| Stories of the Pilgrims|
|by Margaret B. Pumphrey|
|Beginning with Queen Anne's visit to Scrooby inn, tells in story form of the everyday life of the Pilgrims in England and Holland, of their voyage on the Mayflower and their adventures in the New World. The Brewster children and other Pilgrim boys and girls are the center of interest. A wonderful book to read aloud in the weeks before Thanksgiving. Ages 6-10 |
N and on the ship sailed. How wide the water seemed.
Some days were full of sunshine: then the little children
could play upon the deck. They loved to watch the sunset
across the wide ocean. Then the sky was bright with purple
and gold. Each wave caught the colors from the clouds until
the whole world seemed aglow.
They loved to watch the stars come out in the evening. At
first only two or three of the biggest, bravest ones peeped
forth, to see if the sun had gone. Then a few others looked
timidly out. Yes, the sun was really gone, and his glory of
red and gold was quickly following him.
Then troops of little stars burst from their hiding places.
They twinkled merrily at the little Pilgrims, as if to say,
"See we are going with you to your new home. We went with
you to Holland; we will go with you to America. Do not be
But it grew colder, for the winter was drawing near. Many
days the deck was too cold and icy to play upon. Then the
children must stay in the dark, crowded cabin.
Poor little Pilgrims! Many were ill, and all wished the long
voyage ended. There were but few games they could play in
the little cabin, and
 they had no toys or story books. How they longed for the
green fields and shady woods!
Then Priscilla told them stories of the sunny land where she
once lived. Did only pleasant
things happen in that wonderful country? If there were any
unhappy times there, Priscilla never spoke of them. The
stories she told were such merry tales they brought sunshine
into the gloomiest little faces.
Even tired mothers, who were too far away to
hear the story, would smile as they looked into Priscilla's
laughing eyes. "What a comfort that
child is," they often said.
Then Mary Chilton, who had grown to be a
large girl now, played games with them. John Alden whittled
out a wonderful puzzle for them, and every one tried to make
the voyage pleasant.
But nine weeks is a long time to be shut up on a boat, and
be tossed about by the rough waves. The little ones were so
tired, it seemed to them they could not stand it any longer.
Then what do you think happened away out there on the ocean?
Two dear little baby boys were born. Oh, how happy the
children were! They forgot to be tired then.
You may be sure those babies never lacked
nurses. It was such fun to hold them and sing to them softly
until they closed their eyes and went to sleep.
 Of course, every one wanted to help name the babies. Each
thought of the very best name he knew, but it was hard to
Giles Hopkins wished to name his baby brother Jan, after a
friend in Holland, but that name did
not suit his parents at all. They did not want to give their
baby a Dutch name.
"Those babies never lacked nurses"
Mistress Hopkins thought he should be named Stephen for his
"No," said Master Hopkins, "if he were given my name he
would be called 'little Stephen' until
 he grew to be a man. I believe no child was ever born here before. I
wish he might have a name no other has ever had."
What could it be? Some spoke of "Mayflower," but others
thought that a better name for a little girl.
A week passed and still the baby was not named. "This will
never do," said his mother. "Constance, you have not said
what you would like to name your little brother."
Constance said she had been thinking "Ocean" would be a good
name for this baby.
"Ocean!—Ocean!" whispered the mother to herself. It was
certainly a very suitable name, but it had a queer
sound. Surely no other child had ever borne that name.
When Elder Brewster heard about the new name he said, "I
know of a word in another language which means ocean. It is
Oceanus. Perhaps you would like that name better."
"Oceanus!" That seems like a queer name for a child, but
the pilgrims often gave their children names which seem
strange to us. This did not sound so strange to them. They
thought "Oceanus Hopkins" a very good name for the baby, and
so it was decided.
Then came the other wee baby. He too must have a suitable
name. What should it be?
After many names had been considered, Mary
 Allerton said she thought "Wandering" would be a good name
for the baby, because the Pilgrims were wandering in search
of a home.
Mistress White did not quite like "Wandering" for a name,
but she asked Elder Brewster if he did not know another word
which meant the same thing.
And so this baby was named "Peregrine." Peregrine White and
Oceanus Hopkins! "Those are very large names for such very
tiny babies," thought little Love Brewster.
Hundreds of additional titles available for
online reading when you join Gateway to the Classics