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




A Worthless Cargo

When we should have been striving to build up the town once more, we spent all our time loading the ship with this worthless cargo, and indeed I felt the better in my mind when finally Captain Newport set sail, the John and Francis loaded deeply with sand, because of believing that we were come to an end of hearing about treasure which lay at hand ready for whosoever would carry it away.

In this, however, I was disappointed. Although there was no longer any reason for our people to labor at what was called the gold mine, since there was no ship at hand in which to put the sand, they still talked, hour by hour, of the day when all the men in Virginia would go back to England richer than kings.

Because of such thoughts was it well nigh impossible to force them to labor once more. Yet Captain Smith and Master Hunt did all they could, even going so far as to threaten bodily harm if the people did not rebuild the storehouse, plant such seed as had been saved from the flames, and replace those portions of the palisade which had been burned.

It was while our people were thus working half heartedly, that Captain Nelson arrived in the ship Phoenix, having been so long delayed on the voyage, because of tempests and contrary winds, that his passengers and crew had eaten nearly all the stores which the London Company sent over for our benefit, and bringing seventy more mouths to be fed.

Save that she brought to us skilled workmen, the coming of the Phoenix did not advantage us greatly, while there were added to our number, seventy men, and of oatmeal, pickled beef and pork, as much as would serve for, perhaps, three or four weeks.

Through her, however, as Master Hunt said in my hearing, came some little good, for on seeing the yellow sand, Captain Nelson declared without a question that it was worthless, and, being accustomed to working in metal, speedily proved to our people who were yet suffering with the gold fever, that there was nothing whatsoever of value in it.