(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "American biography"



. 

I 



UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA 




THE GIFT OF 
MAY TREAT MORRISON 

IN MEMORY OF 
ALEXANDER F MORRISON 



AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 



JEREMY BELKNAP, D.D. 



ADDITIONS AND NOTES, 



BY F. M. II U B B A RD. 



IN THREE VOLUMES. 

VOL. II. 



N E W V O R K : 
HARPER <fe BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS, 

PRANK 1. IN SQUARE. 

1855. 



Enteicd, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1841, by 

HARPEK & BROTHERS, 
In the Clerk's Office of the South"-* District of New-Yort 



F 



CONTENTS 

OF 

THE SECOND VOLUME. 



JOHN DE FOCA Page 7 

DE MONTS, POUTRINCOURT, AND CHAMPLAIN ... 15 
^^ FERDINANDO GORGES AND JOHN MASON . . . .47 

THE VIRGINIA COLONY 96 

w' SIR THOMAS SMITH 100 

THOMAS LORD DELAWARE, SIR THOMAS GATES, SIR GEORGE 
SOMERS, CAPT. CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT, SIR THOMAS 

M 

d DALE, SIR FERDINANDO WAINMAN 115 

;'* SIR SAMUEL ARQAL, SIR GEORGE YEARDLEY . . . 148 

V^ SIR FRANCIS WYAT 174 

\ BARTHOLOMEW GOSNOLD, MARTIN FRING, BARTHOLOMEW 

\V,. GILBERT, GEORGE WEYMOUTH 206 

JOHN ROBINSON 254 

^1 JOHN CARVER - . 295 



437447 



AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 



IX. JOHN DE FUCA. 

WHEN the existence of a western continent 
was known to the maritime nations of Eu- 
rope, one great object of their inquiry was to 
find, through some openings which appeared 
in it, a passage to India and China. For this 
purpose several expensive and unsuccessful 
voyages were made ; and every hint which 
could throw any light on the subject was ea- 
gerly sought and attended to by those who 
considered its importance. 

JOHN DE FUCA* was*a Greek, born in the 
Island of Cephalonia, in the Adriatic Gulf. 
He had been employed in the service of 
Spain, in the West Indies, as a mariner and 
pilot, above forty years. Having lost his for- 
tune, amounting, as he said, to sixty thou- 
sand ducats, when the Acapulco ship was 
taken by Captain Cavendish, an Englishman, 
and being disappointed of the recompense 

* [Commonly known by that name, though properly called 
Apostolos Valerianos. Purchas, iii., 849. H.] 



8 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

which he 'had expected from the court of 
Spaitf/. fie/ret^ned: in disgust to his native 
country by the way of Italy, that he might 
spend the evening of his life in peace and 
poverty among his friends. 

At Florence he met with John Douglas,* 
an Englishman, and went with him to Ven- 
ice. There Douglas introduced him to Mi- 
chael Lock, who had been consul of the Tur- 
key Companyt at Aleppo, and was then oc- 
casionally resident in Venice (A.D. 1596). 

In conversation with Mr. Lock, De Fuca 
gave him the following account of his adven- 
tures. 

" That he had been sent by the Viceroy of 
Mexico, as pilot of three small vessels, to dis- 
cover the Straits of Anian on the western 
coast of America, through which it was con- 
jectured that a passage might be found into 
some of the deep bays on the eastern side of 
the continent. This voyage was frustrated by 

* [Douglas is called " a famous mariner," and was then on 
his way to pilot a Venetian ship to England. H.] 

t [The first charter of this company was granted in 1581 to 
Edward Osborn (the first governor), Thomas Smith (afterward 
governor), and others, with the privilege of an exclusive trade 
to Turkey for seven years. It was made a perpetual corpora- 
tion, with the power of regular succession, in 1605. Ander- 
son's History of Commerce, fol. i., 423 and 468. H.] 



DE FUCA. y 

the misconduct of the commander and the 
mutiny of the seamen. 

" In 1592 the viceroy sent him again, with 
the command of a caravel and a pinnace, on 
the same enterprise. Between the latitudes 
of 47 and 48 N. he discovered an inlet, into 
which he entered and sailed more than twen- 
ty days. At the entrance was a great head- 
land, with an exceedingly high pinnacle or 
spired rock, like a pillar. Within the strait 
the land stretched N.W., and also E. and 
S.E. It was much wider within than at the 
entrance, and contained many islands. The 
inhabitants were clad in the skins of beasts. 
The land appeared to be fertile like that of 
New-Spain, and was rich in gold and silver. 

" Supposing that he had accomplished the 
intention of the voyage and penetrated into 
the North Sea, but not being strong enough 
to resist the force of the numerous savages 
who appeared on the shore, he returned to 
Acapulco before the expiration of the year." 

Such was the account given by De Fuca ; 
and Mr. Lock was so impressed with the sin- 
cerity of the relation and the advantages 
which his countrymen might derive from a 
knowledge of this strait, that he earnestly 
urged him to enter into the service of Queen 



10 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

Elizabeth and perfect the discovery. He 
succeeded so far as to obtain a promise from 
the Greek, though sixty years old, that, if the 
queen would furnish him with one ship of 
forty tons and a pinnace, he would under- 
take the voyage. He was the more easily 
persuaded to this by a hope that the queen 
would make him some recompense for the 
loss of his fortune by Captain Cavendish. 

Mr. Lock wrote to the Lord-treasurer 
Cecil, Sir Walter Raleigh, and Mr. Hak- 
luyt, requesting that they would forward the 
scheme, and that one hundred pounds might 
be advanced to bring De Fuca to England. 
The scheme was approved, but the money 
was not advanced. Lock was so much en- 
gaged in it that he would have sent him to 
England at his own expense, but he was 
then endeavouring to recover at law his de- 
mands from the Turkey Company, and could 
not disburse the money. The pilot therefore 
returned to Cephalonia, and Lock kept up a 
correspondence with him till 1602, when he 
heard of his death. 

Though this account, preserved by Pur- 
shas,* bears sufficient marks of authenticity, 
yet it has been rejected as fabulous for nearly 
* Lib. iv., chap, xx., p. 849. 



DE FUCA. . 11 

two centuries, and is treated so even by the 
very candid Dr. Forster.* Recent voyages, 
however, have established the existence of 
the strait, t and De Fuca is no longer to be 
considered as an impostor, though the gold 
and silver in his account were but conjectural 
The strait which now bears his name is form- 
ed by land which is supposed to be the conti- 
nent of America on one side, and by a very 
extensive cluster of islands on the other. Its 
southern entrance lies in lat. 48 20' N., long. 
124 W. from Greenwich, and is about seven 
leagues wide. On the larboard side, which 

* Northern Voyages, p. 451.* 

t The strait was entered by a boat's crew from an English 
exploring vessel, the Felice, in 1788, who went some thirty 
leagues in it. The appearances singularly corresponded with 
the account of De Fuca. The next year it was for the first 
time sailed through, to its northwestern outlet in the Pacific 
Cjain, by an American sloop, the Washington. Meares's Voy- 
age to the Northwestern Coast of America, p. 178 and Ivi., 
4to, London, 1790. Meares was in this expedition, and gives 
in his work a plate representing the entrance of De Fuca's 
Straits, and in the accompanying maps traces the route of the 
Wasnington. He found it in latitude 47 30' to 48 30' 
aorth, and in longitude 235 to 235 30' east of London. See 
lso Greenhow's Report on the Northwest Coast, 1840. H.J 

* [Dr. Forster states his opinion very cautiously. " This 
relation of De Fuca's in many instances seems to be rather fab- 
ilous, which renders the remaining part of it very suspicious," 
i. c. H.] 

II. B 



12 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

is composed of islands, the land is very 
mountainous, rising abruptly in high and 
sharp peaks. On the starboard side is a 
point of land terminating in a remarkably tall 
rock, called the Pillar. Within the entrance 
the passage grows wider, extending to the 
S.E., N., and N.W., and is full of islands. 
On the E. and N.E.,at a great distance, are 
seen the tops of mountains, supposed to be 
on the continent ; but the ships trading for 
furs have not penetrated far to the eastward, 
the sea-otters being their principal object, and 
the land-furs of small consideration. For 
this reason the eastern boundary of the inland 
sea is not yet fully explored. The strait 
turns to the N. and N.W., encompassing a 
large cluster of islands, among Avhich is sit- 
uate Nootka Sound, and comes into the Pa- 
cific Ocean again in lat. 51 15', long. 128 40'. 
This extremity of the strait is called its north- 
ern entrance, and is wider than the southern. 
Another strait has been lately seen, which 
is supposed to be that of De Fonte, a Span- 
ish admiral, discovered in 1640, the exist- 
ence of which has also been treated as fab- 
ulous. The cluster of islands called by the 
British seamen Queen Charlotte's, and by the 
Americans "Washington's Islands, are in the 



DE FUCA. 13 

very spot where De Fonte placed the Archi- 
pelago of St. Lazarus.* The entrance only 
of this strait has been visited by the fur-ships. 
It lies in lat. 54 35', and long. 131 W.f 

These recent and well-established facts 
may induce us to treat the relations of for- 
mer voyages with decent respect. The cir- 
cumnavigation of Africa by the ancient Phoe- 
nicians was for several ages deemed fabu- 
lous by the learned Greeks and Romans, 
but its credibility was fully established by the 
Portuguese discoveries in the fifteenth centu- 
ry. In like manner, the discoveries of De 
Fuca and De Fonte, which have long been 
stigmatized by geographers as pretended, and 
marked in their maps as imaginary, are now 
known to have been founded in truth, though, 
from the imperfection of instruments or the 
inaccuracy of historians, the degrees and min- 
utes of latitude and longitude were not pre- 
cisely marked, and though some circumstan- 

* See the Critical Review, January. 1791. 

t For this information I am indebted to Captain ROBERT 
GRAY, who has the last summer (1793) returned from a second 
circumnavigation of the globe, in the ship Columbia, of Boston. 
He has sailed quite through the strait of De Fuca, and seen the 
entrance of that of De Fonte. The latitudes and longitudes of 
these places are taken from a very neat and accurate map of the 
N.W. coast of America, drawn by Mr. HASWKLL, first mate of 
the Columbia in her late voyage. 



14 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

ces in their accounts are but conjectural. 
Farther discoveries may throw new light on 
the subject ; and though perhaps a N.W. pas- 
sage by sea from the Atlantic into the Pacif- 
ic may not exist, yet bays, rivers, and lakes 
are so frequent in those northern regions of 
our continent that an inland navigation may 
be practicable. 

It has been suggested that the company of 
English merchants who enjoy an exclusive 
trade to Hudson's Bay have, from interested 
motives, concealed their knowledge of its 
western extremities. Whether there be any 
just foundation for this censure I do not pre- 
tend to determine ; but a survey is said to be 
now making, from which it is hoped that this 
long-contested question of a N.W. passage 
will receive a full solution. 



DE MONTS. 15 



X. DE MONTS, POUTBJNCOURT, 
AND CHAMPLAIN. 

AFTER the discovery of Canada by Cartier, 
the French continued trading to that country 
for furs, and fishing on the banks of New- 
foundland, Cape Breton, and Acadia, where 
they found many excellent and convenient 
harbours, among which Canseau was early 
distinguished as a place extremely suitable 
for the fishery. One Savalet, an old mari- 
ner who frequented that port, had before 
1609 made no less than forty-two voyages to 
those parts.* 

Henry IV., king of France, perceived the 
advantages which might arise to his kingdom 
from a farther exploration of the northern 
parts of America, and therefore gave encour- 
agement to those who were desirous of ma- 
king adventures. In 1598 the Marquis DE 
LA ROCHE obtained a commission of lord- 
lieutenant, and undertook a voyage with a 
view to establish a colony, consisting of con- 
victs taken out of the prisons. Happening 
In the course of his voyage to fall in with the 

* Purchas, v., 1640. 



16 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

Isle of Sable, a low, sandy island, lying about 
twenty-five leagues southward of Canseau, he 
there landed forty of his miserable crew, to 
subsist on the cattle and swine with which 
the place had been stocked by the Portuguese 
for the relief of shipwrecked seamen. The 
reason given for choosing this forlorn place 
for the disembarcation of his colony was, that 
they would be out of all danger from the 
savages till he should find a better situation 
for them on the continent, when he promised 
to return and take them off. Whether he 
ever reached the continent is uncertain,* but 
he never again saw the Isle of Sable. Re- 
turning to France, he engaged in the wars, 
was made a prisoner by the Duke of Mer- 
ceur, and soon after died. The wretched 
exiles subsisted on such things as the place 
afforded, and clothed themselves with the 
skins of seals. At the end of seven years, t 
King Henry, in compassion, sent a fisherman 
to bring them home. Twelve only were then 

* Forster says that " he made in different parts of it such re- 
searches as he thought necessary, and then returned to France," 
p. 443. Purchas says that " it was his fortune, by reason of 
contrary wind, not to find the main land, but was blown back to 
France." Vol. v., p. 1807. 

t Purchas says twelve ; this will bring it to the last year of 
Henry's life, 1610. 



DE MONTS. 17 

alive. The fisherman, concealing from them 
the generous intention of their sovereign, took 
all the skins which they had collected as a 
recompense for his services, some of which, 
being black foxes, were of great value. The 
king had them brought before him in their 
sealskin habits and long beards. He pardon- 
ed their former crimes, and made each of 
them a present of fifty crowns. When they 
discovered the fraud of the fisherman, they 
instituted a process against him at law, and 
recovered large damages, by means of which 
they acquired so much property as to enter 
into the same kind of traffic. 

The king also granted to PONTGRAVE DE 
CHAUVIN* an exclusive privilege of trading at 

* [There seems to be a confusion of persons in this passage. 
Chauvin and Pontgrave were different men, though associated 
in discovery and trade to the St. Lawrence. Chauvin was a 
native of Normandy, a Protestant, a captain in the royal navy, 
and had much experience as well in the French maritime war- 
fare as in navigation. He undertook a voyage to Tadousac in the 
year 1599,at the solicitation of the Sieurdu Pontgrave, who was 
a resident, and is said to have been a merchant of St. Malo. In 
his second voyage, Pontgrave, who had now obtained a monopoly 
of the trade at Tadousac, and De Monts accompanied him. In 
1602, while preparing for a third expedition, he died. Voyages 
De Champlain, ed. 1632, lib. i., cap. 6. The enterprise was con- 
tinued by Pontgrav^, under the auspices of De Chaste, governor 
of Dieppe. De Chaste, having a commission from the king, had 
for this purpose formed a .company of gentlemen and merchants 



18 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

Tadousac, the mouth of the River Saguenay, 
to which place he made two voyages, and was 
preparing for a third, when he was prevented 
by death.- 

The next voyager of any note was SAMUEL 
CHAMPLAIN,* of Brouage, a man of a ncfole 
family, who in 1603 sailed up the river of 
Canada as far as Cartier had gone in 1535, 
He made many inquiries of the natives con- 
cerning their country, its rivers, falls, lakes, 
mountains, and mines. The result of his in- 
quiry was, that a communication was formed 
by means of two lakes with the country of the 
Troquois towards the south ; that towards the 
west there were more and greater lakes of 
fresh water, to one of which they knew not 

of Rouen, at whose expense the voyage was undertaken. Font- 
grave, attended by Champlain, sailed in 1603 up the St. Law- 
rence as far as the Falls of St. Louis. Their equipment was- 
scanty, their barks being of only twelve or fifteen tons. Ib., 38, 
40. Pontgrave is frequently mentioned in the text under the 
name of Dupont. H.] 

* [Champlain had already done good service in the wars of 
France, and had enjoyed the favourable notice of the king, who, 
to retain- him in his immediate employment, had given him a 
pension. He accompanied Chauvin in his second voyage to. 
New- France in 1600, and remained there nearly two years and 
a half. Voyages De Champlain, lib. i., p. 39. He sailed again 
with De Monts in 1604, and remained in America four years,. 
In 1608 he was made lieutenant of New-France under De Monts, 
sailed to the St. Lawrence, where he arrivad July 3d, and fixed; 
his quarters at Quebec. H.] 



D E M O N T S. 19 

limits, and that to the northward there was an 
inland sea of fresh water. In the course of 
this voyage Champlain anchored at a place 
called Quebec, which in the language of the 
country signified a strait ; and this was 
thought to be a proper situation for a fort 
and settlement. He heard of no mines but 
one of copper, far to the northward. With 
this information he returned to France in the 
month of September. 

On the eighth of November in the same 
year, King Henry granted to the Sieur DE 
MONTS,* a gentleman of his bedchamber, a 
patent constituting him lieutenant-general of 
all the territory of UAeadia, from the fortieth 
to the forty-sixth degree of north latitude, 
with power to subdue the inhabitants and 
convert them to the Christian faith. ft This 

* [This was his title. His proper name was Pierre du Cast 
(Bosnian's Maryland, 115) or Du Gua (Lescarbot, Nouvelle 
France, 431, ed. 1612). He was a gentleman of Xaintonge,held 
the office of governor of Pons, and had been highly distinguish- 
ed in the wars of France. H.] 

t [Probably the larger number of those who accompanied De 
Monts were Catholics. He himself was a Protestant and a Cal- 
vinist. His commission was given him on condition of planting 
the Catholic religion in Acadia, though complete toleration was 
allowed among the French adventurers. To this mixture of re- 
ligions was ascribed the failure of his scheme. Champlain, i., 
8. H.] 

t See the patent, in French, in Hazard's Collection, vol. i., 



20 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

patent was published in all the maritime 
towns of France ; and De Monts, having 
equipped two vessels, sailed for his new gov- 
ernment on the seventh of March, 1604, ta- 
king with him the aforesaid Samuel Cham- 
plain for a pilot, and Monsieur DE POUTRIN- 
COURT,* who had been for a long time desirous 
to visit America. 

On the 6th of May they arrived at a har- 
bour on the S.E. side of the Peninsula of 
Acadia, where they found one of their coun- 
trymen, Rossignol, trading with the Indians 
without license.! They seized his ship and 

45, and translated into English, in Churchill's Collections, vol. 
viii., p. 796. 

* [Bosman and Haliburton spell this name Pontrincourt. 
Lescarbot, who is the best authority, spells it as in the text. 
In a letter to Pope Paul V., written on his return from his sec- 
ond voyage to America, he styles himself " Joannes de Biencour, 
vulgo de Poutrincour." Nouvelle France, 612. Some years 
after, and as early as 1609, he succeeded, on the death of his 
mother, to the barony of St. Just, in Champagne, at the conflu- 
ence of the Seine and Aube. He held a high place in the es- 
teem of King Henry, who, to secure his services and allegiance 
while besieging Beaumont Castle, offered to create him Count 
de Beaumont, an offer which, in his zeal for the Catholic Church, 
Poutrincourt rejected, though he afterward served him without 
reward or promise when Henry had renounced Protestantism. 
Lescarbot's Relation, &c., 3, 4. In this voyage with De 
Monts he proposed to select a spot for permanent emigration 
with his family, and accordingly returned to France in the au- 
tumn of the same year. H.] 

t [To enable himself to defray the expenses of this expedi- 



DE MONTS. 21 

cargo, leaving him only the poor consolation 
of giving his name to the harbour where he 
was taken ; the provisions found in his ship 
were a seasonable supply, and without them 
the enterprise must have been abandoned. 
This place is now called Liverpool. 

From Port Rossignol they coasted the pen- 
insula to the S.W., and, having doubled Cape 
Sable, came to anchor in the Bay of St. Mary, 
where Aubry,* a priest, going ashore, was lost 
in the woods, and a Protestant was charged 
with having murdered him, because they had 
sometimes had warm disputation on religious 
subjects. They waited for him several days, 
firing guns and sounding trumpets, but in 
vain ; the noise of the sea was so great that 
no other sound could be heard. Concluding 
that he was dead, they quitted the place after 
sixteen days,t intending to examine that ex- 

tion, De Monts had obtained from the king an exclusive right 
to the fur-trade in America, by letters patent, dated December 
18, 1603. Lescarbot, N. F., 439-442. The encouragement 
of this traffic, and the securing of it to France, were the chief 
objects of the king in patronising the scheme. H.] 

* [Haliburton (Nova Scotia, i., 14) calls him Daubre ; Les- 
carbot, who is of course to be preferred, writes Aubri. He was 
of a good family in Paris, and accompanied De Monts, from an 
ardent desire to visit America, contrary to the wishes of all his 
friends. H.] 

t [I. c., sixteen days after they entered the bay. They stay- 



2.2 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

tensive bay on the west of the peninsula, to 
which they gave the name of La Baye Fran- 
coise, but which is now called the Bay of 
Fundy. The priest was afterward found alive, 
but almost starved to death. 

On the eastern side of this bay they dis- 
covered a narrow strait, into which they en- 
tered, and soon found themselves in a spa- 
cious basin, environed with hills, from which 
descended streams of freh water, and be- 
tween the hills ran a fine navigable river, 
which they called L'Equille.* It was bor- 
dered with fertile meadows, and full of deli- 
cate fish. Poutrincourt, charmed with the 
beauty of the place, determined here to take 
his residence, and, having received a grant 
of it from De Monts, gave it the name of Port 
Royal [Annapolis]. 

From Port Royal De Monts sailed farther 
into the great bay to visit a copper mine. It 
was a high rock, on a promontory, between 
two bays [Menis]. The copper, f though 

ed four days for the unfortunate priest, who was found, sixteen 
days after he was lost, by a party under Champdore, who had 
returned to examine the ores near St. Mary's Bay. H.] 

* [Called also Du Dauphin in Lescarbot, now Allan's River. 
Halibu-rton, i., 15, note. H.] 

t [Haliburton (Nova Scotia, i., 16) places this copper mine 
at Cape Dore or Cape D'Or, and the crystals near Parrsboro, 



DE MONTS. 23 

mixed with stone, was very pure, resembling 
that cajled Rozette copper. Among these 
stones they found crystals and a certain shi- 
ning stone of a blue colour. Specimens of 
these stones were sent to the king. 

In farther examining the bay they came to 
a great river, which they called St. John's,* 
full of islands and swarming with fish. Up 
this river they sailed fifty leagues,t and were 
extremely delighted with the vast quantity of 
grapes which grew on its banks. By this 
river they imagined that a shorter communi- 
cation might be had with the Baye de Cha- 
leur and the port of Tadousac than by the 
sea. 

