Gateway to the Classics: Ruth of Boston by James Otis
Ruth of Boston by  James Otis

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.

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