THE HISTORY OF VIRGINIA. BOOK I.
_EVERY Country hath it's Fables concern|ing it's Original, which give great Scope to light and fanciful Historians, but are usually passed over with a slight Mention by the solid and judicious. The late Discovery of Ame|rica, in historical and well-known Times, might, one would think, have exempted it from this com|mon Fate of Nations. Yet such is the Pride of some Men to seem of deep Reach and Insight, and to strike out things untouched and unthought of by others, and such their preposterous Delight in groping aft•r Truth in the Dark, and yet neglecting her in the clear and me|ridian Brightness of Day, that even this new World hath been endowed with it's fabulous Age, and old Tales re|vived, or new ones invented, to stretch it's Antiquities be|yond Columbus, and the short Date of two hundred and fifty Years. We are therefore told of one Hanno, a Car|thaginian Captain, who made a Voyage to America. But in what Age he lived, or upon what Authority or Pretext the Story is grounded, I have not been yet able fully to dis|cover. Even the monstrous Legends of Arthur, Malgo, Page 2 and Madock, a Welch Prince, and of the Friar of Lynne, who by his black Art transported himself to the Norther• Parts of America, have found Men weak enough to be the Relators and Propagators of them. Plato's Fable also of the Atlantick Islands has been applied to this Subject; and Seneca the Tragedian, who could never yet obtain from the Criticks a firm Rank among the best and most approved Classicks, hath nevertheless been acknowledged by the His|torians as a true Prophet, and some Verses of his quoted, as containing a Prediction of the future Discovery and Set|tlement of America. But as I have ever had an utter Con|tempt and Aversion for all such learned Trumpery, and have often been disgusted and concerned to see Authors, otherwise of Judgment and Genius, carried by their Cre|dulity too far into those dark and uncertain Tracts of Time, I shall leave these, with other Stories of the like Nature, to their first Authors or Inventors, and shall apply myself to give a plain and exact History of our Country, ever regarding Truth as the first requisite and principal Vir|tue in an Historian, and relating nothing without a suffici|ent Warrant and Authority.
THE European Nations had continued, through all Ages, in the most profound Ignorance of all the rest of the World, except the best Part of Europe, and the m st obvious and adjacent Countries of Asi• and Africa. And although the attractive Power of the Loadstone had been long known and observed, yet it's Poles, and the wonderful Qualities and Inclination of the magnetical Needle, were still a Se|cret, till it seemed good to Divine Providence, that one Iohn Gioia, of Amalfi in the Kingdom of Naples, disco|vered them about the Year 1300. This important Disco|very lay long useless, without any Application to Naviga|tion; neither can we certainly say, who first turned it to this great End. However the Use of the Sea-Compass crept in by Degrees, and was undoubtedly the grand Instru|ment and Foundation of all these later Discoveries.
THE Portuguese was the first Nation of Europe, •hat engaged in maritime Expeditions, in order to explore and discover the unknown Parts of the World. For Prince Henry of Portugal, in the Year 1417, sent two small Barks to make Discoveries along the Coast of Africa; which Be|ginning, having some Success, was afterwards prosecuted, during the Life of that Prince, under his Auspices and Di|rection. After his Death, they still advanced by Degrees in their Trade and Discoveries, till at length in the Year 1486 they reached the Cape of Good-Hope. But it was 1497, five Years after the Discovery of America, befor•Page 3Vasco de Gama, by the Command, and in the Service, of Emanuel, King of Portugal, sailed round that Cape to the East-Indies.
Christopher Columbus, a Genoese by Birth, a Person of great Knowledge and Experience in naval Affairs, of good Learning, and a comprehensive Mind, and being also led perhaps by the late Discoveries of the Portuguese, was strongly possessed with a Notion of some Lands to the Westward, beyond the great Atlantick Ocean. He there|fore first offered his Service to his native Country, the Re|publick of Genoa; but being rejected as a whimsical and chimerical Man, he applied himself to King Iohn II. of Portugal, Henry VII. of England, and to Ferdinand and Isabel, King and Queen of Castile. Many Years being spent in fruitless Sollicitations, and after much Vexation and Disappointment, he was at last entertained in the Service of the King and Queen of Castile, and sent upon the Disco|very, which he happily effected the 11th of October 1492. After this, Columbus, being animated with a publick Spirit and a generous Principle of Glory, and the Spaniards, be|ing as eagerly pushed on by an insatiable Thirst of Gold, so ardently pursued, and so successfully improved this first Discovery, that they soon became Masters of vast Tract• of rich and fertile Country, abounding in Gold, Silver, Pearls, Emeralds, and many other the most precious and delicious Products of this Globe. The Portuguese likewise, altho' sufficiently loaded and embarrassed with their vast Acquisitions on the Coast of Africa and in the East-Indies, yet nevertheless found the Means and Opportunity to make good their great Discovery of Brazil. Neither were the French entirely idle; but they made many vigorous Efforts towards gaining a Share of the Riches and Territory of this new World.
THE English in the mean time, a maritime Nation, of great Bravery, and of a bold and adventurous Nature, lay quite negligent and supine, and let slip all Opportunities in those early Times of •cquiring some rich and useful Pro|vinces in America. For altho' they had in the Year 1497, under Sebastian Cabot, made the Discovery of Newfound|land, and of the main Continent of America from 38 to 68 Degrees of northern Latitude, yet they made no other Ad|vantage of this Discovery, but to send out a few fishing Barks in common with other Nations of Europe. At length Sir Humphry Gilbert, a Gentleman of great Reputation for his Skill in naval Affairs, and of a high and resolute Spirit, undertook to settle a Colony in Newfoundland, a cold, bar|ren, and unfruitful Soil, and most unfriendly Clime. And Page 4 to this End, he obtained Letters patent from Queen Eliza|beth, bearing Date the 11th of Iune, 1578.
THESE Letters patent granted
IN Consequence of these ample Powers and Privileges, Sir Humphry Gilbert, with the Conjunction and Assistance of many other Gentlemen, prepared to put to Sea with a noble Fleet. But just on the Point of Departure, upon some Disagreement and Dissention, he was deserted by his Asso|ciates, and left with only a few of his firm and faithful Friends. With these, however, he ventured to Sea, but having been exposed to some Misfortunes, and lost a large Ship of his Fleet, he was obliged to return without effecting any thing. These expensive and unsuccessful Preparations had so impaired his Fortune, that it was 1583, before he made any farther Attempt. But then having sold his Estate, and being joined by divers Gentlemen of Fortune, he again set Sail with two Ships and three small Barks. Coming be|fore St. Iohn's Harbour in Newfoundland, he was refused Entrance by the fishing Vessels within, to the Number of thirty six Sail, of all Nations. He therefore prepared to make his Way good by Force of Arms; but first sent his Boat in to inform them, that he had a Commission from the Queen, to take Possession of those Lands for the Crown of England. Queen Elizabeth's Name was reverenced through all Europe, and her Power and Authority at Sea, in particular, much honoured and revered. These Fishing-Barks therefore readily submitted, and even made a Contri|bution of Provisions, to supply the Wants of this small Fleet.
AFTER this, Sir Humphry went ashore, being conduct|ed by all the English there; and having caused a Tent to be set up in View of the Bay and Vessels, being attended by his Captains, Masters, Gentlemen, and Soldiers, he summoned all the Merchants and Masters, both English and Foreigners, to be present at his taking a formal and solemn Page 7 Possession of the Country. He then caused his Commission to be openly read, and to be interpreted to those who were Strangers to the English Tongue. By Virtue of this Commission, he declared, that he took Possession of the Harbour of St. Iohn's, and of the Territory two hun|dred Leagues every way, and invested her Majesty with the Title and Dignity thereof. And having had a Twig and a Turf of the Soil delivered to him, he entered Possession also for himself, his Heirs, or Assigns, for ever. He further signified to those present, and through them to all Men, that, from thenceforward, they should look upon those Ter|ritories, as appertaining to the Queen of England, and upon himself, as authorised by her Majesty to possess and enjoy them, with Power to ordain Laws, under which all Peo|ple coming thither for the future, either to inhabit or to trade, should submit themselves and be governed. And to exercise his Power and Jurisdiction, he enacted three Laws, immediately to take Place and be of Force; and granted di|vers Parcels of Land, lying by the Sea Side, as well in the Harbour of St. Iohn's, as elsewhere.
AFTER some Excursions to search the Country, and the pretended Discovery of a Silver Mine, with which Sir Humphry was much gulled and delighted, they set Sail to the Southward, in order to explore and discover the main Coast of America. But falling among some Shoals, and meeting with very bad and tempestuous Weather, after having undergone much Danger and Fatigue, they resolved to return for England. Sir Humphry, the better to search the Coast, and to run up into Creeks and Harbours, had gone on board a small Bark of ten Tons; and could not afterwards be persuaded to leave her in their Return home|wards, till her Lights were suddenly extinguished in the Night, at which Time she was supposed to sink, and was never after seen or heard of.