From the River St. John they coasted the 
bay southwesterly till they came to an island 
in the middle of a river which Champlain 
had previously explored. Finding its situa- 
tion safe and convenient, De Monts resolved 

which are on the opposite side of the strait that leads into Mi- 
nao's Basin. H.] 

* [Called by the natives Ouigoudi. Haliburton, who is 
careless in such matters, writes it Ouangondy. De Monts 
named it St. John's, because it was discovered June 24th, the 
day of the festival of St. John the Baptist. Lescarbot, N. F., 
459. H.] 

t [Lescarbot (Nouvelle France, 459) places this expedition 
up the St. John's in the year 1608, four years later. It was 
undertaken by Champdorl and one of De Monts' men. H.] 



24 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

there to build a fort and pass the winter. To 
this island he gave the name of St.^ Croix ,* 

* This is a station of much importance. It has given rise to 
a controversy between the United States and the British govern- 
ment which is not yet terminated. I shall therefore give a de- 
scription of this island and its surrounding waters, from a transla- 
tion of Mark Lescarbot's history of the Voyages of De Monts, 
in which he himself was engaged, and therefore had seen the place 
which he describes. This translation is to be found at large 
in Churchill's Collections, vol. viii., 796, and an abridgment of 
it in Purchas's Pilgrims, vol. v., 1619. 

" Leaving St. John's River, they came, following the coast 
twenty leagues from that place, to a great river, which is prop- 
erly sea [i. e., salt water], where they fortified themselves in a 
little island seated in the midst of this river, which the said 
Champlain had been to discover and view. And seeing it strong 
by nature, and of easy defence and keeping, besides that the 
season began to slide away, and therefore it was behoveful to 
prov.ide of lodging without running any farther, they resolved to 
make their abode there. 

" Before we speak of the ship's return to France, it is meet 
to tell you how hard the Isle of St. Croix is to be found out to 
them that were never there. For there are so many isles and 
great bays to go by [from St. John's] before one be at it, that I 
wonder how one might ever pierce so far as to find it. There 
are three or four mountains, imminent above the others, on the 
sides ; but on the north side, from whence the river runneth 
down, there is but a sharp-pointed one, above two leagues dis- 
tant. The woods of the mainland are fair and admirable high, 
and well grown, as in like manner is the grass. There is right 
over against the island fresh-water brooks, very pleasant and 
agreeable, where divers of Mons. De Monts men did their busi- 
ness, and builded there certain cabins. As for the nature of the 
ground, it is most excellent and most abundantly fruitful. For 
the said Mons. De Monts having caused there some piece of 



DE MONTS. 25 

because that two leagues higher there were 
brooks which " came crosswise to fall within 
this large branch of the sea." 

The winter proved severe, and the people 
suffered so much by the scurvy that thirty- 
six of them died ; the remaining forty, who 
were all sick, lingered till the spring (1605). 
when they recovered by means of the fresh 
vegetation. The remedy which Cartier had 
found in Canada was here unknown. 

ground to be tilled, and the same sowed with rye, he was not 
able to tarry for the maturity thereof to reap it ; and, notwith- 
standing, the grain fallen hath grown and increased so wonder- 
fully, that two years after we reaped and did gather of it as fair, 
big, and weighty as in France, which the soil hath brought forth 
without any tillage ; and yet at this present [1609] it doth con- 
tinue still to multiply every year. 

" The said island containeth some half a league in circuit, 
and at the end of it, on the sea side, there is a mount or small 
hill, which is, as it were, a little isle severed from the other, 
where Mons. de Monts his cannon were placed. There is also 
a little chapel, built after the savage fashion. At the foot of 
which chapel there is such store of muscles as is wonderful, 
which may be gathered at low water, but they are small. 

" Now let us prepare and hoist up sails. Mons. de Poutrin- 
court made the voyage in these parts with some men of good 
sort, not to winter there, but, as it were, to seek out his seat, 
and find out a land that might like him. Which he having 
done, had no need to sojourn there any longer. So then, the 
ships being ready for the return, he shipped himself and those 
of his company in one of them. 

" During the forosaid navigation, Mons. De Monts his people 
did work about the fort, which he seated at the end of the itt- 



26 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

As soon as his men had recovered, De 
Monts resolved to seek a comfortable station 

and, opposite to the place where he had lodged his cannon. 
Which was wisely considered, to the end to command the river 
up and down. But there was an inconvenience ; the said fort 
did lie towards the north, and without any shelter but of the 
trees that were on the isle shore, which all about he commanded 
to be kept and not cut down. 

" The most urgent things being done, and hoary, snowy fa- 
ther being come, that is to say, winter, then they were forced to 
keep within doors, and to live every one at his own home. Du- 
ring which time our men had three special discommodities in 
this island, want of food (for that which was in the said isle 
was spent in buildings), lack of fresh water, and the continual 
watch made by night, fearing some surprise from the savages 
that had lodged themselves at the foot of the said island, or some 
other enemy. For the malediction and rage of many Christians 
is such that one must take heed of them much more than of in- 
fidels. When they had need of water or wood they were con- 
strained to cross over the river, which is thrice as broad of every 
side as the River of Seine."* 

By a gentleman who resided several years in those parts, I 
have been informed that an island which answers to this descrip- 
tion lies in the eastern part of the Bay of Passamaquoddy ; and 
there the River St. Croix was supposed to be by the commis- 
sioners who negotiated the peace in 1783, who had Mitchel's 
map before them ; but in a map of the coast of New-England 
and Nova Scotia, published in London, 1787, by Robert Sayer, 
and said to be drawn by Captain Holland, the River St. Croix 
is laid down at the western part of the bay, the breadth of which 
IB about six or seven leagues. 

* [Lescarbot was a native of Vervins. His account of the 
voyages of De Monts, from which the above passage is taken, is 
entitled " Histoire de la Nouvelle France." The second edition, 



DE MONTS. 27 

iri a warmer climate. Having victualled and 
armed his pinnace, he sailed along the coast 
to Norombega, a name which had been giv- 
en by some European adventurers to the Bay 
of Penobscot ; from thence he sailed to Ken- 
nebec, Casco, Saco, and finally came to Mal- 
ebarre, as Cape Cod was then called by the 
French. In some of the places which he 
had passed the land was inviting, and partic- 
ular notice was taken of the grapes ; but the 
savages appeared numerous, unfriendly, and 
thievish :* De Monts' company being small, 
he preferred safety to pleasure, and returned 
first to St. Croix, and then to Port Royal, 
where he found Dupont,t in a ship from 

which I have used, was published at Paris, 1612, in two volumes 
12mo. In the title-page he calls himself "Marc Lescarbot, ad- 
vocaten Parlement." To his " Relation," else where described, 
are appended some sixty pages of odes, sonnets, dec., entitled 
" Les Muses de la Nouvelle France," a large part of which was 
written in America, and which he, at least, seems to have re- 
garded with some partiality. H.] 

* [The natives on the coast, from the St. John's to the Ken- 
nebec, were called Etechemins, and from the Kennebec to 
Cape Cod, Armouchiquois. Lescarbot, N. F., 498. H.] 

t [Dupont had come over with De Monts the preceding year. 
Lescarbot (N. F., 501) calls him "Le Sieur du Pont, sur- 
nomme Grave." He had with him a son, Robert Grave. He 
had been resident at Honfleur, and is characterized as a man of 
great activity and energy. I suppose him to be the Pontgrav6 
referred to in page 17, note. He afterward went with Cham- 

II. C 



28 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

France, with fresh supplies, and a re-enforce- 
ment of forty men. The stores which had 
been deposited at St. Croix were removed 
across the bay, but the buildings were left 
standing. New houses were erected at the 
mouth of the river which runs into the basin 
of Port Royal ; there the stores and people 
were lodged ; and De Monts, having put his 
affairs in as good order as possible, in the 
month of September embarked for France, 
leaving Dupont as his lieutenant, with Cham- 
plain and Champdore,* to perfect the settle- 
ment and explore the country. 

During the next winter they were plenti- 
fully supplied by the savages with venison, 
and a great trade was carried on for furs. 
Nothing is said of the scurvy ; but they had 
short allowance of bread, not by reason of 
any scarcity of corn, but because they had 

plain in the expedition to the St. Lawrence in 1608, and, 
with the exception of an occasional return to France, remained 
in Canada till after 1629, when I have lost sight of him. H.] 

* [Haliburton (Nova Scotia, i., 17) is in error in calling 
Champdore " the mineralogist of the expedition." On the oc- 
casion to which he refers, Champdore was sent, vrith a mineral- 
ogist, " unmaitrede mines." Lescarbot, N. F., 462. He was 
employed as a pilot, " pour la conduite des voyages." Ib., 503. 
Lescarbot, in his Muses de la Nouvelle France, has a sonnet 
addressed to " Pierre Angibaut dit Champdore', Capitain de Ma- 
tine en la Nouvelle France." H.] 



DEMONTS. 29 

no other mill to grind it than the hand-mill, 
which required hard and continual labour. 
The savages were so averse to this exercise, 
that they preferred hunger to the task of 
grinding corn, though they were offered half 
of it in payment. Six men only died in the 
course of this winter. 

In the spring of 1606, Dupont attempted to 
find what De Monts had missed in the prece- 
ding year, a more southerly settlement. His 
bark was twice forced back with adverse 
winds, and the third time was driven on 
rocks and bilged at the mouth of the port. 
The men and stores were saved, but the ves- 
sel was lost. These fruitless attempts proved 
very discouraging ; but Dupont employed his 
people in building a bark and shallop, that 
they might employ themselves in visiting the 
ports whither their countrymen resort to dry 
their fish* till new supplies should arrive. 

De Monts and Poutrincourt were at that 
time in France, preparing, amid every dis- 
couragement, for another voyage. t On the 

* [Canseau was principally frequented by the French ; Miri- 
machi and the Bay de Chaleur by the English. H.] 

t [The reports made by De Monts respecting Acadia had not 
been very favourably received in France, and some difficulty was 
experienced in enlisting men for a new expedition. This diffi- 
culty was overcome chiefly by the reputation and influence of 



30 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

13th of May they sailed from Rochelle in a 
ship of one hundred and fifty tons,* and on 
the 27th of July arrived at Port Royal, in 
the absence of Dupont, who had left two 
men only to guard the fort. In a few days 
he arrived, having met with one of their boats 
which they had left at Canseau, and great 
was the joy on both sides at their meeting. 

Poutrincourt now began his plantation ; 
and, having cleared a spot of ground, within 
fifteen days he sowed European corn and 
several sorts of garden vegetables. But, not- 
withstanding all the beauty and fertility of 
Port Royal, De Monts had still a desire to 
find a better place at the southward. He 
therefore prevailed on Poutrincourt to make 
another voyage to Cape Malebarre ; and so 
earnest was he to have this matter accom- 
plished, that he would not wait till the next 
spring, but prepared a bark to go to the 

Poutrincourt, who had already received from De Monts a divis- 
ion of the territory of Acadia, and who now, more resolutely than 
ever, purposed to establish there himself, his family, and the 
Catholic religion. To effect this favourite scheme, he left, as 
he had done before, his property in France exposed to several 
suits at law then in progress, and to his success in which his 
personal presence was important. It was found necessary to 
make advances of money to those who were induced to embark 
in this expedition. Lescarbot, Nouvelle France, 508-510. H.] 
* TThe ship was named the Jonas : " le Jonas." H.] 



DE WONTS. 31 

southward as soon as the ship was ready to 
sail. 

On the 28th of August the ship and the bark 
both sailed from Port Royal. In the ship De 
Monts and Dupont returned to France, while 
Poutrincourt, Champlain, Champdore, and 
others crossed the bay to St. Croix, and 
thence sailed along the coast, touching at 
many harbours in their way, till they arrived 
in sight of the cape, the object of their voy- 
age. Being entangled among the shoals, 
their rudder was broken, and they were obli- 
ged to come to anchor at the distance of three 
leagues from the land. The boat was then 
sent ashore to find a harbour of fresh water, 
which, by the information of one of the na- 
tives, was accomplished. Fifteen days were 
spent in this place, during which time a cross 
was erected, and possession taken for the King 
of France, as De Monts had done two years 
before at Kennebec. "When the bark was re- 
paired and ready to sail, Poutrincourt took a 
walk into the country while his people were 
baking bread. In his absence some of the 
natives visited his people and stole a hatchet. 
Two guns were fired at them, and they fled. 
In his return he saw several parties of the 
savages, male and female, carrying away 



32 AMERICAN B I O O R A P U V. 

their children and their corn, and hiding 
themselves as he and his company pass^i. 
He was alarmed at this strange appearance, 
but much more so when, early the next morn, 
ing, a shower of arrows came flying among 
his people, two of whom were killed and sev- 
eral others wounded. The savages, having 
taken their revenge, fled, and it was in vain 
to pursue them. The dead were buried at 
the foot of the cross ; and, while the funeral- 
service was performi-. ?;/ the savages were 
lancing and yelling in mock-concert at a con- 
/enient distance, but within hearing. When 
.ne French retired on board their bark, the 
ravages took down the cross, dug up the bod- 
ies and stripped them of their grave-clothes, 
which they carried off in triumph. 

This unhappy quarrel gave Poutrincourt a 
bad idea of the natives. He attempted to 
pass farther round the cape, but was prevent- 
ed by contrary winds, and forced back to the 
same harbour, where the savages offering to 
trade, six or seven of them were seized and 
put to death. 

The next day another attempt was made to 
sail farther, but the wind came against them. 
At the distance of six or seven leagues they 
discovered an island, but the wind would not 



DEMONTS. 33 

permit them to approach it ; they therefore 
gave it the name of Douteuse or Doubtful. 
This was probably either Nantucket or Ca- 
pawock, now called Martha's Vineyard ; and 
if so, the contest with the Indians was on the 
south shore of Cape Cod, where are several 
harbours and streams of fresh water. To the 
harbour where he lay he gave the name of 
Port Fortune. 

It was now late in the season, and no pros- 
pect appeared of obtaining any better place 
for a settlement ; besides, he had two wound- 
ed men whose lives were in danger. He 
therefore determined to return, which he did 
by the shortest and most direct course ; and, 
after a perilous voyage, in which the rudder 
was again broken and the bark narrowly 
escaped shipwreck, he arrived at Port Royal 
on the 14th of November.* 

The manner in which they spent the third 

* [To show their joy at the safe return of Poutrincourt, Les- 
carbot, who was there, devised some sports, or, as he terms 
them, "quelque gaillardise;" and farther to celebrate that event, 
they placed over the entrance of the fort the arms of France, 
wreathed with laurel, with the motto Duo PROTEGET UNUS. Be- 
low them were put the arms of De Monts, with the inscription 
DABIT DEUS HIS QUOQUE FINEM, and of Poutrincourt, with the 
inscription INTIA VIRTUTI NULLA KST VIA. These also were 
adorned with chaplets of laurel. Lescarbot, N. F., 579. H.] 



34 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

winter was social and festive. At the princi- 
pal table, to which fifteen persons belonged, 
an order was established by the name of 
Uordre de bon temps. Every one took his 
turn to be caterer and steward for one day, 
during which he wore the collar of the order 
and a napkin, and carried a staff. After sup- 
per he resigned his accoutrements, with the 
ceremony of drinking a cup of wine, to the 
next in succession. The advantage of this 
institution was, that each one was emulous to 
be prepared for his day, by previously hunt- 
ing or fishing, or purchasing fish and game 
of the natives, who constantly resided among 
them, and were extremely pleased with their 
manners.* 

Four only died in this winter, and it is re- 
marked that these were " sluggish and fret- 
ful." The winter was mild and fair. On a 
Sunday in the middle of January, after Divine 
service, they " sported and had much music 
on the river ;" and in the same month they 
went two leagues to see their cornfield, and 
dined cheerfully in the sunshine. 

* [Lescarbot, commending their good cheer, in reply to the 
insinuations of some Parisian epic ires who had made sport of 
their supposed coarse fare, said that they lived as luxuriously as 
they could have done in the street Aux Ours in Paris, and at 
much less expense. H.] 



D E M O N T S. 36 

At the first opening of the spring (1607) 
they began to prepare gardens, the produce 
of which was extremely grateful, as were also 
the numberless fish which came into the river. 
They also erected a water-mill, which not only 
saved them much hard labour at the hand- 
mill, but gave them more time for fishing. 
The fish which they took were called her- 
rings and pilchards, of which they pickled 
several hogsheads to be sent home to France. 

In April they began to build two barks, in 
which they might visit the ports frequented 
by the fishermen, and learn some news from 
their mother-country, as well as get supplies 
for their subsistence. Having no pitch to 
pay the seams, they were obliged to cut pine- 
trees and burn them in kilns, by which means 
they obtained a sufficiency. 

On Ascension Day* a vessel arrived from 
France, destined to bring supplies, a large 
share of which the crew had ungenerously 
consumed in their voyage. The letters brought 
by this vessel informed them that the compa- 
ny of merchants associated with De Monts 
were discouraged, and that their ship was to 
be employed in the fishery at Canseau. The 
reason of this proceeding was, that, contrary 

* [Some day in May. The vessel was the Jonas again. H.] 



36 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

to the king's edict, the Hollanders had in- 
truded themselves into the fur-trade in the 
River of Canada, having been conducted by 
a treacherous Frenchman ; in consequence of 
which,* the king had revoked the exclusive 
privilege which he had given to De Monts 
for ten years. t The avarice of these Hol- 

* [It is hardly probable that the intrusion of the Hollanders 
could have induced the king to revoke letters patent to De 
Monts. Lescarbot (Nouvelle France, 591) states this fact as 
the reason why the company of merchants was dissolved, the 
loss of this trade being supposed so to diminish their resources 
that they would be unable to bear the expense of the colony. He 
gives also (p. 619) as the reasons of the revocation, the natural 
jealousy of a monopoly, and the petitions of the merchants of St. 
Malo and others, " who sought their own profit, and not the hon- 
our of God and of France ;" which petitions were made, osten- 
sibly at least, on account of the high price of the beavers im- 
ported by De Monts. He adds, what was, perhaps, a reason of 
some weight, that for the three years during which he had held 
the patent, he had made no converts among the natives. The 
robbery of the Indian graves he ascribes (p. 593) to the French, 
who had come to bring them home, " ceux qui nous so-nt venus 
querir," and says that it " made the name of the French odious 
and contemptible" among the Indians. The murder of La Jeu- 
nesse, who had showed the new-comers, " a nos gens," the bu- 
rial-places of the natives, took place when the company were a 
Canseau, on their way from Port Royal to France " lorsque 
nous Estions a. Campseau." H.] 

t [Champlain affirms that De Monts could obtain only the 
pitiful sum of 6000 livres, as a recompense for all his labours and 
expense (which was not less than 100,000 livres) in his colonial 
efforts. Voyages de Champlain, i., 8. H.] 



DE MONTS. 37 

landers was so great, that they had opened 
the graves of the dead and taken the beaver- 
skins in which the corpses had been buried. 
This outrage was so highly resented by the 
savages at Canseau, that they killed the person 
who had shown the places where the dead 
were laid. This news was extremely unwel- 
come, as it portended the destruction of the 
colony. 

Poutrincourt, however, was so well pleased 
with his situation, that he determined to re- 
turn to it, though none but his own family 
should accompany him. He was very desi- 
rous to see the issue of his attempt at agri- 
culture, and therefore detained the vessel as 
long as he could, and employed his bark in 
small voyages about the bay, to trade for furs, 
and gather specimens of iron and copper to 
be transported to France. When they were 
all ready to sail, he tarried eleven days longer 
than the others, that he might carry home the 
first-fruits of his harvest. Leaving the build- 
ings, and part of the provision, with the stand- 
ing corn, as a present to the friendly natives, 
he finally sailed from Port Royal on the llth 
of August, and joined the other vessels at 
Canseau, from which place they proceeded to 

437447 



38 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY 

France where they arrived in the. latter end 
of September. 

Specimens of the wheat, rye, barley, and 
oats were shown to the king, which, with other 
productions of the country, animal and min- 
eral, were so highly acceptable, that he re- 
newed and confirmed to De Monts the privi- 
lege of trading for beavers, that he might have 
it in his power to establish a colony. In con- 
sequence of which, the next spring several 
families were sent to renew the plantation, 
who found that the ravages had gathered 
seven barrels of the corn which had been 
left standing, and had reserved one for their 
friends, whom they expected to return. 

The revocation of the exclusive patent giv- 
en to De Monts was founded on complaints 
made by the masters of fishing vessels, that 
the branch of commerce in which they were 
engaged would be ruined. When this pat- 
ent was restored it was limited to one year, 
and on this condition, that he should make 
an establishment in the River St. Lawrence. 
De Monts therefore quitted his connexion 
with Acadia, and the company of merchants 
with whom he had been connected fitted out 
two ships for the port of Tadousac in 1608. 
The fur-trade was of very considerable 



DEMONTS. 30 

and the company made great profits ; but Df 
Monts, finding their interests hurt by his con 
nexion with them, withdrew from the associa- 
tion. 

