Richard of Jamestown - James Otis

Master Hunt Brings Great News

I had been down at the landing place, feasting my eyes upon the ship which had so lately come from the country I might never see again, and was trying to cheer myself by working around the house in the hope of pleasing Captain Smith, when Master Hunt came in with a look upon his face such as I had not seen since the sickness first came among us, and, without thinking to be rude, I asked him if it was the arrival of the women which pleased him so greatly.

"It is nothing of such fanciful nature, Richard Mutton," the good man replied with a smile, "though I must confess that it is pleasing to see women with white faces, when our eyes have beheld none save bearded men for so long a time. What think you has been done in the Council this day, since Captain Newport had speech with President Ratcliffe?"

Verily I could not so much as guess what might have happened, for those worshipful gentlemen were prone at times to behave more like foolish children, than men upon whom the fate of a new country depended, and I said to Master Hunt much of the same purport.

"They have elected your master, Captain John Smith, President of the Council, Richard Mutton, and now for the first time will matters in Jamestown progress as they should."

"My master President of the Council at last!" I cried, and the good preacher added:

"So it is, lad, as I know full well, having just come from there."

[Illustration] from Richard of Jamestown by James Otis

"But how did they chance suddenly to gather their wits?" I cried with a laugh, in which Master Hunt joined.

"It was done after Captain Newport had speech with Master Ratcliffe, and while I know nothing for a certainty, there is in my mind a strong belief that he brought word from the London Company for such an election to be made. At all events, it is done, and now we shall see Jamestown increase in size, even as she would have done from the first month we landed here had Captain John Smith been at the head of affairs."

The good preacher was so delighted with this change in the government that he unfolded all his budget of news, forgetting for the time being, most like, that he was not speaking to his equal, and thus it was I learned what were Captain Newport's instructions from the London Company.


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