulk
it may be reduced. What seems like an enormous stack, before being
made ready for spinning, is lessened to such extent that you may
readily take it in both hands, and then comes the next surprise, when
you see how much cloth can be woven out of so small an amount of
threads.

As for myself, I am not any too fond of working amid the flax, save
when it comes to spinning; but such labor is greatest pleasure as
compared with soap-making, which is to my mind the most disagreeable
and slovenly of all the housewife's duties.



MAKING SOAP


It seems strange that some industrious person, who is not overly fine
in feelings or in habits, does not take it upon himself to make soap
for sale. Verily it would be better that a family like ours buy a
quart of soap whenever it is needed, than for the whole house to be
turned topsy-turvy because of the dirty work.

I wonder if there are in this country any girls so fortunate as not
to have been obliged to learn how to make soap? I know of none in
Boston, although it may be possible that in Salem, where are some
lately come over from England, live those who still know the luxury of
hard soap, such as can be bought in London.

For those fortunate ones I will set down how my mother and I make a
barrel of soap, for once we are forced to get about the task, we
contrive to make up as large a quantity as possible.

First, as you well know, we save all the grease which cannot be used
in cooking, and is not needed for candles, until we have four and
twenty pounds of such stuff as the fat of meat, scraps of suet, and
drippings of wild turkey or wild geese, which last is not pleasant to
use in food, and not fit for candles.

Well, when we have saved four and twenty pounds of this kind of
grease, and set aside six bushels of ashes from what is known as hard
wood, such as oak, maple, or birch, we "set the leach."

I suppose every family in Boston has a leach-barrel, which is a stout
cask, perhaps one that has held pickled pork or pickled beef, and has
in it at the very bottom a hole where is set a wooden spigot.

This barrel is placed upon some sort of platform built to raise it
sufficiently high from the ground, so that a small tub or bucket may
be put under the spigot. Then it is filled with ashes, and water
poured into the top, which, of course, trickles down until it runs,
or, as some say, is leached, out through the spigot, into the bucket,
or whatsoever you have put there to receive it.

While running slowly through the ashes, it becomes what is called lye,
and upon the making of this lye depends the quality of the soap.

  [Illustration]

Now, of course, as the water is poured upon the contents of the
barrel, the ashes settle down, and as fast as this comes to pass, yet
more ashes are added and more water thrown in, until one has leached
the entire six bushels, when the lye should be strong enough, as
mother's receipt for soap-making has it, to "bear up an egg, or a
potato, so that you can see a portion of it on the surface as big as a
ninepence."

If the lye is not of sufficient strength to stand this test, it must
be ladled out and poured over the ashes again, until finally, as will
surely be the case, it has become strong enough.

The next turn in the work is to build a fire out of doors somewhere,
because to make your soap in the house would be a most disagreeable
undertaking. One needs a great pot, which should hold as much as
one-third of a barrel, and into this is poured half of the grease and
half of the lye, to be kept boiling until it has become soap.

Now just when that point has been reached I cannot say, because of not
having had sufficient experience; but mother is a master hand at this
dirty labor, and always has greatest success with it.

Of course, when one kettle-full has been boiled down, the remainder of
the lye and the remainder of the grease is put in, and worked in the
same manner as before.



SOAP FROM BAYBERRIES


It is possible, and we shall do so when time can be spent in making
luxuries, to get soap from the tallow of bay berry plums.

I have already said that we stew out a kind of vegetable tallow from
bayberries with which to make candles, and this same grease, when
boiled with lye as if you were making soft soap, can be cooked so
stiff that, when poured into molds, it will form little hard cakes
that are particularly convenient for the cleansing of one's hands.

There can be no question but that bayberry soap will whiten and
soften the skin better than does soft soap; but the labor of making it
is so disagreeable that, as Susan says, I had rather my hands were
tough and rough, than purchase a delicate skin at such an expense.



GOOSE-PICKING


There is another household duty which frets me much, and yet it must
be performed, else would we be put to it for quills with which to
write, and for soft beds, pillows, and quilts. It is goose-picking
that I abhor, not only because of its seeming extremely cruel, but on
account of its being like the soap-making, dirty work.

I question if there be a family in Boston who does not own a flock of
geese, and among them many who were once wild. They wander around the
streets all summer, paddling the pools of water, chasing insects, and
devouring whatsoever may have been thrown out of the houses that is
eatable.

