Summary and Analysis: Chapter 1

New Characters
Kit Tyler (Katherine): a sixteen-year-old orphan going to Wethersfield, Connecticut, to live with her mother’s sister.

Nat Eaton (Nathaniel): the son of the Dolphin’s captain.

Mrs. Eaton: Captain Eaton’s kind wife.

Captain Eaton: captain of the Dolphin.

John Holbrook: a theology student coming to Wethersfield to study with Reverend Bulkeley.

Goodwife Cruff: a new passenger bound for Wethersfield.

Goodman Cruff: the quiet and henpecked husband of Goodwife Cruff.

Prudence Cruff: a little girl who drops her doll in the water.

In April 1687, Kit Tyler arrives at Connecticut Colony, sailing into Saybrook Harbor aboard the Dolphin. As the ship arrives, Kit views her new home and is joined on deck by Nat Eaton, the son of the ship’s captain. Kit finds her first sight of the American colonies underwhelming, even depressing; it is all too dim and underdeveloped after her warm and colorful home in the West Indies. Kit and Nat talk until it is time for the first longboat to go to shore, when Kit begs a place aboard it so that she can have a chance to set foot on America for the first time and so that she can accompany Mrs. Eaton, who has been kind to her during the voyage. Kit has been on ship so long that she wobbles a bit once on land, but she enjoys watching the sailors load supplies.

Four new passengers accompany the supplies. One of them, a little girl, accidentally drops the wooden doll her grandfather had made for her into the water. When she is so upset about losing it, Kit dives in to get it. She is surprised by how cold the water is and more surprised still that Nat dives in to “save” her because it is so uncommon for women—or anyone—to know how to swim in the colonies.

Once back on board, Kit meets John Holbrook, one of the new...

(The entire section is 797 words.)