THE learned and valiant Mr. Walter Ralegh was half Brother to Sir Humphry Gilbert; his Father having married Sir Humphry's Mother, when a Widow, and had by her this his fourth and youngest Son, with some other Children. Led by this near Relation, and being also a Person of a nobl• and enterprising Genius, he had been one of the principal Adventurers in this Undertaking of Sir Humphry, and had fitted out, entirely at his own Charge, the largest Ship of his Fleet, called the Ralegh Bark. Some Authors say, he went himself upon the Expedition, and commanded his own Ship in Person. But however that might be, it is certain, this Ship was, within a few Days, obliged to put back to Pli|•outh, greatly distressed by a violent and contagious Sick|ness Page 8 among her Company.* But notwithstanding this Dis|appointment, and the unhappy End of his rash and unfor|tunate Brother, Mr. Ralegh was not discouraged; but being moved with the Voyages and Relations of others, he still persisted in the Design of discovering and making a Settle|ment in America. He therefore obtained Letters patent from Queen Elizabeth, of whom he was at that Time one of the chief Favourites, bearing Date the 25th of March, 1584, for discovering and planting any such Lands and Countries, as were not already in the actual Possession of any Christian Nation. These Letters patent are in Hack|luyt's Collection of Voyages; but that Book is so very rare, that our Country does not afford one Copy of it, at least that I could find out or procure. I have not therefore been able to obtain a Sight of these Patent•; but we are told, that they were, mutatis mutandis, the very same with those granted to Sir Humphry Gilbert; of which I have therefore before given a particular Extra•t
ABOUT the same Time, the Queen granted Mr. Ralegh another Patent, to licence the Vending of Wine throughout the Kingdom; which was designed, as it has been supposed, to enable him by the Profits, that would thence arise, to sustain the vast Charges which this Undertaking of a Colo|ny would necessarily bring upon him. But yet the better to strengthen himself, and carry on the Affair, he persua|ded divers other Gentlemen and Merchants to join with him; particularly his noble and gallant Kinsman, Sir Rich|ard Greenvil, and Mr. William Sanderson, who had mar|ried his Neice, and was much engaged among the Merchant Adventurers of that Time▪ and was also one of the Queen'• Commissioners for the Spanish Prizes, and of Note for the great Globes, which, by his Encouragement, were first brought to Perfection. They therefore, with all conve|nient Speed, provided two small Vessels, and having plenti|fully furnished them with Necessaries, put them under the Command of Captain Philip Amidas, and Captain Arthur Barlow; which last was also a Land-Officer, and had served under Mr. Ralegh in the Wars of Ireland, with great Bra|very and Honour. But Mr. Ralegh, being hindered by hi• Employments, and too busily engaged in hi• ambitious Pur|suits at Court, did not come himself upon the Expedition, as hath been generally, tho' erroneously▪ thought.
ON the 27th of April, 1584, these Adventurers set Sail from the Thames; and having passed by the Canaries and the West-Indies, (a Circuit both needless and unhealthy, but through the Inexperience of those Times thought ne|cessary) they fell in, on the 2d of Iuly, with the Coast of Page 9Florida. For that was the Name which all this Northern Continent from Cape Florida then bore, there being yet no distinct Settlements, which gave particular Names to the several Places along the Coast. They were met at Sea with a most delicate and delightful Smell; and soon after making the Land, they coasted it along for about an hun|dred and twenty Miles, without finding any convenient Harbour. The first they saw, they entered with much Difficulty; and having returned Thanks to God, they went ashore to view the Country, and to take Possession of it in the Queen's Name. The Place of their first Landing was a low and sandy Beach; but it yielded such a wonderful Abundance of Grapes, as very much surprised and delighted them. Every little Shrub was covered with them, and the Tops of the tallest Cedars were over-run and loaded with their Clusters.
THEY concluded, that the Place of their Landing was on the main Continent of America; but going up to the Top of a small Eminence at a little Distance from the Shore, they perceived it to be an Island, of about twenty, or as Mr. Hariot judged, of fifteen Miles in Length, and six in Breadth. This Island was called Wococon, and lay between Cape Hat|teras and Cape Fear; and must therefore be the Island of Ocacock, or at least some of the other small Islands along that Coast. For it cannot be, by With and Hariot's Plan, Roan•ke, or any other of those which beset and stop up the Mouth of Albemarle Sound, in North-Carolina, as has been commonly supposed. It was covered with tall and stately Trees, Cedars, Pines, Cypress, Sassafras, and many others of excellent Smell and Quality; and abounded in Deer, Co|nies, and Wild-fowl, in incredible Numbers.
THEY saw none of the Natives, 'till the third Day after their Landing, when they spied three in a Canoe. One of them went ashore, and waited without any Signs of Fear, till the English rowed to him. He spoke much to them in his own Language, and then went boldly aboard their Ves|sels. They gave him a Shirt, a Hat, Wine, and Meat, with which he was much pleased. Having attentively viewed every thing, he went away; and within half an Hour he had loaded his Canoe with Fish, which he brought and divided between the Ship and the Bark.
THE next Day several Canoes came, and in one of them the King's Brother. His Name was Granganameo; the King was called Wingina, and the Country Wingand•coa. The King himself at that Time lay, at his chief Town, ill of the Wounds which he had lately received in a Battle. Granganameo, leaving his Canoes at some Distance, went Page 10 to the Point of Land where the English had gone to the Indian the Day before. Having spread a Mat, he sat down upon it; and when the English came to him well armed, he shewed no Fear; but made Signs to them to s•• down, stroaking his own Head and Breast, and then theirs, to ex|press his Love. The Natives were a proper, well-propor|tioned People, very civil in their Behaviour, and highly re|spectful to Granganameo. For none of them sat down, or spoke a Word in his Presence, except four; on whom the English also bestowed Presents. But Granganameo took them all from them, and made Signs, that every thing be|longed to him. After some small Traffick, he went away; but returning in two Days, he eat and drank very merrily with them. Not long after, he brought his Wife and Children on board. They were of mean Stature, but well-favoured, and very bashful and modest. His Wife had a Band of white Coral about her Forehead, and Bracelets of Pearl in her Ears, hanging down to her Middle, of the Bigness of large Pease. As to the rest, they were decked with red Copper, and such Ornaments, as are at present in Fashion and Esteem among our Indians.
AFTER this, there came down, from all Parts, grea• Numbers of People, with Le•ther, Coral, and divers Kinds of Dyes. But when Granganameo was present, none durst trade but himself, and those, who wore red Copper on their Heads, as he did. He would have engaged a Bag of Pearl for a Suit of Armour; but the English refused, as not re|garding it, that they might thereby the better learn, where it grew. He was very just to his Promise; for they often trusted him, and he never failed to come within his Day to keep his Word. He commonly sent the English every Day a Brace of Bucks, Conies, Hares, and Fish; and sometimes Melons, Walnuts, Cucumers, Pease, and divers Kinds of Roots. And the English, to try the Strength and Goodnes• of the Soil, put some of their Pease into the Ground, which grew wonderfully, and were found in ten Days time four|teen Inches high.
AN Acquaintance being thus contracted by mutual Re|turns of Kindness and Beneficence, Captain Amidas, with seven more, ventured up the River Occam, as they call it, which must be Pamptico Sound. The next Evening they came to the Isle of Roanoke, at the Mouth of Albemarl• Sound, about seven Leagues, as they say, from the Har|bour, where they first entered. But this is a gross Mistake, and must be an Error in the Copy. For by the Scale in With's Map, it cannot be less than thirty Leagues, from Wococon to Roanoke. On this Island they found a small Page 11 Town, consisting of nine Houses; in one of which Gran|ganameo lived. He was absent; but his Wife entertained them with wonderful Courtesy and Kindness. She made some of her People draw their Boat up, to prevent it's be|ing injured by the Beating of the Surge; some she ordered to bring them ashore on their Backs; and others, to carry their Oars to the House, for Fear of being stole. When they came into the House, she took off their Cloaths and Stockings, and washed them, as likewise their Feet in warm Water. When their Dinner was ready, they were con|ducted into an inner Room (for there were five in the House, divided by Mats) where they found Hominy*, boiled Veni|son, and roasted Fish; and as a Desert, Melons, boil•d Roots, and Fruits of various Sorts. While they were at Meat, two or three of her Men came in with their Bows and Arrows, which made the English take to their Arm•. But she, perceiving their Distrust, ordered their Bows and Arrows to be broken, and themselves to be beaten out of the Gate. In the Evening the English returned to their Boat; and putting a little off from Shore, lay at Anchor. At which she was much concerned, and brought their Sup|per, half boiled, Pots and all to the Shore Side; and seeing their Jealousy, she ordered several Men, and thirty Wo|men, to sit all Night upon the Shore, as a Guard; and sent five Mats to cover them from 〈◊〉 Weather. In short, sh• omitted nothing, that the most generous Hospitality and hearty Desire of pleasing could do, to entertain them.
