F Heritage History | Richard of Jamestown by James Otis
Contents 
Front Matter Who I am Left Alone in the World An Idle Boy Captain Smith Comes to London Meeting Captain Smith Captain Smith Speaks to Me Plans of the London Company The Vessels of the Fleet How I Earned my Passage When the Fleet Set Sail The Voyage Delayed Nathaniel's Story We Make Sail Again The First Island Captain Smith Accused Captain Smith a Prisoner I Attend My Master Several Islands Visited A Variety of Wild Game The Tempest The New Country Sighted The Leader Not Known Arrival at Chesapeake Bay An Attack by the Savages Reading the Company's Orders Captain Smith on the Council Smith Remains Aboard Exploring the Country People Land from the Ships Captain Smith Proven Innocent We Who were Left Behind Baking Bread without Ovens Unequal Division of Labor Building a Home of Logs Keeping House Lack of Cleanliness Cave Homes The Golden Fever Ducks and Oysters Roasting Oysters Leaning to Cook The Sweet Potato Root A Touch of Homesickness Master Hunt's Preaching Neglecting the Future Surprised by Savages Strengthening the Fort Sickness and Death Smith Gains Authority Disagreeable Discipline Signs of Rebellion Second Proclamation Building a Fortified Village Trapping Turkeys A Crude Kind of Chimney Cooking a Turkey Candles or Rushlights The Visit of Pocahontas Captain Kendall's Plot Death of Captain Kendall Captain Smith's Expedition An Exciting Adventure Taken Before Powhatan Pocahontas Begs for Smith Captain Smith's Return A New Church Captain Newport's Return Gold-Seekers A Worthless Cargo Condition of the Colony Tobacco Captain Newport's Return Gazing at the Women Hunt Brings Great News Captain Newport's Instructions The Story of Roanoke The Crowning of Powhatan Preparing for the Future Stealing Company Goods What the Thieving Led To Fear of Famine The Unhealthful Location Gathering Oysters Sturgeon for Food Turpentine and Tar Making Clapboards Providing for Children Dreams of the Future A Plague of Rats Treachery During Smith's Absence Captain Smith's Speech The New Laws The Accident Captain Smith's Departure The "Starving Time" Our Courage Gives Out Abandoning Jamestown Lord De la Warr's Arrival The Young Planters

Richard of Jamestown - James Otis




Arrival at Chesapeake Bay

When the day had fully dawned, and the fleet stood in toward the noble bay, between two capes, which were afterward named Cape Henry and Cape Comfort, Captain Smith directed me to go on deck, in order to keep him informed of what might be happening.

He told me there was no question in his mind but that we were come to the mouth of Chesapeake Bay, where it had been agreed with the London merchants we were to go on shore.

Standing at the head of the companionway, but not venturing out on deck lest I should be sent to some other part of the ship, and thus be unable to give my master the information which he desired, I looked out upon what seemed to me the most goodly land that could be found in all the wide world.

[Illustration] from Richard of Jamestown by James Otis

Trees there were of size fit for masts to the king's ships; flowers bordered the shore until there were seemingly great waves of this color, or of that, as far as eye could reach, and set within this dazzling array of green and gold, and of red and yellow, was a great sea, which Captain Smith said was called the Chesapeake Bay.

We entered for some distance, mayhap three or four miles, before coming to anchor, and then Master Wingfield, Captain Gosnold, and Captain Newport went on shore with a party of thirty, made up of seamen and gentlemen, and my master, who had not so much as stretched his legs since we sailed from Martinique, was left in his narrow cabin with none but me to care for him!

I had thought they would open the box containing the instructions from London, before doing anything else; but Captain Smith was of the mind that such business could wait until they had explored sufficiently to find a place where the new town might be built.

It was a long, weary, anxious day for me. The party had left the ship in the morning, remaining absent until nightfall, and at least four or five times every hour did I run up from the cabin to gaze shoreward in the hope of seeing them return, for I was most eager to have the business pushed forward, and to know whether my master's enemies were given, by the London Company, permission to do whatsoever they pleased.