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Will the Company
Abandon Them?

Cecily in Lady
Gates’s Care

Cecily’s Journey

Plymouth and

The Spanish

Babies Arrive
amidst Turmoil

Brutal Martial Law

Nothing to Eat

Hope: the First General Assembly

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Departing England

We walked down Fenchurch Street, which has all the look of a modern business district. But here, in Sir Thomas Smythe’s grand home four hundred years ago, Sir Thomas Gates made a plea to the Virginia Company to fight, to never give up—despite losses on an unimaginable scale.

Fenchurch Street


quoteThe councilors will look to me for my valuation of this venture. Gates knew that even if he urged the Company to continue its support, the men’s cold purses would carry weight, too. And he knew that if he suggested that the Company abandon the settlement, if he even hinted at it, the hope of an English future in Virginia would be lost. The New World would topple, like so many chess pieces, right into the hands of the Spanish king.

It was a burdensome question, to be sure.

Suppose he assented, gave the venture his heartiest approbation, and then the colonization effort turned to complete disaster? Well, he reminded him­self, Virginia has teetered very nearly on that already. Fire, mutiny, starvation, siege, Indian wars, drought, hurricane, shipwreck, putrifying illness, death on a massive scale… By God, he thought. By God.

From When the Moon Has No More Silver by Connie Lapallo © 2011


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