Poutrincourt resolving to prosecute his 
plantation at Port Royal, the grant of which 
had been confirmed to him by the king, sent 
Biencourt, his son, to France (1608) for a 
supply of men and provisions.* One condi- 

* The date in the text must be an error. Lescarbot, besides 
his work entitled " Histoire de la Nouvelle France," already of- 
ten referred to, published a smaller work, " Relation Derniere 
It ce gue c'est passa au voyage du Sicur de Poutrincourt en la 
Nouvelle France, depuis 20 mois en$a" Paris, 1612. In this 
work, after alluding to the two voyages of Poutrincourt already 
made, he says (p. 6) that he set sail again for America (having 
.now lot two years by relying on the promised assistance and 
company of others, N. F., 635) February 26th, 1610, "mil six 
cens dix" and reached Port Royal in the latter part of May. A 
leading purpose of this voyage was the conversion of the natives, 
some of whom had previously been instructed in the Catholic 
faith. These instructions were renewed ; and on the Testival oi 
St. John the Baptist, June 24th, Membertou, the chief of the 
Indians in that region, with twenty of his tribe, made a formal 
profession of their faith in receiving the ordinance of baptism. 
Membertou, to show his zeal in the new religion, offered to make 
war on all who should refuse to become Christians. Poutrin- 
court found it necessary to send his eldest son (Biencourt), lo 
Baron de Sainct Just, then about nineteen years old, to France 
for a supply of provisions and merchandise. He sailed from 
Port Royal July 8th, and reached Dieppe August 21st. The 
period of his absence was passed by his father in settling his 
new republic, and initiating the Christian Indians in the cere- 



40 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY 

tion of the grant was, that attempts should be 
made to convert the natives to the Catholic 
faith ; it was therefore necessary to engage 
the assistance of some ecclesiastics. The 
first who embraced the proposal were the 
Jesuits, by whose zealous exertions a contri- 
bution was soon made for the purpose, and 
two of their order, Biard and Masse, embark- 
ed for the new plantation. It was not long 
before a controversy arose between them and 

monial of their new faith. The music of the hymns and chants 
used in these services was composed by him. St. Just was 
charged to return in four months, and was, of course, expected 
by the end of November. They passed the winter, however, 
without seeing him, on a short allowance of provisions, eked out 
by the uncertain resources of hunting and fishing. St. Just was 
detained in France partly by an unsuccessful attempt to monop- 
olize the trade in furs. The news of the conversion of the 
heathen was joyfully received by the king and queen, the latter 
of whom, to carry on this good work, directed two Jesuits to 
accompany him. They were Fathers Biard (Lescarbot writes 
it Biar and Birat), a learned man of Gascony, and Remond 
Masse. Their commission was another cause of delay, as the 
merchants at Dieppe associated with Poutrincourt would not 
allow them to embark without an advance of money, which was 
at last obtained of the queen. At length he set sail, Jan. 26th, 
1611, and, having been forced by contrary winds to put into 
England, reached Port Royal 22d May. The delay was a seri- 
ous loss to Poutrincourt in respect of the trade in beaver, much 
of which he lost for want of seasonable supplies. Of the later 
life of Poutrincourt I have been able to find nothing, except that 
he soon returned to France. See also Voyages de Champlain, 
lib. iii., cap. 1. H.] 



DE MO NTS. 41 

the proprietor, who said " it was his part to 
rule them on earth, and theirs only to guide 
him to heaven."* After his departure for 
France, his son Biencourt, disdaining to be 
controlled by those whom he had invited to 
reside with him, threatened them with cor- 
poreal punishment in return for their spiritual 
anathemas. It became necessary, then, that 
they should separate. The Jesuits removed 
to Mount Desart, where they planted gardens 
and entered on the business of their mission, 
which they continued till 1613 or 1614, when 
Sir Samuel Argal, from Virginia, broke up the 
French settlements in Acadia. In the en- 
counter one of these Jesuits was killed and 
the other was made prisoner. Of the other 
Frenchmen, some dispersed themselves in the 
woods and mixed with the savages ; some 
went to the River St. Lawrence, and strength- 
ened the settlement which Champlain had 
made there ; and others returned to France. 
Two advantages were expected to result 
from establishing a colony in the River St. 
Lawrence : one was an extension of the fur- 
trade, and another was the hope of penetra- 
ting westward through the lakes to the Pa- 
cific Ocean, and finding a nearer communica- 

* Purchas, v., 1808. 



42 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

tion with China. One of the vessels sent by 
the company of merchants in 1608 to that riv- 
er was commanded by Champlain. In hia 
former voyage he had marked the strait above 
the Isle of Orleans as a proper situation for a 
fort, because the river was there contracted in 
its breadth, and the northern shore was high 
and commanding. He arrived there in the 
beginning of July, and immediately began 
to clear the woods, to build houses, and pre- 
pare fields and gardens. Here he spent the 
winter, and his company suffered much by 
the scurvy. The remedy which Cartier had 
used was not to be found, or the savages 
knew nothing of it. It is supposed that the 
former inhabitants had been extirpated, and 
a new people held possession.* 

In the spring of 1609, Champlain, with two 
other Frenchmen and a party of the natives, 
went up the river now called Sorel, and en- 
tered the lakes which lie towards the south 
and communicate with the country of the Iro- 
quois. To the largest of these lakes Cham^ 
plain gave his own name, which it has ever 
since retained. On the shore of another, 
which he called Lake Sacrament, now Lake 
George, they were discovered by a company 

* Purchas, v., 1648. 



DEMONTS. 43 

of the Iroquois, with whom they had a skir- 
mish. Champlain killed two of them with 
his musket. The scalps of fifty were taken, 
and brought to Quebec in triumph. 

In the autumn Champlain went to France, 
leaving Captain Pierre to command, and in 
1610 he returned to Quebec to perfect the 
colony, of which he may be considered as 
the founder.* 

After the death pf Henry IV. he obtained 
of the queen regent a commission as lieuten- 
ant of New-France, with very extensive pow- 
ers. This commission was confirmed by 
Louis XIII., and Champlain was continued 
in the government of Canada. 

The religious controversies which prevail- 
ed in France augmented the number of colo- 

* [He returned to France in 1611, arriving there August 
llth, and on the 7th of May, 1612, came again to Quebec. He 
went to France in August of the same year, and returned to 
Quebec in 1613; again in 1615, and still again in 1617. In 
1620 he brought over his family, with the fixed purpose of per- 
manent residence, and remained there till 1624. In 1615 and 
1616 he made a long voyage of discovery in the interior of the 
country. He ascended the Ottawa River a great distance, and 
crossed to Lake Nipissing, in latitude 46 15'. He sailed down 
the outlet of the lake and entered Lake Huron, and returned 
probably through the western part of New- York, as may be in- 
ferred from his description of the lakes and rivers, by Lake On- 
tario (Entouhonorous, as he calls it) to the St. Lawrence. H.I 
II. D 



44 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

nists. A settlement was made at Trois .- 
vieres, and a brisk trade was carried on at 
Tadousac. In 1626 Quebec began to as- 
sume the face of a city, and the fortress was 
rebuilt with stone ;* but the people were di- 
vided in their religious principles, and the 
Huguenot party prevailed. 

In this divided state (1629) the colony was 
attacked by an armament from England, un- 
der the conduct of Sir David Kirk.f He 
sailed up the River St. L wrence and appear- 
ed before Quebec, which was then so miser- 
ably supplied that they had but seven ounces 
of bread to a man for a day. A squadron 
from France, with provision for their relief, 
entered the river, but, after some resistance, 
was taken by the English. This disappoint- 
ment increased the distress of the colony, and 
obliged Champlain to capitulate. He was 
carried to France in an English ship, and 
there found the minds of the people divided 

* [Champlain laid the foundations May 6th, 1624, placing 
underneath a stone, on which were engraven the arms of the 
king, and his own name as lieutenant of New-France, with the 
date. Voyages de Champlain, part ii., liv. i., p. 67. On his re- 
urn from France, July, 1626, he found the fort as he had left it. 
The works proceeded rapidly under his inspection. H.] 

t [The surrender was demanded and the terms agreed on by 
Thomas and Lewis, brothers of Sir David. H.] 



D E M O N X S. 45 

with regard to Canada ; some thinking it not 
worth regaining, as it had cost the government 
vast sums without bringing any return ; others 
deeming the fishery and fur-trade to be great 
national objects, especially as they proved to 
be a nursery for seamen. These sentiments, 
supported by the solicitation of Champlain, 
prevailed ; and, by the treaty of St. Ger- 
main's in 1632, Canada, Acadia, and Cape 
Breton were restored to France. 

The next year Champlain resumed his gov- 
ernment, and the company of New-France 
were restored to their former rights and priv- 
ileges. A large recruit of inhabitants, with 
a competent supply of Jesuits, arrived from 
France, and with some difficulty a mission 
was established among the Hurons, and a 
seminary of the order was begun at Quebec. 
In the midst of this prosperity Champlain 
died, in the month of December, 1635, and 
was succeeded the next year by De Mont- 
magny. 

Champlain is characterized as a man of 
good sense, strong penetration, and upright 
views ; volatile, active, enterprising, firm, and 
valiant.* He aided the Hurons in their wars 

* [We may add humane, generous, daring, and reckless. 
H] 



46 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

with the Iroquois, and personally engaged in 
their battles, in one of which he was wound- 
ed. His zeal for the propagation of the 
Catholic religion was so great, that it was a 
common saying with him, that " the salvation 
of one soul was of more value than the con- 
quest of an empire."* 

* Cbarlevoix, Hist. Nouvelle France, torn, i., p. 197, 4U>. 



GORGES. 47 



XII. FERDINANDO GORGES AND 
JOHN MASON.* 

WE know nothing concerning Gorges in 
the early part of his life.f The first account 
we have of him is the discovery which he 
made of a plot which the Earl of Essex had 
laid to overthrow the government of Queen 
Elizabeth, the tragical issue of which is too 
well known to be here repeated. Gorges, 
who had been privy to the conspiracy at first, 
communicated his knowledge of it to Sir 
Walter Raleigh, his intimate friend, but the 
enemy and rival of ESsex.J 

There was not only an intimacy between 
Raleigh and Gorges, but a similarity in their 
genius and employment ; both were formed 
for intrigue and adventure ; both were inde- 
fatigable in the prosecution of their sanguine 
projects ; and both were naval commanders. 

* [Little can be added to the copious and exact account given 
by Dr. Belknap of Gorges and Mason, and of their schemes of 
colonization, and I have contented myself with a very few illus- 
trations of some individuals connected with them. H.] 

t In Josselyn's voyage he is called " Sir F. G., of Ashton 
Phillips, in Somerset," p. 197. , 

$ Hume. 



48 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

During the war with Spain, which occupied 
the last years of Queen Elizabeth, Gorges, 
with other adventurous spirits, found full em- 
ployment in the navy of their mistress. When 
the peace, which her successor, James I., made 
in 1604, put an end to their hopes of honour 
and fortune by military enterprises, Sir Fer- 
dinando was appointed governor of Plymouth 
in Devonshire. This circumstance, by which 
the spirit of adventure might seem to have 
been repressed, proved the occasion of its 
breaking out with fresh ardour, though in a 
pacific and mercantile form, connected with 
the rage for foreign discoveries, which, after 
some interruption, had again seized the Eng- 
lish nation. 

Lord Arundel, of "Wardour,* had employ- 

* [Thomas Arundel was created Baron Arundel, of Wardour, 
May 4th, 1605. In August of the same year he was appointed 
colonel of an English regiment in the service of the Archduke 
Albert, and crossed to Holland in disguise, contrary to the direc- 
tions of King James, who was highly displeased, and ordered 
him to be recalled. Winwood's State Papers, ii., 59 ; iii., 144. 
He went at a very early age to Germany, and, serving as a vol 
unteer in the imperial army in Hungary, took with his own hand 
the standard of the Turks in an engagement at Gran. For this 
heroic action, Rodolph II., emperor of Germany, created him a 
count of the holy Roman empire, Dec. 14, 1595. His lordship, 
who was surnamed the valiant, married the Lady Maria, daugh- 
ter of the second Earl of Southampton, and, of course, was 
brother-in-law of the third earl, who in 1609 engaged in the Vir- 



GORGES. 49 

ed a Captain Weymouth in search of a North- 
west Passage to India. This navigator, hav- 
ing mistaken his course, fell in with a river 
on the coast of America, which, by his de- 
scription, must have been either Kennebec or 
Penobscot.* From thence he brought to 
England five of the natives,. and arrived in 
the month of July, 1605, in the harbour of 
Plymouth, where Gorges commanded, who 
immediately took three of them into his fam- 
ily. Their names were Manida, Skettwar- 
roes, and Tasquantum ; they were all of one 
language, though not of the same tribe. This 
accident proved the occasion, under God's 
providence, of preparing the way for a more 
perfect discovery than had yet been made of 
this part of North America. 

Having gained the affections of these sav- 
ages by kind treatment, he found them very 
docile and intelligent ; and from them he 
learned, by inquiry, many particulars con- 
cerning their conntry, its rivers, harbours, 

ginia Company. He died Nov. 7th, 1630. The title yet remain* 
in his family. Burke's Peerage and Baronetage. H.] 

* [Weymouth had already much experience as a navigator. 
About 1594 he commanded an expedition, fitted out at the joint 
expense of the companies of the Turkish and Russian mer- 
chants, for the discovery of a Northwest Passage to China. 
Fortter's Voyages, 312. H.] 



OO AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

islands, fish, and other animals ; the numbers, 
disposition, manners, and customs of the na- 
tives ; their government, alliances, enemies, 
force, and methods of war. The result of 
these inquiries served to feed a sanguine hope 
of indulging his genius and advancing his 
fortune by a more thorough discovery of the 
country. 

His chief associate in this plan of discov- 
ery was Sir John Popham,* lord chief-justice 
of the King's Bench, who, by his acquaintance 
with divers noblemen, and by their interest 
at court, obtained from King James a patent 
for making settlements in America, which was 
now divided into two districts, and called 
North and South Virginia. The latter of 
these districts was put under the care of cer- 
tain noblemen, knights, and gentlemen, who 
were styled the London Company ; the for- 
mer under the direction of others in Bristol, 
Exeter, and Plymouth, who were called the 

* [Sir John Popham was a distinguished lawyer under Eliza- 
beth and James I. He was educated at Baliol College, Oxford, 
and afterward was a student of the Middle Temple, and became 
a barrister in 1568. He was appointed solicitor-general in 1579, 
attorney-general in 1581, and chief-justice of the King's Bench 
in 1592. This office he held till his death, June 10, 1607. 
Birch's Elizabeth, ii., 227, note. He is said to have "adminis- 
tered towards malefactors with wholesome and available severi- 
ty." Wood, Ath. Ox., i., 292, 3.H.] 



O O H G 1-: S. 



Plymouth Company, because their meetings 
were usually held there. 

By the joint efforts of this company, of 
which Popham and Gorges were two of the 
most enterprising members, a ship, command- 
ed by Henry Chalong, was fitted out, and 
sailed in August, 1606, for the discovery of 
the country from which the savages had been 
brought, and two of them were put on board. 
The orders given to the master were to keep 
in as high a latitude as Cape Breton till he 
should discover the main land, and then to 
range the coast southward till he should find 
the place from which the natives had been 
taken. Instead of observing these orders, the 
captain, falling sick on the passage, made a 
southern course, and first arrived at the Island 
of Porto Rico, where he tarried some time for 
the recovery of his health ; from thence, com- 
ing northwardly, he fell in with a "Spanish 
fleet from the Havanna, by whom the ship 
was seized and carried to Spain. 

Captain Prynne, in another ship, which 
sailed from Bristol, with orders to find Cha- 
long, and join with him in a survey of the 
coast, had better success ; for, though he fail- 
ed of meeting his consort, yet he carried home 

a particular account of the coasts, rivers, and 
II E 



52 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

harbours, with other information relative to 
the country, which made so deep an impres- 
sion on the minds of the company as to 
strengthen their resolution of prosecuting their 
enterprise. 

It was determined to send over a large 
number of people, sufficient to begin a colony. 
For this purpose George Popham was ap- 
pointed president, Raleigh Gilbert, admiral, 
Edward Harlon, master of ordnance, Robert 
Davis, serjeant-major, Elis Best, marshal, 
Mr. Seaman, secretary, James Davis, com- 
mander of the fort, Gome Carew, searcher. 
All these were to be of the council ; and, be- 
sides these, the colony consisted of 100 men, 
who were styled planters. They sailed from 
Plymouth in two ships (May 31, 1607), and, 
having fallen in with the Island of Monahigon 
(August 11), landed at the mouth of Sagada- 
hock, or Kennebec River, on a peninsula, 
where they erected a storehouse, and, having 
fortified it as well as their circumstances would 
admit, gave it the 'name of Fort St. George. 

By means of two natives, whom they 
brought with them from England, viz., Skett- 
warroes, sent by Gorges, and Dehamida, by 
Popham, they found a cordial welcome among 
the Indians, their sachems offering to conduct 



GORGES. 53 

and introduce them to the bashaba or great 
chief, whose residence was at Penobscot, and 
to whom it was expected that all strangers 
should make their address.* 

The president, having received several in- 
vitations, was preparing to comply with their 
request, and had advanced some leagues on 
his way, but contrary winds and bad weatjier 
obliged him to return, to the great grief of 
the sachems who were to have attended him. 
The bashaba, hearing of the disappointment, 
sent his son to visit the president and settle a 
trade for furs. 

The ships departed for England in Decem- 
ber, leaving behind them only 45 persons of 
the new colony. The season was too far ad- 
vanced before their arrival to begin planting 
for that year, if there had been ground pre- 
pared for tillage. They had to subsist on 
the provisions which they had brought from 
England, and the fish and game which the 

* The Bashaba of Penobscot was a prince superior in rank to 
the sachems of the several tribes. All the sachems westward 
as far as Naumkeag [Salem] acknowledged subjection to him. 
He is frequently mentioned in the accounts of the first voyages 
to New-England, but was killed by the Tarrateens in 1615, be- 
fore any effectual settlement was made in the country. We 
have no account of any other Indian chief in these northern parts 
of America whose authority was so extensive. 



54 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

country afforded. The severity of an Amer- 
ican winter was new to them ; and, though 
it was observed that the same winter was un- 
commonly severe in England, yet that cir- 
cumstance, being unknown, could not alle- 
viate their distress. By some accident, their 
storehouse took fire and was consumed, with 
the greater part of their provisions, in the 
middle of the winter ; and in the spring (1608) 
they had the additional misfortune to lose 
their president, Captain Popham, by death. 
The ship which their friends in England had 
by their united exertions sent over with sup- 
plies, arrived a few days after with the mel- 
ancholy news of the death of Sir John Pop- 
ham, which happened while she lay waiting 
for a wind at Plymouth. The command of 
the colony now devolved on Gilbert, but the 
next ship brought an account of the death of 
his brother, Sir John Gilbert, which obliged 
him to return to England to take care of the 
estate to which he succeeded. These repeat- 
ed misfortunes and disappointments, opera- 
ting with the disgust which the new colonists 
had taken to the climate and soil, determined 
them to quit the place. Accordingly, having 
embarked with their president, they returned 
to England, carrying with them, as the fruit 



GORGES. 55 

of their labour, a small vessel which they had 
built during their residence here, and thus 
the first colony which was attempted in New 
England began and ended in one year. 

The country was now branded as intolera- 
bly cold, and the body of the adventurers re- 
linquished the design. Sir Francis Popham, 
indeed, employed a ship for some succeeding 
years in the fishing and fur-trade ; but he at 
length became content with his losses, and 
none of this 'company but Sir Ferdinando 
Gorges had the resolution to surmount all 
discouragements. Though he sincerely la- 
mented the'loss of his worthy friend the chief- 
justice, who had zealously joined with him 
in these hitherto fruitless but expensive la- 
bours, yet, " as to the coldness of the clime," 
he says, " he had too much experience in 
the world to be frighted with such a blast, 
as knowing many great kingdoms and large 
territories more northerly seated, and by 
many degrees colder, were plentifully inhab- 
ited, and divers of them stored with no better 
commodities than these parts afford, if like 
industry, art, and labour be used." 

Such persevering ardour, in the face of so 
many discouragements, must be allowed to 
discover a mind formed for enterprise, and 



56 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

fully persuaded of the practicability of the 
undertaking. 

When he found that he could not be sec- 
onded in his attempts for a thorough discov- 
ery of the country by others, he determined 
to carry it on by himself ; and for this purpose 
he purchased a ship, and engaged with a mas- 
ter and crew to go to the coast of New-Eng- 
land for the purpose of fishing and traffic, the 
only inducement which seafaring people could 
have to undertake such a voyage. On board 
this ship he put RICHARD VINES* and several 
others of his own servants, in whom he placed 
the fullest confidence, and whom he hired, at 
a great expense, to stay in the country over 
the winter and pursue the discovery of it. 
These persons, having left the ship's compa- 

* [Vines afterward resided in the country. In 1629 a grant 
was made to him and Oldham by the council for New-Eng- 
land of " all that tract known by the name of Sagadahock," being 
four miles on the sea and eight miles inland. Vines sold out to 
Dr. Robert Childs in 1645. The name Sagadahock is used 
confusedly to denote the Saco River and the Kennebec. -Sulli- 
van's Maine, 220 and 111. Vines lived near Winter Harbour 
(Saco), on the seashore. Ib., 224. He was deputy-governor 
of the province under Gorges in 1644 (Mass. Hist., Coll., iii., 
138), and was largely engaged in trade to Machias, &c. Win 
throp's Journal, ii., 126. He afterward removed to Barbadoes, 
where he acquired considerable property as a planter and a phy 
sician. See his letters to Governor Winthrop in 1647, 8. 
Hutch. Coll., 222, 3. H.] 



GORGES. 57 

ay to follow their usual occupation on the 
coast, travelled into the land, and, meeting 
with the savages who had before returned to 
America, by their assistance became ac- 
quainted with such particulars as Gorges 
wished to know. 

Mr. Vines and his companions were re- 
ceived by the Indians with great hospitality, 
though their residence among them was ren- 
dered hazardous, both by a war which raged 
among them, and by a pestilence which ac- 
companied or succeeded it. 

