Richard of Jamestown - James Otis

Captain Newport's Instructions

He was ordered, if you please, not to return to England without bringing back a lump of gold, exploring the passageway to the South Sea, or finding some of Sir Walter Raleigh's lost colony, of which I will tell you later.

But whether he did the one or the other, he had been commanded to crown as a king, Powhatan, and had brought with him mock jewels and red robes for such a purpose.

To find a lump of gold, after he had brought to England a shipload of yellow sand!

To crown Powhatan king, when, to our sorrow, he was already showing himself far more of a king than was pleasing or well for our town of James!

Forgetting I was but a lad, and had no right to put blame on the shoulders of my leaders and betters, or even to address Master Hunt as if I were a man grown, I cried out against the foolishness of those people in London for whom we were striving to build up a city, saying very much that had better been left unsaid, until the good preacher cried with a laugh:

"We can forgive them almost anything, Dicky Mutton, since they have made our Captain Smith the head of the government in this land of Virginia."

And now I will tell you, as Master Hunt told me, the story of this lost colony of Roanoke, which the London Company had commanded Captain Newport to find.

You must know that English people had lived in this land of Virginia before we came here in 1606, and while it does not concern us of Jamestown, except as we are interested in knowing the fate of our countrymen, it should be set down, lest we so far forget as to say that those of us who have built this village are the first settlers in the land.


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
A Worthless Cargo
Condition of the Colony
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