These key documents of early american history, testifying to a time when Virginia was still a plantation, are finally available to the francophone reader. Their author was Richard Frethorne, an indentured youth of english origin, born in the outskirts of London, Saint Dunstan in the East. During the winter of 1622-1623 he was sent to Virginia, where he wrote four letters (three of them to his parents), collected and ultimately filed in the papers of Nathaniel Rich, shareholder of the Virginia Company. In them he describes hunger, disease and the frequent raids of the natives which were raging across the colony, ravaging servants, planters and company administrators. In his letters he expresses, vehemently and pressingly, his wish to be redeemed and returned to England.
Parallel to the translation, this edition contains the english text collated from the manuscript by Susan Myra Kingsbury, carefully respecting the sometimes queer orthography and syntax of the original. The reader will also find in this book : an editorial note, endnotes, and a postface. The latter succinctly recounts, through contemporary documents, the history of the deportations of english children to Virginia by the London Company, between 1618 and 1623, as well as the events related to the 1623 hunger.
A new edition is coming forth, revised, corrected and augmented.