I doubt whether, if it were within the power of our preachers so to
do, they would not kill all the geese in the town, for more than once
on a Sabbath day have these noisy creatures made such a tumult outside
the church that the sermon was actually interrupted.

Besides that, you cannot go anywhere without a lot of foolish geese
running at your heels, hissing as if you had done something for which
you should be ashamed, and they were calling attention to it.

Twice each season, in the planting and the harvesting time, must the
small feathers be stripped from the live birds, and while this is
being done, the goose, which has a strong neck and beak, would inflict
many a grievous wound if one did not pull an old stocking over its
head.

Some people are so particular as to have made goose baskets, which in
shape are not unlike small gourds, and through the narrow neck of
these the head of the goose is thrust, while the body can be held
firmly between the knees of whosoever is doing the plucking.

  [Illustration]

Of course, when one is pulling feathers from the bird, the fine fluff,
or down, flies everywhere about like snow, and the result is, that
unless you take the precaution of tying your hair up in cloths, and
putting on an old linen dress from which dirt can readily be shaken,
you will be covered from head to foot with these fluffy particles,
which are not much larger than snow-flakes, and extremely difficult to
remove.

I have been so busy setting down matters concerning the household, as
to forget that I should tell you how our town of Boston has grown, and
who of the great men of England have come into it.



A CHANGE OF GOVERNORS


It was the third year after our coming, that Master John Cotton, the
famous preacher, settled among us, taking upon himself, because of the
entreaties of our people, the care of the First Church.

It was also in this same year that a new governor was chosen, much to
the regret of both Susan and me, for while we girls could not be
expected to know anything regarding the matter, it surely seemed to us
that Master Winthrop was the very best man in all this world to rule
over us.

But those who had the privilege of voting must have believed
otherwise, for they elected Master Thomas Dudley in his stead, and
made Master Winthrop one of the assistants in the Council.

With the exception of that, and the trouble which Master Roger
Williams, the great preacher, was making, nothing disturbed us. Our
town continued to grow fast, until we began to believe that before
many years had passed it would be even as great a city as could be
found in England, with, of course, the exception of London.



THE FLIGHT OF ROGER WILLIAMS


Now as to the trouble which some of our people were having with Master
Roger Williams: I should be able to set it down plainly, and yet it is
not reasonable to suppose girls know much about the affairs of state.

A very great preacher was Master Williams, and one who took it upon
himself to write, for the public reading, that the King had no right
to sell or give land to us white people, because of the whole
country's belonging to the Indians, and it can be well understood how
much of a stir the matter caused.

Master Williams had been chosen by the people of Salem as teacher in
their church, and when he declared that we had no right to hold the
land which the King had granted us, which Master Blackstone had sold
to us, and which Chickatabut had given to us in writing, the chief men
of our town declared that he was not the kind of preacher who should
be allowed to remain in the New World. Therefore they wrote to the
people of Salem, demanding that he be sent back to England.

Of course our gentlemen of Boston must have been in the right, for I
have heard my father say they were, and surely he would not lend his
face to anything which was at all wrong. However, the people of Salem
refused to listen to us of Boston, and, much to our surprise, Master
John Cotton took sides with Master Williams, which seemed to me very
strange.

I cannot say why it was that the people of the colony kept Governor
Dudley in office only one year, or why Master Haynes was elected.

Master Haynes was, of course, ruler over the entire colony, and, as
father said, not the kind of man to be trifled with by Master
Williams, even though he was a preacher. Therefore, when Captain
Underhill was about to sail for England, our Governor commanded him to
take Master Williams back to London.

  [Illustration]

Some one, it seems, told the preacher what was on foot, and, although
it was in January with the snow piled deep everywhere around, he fled
from Salem into the woods, trusting himself to the mercy of the
savages rather than be sent back in disgrace.

I have heard that it was a bitterly cold day, with the snow blowing
furiously, when the poor man plunged into the woods in flight, taking
with him nothing whatsoever save that which he wore upon his back.

Father came to know afterward, that Master Williams spent the winter
with the Pokanoket Indians, some of whom he had met during the short
time he lived at Plymouth, and in the spring went to the shore of
Narragansett Bay, where it was reported that he was trying to build up
a village.



SIR HARRY VANE


Quite the most distinguished person who came among us was Sir Harry
Vane. His father was a Privy Councilor to the King, and one of the
Secretaries of State in England. Because of wanting to see the New
World, the young gentleman had been given permission to come to this
country for a term of three years.

