Saturday, May 31, 2014

“The survivors eat the dead....”

Tales of the horrors at Jamestown eventually reached Don Alonso de Velasco, the Spanish ambassador in London. He wrote to King Philip about the Starving Time, reporting that “the Indians hold the English surrounded in the strong place which they had erected there, having killed the larger part of them, and the others were left so entirely without provisions that they thought it impossible to escape, because the survivors eat the dead, and when one of the natives died fighting, they dug him up again, two days afterwards, to be eaten , , , , and almost all who came . . . died from having eaten dogs, cat skins, and  other vile stuff.”

Like the Indians, the Spanish were waiting for the English in Virginia to give up and go home.

As their meager rations ran out, the Jamestown colonists dared not go outside the palisaded walls. Elias Crookdeck’s fate was a cruel reminder of what dangers awaited them there. In the woods outside fthere were birds and squirrels and other game, and there were fish in the river, but they might as well have been on the moon.

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