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.



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