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Richard of Jamestown by  James Otis

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WHO I AM

[9]

Y ES, my name is Richard Mutton. Sounds rather queer, doesn't it? The lads in London town used to vex me sorely by calling, "Baa, baa, black sheep," whenever I passed them, and yet he who will may find the name Richard Mutton written in the list of those who were sent to Virginia, in the new world, by the London Company, on the nineteenth day of December, in the year of Our Lord, 1606.

Whosoever may chance to read what I am here setting down, will, perhaps, ask how it happened that a lad only ten years of age was allowed to sail for that new world in company with such a band of adventurous men as headed the enterprise.

Therefore it is that I must tell a certain portion of the story of my life, for the better understanding of how I came to be in this fair, wild, savage beset land of Virginia.

Yet I was not the only boy who sailed in the Susan [10] Constant, as you may see by turning to the list of names, which is under the care, even to this day, of the London Company, for there you will find written in clerkly hand the names, Samuel Collier, Nathaniel Peacock, James Brumfield, and Richard Mutton.

Nathaniel Peacock has declared more than once that my name comes last in the company at the very end of all, because I was not a full-grown mutton; but only large enough to be called a sheep's tail, and therefore should be hung on behind, as is shown by the list.


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