Richard of Jamestown - James Otis




Providing for the Children

And now before I am come to the most terrible time in the history of our town of James, let me set down that which the London Company has decreed, for it is of great importance to all those who, like Nathaniel and me, came over into this land of Virginia before they were men and women grown.

Master Hunt has written the facts out fairly, to the end that I may understand them well, he having had the information from Captain Newport, for it was the last decree made by the London Company before the John and Francis sailed.

I must say, however, that the reason why this decree, or order, whichever it may be called, has been made, was to the end that men and women, who had large families of children, might be induced to join us here in Jamestown, as if we had not already mouths enough to feed.

The Council of the Company has decided to allow the use of twenty-five acres of land for each and every child that comes into Virginia, and all who are now here, or may come to live at the expense of the Company, are to be educated in some good trade or profession, in order that they may be able to support themselves when they have come to the age of four and twenty years, or have served the time of their apprenticeship, which is to be no less than seven years.

It is further decreed that all of those children when they become of age or marry, whichever shall happen first, are to have freely given and made over to them fifty acres of land apiece, which same shall be in Virginia within the limits of the English plantation. But, these children must be placed as apprentices under honest and good masters within the grant made to the London Company, and shall serve for seven years, or until they come to the age of twenty-four, during which time their masters must bring them up in some trade or business.



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