Richard of Jamestown - James Otis




Baking Bread Without Ovens

It was in this town of Powhatan's that I discovered how to bake bread without an oven or other fire than what might be built on the open ground, and it was well I had my eyes open at that time, otherwise Captain Smith and I had gone supperless to bed again and again, for there were many days when our stomachs cried painfully because of emptiness.

While my master was talking with the king, Powhatan, on matters concerning affairs at Jamestown, I saw an Indian girl, whose name I afterward came to know was Pocahontas, making bread, and observed her carefully. She had white meal, but whether of barley, or the wheat called Indian corn, or Guinny wheat I could not say, and this she mixed into a paste with hot water; making it of such thickness that it could easily be rolled into little balls or cakes.

After the mixture had been thus shaped, she dropped the balls into a pot of boiling water, letting them stay there until well soaked, when she laid them on a smooth stone in front of the fire until they had hardened and browned like unto bread that has been cooked in the oven.

[Illustration] from Richard of Jamestown by James Otis

But I have set myself to the task of telling how we of Jamestown lived during that time when my master was much the same as the head of the government, and it is not well to begin the story with bread making.



Contents

Front Matter
Review

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