This war and pestilence are frequently 
spoken of by the historians of New-England 
as remarkable events in the course of Provi- 
dence, which prepared the way for the estab- 
lishment of a European colony. Concerning 
the war we know nothing more than this, that 
it was begun by the Tarratenes, a nation who 
resided eastward of Penobscot. These for- 
midable people surprised the bashaba or 
chief sachem at his headquarters, and de- 
stroyed him with all his family ; upon which 
all the other sachems who were subordinate 
to him quarrelled among themselves for the 
sovereignty ; and in these dissensions many 
of them, as well as of their unhappy people, 
perished. Of what particular kind the pesti- 



58 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

lence was we have no certain* information ; 
but it seems to have been a disorder peculiar 
to the Indians, for Mr. Vines and his compan- 
ions, who were intimately conversant with 
them, and frequently lodged in their wig- 
wams, were not in the least degree affected! 
by it, though it swept off the Indians at such 
a prodigious rate that the living were not able 
to bury the dead, and their bones were found 
several years after lying about the villages 
where they had resided. The extent of this- 
pestilence was between Penobscot in the east 
and Narraganset in the west. These two 
tribes escaped, while the intermediate people 
were wasted and destroyed^ 

The information which Vines obtained for 
Sir Ferdinando, though satisfactory in one 
view, produced no real advantage propor- 
tionate to the expense. While he was de- 
liberating by what means he should farther 
prosecute his plan of colonization, Captain 
Henry Harley, who had been one of the un- 
fortunate adventurers to Sagadahock, came 
to him, bringing a native of the Island Capa- 

* Mr. Gookm says that he " had discoursed with some old- 
Indians who were then youths, who told him that the bodies of 
the sick were all over exceeding yellow (which they described 
by pointing lo a yellow garment), both before they died and af- 
terward." See Collections of Historical Society for 1 792, p, 148* 



GORGES. 59 

wock, now called Martha's Vineyard, who 
had been treacherously taken from his own 
country by one of the fishing-ships, and shown 
in London as a sight. Gorges received this 
savage, whose name was Epenow, with great 
pleasure, and about the same time recovered 
Assacumet, one of those who had been sent 
in the unfortunate voyage of C/aptain Chalong. 
These two Indians at first scarcely under- 
stood each other ; but, when they had grown 
better acquainted, Assacumet informed his old 
master of what he had learned from Epenow 
concerning his country. This artful fellow 
had invented a story of a mine of gold in his 
native island, which he supposed would in- 
duce some adventurer to employ him as a 
pilot, by which means he hoped to get home, 
and he was not disappointed -in his expecta- 
tion. 

Gorges had engaged the Earl of South- 
ampton, then commander of the Isle of Wight, 
to advance one hundred pounds, and Captain 
Hobson another hundred, and also to go on 
the discovery. With this assistance, Harley 
sailed in June, 1614, carrying with him sev- 
eral land-soldiers and the two before-men- 
tioned Indians, with a third named Wanape, 
who had been sent to Gorges from the Isle 



60 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

of Wight. On the arrival of the ship she was 
soon piloted to the Island of Capawock, and 
to the harbour where Epenow was to perform 
his promise. The principal inhabitants of the 
place, with some of his own kinsmen, came 
on board, with whom he held a conference 
and contrived his escape. They departed, 
promising to re*turn the next day with furs 
for traffic. Epenow had pretended that if it 
were known that he had discovered the se- 
crets of his country, his life would be in dan- 
ger ; but the company were careful to watch 
him ; and, to prevent his escape, had dressed 
him in long clothes, which could easily be 
laid hold of if there should be occasion. His 
friends appeared the next morning in twenty 
canoes, and, lying at a distance, the captain 
called to them 'to come on board, which they 
declining, Epenow was ordered to renew the 
invitation. He, mounting the forecastle, hail- 
ed them as he was directed, and at the same 
instant, though one held him by the coat, yet 
being strong and heavy, he jumped into the 
water. His countrymen then advanced to 
receive him, and sent a shower of arrows into 
the ship, which so disconcerted the crew that 
the prisoner completely effected his escape. 
Thus the golden dream vanished, and the 



GORGES. 61 

ship returned without having performed any 
services adequate to the expense of her equip- 
ment. 

The Plymouth Company were much dis- 
couraged by the ill success of this adventure, 
but the spirit of emulation between them and 
the London Company proved very servicea- 
ble to the cause in which they were jointly 
engaged. For these, having sent out four 
ships, under the command of Michael Cooper, 
to South Virginia [January, 1615], and Cap- 
tain John Smith, who had been employed by 
that company, having returned to England 
and engaged with the company at Plymouth, 
their hopes revived. Sir Ferdinando Gorges, 
in concert with Dr. Sutliffe,* dean of Exeter, 
and several others, equipped two vessels, one 
of two hundred, the other of 50 tons, on board 
of which (besides the complement of seamen) 
were sixteen men who were destined to be- 
gin a colony in New-England [March, 1615]. 

* [Dr. Matthew Sutliffe was the author of many learned 
works in theology. He founded Chelsea College " for the de- 
fence of the Church of England against that of Rome." Birch, 
Eliz., i., 61. He was a member of the Virginia Company 
(Smith, 156), and was one of the commissioners for that colony 
appointed by James after the charter of the company was decla- 
red void. Hazard, i., 183. Captain John Smith named a 
promontory on the coast of Massachusetts Point Sutliffe. See 
his map. H.] 



62 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

When they had sailed one hundred and twen- 
ty leagues, the large ship lost her masts and 
sprung a leak, which obliged them to put 
back under jury-masts to Plymouth. From 
thence Smith sailed again [June 24] in a bark 
of 60 tons, carrying the same sixteen men, 
but on this second voyage was taken by four 
French men-of-war, and carried to France. 
The vessel of fifty tons, which had been sep- 
arated from him, pursued her voyage and 
returned in safety ; but the main design of 
the voyage, which was to effect a settlement, 
was frustrated. 

The same year (October) Sir Richard Haw- 
kins, by authority of the Plymouth Company, 
of which he was president for that year, visit- 
ed the coast of New-England, to try what 
services he could do them in searching the 
country and its commodities ; but, on his ar- 
rival, finding the natives engaged in war, he 
passed along the coast to Virginia, and from 
thence returned to England by the way of 
Spain, where he disposed of the fish which he 
had taken in the voyage. 

After this ships were sent every season by 
the London and Plymouth Companies on 
voyages of profit ; their fish and furs came 
to a good market in Europe, but all the at- 



GORGES. 63 

tempts which were made to colonize North 
Virginia by some unforeseen accidents failed 
of success. Gorges, however, had his mind 
still invariably bent on his original plan, and 
every incident which seemed to favour his 
views was eagerly improved for that purpose. 
Being possessed of the journals and letters 
of the several voyagers, and of all the infor- 
mation which could be had, and being al- 
ways at hand to attend the meetings of the 
company, he contrived to keep alive their 
hopes, and was the prime mover in all their 
transactions. 

About this time Captain Thomas Dermer, 
who had been employed in the American 
fishery, and had entered fully into the same 
views, offered his service to assist in prosecu- 
ting the discovery of the country. He was 
at Newfoundland, and Gorges prevailed on 
the company to send Captain Edward Ro- 
craft in a ship to New-England, with orders 
to wait there till he should be joined by Ber< 
mer. Rocraft, on his arrival, met with a 
French interloper, which he seized, and then 
sailed with his prize to South Virginia. In 
the mean time Dermer went to England, and, 
having conferred with Gorges and the com- 
pany on the intended disco erv, went out in 



64 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

a ship which Gorges himself owned, hoping 
to meet with Rocraft, but was much perplex- 
ed at not finding him. 

Having ranged and examined every part 
of the coast, and made many useful observa- 
tions, which he transmitted to Gorges, he 
shaped his course for Virginia,* where Ro- 
craft had been killed in a quarrel and his 
bark sunk. Dermer, being thus disappointed 
of his consort and of his expected supplies, 
returned to the northward. At the Island of 
Capawock he met with Epenow, who, know- 
ing him to be employed by Gorges, and sus- 
pecting that his ei rand was to bring him back 
to England, conspired with his countrymen 
to seize him and his companions, several of 
whom were killed in the fray : Dermer de- 
fended himself with his sword and escaped, 
though not without fourteen wounds, which 
obliged him to go again to Virginia, where 
he died. The loss of this worthy man was 
the most discouraging circumstance which 
Gorges had met with, and, as he himself ex- 
presses it, " made him almost resolve never 
to intermeddle again in any of these courses." 

* It is said that he was the first who passed the whole extent 
of Long Island Sound, and discovered that it was not connected 
with the continent. This was in 1619. 



GORGES. 65 

But he had, in fact, so deeply engaged in 
them, and had so many persons engaged 
with him, that he could not retreat with hon- 
our while any hope of success remained. 
Soon after this a prospect began to open 
from a quarter where it was least expected. 

The patent of 1606, which divided Virginia 
into two colonies, expressly provided that 
neither company should begin any plantation 
within one hundred miles of the other. By 
this interdiction the middle region of North 
America was neglected, and a bait was laid 
to attract the attention of foreigners. 

The adventurers to South Virginia had 
prohibited all who were not free of their com- 
pany from planting or trading within their 
limits ; the northern company had made no 
such regulation ; by this means it happened 
that the South Virginia ships could fish on 
the northern coast, while the other company 
were excluded from all privileges in the south- 
ern parts. The South Virginians had also 
made other regulations in the management of 
their business, which the northern company 
were desirous to imitate. They thought the 
most effectual way to do this was to procure 
an exclusive patent. With this view, Gorges, 
ever active to promote the interest which he 



66 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

had espoused, solicited of the crown a new 
charter, which, by the interest of his friends 
at court, was after some delay obtained. By 
this instrument forty noblemen, knights, and 
gentlemen were incorporated by the style of 
" the council established at Plymouth, in the 
county of Devon, for the planting, ruling, and 
governing of New-England in America." 
The date of the charter was Nov. 3, 1620. 
The territory subject to their jurisdiction was 
from the 40th to the 48th degree of north 
latitude-, and from sea to sea. This charter 
is the foundation of all the grants which were 
made of the country of New-England. 

Before this division was made, a number 
of families, who were styled Puritans on ac- 
count of their seeking a farther reformation 
of the Church of England, which they could 
not obtain, and who had retired into Holland 
to avoid the severity of the penal laws against 
Dissenters, meditated a removal to America. 
The Dutch were fond of retaining them as 
their subjects, and made them large offers if 
they would settle in some of their transma- 
rine territories ; but they chose rather to re- 
side in the dominions of their native prince 
if they could have liberty of conscience. They 
hfcd by their agents negotiated with the South 



GORGES. 67 

Virginia Company, and obtained a permission 
to transport themselves to America within 
their limits ; but as to the liberty of con- 
science, though they could obtain no indul- 
gence from the crown under hand and seal, 
yet it was declared that " the king would con- 
nive at them provided they behaved peacea- 
bly." As this was all the favour which the 
spirit of the times would allow, they deter- 
mined to cast themselves on the care of Di- 
vine Providence and venture to America. 
After several disasters they arrived at Cape 
Cod, in the 42d degree of north latitude, a 
place remote from the object of their inten- 
tion, which was Hudson's River. The Dutch 
had their eye on that place, and bribed their 
pilot not to carry them thither. It was late 
in the season when they arrived ; their per- 
mission from the Virginia Company was of no 
use here ; and, having neither authority nor 
form of government, they were obliged, for 
the sake of order, before they disembarked, 
to form themselves into a body politic by a 
written instrument. This was the beginning 
of the colony of New-Plymouth ; and this 
event happened (Nov. 11, 1620) a few days 
after King James had signed the patent for 
incorporating the council. These circum- 
II. F 



00 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

stances served the interest of both, though 
then wholly unknown to each other. The 
council, being informed of the establishment 
of a colony within their limits, were fond of 
taking them into their protection, and the col- 
ony were equally desirous of receiving that 
protection as far as to obtain a grant of terri- 
tory. An agent being despatched by the 
colony to England, Sir F. Gorges interested 
himself in the affair, and a grant was accord- 
ingly made (1623) to John Peirce, in trust for 
the colony. This was their first patent ; they 
afterward (1629) had another made to Will- 
iam Bradford and his associates. 

One end which the council had in view 
was to prevent the access of unauthorized 
adventurers to the coast of New-England. 
The crews of their ships, in their intercourse 
with the natives, being far from any estab- 
lished government, were guilty of great licen- 
tiousness. Besides drunkenness and debauch- 
ery, some flagrant enormities had been com- 
mitted, which not only injured the reputation 
of Europeans, but encouraged the natives to 
acts of hostility. To remedy these evils, the 
council thought proper to appoint an officer 
to exercise government on the coast. The 
first person who was sent in this character 



GORGES. 69 

was Captain Francis West, who, finding the 
fishermen too licentious and robust to be con- 
trolled by him, soon gave up this ineffectual 
command. They next appointed Capt. Rob- 
ert Gorges, a son of Sir Ferdinando. He 
was, like his father, of an active and enter- 
prising genius, and had newly returned from 
the Venitian war. He obtained of the coun- 
cil a patent for a tract of land on the north- 
eastern side of Massachusetts' Bay, contain- 
ing thirty miles in length and ten in breadth, 
and by the influence of his father, and of his 
kinsman Lord Edward Gorges, he was de- 
spatched with a commission to be " lieuten- 
ant-general and governor of New -England." 
They appointed for his council the aforesaid 
West, with Christopher Level, and the gov- 
ernor of New-Plymouth for the time being. 
Gorges came to Plymouth in 1623, published 
his commission, and made some efforts to ex- 
ecute it. He brought over with him as a 
chaplain William Morrell, an Episcopal cler- 
gyman. This was the first essay for the estab- 
lishment of a General Government in New- 
England, and Morrell was to have a superin- 
tendence in ecclesiastical, as Gorges had in 
civil affairs ; but he made no use of his com- 
mission at Plymouth, and only mentioned it 



70 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

in, his conversation about the time of his de- 
parture.*" This general government was a 
darling object with the council of Plymouth, 
but was much dreaded by the planters of 
New-England ; however, all the attempts 
which were made to carry it into execution 
failed of success. Gorges, after about a 
year's residence in the country, and holding 
one court at Plymouth upon a Mr. Weston, 
who had begun a plantation at Wessagusset 
[Wey mouth], where Gorges himself intended 
a settlement, was recalled to England, the 
supplies which he expected to have received 
having failed. This failure was owing to one 
of those cross accidents which continually 

* This Morrell appears to have been a diligent inquirer into 
the state and circumstances of the country, its natural produc- 
tions and advantages, the manners, customs, and government 
of the natives ; the result of his observations he wrought into a 
poem, which he printed both in Latin and English. The Latin 
is by no means destitute of classical merit, of which the follow- 
ing lines may serve as an evidence : 

" Est locus occiduo procul hinc spatiosus in orbe 

Plurima regna tenens, populisque incognitas ipsis : 

Felix frugiferis sulcis, simul square felix, 

Praedis perdives variis, & flutnine dives, 

Axe satis calidus, rigidoque a frigore tutus." 
The description itself is just and animated, and the English 
translation (considering the date of it) is very tolerable. It is 
printed in the Collections of the Historical Society for 1792, 
page 125. 



GORGES. 71 

befell the council of Plymouth. Though the 
erection of this board was really beneficial to 
the nation, and gave a proper direction to the 
spirit of colonizing, yet they had to struggle 
with the opposing interests of various sorts of 
persons. 

The company of South Virginia, and, in- 
deed, the mercantile interest in general, find- 
ing themselves excluded from the privilege 
of fishing and traffic, complained of this in- 
stitution as a monopoly. The Commons of 
England were growing jealous of the royal 
prerogative ; and wishing to restrain it, the 
granting charters of incorporation with exclu- 
sive advantages of commerce was deemed a 
usurpation on the rights of the people. Com- 
plaints were first made to the king in council, 
but no disposition appeared there to counte- 
nance them. It happened, however, that a 
Parliament was called for some other pur- 
poses (February, 1624), in which Sir Edward 
Cook was chosen speaker of the Commons. 
He was well known as an advocate for the 
liberties of the people, and an enemy to pro- 
jectors. The king was at first in a good hu- 
mour with his Parliament, and advantage was 
taken of a demand for subsidies to bring in a 
bill against monopolies. 



72 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

The house being resolved into a commit- 
tee, Sir Ferdinando Gorges was called to the 
bar, where the speaker informed him that the 
patent granted to the Council of Plymouth 
was complained of as a grievance ; that, un- 
der colour of planting a colony, they were 
pursuing private gains ; that, though they re- 
spected him as a person of worth and honour, 
yet the public interest was to be regarded 
before all personal considerations ; and there 
fore they required that the patent be deliver 
ed to the house. Gorges answered that he 
was but one of the company, inferior in rank 
and abilities to many others ; that he had no 
power to deliver it without their consent, nei- 
ther, in fact, was it in his custody. Being 
asked where it was, he said it was, for aught 
he knew, still remaining in the Crown-office, 
where it had been left for the amendment of 
-some errors. As to the general charge, he 
answered that he knew not how it could be a 
public grievance, since it had been underta- 
ken for the advancement of religion, the en- 
largement of the bounds of the nation, the 
increase, of trade, and the employment of 
many thousands of people : that it could not 
be a monopoly ; for, though a few only were 
interested in the business, it was because 



GORGES. 73 

many could not be induced to adventure 
where their losses at first were sure and their 
gains uncertain ; and, indeed, so much loss 
had been sustained, that most of the adven- 
turers themselves were weary ; that as to the 
profit arising from the fishery, it was never 
intended to be converted to private use, as 
might appear by the offers which they had 
made to all the maritime cities in the west 
of England ; that the grant of exclusive priv- 
ileges made by the crown was intended to 
regulate and settle plantations by the profits 
arising from the trade, and was, in effect, no 
more than many gentlemen and lords of man- 
ors in England enjoyed without offence. He 
added that he was glad of an opportunity for 
such a parliamentary inquiry, and, if they 
would take upon themselves the business of 
colonization, he and his associates would be 
their humble servants as far as lay in their 
power, without any retrospect to the vast ex- 
pense which they had already incurred in dis- 
covering and taking possession of the country, 
and bringing matters to their then present 
situation. He also desired that, if anything 
farther was to be inquired into, it might be 
given him in detail, with liberty of answering 
by his counsel. 



74 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

A committee was appointed to examine 
the patent and make objections, which were 
delivered to Gorges, accompanied with a 
declaration from the speaker that he ought to 
look upon this as a favour. Gorges, having 
acknowledged the favour, employed counsel 
to draw up answers to the objections. His 
counsel were Mr. (afterward Lord) Finch, and 
Mr. Caltrup, afterward attorney-general to 
the Court of Wards. Though, in causes 
where the crown and Parliament are con- 
cerned as parties, counsel are often afraid of 
wading deeper than they can safely return, 
yet Gorges was satisfied with the conduct of 
his counsel, who fully answered the objec- 
tions, both in point of law and justice ; these 
answers being read, the house asked what 
farther he had to say, upon which he added 
some observations in point of policy to the 
following effect : 

That the adventurers had been at great 
cost and pains to enlarge the king's domin- 
ions ; to employ many seamen, handicrafts- 
men, and labourers; to settle a flourishing 
plantation, and advance religion in those sav- 
age countries ; matters of the highest conse- 
quence to the nation, and far exceeding all 
the advantage which could be expected from 



GORGES. 75 

a simple course of fishing, which must soon 
have been given over, for that so valuable a 
country could not long remain unpossessed 
either by the French, Spaniards, or Dutch; so 
that, if the plantations were to be given up, 
the fishery must inevitably be lost, and the 
honour as well as interest of the nation greatly 
suffer ; that the mischief already done by the 
persons who were foremost in their com- 
plaints was intolerable ; for, in their disor- 
derly intercourse with the savages, they had 
been guilty of the greatest excesses of de- 
bauchery and knavery ; and, in addition to 
these immoralities, they had furnished them 
with arms and ammunition, by which they 
were enabled to destroy the peaceable fisher- 
men, and had become formidable enemies to 
the planters. 

He farther added, that he had, in zeal for 
the interest of his country, deeply engaged 
his own estate, and sent one of his sons to the 
American coast, besides encouraging many 
of his friends to go thither ; this he hoped 
would be an apology for his earnestness in 
this plea, as, if he had shown less warmth, it 
might have been construed into negligence 
and ingratitude. 

These pleas, however earnest and rational, 



76 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

were to no purpose. The Parliament pre- 
sented to the king the grievances of the na- 
tion, and the patent for New-England was 
the first on the list. Gorges, however, had 
taken care that the king should be previously 
acquainted with the objections and answers ; 
and James was so jealous of -his prerogative, 
that, though he gave his assent to a declara- 
tory act against monopolies in genera], yet he 
would not recall the patent. However, in 
deference to the voice of the nation, the coun- 
sel thought fit to suspend their operations. 
This proved for a while discouraging to the 
spirit of adventure, and occasioned the recall- 
ing Robert Gorges from his government. 

But the Parliament having proceeded with 
more freedom and boldness in their com- 
plaints than suited the feelings of James, he 
dissolved them in haste before they could 
proceed to measures fcr remedying the disor- 
ders in church and state which had been the 
subject of complaint, and some of the more 
liberal speakers were committed to prison. 
This served to damp the spirit of reformation, 
and prepared the Avay for another colony of 
emigrants to New-England. 

About the same time the French ambassa- 
dor put in a claim in behalf of his court to 



GORGES. 77 

these territories, to which Gorges was sum- 
moned to answer before the king and council, 
which he did in so ample and convincing a 
manner that the claim was for that time si- 
lenced. Gorges then, in the name of the 
Council of Plymouth, complained of the Dutch 
as intruders on the English possessions in 
America by making a settlement on Hudson's 
River. To this the States made answer that, 
if any such things had been done, it was with- 
out their order, as they had only erected a 
company for the West Indies. This answer 
made the council resolve to prosecute their 
business and remove these intruders* 

Hitherto Gorges appears in the light of a 
zealous, indefatigable, and unsuccessful ad- 
venturer ; but neither his labours, expense, 
nor ill success were yet come to a conclusion. 

To entertain a just view of Sir Ferdinando 
Gorges, we must consider him both as a 
member of the Council of Plymouth, pursuing 
the general interest of American plantations, 
and, at the same time, as an adventurer un- 
dertaking a settlement of his own in a partic- 
ular part of the territory which was subject 
to the jurisdiction of the council. Having 
formed an intimacy with Captain John Ma- 
son, governor of Portsmouth, in the county of 



78 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

Hants, who was also a member of the coun- 
cil ; and having (1622), jointly with him, pro- 
cured from the council a grant of a large ex- 
tent of country, which they called Laconia, 
extending from the River Merrimac to Saga- 
dahock, and from the ocean to the lakes and 
River of Canada, they indulged sanguine ex- 
pectation of success. From the accounts giv- 
en of the country by some romantic travellers, 
they had conceived an idea of it as a kind of 
terrestrial paradise, not merely capable of pro- 
ducing all the necessaries and conveniences 
of life, but as already richly furnished by the 
bountiful hand of nature. The air was said 
to be pure and salubrious, the country pleas- 
ant and delightful, full of goodly forests, fair 
valleys, and fertile plains ; abounding in vines, 
chestnuts, walnuts, and many other sorts of 
fruit; the rivers stored with fish, and environ- 
ed with goodly meadows full of timber-trees. 
In the great lake,* it was said, were four isl- 
ands, full of pleasant woods and meadows, 
having great store of stags, fallow deer, elks, 
roebucks, beavers, and other game ; and these 
islands were supposed to be commodiously 
situated for habitation and traffic, in the midst 
of a fine lake abounding with the most deli- 

* Lake Champlain. 