I wish you could have seen the stir that was made when he arrived. The
Governor, with his soldiers and trumpeters, went down to the wharf to
receive him with great ceremony, and the cannon on board the ships
were discharged with a wondrous noise when he stepped ashore.

He was a most pleasing man to look upon, so young and so courtly,
while his costume was a marvel of elegance. It seemed to me, as I saw
him taking the Governor's hand with so much grace, that we needed but
few men of the same kind among us to lend great distinction to our
town in America.

  [Illustration]

That same evening, however, my mother reproached me because of worldly
thoughts, saying that fine feathers do not make fine birds, although
they may make a bird look fine, which I suppose is the same as if she
had said that an evil man might, by his costume, be made to appear
worthy, whereas he would not be so at heart.

However, I was not the only one in Boston who favored Sir Harry Vane,
for before the year was over, when Master Haynes' term of office had
expired, he was chosen as our Governor, and surely no person could
have looked more kingly than did he, when he stood in the door of the
Great House bowing to those people who had assembled in honor of his
having been elected.



MAKING SUGAR


Susan and I had a right delightful time when the first warm days of
spring came, for then it was the season in which to make sugar. I do
not mean to say that we girls took any part in the sweet work; but on
a certain day, very early in the morning, we were allowed to go out to
Master Winthrop's plantation in New Town, there to see his people at
the task, and, what was far better, we remained until late at night.

It was the first time I had been away from home, save to go over to
Charlestown for a few hours, since we came from England, and I enjoyed
it all the more because of its being something strange.

The snow was deep on the low-lying lands, therefore we wore
snow-shoes, and you must know that we girls can use those odd footings
almost as well as do the Indian children. It was a long walk to New
Town; but father went with us, his gun loaded heavily in case we came
across a hungry wolf, and so great was the excitement of going abroad
after having been kept in the house, except on those days when we went
to meeting or lecture, ever since the winter began, that we gave no
heed to fatigue.

  [Illustration]

It seems queer that one can get sugar from trees, and yet so we do in
this new country, otherwise there would be many times when we would
not have sweet cake, for vessels seldom arrive from England with
stores at the very moment when one is in need of this thing or that.

After we had arrived at Master Winthrop's plantation, good Mistress
Winthrop went with us girls to see the sap drawn from the maples, and
the three of us rode on a sled hauled by one of the serving men, of
whom Master Winthrop has many.

Do you know how the sap is taken? Well, first a hole is bored in the
trunk of a tree, about as high from the surface as will admit of
placing a bucket beneath it, and into this a small wooden spout, or
spigot, is driven. Beneath the spout is placed a bucket or tub, and
into this the sap, coaxed up from the roots by the warmth of the sun,
drops, or runs, very slowly.

  [Illustration]

Master Winthrop's serving men made holes in many trees, and then, when
the work had been done, went about gathering the sap out of the
buckets or tubs, into casks, which were hauled from place to place on
a sled, exactly as Mistress Winthrop, Susan and I had ridden.

As soon as a cask has been filled, a huge fire is built near at hand,
and over it is hung a large kettle, much as if one were counting on
making soap. In this the sap is boiled until it is thick, like
molasses, in case one wishes to make syrup, or yet longer if sugar is
wanted.

Of course it is necessary to taste of the syrup very often to learn if
it has been cooked enough, and this portion of the work Susan and I
did until we felt much as flies look after they have been feasting on
molasses, and have their wings and legs clogged with sweetness.

I do not mean to say that we besmeared ourselves with it; but we ate
so much while tasting to learn if the cooking was going on properly,
that I felt as if I had been turned into a big cake of sugar.

When the sap is thick enough to "sugar," as it is called, it is poured
into pans of birch-bark, where it cools in cakes, each weighing two or
three pounds.



A "SUGARING DINNER"


We enjoyed ourselves hugely until well after noon, when we were so
weary and sticky that it was a positive relief to hear Mistress
Winthrop propose that we go back to her dwelling, and there what do
you think we found?

No less than twenty people from Boston, among whom were Susan's mother
and mine, had all come out for what is called the "sugaring dinner."

Master Cotton, the preacher, was with the company, and he made a most
beautiful prayer while we were waiting for the meal to be served,
after which the spirit moved him to ask at great length, and in a
most touching manner, that the food might be blessed to each and
every one of us.

  [Illustration]

One could never have believed that we who were gathered around the
table ever had known what it was to be painfully hungry during one
entire winter, for there was sufficient of food to have served us, in
the old days, a full week.

