A PROPER BEGINNING
 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
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