William Trumble: New World Diary

My name is William Trumble. I’ll begin this diary of my new life with some of my history. I am from Newcastle but my father is from London. My older brother Alexander is the first son in our family, which is absolutely splendid for him, I suppose. All of my life I have been trying to make a living for myself, ever since I was kicked out of the house by my father actually. He much prefers Alexander, that must be why he inherited all of father’s fortune. I decided it would be best to travel to this New World everyone has been talking about. After all, the Virginia Company seemed stable enough.

–May, 1607

…I can’t believe we left in December. We just arrived in what some people, the ones who survived that horrific journey that is, are calling Jamestown. It seems fitting. This place is so peaceful with its majestic forests and shining bodies of water. The Virginia Company chose this land because it’s surrounded on three sides by water and is fairly far inland from the ocean. They said it would be easily defendable from Spanish attacks. I don’t want to deal with that right now, I don’t want any more unnecessary death. Unfortunately, I had grown close to many of those who passed on the long voyage. Thankfully I still have my mate Henry with me.

–June, 1607

After working our bloody asses off on the construction of this fort, I’ve grown strong, as well as very irritable. I’m sorry in advance if it shows. Henry and I are still close, and I’m glad about our friendship. He is my only family out here. I’m sure my brother Alexander is fine, I don’t miss him. I find it slightly unnecessary that a painter came along with the rest of us civil englishmen. He’s mad, I haven’t even bothered to make his acquaintance. He did have one nice piece. After thinking about it, he is one of the only people here who seems to be affected by the lack of women in our society. I’ve been working too hard to notice, even though frankly not many men have. Food is going to be an issue, both because it’s awful and because I’m going to be one of the few willing to get their hands dirty to survive when action needs to be taken to do so.

–July-February, 1607-08

The summer was fairly uneventful in comparison to this winter, which had a recurring main theme: misery. As the weather turned, food supplies were running short. I don’t have much time to finish writing, I need to help find more supplies to last through the rest of this winter. Anyways, within the last few months I think 30 people starved and froze to death. Henry is gone too, which is a shame because he was one of us few willing to help out the efforts of the people by using our strength and physical ability. Look forward to writing more, hopefully about more pleasant topics. Until next time – William Trumble

Sources:

American Pageant chapter 2 – Bailey, Thomas A.

http://www.nps.gov/jame/historyculture/a-short-history-of-jamestown.htm – Sarah J Stebbins

http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/pds/amerbegin/settlement/text1/text1read.htm

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