I Would Have Made A Lousy Pioneer

This weekend I attended a meeting of the recognized Native American tribes of Virginia (the Mattaponi, Rapphannock, Monacan, Chickahominy, Eastern Chickahominy, and Pamunkey Nations) and saw a giant. This man was at least 7’ tall and had to weight at least 350 pounds. He was also in full paint and tribal costume and carrying a very nasty looking stone war implement. Which all got me to thinking…

I would have made a lousy pioneer. Think about if for a second - Here you are in England, minding your own business, wishing for a better life, when you hear that a ship is setting sail to the New World (“There’s GOLD in the streets! Wine flows from the ground! Come one, come all to the New World!”). “What the hell,” you think. “Count me in.” So you and several hundred of your closests friends get on a leaky boat with limited provisions and endure weeks and weeks and weeks at sea with spoiled food, everyone vomiting from seasickness, cramped quarters, and a generally hellacious situation.

“Land ho!” Great, we’re here in the New World. Let me off this boat! Your intrepid leader lands you in a swamp (the original Jamestown settlement is in the middle of the James River at present), malaria sets in pretty quickly, there is no gold in the streets (there are no streets - you have to cut down trees to make streets), there is no gold, period. There are mosquitoes and more mosquitoes, there is the heat and humidity of Tidewater, VA, and every time you venture out of this tumbledown fort that you’ve built there’s a giant in war paint waiting to bash your skull with a war club. Oh, yeah, and another thing. Pocahontas looks nothing like that svelte, sexy thing you’ve dreamed of. The native women, almost without exception, are all about 4 feet tall and as wide (still holds true today).

Put me back on the boat, I want to go home.

Had it been up to me, we’d still be Europeans.

PBS’s Frontier House let me know I am a wimp.
I’m too lazy to work hard, hence we would have frozen to death for lack of fire wood
I’m too softhearted to kill anything, we would have starved to death. Also, I can kill cactus so no gardening here.
I get too angry.That 7 foot war chief woulda had my ass.
Only thing I got goin’ for me is I can cook on a fire!

I guess ya all should just pack me off to the closest town and turn me into the town floozy. it’s the only way I could have accomplished anything…LOL

I am the same way. I would never have gotten on the boat in the first place. I hate change and am too much a wuss to take chances.

The more I think about it, the more I marvel at the balls of people who came here.

I could do it. All you need is a stubborn streak a mile long. Plus I’m a big healthy man. There’s something mighty relaxin’ about knowing where you’ll be each and every day for the rest of your life. A farm, a wife, 15 young’uns, once the boys get old enough to help out why things’ll go smoothly. Why I might even go to Church on Sunday if’n they don’t mind me snoozin’ in the corner.
Side note: The disease in Virginia was gone by 1700. Pretty much from 1700 to the present the Colonies and then the States had one of the highest standards of living in the world. As well, and this I can only presume, one of the lowest mortality rates as well. So this is one of those things where it pays to be a late comer.

Given my track record, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have lasted past a month. Without antibiotics or prompt medical care I would’ve easily been one of those statistics.

Yes, but it was hell between 1607 and 1700.

I’m a city gal. I think of “the outdoors” as what you have to pass through in order to get from the cab into the restaurant.

Eve: “Good morning, all!”
Grizzley Adams: “Morning? It’s eleven o’clock!”
Eve: “Yes, I got up early because I need to go out and have my nails done. Are you up for brunch?”
GA: “First you have to empty the slop buckets and help me chop firewood.”
[Eve looks for the bell to call the servants]
Eve: “Well, the help seems a bit slow today. What say we head out to Restoration Hardware and buy some firewood? I can stop off at Saks for a cunning little outdoorsy outfit and have my hair done.”

P.S. “The more I think about it, the more I marvel at the balls of people who came here.”

—Hey! Them’s my great-grandfarher’s balls you’re marveling at!

When I was around the grade-1 mark, I read a detailed account of the Mayflower expedition. It started with people weepily bidding goodbye to their friends and families, and stated that they would never see each other again. Amazing to a kid who thought a six-hour plane ride was a long way to go to visit family.