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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


Marye BuckeIn September, 2009, at a book signing at Henricus, a woman came up to me and said, “I’m a Living history interpreter, and I portray the wife of the Reverend Bucke.

Rebecca found my response amusing. I said, “Marye! I know you. I had a dream about you last night.” I was so happy to meet someone who loved Marye (Maria) Bucke as I did.

The records spelled Marye’s name at times "Mary", "Marye", "Marie", and Maria. I had chosen to call her “Maria,” while to Rebecca she was “Marye.” Yet we discovered a mutual love for this long ago women whom we could not forget.

Later, in Jamestown, Rebecca and I met for coffee and chatted about what we knew of Mistress Bucke. I was completely taken with Rebecca’s enthusiasm. I explained to her my thoughts about the names of Maria’s children. Maria, it seemed to me, had left a message in their names. (Yes, I know Reverend Bucke might have done the naming. I like to think Maria had a hand in it, too. She was, after all, enduring childbirth during difficult circumstances in Virginia’s history.)





Call Me Mara

quoteThen shaking her head, Maria said, “What kind of world have I brought this child into?” Maria’s voice was feeble but deliberate. She began to weep. The women gave me a look of concern as if to say, See how she has been?

“You know the world I mean!” she continued. “This place where we live under cruel laws and have not enough food.” Her eyes were on the tiny form. “If I loved her, I would not have birthed her.”

This was not Maria. Maria was a sweet and God-fearing woman, a woman who believed that God only gave what one could bear. But now Maria’s wan face and sunken eyes spoke for her.

The child let out a whimpering cry. She was trying to survive, like a young baby sparrow fallen too soon from its nest. Even the child seemed to know things were not right.

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