Prayer seemed called for.
In the church, the Reverend Mr. Buck, who had ministered to the Bermuda castaways, now offered “a zealous and sorrowful prayer, finding all things so contrary to our expectations, so full of misery and misgovernment.”
Then Sir Thomas Gates asked William Strachey to read his commission as the Virginia colony’s officially appointed Lieutenant Governor, and George Percy handed over his commission as President of the Virginia Council. If the two men exchanged remarks, they were not recorded.
Power had changed hands, but now what was to be done?
Strachey dutifully recorded the conditions:
“Viewing the Forte, we found the Pallisadoes torne downe, the Ports open, the Gates from off the hinges, and emptie houses (which Owners death had taken from them) rent up and burnt, rather than the dwellers would step into the Woods a stones cast off from them, to fetch other fire-wood; and it is true, the Indian killed as fast without, if our men stirred but beyond the bounds of their Block-house, as Famine and Pestilence did within....”
Death was stalking Jamestown Fort inside and out.