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

Ready for a Man's Duty

Then it was that, emboldened by the fear of parting from him when he went into danger, I asked him to remember that near to three years had passed since the day when I, thirteen years old, had sailed with him from England, and called to mind the fact that I, older grown than then, being sixteen years of age, was come to the time when in good truth I should do a man's duty, instead of remaining snugly at home to be cared for by servants.

[Illustration] from Calvert of Maryland by James Otis

Whereupon he asked me what was in my mind, that I had so suddenly discovered the fact of having nearly come to man's estate, and I told him boldly, but with all due respect, that in this new land of ours a lad who had grown to sixteen years should no longer be counted a child, but should take upon himself full duty with his elders, so that he might the better be prepared to aid in up-building our province.

That he was not angered by my plain speaking, I understood when he laid his hand affectionately on my head, as he said that it would give him greatest pleasure to keep me a child as long as might be, for when I was come to be counted as one of those who should do all he might toward defending our province, then had he lost his baby, who had been of so much comfort to him when its mother died.

It grieves me to the, heart now to remember that my cheeks flushed red with shame when he spoke of me as a baby, and once more I asked him to remember my years, giving me the place which was mine by right because of my age, no longer forcing me to feel the disgrace of hiding behind John when there was danger afoot.

Very much more than I have set down was said between us. All my words were to the end that I should be allowed to perform a gentleman's duty in our province, and his, that he would be best pleased to hold me a child as long as he might, because of the great love in his heart.

A kinder, more affectionate father never had lad than had I, and when he came to understand that all my mind was bent upon taking part in the defense of our fair Province of Maryland, then did he give way, the tears standing in his eyes when he clasped my hands in his, as he said:"

"So be it, my son. You shall come into your manhood at the age of sixteen years, because in this new world of ours we age more rapidly than in England. I will cease to look upon you as a child, and pray the good God that you may ever reckon upon me as a true comrade to whom you can come in all trust with whatsoever of joy or of sorrow enters into your life. Remember that to be a gentleman is to be one who is honest, who is kind of heart, and who speaks no evil of another. It is not in my power to attach you to Captain Cornwallis's company of marksmen; but you shall be numbered among those who go to take such part as may be necessary in case those islanders of Kent are stiff-necked, and it will be well that John accompanies you, not for protection, but to stand by your side a comrade in arms."

There was a great joy in my heart when my father thus spoke, for I counted it an honor to be looked upon as a man rather than a child, and gave little heed to the fact, which has since come to me so strongly, that there can be no time in life so sweet as when a lad stands under the loving protection of his father, ready at all times to obey, and striving never to overrun his years.