| Richard of Jamestown|
|by James Otis|
|Follow the fortunes of orphan Richard Mutton as he travels to the New World with Captain John Smith and takes up residence with him in the new colony of Jamestown. See the struggles they go through to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table while the majority of their fellow colonists shirk the work of establishing the colony for the pursuit of gold. Observe how their relationships with the native Americans change over time and how, when they are just on the point of abandoning the colony, a new contingent of colonists arrives to bring fresh hope to the Jamestown settlement. Numerous black and white illustrations complement the text. Ages 8-10 |
IT was while all the people, gentlemen as well as laborers,
were doing their, best to repair the loss, and
 to put Jamestown
into such shape that we might be able to withstand an attack
from the savages, if so be they made one, that even a worse
misfortune than the fire came upon us.
Some of those whom Captain Newport had lately brought to
Virginia, while roaming along the shores of the river in
order to learn what this new land was like, came upon a spot
where the waters had washed the earth away for a distance of
five or six feet, leaving exposed to view a vast amount of
sand, so yellow and so heavy that straightway the foolish
ones believed they were come upon that gold which our people
had been seeking almost from the very day we first landed.
From this moment there was no talk of anything save the wealth
which would come to us and the London Company.
Even Captain Newport was persuaded that this sand was gold,
and straightway nearly every person in the
 village was hard
at work digging and carrying it in baskets on board the John
and Francis as carefully as if each grain counted for a guinea.
Of all the people of Jamestown, Captain Smith and Master Hunt
were the only ones who refused to believe the golden dream.
They held themselves aloof from this mad race to gather up
the yellow sand, and strove earnestly to persuade the others
that it would be a simple matter to prove by fire whether
this supposed treasure were metal.
In the center of the village, where all might see him, Master
Hunt set a pannikin, in which was a pint or more of the sand,
over a roaring fire which he kept burning not less than two
When he was done, the sand remained the same as before, which,
so he and my master claimed, was good proof that our people of
Jamestown were, in truth, making fools of themselves, as they
had many a time before since we came into this land of Virginia.
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