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

Indian Money

When we first came to this land, and I heard our people talking of trading with the Indians, it was in my mind that the brown-skinned men had nothing among them which would answer the purpose of gold and silver money; but before we had been here many days I discovered my mistake, and already do we count the value of an article in the Indian way, which is to say, that a beaver skin is worth so many strings of wampum.

[Illustration] from Calvert of Maryland by James Otis

And now what is wampum?

It is the money of the Indians, and odd money, too, being neither more nor less than tiny beads; not such as we have brought over for barter, but cut from a certain kind of seashell, and of a particular color. Some are taken from conchs, and are pure white; others from the thick portion of the quahaug that has been cast up from the deep sea, and is deep purple in shade.

I cannot say of what other shells wampum is made; but there are several kinds, and so rare that when these money-makers seek them on the seacoast beyond Point Comfort, they may not find above a dozen in a week's search.

When a certain kind of shell has been found, it becomes necessary to fashion the desired parts into beads, and this, if you can imagine it, is done first by chipping with stones, and then by drilling the holes with a splinter of flint fastened to a stick of wood, after which the beads are strung on thin strips of deer hide.

I have seen a wampum maker spend nearly three hours drilling a hole through a single bead, which serves to show how valuable in the eyes of the savages must be these seeming trinkets.