AND this was the farthest Discovery made upon this first Voyage, except some confused and uncertain Accounts of the Country, which they gathered from the Indians. They returned to England about the Middle of September, carry|ing with them two of the Natives, Manteo and Wanchese; and their Discovery was so welcome there, that the Queen herself was pleased to name the Country VIRGINIA, in Memory of it's having been first found out in the Reign of a Virgin Queen. Or as some have been pleased to glos• and interpret it, because it still seemed to retain the Virgin Purity and Plenty of the first Creation, and the People their primitive Innocency of Life and Manners. And soon after their Return, Mr. Ralegh was elected, together with Sir William Courtenay, Knight of the Shire for the County of Devon. On the 14th of December, he caused a Bill to be brought into the House, to confirm his Patent for discover|ing foreign Countries; which being committed to Mr. Vice-Chamberlain Hatton, Secretary Walsingham, Sir Philip Page 12 Sidney, Sir Francis Drake, Sir Richard Greenvil, Sir Wil|liam Courtenay, and others, it was in a few Days passed, af|ter many Arguments and a Proviso added. And not long after, the Queen was pleased to Knight him, upon Occa|sion, it is said, of this grateful Discovery. But Mr. Os|borne, an ingenious Observer on her Reign, says with Re|spect to Sir Francis Ver•, a Man nobly descended, and Sir Walter Ralegh, exactly qualified, that they, with such o|thers, were set apart in her Judgment for military Services. Neither did she ever raise them above Knighthood; saying, when sollicited to make Vere a Baron, That in his proper Sphere, and her Estimation, he was above it already.
THE advantageous Accounts▪ which these first Adven|turers gave of the Fertility,* Pleasantness, and Wholesome|ness of the Country, induced Sir Richard Greenvil himself to make a Voyage thither the next Year. And he accord|ingly set out from Plimouth the 9th of April, with seven Ships. Having made the usual Circuit of the Canaries and West-Indies, where they took two rich Spanish Prizes, and forced a profitable Trade, they fell in with the Continent of America near Cape Fear, and were in great Danger of being lost upon it. But having happily escaped, they came to an Anchor off the Island of Wococon the 26th of May. They immediately sent to 〈◊〉 Isle of Roanoke, to Wingin• the King; and Mr. Arundel went to the Main, with Man|•eo, who proved throughout their whole Stay, very faithful and useful to them. Soon after, the General, Sir Richard Greenvil, went himself to the Main, with a select Body of Men; and ranging about, discovered several Indian Towns. At one of them the Indians stole a Silver Cup; for which they burnt their Town, and destroyed their Corn, and so returned to their Ships at Wococon. At Hatteras, whither they went soon after, Granganameo, the King's Brother, came aboard the Admiral with Manteo. This is the last Visit he made to the English; for sometime this Year he died, and in him they lost a sincere and hearty Friend.
SIR Richard Greenvil, having only made that small Ex|cursion on the Continent, returned to England this Sum|mer. In his Way home, he took another Spanish Prize, of three hundred Tons, richly laden, and with her arrived at Plimouth the 18th of September. But he left behind him an hundred and eight Persons, as a Colony, to keep Posses|sion of, and inhabit the Country. Of these he constituted Mr. Ralph Lane Governor, a military Man of Note, who was afterwards Knighted, and applying himself to the Sea Service, was of eminent Command in the English Navy. With him remained Captain Philip Amidas, as Admiral, Page 13 one of the Commanders in Chief in the first Adventure;* Mr. Thomas Hariot; Captain Stafford; Mr. Kendal; with several others of Name in the Expedition.
THIS Colony chose Roanoke, an Island at the Mouth of Albemarle Sound, for the Place of their Habitation; and their chief Employment was to reconnoitre and view the Country. Their farthest Discovery to the Southward wa•Secotan, an Indian Town, by their Reckoning, eighty Leagues from Roanoke, lying up between the Rivers Pamp|ticoe and Neus, in North-Carolina. To the Northward they went an hundred and thirty Miles to the Chesapeakes, a Nation of Indians, seated on a small River, to the South of our Bay, now called Elsabeth River, from whom, as these first Discoverers tell us, the Bay itself took its Name. But some pretend to give another Derivation of this Word; and say, that Chesapeake signified, in the Indian Language, The Mother of Waters; implying, that it was the Parent and grand Reservoir of all the great Rivers within it. But thi• is a dark and uncertain Guess; especially considering the Unstableness and vast Mutability of the Indian Tongues, and that no body at present can pretend to understand their Language at that time. The best Authority that I have met with for this Derivation, is what a Gentleman of Cre|dit once assured me, that in a a very old Spanish Map, which he had seen, our Bay was laid down under the Nam• of Madre des Acquas, or some Expression to the like Pur|pose. This Town of the Chesapeakes, we are told, for Pleasantness of Situation, for Temperature of Clime, Fer|tility of Soil, and Commodiousness to the Sea, was not 〈◊〉 be excelled by any in the World. To the Northwest, these Discoverers went up Albemarle Sound and Chowan River, an hundred and thirty Miles, to a Nation of Indians called the Chawonocks, inhabiting above the Fork of that River, where one Branch takes the Name of Meherrin, and the other of Nottoway.
THE King of the Chawonocks, whose Name was Me|natonon, was lame, but the most sensible and understanding Indian they had met with. He amused Mr. Lane and his Company with a Story of a Copper Mine, and of a Pearl Fishery, which by the Description was some where upon our Coast, and with a strange Relation of the Head of the River Moratuc, now called Roanoke. This River was de|scribed, as springing out of a Rock, so nigh the Sea, that in high Winds the Surge beat over into the Spring. And the English very sanguinely concluded this Sea to be either the Bay of Mexico, or the South Sea, or at least some Arm that opened into it. Having their Heads filled with thes•Page 14 chimerical Fancies, they formed many Schemes, and un|dertook a very fatiguing and hazardous Voyage up that River. And so eager were they, and resolutely bent upon this golden Discovery, that they could not be persuaded to return, as long as they had one Pint of Corn a Man left, and two Mastif Dogs, which being boiled with Sassafra• Leaves, might afford them some Sustenance in their Way back. But after some Days spent in vain, and having un|dergone much Misery and Danger, they at last returned, and joyfully arrived at their old Habitation on Roanoke Island.
THE Death of Granganameo had caused a great Altera|tion in the Affairs of the Colony. For whilst he lived, his Credit with the King, joined to the Interest of Ensenore, their Father, had restrained his Persidy and Malice, and kept him within Bounds. But upon the Death of Granga|nameo, he changed his Name from Wingina to Pemissapan, and became a secret but bitter Enemy to the English. To his Machinations chiefly were owing the many Hardship• and Dangers, they had encountered in their last Journey up the River Chowan. For he had given secret Intelligence to those Indians of the coming of the English; and had craf|tily insituated Jealousies into the India•• of the English, and into the English of the Indians. But a Rumour being spread, that Mr. Lane and his Company were all either slain or starved in this Journey, he began to act more openly. He blasphemed the God of the English, and endeavoured, by all the Devices he could, to hurt and annoy them. And Ensenore, his aged Father, the best Friend the English had left after the Death of Granganameo, lost all his Credit to assist or serve them. But their Return soon after, and their bringing the Son of Menatonon, their greatest King, Pri|soner, joined to the Testimonies of Manteo, and three other Indians, that went with them, how little they valued any People they met, or feared Hunger, Death, or any thing else, restrained his Devices for the present, and brought Ense|nore again into Credit and Esteem.
*SOON after, Menatonon, King of the Chawonocks, sent a Present of Pearl to Mr. Lane; and Okisco, King of Weo|pomeoke, (another powerful Nation, possessing all that Country from Albemarle Sound and Chowan River, quite to the Chesapeakes and our Bay) came himself, with twenty four of his principal Men, to own Subjection to the Queen of England. All which so wroug•t on the Heart of Win|gina, that by Ensenore's Persuasions, they came and made Weirs for the English, when they were ready to famish, and planted their Fields of Corn, which they intended to abandon. But this good Intelligence was soon broke off by Page 15 the Death of Ensenore,* which happened on the 20th of A|pril. For Wingina under Pretence of solemnizing his Fa|ther's Funeral, had laid a Scheme of drawing together six|teen or eighteen hundred Indians, and of cutting off all the English at once. But his Design took Wind, and was at last fully discovered to Mr. Lane by his Prisoner Skico, King Menatonon's Son. Then the English, in their Turn, en|deavoured to seize all the Canoes upon Roanoke, and there|by to have all the Indians in the Island at their Mercy. But they took the Alarm, and after a small Skirmish, in which five or six Indians were slain, the rest escaped and fled into the Woods. After this, neither Side cared much for trust|ing the other; and at last, after much Tricking and Dissi|mulation on both Parts, Wingina was entrapped by the English, and slain, with eight of his chief Men. This i• the Account of that Action, as it is delivered by the Per|sons concerned in it. But I find, that Mr. Hariot, who was likewise upon the Spot, blames the Violence and For|wardness of the English; and thinks, that the Causes of Suspicion and Resentment had been better dissembled and passed over.