GORGES. 79 

cate fish. This lake was thought to be less 
than 100 miles distant from the seacoast, and 
there was some secret expectation that mines 
and precious stones would be the reward of 
their patient and diligent attention to the bu- 
siness of discovery. Such were the charms of 
Laconia ! 

It has been before observed that Gorges 
had sent over Richard Vines, with some oth- 
ers, on a discovery to prepare the way for a 
colony. The place which Vines pitched upon 
was at the mouth of the River Saco. Some 
years after, another settlement was made on 
the River of Agamenticus by Francis Nor- 
ton, whom Gorges sent over with a number 
of other people, having procured for them a 
patent of 12,000 acres on the east side of the 
river, and 12,000 more on the west side, his 
son Ferdinando Gorges being named as one 
of the grantees : this was the beginning of the 
town of York. Norton was a lieutenant-col- 
onel, and had raised himself to that rank from 
a common soldier by his own merit. In this 
company were several artificers, who were 
employed in building saw-mills, and they 
were supplied with cattle and other necessa- 
ries for the business of getting lumber. 

About the same time (viz., 1623) a settle- 



80 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

ment was begun at the Eiver Piscataqua by 
Captain Mason and several other merchants, 
among whom Gorges had a share. The prin- 
cipal design of these settlements was to estab- 
lish a permanent fishery, to make salt, to trade 
with the natives, and to prepare lumber for 
exportation. Agriculture was but a seconda- 
ry object, though in itself the true source of 
all opulence and all subsistence. 

These attempts proved very expensive'and 
yielded no adequate returns. The associates 
were discouraged, and dropped off one after 
another, till none but Gorges and Mason re- 
mained. Much patience was necessary, but 
in this case it could be grounded only on en- 
thusiasm. It was not possible, in the nature 
of things, that their interest should be advan- 
ced by the manner in which they conducted 
their business. Their colonists came over 
either as tenants or as hired servants. The 
produce of the plantation could not pay their 
wages, and they soon became their own mas- 
ters. The charge of making a settlement in 
such a wilderness was more than the value of 
the lands when the improvements were made : 
overseers were appointed, but they could not 
hold the tenants under command, nor prevent 
their changing places on every discontent. 



GORGES. 61 

The proprietors themselves never came in 
person to superintend their interests, and no 
regular government was established to punish 
offenders or preserve order. For these rea- 
sons, though Gorges and Mason expended, 
from first to last, more than twenty thousand 
pounds each, yet they only opened the way 
for others to follow, and the money was lost 
to them and their posterity.* 

While their private interest was thus sink- 
ing in America, the reputation of the council, 
of which they were members, lay under such 
disadvantage in England as tended to endan- 
ger their political existence. As they had 
been incorporated for the purpose, not mere- 
ly of granting lands, but of making actual 
plantations in America, they were fond of en- 
couraging all attempts, from whatever quar- 
ter, which might realize their views and ex- 
pectations. 

The ecclesiastical government at this time 
allowed no liberty to scrupulous consciences ; 
for which reason many, who had hitherto 
been peaceable members of the national 
Church, and wished to continue such, finding 
that no indulgence could be granted, turned 
their thoughts towards America, where some 
* See History of New-Hampshire, vol. i., ch. i., ii. 



82 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

of their brethren had already made a settle- 
ment. They first purchased of the Council 
of Plymouth a large territory, and afterward 
obtained of the crown a charter, by which 
they were constituted a body-politic within 
the realm. In June, 1630, they brought their 
charter to America, and began the colony of 
Massachusetts. This proved an effectual set- 
tlement, and the reasons which rendered it 
so were the zeal and ardour which animated 
their exertions ; the wealth which they pos- 
sessed, and which they converted into mate- 
rials for a new plantation ; but principally the 
presence of the adventurers themselves on the 
spot where their fortunes were to be expend- 
ed and their zeal exerted. The difference 
between a man's doing business by himself 
and by his substitutes was never more fairly 
exemplified than in the conduct of the Massa- 
chusetts planters compared with that of Sir 
Ferdinando Gorges : what the one had been 
labouring for above twenty years without any 
success, was realized by the others in two or 
three years ; in five they were so far advan- 
ced as to be able to send out a colony from 
themselves to begin another at Connecticut ; 
and in less than ten they founded a Universi- 
ty, which has ever since produced an uninter- 



GORGES. 83 

rupted succession of serviceable men in church 
and state. 

The great number of people who flocked to 
this new plantation raised an alarm in Eng- 
land. As they had manifested their discon- 
tent with the ecclesiastical government, it was 
suspected that they aimed at independence, and 
would throw off their allegiance to the crown. 
This jealousy was so strong, that a royal or- 
der was made to restrain any from coming 
hither who should not first take the oaths of 
allegiance and supremacy, and obtain a li- 
cense for their removal. 

To refute this jealous cavil against the 
planters of New-England, we need only to 
observe that, at the time when they began 
their settlement, and for many years after, the 
lands which they occupied were objects of 
envy both to the Dutch and French. The 
Dutch claimed from Hudson as far as Con- 
necticut River, where they had erected a tra- 
dxog-bouse. The French claimed all the 
lands 01 NerrvEaagland ; and the governor of 
Port Royal, when he wrote to Governor Win- 
throp, directed his letters to him as Gruvernor 
of the English at Boston, in Acadia. Had 
the New-England planters thrown off their 
subjection to the crown of England, they must 

II. G 



84 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

have become a prey to one or the other of 
these rival powers. Of this they were well 
aware ; and if they had entertained any idea 
of independency, which they certainly did not 
(nor did their successors till driven to it by 
Britain herself), it would have been the most 
impolitic thing in the world to have avowed 
it in the presence of neighbours with whom 
they did not wish to be connected. 

This jealousy, however groundless, had an 
influence on the public councils of the nation: 
as well as on the sentiments of individuals, 
and contributed to increase the prejudice 
which had been formed against all who were 
concerned in the colonization of New-Eng- 
land. The merchants still considered the 
Council of Plymouth as monopolizing a lu- 
crative branch of trade. The South Virginia 
Company disrelished their exclusive charter, 
and spared no pains to get it revoked. The 
popular party in the Commons regarded them 
as supporters of the prerogative, and under 
the royal influence.* The high-Church party 
were incensed against them as enemies of 

* This manifestly appears from the grant which they were 
obliged to make to Sir William Alexander, of the country of 
Nova Scotia, by virtue of a message from the king, which they 
considered as a command. This grant was confirmed to him 
by the king, and he sold it to the French. 



GORGES. 85 

prelacy, because they had favoured the set- 
tlement of the Puritans within their territory ; 
and the king himself suspected that the colo- 
nies in New-England had too much liberty to 
consist with his notions of government. Gor- 
ges was looked upon as the author of all the 
mischief; and, being publicly called upon, 
declared " that, though he had earnestly 
sought the interest of the plantations, yet he 
could not answer for the evils which had hap- 
pened by them." It was extremely mortify- 
ing to him to find that, after all his exertions 
and expenses in the service of the nation, he 
had become a very unpopular character, and 
had enemies on all sides. 

To remedy these difficulties, he projected 
the resignation of the charter to the crown, 
and the division of the territory into twelve 
lordships, to be united under one general 
governor. As the charter of Massachusetts 
stood in the way of this project, he, in con- 
junction with Mason, petitioned the crown 
for a revocation of it. This brought on him 
the ill-will of those colonists also, who from 
that time regarded him and Mason as their 
enemies. Before the council surrendered 
their charter, they made grants to some of 
their own members of twelve districts, from 



86 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

Maryland to St. Croix, among which the dis- 
trict from Piscataqua to Sagadahock, extend- 
ing one hundred and twenty miles northward 
into the country, was assigned to Gorges. In 
June, 1635, the council resigned their char- 
ter, and petitioned the king and the lords of 
the privy-council for a confirmation of the 
several proprietary grants, and the establish- 
ment of a general government. Sir Ferdi- 
nando Gorges, then threescore years of age, 
was the person nominated to be the general 
governor. About this time Mason, one of the 
principal actors in this affair, was removed by 
death;* and a ship, which was intended for 

* [Governor Winthrop, in his Journal, under the date of July 
31, 1636, writes, " The last winter Captain Mason died. He 
was the chief mover in all attempts against us, and was to have 
sent the general governor, and for this end was providing ship- 
ping ; but the Lord in mercy taking him away, all the business 
fell on sleep," i., 187. Again he says, ii., 12, " As for this 
Mason, he fell sick and died soon after, and in his sickness he 
sent for the minister, and bewailed his enmity agains" ;s, and 
promised, if he recovered, to be as great a friend to New-Eng- 
land as he had formerly been an enemy." The opposition of 
interests between Mason and the colony of Massachusetts wJil 
account for the jealous dislike with which the governor seams 
to have regarded him, and which renders the story of his late 
repentance somewhat questionable. His hostility to the colony 
arose naturally in the prosecution of his undoubted rights, and 
from the representations of those whose testimony he had the 
means of rejecting. H.] 



GORGES. 87 

the service of the new government, fell and 
broke in launching. A quo warranto was is- 
sued against the Massachusetts charter ; but 
the proceedings upon it were delayed, and 
never completed. An order of the king ia 
council was also issued in 1637 for the estab- 
lishment of the general government, and 
Gorges was therein appointed governor ; but 
the troubles in Scotland and England at this 
time grew very serious, and put a check to the 
business. Soon after, Archbishop Laud and 
some other lords of council, who were zeal- 
ous in the affair, lost their authority, and the 
whole project came to nothing. 

Gorges, however, obtained of the crown in 
1639 a confirmation of his own grant, which 
was styled the Province of Maine, and of 
which he was made lord palatine, with the 
same powers and privileges as the Bishop of 
Durham, in the county palatine of Durham, 
In virtue of these powers, he constituted a 
government within his said province, and in- 
corporated the plantation at Agamenticus* 
into a city, by the name of Gorgeana, of 
which his cousin, Thomas Gorges,t was may- 

* [Now York. H.] 

t [Thomas Gorges came to America in 1640, and probably 
returned to England in 1643, making bis residence here three 



88 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

or, who resided there about two years, and 
then returned to England. The council for 
the administration of government were Sir 
Thomas Josselyn, knight, Richard Vines 
(steward), Francis Champernoon (a nephew 
to Gorges), Henry Josselyn, Richard Boni- 
ton, William Hooke, and Edward Godfrey.* 
The plan which he formed for the govern- 
ment of his province was this : It was to be 
divided into eight counties, and these into 
sixteen hundreds ; the hundreds were to be 
subdivided into parishes and tythings as the 
people should increase. In the absence of 
the proprietor a lieutenant was to preside. 
A chancellor was constituted for the decision 
of civil causes ; a treasurer to receive the 
revenue ; a marshal for managing the militia ; 
and a marshal's court for criminal matters ; 
an admiral, and admiral's court, for maritime 
causes ; a master of ordnance, and a secreta- 

years. Winthrop, ii., 9 ; Hutch. Coll., 114. He was appoint- 
ed by his uncle one of the council of the province, and their sec 
retary. Sullivan's Maine, Appendix vi. Governor Winthrop 
calls him " a young gentleman of the Inns of Court, sober, and 
well-disposed;" and adds, "he stayed a few days at Boston, 
and was very careful to take advice of our magistrates how to 
manage his affairs." H.] 

* [He became governor of Maine in 1651, and was in office 
when the province came under the jurisdiction of Massachusetts. 
Mass. Hist. Coll., iii., 8. H.] 



GORGES. 89 

* 

ry. These officers were to be a standing 
council. Eight deputies were to be elected, 
one from each county, by the inhabitants, to 
sit in the same council ; and all matters of 
moment were to be determined by the lieu- 
tenant with advice of the majority. This 
council were to appoint justices, to give li- 
censes for the sale of lands, subject to a rent 
of fourpence or sixpence per acre. When any 
law was to be enacted or repealed, or public 
money to be raised, they were to call on the 
counties to elect each two deputies " to join 
with the council in the performance of the 
service," but nothing is said of their voting 
as a separate house. One lieutenant and 
eight justices were allowed to each county ; 
two head constables to every hundred ; one 
constable and four tythingmen to every par- 
ish ; and, in conformity to the institutions of 
King Alfred, each tythingman was to give an 
account of the demeanour of the families 
within his tything to the constable of the 
parish, who was to render the same to the 
head constables of the hundred, and they to 
the lieutenant and justices of the county, who 
were to take cognizance of all misdemean- 
ors ; and from them an appeal might be made 
to the proorietor's lieutenant and council. 



90 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

Forms of government and plans of settle- 
ment are much more easily drawn on paper 
than carried into execution. Few people 
could be induced to become tenants in the 
neighbourhood of such a colony as Massa- 
chusetts, where all were freeholders. No 
provision was made for public institutions ; 
schools were unknown, and they had no min- 
isters, till, in pity to their deplorable state, 
two went thither from Boston on a voluntary 
mission, and were well received by them. 
The city of Gorgeana, though a lofty name, 
was, in fact, but an inconsiderable village ; 
and there were only a few houses in some of 
the best places for navigation. The people 
were without order and morals, and it was 
said of some of them that " they had as many 
shares in a woman as they had in a fishing- 
boat."* Gorges himself complained of the 
prodigality of his servants, and had very little 
confidence in his own sons, for whose aggran- 
dizement he had been labouring to establish 
a foundation. He had, indeed, erected saw- 
mills and corn-mills, and had received some 
acknowledgment in the way of rents, but la- 
mented that he had not reaped the " happy 
success of those who are their own stewards 
and the disposers of their own affairs." 

* Hutchinson'a Collection of Papers, p. 424. 



GORGES. 91 

. 

How long Gorges continued in his office 
as governor of Plymouth does not appear 
from any materials within my reach. In 
1625 he commanded a ship-of-war in a squad- 
ron under the Duke of Buckingham, which 
was sent to the assistance of France, under 
pretence of being employed against the Ge- 
noese. But a suspicion having arisen that 
they were destined to assist Louis against his 
Protestant subjects at Rochelle, as soon as 
they were arrived at Dieppe, and found that 
they had been deceived, Gorges was the first 
to break his orders and return with his ship 
to England. The others followed his exam- 
ple, and their zeal for the Protestant religion 
was much applauded.* 

When the civil dissensions in England 
broke out into a war, Gorges took the royal 
side ; and, though then far advanced in years, 
engaged personally in the service of the 
crown. He was in Prince Rupert's army at 
the siege of Bristol in 1643 ; and, when that 
city was retaken in 1645 by the Parliament's 
forces, he was plundered and imprisoned.! 
His political principles rendered him obnox- 

* Hume. 

t Josselyn says that he was several times plundered and im- 
prisoned, p. 197. 
II. H 



92 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

ious to the ruling powers, and, when it was 
necessary for him to appear before the com- 
missioners for foreign plantations, he was se- 
verely frowned upon, and, consequently, dis- 
couraged. 

The time of his death is uncertain ; he is 
spoken of in the records of the Province of 
Maine as dead in June, 1647. Upon his de- 
cease his estate fell to his eldest son, John 
Gorges, who, whether discouraged by his 
father's death, or incapacitated by the se- 
verity of the times, took no care of the prov- 
ince, nor do we find anything memorable 
concerning him. Most of the commissioners 
who had been appointed to govern the prov- 
ince deserted it, and the remaining inhab- 
itants, in 1649, were obliged to combine for 
their own security. In 1651 they petitioned 
the Council of State that they might be con- 
sidered as part of the common Avealth of Eng- 
land. The next year, upon the request of a 
great part of the inhabitants, the colony of 
Massachusetts took them under their protec- 
tion, being supposed to be within the limits 
of their charter ; some opposition was made 
to this step, but the majority submitted or ac- 
quiesced ; and, considering the difficulties of 
the times, and the unsettled state of affairs in 



GORGES. 

England, this was the best expedient for their 
security. 

On the death of John Gorges, the proprie- 
ty descended to his son Ferdinando Gorges, 
of Westminster, who seems to have been a 
man of information and activity. He printed 
a description of New-England in 1658, to 
which he annexed a narrative written by his 
grandfather, from which this account is chief- 
ly compiled ; but another piece, which in 
some editions is tacked to these, entitled 
" "Wonder-working Providences," was unfair- 
ly ascribed to Sir Ferdinando Gorges, though 
written by a Mr. Johnson, 'of Woburn, in 
New-England. 

On the restoration of King Charles II., 
Gorges petitioned the crown, complaining of 
the Massachusetts colony for usurping the 
government of Maine and extending their 
boundary-lines. In 1664 commissioners were 
sent to America, who, finding the people in 
the Province of Maine divided in their opin- 
ions with respect to matters of government, 
appointed justices in the king's name to gov- 
ern them ; and about the same time the pro- 
prietor nominated thirteen commissioners, and 
prepared a set of instructions which were en- 
tered on the records of the province. But, 



94 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

upon the departure of the royal commission- 
ers, the colony resumed its jurisdiction over 
them. These two sources of government 
kept alive two parties, each of whom were al- 
ways ready to complain of the other and jus- 
tify themselves. 

An inquiry into the conduct of Massachu- 
setts had been instituted in England, and the 
colony was ordered to send over agents to 
answer the complaints of Gorges, and Mason 
the proprietor of New-Hampshire, who had 
jointly proposed to sell their property to the 
crown to make a government for the Duke 
of Monmouth. " This proposal not being ac- 
cepted, the colony themselves took the hint, 
and thought the most effectual way of silen- 
cing the complaint would be to make a pur- 
chase. The circumstances of the Province 
of Maine were such as to favour their views. 
The Indians had invaded it, most of the set- 
tlements were destroyed or deserted, and the 
whole country was in trouble ; the colony had 
afforded them all the assistance which was in 
their power, and they had no help from ny 
other quarter. In the height of this calamity, 
John Usher, Esq., was employed to negotiate 
with Mr. Gorges for the purchase of the 
whole territory, which was effected in the 



GORGES. 95 

year 1677. The sum of twelve hundred and 
fifty pounds sterling was paid for it, and it 
has ever since been a part of Massachusetts. 
It is now formed into two. counties, York and 
Cumberland ; but the District of Maine, as 
established by the laws of the United States, 
comprehends also the counties of Lincoln, 
Washington, and Hancock, extending from 
Piscataqua to St. Croix ; a territory large 
enough, when fully peopled, to be formed 
into a distinct state.* 

* [Our readers will hardly need to be informed that the antici- 
pation implied here has long since been realized. The District 
of Maine was formed into a distinct state in 1820, and is rich 
and populous, though by no means "fully peopled." H.] 



96 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 



THE VIRGINIA COLONY. 

THE beginning of the colony of Virginia 
has been related in the life of Captain JOHN 
SMITH, to whose ingenuity, prudence, pa- 
tience, activity, industry, and resolution its 
subsistence during the first three years is 
principally to be ascribed. It would have 
been either- deserted by the people or de- 
stroyed by the natives had he not encouraged 
the former by his unremitted exertions, and 
struck an awe into the latter by his military 
address and intrepidity. 

The views of the adventurers in England 
were intent on present gain, and their strict 
orders were to preserve peace with the na- 
tives. Neither of these could be realized. 
Cultivation is the first object in all new plan- 
tations ; this requires time and industry, and, 
till the wants of the people could be supplied 
by their own labour, it was necessary to have 
some dependance on the natives for such pro- 
visions as they could spare from their own 
consumption ; and, when the supply could not 
be obtained by fair bargain, it was thought 
necessary to use stratagem or force. Those 



THE VIRGINIA COLONY. 97 

who were on the spot were the best judges 
of the time and the occasion of using those 
means ; but they were not permitted to judge 
for themselves. The company of adventu- 
rers undertook to prescribe rules, to insist on 
a rigorous execution of them, and to form va- 
rious projects which never could be carried 
into effect. In short, they expected more 
from their colony than it was able to produce 
in so short a time, with such people as they 
sent to reside there, and in the face of so 
many dangers and difficulties which were 
continually presented to them. 

After the arrival of Captain NEWPORT in 
England from his third voyage, the Company 
of South Virginia, disappointed and vexed at 
the small returns which the ships brought 
home, determined on a change of system. 
They solicited and obtained of the crown a 
new charter (May 23, 1609), and took into the 
company a much greater number of adven- 
turers than before.* Not less than six hun- 

* [The following account of the terms and expectations on 
which men then adventured in this distant enterprise may not 
be uninteresting. It is taken from a contemporary publication 
(1609), NOVA BRITANNIA, p. 23,4. "We call those Planters that 
goe in their persons to dwell there, and those Adventurers that 
adventure their money and goe not in person ; and both doe 
make the members of one Colonie. We doe account twelve 



98 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

dred and fifty-seven names of persons are in- 
serted in the charter, many of whom were no- 
blemen, and gentlemen of fortune, and mer- 
chants, besides fifty-six incorporated compa- 
nies of mechanics in the City of London ;* 
and room was left for the admission of more.. 
The government at home was vested in a 
council of fifty-two persons, named in the 
charter, at the head of which was Sir THOM- 
AS SMITH, the former treasurer ; and all va- 
cancies which might happen in the council 
were to be filled by the vote of a majority 

pound tenne shillings to be a single share adventured. Every 
ordinary man or woman, if they will goe and dwell there, and 
every childe above tenne yeares that shall be carried thither 
to remaine, shall be allowed for each of their persons a single 
share All charges of settling and maintaining the Planta- 
tion, and of making supplies, shall be borne in a joint stock of 
the adventurers for seven yeares after the date of our new en- 
largement : .... at which time wee propose to make a division 
by Commissioners appointed of all the lands granted unto us 
by his majestie, to every of the Colonie, according to each man's 
several! adventure, which wee doubt not will bee for every share 
of twelve pound tenne shillings five hundred acres at the least. 
The stock is also (as the land) to be divided equally at seven 
yeares end, or sooner, or so often as the company shall thinke 
fit for the greatness of it to make a Divident." Among the in- 
ducements offered in this book to encourage adventurers, it is 
said, p. 22, " And in searching the land, there is undoubted 
hope of finding Cochinell, the plant of rich Indico, Graine-berries,, 
Beaver Hydes, Pearles, rich Treasure, and the South-sea leading 
to China, with many other benefites which our daylight will dis- 
cover." H.] Stith and Hazard.. 



