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




An Attack by the Savages

Just after sunset, and before the darkness of night closed in, those who had been on shore came back very hurriedly and in disorder, bringing with them in the foremost boat, two wounded men.

"They have had a battle with some one, Master," I reported, before yet the boats were come alongside, and for the first time that day did Captain Smith appear to be deeply concerned. I heard him say as if to himself, not intending that the words should reach me:

"Lack of caution in dealing with the savages is like to cost us dearly."

Half an hour later I heard all the story from Nathaniel Peacock, who had believed himself fortunate when he was allowed to accompany the party on shore.

According to his account, the company from the fleet roamed over much of the land during the day, finding fair meadows and goodly trees, with streams of fresh water here and there bespeaking fish in abundance.

Nothing was seen or heard to disturb our people until the signal had been given for all to go on board the boats, that they might return to the ships, and then it was that a number of naked, brown men, creeping upon their hands and knees like animals, with bows and arrows held between their teeth, came out suddenly from amid the foliage to the number, as Nathaniel declared, of not less than an hundred.

[Illustration] from Richard of Jamestown by James Otis

While the white men stood dismayed, awaiting some order from those who chose to call themselves leaders, the savages shot a multitude of arrows into the midst of the company, wounding Captain Gabriel Archer in both his hands, and dangerously hurting one of the seamen.

Captain Gosnold gave command for the firearms to be discharged, whereupon the savages disappeared suddenly, and without delay our people returned to the fleet.