Richard of Jamestown - James Otis




Several Islands Visited

Therefore it was that when, on the next day after he was made a prisoner, we were come to anchor off that island which the savages called Gaudaloupe, and Nathaniel had been permitted to go on shore in one of the boats, I could tell my master of the wondrous waters which were found there.

Nathaniel told me that water spouted up out of the earth so hot, that when Captain Newport threw into it a piece of pork tied to a rope, the meat was cooked in half an hour, even as if it had been over a roaring hot fire.

[Illustration] from Richard of Jamestown by James Otis

After that we passed many islands, the names of which I could not discover, until we came to anchor within half a musket shot from the shore of that land which is known as Nevis. Here we lay six days, and the chief men of the company went on shore for sport and to hunt, save always either Captain Martin or Captain Kendall, who remained on board to watch the poor prisoner, while he, my master, lay in his narrow bed sweltering under the great heat.

During all this while, the seamen and our gentlemen got much profit and sport from hunting and fishing, adding in no small degree to our store of food. Had Captain Smith not been kept from going on shore by the wickedness of those who were jealous because of his great fame as a soldier, I dare venture to say our stay at this island of Nevis would have been far more to our advantage.

From this place we went to what Master Hunt told me were the Virgin islands, and here the men went ashore again to hunt; but my master, speaking no harsh words against those who were wronging him, lay in the small, stinging hot room, unable to get for himself even a cup of water, though I took good care he should not suffer from lack of kindly care.

[Illustration] from Richard of Jamestown by James Otis

Then on a certain day we sailed past that land which Captain Gosnold told me was Porto Rico, and next morning came to anchor off the island of Mona, where the seamen were sent ashore to get fresh water, for our supply was running low.

Captain Newport, and many of the other gentlemen, went on shore to hunt, and so great was the heat that Master Edward Brookes fell down dead, one of the sailors telling Nathaniel that the poor man's fat was melted until he could no longer live; but Captain Smith, who knows more concerning such matters than all this company rolled into one, save I might except Master Hunt, declared that the fat of a live person does not melt, however great the heat. It is the sun shining too fiercely on one's head that brings about death, and thus it was that Master Brookes died.



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