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

We Prepare for War

As you remember, one of our gentlemen, and eleven serving men, died shortly after Christmas day, which left us of St. Mary's, counting the maids as well as men, about two hundred and eighty. Of this number, so John told me, a full eighty were unable to bear arms, and at least half the remainder would prove but sorry soldiers, if it came to warfare. Therefore were we not so strong to oppose William Claiborne's attack as had at first seemed.

When the news came that the armed pinnace was being fitted out against us, Governor Calvert sent two of the Yaocomico Indians up the bay to spy out what they might concerning the warlike preparations, and after they returned, we had positive knowledge that at least fourteen fighting men would sail in the small ship-of-war under command of a trader by the name of Warren, whom Master Claiborne had elevated to the rank of lieutenant.

[Illustration] from Calvert of Maryland by James Otis

Lord Baltimore's written instructions, when we left England, were that every effort should be made to steer clear of quarrels; that the Indians, wherever we met them, should be treated in a most friendly manner, and that all white men, so long as they conducted themselves properly, should be welcomed among us whatsoever might be their religion.

However, in such a case as was presented to us by the arming of the pinnace at Kent Island, it would have been folly to make any attempt at following my lord's instructions, so Governor Calvert argued, and straightway all our efforts were directed toward warding off the threatened evil.

The small pinnace, which had been hired from the people of Virginia, was strengthened to such extent that she might carry cannon, and all our men who could labor with an ax, were set about building another vessel of about the same size, to protect the village of St. Mary's.

Captain Thomas Cornwallis, one of our gentlemen, had already been named in command of the Maryland forces in event of such trouble as might require the services of soldiers, and he it was who took charge of all these preparations which we were then making.

I would you could have seen our town of St. Mary's at this time when, after nearly a year of peace, and happiness, and content, save for the homesickness which assailed us at times, we were making ready to resist an enemy who had so suddenly appeared.

[Illustration] from Calvert of Maryland by James Otis

Already were many fair houses nearly built to replace our Indian huts. Streets had been laid out so that in time we might take on the look of a town, and, in fact, everywhere was token of industry and advancement.

When the news was brought us regarding Master Claiborne's wicked intent, all labor, save that of ship-building, ceased. Our people, boys as well as men, were hurrying to and fro like ants whose home has been disturbed, hewing timbers, dragging them to a place where the pinnace was being set in form, or overhauling the goods in the storehouse that we might come upon the powder and shot, which had been stowed away because we had no need of it, save when harmless salutes were to be fired.