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Richard of Jamestown by  James Otis


 

 

THE CONDITION OF THE COLONY

THAT he might have something to carry back to England, and not being minded to take on board a load of sand, Captain Nelson asked that the Phoenix be laden with cedar logs and such clapboards as our people had made. Therefore was it that we sent to England the first cargo of value since having come to Virginia.

Among those who had come over in the Phoenix were workmen who understood the making of turpentine, [122] tar and soap ashes. There was also a pipe maker, a gunsmith, and a number of other skilled workmen, so that had the Council advanced the interest of the colony one half as much as my master was doing, all would have gone well with us in Jamestown.

As it was, however, the President of the Council, so Master Hunt has declared many times, and of a verity he would not bear false witness, often countenanced the men in rebellion against my master's orders, until, but for the preacher's example, we might never have put into the earth our first seed.

Because of lack of food, and it seems strange to say so when there were of oysters near at hand more than a thousand men could have eaten, and fish in the rivers without number, Captain Smith set off once more in the pinnace to trade with the Indians, as well as to explore further the bay and the river.

Master Hunt lived in our house, while he was gone, therefore Nathaniel and I were not idle, and though we had each had a dozen pair of hands, we could have kept them properly employed, what with making a garden for our own use, tending the plants, and keeping house.


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