Time alone reveals the just man; but you might discern a bad man in a single day. — Sophocles

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

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