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Richard of Jamestown by  James Otis


 

 

NEGLECTING TO PROVIDE FOR THE FUTURE

[77] THE one thing which seemed most surprising to us lads, after Captain Smith had called it to our notice, was that these people, who knew there could be no question but that the winter would find them in Jamestown, when there could be neither roasting ears, peas, beans, nor fowls of the air to be come at, made no provision for a harvest.

Captain Smith, not being allowed to raise his voice in the Council, could only speak as one whose words have little weight, since he was not in authority; but he lost no opportunity of telling these gold seekers that only those who sowed might reap, and unless seed was put into the ground, there would be no crops to serve as food during the winter.

Even Master Wingfield, the President of the Council, refused to listen when my master would have spoken to him as a friend. He gave more heed to exploring the land, than to what might be our fate in the future. He would not even allow the gentlemen to make such a fort as might withstand an assault by the savages, seeming to think it of more importance to know what was to be found on the banks of this river or of that, than to guard against those brown people who daily gave token of being unfriendly.

[78] The serving men and laborers were employed in making clapboards that we might have a cargo with which to fill one of Captain Newport's ships when he returned from England, according to the plans of the London Company. The gentlemen roamed here or there, seeking the yellow metal which had much the same as caused a madness among them; and, save in the case of Master Hunt and Captain Smith, none planted even the smallest garden.


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