IN the Time of these Confusions and Broils with the In|dians, Mr. Lane had been obliged, through Want of Pro|visions, to send Captain Stafford, with twenty more, to Croatan, on the South Part of Cape Look-out, to shift for themselves, and to see, if they could spy any Sail pass by the Coast. In like Manner he detached Mr. Prideaux, with ten, to Hatteras, upon the same Design; and other small Parties he sent to the Main, to live upon Roots and Oysters. Seven Days after the Death of Wingina, Cap|tain Stafford, (who through the whole Voyage was very vigilant and industrious, and spared no Labour or Danger, to perform any serious and important Service, committed to him) sent Mr. Lane Word, that he descried twenty three Sail of Ships; and the next Day, he came himself with a Letter from Sir Francis Drake. Sir Francis was then re|turning from an Expedition against the Spaniards in the West-Indies, where he had taken Carthagena, and the Ca|pital City of Hispaniola; and had burnt St. Anthony, and St. Helena, on the Coast of Florida; and done much other Damage to the Enemy. He had Orders from the Queen to visit the Colony of Virginia in his Return, and to afford them such Assistance and Encouragement, as was proper. He therefore offered to supply their Wants, and to do any thing else, in his Power, towards their Relief and the Fur|therance of the Undertaking; and afte••ature Delibera|tion, he appointed them a Ship of seve••• Tons, with an Page 16 hundred Men, and fou• Months Provisions, besides two Barks and four small Boats, with able Masters and sufficient Gangs. But just as all was ready, there arose such a Storm, as had like to have driven the whole Fleet ashore. Many Ships were forced out to Sea, among which was that lately given to the Colony, with all their Provisions and Compa|ny aboard.
THIS Accident did not discourage the Admiral, but he allotted them another Ship of an hundred and seventy Tons, with all Provisions as before, to carry them to England th• next August, or when they should have made such Disco|veries as they thought sufficient. But Their Harbour, which was very indifferent, would not receive a Ship of her Bur|then; and to lie in the open Road, exposed to the Wind• and Sea, was very dangerous. And therefore, after Con|sultation, it was unanimously agreed, to desire the Admiral to take them home with him in his Fleet; for they had al•ready undergone much Misery and Danger, and there ap•peared but little Hopes of Sir Richard Greenvil's Return. And so this first Attempt towards a Settlement became a|bortive, and they all arrived safe at Portsmouth the latter End of Iuly, 1586. But in his Way home, Sir Francis Drake touched on the Coast of New-England; where he landed, and spent two or three Days in trading with the Natives, and one of the Indian Kings came, and submitte• himself to Queen Elizabeth.
UPON this Voyage, Sir Walter Ralegh, by the Queen'• Advice and Directions, sent, at no small Expence, Mr. Iohn With, a skilful and ingenious Painter, to take the Si|tuation of the Country, and to paint, from the Life, the Figures and Habits of the Natives, their Way of Living, and their several Fashions, Modes, and Superstitions; which he did with great beauty and Exactness. There was one Theodore de Bry, who afterwards published, in the Year 1624, the beautiful Latin Edition of Voyages, in six Vo|lumes, Folio, a most curious and valuable Work. He be|ing in England soon after, by the Means of the Rev. Mr. Richard Hackluyt, then of Christ's-Church, in Oxford, who, De Bry tells us, had himself seen the Country, obtained from Mr. With a Sight of these Pieces, with Permission to take them off in Copper Plates. These, being very lively and well done, he carried to Frankfort, on the Maine, where he published a noble Edition of them, with Latin Explanations, out of Iohn Wechelius's Press, in the Year 1590. And these are the Originals from which Mr. Bever|ley's, and the Cuts of many of our late Writers and Tra|vellers, have been chiefly imitated. And to shew, that th•Page 17 Inhabitants of England were once as wild and barbarous as these of Virginia, Mr. With gave him the Figures of three of the Picts and two of their Neighbours, that he had found delineated in an old English History; which wer• accordingly published with them, and was no mean or im|politic Device, to recommend the Prosecution of the En|terprise to the English Nation.
BUT besides this Painter, Sir Walter sent upon this Voyage a Domestick of his, one Mr. Thomas Hariot, a Mathematician, and highly in his Patron's Intimacy and Friendship. He was a Man of Learning, and a very ob|serving and understanding Person, and went chiefly to make Observations on the Situation of the Country, and to assist Mr. With in the Plan. After his Return, to obviate the clamorous and unjust Reports of some of the Company, he published a small Treatise concerning the Country, divided into three Parts. The first treats of such Commodities, as would be useful towards the Improvement of Commerce; the second, of those natural Products of the Earth, and of such Fish, Fowl, and Beasts, as would contribute to the Sustenance of Man, and the Support of human Life; and the third, of the Trees and Timber, and other proper Mate|rials for building Houses, Ship•, and •he like. After which he subjoins the following Account of the Doctrines and Manners of the Natives.
THEY believed, that there is one chief God, who hath existed from all Eternity: That he created the World; but first made other Gods of a principal Order, to be his Instruments in the Creation and Government thereof: That next the Sun, Moon, and Stars were created, as petty Gods, and as Instruments to those other Gods of a supe|rior Order: That then the Waters were created, out of which were formed all Creatures: That a Woman was first made; who, by the Congress of one of the Gods, con|ceived and brought forth Children; and that thence Man|kind had their Beginning. They thought, the Gods were all of human Shape, and therefore represented them by Images, which they placed in their Temples; and they worshipped, prayed, sung, danced, and made many Offer|ings to them. They held the Immortality of the Soul; which after Death, according to it's Works in the Flesh, was either carried up to the Tabernacles of the Gods, to eternal Happiness; or else to Popogusso (a great Pit at the furthest Parts of the Earth, where the Sun sets) into per|petual Fire and Torment. And this Doctrine they sup|ported by the Authority of two Persons, who, as they pre|tended, had risen from the Dead.
Page 18THESE Opinions were thought to make but slight Im|pressions on their Wer•ances, or Kings and Rulers; or upon their Priests, and other Persons of Figure among them. For that Christian Custom, for the Great and Eminent to free their Consciences from the Shackles of a Creed, and •xempt their Actions from the unwieldy Clog of Religion and Morality, had reached even among those wild and sa|vage Nations. But these Doctrines had a great Influence on the common Sort. They kept them in proper Subjec|tion to their Rulers; and made them very sollicitous to ob|••in the Bliss, and avoid the Torments of the next Life.
THEY were not however so firm to their own Doc|trines, but that they were very open to receive any Instruc|tions from the English. Their Compasses, Perspectiv• Glasses, Burning Glasses, Clocks, Books, Writing▪ Guns, and other Instruments and Inventions, so exceeded their Capacities, and amazed them, that they thought them to be the Works of Gods rather than Men; or at least, that the Gods had taught the English, how to make them. This caused them to give great Credit to whatever they said concerning God and Religion. And Wingina himself would often be at Prayers with them; and when he was sick, which, he thought, p••ceeded from having offended the English and their God, he would send for some of them, to pray, and be a Means to their God, of his living with him after Death; as also did many others. And once, when their Corn was much hurt and withered with a long Drought, thinking it proceeded from some Injury done the English, they came to them in Flocks, and begged them to pray to their God to preserve their Corn, for which they promised, when it was ripe, to give them a Part.
AND this high Opinion of the English was greatly en|creased, by a marvellous Accident. The Country was that Year afflicted with an epidemical Disease, which was ob|served to fall upon none, but those Nations, which had en|deavoured to injure or betray the English. This wrought many extravagant and superstitious Opinions, which were much confirmed by the Healthiness of the English Colony. Some thought it was the Work of the English God; and o|thers, that they themselves shot invisible Bullets from the Place, where they dwelt. Others observing, that the English had no Women of their own, nor cared for any of theirs, thought they were not born of Women, but were Men of an ancient Generation, risen again to Immortality; that there were more of them still in the Air, as yet invisible and without Bodies, who would afterwards come, and de|stroy their Generation, and take their Places; and that Page 19 these, by the Entreaty, or out of Love to the English, made the People die, as they did, by shooting invisible Bul|lets into them. And their Physicians, to cover their Ig|norance, would make them believe, that they sucked out of the Bodies of the Sick Leaden Bullets in the Strings of Blood. In short, Wingina and others were so firm•y per|suaded, that it happened through their Means, that when any of their own Enemies had affronted or abused the En|glish, they would desire them to make them die in the same Manner. And altho' the English remonstrated to them the Unrighteousness of their Request, and how disagreeable it was to God; yet because the Effect fell out soon after, they would come and return them Thanks in their Way; thinking, altho' they had denied them in Words, yet they had in Reality fully answered their Desire.