There were two enormous wild turkeys roasted to a most delicious
crispness, one placed at either end of the table, while the handsomest
standing salt I ever saw was exactly in the center, so that no one
could say whether he was seated above or below the salt.

There were also two huge venison pies, with the pastry made wholly of
wheat flour; and placed around the pies in a most tasteful manner,
were potted pigeons, in small dishes. There were apple and pear tarts;
marmalade and preserved plums, grapes, barberries and cherries,
together with poppy and cherry water, cordial and mint water.

It was a most delicate feast, and my greatest regret was that I had
tasted so often of the maple sap I could not do full justice to it.
Tears actually stood in Susan's eyes as she whispered to me after the
dinner was come to an end, and we were allowed to talk with each
other,

"I shall never live long enough to cease being sorry because I could
not eat more."

It was the same as if she had confessed to the sin of gluttony, and it
was my duty to reprove her; but I could not find it in my heart so to
do, because of much the same thought's being in my own mind.

  [Illustration]

We all sang psalms until near to seven o'clock in the evening, when
good Master Winthrop gave us a famous ride on his new sled drawn by
two oxen, and thus did we go home like really fashionable folk, who
must needs turn night into day, as my mother declared.



TRAINING DAY


I must tell you of our Training Day, in the month of May, after Master
Roger Williams had fled into the wilderness to escape the wrath of our
people which he had aroused; and I am setting down what happened on
that particular day, because of its being the largest and most
exciting training ever held in Boston, so every one says.

Susan believes Training Day should come oftener than four times a
year, so that we young people may get some idea of what gay life is
like in the old countries, where they make festivals of Christmas, and
other saints' days. It does truly seem as if we might see our soldiers
perform quite often, for it is a most inspiring spectacle, and
especially was it on last Training Day, when, so father says, there
were upwards of seven hundred men marching back and forth across the
Common in a manner which at times was really terrifying, because of
their fierce appearance when fully armed.

Imagine, if you can, a row of booths along the Common, in which are
for sale ground nuts, packages of nookick, sweet cakes, pumpkin bread
roasted brown and spread with syrup made from maple sap, together
with dainties of all kinds lately brought over from England.

Between these booths and the water are many tents, which have been set
up that the people of quality may entertain their friends therein with
toothsome food and sweet waters.

The middle of the Common, and a long space at either end, is kept
clear of idle ones that the soldiers may exercise at arms, and these
do not appear until the on-lookers are in their places. Then we hear a
flourish of trumpets, the rolling of drums, and from the direction of
the Neck comes our army, a mighty array of seven hundred or more men,
all armed and equipped as the law directs.

When this vast body of warlike men have marched into the vacant space,
they are drawn up in line, there is another flourish of trumpets,
together with the rolling of drums, and Master Cotton comes out from
the tent which has been set up for the use of the Governor and his
assistants, to offer a prayer.

On this day, moved by the sight of the great throng, Master Cotton
prayed long and fervently, whereat some of the younger soldiers,
having not the fear of God in their hearts, pulled long faces one to
another, or shifted about uneasily on their feet, as if weary with
long standing, and I trembled lest the Governor, seeing such levity,
might rebuke them openly, which would be a great disgrace at such a
time.

  [Illustration]

When Master Cotton was done with praying, the soldiers began to march
here and there in many ways, until one's eyes were confused with
watching them, and then came the volleys, as the men shot straight
over the heads of the people; but father says no one need fear such
warlike work, for there were no bullets in the guns.

Of course I understood that he must needs know whether this be true or
not, else he would not have spoken it; and yet I could not but
shudder when so many guns were fired at one time, while the smoke of
powder in the air was most painful to the eyes.

After the soldiers had marched back and forth in the most ferocious
manner possible until noon, they were allowed a time for rest, and
then it was that those who had set up tents, entertained their friends
at table with stores upon stores of dainties of every kind.



SHOOTING FOR A PRIZE


I have heard that Sir Harry Vane declared our soldiers presented a
very fine front, whatever that may be, and he is not backward about
saying that even the King himself has no more warlike appearing men in
his army. All of which is surely true, for Sir Harry, being the son of
a Privy Councilor, must have seen His Majesty's troops many a time.

After all the people had feasted, each in his own fashion, and the
soldiers had been refreshed at the expense of the town, the marching
was begun again, to be continued in a manner like to make one's head
swim, until the Governor gave the signal that the shooting at a target
might commence, when it was that the guns were loaded with real
bullets.

