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Letter from Jamestown

Dear family and friends,


I have forgotten to write you a letter with things here so busy. Just to let you know, I have chosen to become a blacksmith and it is a vital job in the Jamestown colony. It’s a demanding occupation, but also a well-paying one. When I’m not at work, I enjoy smoking tobacco from my old pipe, playing dice with my fellow cronies, and whistling from an instrument I made out of wood. Once stumbling across this territory along the James River, I have been eating a different diet from at home. My favorite foods include raccoon, tortoises, and the sturgeons just to name a few. Other foods I enjoy include oysters, gulls, herons, and rays. In case you were wondering why I have come to Jamestown, it’s because I feel the need for adventure. I want to strike it rich and find gold here and also discover a water route to eastern Asia. Furthermore, there are many different things you need to know about the colony.

First of all, the colony is located along the James River and close to the Chesapeake Bay. It has military advantages because of the deep-water mooring for ships so it’s out of sight of the Spanish. It is a semi-island protected on three sides by the James River on one side and marshes on the other two sides. I feel very secure inside the fort, but there would be occasions when the Algonquian Indians would attack it. Also, we have terrible diseases and a countless number of my friends have died from malaria and dysentery. I sense that all the raw foods they eat affect their immune system, so I’m careful of what I eat and how I eat it. While disease, famine, and continuing attacks of the Algonquian natives wipe out most our population, the Powhatan Indians would aid us with food in exchange for copper and iron equipment. The fort has wooden walls forming a triangle around a storehouse, church, and a number of houses. It would defend my colony from the Algonquians when they would attack. I find that indentured servitude is an efficient way of getting by life with all of the troubles in the New World. It’s just that I have worked so hard to be able to travel to America, but then once I arrive, I have to work twice as hard as before. Finally, Jamestown is important to England because it is the initiation of developing new land. It is the first settlement of England and is an initial expansion of the empire.

The best thing about living in Jamestown is that we have our own government and we are free from everything in Europe. We are independent and live a free life. The worst thing about living here are the diseases of malaria and dysentery. Also, the frequent attacks from the Indians alarm us enormously. I feel that my friend shouldn’t come to Jamestown because it is extremely dangerous. He should stay and England and live his life out there, in peace and harmony. However, if he was living in poverty and had no success in his job, coming to Jamestown could be the start of a new life. In conclusion, coming to Jamestown has been the best decision of my life. Here, I live in freedom, but I pay the price of death and despair.





Dru Pickhouse

September 25, 1620


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