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




Gathering Oysters

That Nathaniel and I may gather oysters without too great labor of walking and carrying heavy burdens, Captain Smith has bought from the savages a small boat made of the bark of birch trees, stretched over a framework of splints, and sewn together with the entrails of deer. On the seams, and wherever the water might find entrance, it is well gummed with pitch taken from the pine tree, and withal the lightest craft that can well be made.

Either Nathaniel or I can take this vessel, which the savages call a canoe, on our shoulders, carrying it without difficulty, and when the two of us are inside, resting upon our knees, for we may not sit in it as in a ship's boat, we can send it along with paddles at a rate so rapid as to cause one to think it moved by magic.

[Illustration] from Richard of Jamestown by James Otis

With this canoe Nathaniel and I may go to the oyster beds, and in half an hour put on board as large a cargo of shellfish as she will carry, in addition to our own weight, coming back in a short time with as much food as would serve a dozen men for two days.

If these oysters could be kept fresh for any length of time, then would we have a most valuable store near at hand; but, like other fish, a few hours in the sun serves to spoil them.