As military leader Miles Standish at once became conspicuous in the life of the colony. He was born in Lancashire, England, in 1584, of a noble family, but was in some way deprived of his estates. Going to the Continent he became a valiant and daring soldier in the Netherlands. Feeling a deep interest in the cause of the Pilgrims, he joined them when they sailed for America in the Mayflower, and made their fortunes his own.
Small of stature, quick-witted, hot-tempered, and ready to brave any danger, this stout-hearted man was a fitting leader for the little Pilgrim army of something like a score of men who were obliged to defend themselves and their families against wild beasts and unfriendly Indians
They embarked in the Speedwell, at Delft Haven, a port twelve miles from Leyden, and sailed for Southampton, on the south coast of England. Here they joined some friends who had made ready another vessel, the now historic Mayflower. But a brief delay was occasioned by lack of money. In order to secure the necessary amount, about four hundred dollars, it was necessary to sell some of their provisions, including much of the butter. Funds being secured, the two vessels at last put to sea, but twice returned on account of a leak in the Speedwell. Finally, deeming that vessel unseaworthy, one hundred and two Pilgrims, including men, women, children, and servants, took passage in the Mayflower, sailing from Plymouth, September 16, 1620.
All must have perished but for the bravery and strength of one man, John Smith, who for several years kept the struggling colony alive by his personal authority and wise treatment of the Indians. Born in [Pg 46]England in 1579, he was at the time of the settlement of Jamestown twenty-eight years old. While but a boy he was left an orphan, and was early apprenticed to a trade; but he had such a longing for adventure that he soon ran away and went to the Continent to seek his fortun
When Bacon got control of Jamestown, then a mere village of some sixteen to eighteen houses, he burned it to prevent its falling into Berkeley's hands. The people's leader had been successful, and had risked his life and his fortune for the common rights. But the strain of the past four or five months in the malarial swamps broke down his health, and after a short illness, he died of fever at the home of a friend, in October, 1676.
The First Voyage of Columbus
On Christmas morning (December 25, 1492), while it was still dark, as he was cruising along the shores of[Pg 16] Hayti (or Hispaniola), the Santa Maria went aground on a sand-bar, where the waves soon knocked her to pieces. As the Pinta had already deserted, there now remained but one ship, the Niña. This little vessel was too small to accommodate all the men, and forty of the number, wishing to stay where they were, decided to build a fort out of the timbers of the wrecked vessel and put her guns in the fort for their defence. These men had provisions for a year, and constituted the first Spanish colony in the New World.
Columbus was a man of commanding presence. He was large, tall, and dignified in bearing, with a ruddy complexion and piercing blue-gray eyes. By the time he was thirty his hair had become white, and fell in[Pg 4] wavy locks about his shoulders. Although his life of hardship and poverty compelled him to be plain and simple in food and dress, he always had the air of a gentleman, and his manners were pleasing and courteous. But he had a strong will, which overcame difficulties that would have overwhelmed most men.
Brick House type at Jamestown
Row House type at Jamestown
Pottery at Jamestown
There is good evidence that a pottery kiln was situated 30 feet west of the “industrial area.”
How an ironworking pit was used.
Cross section of a brick-lined well at Jamestown
(Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)
Brick House at Jamestown, about 1640. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)
AN EARLY JAMESTOWN HOUSE. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)