On this day it was Sir Harry who gave the prize to be shot for, which
was a doublet of velvet trimmed with lace, the value of which, so
father declares, is not less than five times as great as any prize
that has ever been offered on Training Day in Boston.

Susan and I were eager to know who won it; but before the matter was
settled, my mother insisted it was time for us to go home, because of
the behavior of some of the soldiers' being none of the best after
they have done with the training.

  [Illustration]

However, we saw the doublet, and marked well the pattern of the lace,
therefore if the winner wears it on the street, there will be no
question as to our knowing it again.

The training was a most enjoyable spectacle, even though Susan and I
were so frightened at times that it seemed as if our hearts were
really in our mouths, and when we followed mother home on that
afternoon, it was with the belief that our town of Boston, although
not as old as Jamestown, Plymouth or Salem, had grown, both in numbers
and fashion, far beyond any other settlement in this New World.



LECTURE DAY


My mother believes it would be better if Training Day were done away
with entirely, for she says we spend far too much time in the pursuit
of frivolity, when we have no less than one lecture day in each week.
It must be that she is in the right, for father has much the same
opinion, and declares a stop must be put to so many lectures, which
but gives a convenient excuse for indolent people, who should be at
work on the plantations or in the houses, to go gadding about the
town.

You must know that Thursday is the day when we listen to lectures by
some of the preachers, or those among the magistrates who have the
gift of speech, and this has been the custom since the first year we
came here.

In the early days the lecture hour was in the forenoon; but at the end
of three years, after Boston was become a town, those in authority
over us passed a law that the lecture should not begin until one of
the clock in the afternoon, and this was done in order that the people
might not have an excuse to spend the entire day in idleness.

I cannot see, however, that any more work is done on Thursdays now
than before the law was made, for as soon as breakfast is finished and
the houses have been set in order, nearly every one walks on the
streets, this pleasure being forbidden on Sabbath days, until it is
time to gather at the church.

Our magistrates also tried to make the rule that no minister, or other
person, should lecture more often than once in every two weeks, in
order that we might have less of such diversion; but no heed is given
to this law, for I myself have heard Master Cotton speak to the people
no less than twice on every Thursday, and this in addition to lectures
by other preachers.

If father were one of the magistrates, mother would do all she might
to have the hour of the meetings set back to the morning, for she
believes it is wrong to make of the forenoon a time for the punishing
of evil-doers, as has come to be the custom.



PUNISHMENT FOR EVIL-DOERS


Now, when we go out to mingle with the people, it is impossible not to
stop here or there when one of the constables is whipping an idle
fellow through the streets, laying the lashes on his bare back with
such force that the blood follows nearly every blow.

Then again, it is not often that one can pass the post at the corner
of Prison Lane, without seeing some wrong-doer chained there as
punishment for striking one of the people, and the cage wherein are
kept men and women who have offended against the laws is seldom empty
on a Thursday.

  [Illustration]

The prison itself is a dreary looking place, although it is not quite
so very different from the church, but somehow its barred windows make
the shivers run up and down my back and I always hurry past it with as
much speed as possible.

Most likely there are as many bad people in the other towns of this
New World, as in Boston; but it surely seems to Susan and me as if we
had among us all those in America who delight in breaking the laws.

Of all the punishments which are inflicted here, I think the most
cruel is that of sentencing a man to wear, so long as he may live, a
halter around his neck so that every one may see it, for thus is the
wrong-doer forced to shame himself during every hour of the day, and
especially on Thursdays, when he must stand not less than two hours
during the forenoon on the steps of the church.

It is on lecture day that one may see the latest notices put up on the
church, together with the announcements of those who intend to be
married, and Susan and I have great pleasure in reading these, for
then are we aware of anything important about to take place.

Of course there are times when we are not so well pleased at being
forced to sit still five or six long hours, listening to this preacher
or that who feels a call to speak during the lecture time; but if we
failed to do so, we should not be allowed to go on the street
wheresoever we please, therefore I hope that mother will not be able
to have the lecture hour changed to the morning.



THE MURDER OF JOHN OLDHAM


  [Illustration]

It was six years after we had come to live in Boston, that a most
terrible crime was committed by the savages of the Narragansett tribe,
for then they killed Captain John Oldham, and three other men, who
were sailing on Long Island Sound. The vessel was taken by the
Indians, after they had murdered all on board, and we in Boston were
moved to great fear, believing the brown men around us were making
ready to murder the white people.

