Nine out of ten of what we call new ideas are simply old mistakes. — G. K. Chesterton

Richard of Jamestown - James Otis




Captain Newport's Return

It was at the beginning of the new year, two days after my master was set free by the savages, that Captain Newport came back to us, this time in the ship John and Francis, and with him were fifty men who had been sent to join our colony.

Fortunately for us there were but few gentlemen among them, therefore did the work of building the village go on much more rapidly, because there were laborers in plenty.

A larger building, which was called the fort, and would indeed have been a safe place for refuge had the savages made an attack, was but just completed at the beginning of the third month, meaning March.

There Captain Smith had stored the supply of provisions and seed brought in the John and Francis, and we were already saying to ourselves that by the close of the summer we should reap a bountiful harvest.

All these plans and hopes went for naught, however, for on a certain night—and no man can say how it happened, save him who was the careless one—fire fastened upon the inside of the fort, having so much headway when it was discovered, that our people could do little toward checking it.

The flames burst out through the roof, which was thatched with dried grass, as were all the houses in the town, and leaped from one building to another until it seemed as if the entire village would be destroyed.

It is true that even the palisade, which was near to forty feet distant from the fort, was seized upon by the flames, and a goodly portion of that which had cost us so much labor was entirely destroyed.

[Illustration] from Richard of Jamestown by James Otis

Out of all our houses only four remained standing when the flames had died away. The seed which we had counted on for reaping a harvest, the store of provisions, and a large amount of clothing and other necessaries, were thus consumed.

Good Master Hunt lost all his books, in fact, everything he owned save the clothes upon his back, and yet never once did I, who was with him very much, for he came to live at our house while the village was being rebuilt, hear him utter one word of complaint, or of sorrow.



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