Richard of Jamestown - James Otis




Keeping House

When we came ashore from the ships, no one claimed Nathaniel as servant, and he, burning to be in my company, asked Captain Smith's permission to enter his employ. My master replied that it had not been in his mind there should be servants and lords in this new world of Virginia, where one was supposed to be on the same footing as another; but if Nathaniel were minded to live under the same roof with us, and would cheerfully perform his full share of the labor, it might be as he desired.

Because our house was the first to be put up in the new village, and, being made of logs, was by far the best shelter, even in comparison with the tents of cloth, Nathaniel and I decided that it should be the most homelike, if indeed that could be compassed where were no women to keep things cleanly.

I am in doubt as to whether Captain Smith, great traveler and brave adventurer though he was, had even realized that with only men to perform the household duties, there would be much lack of comfort.

The floor of the house was only the bare earth beaten down hard. We lads made brooms, by tying the twigs of trees to a stick, which was not what might be called a good makeshift, and yet with such we kept the inside of our home far more cleanly than were some of the tents.

[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