THE VIRGINIA COLONY. 99 

of the company legally assembled. This 
council in England had the power of ap- 
pointing governors and other officers to re- 
side in Virginia, and of making laws and 
giving instructions for the government of the 
colony. In consequence of this power, the 
treasurer and council constituted the follow- 
ing officers. Sir THOMAS WEST, LORD DELA- 
WARE, captain-general ; Sir THOMAS GATES, 
lieutenant-general ; Sir GEORGE SOMERS, ad- 
miral ; Captain CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT, vice- 
admiral ; Sir THOMAS DALE, high-marshal ; 
Sir FERDINANDO WAINMAN, general of horse. 

Several other gentlemen, whose names are 
not mentioned, were appointed to other offi- 
ces, all of which were to be holden during 
life. This may seem a strange way of ap- 
pointing officers in a new colony, especially 
when the charter gave the council power to 
revoke and discharge them. But it is proba- 
ble that these gentlemen had friends in the 
company who were persons of wealth and in- 
fluence, and who thought the offices not wor- 
thy of their acceptance unless they could 
hold them long enough to make their for- 
tunes. The example of COLUMBUS might 
have served as a precedent, who had the of- 
fice of admiral of the West Indies not only 
for life, but as an inheritance to his posterity. 



100 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY 



XII. SIR THOMAS SMITH. 

ALL which is known with certainty of this 
gentleman is, that he was a London merchant, 
of great wealth and influence, governor of 
the East India and Muscovy* Companies, and 
of the company associated for the discovery 
of the Northwest Passage ; that he had been 
sent (1604) ambassador from King James 
to the Emperor of Russia ; that he was one 
of the assignees of Sir Walter Raleigh's pat- 
ent, and thus became interested in the colony 
of Virginia. He had been treasurer of the 
company under their first charter, and presi- 
ded in all the meetings of the council arid of 
the company in England, but he never came 
to America. 

It is unfortunate for the memory of Sir 
Thomas Smith that both the company and 
colony of South Virginia were distracted by 
a malevolent party spirit, and that he was 
equally the object of reproach on the one 
hand and of panegyric on the other. To 

* '[The Muscovy or Russia Company received a charter 
Feb. 6, 1554, which was confirmed by act of Parliament in 
1568. Anderson's History of Commerce, i., 388, 40-4. H.] 



SMITH. 101 

decide on the merit or demerit of his charac- 
ter at this distance of time, would perhaps 
require more evidence th^n cyn be produced 
but candour is due to the dead as well as to 
the living. 

He was a warm friend of Captain John 
Smith, who, in his account of Virginia, speaks 
of him with respect as a diligent and careful 
overseer, especially in sending supplies to the 
colony during his residence there ; and after 
his return to England, he depended on Sir 
Thomas and the council for those accounts of 
the colony which he has inserted in his histo- 
ry subsequent to that period. 

In a dedication prefixed to a narrative of 
the shipwreck of Sir George Somers on the 
Island of Bermuda,* Sir Thomas is compli- 
mented in the following manner : " Worthy 
sir, if other men were like you, if all as able 
as you were as willing, we should soon see a 
flourishing Christian Church and common- 
wealth in Virginia. But let this be your con- 
solation: there is one that is more able and 
more willing than you, even the GOD of heaven 

* This narrative was written by Sylvester Jordan, one of 
the passengers. The dedication was by another person, who 
subscribes it with the initials W. C. It was printed with the 
black English letter, 1613. 



102 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

and earth. And know farther, for your com- 
fort, that, though the burden lie on you and a 
few-Hiose, yet arjajjjejre. many honourable and 
worthy men'olf ail' sorts who will never shrink 
froqi- jp^.;:'G-q pnj therefore, with courage 
and constancy ; and be assured that, though 
by your honourable embassages and employ- 
ments, and by your charitable and virtuous 
courses, you have gained a worthy reputation 
in this world, yet nothing that you ever did 
or suffered more honours you in the eyes of 
all that are godly-wise than your faithful 
and unwearied prosecution, your continual 
and comfortable assistance of those foreign 
plantations,"* 

* [Two other tracts, now very curious as touching the early 
history of Virginia, were dedicated to Sir Thomas Smith. One 
of them is entitled " NOVA BRITANNIA ; offering most excellent 
fruites by planting in VIRGINIA. Exciting all such as be well 
affected to further the same." London, 1609. In the dedica- 
tion, the writer says to Sir Thomas Smith, " Forasmuch as I have 
always observed your honest zeale to God, accompanied with so 
excellent carriage and resolution in actions of best consequence," 
&c. The other is entitled " THE NEW LIFE OP VIRGINEA, 
declaring the former successe and present estate of that plan- 
tation, being the second part of NOVA BRITANNIA. Published 
by authoritieof his MAJESTIE'S COUNSELL of Virginea." Lon- 
don, 1612. The author dedicates it to Sir Thomas Smith as 
" being the chiefest patron of this and of many more worthie ser- 
vices." Both were written by the same person, who appears 
not to have been in Virginia ; and the " Epistile Dedicatorie" 



SMITH. 103 

But, though flattered and complimented by 
his admirers, yet he had enemies both among 
the company in England and the colonists in 
Virginia. By some of his associates he was 
accused of favouring the growth of tobacco in 
the colony to the neglect of other staple com- 
modities, which the country was equally ca- 
pable of producing. It was also alleged that, 
instead of a body of laws agreeable to the 
English Constitution, a book had been print- 
ed and dedicated to him, and sent to Virginia 
by his own authority, and without the order 
or consent of the company, containing " Laws 
written in blood," which, though they might 
serve for a time of war, being mostly transla- 
ted from the martial-law of the United Neth- 
erlands, yet were destructive of the liberties 
of English subjects, and contrary to the ex- 
press letter of the royal charter.* For this 
reason many people in England were deter- 
red from emigrating to Virginia, and many 

of each bears the initials R. J. I conjecture they were written 
by Robert Johnson, alderman of London, who was for a long 
time- connected with the company, and deeply interested in its 
affairs. They have been reprinted in the first volume of Force's 
valuable collection of Historical Tracts ; and the latter in the 
Massachusetts Historical Collections, vol. xxiii. H.] 

* [The laws referred to are the same, it is presumed, with 
those in the volume published by William Strachcy in 1612. 
H.] 



104 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

persons in the colony were unjustly put to 
death. 

In the colony the clamour against him^ 
was still louder. It was there said that he 
had been most scandalously negligent, if not 
corrupt, in the matter of supplies ; that in a 
certain period, called " the starving-time," 
the allowance for a man was only eight oun- 
ces of meal and half a pint of pease per day, 
and that neither of them was fit to be eaten; 
that famine obliged many of the people to 
fly to the savages for relief, who, being reta- 
ken, were put to death for desertion ; that, 
others were reduced to the necessity of steal- 
ing, which by his sanguinary laws was pun- 
ished with extreme rigour ; that the sick and 
infirm, who were unable to work, were denied 
the allowance, and famished for want ; that 
some in these extremities dug holes in the 
earth, and hid themselves till they perished 5 
that the scarcity was "so lamentable," that 
they were constrained 'to eat dogs, cats, 
snakes, and even human corpses ; that one 
man killed his wife and put her flesh in pickle, 
for which he was burned to death.* These 
calamities were by the colonists so strongly 
and pointedly laid to the charge of the treas- 

* Stith, 305. 



SMITH. 105 

urer, that, when they had found a mare which 
had been killed by the Indians, and were 
Jboiling her flesh for food, they wished Sir 
Thomas was in the same kettle. A list of 
these grievances was presented to King 
James ; and, in the conclusion of the peti- 
tion, they begged his' majesty that, "rather 
than be reduced to live under the like gov- 
ernment again, he would send over commis- 
sioners to hang- them." 

In answer to these accusations, it was said 
that the original ground of all these calami- 
ties was the unfortunate shipwreck of a ves- 
sel loaded with supplies on the island of Ber- 
muda. This happened at a time when Cap- 
tain John Smith was disabled and obliged to 
quit the colony, which had been supported, in 
a great measure, by his exertions. Another 
source of the mischief was the indolence of 
the colonists themselves, who regarded only 
the present moment, and took no care for the 
future. This indolence was so great, that they 
would eat their fish raw rather than go to a 
small distance from the water for wood to 
dryss it. When there was a plenty of stur- 
geon in the river, they would not take any 
more than to serve their present necessity, 



106 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

though they kne\\ the season was approach- 
ing when these fish return to the sea ; nor 
did they take care to preserve their nets, but 
suffered them to perish for want of drying and 
mending. Another cause was the dishonesty 
of those who were employed in procuring 
corn from the natives ; for, having accom- 
plished their object, they went to sea and 
turned pirates ; some of them united with 
other pirates, and those who got home to 
England protested that they were obliged to 
quit Virginia for fear of starving. Besides, it 
was said that when ships arrived with pro- 
vision it was embezzled by the mariners, and 
the articles intended for traffic with the In- 
dians were privately given away or sold for 
a trifle ; and some of the people, venturing 
loo far into their villages, were surprised arid 
killed. 

The story of the man eating his dead wife 
was propagated in England by some of the 
deserters ; but, when it was examined after- 
ward by Sir Thomas Gates, it proved to be 
no more than this : One of the colonists who 
hated his wife secretly killed her ; then, to 
conceal the murder, cut her body in pieces, 
and hid them in different parts of the house. 
When the woman was missed the man was 



SMITH. 107 

suspected ; his house was searched, and the 
pieces were found. To excuse his guilt, he 
pleaded that his wife died of hunger, and 
that he daily fed on her remains. His house 
was again searched, and other food was 
found ; on which he was arraigned, confess- 
ed the murder, and was put to death, being 
burned according to law.* 

Though calumniated both in England and 
America, Sir Thomas Smith did not want ad- 
vocates ; and his character for integrity was 
so well established in England, that when 
some of the company, who had refused to 
advance their quotas, pleaded his negligence 
and avarice in their excuse, the Court of 
Chancery, before whom the affair was car- 
ried, gave a decree against them, and they 
were compelled to pay the sums which they 
had subscribed. t 

The charges against him were equally lev- 
elled against the council and company, and 
by their order a declaration was published, in 
which the misfortunes of the colony are thus 
summarily represented. " Cast up the reck- 
oning together, want of government, store of 
idleness, their expectations frustrated by the 
traitors, their market spoiled by the mariners, 

* Purchas, vol. T., 1757. t Stith, 121. 

II. I 



108 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

their nets broken, the deer chased, their boats 
lost, their hogs killed, their trade with the In- 
dians forbidden, some of their men fled, some 
murdered, and most, by drinking the brack- 
ish water of James Fort, weakened and en- 
dangered ; famine and sickness by all these 
means increased. Here at home the moneys 
came in so slowly, that the Lord Delaware 
could not be despatched till the colony was 
worn and spent with difficulties. Above all, 
having neither ruler nor preacher, they fear- 
ed neither God nor man, which provoked the 
Lord, and pulled down his judgments upon 
them."* 

Sir Thomas Smith continued in his office 
of treasurer till 1619, when the prejudice 
against him became so strong, that, by the 
interest of the Earl of War wick, f who hated 

Purchas, v., 1758. 

t [The earl's displeasure is said to have arisen out of the pro- 
ceedings against Captain Argal, with whom he was largely in- 
volved as a partner. Sir Thomas Smith directed and sustained 
these proceedings, though Argal was his kinsman. See the Com- 
pany's Declaration in 1623. Burk, i., 322. Stith, in his History 
of Virginia (p. 145), says of the earl, "he was a powerful, but a 
most designing, interested, and factious member of the company 
in England, aiming at a sudden and extraordinary profit, although 
it should be by the spoil of the public, and oppression of the pri- 
vate planters ; and, being assisted by some corrupt and avari- 
cious persons, he threw himself at the head of a faction in the 
company, and drew over to his party as many creatures and de- 
pendants as he possibly could." All the evidence in the caw 



SMITH. 109 

him, his removal was in contemplation.* At 
the same time, Sir Thomas, being advanced 

shows Stith's judgment to be a just one. The faction which he 
kd was never very large, though large enough seriously to em- 
barrass and distress the company. See Burk's Virginia, Ap- 
pendix to vol. i. 

Robert Rich, second Earl of Warwick, succeeded to that title 
on the death of his father in 1618. Burke's Peerage, &c. He 
was the son of the beautiful Lady Penelope Dcvereux, and was, 
of course, nephew of the Earl of Essex. He was handsome, 
accomplished, adventurous, gay, and witty. Carte adds (iv., 
303), he " had a puritanical education, and led a dissolute life." 
He was recommended to the king by the Parliament for the of- 
fice of lord high-admiral in March, 1642, but he refused to listen 
to their recommendation. Whitelock's Memorials, 55. The 
king had soon occasion to complain to Parliament that he had 
actually assumed that office. Parliament, however, no longer 
complaisant, gave him a formal commission. A strenuous op- 
ponent of the king, and in no way too scrupulous, he was a suit- 
able instrument for their purposes. In his capacity of admiral 
he " did gallant service," and in 1644 he received a grant of " a 
tenth of all prizes for his great disbursements in the Parliament's 
service" (ib., 89); and resigned his command April 9, 1646, 
" in compliance with an ordinance discharging the members of 
both houses from all employments, military and civil." Ib., 106. 
He was afterward made one of the admiralty lords, advanced to 
a dukedom, made one of the commissioners for foreign planta- 
tions, and again admiral for a while. Ib., 137, 188, 203, 337. 
He was a member of Cromwell's House of Lords (Cobbett's 
Parl. Hist., iii., 1518), and died in 1658. The titles and hon- 
ours of the family became extinct in 1759. See Burke's Ex- 
tinct, Dormant, and Suspended Peerages. The original patent 
of Connecticut was given by him to Lords Say, Brooke, and 
others, March 19, 1631. Hinman, 13-15. H.] 
<f Stith. 158. 



110 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

in years and infirmities, having grown rich, 
and having a sufficiency of business as gov- 
ernor of the East India Company, thought it 
prudent to retire from an office of so great 
responsibility, attended with so much trouble 
and so little advantage, and accordingly sent 
in his resignation* to the Council of Virginia. 
His friends would have dissuaded him from 
this measure, but he was inflexible. Sir Ed- 
win Sandyst was elected his successor ; a 

* [April 28th. Stith, 158, 186. H.} 

t [Sir Edwin Sandys was chosen treasurer (or governor) at 
the annual meeting of the company in Easter Term, 1619. He 
held the office but one year, being excluded the next year from 
the competition by the arbitrary interference of King James. 
The history of this transaction is worth inserting, as it illustrates 
the style of proceedings in that reign, and the condition of the 
company. We take it from Dr. Peckard's Life of Nicolas Fer- 
rar, then the solicitor of the company, with which Stith, in the 
main, agrees. The Life of Ferrar was written in 1654, and re- 
printed in Wordsworth's Ecclesiastical Biography, v., 74-260. 
We copy from page 120: "This election (for 1620) was now in- 
tended to be by ballot, a method introduced by Sir Edwin San- 
dys as most likely to secure a free election. The day of election 
being come, there were assembled near upon twenty great peers 
of the land ; near a hundred of the most eminent knights of the 
kingdom ; of gallant gentlemen, many colonels and captains, 
and renowned lawyers near a hundred more ; and of the most 
worthy citizens a most worthy assembly. Everything being 
prepared, the three persons who were to be candidates for the 
place of governor were now to be named by the company. The 
name of Sir Edwin Sandys was first set up, and, as this was 
doing, a lord of the bedchamber and another courtier stood up, 



SMITH. Ill 

gentleman of good understanding and great 
application to business. At his motion-, a 

and declared to the court that it was the king's pleasure not to 
have Sir Edward Sandys chosen ; and, because he would not 
infringe their right of election, he would nominate three per- 
sons, and permit the company to choose one of them." Aftnr 
some discussion, in which the Earl of Southampton and Sir 
Lawrence Hyde took a prominent part, the company voted to 
proceed to an election, claiming the free right to do so by their 
charter, when Sandys withdrew his name from the canvass. It 
was finally agreed, at his suggestion, that the king's messengers 
should name two persons for candidates, and the company one. 
"And so they proceeded to the ballot, when, of the two persons 
nominated by the king's messengers, one of them had only one 
ball, and the other but two. The Earl of Southampton had all 
the rest." Sir Edwin Sandys continued actively interested in 
the affairs of the company till it was abolished. Both he and 
the Earl of Southampton were named of the Council of Virginia 
in the charter of 1609. Hazard, i., 66. 

Sir Edwin Sandys was the second son of the Archbishop ot 
York of the same name. He was born at Worcester about the 
year 1561, and became in 1577 a scholar of Corpus Christi Col- 
lege, Oxford, where he was a pupil of the celebrated Richard 
Hooker. Being designed for the Church, he was ia 1581 made 
prebendary in the Cathedral Church at York. He then travelled 
in various parts of the Continent, and " at his return grew fa- 
mous for his learning, wisdom, and virtue." In 1602 he resign- 
ed his prebendship, preferring, probably, a more active life, and 
in May, 1603, was knighted by King James, who employed him 
in many public services. " He was," says Wood, in his Athe- 
ns Oxoniensee, 462, 463, " very dexterous in any great em- 
ployment, kept as constant time in all Parliaments as he that 
held the chair did, and was esteemed an excellent patriot m all 
transactions, faithful to his country without any falseness to his 
prince." In his later years he sided with the popular party in 



112 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY 

gratuity of 2000 acres of land in Virginia 
was granted to Sir Thomas. He had been 
in office upward of twelve years, in which 
time the expenses of the plantation had 
amounted to d80,000 ; and, though he had 
declared that he left 4000 for his successor 
to begin with, yet it was found, on examina- 
tion, that the company was in debt to a 
greater amount than that sum.* 

the House of Commons, and became thereby obnoxious to the 
king, who, probably for this reason, opposed his re-election to 
the treasurership of the Virginia Company. He was a member 
from Sandwich of the Parliament of 1620, and was a bold and 
fearless speaker in the debates of that body. Parl. Hist., i., 
1171. In 1621 he was arrested, and kept a month in the cus- 
tody of the sheriff of London, " being found too daring and fac- 
tious in Parliament." He was also a member of the Parliament 
of 1624, in which the violent taking away of the charter of the 
Virginia Company excited considerable attention, and was a 
member of the committee who drew up the articles of impeach- 
nent against the Lord-treasurer Cranfield for his agency in that 
:efarious transaction. In the earlier part of his career he was 
ommonly esteemed highly ambitious. Sir Henry Neville wrote 
o Secretary Winwood (see Winwood's State Papers, ii., 26), 
For the French employment, if Sir Thomas Parry (the am- 
oassador to France) be recalled, they talk of Sir John Hollis or 
Sir Edwin Sandys. The former may peradventure shun it ; the 
tatter, I am sure, will not." He wrote a work, entitled "Europss 
Speculum ;" or, " A view of the State of Religion in the western 
quarter of the World," which was published in 1629. A copy 
of this work is in the library of the Boston Athenum. He died 
in October, 1629, and was buried at Northbourn, in Kent. H.} 
* [We find little to add to the notice* in the text of Six 



i SMITH. 113 

Several ways were used for the raising of 
supplies to carry on the colonization of Vir- 
ginia. One was by the subscription of the 
members of the company ; another was by 
the voluntary donations of other people ; and 
a third was by lotteries. Subscriptions, if 
not voluntarily paid, were recoverable by 
law ; but this method was tedious and ex- 
pensive. Donations were precarious, and, 
though liberal and well-intended, yet they 
sometimes consisted only of books and fur- 
niture for churches and colleges, and appro- 
priations for the education of Indian children. 
Lotteries were before this time unknown in 
England ; but so great was the rage for this 
mode of raising money, that within the space 
of six years the sum of 29,000 was brought 

Thomas Smith. In Winwood's State Papers, iii., 118, is a let- 
ter of John Chamberlain, dated February 13, 1609, in which he 
says, " Our East India merchants have lately built a goodly ship 
of above 1200 tun ; to the launching whereof the king and prince 
(Henry) were invited, and had a bountiful banquet. The king 
graced Sir Thomas Smith, the governor, with a chaine in man- 
ner of a collar, better than 200, with his picture hanging at it, 
and put it about his neck with his own hands." 

Robert Bylot, who sailed in 1616 on a voyage for the discov- 
ery of a Northwest Passage, discovered in Baffin's Bay a sound, 
long. 78, which he named Sir Thomas Smith's Sound, in hon- 
our of his patron. The spot " is remarkable, because in it there 
is the greatest variation of the compass of any part of the known 
world." Forster's Northern Voyages, 352, 354. H.] 



114 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

into the treasury. This was " the real and 
substantial food with which Virginia was 
nourished."* The authority on which the 
lotteries were grounded was the charter of 
King James (1609) ; and so tenacious was 
this monarch of his prerogative, that in a 
subsequent proclamation he vainly interdict- 
ed the " speaking against the Virginian lot- 
tery." Yet, when the House of Commons 
(1621) began to call in question some of the 
supposed rights of royalty, these lotteries and 
the proclamation which enforced them were 
complained of and presented among the 
grievances of the nation. On that occasion 
an apology was made by the king's friends,! 
" that he never liked the lotteries, but gave 
way to them because he was told that Vir- 
ginia could not subsist without them ;" and 
when the Commons insisted on their com- 
plaint, the monarch revoked the license by 
an order of council, in consequence of which 
the treasury of the company was almost with- 
out resources. 

* Stith, 191. t Chalmers' Annals, 3i 



DELAWARE. 115 



XIII. THOMAS LORD DELAWARE, 
SIR THOMAS GATES, SIR GEORGE 
SOMERS, CAPTAIN CHRISTOPHER 
NEWPORT, SIR THOMAS DALE, 
SIR FERDINANDO WAINMAN. 

THE history of these persons is so blended, 
that a separate account of each cannot be 
written from any materials in my possession. 
Their characters, however, may be distin- 
guished in a few words, before I proceed to 
the history of their united transactions in the 
employment of the company and colony of 
Virginia. 