HE likewise tells us of the great Esteem and Veneration, in which the Natives held a Plant, which grew spontane|ously in the Country, and was by them called Uppowoc, but is now well known by the Name of Tobacco; derived, it i• said, from the Island of Tobago, one of the Caribb•es in the West-Indies, where it grew in vast Quantities. The Leaves of this they cured and dried, and then being rubbed into a Sort of Bran and Dust, they put it into Earthen Tubes, and drew the Smoke through the Mouth. They thought this Plant of so great Worth and Virtue, that even the Gods themselves were delighted with it. And therefore they sometimes made sacred Fires, and instead of a Sacrifice threw in this Dust; and when they were caught in a Tem|pest, they would sprinkle it into the Air and Water. Up|on all their new fishing Nets they would cast some of it; and when they had escaped any remarkable Danger, they would throw some of this Dust into the Air, with strange distorted Gestures, sometimes striking the Earth with their Feet, in a Kind of Time and Measure, sometimes clapping their Hands, and throwing them up on high, looking up to the Heavens, and uttering barbarou• and dissonant Words.
MR. Harriot also, in passing through their Towns, would shew them the Bible, and explain the Con•ent•: That in that Book was taught the true and only God, his Omnipotence, the Doctrine of Salvation by Jesus Christ, and the other principal Heads of our Religion. But he wa• obliged to tell them, that there was no particular Virtue in the material Book itself, but only in the Doctrines, which it contained. For they paid their Kind of Adoration to the Book, by handling, hugging, and kissing it, and by ap|plying it to their Head and Breast, and stroking it over the other Parts of their Body.
Page 20AND here, if it were an Imputation worthy of Notice, I might transiently remark the great Injustice, done to this learned Mathematician and pious Scholar. For as Sir Wal|ter Ralegh was aspersed with holding atheistical Principles, so it has been said, that he imbibed them from this Mr. Hariot, whom he retained in his Service with a handsome Pension, to teach him the mathematical Sciences at his lei|sure Hours. But an orthodox Divine, Dr. Richard C•rbet, afterwards a Bishop, tells us, that Hariot's deep Mine was without Dross. And Mr. George Chapman, another Con|temporary, a grave and virtuous Author, says, That hi• Judgment and Knowledge in all Kinds were deep and in|comparable, and as much to be admired, as his most blame|less Life, and the right sacred Expence of his Time, were to be honou•ed and reverenced. To which might be added other Testimonies, which have been carefully collected by the diligent and industrious Mr. Oldys, in his accurate Lif• of Sir Walter Ralegh, lately prefixed to his History of the World; who likewise shews, that the famous French Phi|losopher, Descartes, borrowed much of his Light from this excellent Mathematician; and that the learned Dr. Wallis gave the Preference to Hariot's Improvements, before Des|carte's, altho' he had the Advantage of coming after, and being assisted by him.
As to this groundless Aspersion, the Truth of it perhap• was, that Sir Walter and Mr. Hariot were the first, who ventured to depart from the beaten Tract of the Schools, and to throw off and combat some hoary Follies and tra|ditionary Errors, which had been riv•ted by Age, and ren|dered sacred and inviolable in the Eyes of weak and preju|diced Persons. Sir Walter is said to have been first led to this, by the manifest Detection, from his own Experience, of their erroneous Opinions concerning the Torrid Z•n•; and he intended to have proceeded farther in the Search af|ter more solid and important Truths, 'till he was chid and restrained by the Queen, into whom some Persons had in|fused a Notion, that such Doctrine was against God. And this was sufficient Ground for Men, zealous without Know|ledge, and stifly orthodox, with a Charity usual to some such in all Ages, to brand him with the odious Names of Atheist and Deist; altho' he was an eminent Assertor of God and Providence, and has in many Parts of his Writings, espe|cially in the History of the World, given stronger Evidence• of his Christian Faith, than any of his Detractors ever did of theirs.
MR. Lane and his Company carried home some Tobac|co, which, Cambden thinks, was the first, that ever wa•Page 21 brought to England. And Sir Walter Ralegh, a Man of Ga•ety and Fashion, readily gave into it, and by his In|terest and Example, soon brought it into such Vogue at Court, that many great Ladies, as well as Noblemen, made no Scruple somtimes to take a Pipe. We are not inform|ed, whether the Queen made Use of it herself; but it is certain, she gave great Countenance and Encouragement to it, as a Vegetable of singular Strength and Power, which might therefore prove of Benefit to Mankind, and Advan|tage to the Nation. So far, as Mr. Oldys well observes, was this wise Princess from the refined Taste of her Suc|cessor, who held Tobacco in such Abomination, that he not only refused the Use of it himself, but endeavoured to destroy and suppress it among his Subjects, and would there|by have robbed the Crown of what has since proved one of its noblest Jewels and most considerable Revenues, and the Nation of a very advantageous and important Branch of Trade.
SIR Walter Ralegh's Tobacco-Box, with some of his Pipes, was lately extant, and laid up among the Rarities in the Museum of that curious Antiquarian, the late Mr. Ralph Thoresby, of Leeds, in Yorkshire. There are also some humerous Stories still remembred, concerning his first Use of Tobacco; particularly his Wager with the Queen, that he would determine exactly the Weight of the S•oke which went off in a Pipe of Tobacco. This he 〈◊〉•irst weighing the Tobacco, and then carefully preserving and weighing the Ashes; and the Queen readily granted, that what was wanting in the prime Weight, must be evapora|ted in Smoke. And when she paid the Wager, she said pleasantly, that she had heard of many Labourers in the Fire, that turned their Gold into Smoke, but Ralegh was the first, who had turned his Smoke into Gold. It is also related, that a Country Servant of his, bringing him a Tankard of Ale and Nutmeg into his Study, as he was in|tently engaged at his Book, smoaking a Pipe of Tobacco, the Fellow was so frightened at seeing the Smoke reek out of his Mouth, that he threw the Ale into his Face, in or|der to extinguish the Fire, and ran down Stairs, alarming the Family, and crying out, His Master was on Fire, and before they could get up, would be burnt to Ashes.
BUT whilst Mr. Lane and the Colony were in the above mentioned Streights and Difficulties in America, Sir Walter Ralegh was not idle at home. He provided a Ship of an hundred Tons, and loaded her with Plenty of all things necessary for the Settlement; but it being Easter before she departed, Mr. Lane and his Company had shipped them|selves Page 22 for England in Sir Francis Drake's Fleet, a few Days before her Arrival. Having therefore spent some Time in seeking them up the Country without Effect, they returned that Summer to England, with all their Provision.
THOSE Authors who will have Sir Walter Ralegh to have been in Virginia, say, that he came upon this Voyage: But the Conduct of it was so weak and trifling, that I can|not be easily induced to believe it agreeable to a Person of his Sense and Resolution; who, had he been there, would certainly have made some vigorous Searches and Enquiries, and left some useful Remarks on the Country, as he did in his Voyage to Guiana. Indeed it does not appear, that Sir Walter was ever in his Colony himself. The only Authori|ty of Weight for it, that I have met with, is the Translation of Mr. Hariot's Treatise, which mentions the Actions of those, qui Generosum D. Walterum Ralegh in eam regionem comitati sunt. But this, I am inclined to think, must be an Error of the Translator, who seems to have been a Frenchman, and might not therefore perfectly understand our Language; and I could never yet get a Sight of Ha|riot's original Discourse, which was written in English, but have been obliged to make Use of the Latin Translation, published by De Bry, at Frankfort, 1590. But if Mr. Hackluyt ever was in Virginia, as we are expresly told by De Bry, it must have 〈◊〉 I think, either in this Voyage, or that immediately fol•••ing by Sir Richard Greenvil, of which we have such brief and summary Accounts. For it is not to be supposed, that a Person of his Figure and Con|sideration, would have been entirely passed over in the full and particular Relations, that we have of all the other Voyages.
ABOUT a Fortnight after the Departure of this Ship, Sir Richard Greenvil arrived with three Ships more, well provided; but he neither found that Ship, according to his Expectation, nor could hear any News of the Colony, which he himself had seated and left there the Year before. Therefore, after travelling in vain up and down to seek them, finding their Habitation abandoned, and being un|willing to lose the Possession of the Country, he landed fifty Men on the Island of Roanoke, plentifully furnished with all Provisions for two Years, and so returned to England.
THESE unlucky Crosses and Accidents gave Occasion to many Persons to discant on their Proceedings, to the Disparagement of Sir Richard Greenvil. But their Censure was very unjust. For to plant Colonies abroad, and to dif|fuse and propagate our Nation and our Trade, is certainly a most princely and noble Enterprize, and highly worthy a Page 23 Person of his eminent and illustrious Family. And indeed he seems to have embarked in the Affair with great Hearti|ness and Resolution, and to have hazarded and exposed his Person very freely in the Prosecution of it. And it was upon Occasion of these Murmurs and Reports, that Mr. Hari•t wrote and published his Discourse, before mentioned.
THE next Year, three Ships were sent,* under the Com|mand of Mr. Iohn White, who was appointed Governor of the Colony, with twelve Assistants, as a Council. To these Sir Walter Ralegh gave a Charter, and incorporated them by the Name of the Governor and Assistants of the City of Ralegh in Virginia, with express Directions to seat at Ch•|sapeake; which, however useful and important, they ne|vertheless disobeyed and neglected. Having taken the old Route by the West-Indies, they had like to have been cast away upon Cape-Fear, through the Error or Design of Si|mon Ferdinando. He had been with Captain Amidas in the first Expedition; and being made Pilot in this, was suspected of a Design to ruin the whole Voyag•. But being prevent|ed by the Vigilancy of Captain Stafford, they arrived all safe at Hatteras the 22d of Iuly.
