The angry historians see one side of the question. The calm historians see nothing at all, not even the question itself. — G. K. Chesterton

Richard of Jamestown - James Otis




Reading the London Company's Orders

An hour later, when those who had just come from the shore had been refreshed with food, I noted with much of anxiety that all the gentlemen of the company, not only such as belonged on board the Susan Constant, but those from the Speedwell, gathered in the great cabin of our ship, and, looking out ever so cautiously, while the door of Captain Smith's room was ajar, I saw them gather around the big table on which, as if it were something of greatest value, was placed a box made of some dark colored wood.

[Illustration] from Richard of Jamestown by James Otis

It was Master Hunt who opened this, and, taking out a paper, he read in a voice so loud that even my master, as he lay in his narrow bed, could hear the names of those who were chosen by the London Company to form the Council for the government of the new land of Virginia.

These are the names as he read them: Bartholomew Gosnold, Edward Wingfield, Christopher Newport, John Smith, John Ratcliffe, John Martin and George Kendall.

My heart seemingly leaped into my throat with triumph when I thus heard the name of my master among those who were to stand as leaders of the company, and so excited had I become that that which Master Hunt read from the remainder of the paper failed to attract my attention.

I learned afterward, however, that among the rules governing the actions of this Council, was one that a President should be chosen each year, and that matters of moment were to be determined by vote of the Council, in which the President might cast two ballots.



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