Home  |  Authors  |  Books  |  Stories  |  What's New  |  How to Get Involved 
   T h e   B a l d w i n   P r o j e c t
     Bringing Yesterday's Classics to Today's Children                 @mainlesson.com
Search This Site Only
 
 
Richard of Jamestown by  James Otis


 

 

CAPTAIN SMITH'S SPEECH

JAMESTOWN was a scene of turmoil and confusion when Captain Smith came back from his journey [152] having on board only two baskets of corn for seed. After understanding what had been done by the idle ones during his absence, he called all the people together and said unto them, speaking earnestly, as if pleading for his very life:

"Never did I believe white men who were come together in a new world, and should stand shoulder to shoulder against all the enemies that surround them, could be so reckless and malicious. It is vain to hope for more help from Powhatan, and the time has come when I will no longer bear with you in your idleness; but punish severely if you do not set about the work which must be done, without further plotting. You cannot deny but that I have risked my life many a time in order to save yours, when, if you had been allowed to go your own way, all would have starved. Now I swear solemnly that you shall not only gather for yourselves the fruits which the earth doth yield, but for those who are sick. Every one that gathers not each day as much as I do, shall on the next day be set beyond the river, forever banished from the fort, to live or starve as God wills."

This caused the lazy ones to bestir themselves for the time, and perhaps all might have gone well with us had not the London Company sent out nine more vessels, in which were five hundred persons, to join us people in Jamestown. One of the ships, as we afterward [153] learned, was wrecked in a hurricane; seven arrived safely, and the ninth vessel we had not heard from.

All these people had expected to find food in plenty, servants to wait upon them, and everything furnished to hand without being obliged to raise a finger in their own behalf. What was yet worse, they had among them many men who believed they were to be made officers of the government.


 Table of Contents  |  Index  | Previous: Treachery During Captain Smith's Absence  |  Next: The New Laws
Copyright (c) 2000-2017 Yesterday's Classics, LLC. All Rights Reserved.