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PREPARING FOR THE JOURNEY
HAT spring brought very busy days to the Pilgrims in
Leiden. Those who were going to America had many things to
prepare, and those who stayed behind were glad to help them
They must have plenty of cloth made, for there would be no
time to weave more until their new homes were built. It
would be cold winter by that time and they must have warm
jackets, and dresses, and cloaks.
So hum-m-m-m! hum-m-m-m! went the spinning wheels from
morning till night. And click! clack! click! clack! went
the big looms, as the flying shuttle wove the gray yarn into
Preparing for the journey
Far into the night the tired women stitched with busy
fingers. In those days all the sewing must be done by hand,
and it took much time and much patient labor to make a
There was plenty of work for the children as well as for
their elders. Even tiny hands could hold the skein while
mother wound the yarn into a ball. And you should have seen
the dozens of thick, warm mittens and stockings that were
knit by little hands that summer.
The Pilgrims could not take any cows with them, so in every
cottage there were small tubs
 being packed with sweet, yellow butter to be taken to the
new homes across the sea.
It would take them many weeks to cross the ocean, and much
food would be needed for the journey. They could not raise
more grain until the next summer, so they must take enough
to last them all winter.
With the money the Pilgrims had given him, Elder Brewster
had bought a small ship in Holland. It was called the
"Speedwell," and it now waited for them at Delfshaven,
about twenty-four miles away.
If you had been in Leiden one morning late in July, you
might have seen the Pilgrims loading the canal boats which
would carry them to Delfshaven. Almost before it was light
that morning the men began to carry things upon the boats.
Their kind Dutch neighbors worked as busily as they, helping
to carry the heavy boxes of ship bread, salted meats, or
There were barrels and barrels of meal, and other barrels
holding grain for seed. There were great sacks of beans,
dried peas, and vegetables, but at last the boats were
The Pilgrims had many friends in England who they thought
would like to go to America with them. So Elder Brewster had
gone to England to see them, and to arrange for a ship to
carry them all across the sea.
 He was gone several weeks, and when he returned he found the
Pilgrims ready for the journey. Each family could take only
a few of the most needful things. There would not be room on
the ship for all their goods, so they would take only such
things as they could not make.
The beautiful china plates and cups which they had bought in
Holland must be left, for they would be easily broken. Their
old pewter dishes would last much longer, and they would
look very well when they were scoured bright with sand.
They would take their silver spoons and the steel knives
they had brought from England. The old brass candlesticks,
the spinning wheels, and the great copper kettles must have
a place in the boat.