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




Captain Smith Gains Authority

There was but little idle talk made by the members of the Council in deciding that Master Wingfield should be deprived of his office, and Master Ratcliffe set in his place.

Captain Smith was called upon to take his proper position in the government, and, what was more, to him they gave the direction of all matters outside the town, which was much the same as putting him in authority over even the President himself.

It was greatly to my pleasure that Captain Smith lost no time in exercising the power which had been given him. Nor was he at all gentle in dealing with those men who disdained to soil their hands by working, yet were willing to spend one day, and every day, searching for gold, without raising a finger toward adding to the general store, but at the same time claiming the right to have so much of food as would not only satisfy their hunger, but minister to their gluttony.

Nathaniel and I heard our master talking over the matter with the preacher, on the night the Council had given him full charge of everything save the dealings which might be had later with the London Company, therefore it was that we knew there would be different doings on the morrow.

[Illustration] from Richard of Jamestown by James Otis

Greatly did we rejoice thereat, for Jamestown had become as slovenly and ill kempt a village as ever the sun shone upon.

Now it must be set down that these gentlemen of ours, when not searching for gold, were wont to play at bowls in the lanes and paths, that they might have amusement while the others were working, and woe betide the serving man or laborer, who by accident interfered with their sports.

[Illustration] from Richard of Jamestown by James Otis

On this day, after the conversation with Master Hunt, all was changed. Captain Smith began his duties as guardian and director of the village by causing it to be proclaimed through the mouth of Nicholas Skot, our drummer, that there would be no more playing at bowls in the streets of Jamestown while it was necessary that very much work should be performed, and this spoken notice also stated, that whosoever dared to disobey the command should straightway be clapped into the stocks.

[Illustration] from Richard of Jamestown by James Otis