Front Matter A Name to be Proud of Ready for Sea The King's Gift Why I am an Adventurer The Signal for Departure A Lad's Portion The Allotment of Land An Unexpected Delay Our Arrival at Cowes We Put to Sea The Dove Disappears A Second Tempest An Unseemly Christmas The Port of Barbadoes The Arrival of the Dove Under Sail Again The Land of America The Land Given by the King Fear of the Brown Men Where to Build the City Taking the Island A Voyage of Discovery Visiting the Indians An Unexpected Meeting Captain Fleet's Story An Indian Werowance Indian vs. English Claims Seeking a Place for the City The Bargain The Village of Yaocomico What the Indians Look Like Indian Weapons and Tools Landing the Goods Counting Our Blessings The Susquehanoughs A Land of Abundance Buying Cattle Storehouse and Fort A Visitor from Virginia A Talk with the Indians Running up the Colors Settling Down Master William Claiborne Lord Baltimore's Claims Stirring up the Indians Winning Back the Indians Busy Times Indian Women as Servants Making a Canoe A Boat of Bark Indian Money A Generous Harvest Trouble at Plymouth Strange Religious Service The Dance Begins An Odd Ceremony William Claiborne's War Settlement on Kent Island We Prepare for War The Army leaves St. Mary's In Command of the Guard A Flag of Truce Captain Fleet Repents The First Prize of War A Battle is Fought The Return of the Fleet William Claiborne's Flight The City of Saint Mary's A Cruel Murder Mystery Remains Unsolved Master George Evelin A Fatal Accident Preparing for Action Ready for a Man's Duty I Wear the Uniform My New Name On Board the Pinnance Indians in War Paint The Arrival at Kent Island The Capture of the Fort Butler and Smith Captives Back to Claiborne's Fort I am Assigned New Duties A Narrow Escape Words of Praise

Calvert of Maryland - James Otis

Fear of the Brown Man

This sweet picture, however, was not without its bitterness, as we soon came to understand when the night closed silently in around us, for then could be seen here, there, and everywhere, so far as the eye might reach, small fires kindled on both shores of the river, and around them brown men armed with guns, with spears, and with bows and arrows, as if they had made ready to prevent us from gaining a foothold upon the land which they most likely claimed as theirs, little dreaming that his Majesty of England, so far away, held to be owner of it all.

There was in my mind a fear that these brown-skinned people, who were guarding the river against our landing, might be cannibals, even as were those whom we had seen at the island of Barbadoes; but John, who claims to have heard much concerning the Indians of America from a cousin of his who lives in Jamestown, told me that we would find them friendly, if so be we were fair and honest in our dealings.

Why they had thus gathered as if to oppose our landing, John could not say, and I misdoubted much of what he told me, believing he repeated the words simply to give me courage, for I saw on his face, as I did on the faces of many others around me, a look of distrust and fear.

It is true that the people of Virginia whom we had met while lying under Governor Harvey's fort claimed that we need have no fear concerning these savages, and yet all our company must have asked this same question, which was, that if we had been told the truth, why were these brown men gathered around us armed as if for battle, and with watch fires so plentiful that a boat might not pass from the ship to the shore without being seen?

Not until we were come near to the island, which Governor Calvert at once named St. Clements, were the anchors dropped, nor was a careful guard set lest the brown men should attempt to come on board against our will. Then were those who were on other duty told that they might seek repose.

As for myself, I could no more have gone into the great cabin, shutting out the sweet odors of the land, than I could have flown. The fact that we had come, after so long a journey, to our own Province of Maryland, finding it such a delightful country, would alone have kept my feet glued to the deck.

[Illustration] from Calvert of Maryland by James Otis

The beauty of it was so unexpected as to be unreal, and there was in my mind a certain fear lest it might fade away like images in a dream, if I took my eyes from it, and yet in the darkness I could see nothing save the gloom of the land and those numberless watch fires.

I must have slept somewhat before morning, however, else did the time pass unusually fast, for when the day came, all glorious with the golden light that gave to the foliage a vivid green and caused the birds to burst forth in floods of melody, it seemed as if no more than two or three hours had passed.