Richard of Jamestown - James Otis
I have often spoken of the unwillingness of some of our people to labor; but Captain Smith, who is not overly eager to find excuses for those who are indolent, has said that there was much reason why many of our men hugged their cabins, counting it a most arduous task to go even so far up the river as were the oyster-beds.
He believes, and Master Hunt is of the same opinion, that this town of ours has been built on that portion of the shore where the people are most liable to sickness. The land is low lying, almost on a level with the river; the country roundabout is made up of swamps and bogs, and the air which comes to us at night is filled with a fever, which causes those upon whom it fastens, first to shake as if they were beset with bitterest cold, and then again to burn as if likely to be reduced to ashes. Some call it the ague, and others, the shakes; but whatsoever it may be, there is nothing more distressing, or better calculated to hinder a man from taking so much of exercise as is necessary for his well being.