Richard of Jamestown - James Otis

Preparing for the Future

Once more Captain Smith made the rule that those who would not work should not eat, and this time, with all the Council at his back, together with such men as Captain Newport had just brought with him, you can well fancy his orders were obeyed.

[Illustration] from Richard of Jamestown by James Otis

In addition to the stocks which had been built, he had a pillory set up, and those gentlemen who were not inclined to labor with their hands as well as they might, were forced to stand in it to their discomfort.

The next thing which he did was to have a large, deep well dug, so that we might have sweet water from it for drinking purposes, rather than be forced to use that from the river, for it was to his mind that through this muddy water did the sickness come to us.

When the winter was well begun, and Captain Newport ceased to search for the South Sea passage, because of having come to the falls of the James River, Captain Smith forced our people to build twenty stout houses such as would serve to withstand an attack from the savages, and again was the palisade stretched from one to the other, until the village stood in the form of a square.

After the cold season had passed, some of the people were set about shingling the church, and others were ordered to make clapboards that we might have a cargo when Captain Newport returned. It was the duty of some few to keep the streets and lanes of the village clear of filth, lest we invite the sickness again, and the remainder of the company were employed in planting Indian corn, forty acres of which were seeded down.


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