Jamestown Narratives


Jamestown Narratives: Eyewitness Accounts Of The Virginia Colony (The First Decade: 1607-1617)


Jamestown Narratives is a one-cover, complete library of all surviving accounts, in full, from and about its first decade by members of the infant colony that was simultaneously the birthplace of the United States and the British Empire, including:

  • Modern text – modern spelling of the word, modern punctuation of the thought
  • Fresh transcriptions from the originals
  • Combined text of John Smith’s Proceedings and General History
  • The Bodleian MS of Strachey’s History of Travel, First Book
  • First transcription of the Smith/Zuñiga 1608 map of Virginia
  • First publication of Thomas Dale’s letter from Henrico
  • Full introduction, full index, commentaries on all 58 texts

The First Decade, already opening some of the major themes of American History, is also a Trojan War of strong personalities careening through cycles of victory, folly, defeat, and renewal: John Smith, Pocahontas, Powhatan, Opechancanough are figures that truly tower in this chronicle. But others too – Dale the harsh dictator; Gates the mild dictator, grim Percy, officious and brilliant Strachey, petulant Wingfield, Archer chatty and meddlesome, De Molina the languishing prisoner; Hamor’s report on Powhatan, Uttamatomakkin’s report on King James – speak with such energy and color that they bare themselves and come alive as much as the New World in which they are plunged. From the rapture and dream infatuation of the first days to the sputtering and murderous indignation of the democratic Virginia General Assembly against the tyrannical excess of the Virginia Company, perhaps never have so many highly articulate people functioned under so much stress of fear, rage, and wonder. Everything went wrong before anything went right. Every mistake was made, made, and made again. The colony should have died of illness or massacre or starvation or plain bankruptcy, and so it did on all but a single thread. The cause was doomed, the cause was completely lost, except that the cause was the United States of America.

Title: Jamestown Narratives: Eyewitness Accounts Of The Virginia Colony (The First Decade: 1607-1617)
Editor: Edward Wright Haile (with Commentary)
Published: August 1998
Pages: 978
Dimensions: 6 x 2 x 9 inches
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0966471205

Additional information

Weight 2.89 lbs
Dimensions 6 × 2 × 9 in

Haile, Edward Wright

Publication Year