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

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.


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.


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