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




The Making of Clapboards

There is far greater labor required in the making of clapboards, and it is of a wearisome kind; but Captain Newport declares that clapboards made of our Virginia cedar are far better in quality than any to be found in England. Therefore it is Captain Smith keeps as many men as he may, employed in this work, which is more tiring than difficult.

The trunks of the trees are cut into lengths of four feet, and trimmed both as to branches and bark. An iron tool called a frow, which is not unlike a butcher's cleaver, is then used to split the log into thin strips, one edge of which is four or five times thicker than the other.

You will understand better the method by picturing to yourself the end of a round log which has been stood upright for convenience of the workmen. Now, if you place a frow in such a position that it will split the thicknesses of an inch or less from the outer side, you will find that the point of the instrument, which is at the heart of the tree, must come in such manner as to make the splint very thin on the inner edge. The frow is driven through the wood by a wooden mallet, to the end that the sides of the clapboard may be fairly smooth.

[Illustration] from Richard of Jamestown by James Otis

Master Hunt has told me that if we were to put on board a ship the size of the John and Francis, as many clapboards as she could swim under, the value of the cargo would be no less than five hundred pounds, and they would have a ready sale in London, or in other English ports.