THEY went immediately to Roanoke, to look for the fifty Men, left there by Sir Richard Greenvil, but they found nothing but the Bones of a Man; and where the Plantation had been, the Houses were undestroyed, but o|vergrown with Weeds, and the Fort defaced. They re|fitted the Houses; and Mr. George How, one of the Coun|cil, stragling abroad, was slain by the Indians. Soon after, Captain Stafford, with twenty Men, and Manteo, who, I believe, had been again in England this Voyage, went to Croatan, to enquire, if they could hear any News of the Colony. There they understood, that Mr. How had been slain by some of Wingina's Men of Dassamonpeake; that the fifty, left the Year before, had been suddenly set upon by three hundred Indians, of Secotan, Aquascogoc, and Das|samonpeake; that after a small Skirmish, in which one En|glishman was slain, they retired to the Water Side, and hav|ing got their Boat, and taken up four of their Fellows ga|thering Crabs and Oysters, they went to a small Island by Hatteras; that they staid there some time, but after de|parted they knew not whither. And with this Account, Captain Stafford returned to the Fleet at Hatteras.
HOWEVER, Mr. White endeavoured to renew and keep up a good Understanding with the several Nations of Indians on the Sea-Coast. But finding his Offers of Friendship not much regarded, he resolved no longer to defer his Reveng• on those of Dassamonpeake. This Nation was seated right Page 24 opposite to Roanoke Island,* on the Main, in the Neck of Land, between the River now called Allegator, and the Narrows. About Midnight, Mr. White set forward, with Captain Stafford, and twenty four Men, whereof Manteo was one, who was their Guide, and behaved himself as a most faithful Englishman. They landed by Break of Day, and having got beyond the Town, they assaulted some In|dians that were sitting by a Fire. One was shot through, and they hoped to have been fully revenged, but were soon undeceived, and found that they were their Friends of Cr•|atan, come to gather their Corn, because they understood, that the Dassamonpeake Indians had fled after the Death of Mr. How. Manteo, their Countryman, was grieved at the Mistake; but however, imputed it all to their own Folly. And so having gathered what was ripe, and left the rest unspoiled, they returned to Roanoke.
On the 13th of August, Manteo, according to Command from Sir Walter Ralegh, was baptized, and stiled Lord of Roanoke and Dassamonpeake, in Reward of his Fidelity. And on the 18th, the Governor's Daughter, Wise to Ananias Dare, one of the Council, was delivered of a Daughter, which, being the first Child born there, was called Virginia. And soon after, there arose a Dispute between t•• Gover|nor and his Assistants or Council, concerning • Person to be sent to England to sollicit Supplies. All refused, except one, who was thought very unequal to the Business. At last, they unanimously pitched upon the Governor, as the fittest Person; and having signed a Pape• testifying his Unwillingness to leave the Colony, they at length prevailed upon him, with much Importunity, to undertake it. Leav|ing therefore above an hundred Persons on one of the Islands of Hatteras, to form a Plantation, he departed, and after many Crosses and Difficulties, got first to Ireland, and from thence went to England.
AT this time, the Nation was in great Commotion and Apprehension of the Spanish Invasion and invincible Arma|da, as it was vainly called, and the Queen caused frequent Councils to be held, by the oldest and most experienced Commanders at Sea; and also appointed a Council of War, of such Persons as were in highest Repute for military Skill and Knowledge, in order to put the Land Forces of the Kingdom in the best Posture of Defence. For this Pur|pose were chosen the Lord Grey, Sir Francis Knolles, Sir Thomas Leighton, Sir Walter Ralegh, Sir Iohn Norris, Sir Richard G•eenvil, Sir Richard Bingham, Sir Roger Wil|liams, and Ralph Lane, Esq late Governor of Virginia, who were therefore all entirely taken up with those impor|t•nt Consultations.
Page 25HOWEVER, having laid a Plan of Operations, and made proper Dispositions for the Defence of the Nation, Sir Wal|ter found Leisure to fit out a small Fleet for the Relief of the Colony, at Biddeford, early the next Year, which was put under the Command of Sir Richard Greenvil, and only waited for a fair Wind. But the Alarm of the vast and for|midable Armament, made by the King of Spain, encreas|ing, all Ships of Force, then in any Readiness, received Orders from the State to stay in their Harbours, for the Defence of their own Country; and Sir Richard Greenvil was personally commanded not to depart out of Cornwall, where Sir Walter Ralegh then was himself, mustering and training the Forces, and performing other Duties of his Office, as Lieutenant of that County. However, Gover|nor White laboured so strenuously with them, that he ob|tained two small Barks, and put to Sea from Biddeford, the 22d of April, 1588. But these Vessels, tho' of little Force, being more intent on a gainful Voyage, than the Relief of the Colony, ran in Chace of Prizes; till at last, one of them, meeting with two Ships of War, was, after a bloody Fight, overcome, boarded, and rifled. In this maimed, ransacked, and ragged Condition, she returned to England in a Month's Time; and in about three Weeks after, the other also re|turned, having perhaps tasted of the same Fare, at least without performing her intended Voyage, to the Distress, and as it proved, the utter Destruction of the Colony in Virginia, and to the great Displeasure of their Patron at home.
THESE Disappointments gave much Vexation to Sir Walter Ralegh, who had by this Time expended, as we are authenticly assured, not less than forty thousand Pounds, upon the Enterprise. He had also, not long before, re|ceived, as a Reward for his great Services in the Irish Wars, a very large Grant, out of the Earl of Desmond'• Lands there; the Terms of which he fairly and honestly endeavoured to fulfil, by planting those Lands with English, and made Use of none of the Arts and Frauds, which others of those Grantees were charged withal. So that this great Bounty of the Queen was at present rather a Burthen and Charge to him, than any real Profit or Advantage. Besides which, he was among the foremost of the military Geniuses of that time, who were fired with the Spanish Invasion, and prosecuted the War against them with great Cost and In|dustry, and with an incredible Courage and Success. For all these Reasons, Sir Walter Ralegh made an Assignment, by Indenture, bearing Date the 7th of March, 1588-9,* to Thomas Smith, (afterwards Sir Thomas Smith, and a Per|son Page 26 of Note in the Sequel of this History) with other Mer|chants and Adventurers of London,* and to Governor White, and other Gentlemen, for continuing the Plantation of Vir|ginia. By this Indenture, he grants to the said Thomas Smith, Iohn White, and the rest, according to a Charter, formerly granted for the City of Ralegh, free Liberty to carry to Virginia, and there inhabit, such of her Majesty's Subjects, as would willingly accompany them; as also to them, their Heirs, or Assigns, free Trade and Traffick to and from Virginia, or any other Part of America, where the said Sir Walter, his Heirs, or Assigns, did, or might claim any Interest, Title, or Privilege. And he did far|ther, for their Encouragement, and for the common Utility, freely and liberally give them one hundred Pounds, to be employed for planting the Christian Religion in those bar|barous and heathen Countries.
AND thus Sir Walter Ralegh, having disengaged him|self for the present from this burthensome and expensive Affair, gave a Loose to his martial Genius, and bent his whole Thoughts against the Spaniards, which soon became the fixed and ruling Passion of his Nature; as abasing the exorbitant Power of France, and preventing its ill Conse|quences on the Liberties of Europe, did, in later Times, engross all the Thoughts and Inclinations of King William, and was the principal Aim of most of his Steps and Actions. And altho' this Comparison may be thought very une|qual with Relation to the Power and Dignity of the two Persons, yet it will, I think, be found just and exact with Respect to their Inclinations and Designs. For no Man of that Age was more deeply sensible of the pernicious Conse|quences of the Spanish Power and Aims, or was more eager and assiduous in speaking, writing, and acting against them, than Sir Walter Ralegh.
BUT these new Assignees were not so diligent and care|ful of the Business,* as they ought to have been. For it was a Year after, March, 1589-90, before any thing was un|dertaken by them for the Relief of the Colony. Then Mr. White, with three Ships, set Sail from Plimouth; and pas|sing by the West-Indies, they staid some time there, to per|form some Exploits, as they call them, which was to at|tack and plunder the Spaniards, among whom they got a considerable Booty. On the 3d of August, they fell in with some low sandy Islands, to the Westward of Wococon. From thence they went to Croatan, and so to Hatteras. There they descried a Smoke, at the Place, where the Colony had been left three Years before. The next Morning, they discharged some Cannon, to give Notice of their Arrival; Page 27 and having fitted out two Boats,* Captain Cooke and Captain Spicer went ashore, but found no Man, nor the Sign of any, that had been there lately. The next Day, they prepared to go to Roanoke; but the Wind being hard at North-East, one of the Boats, in passing a Bar, was half filled with Water, and the other overset. Captain Spicer, with six more, were drowned; but four, who could swim a little, and did not trust themselves to their Legs on the Shoals, but kept in deep Water, were saved by the Care and Dexterity of Captain Cooke in the other Boat. This Accident so discomfited the Sailors, that they could hardly be prevailed upon to make any farther Search for the Colo|ny. But indeed, considering the Shoals and Dangers, with their Ignorance and Inexperience of the Coast, which they unfortunately happened upon in this their first Attempt to|wards a Settlement, it is rather to be wondered, that they met not with more Accidents and Misfortunes, than they really did.
