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Key events and characters in voyages 3 and 5 of Chesapeake by James Michener


In Chesapeake by James Michener, Voyages 3 and 5 focus on significant events and characters shaping the region's history. Voyage 3 introduces the Steeds family and their plantation, highlighting their role in the area's development. Voyage 5 covers the War of 1812, featuring characters like the Paxmores, who contribute to the war effort and the evolving community dynamics.

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What are the key events and characters in voyage 5 of Chesapeake by James Michener?

In Voyage 5 of Chesapeake, Rosalind Janney, so called after Shakespeare's "fair Rosalind" in Twelfth Night," is introduced to the reader. Unfortunately, she does not have the looks of the Rosalind after whom she is named and is all too aware of the "curse," especially for a girl as her mother points out. She is 26 years old when she leaves the home she loves, determined to do so in "good spirits" even though it is not how she feels. She waits for "everything to fall into place" and, when it doesn't she wishes her younger sisters well in their choice of suitors. Whilst reading Twelfth Night, which she had previously though ridiculous, she is suddenly inspired by Roaslind's words and becomes a good manager on her father's homestead and has a natural ability to manage the slaves. She discovers that her father has been trying to find her a husband, even offering a size-able portion of his land to any suitor but Rosalind remains unmarried. She finds it an "upside-down world" and dismisses her father's romantic view of a satisfied woman when she considers her own sister's hapless existence. 

Rosalind wonders why her family ignore some of their ancestors in favor of a rather far-fetched story of "cavaliers," her father insisting that Simon Janney, who embarrassed the family, is not the one to be remembered. Although Rosalind has asked her father to stop "peddling me through the countryside," he eventually finds her a husband but she must relocate across the water to Maryland a place "only slightly less formidable than death." Her future husband is also Catholic but he has promised that Rosalind does not have to convert.

Thus she sets off on her journey in September 1701 with a ship and slaves- the "dowry of a princess." When she sees Hugh Steed and his lovely daughter, Evelyn, she feels the full extent of her own shortcomings and wonders if she will be able to go through with the marriage. She is reminded of her father's words, that she is "granddaughter of a Cavalier," and promises herself that she will be brave.  

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What are the key events and characters in Voyage 3 of Chesapeake by James Michener?

Voyage 3 in Chesapeake begins with the judge who will commute Timothy Turlock's sentence from hanging to one of banishment from England. He will travel with a certain Captain Barstowe to Virginia in the USA where he will be sold to a plantation. He will be required to work for seven years after which he will be a free man. Timothy has been caught stealing bread and,as it is one of many prior offences, he is only spared "the gallows" because of his mother's pleas and the "ingenious proposal" of Reverend Barstowe, a friend of Turlock's mother who asks the judge for mercy. 

Timothy Turlock is trouble from the beginning of the journey, stealing from the crew and earning himself a lashing. He howls as he is lashed, not even keeping quiet to prove his manhood. He gets what he sees as fitting revenge when he finds an opportunity to urinate into the captain's soup. On arrival in Jamestown, Virginia, Turlock is the last to be sold, as buyers recognize his capacity for trouble- causing and have no wish to buy him, despite his youth and apparent potential.

Captain Barstowe is forced to sail to "a marshy estuary far west" in order to secure a sale for Turlock and the Janneys take him for a bargain price - half a bundle of tobacco leaves - especially as Mrs Janney has seen the lash marks and realizes that he could be trouble. She does, however, admire his "spirit," and the deal is done.

Turlock works hard for the Janneys and is assigned many undesirable tasks. Even the slaves receive better treatment. Simon Janney makes Turlock aspire to a better life and a better plantation and even reveals that the family has other land and takes him "across the channel" where Turlock realizes that there is a chance for a better life. He can barely believe what he sees and comes to "appreciate the glory of what lay hidden" to the point that, after his return to his "miserable situation," he schemes to escape.

In August 1638, after being assigned a particularly dangerous task, Turlock refuses and takes an opportunity to overpower Simon Janney and make his escape. The Janneys waste no time in spreading the detail of his escape and he is forced to hide and even make it appear that he has drowned so as to avoid further pursuit. It seems that Turlock is doomed to hang wherever he goes, if he is ever caught. Despite ravenous hunger, his instinct tells him to take care and only when he is safely far enough away does he stop and forage for food. When he is confronted by a group of Indians, he is hopeful, revealing that they need not fear him as he has "no gun." 

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