Sir Harry Vane, the Governor, sent five of our chief men to the head
savage of the Narragansett tribe, to inquire into the matter, and
these messengers were told that none save the Indians living on Block
Island had any hand in the matter.

Then it was that Governor Vane commanded Master Endicott of Salem, to
take a large number of fighting men in three vessels, and punish the
murderers as they deserved.

Master Endicott did according to the command; but when he was come to
Block Island, the brown people had run away; therefore all he could do
was to burn the huts, destroy the canoes, and shoot the dogs that were
prowling around the deserted village.

This Master Endicott did not believe was punishment enough for what
had been done, therefore he crossed over to the mainland where the
Indians who call themselves Pequots live, and there he killed more
than twenty of these people, besides seizing their corn. He also
burned, or destroyed in some other way, all the goods belonging to the
savages that he could find, and then came back to Boston, where the
people of the town turned out to give him a noble welcome.

We had a thanksgiving day because of what had been done, and believed,
or, at least, Susan and I did, that we need fear nothing more from the
savages, for surely the brown people would not dare molest any white
man again after being so severely punished.



SAVAGES ON THE WAR-PATH


It was not many days, however, before word was brought to Boston that
the Pequot Indians were trying to coax the Narragansett savages to
join them in killing every Englishman that could be found in the land.

Father had said that this might be done, if the brown people all over
the country should come together, and we who lived in Boston and Salem
were in great fear.

The soldiers were called together from every village. The gates of the
fort on the Neck were kept closed, with men stationed there night and
day to see that no enemy came through, and the preachers prayed most
fervently that our lives might be spared because of our doing our
utmost to serve God as He would have us.

Then it was that the Lord heard our prayers, else had we all been
killed, and it was brought about in a way such as, my mother said,
heaped coals of fire upon our heads.

The same Master Roger Williams who had been driven out into the
wilderness, because of holding a belief contrary to ours, and who had
lived with the Narragansett Indians since then, so pleaded with the
savages of the tribe that they sent some of their chief people to
Boston, with promises of friendliness.

Sir Harry Vane received the visitors with great state. All our
soldiers were paraded through the streets, and in front of the
Governor's house. The drummers marched to and fro making music, and
the people came out on the streets that the Indians might believe we
had not been afraid.

  [Illustration]

It was much like Training Day, save that only the magistrates of the
town were allowed to know what was being done in the Governor's house
after the savages had gone into the building, decked out in a brave
array of feathers, and in clothing embroidered with fanciful colored
quills of porcupines, and with their faces painted in a most hideous
fashion.

We were told, after the Indians had marched out of the town, near to
sunset, one behind the other in a manner as solemn as if they were
coming from church, that the tribe of Narragansett savages had
promised to aid us white people against the brown men of the Pequot
tribe, in every way possible, and greatly did we rejoice that night,
for it seemed as if all trouble had passed.



PEQUOT INDIANS


The Englishmen who had settled in the colony known as Connecticut,
soon found that the Pequot savages could do much of wickedness, even
though the Narragansetts had said they would be friends with the white
people, for within a very short time after Master Roger Williams had
sent the Indians to us in peace, did a season of murder begin.

Because of my being a girl, who is not supposed to understand affairs
of state, and who could only cower in fear and trembling by the side
of her mother when word was brought of the dreadful deeds done by the
Pequot savages, I shall not set down anything whatsoever concerning
that terrible winter, when we heard nothing save stories of blood and
direst suffering.

No one could say whether, despite all Master Roger Williams might be
able to do, the savages nearabout would not fall upon us of Boston as
they had upon the white people of Connecticut, and, therefore, as soon
as the shadows of evening had begun to gather, we girls sought the
protection of our mothers.

  [Illustration]

Seated before the roaring fires, not daring to move about the house
even after the doors and shutters were securely barred, we started in
alarm at every sound, hearing in the roaring of the wind, or the
crackling of the fire, some token that the brown people were skulking
around striving to get inside that they might shed our blood.

It was far worse than the time of the famine, for then we knew just
what might come to us, and if death entered the house, we would meet
it in the arms of those we loved; but from all which had been told by
those affrighted people who came to us from Connecticut, we realized
that horrors such as could not even be imagined, would be upon us with
the coming of those savages who had sworn to make an end of the white
settlers in the New World.

It is not well even that I set down in words the distress of mind
which was ours during that long dreadful winter; but this I may say in
all truth, as the parting word, that nowhere in the Massachusetts Bay
Colony could have been found a more distressed or unhappy girl, than
this same Ruth of Boston.





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