John Smith Claims Jamestown

Captain John Claims Jamestown

Captain John Claims Jamestown

The following exchange is from Bartholomew Stovall – The English Immigrant and occured between Bartholomew and Captain Peter Pagan a short time after they made landfall in America. As they skirted the coast looking for the buoys marking the entrance to Jamestown Harbor the intoxicated Captain Pagan was attempting to explain the concept of the New World from a historical perspective while they both drank from a bottle of Rum.

Since Pagan broached the subject, Bartholomew carefully replied, “I fear the Indians, sir.”
“Damn it, Stovall, I done told you to leave them alone, and you got no worries.”
Bartholomew turned his head away, regretting the comment, and then said, “It seems as if they owned this land first.”
Captain Pagan shook his head and smiled, “Wrong Again, Stovall. Indians don’t believe anyone owns the land. They think it’s just wide open spaces with no lines to prove ownership.”
Bartholomew spoke, sounding confused, “But they fight amongst themselves for their territory?”
“Well, just think about that Stovall. Say a bunch of families make a home alongside a creek and start living on the dear that grazes close by. Then along comes another bunch and starts killing off the dear. I don’t know about you, but I think I’d start shooting back.”
Bartholomew considered the response, “Then you’re telling me their actually friendly?”
Pagan laughed to himself and then took another drink from the bottle. He handed it to Bartholomew, who knew better than to refuse.
“That’s another story altogether,” the captain said.
Bartholomew listened intently, soaking up the knowledge bestowed by Captain Pagan.
“Sometime before 1610, Captain John Smith left England with three ships and sailed along this coast just like you and me are doing right now. They finally spotted a harbor that looked friendly and named it after King James I. They called it Jamestown. So Smith found this most perfect place, got off his ship, and drove the Union Jack into the ground.
”There was a bunch of Indians out hunting, and they said, ‘Bullshit’. Little did Captain Smith know, but he had set up camp a half a day’s walk from the Indian capital of the world. There were more than 12,000 of them in one single village where their chief lived.
“So rumor has it that the chief paid them a visit and told them how things were handled in this part of the world. Smith was kind of pissed but did the numbers and decided to lay low for a while. They would have starved to death, but Chief Powhatan decided to use them to his advantage. He fed them and allowed a few more to settle, thinking he could let them have the harbor area and trade it for trinkets and tools. He was dead wrong. More and more came till there were too many. The Indians kept moving further west, and now it’s all history.”

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About bartholomewstovall

Author of Bartholomew Stovall. A novel about the immigrant who came to America in 1684.
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