F Heritage History | Richard of Jamestown by James Otis
Contents 
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 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

Richard of Jamestown - James Otis




Stealing the Company's Goods

If I have made it appear that during all this time we lived in the most friendly manner with the savages, then have I blundered in the setting down of that which happened.

Although it shames one to write such things concerning those who called themselves Englishmen, yet it must be said that the savages were no longer in any degree friendly, and all because of what our own people had done.

From the time when Captain Smith had declared that he who would not work should not eat, some of our fine gentlemen who were willing to believe that labor was the greatest crime which could be committed, began stealing from the common store iron and copper goods of every kind which might be come at, in order to trade with the savages for food they themselves were too lazy to get otherwise.

They even went so far, some of those who thought it more the part of a man to wear silks than build himself a house, as to steal matchlocks, pistols, and weapons of any kind, standing ready to teach the savages how to use these things, if thereby they were given so much additional in the way of food.

[Illustration] from Richard of Jamestown by James Otis

As our numbers increased, by reason of the companies which were brought over by Captain Newport and Captain Nelson, so did the thievery become the more serious until on one day I heard Master Hunt tell my master, that of forty axes which had been brought ashore from the Phoenix and left outside the storehouse during the night, but eight were remaining when morning came.