THE Sailors being at length encouraged by the For|wardness and Readiness of their Captains, two Boats more were fitted out for Hatteras, with nineteen Men. Whe• Mr. White left the Colony three Years before, they talked of going fifty Miles up into the Main; and it had been agreed between them, that if they left the Place, where they then were, they should write the Name of the Place, to which they went, on some Tree, Door, or Post; and if they had been in any Distress, they should signify it, by making a Cross over it. When they landed therefore, they sounded a Trumpet, but received no Answer; and going up to the Fire, they found, it was nothing but the Grass and some rotten Trees burning. Then searching up and down the Island, they at last found three fair Roman Letters carved, C. R. O. but without any Sign of Distress; and looking farther, they saw CROATAN, carved in fair Capital Letters on one of the chief Posts, but still without the Cross, as a Sign of Distress. Their Houses were taken down; and an high Palisado built, after the Manner of a Fort. They likewise found, where their Goods had been buried; but many of them had been dug up, and scattered about, and all were spoiled; yet Mr. White knew and distinguished several of his own among them. With this joyful Discovery, as they hoped, of where they were, they returned to their Ships; but had like to have been cast away by a violent Storm, that continued all that Night.
THE next Morning, weighing Anchor for Croatan, which was an Indian Town on the South Part of Cape Look-out, one of their Cables broke, and carried off ano|ther Page 28 Anchor with it. But letting go their third, the Ship went so fast adrift, that she was very near stranding. Dis|couraged with these Misfortunes, and having but one An|chor left, and their Provisions near spent, they gave over all Thoughts of farther Search for the present, and deter|mined to go to the West-Indies, to winter and refresh them|selves (chiefly perhaps with more Spanish Plunder) and to return in the Spring, to seek their Countrymen. But the Vice-Admiral was obstinately bent upon going directly for England; and the Wind being contrary, the rest were obliged, within two Days, to make for the Western-Islands, where they arrived the 23d of September 1590, and met with many of the Queen's Ships, their own Consort, and divers others. But many suspected, that private Interest was the chief Occasion of their Failure in this Undertaking; and that the Riches, gotten from the Spaniards in the West-Indies, was the true Reason of their Return, for which the Storm only furnished them with a colourable Pretext. However it is certain, that the Assignees made no farther Search, nor gave themselves any other Trouble about the Matter; but these poor Souls were basely deserted by them, and left a Prey to the barbarous Savages, neither were they ever seen or heard of afterwards.
THE following Year 1591, Sir Richard Greenvil was sent,* by the Queen, Vice-Admiral to the Lord Thomas Howard, with seven Ships of War, and a few other small Vessels, to intercept the Spanish Plate-Fleet. At the A|zores, this small Squadron was surprised by fifty three capital Ships, purposely sent from Spain; and Sir Richard Greenvil, who was unwilling to leave a great Part of his Men, then on Shore for Water and other Necessaries, to the Insolence and Barbarity of the Islanders, staid so long in getting them off, that he was hemmed in between the Enemy's Fleet and the Island of Flores. In this dangerous Situation, he scorned to shew any Signs of Fear, or to owe his Safety to Flight; but he bravely bore down upon the Enemy, and endeavoured to break through them, in which Attempt he maintained a gallant and obstinate Fight, with the best of the Spanish Ships, for fifteen Hours together. He was at once laid aboard by the St. Philip, a Ship of fifteen hundred Tons and seventy eight large Pieces of Ordinance, and four other of the stoutest Ships in the Spanish Fleet, full of Men, in some two hundred, in some five hundred, and in others eight hundred Soldiers, besides Mariners; and he never had less than two large Galleons by his Side, which, from time to time, were relieved by fresh Ships, Men, and Ammu|nition. Yet he behaved himself with such uncommon Bra|very Page 29 and Conduct, that he disabled some, sunk others,* and obliged them all to retire. Neither did he ever leave the Deck, tho' wounded in the Beginning of the close Fight, till he received a dangerous Wound in the Body by a Musket Bullet. When he went down to have it dressed, he re|ceived another Shot in the Head, and his Surgeon was killed by his Side. By this time also most of his bravest Men were slain, his Ship much disabled, his Deck covered with Dead, and Wounded, and scattered Limbs, and his Powder spent to the very last Barrel. Yet in this Condition he or|dered the Vessel to be sunk, but it was prevented by the rest of the Officers; tho' many of the Crew joined with him, and the Master-Gunner, if he had not been restrain|ed, would have killed himself, sooner than fall into the Hands of the Spaniards. When the Ship, or rather Wreck, was surrendered, Sir Richard was carried on board the Spanish Admiral, where he died within two Days, highly admired by the very Enemy, for his extraordinary Courage and Resolution. And when he found the Pangs of Death approach, he said to the Officers, that stood round him, in the Spanish Tongue: Here die I, Richard Green|vil, with a joyful and quiet Mind, having ended my Life like a true Soldier, that fought for his Country, Queen, Religion, and Hon•••: Thus summing up, in short, all the generou• Motiv•• that fire the Breasts of the truly Brave and Great, to exert themselves beyond the common Pitch of Huma|nity.
AND such was the gallant End of this noble Gentleman, who, next to Sir Walter Ralegh, was the principal Person concerned in this first Adventure of Virginia. He was a Man eminently fitted to serve his Country, in Peace or War, by Land or Sea, and was so deeply rooted in the Af|fection and Esteem of his illustrious Kinsman, Sir Walter Ralegh, that he honoured his Death with a particular Re|lation of the Action by his own excellent Pen, which he caused to be immediately printed the latter End of the same Year 1591, to obviate some Aspersions, cast upon him by some of the Spaniards. The rest of the English Ship• having Sea-Room, fought bravely, and did every thing, that could be expected from valiant Men, whilst they had the Advantage of the Wind. The Lord Howard was for even hazarding the whole Fleet in the Rescue of Sir Richard Greenvil, and for charging up to the Place, where he was engaged. But he was over-ruled by the other Officers, whose Prudence is commended even by Sir Walter Ralegh; altho' no Person can certainly say, I think, what might have been the Event, had six Ships of War more beside•Page 30 the Privateers, fallen upon an Enemy, whom one Ship alo•• had for so long a time kept in such warm Action. Wh••, the Night parted them from the Enemy, they all went 〈◊〉 s•fe, and in their Way home took several rich Prizes. Sir Richard's Ship too, the Revenge, of 500 Tons Burt•••▪ and about 20 Iron Guns, made good her Name. For 〈◊〉 Days after she soundered at Sea, and drowned two hu•dred Spaniards, who had been put aboard to carry her to Spain.
BUT Sir Walter Ralegh, being, by the above-mentioned Assignment, eased in some Measure of the Undertaking of Virginia, was soon engaged by his active and enterprisi•g Genius in other Adventures and Discoveries. He contri|buted generously towards the Discovery of the North-West Passage, and other things of the like Nature. But having lost his Royal Mistress's Favour, by debauching one of her Maids of Honour, whom he afterwards married, he under|took in Person, in the Year 1595, the Voyage and Disco|very of Guiana, a rich Country up the River Oronaque, in South America. After his Return, he wrote a most excel|lent Discourse upon his Expedition, in which his chief Aim was to engage the Queen and Nation in the Prosecution of the Enterprise, and Settlement of the Country. But all his Reasons were overpowered by the Envy of some great Men to his Person and Merit; and altho' he wa• restor•d to the Queen's Favour, yet he could never get 〈◊〉 thing done to Effect in this important and judicio•••esign. However he never quitted it himself, but sent twice imme|diately after, to make farther Discoveries, and to keep up the good Dispositions of the Natives towards the Englis•. Even after his Fall, and when he was in the Tower, he •ound Means to continue this Design▪ and his last Voyage thither, after his Release, with the fatal Consequences of it, is too well known, to need a particular Relation here. Neither was he, notwithstanding the Assignment, negligent or forgetful of the Colony, which had been seated in Virgi|nia upon his Account. For he sent five several Times, to search after, and relieve them; and last he dispatched Samuel Mace of Weymouth, in March 1602. But he, lik• all the rest, performed nothing, but returned with idl• Stories and frivolous Allegations.
HOWEVER, these Efforts of Sir Walter were only in|•ended to recover and bring off those poor People, and n• ways in Prosecution of his first Design of settling a Colo|ny. So that all Thoughts of Virginia were abandoned, and the Project lay dead for near twelve Years, when i• was revived by Captain Bartholomew Gosnold, who under|took a Voyage thither, and set Sail from Dartmouth, o•Page 31 the twenty sixth of March 1602, in a small Bark,* with thirty two Men. He kept as far North as the Winds would permit, and was the first that came in a direct Course to America.
