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James Otis

Building a Fortified Village

There is little need for me to say that these were not the only reforms which my master brought about, after having waited long enough for our lazy gentlemen to understand that unless they set their hands to labor they could not eat from the general store.

He straightway set these idle ones to work building houses, declaring that if the sickness which had come among us was to be checked, our people must no longer sleep upon the ground, or in caves where the moisture gathered all around them.

He marked out places whereon log dwellings should be placed, in such manner that when the houses had been set up, they would form a square, and, as I heard him tell Master Hunt, it was his intention to have all the buildings surrounded by a palisade in which should be many gates.


Thus, when all was finished, he would have a fort-like village, wherein the people could rest without fear of what the savages might be able to do.

By the time such work was well under way, and our gentlemen laboring as honest men should, after learning that it was necessary so to do unless they were willing to go hungry, Captain Smith set about adding to our store of food, for it was not to be supposed that we could depend for any length of time upon what the Indians might give us, and the winter would be long.