Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter VIII >> Page 126

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Page 126

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 126 SOUTHWARD HO
"Did you ever read ' Purchas, his Pilgrims ?' He has a de-
scription of Jamestown in 1610, written by William Strachey.
If you are curious to see it, I have it in my berth, and marked
the passage only this morning."
Some curiosity being expressed, the book was brought, and
the extract read. It may possibly interest others, in this con-
nection, to see where the first tree was hewn in the New World
by the hands of the Anglo-Norman.
A low levell of ground about halfe an acre, or (so much as Quecne Dido might buy of King Hyarbas, which she compassed
about with the thongs cut out of one bull's, and therein built her
castle of Byrsa) on the North side of the river is cast almost into
the forme of a triangle, and so pallazadoed. The South side
next the river (howbeit extended in a line, or curtaine six score
foote more in lengthe, than the other two by reason of the ad-
vantages of the ground doth so require), contains one hundred
and forty yards : the West and East side a hundred only. At
every angle or corner, where the lines meet, a bulwarke or
watchtower is raised, and in each bulwrarke a piece of ordnance
or two well mounted. To every side, a proportionate distance
from the pallisado, is a settled streete of houses, that runs along,
so as each line of the angle hath his streete. In the midst is a
market place, a storehouse and a corps du garde, as likewise a
pretty chappelle, though (at this time when we came in) as ruin-
ed and unfrequented : but the Lord, Governor and Captaine
Generall, bath given order for the repairing of it, and at this in-
stant many hands are about it. It is in lengthe three-score
foote, in breadth twenty-four, and shall have a chancell in it of
cedar, and a communion table of the blacke walnut� and all the
pews of cedar, with fair broad windows, to shut and open, as the
weather shall occasion: a pulpit of the same wood, with a font
hewn hollow like a canon ; with two bells at the West end. It
is so cast as it be very light within, and the Lord Governor and
Captaine Generall loth cause it to be passing sweete and trim
med up with divers flowers ; with a sexton belonging to it."
So much for the Church�the first English Church, be it
remembered, ever raised in America. This should render the
description an interesting one. And now something for the uses
to which it was put. We see that Strachey found it in a ruinous