Richard of Jamestown - James Otis




Captain Smith's Expedition and Return

Until winter was come we had food in plenty, for one could hardly send a charge of shot toward the river without bringing down swans, ducks, or cranes, while from the savages we got sufficient for our daily wants, meal made from the corn, pumpkins, peas, and beans.

But this did not cause Captain Smith to give over trying to buy from the Indians a store of corn for the winter, and shortly after Captain Kendall's death, he set off with nine white men and two Indian guides in a barge, counting to go as far as the head of the Chickahominy River.

This time twenty-two long, dreary days went by without his return, and we mourned him as dead, believing the savages had murdered him.

The discontented ones were in high glee because of thinking the man who had forced them to do that which they should, had gone out from their world forever, and we two lads were plunged in deepest grief, for in all the great land of Virginia, Captain Smith was our only true friend.

Then arrived that day when he suddenly appeared before us, having come to no harm, and as Master Hunt lifted up his hands in a prayer of thanksgiving because the man who was so sadly needed in Jamestown had returned, I fell on my knees, understanding for the first time in my life how good God could be to us in that wilderness.

[Illustration] from Richard of Jamestown by James Otis

I would that I might describe the scene in our house that night, when Master Hunt was come to hear what all knew would be a story of wildest adventure, for it went without saying that my master never would have remained so long absent from Jamestown had it been within his power to return sooner.



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