Richard of Jamestown - James Otis




A Crude Kind of Chimney

First you must know, however, that when our houses of logs had been built, we had nothing with which to make a chimney such as one finds in London. We had no bricks, and although, mayhap, flat rocks might have been found enough for two or three, there was no mortar in the whole land of Virginia with which to fasten them together.

Therefore it was we were forced to build a chimney of logs, laying it up on the outside much as we had the house, but plentifully besmearing it with mud on the inside, and chinking the crevices with moss and clay.

When this had been done, a hole was cut for the smoke, directly through the side of the house. The danger of setting the building on fire was great; but we strove to guard against it so much as possible by plastering a layer of mud over the wood, and by keeping careful watch when we had a roaring fire. Oftentimes were we forced to stop in the task of cooking, take all the vessels from the coals, and throw water upon the blazing logs.

The chimney was a rude affair, of course, and perhaps if we had had women among us, they would have claimed that no cooking could be done, when all the utensils were placed directly on the burning wood, or hung above it with chains fastened to the top of the fireplace; but when lads like Nathaniel and me, who had never had any experience in cooking with proper tools, set about the task, it did not seem difficult, for we were accustomed to nothing else.



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