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Richard of Jamestown by  James Otis

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OUR COURAGE GIVES OUT

BUT our time of rejoicing was short. Although these two ships were brought by Sir Thomas Gates and Sir George Somers, having in them not less than one hundred and fifty men, they did not have among them food sufficient to provide for the wants of our company until another harvest should come.

The vessel in which these new comers had sailed was, as I have said, wrecked in a hurricane near the Bermuda Isles, where, after much labor, they had contrived to build these two small ships.

It needed not that we, who of all our people in Jamestown remained alive, should tell the story of what we had suffered, for that could be read on our faces.

Neither was it required that these new comers should study long in order to decide upon the course to be pursued, for the answer to all their speculations could be found in the empty storehouse, and in the numberless graves 'twixt there and the river bank.

[161] Of provisions, they had so much as might serve for a voyage to England, if peradventure the winds were favorable; and ere the ships had been at anchor four and twenty hours, it was resolved that we should abandon this town of James, which we had hoped might one day grow into a city fair to look upon.

An attempt to build up a nation in this new land of Virginia, of which ours was the third, had cost of money and of blood more than man could well set down, and now, after all this brave effort on the part of such men as Captain Smith, Master Hunt and Master Percy, it was to go for naught.

Once more were the savages to hold undisputed possession of the land which they claimed as their own.


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