Lord DELAWARE is said to have been a 
worthy peer of an ancient family, a man of 
fine parts and of a generous disposition, who 
took much pains and was at a great expense 
to establish the colony, in the service of 
which he suffered much in his health, and 
finally died at sea (1618), in his second voy- 
age to America, in or near the mouth of the 
bay which bears his name.*t 

Purehas, v., 1757. Keith, 131. Stith, 148. 

f [Thomas West, third Lord Delaware. His grandfather w 



116 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

Sir THOMAS GATES was probably a land- 
officer. Between him and Sir George Som- 
ers there was not that cordial harmony which 
is always desirable between men who are en- 
gaged in the same business. Excepting this, 
nothing is said to his disadvantage.* 

Sir GEORGE SOMERS was a gentleman of 
rank and fortune, of approved fidelity and 
indefatigable industry ; an excellent sea com- 
mander, having been employed in the navy 
of Queen Elizabeth, and having distinguish- 
ed himself in several actions against the 
Spaniards in the West Indies.! At the time 

created Baron de la Warre February 5th, 1568. The present 
Earl Delaware, John George West, is his lineal descendant. 
The additional title was conferred on John, seventh baron, who 
was created Viscount Cantelupe, Earl Delaware, in 1761. 
Burke's Peerage and Baronetage. The Lord Delaware whose 
life is given in the text was employed by the king on several oc- 
casions, but of no great importance. The author of the New 
Life of Virginea calls him (p. 11) " religious, wise, and of a val- 
erous minde." Walpole gives him a place in his catalogue of 
Royal and Noble Authors (ii., 180), though his only work was 
the Relation to the Council, after his return from Virginia. 
Collins' Peerage gives a different account of his death, which, 
however, the best authorities do not confirm. It says, " ac- 
cording to the inquisition taken after his decease, at Andover, he 
died near his seat at Whewell, Hants," June 7th, 1618. H.] 

* Stith, 115. 

t [In the year 1595, Sir George (then Captain) Somers, in 
company with Captain (afterward Sir) Amias Preston, "both 
valiant gentlemen and discreet commanders," sailed, " with two 



DELAWARE. 117 

of his appointment to be admiral of Virginia 
he was above sixty years of age.* His seat 
in Parliament was vacated by his acceptance 
of a colonial commission. He died in the 
service of the colony (1610), at Bermuda, 
highly esteemed and greatly regretted. t 

CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT was a mariner of 
ability and experience in the American seas. 
He had been a commander in the navy of 
Elizabeth, and in 1592 had conducted an ex- 
pedition against the Spaniards in the West 
Indies, where, with three or four ships, he 
plundered and burned some towns, and took 
several prizes, with a considerable booty. He 
was a vain, empty, conceited man, and very 
fond of parade. By the advantage of going 
to and fro, he gained the confidence of the 
council and company in England, and what- 
ever he proposed was adopted by them. 
Some traits of his character have been given 
in the life of Captain John Smith. In 1621 
he imported fifty men, and seated them on a 
plantation which he called Newport's News. 

tall ships and a pinnace," for the West Indies, to attack and 
plunder the Spanish ships and settlements in that region. They 
burned three Spanish vessels, accepted a ransom for Cumana, 
took and burned St. Jago, and entered Jamaica. They returned 
the same year. Hakluyt, hi., 578-583. H.] 

* Chalmers, 27. t Purchas, v., 1735. Stith, lia 



118 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

Daniel Gookin came with a cargo of cattle 
from Ireland, and settled first on this planta- 
tion. He afterward removed to New-Eng- 
land. *f 

Sir THOMAS DALE is said to have been a 
gentleman of much honour, wisdom, and ex- 
perience. To him was intrusted the execution 
of the laws sent over by Sir Thomas Smith ; 
which, though perhaps necessary at that time 
(1611), when so many turbulent and refractory 
persons were to be governed, yet were sub- 
versive of that freedom which Englishmen 
claimed as their birthright, and gave too 
much power into the hands of a governor. 
Though his administration was marked with 
rigour and severity, yet he did much towards 
advancing the settlements. On a high neck 

* ["The 22d of November (1621) arrived Master Gookin 
out of Ireland, with fifty men of his owne and thirty passen- 
gers," &c. Smith, 140, quoting "one of the council's letter from 
Virginia." Gookin seems to have been the chief manager of 
the plantation at Newport's News, and maintained it " to his 
great credit and the satisfaction of his adventurers" after the 
great massacre of 1622. Ib., 150. It has commonly been 
supposed that this was the Daniel Gookin afterward major-gen- 
eral of Massachusetts, and better known as the friend of the In- 
dians, and the historian of their conversion. It will be seen, 
however, by a comparison of dates, that in 1621 the latter was 
but nine years old. See the Transactions of the American 
Antiquarian Society, vol. i. H.] 

f Stith, 205. Beverley, 37. Purchas, v., 1792. 



DELAWARE. 119 

of land in James River, named Varina, he 
built a town which he called Henrico, in hon- 
our of Prince Henry, the remains of which 
were visible when Mr. Stith wrote his history 
(1746).* On the opposite side of the river 
he made a plantation on lands from which he 
expelled the Indians, and called it New-Ber- 
muda, t He stayed in Virginia about five 
years, and returned to England (1616), after 
which there is no farther account of him.| 

Of Sir FERDINANDO WAINMAN nothing is 
said but that he died soon after his arrival in 
Virginia with Lord Delaware, in the summer 
of 1610. 

When the new charter of Virginia was ob- 
tained, the council and company immediately 
equipped a fleet to carry supplies of men and 
women, with provisions and other necessaries, 
to the colony. The fleet consisted of seven 
ships, in each of which, besides the captain, 
went one or more of the counsellors or other 
officers of the colony ; and though there was 
a dispute about rank between two officers, 

* [" The ruins of this place are still visible at Tuckahoe." 
Burk, i., 166. Burk's first volume was printed in 1804. H.] 

t Stith, 123, 124, 138. 

t [Burk, i., 219, note, says tiat he died in the East Indies, 
and, I believe, as early as 1622. It would seem from Stith, 297 
that he had visited Japan. H.] 4 Stith, 117 



120 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

Somers and Gates, they were placed in one 
ship with Newport, the third in command. 
The governor-general, Lord Delaware, did 
not sail with this fleet, but waited till the 
next year, to go with a farther supply. The 
names of the ships and their commanders 
were as follow: 

The Sea-Adventure, Admiral Sir George 
Somers, with Sir Thomas Gates and Captain 
Christopher Newport. 

The Diamond, Captain Radcliffe and Cap- 
tain King. 

The Falcon, Captain Martin and Master 
Nelson. 

The Blessing, Gabriel Archer and Captain 
Adams. 

The Unity, Captain Wood and Master Pett. 

The Lion, Captain Webb. 

The Swallow, Captain Moone and Master 
Somers. 

The fleet was attended by two smaller 
vessels, one of which was a ketch, command- 
ed by Matthew Fitch, the other a pinnace, in 
which went Captain Davies and Master Da- 
vies. *f 

* [The whole fleet carried " the better part of 500 men to in- 
habit there." New Life of Virg., 9. Smith, 174. H.] 
t Purchas, v., 1733. 



DELAWARE. 121 

This fleet sailed from Plymouth on the 
second day of June, 1609. Though their 
orders were not to go by the old route of the 
Canaries and the West Indies, but to steer 
directly for Virginia, yet they went as far 
southward as the twenty-sixth degree of lati- 
tude, where the heat was so excessive that 
many of the people were taken with calen- 
tures. In two ships thirty-two persons died, 
others suffered severely, and one 'vessel only 
was free from sickness. 

The whole fleet kept company till the 
twenty-fourth of July, when they supposed 
themselves to be within eight days sail of 
Virginia, stretching to the northwest, and 
crossing the Gulf Stream. On that day be- 
gan a violent tempest from the northeast, ac- 
companied with a horrid darkness, which 
continued forty-four hours. In this gale the 
fleet was scattered. The admiral's ship, on 
board of which was the commission for the 
new government, with the three principal of- 
ficers, was wrecked on the Island of Bermu- 
da. The ketch foundered at sea. The re- 
mainder, much damaged and distressed,, ar- 
rived one after another in James River nbout 
the middle of August. 

The orovisions brought by these ships were 



122 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

insufficient for the colony and the passengers. 
This deficiency proved very detrimental, and 
occasioned the miseries and reproaches which 
have been already mentioned. The space 
of ten months, from August, 1609, to the ar- 
rival of Lord Delaware in June, 1610, was 
known in Virginia for many years after by 
the name of " the starving time."* But the 
want of provision was not the only deficiency ; 
there was a total want of principle and of 
order. 

Of the company who arrived at this time, 
the following description is given by a native 
Virginian.! " A great part of them consist- 
ed of unruly sparks, packed off by their 

* [A brief account of the " starving time," from the record 
of an eyewitness and sufferer. Smith's Virginia, 105, 6 : "Of 
500, within six monthes after Captaine Smith's departure, there 
remained not past sixtie men, women, and children, most mis- 
erable and poore creatures ; and those were preserved, for the 
most part, by roots, herbes, acornes, walnuts, berries, now and 
then a little fish : they that had startch in these extremities made 
no small use of it ; yea, even the very skinnes of our horses. 
Nay, so great was our famine, that a Salvage we slew and buri- 
ed, the poorer sort tooke him up againe and eat him, and so did 
divers one another boyled and stewed with roots and herbes ; 
and one amongst the rest did kill his wife, and powdered her, 
and had eaten part of her before it was knowne, for which he-e was 
executed, as hee well deserved : now, whether she was better 
roasted, boyled, or carbonado'd, I know not, but of such a dish 
as powdered wife I never heard of." H.] t Slith, 103. 



DELAWARE. 

friends to escape a worse destiny at home. 
The rest were chiefly made up of poor gen- 
tlemen, broken tradesmen, rakes and liber- 
tines, footmen, and such others as were much 
fitter to ruin a commonwealth than to help to 
raise or maintain one. This lewd company 
were led by their seditious captains into many 
mischiefs and extravagances. They assu- 
med the power of disposing of the govern- 
ment, and conferred it sometimes on one and 
sometimes on another. To-day the old com- 
mission must rule, to-morrow the new, and 
the next day neither. All was anarchy and 
distraction." 

Such being the character of the people, 
there could not have been any great hope of 
success if the whole fleet had arrived in safety. 

The admiral's ship had on board a great 
quantity of provision. She was separated 
from the fleet in the storm, and sprang a leak 
at sea, so that, with constant pumping and 
bailing, they could scarcely keep her above 
water for three days and four nights, du- 
ring which time Sir George Somers did not 
once leave the quarter-deck. The crew, 
worn out with fatigue and despairing of life, 
broached the strong liquors^ and took leave 
of each other with an inebriating draught, till 

II K 



124 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

many of them fell asleep. In this dreadfui 
extremity Sir George discovered land, the 
sight of which awoke and revived them, and 
every man exerted himself to do his duty. 
At length the ship struck ground in such a 
position between two rocks, at the distance 
of half a mile from the shore, that the people 
and a great part of the cargo were safely 
landed. 

The Bermuda Islands were uninhabited, 
and had the reputation of being enchanted.* 
But when the people were on shore they found 
the air pure and salubrious, and fruits of va- 
rious kinds growing in luxuriant plenty and 
perfection. The shore was covered with tor- 
toises, the sea abounded with fish, and in the 
woods they found wild hogs, which it is sup- 
posed had escaped from some vessel wrecked 
on the island. 

Here they remained nine months. The 
two senior officers lived apart, and each, with 
the assistance of the men, built a vessel of the 
cedars which grew on the island, and the iron 

* " Whereas it is reported that this land of Bermudas, with 
the islands about it, are enchanted and kept by evil and wicked 
pirits, it is a most idle and false report. God grant that we 
nave brought no wicked spirits with us, or that there come none 
after us ; for we found nothing there so ill as ourselves." 
Jordan's News from Bermudas, 1613. 



DELAWARE. 125 

and cordage saved from the wreck. Sir 
George Somers laboured with his own hands 
every day till his vessel was completed. One 
of these vessels was called the Patience, the 
other the Deliverance. 

It is remarked* that, during their abode 
on this island, they had morning and evening 
prayers daily ; Divine service was performed, 
and two sermons were preached every Lord's 
day by their chaplain, Mr. Bucke. One 
marriage was celebrated, and two children 
were born and baptized. Five of the com- 
pany died, one of whom was murdered. The 
murderer was put under confinement, but es- 
caped and hid himself among the woods and 
rocks, with another offender, till the depart- 
ure of the company, when they were left be- 
hind. Many of the people were so well 
pleased with the place that they were with 
difficulty prevailed on to quit these pleasant 
islands. 

The lower seams of the vessels were calk- 
ed with the remains of the useless cables and 
a small quantity of tar saved from the wreck. 
The upper seams were secured with lime 
made of calcined stones and shells, slaked 
with fresh water and softened with the oil 

* Purchas, v., 1746. 



126 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

of tortoises. This cement soon became dry 
and firm. The wild hogs served for sea- 
stores, being preserved with salt crystallized 
on the rocks. 

On the tenth of May, 1610, the company, 
consisting of one hundred and twenty per- 
sons, embarked, and, after encountering some 
difficulty among the rocks, the next day got 
clear of the land and shaped their course for 
Virginia, where they arrived on the twenty- 
first at Point Comfort, and two days after at 
Jamestown. The colony, reduced to sixty 
persons, in a sickly, mutinous, and starving 
condition, gave them a mournful welcome. 
The new governor, Sir Thomas Gates, caus- 
ed the bell to be rung, and summoned the 
whole company to the church, where, after 
an affectionate prayer by Mr. Bucke, the new 
commission was read, and the former presi- 
dent, Mr. Percy, then scarcely able to stand, 
delivered up the old patent, with his commis- 
sion. 

On a strict examination, it was found that 
the provisions brought by the two pinnaces 
would serve the people not more than sixteen 
days, and that what they had in the town 
would be spent in ten. It being seedtime, 
the Indians had no corn to spare, and they 



DELAWARE. 127 

were so hostile that no treaty could be hold- 
en with them. The sturgeon had not yet 
corne into the river, and many of the nets 
were useless. No hope remained of preserv- 
ing the colony ; and, after mature delibera- 
tion, it was determined to abandon the coun- 
try. The nearest place where any relief could 
be obtained was Newfoundland ; thither they 
proposed to sail, and there they expected to 
meet the fishing- vessels from England, on 
board of which the people might be distribu- 
ted, and get passages home when the season 
of fishing should be completed. 

Having taken this resolution, and buried 
their ordnance at the gate of the fort, on the 
seventh of June, at beat of drum, the whole 
company embarked in four pinnaces. It was 
with difficulty that some of the people were 
restrained from setting fire to the town ; but 
the governor, with a select company, remain- 
ed on shore till the others had embarked, and 
he was the last that stepped into the boat. 
About noon they came to sail, and fell down 
with the ebb that evening to Hog Island. 
The next morning's tide brought them to 
Mulberry Island Point, where, lying at an- 
chor, they discovered a boat coming up the 
river with the flood. In an hour's time the 



128 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

boat came alongside the governor's pinnace, 
and proved to be an express from the Lord 
Delaware, who had arrived, with three ships 
and a supply of provision, two days before, at 
Point Comfort, where the captain of the fort 
had informed him of the intended evacuation ; 
and his lordship immediately despatched his 
skiff, with letters by Captain Edward Brew- 
ster, to prevent their departure. On receiv- 
ing these letters, the governor ordered the 
anchors to be weighed, and the wind being 
easterly, brought them back in the night to 
their old quarters at Jamestown. 

On the Lord's day, June 10, the ships came 
to anchor before the town. As soon 'as Lord 
Delaware came on shore, he fell down on his 
knees, and continued some time in silent de- 
votion. He then went to church, and after 
service his commission was read, which con- 
stituted him " governor and captain-general, 
during his life, of the Colony and Plantation 
of Virginia."* Sir Thomas Gates delivered 
up his commission and the colony seal. On 
this occasion Lord Delaware made a public 
address to the people, blaming them for their 
former idleness and misconduct, and exhort- 
ing them to a contrary behaviour, lest he 
* Purchas, v., 1754. 



DELAWARE. 129 

should be obliged to draw the sword of jus- 
tice against delinquents, and cu* them off; 
adding, that he had rather spill his own blood 
to protect them from injuries. 

Having displaced such men as had abused 
their power, and appointed proper persons to 
office, he assigned to every man his portion 
of labour, according to his capacity ; among 
which the culture of vines was not forgotten, 
some Frenchmen having been imported for 
the purpose. There had been no division of 
the lands, but all was common property ; and 
the colony was considered as one great fami- 
ly, fed daily out of the public store. Their 
employments were under the direction of the 
government, and the produce of their labours 
was brought into the common stock. The 
Indians were so troublesome that it would 
not have been prudent for the people to dis- 
perse till they should be better able to defend 
themselves, or till the savages should be more 
friendly. They were therefore lodged with- 
in the fortifications of Jamestown ; their work- 
ing and fishing parties, when abroad, were 
well armed or guarded ; their situation was 
hazardous ; and the prospect of improvement, 
considering the character of the majority, was 
not very flattering. " The most honest and 



AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

industrious would scarcely take so much pains 
in a week as they would have done for them- 
selves in a day, presuming that, however the 
harvest prospered, the general store must 
maintain them ; by which means they reaped 
not so much corn from the labours of thirty 
men as three men could have produced on 
their own lands."* 

No dependance could be placed on any 
supply of provisions from this mode of exer- 
tion. The stores brought over in the fleet 
might have kept them alive, with prudent 
management, for the greater part of a year ; 
but within that time it would be necessary 
to provide more. The Bermuda Islands were 
full of hogs, and Sir George Somers offered 
to go thither with a party to kill and salt them.f 
This offer was readily accepted, and he em- 
barked in his own cedar vessel of thirty tons, 
accompanied by Captain Samuel Argal in 
another. 

* Purchas, v., 1766. 

t [The relation of this enterprise (p. 176) in Smith's Gen. 
Hist, of Virg., N. E., and the Summer Isles, compiled from 
Jordan and others, shows the feeling with which Sir George 
and this his last adventure were regarded by his companions. 
" Whereupon Sir George Summers, whose noble minde ever re- 
garded a generall good more than his owne ends, though above 
threescore yeeres of age, and had meanes in England salable to 
his ranke, offered himselfe, by God's helpe, to performe this 
dangerous voyage againe for the Bermudas." H.] 



DELAWARE. 131 

They sailed together till, by contrary winds, 
they were driven among the Shoals of Nan- 
t\icket and Cape Cod,* whence Argal found 
his way back to Virginia, and was despatched 
to the Potowmac for corn. There he found 
Henry Spelman, an English youth who had 
been preserved from the fury of Powhatan by 
his daughter Pocahontas. By his assistance 
Argal procured a supply of corn, which he 
carried to Jamestown. 

Sir George Somers, after long struggling 
with contrary winds, was driven to the north- 
eastern shore of America, where he refresh- 
ed his men, then pursued the main object of 
his voyage, and arrived safely at Bermuda. 
There he began to collect the swine, and pre- 
pare their flesh for food ; but the fatigues to 
which he had been exposed by sea and land 
proved too severe for his advanced age, and 
he sunk under the burden. Finding his time 
short, he made a proper disposition of his es- 
tate, and charged his nephew, Matthew Som- 
ers, who commanded under him, to return 

* [I do not find that they came to Nantucket and Cape Cod. 
The early writers are not so specific. Smith, 176, says merely 
that Somers " was forced to the north parts of Virginia ;" and 
Stith, 118, that " Argal was soon forced back by stress of weath- 
er," and that Somers " was forced to the northern parts of th 
Continent." H.] 

II. L 



132 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

with the provision to Virginia. But the love 
of his native country prevailed. Having 
buried the entrails at Bermuda, he carried 
the corpse of his uncle to England, and de- 
posited it at Whitchurch,* in Dorsetshire. 
A monument was afterward erected at Ber- 
muda to the memory of this excellent man.f 

* [" Where by his friends he was honourably buried, with 
many vollies of shot and the rites of a souldier ; and upon his 
tombe was bestowed this epitaph : 

"Hei mihi Virginea quod tarn cito praeterit ^Estaa^ 
Autumnus sequitur, sasviet inde et hiems ; 
At ver perpetuum nascitur, et Anglia Iseta 
Decerpit flores, Florida terra tuas. 
"In English thus : 

" Alas, Virginia's Summer so soone past, 
Autumne succeeds, and stormy Winter's blast, 
Yet England's joyful Spring, with joyful showers, 
O Florida, shall bring thy sweetest flowers." 

Smith, p. 176. H.J 

t This monument was erected about len years after his 
death by Nathaniel Butler, then governor of Bermuda ; of 
which the following account is given by Captain Smith, in his 
History of Virginia and the Somer Islands, page 193 : 

" Finding accidentally a little cross erected in a bye-place 
among many bushes, and understanding that there was buried the 
heart and entrails of Sir George Somers, he resolved to have a 
better memory to so worthy a soldier. So, finding a great marble 
stone brought out of Eng'und, he caused it by masons to be 
wrought handsomely and laid over the place, which he environ- 
ed with a square wall of hewn stone, tomb-like, whereon he 
caused to be engraven this epitaph he had composed: 

" In the year sixteen hundred and eleven, 
Noble Sir George Somers went hence to heaven ; 



DELAWARE. 133 

The town of St. George was named for him,* 
and the islands were called Somer Islands. 
The return of this vessel gave the first ac- 
count in England of the discovery of those 
islands. 

Virginia, thus left destitute of so able and 
virtuous a friend, was soon afterward depri- 
ved of the presence of its governor, Lord 
Delaware. Having built two forts at the 
mouth of James River, and another at the 
falls, and having rendered his government 
respectable in the view both of the English 
and Indians, he found his health so much 
impaired that he was obliged in nine months 
to quit the country, intending to go to Nevist 
for the benefit of the warm baths. By con- 
trary winds he was forced to the Western 
Islands, where he obtained great relief from 
the fresh fruits of the country ; but he was ad- 
vised not to hazard himself again in Virginia 

Whose well-tried worth that held him still employ'd, 
Gave him the knowledge of the world so wide. 
Hence 'twas by Heaven's decree, that to this place 
He brought new guests and name, to mutual grace ; 
At last his soul and body being to part, 
He here bequeathed his entrails and his heart." 
* [He died in the spot which afterward received this nama 

Smith, 176. H.] 

t [Properly Mevis, an island of the West Indies famous fot 

its medicinal baths. H.] 