On the 11th of May, being about the Latitude of forty three, they made Land, on the Coast of New-England, as it hath been since called. But as all this Continent bore the Name of Florida, till the Discovery of the English i• 1584, so afterwards all that Tract of Country, from 34 to 45 Degrees of Northern Latitude, was called Virginia, ti•• from different Settlements it got different Names. The Land was low; the Shore white Sand, and rocky, yet over|grown with fair and stately Trees. Coming to an Anchor, eight Indians, in a Shallop, with Mast and Sail, came boldly on board them. By their Signs, and by the Shallop and other things, which they had, they judged, that some Bis|cayneers had been fishing there. But finding no good Har|bour, they weighed, and stood to the Southward into th• Sea. The next Morning, they found themselves embayed with a mighty Head-land; and going to the neighbouring Hills, they perceived it to be Part of the Continent, almost environed with Islands. Here, in a few Hours, they caught more Cod, then they knew, what to do with; from whence the Place obtained the Name of Cape-Cod. And they thence also concluded, that a good Fishery might be found there, in the Months of March, April, and May.
SOON after they went to the Islands, and anchored near one of them. They found it four Miles in Compass, with|out House or Inhabitant. In it was a Lake, near a Mile in Circuit; and the rest so overgrown with Vines, which co|vered all the Trees a•d Bushes, that they could scarce pass through them. They likewise found Plenty of Strawber|ries, Rasberries, Goosberries, and divers other Fruits i• Bloom, and therefore called the Island Martha's Vineyard. They then visi•ed the rest of the Isles, and found them re|plenished with the like Products. One they named Eliza|beth's Island, in Honour to their ancient Sovereign, in which they planted Wheat, Barley, Oats, and Pease, which sprung up nine Inches in fourteen Days. From hence they went to the Main, where they stood for some time ravished at the Beauty and Delicacy of the Country. But soon after returning to Elizabeth's Island, they spent three Weeks in building a House, in a small Island of about an Acre of Ground, which stood in the Midst of a large Lake of fresh Water, about three Miles in Circumference.
THEY saw several of the Natives, with whom they made mutual Presents, and had some small Traffick. They Page 32 were of an excellent Constitution of Body,* active, strong, healthful, and very ingenious, as divers of their Joys testi|fied. The baser Sort would steal, but those of better Rank were very civil and just. Not one of the English was af|fected with any Sickness; but they rather grew more heal|thy and strong, notwithstanding their bad Diet and Lodging. Twelve had resolved to stay; but, considering how meanly they were provided, they were at last all obliged to leave this Island, not without much Sorrow and Reluctancy, and arrived at Exmouth the 23d of Iuly.
*THE Beginning of the next Year, died that ever-memo|rable and glorious Princess, Queen Elizabeth, and was suc|ceeded by King Iames VI. of Scotland. He was scarce warm in his Throne, before, as a Presage of his future weak and inglorious Reign; he confined Sir Walter Ralegh in the Tower, for a most mysterious and inextricable Plot. This great Man, as he was the first Undertaker and Mover of these Discoveries, is usually looked upon as the Founder and Father of our Country. And indeed we are proud to own for such, a Person of his distinguished Merit and Parts, who was one of the brightest Ornaments of his Age and Country, highly in the Favour and Esteem of Queen Eli|zabeth, and afterwards the Sacrifice of her mean and pusi•|lanimous Successor. But yet it must be confessed, that hi• Adventurers touched but once, and then slightly, on our Country; but still kept on in the same unfortunate Tract, on the shoaly and importuous Coast of North-Carolina. Altho' his Judgment soon distinguished from the Account•, he received, the Advantages of Chesapeake for seating his Capital City of Ralegh; and had his Orders been followed, it might perhaps have given a quite different Turn to the Affairs of the Colony. For it would not only have freed them from the Hazards and Difficulties, they encountered on that dangerous Coast, and every where have supplied them with safe and convenient Harbours, but would have natur••ly led them to the Search and Discovery of one of the most commodious Countries perhaps in the World, for Shipping and Vessels.
THE same Year 1603, by the Persuasions of Mr. Richard Hackluyt (a curious and inquisitive Gentleman, and soon after a Prebend of Westminster, who published the noted Collection of Voyages and Travels) the Mayor and Aldermen, with most of the Merchants of Bristol, raised a Stock of a thousand Pounds, and fitted out two Vessels. But first they obtained the Leave and Permission of Sir Walter Ralegh, as Proprietor of the Country, to make Discoveries in Virginia▪ Martin Pring was made Captain, Page 33 an understanding Gentleman and able Mariner;* and Robert Saltern, who had been with Captain Gosnold the Year be|fore, was appointed his Assistant and Pilot. But as, for the most Part, they followed Captain Gosnold's Course, their Discoveries were nothing extraordinary or different from his.
BUT another Bark was this Year sent from London, un|der the Command of Captain Barthole••w Gilbert, who had likewise been with Captain Gosnold. After some small Trade in the West-Indies; they fell in with the Coast of America in about 37 Degrees of Northern Latitude; and some Authors say, they run up into Chesapeake Bay, where the Captain, going ashore, was killed with four of his Men. This struck such a Damp and Discouragement into the rest, that they immediately weighed Anchor, and re|turned to England, without any further Attempt or Disco|very.
TWO Years after,* Captain George Weymouth was sent by the Earl of Southampton and the Lord Arundel of Warder, to make Discoveries on the Coast of Virginia. He intend|ed to the Southward of 39; but was forced by the Winds farther Northward, •nd fell among some Shoals in 41 Deg. 20 Min. But having happily disengaged themselves, on the 18th of May they made Land. It appeared to be a main high Land, but they found it an Island of six Miles in Compass. From thence they could discern the Continent and very high Mountains; and coasting among the Islands, adjoining to the Main, they found an excellent Harbour. They dug a Garden the twenty second of May; and among their Seeds, they sowed Barley and Pease, which grew up eight Inches in sixteen Days; altho' they judged the Mould much inferior to what they found afterwards on the Main. On the 30th of May, the Captain with thirteen more, went to view and discover the Continent; and having found a fair River, running up into the Country, they returned back to bring in the Ship. What River this was, and what Part of the American Coast they fell upon, is difficult to determine exactly. For their neglecting to tell us what Course they steered, after they were disengaged from the Shoals, renders it doubtful, whether they fell in with some Part of the Massachuset's Bay; or rather farther Southward, on the Coast of Rhode-Island, Naraganset, or Connecticut; altho' I am most inclined to believe, this River was either that of Naraganset or Connecticut; and the Island, what i• now called Block-Island. However it is certain, that Old|mi•on, (the Author of the Book, entitled, The British Em|pire in America) according to his usual Custom, is here Page 34 most egregiously bewildered and lost.* For after having, injudicious•y enough, determined the small Island they first made, of six Miles in Compass, to be Long-Island, on the Coast of New-York, he immediately after, •ith still grea|ter Absurdity and Grosness, calls this the 〈◊〉 of Powha|tan, now Iames River, to the Southward, as he says, of the Bay of Chesapeake.
WHEN Captain Weymouth returned aboard, he found, that the Indians had contracted an Acquaintance with his Crew; that they had had some small Trade together; and that there was much outward Shew of Kindness and Civi|lity between them. For as the English intended to inhabit their Country, and as it was the chief Design of the noble Adventurers, who had sent them, to propagate Christianity among those barbarous People, they used them very kindly; and exchanging Hostages, would sometimes lie ashore with them, and they sometimes aboard with the English. At last they were very pressing with the Captain, to go to the Main, to trade with their Bashabes, or chief Lord. He accordingly manned his Boat with fourteen Hands, and at|tended them. But having plainly discovered their Trea|chery, and that it was only a Stratagem to cut them off, he seised five, and ever afterwards treated them with great Civility, but never more trusted them.
HAVING spent some time in sounding all the Isles, Channels, and Inlets, and found four several Ways of bring|ing a Ship into the Bay, they at last ran theirs twenty six Miles up the River. They found, it flowed eighteen Feet, was a Mile wide forty Miles from the Mouth, had a bold Channel from six to ten Fathom deep, and every half Mile beautiful Coves and Harbours, some of them to contain an hundred Sail of Vessels. The Land was very rich, trend|ing all along in an equal Plain, neither mountainous nor rocky, but verged with a green Border of Gras•; and the Woods were large and tall, and delightfully watered with many fresh Springs and Rivulets. Leaving their Ship, they went seven Miles higher than the salt Water flowed, and then marched towards the Mountains. But the Weather was so hot, and the Fatigue so great, that having erected a Cross, they willingly returned to their Ship. Soon after, they sailed for England, and arrived at Dartmouth the 18th of Iuly; carrying with them the five Indians, taken by the Captain, whereof one was a Sagamo, or Commander, and three others, Persons of Figure and Distinction in their own Country.