134 AMFIICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

till his healt) should be more perfectly re- 
stored by a voyage to England. Sir Thomas 
.i)ale and Sir Thomas Gates having previous- 
ly g.)ne at different times to England, the gov- 
ernment was again left in the hands of Mr. 
Percy, a gentleman of a noble family and a 
good heart, but of very moderate abilities.* 

At the timii of Lord Delaware's departure 
(March 28, 1611), the colony consisted of 
above two kindred people,! most of whom 
were in good health and well provided ; but 
when Sir Thomas Dale arrived, in less than 
two months (May 10), with three ships, 
bringing an addition of three hundred peo- 
ple, he found the old colonists again relapsing 
into their former state of indolence and pen- 
ury. Depending on the public store, they 
had neglected planting, and were amusing 
themselves with bowling and other diversions 
in the street!? of Jamestown. Nothing but 
the presence of a spirited governor, and a se- 
vere execution of his orders, could induce 

* [He was a younger brother of the Earl of Northumberland, 
and one of the first planters. Lord Delaware, in his "rela- 
tion to the councel, ' after his return from Virginia, calls him 
" a gentleman of honour and resolution." His name is on the 
list of adventurers published in 1620. Smun, 135. Smith says 
wt was living in England in 1622. New-England's Trials, p. 15. 
H.] t Purchas,v., 1763. 



DELAWARE. 135 

these people to labour. The severities exer- 
cised upon them were such as could not be 
warranted by the laws of England. The con- 
sequences were discontent and insurrection in 
some, and servile acquiescence in others. Sir 
Thomas Dale was esteemed as a man who 
might safely be intrusted with power ; but the 
laws by which he governed, and his rigorous 
administration of them, were the subject of 
bitter remonstrance and complaint.* 

The adventurers in England were still in 
a state of disappointment; and when Sir 
Thomas Gates arrived without bringing any 
returns adequate to their expectations, the 
council entered into a serious deliberation 
whether to proceed in their adventure or 
abandon the enterprise. Lord Delaware's 
arrival in England cast a deeper gloom on 
the melancholy prospect. But the represent- 
ations of these gentlemen, delivered in coun- 
cil and confirmed by oath, served to keep up 

* [\faster Hamor, at that time one of the planters, and a dis 
creet man, bears witness (Smith's Virginia, 110) to the value of 
" his severitie and strict imprinted booke of Articles, then need- 
ful with all extremitie to be executed ;" and says, " Sir Thomas 
Dale hath not beene so tyrannous nor severe by the halfe as there 
was occasion and just cause for it ;" and " if his Lawes had not 
beene so strictly executed, I see not how the utter subversion of 
the Colonie should have been prevented." H.] 



136 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

their spirits, and induce them still to renew 
their exertions. 

The substance of these representations was 
that the country was rich in itself, but that 
time and industry were necessary to make its 
wealth profitable to the adventurers ; that it 
yielded abundance of valuable woods, as 
oak, walnut, ash, sassafras, mulberry-trees 
for silk-worms, live oak, cedar, and fir for 
shipping, and that on the banks of the Potow- 
mac there were trees large enough for masts ; 
that it produced a species of wild hemp for 
cordage, pines which yielded tar, and a vast 
quantity of iron ore, besides lead, antimony, 
and other minerals, and several kinds of col- 
oured earths ; that in the woods were found 
various balsams and other medicinal drugs, 
with an immense quantity of myrtle berries 
for wax ; that the forest and rivers harboured 
beavers, otters, foxes, and deer, whose skins 
were valuable articles of commerce ; that 
sturgeon might be taken in the greatest plen- 
ty in five noble rivers ; and that without the 
bay to the northward was an excellent fishing 
bank for cod of the best quality ; that the 
soil was favourable to the cultivation of vines, 
sugar-canes, oranges, lemons, almonds, and 
rice ; and that the winters were so mild that 



DELAWARE. 137 

the cattle could get their food abroad, and 
that swine could be fatted on wild fruits ; 
that the Indian corn yielded a most luxuriant 
harvest ; and, in a word, that it was " one of 
the goodliest countries, promising as rich en- 
trails as any kingdom of the earth to which 
the sun is no nearer a neighbour."* 

Lord Delaware farther assured them that, 
notwithstanding the ill state of his health, he 
was so far from shrinking or giving over the 
enterprise, that he was willing to lay all he 
was worth on its success, and to return to 
Virginia with all convenient expedition.! 

Sir Thomas Gates was again sent out with 
six ships, three hundred men, one hundred 
cattle, two hundred swine, and large supplies 
of every kind. He arrived in the beginning 
of August (1611), and received the command 
from Sir Thomas Dale, who retired to Varina, 
and employed himself in erecting his town, 
Henrico, and improving his plantation at 
New-Bermuda. 

In the beginning of the next year (1612), 
Captain Argal, who had carried home Lord 
Delaware, came again to Virginia with two 
ships, and was again sent to the Potowmac for 
corn, of which he procured fourteen hundred 

* Purchas, v., 1758. f Ibid., 1763. 



138 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

bushels.* There he entered into an acquaint- 
ance with Japazaws, the sachem, an old friend 
of Captain Smith, and of all the English who 
had come to America. In his territory Poca- 
hontas, the daughter of Powhatan, was con- 
cealed. The reason of her quitting the do- 
minion of her father is unknown. Certain i 
is that he had been in a state of hostility with 
the colony ever since the departure of Smith. 
and that the frequent depredations and mur 
ders committed by the Indians on the Eng- 
lish were in the highest degree painful to this 
tender-hearted princess. Argal contrived a 
plan to get her into his possession. He bar- 
gained with Japazaws to bring her on boara 
the ship, under pretence of a visit, in. compa- 
ny with his own wife ; then, dismissing the 
sachem and his wife with the promised re- 
ward,! he carried Pocahontas to Jamestown* 
where she had not been since Captain Smith 
had left the colony. 

A message was sent to Powhatan to inform 
him that his daughter was in their hands, an<\ 
that she might be restored to him on condi- 
tion that he would deliver up all the English 
whom he held as captives, with all the arms, 
tools, and utensils which the Indians had sto- 

* Purchas, v., 1765. t Stith, 128 



DELAWARE. 139 

len, and furnish the colony with a large quan- 
tity of corn. This proposal threw him into 
much perplexity ; for, though he loved his 
daughter, he was loth to give so much for her 
redemption. After three months he sent back 
seven of the captives, with three unservicea- 
ble muskets, an axe, a saw, and one canoe 
loaded with corn. He also sent word that, 
when they should deliver his daughter, he 
would give them five hundred bushels of com, 
and make full satisfaction for all past injuries. 
No reliance could be placed on such a prom- 
ise. The negotiation was broken, and the 
king was offended. The next spring (1613) 
another attempt was made, accompanied with 
threatening on the part of the English, and 
stratagem on the part of the Indians. This 
proved equally ineffectual. At length it was 
announced to Powhatan that John Rolfe, an 
English gentleman, was in love with Poca- 
hontas, and had obtained her consent and the 
license of the governor to marry her. The 
prince was softened by this intelligence, and 
sent one of his chiefs to attend the nuptial 
solemnity. After this event Powhatan was 
friendly to the colony as long as he lived, and 
a free trade was carried on between them and 
his people. 



140 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

The visit which this lady made to England 
with her husband, and her death, which hap- 
pened there in the bloom of her youth, have 
been related in the Life of Captain Smith. 
It is there observed that " several families of 
note in Virginia are descended from her." 
The descent is thus traced by Mr. Stith :* 
Her son, Thomas Rolfe, was educated in 
England, and came over to Virginia, where 
he became a man of fortune and distinction, 
and inherited a large tract of land which had 
been the property of his grandfather Pow- 
hatan. He left an only daughter, who was 
married to Colonel Robert Boiling. His son, 
Major John Boiling, was father to Colonel 
John Boiling, whosef five daughters were 
married to* Colonel Richard Randolph, Colo- 
nel John Fleming, Dr. William Gay, Mr 
Thomas Eldridge, and Mr. James Murray. 
Such was the state of the family in 1747. 

The reconciliation between Powhatan and 
the English awakened the fears of the In- 
dians of Chickahomony, a formidable and 
free people. They were governed by an as- 

* Stith, 146. 

t [The reading in Stith is different, making an error in GUI 
text of one generation. He says "the late (1746) Major John 
Boiling was father to the present Colonel John Boiling and sev 
eral daughters, married," &c. H.] 



DELAWARE. 141 

Bembly of their elders or wise men, who also 
bore the character of priests. They hated 
Powhatan as a tyrant, and were always jeal- 
ous of his design to subject them. They had 
taken advantage of the dissension between 
him and the English to assert their liberty ; 
but, on his reconciliation, they apprehended 
that he might make use of the friendship of 
the colony to reduce them under his yoke. 
To prevent this, they sent a deputation to Sir 
Thomas Dale to excuse their former ill con- 
duct, and submit themselves to the English 
government. Sir Thomas was pleased with 
the offer, and on a day appointed went with 
Captain Argal and fifty men to their village, 
where a peace was concluded on the follow- 
ing conditions : 

1. That they should forever be called [Tos- 
sentessas] New-Englishmen, and be true sub- 
jects of King James and his deputies. 

2. That they should neither kill nor detain 
any of the English nor their stray cattle, but 
bring them home. 

3. That thoy should always be ready to 
furnish the English with three hundred men 
against the Spaniards or t Tiy other enemy. 

4. That they should not enter any of the 
English settlements without previously send- 
ing in word that they wera New-Englishmen. 



142 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

5. That every bowman at harvest should 
bring into the store two measures [two and a 
half bushels] of corn as a tribute, for which 
he should receive a hatchet. 

6. That the eight elders or chiefs should 
see all tin's performed, or receive punishment 
themselves ; and that for their fidelity each 
one should receive a red coat, a copper chain, 
and a picture of King James, and should be 
accounted his nobleman. 

Though this transaction passed while Sir 
Thomas Gates was at the head of the gov- 
ernment, and residing within the colony, yet 
nothing is said of his assenting to it or giving 
any orders about it. Dale appears to have 
been the most active and enterprising man ;* 
and, on Gates's return to England in the 
spring of 1614, the chief command devolved 
on him. 

The experience of five years had now con- 
vinced all thinking men among the English 
that the colony would never thrive while their 
lands were held in common, and the people 
were maintained out of the public stores. In 
such a case there is no spur to exertion ; the 

* [The negotiation with Powhatan, mentioned p. 139, and the 
marriage of Pocahontas, were managed by Dale. Smith, 113, 



DELAWARE. 143 

industrious person and the drone fare alike, 
and the former has no inducement to work 
for the latter. The time prescribed ill the 
king's instructions for their trading in a com- 
mon stock, and bringing all the fruits of their 
labour into a common store, was expired. An 
alteration was then contemplated, but the first 
measure adopted did not much mend the mat- 
ter. Three acres only were allotted to each 
man as a farm, on which he was to work 
eleven months for the store and one month 
for himself, and to receive his proportion out 
of the common stock.* Those who were 
employed on Sir Thomas Dale's plantation 
had better terms. One month's labour only 
was required, and they were exempted from 
all farther service ; and for this exemption 
they paid a yearly tribute of three barrels and 
a halff of corn to the public store. These 
farms were not held by a tenure of common 
soccage, which carries with it freedom and 
property, but merely by tenancy at will, which 
produces dependance.J It is, however, ob- 
served, that this small encouragement gave 

* [It would seem from Smith, 114, that the portion of provis- 
ion received by each from the public store was only two bushels 
of com. H.] 

t A barrel of corn was four bushels. t Chalmers, 34 



144 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

some present Content, and the fear of coming 
to want gradually disappeared.* 

About two years after (1616), a method of 
granting lands in freeholds, and in lots of fifty 
acres, was introduced into Virginia. This 
quantity was allowed to each person who 
came to reside, or brought others to reside 
there. The design of it was to encourage 
immigration. Besides this, there were two 
other methods of granting lands. One was 
a grant of merit. "When any person had con- 
ferred a benefit or done a service to the colo- 
ny, it was requited by a grant of land Avhich 
could not exceed two thousand acres. The 
other was called the adventure of the purse. 
Every person who paid twelve guineas into 
the company's treasury was entitled to one 
hundred acres. t 

After some time, this liberty of taking 
grants was abused, partly by the ignorance 
and knavery of surveyors, who often gave 
draughts of lands without ever actually sur- 
veying them, but describing them by natural 
boundaries and allowing large measure, and 
partly by the indulgence of courts in a lavish 
admittance of claims. When a master of a 
ship came into court, and made oath that he 

* Stith, 132. t Ib., 139. 



DELAWARE. 145 

had imported himself, with so many seamen 
and passengers, an order was issued granting 
him as many rights of fifty acres; and the 
clerk had a fee for each right. The seamen 
at another court would make oath that they 
had adventured themselves so many times 
into the country, and would obtain an order 
for as many rights, toties quoties. The plant- 
er who bought the imported servants would 
do the same, and procure an order for as 
many times fifty acres. These grants, after 
being described by the surveyors in the above 
vague and careless manner, were sold at a 
small price, and whoever was able to pur- 
chase any considerable number of them be- 
came entitled to a vast quantity of land. By 
such means, the original intention of allotting 
a small freehold to each immigrant was frus- 
trated ; for the adventurers themselves, who 
remained on the spot, had the least share of 
the benefit, and the settlement of the coun- 
try in convenient districts was precluded.* 
Land speculators became possessed of im- 
mense tracts, too large for cultivation ; and 
the inhabitants were scattered over a great 
extent of territory, in remote and hazardous 

* MS. anonymous account of Virginia, written 1697, page 
li 



146 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

situations. The ill effects of this dispersion 
were insecurity from the savages, a habit of 
indolence, an imperfect mode of cultivation, 
the introduction of convicts from England, 
and of slaves from Africa. 

The same year (1616) Sir Thomas Dale 
returned to England,* carrying with him 
Pocahontas, the wife of Mr. Rolfe, and sev- 
eral other Indians. The motive of his return 
was to visit his family and settle his private 
affairs, after having spent five or six years in 
the service of the colony. He is character- 
ized as an active, faithful governor,! very 
careful to provide supplies of corn, rather by 
planting than by purchase. So much had 
these supplies increased under his direction, 
that the colony was able to lend to the Indian 
princes several hundred bushels of corn, and 
take mortgages of their land in payment. He 
would allow no tobacco to be planted till a 
sufficiency of seed-corn was in the ground. 
He was also very assiduous in ranging and 
exploring the country, and became extremely 
delighted with its pleasant and fertile appear- 
ance. He had so high an opinion of it, that 
iie declared it equal to the best parts of Eu- 

* [He arrived at Plymouth June 12. H.] 
t Stith, 140. 



DELAWARE. 147 

rope if it were cultivated and inhabited 1 (sy an 
industrious people.* 



Since the foregoing sheets were printed, I 
have found the following brief account of Sir 
GEORGE SOMERS in Fuller's Worthies of Eng- 
land, page 282 : 

" George Somers, knight, was born in or 
near Lyme, in Dorsetshire. He was a lamb 
upon land, and a lion at sea. So patient on 
shore that few could anger him ; and on en- 
tering a ship, as if he had assumed a new 
nature, so passionate that few could please 
him." [Whitchurch, where his corpse was 
deposited, is distant three miles from Lvme.j 

* [In a letter to the council in 1611, he says, " take foure of 
the best kingdomes in Christendome, and put them all s>gether, 
they may no way compare with this countrie, cither for cn>mmod- 
ities or goodnesse of soile." The New Life of Vircr jiea, p. I?. 
-H.j 
II. M 



148 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 



XIV. SIR SAMUEL ARGAL. SIR 
GEORGE YEARDLEY. 

WE have no account of Captain Argal be- 
fore the year 1609, when he came to Virginia 
to fish for sturgeon and trade with the colo- 
ny. This trade was then prohibited ; but, 
being a kinsman of Sir Thomas Dale, his 
voyage was connived at, and the provisions 
and wine which he brought were a welcome 
relief to the colony. He was there when the 
shattered fleet, escaped from the tempest, ar- 
rived without their commanders ; and he con- 
tinued to make voyages in the service of the 
colony and for his own advantage till he 
was made deputy-governor under Lord Del- 
aware. 

The principal exploit in Avhich he was en- 
gaged was an expedition to the northern part 
of Virginia.* Sir Thomas Dale, having re- 
ceived some information of the intrusion of 

* The time of this voyage is not accurately mentioned ; but, 
from comparing several dates and transactions, I think (with Mr. 
Prince) that it must have been in the summer of 1613. Certain- 
y it was before Argal was made deputy-governor in 1617 
(hough some writers have placed it after that period. 



ARGAL. 149 

the French and Dutch within the chartered 
limits of Virginia, sent Argal, ostensibly on 
a trading and fishing voyage, to the north- 
ward, but with orders to seek for and dispos- 
sess intruders. No account of his force is 
mentioned by any writer. Having visited 
several parts of the coast of North Virginia, 
and obtained the best information in his pow- 
er, he arrived at the island now called Mount 
Desert, in the district of Maine, where two 
Jesuits, who had been expelled from Port 
Royal by the governor, Biencourt, for their 
insolence,* had made a plantation and built 
a fort. A French ship and bark were then 
lying in the harbour. Most of the people 
were dispersed at their various employments, 
and were unprepared to receive an enemy. 
Argal at once attacked the vessels with mus- 
ketry, and made an easy conquest of them. 
One of the Jesuits was killed in attempting 
to level one of the ship's guns against the as- 
sailants. Argal then landed and summoned 
the fort. The commander requested time 
for consultation, but it was denied ; on which 
the garrison abandoned the fort, and, by a 
private passage, escaped to the woods. Ar- 
gal took possession in the name of the crowr 

* See p. 41. 



150 AMERIC N BIOGRAPHY. 

of England, and .'he next day the people 
came in and "surrendered themselves and their 
commission or patent. He treated tnem with 
politeness, g'yirg them leave to go either to 
France in the fishing vessels which resorted 
to the coast, or with him to Virginia. 

The other Jesuit, Father Biard, glad of 
an opportunitv to be revenged on Biencoiirt, 
gave information of his settlement at Port 
Royal, and offered to pilot the vessel thither. 
Argal sailed across the Bay of Fundy, and, 
entering the harbour, landed forty men. A 
gun was fired from the fort as a signal to the 
people who were abroad ; but Argal advan- 
ced with such -apirUty that he found the fort 
abandoned, and took possession. He then 
sailed up the river with his boats, where he 
viewed their fields, their barns, and mill ; 
these he spared : but at his return he destroy- 
ed the fort, anc 1 defa.ced the arms of the King 
of France. 

Biencourt was at this time surveying the 
country at a distance, but was called home 
suddenly, and reouested a conference with 
the English commander.* They met in 'a 
meadow, with a r ew of their followers. Af- 
ter an ineffectua. assertion of rights, equally 
* Purchas, v., 1808. 



AKGAL. 151 

claimed by both, Bienccurt proposed, if he 
could obtain a protection from the crown of 
England, and get tne oonoxious Jesuit into 
his possession, to divide the fur-trade, and 
disclose the mines ol ine country ; but Argal 
refused to make any treaty, alleging that his 
orders were only to disoossess him, and 
threatening, if he should find him there again, 
to use him as an enemy. While they were 
in conference, one of trie natives came up to 
them, and in broken lar.guage, with suitable 
gestures, endeavoured to mediate a peace ; 
wondering that persons who seemed to him 
to be of one nation should make war on each 
other. This affecting incident served to put 
them both into good-humour. 

As it was a time of peace between the 
two crowns, the only pretext for this expedi- 
tion was the intrusion of the French into lim- 
its claimed by the Englisn, in virtue of prior 
discovery. This mode ot dispossessing them 
has been censured as " contrary to the Law 
of Nations, because inconsistent with their 
peace."* It was, however agreeable to the 
powers granted in the char er of 1609 ; and 
even the seizure of the JFrench vessels, on 
board of which was a large quantity of pro- 

* Chalmers, 82. 



152 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

visions, clothing, furniture, and trading-goods, 
was also warranted by the same charter. 
There is no evidence that this transaction 
was either approved by the court of England 
or resented by the crown of France ; certain 
it is, however, that it made way for a patent 
which King James gave to Sir William Alex- 
ander in 1621, by which he granted him the 
whole territory of Acadia, by the name of 
Nova Scotia ; and yet the French continued 
their occupancy. 

On his return towards Virginia with his 
prizes, Argal visited the settlement which the 
Dutch had made at Hudson's River, near the 
spot where Albany is now built, and demand- 
ed possession ; alleging that Hudson being 
an English subject, though in the service of 
Holland, could not alienate the lands which 
he had discovered, which were claimed by 
the crown of England, and granted by char- 
ter to the Company of Virginia. The Dutch 
governor, Hendrick Christiaens, being unable 
to make any resistance, quietly submitted 
himself and his colony to the crown of Eng- 
land, and was permitted to remain there. 
But on the arrival of a re-enforcement the 
next year, they built another fort on the south 
end of the Island Manhattan, where the City 



A R G A L. 153 

of New- York now stands, and held the coun- 
try for many years, under a grant from the 
States-General, by the name of New- Nether- 
lands. 

The next spring (1614) Argal went to Eng- 
land, and two years after Sir Thomas Dale 
followed him, leaving GEORGE YEARDLEY to 
govern the colony in his absence. It had 
been a grand object with Dale to discourage 
the planting of tobacco ; but his successor, in 
compliance with the humour of the people, 
indulged them in cultivating it in preference 
to corn. When the colony was in want of 
bread, Yeardley sent to the Indians of Chick- 
ahomony for their tribute, as promised by the 
treaty made with Dale. They answered that 
they had paid his master ; but that they had 
no orders nor any inclination to obey him. 
Yeardley drew out one hundred of his best 
men, and went against them. They received 
him in a warlike posture, and, after much 
threatening on both sides, Yeardley ordered 
his men to fire. Twelve of the natives were 
killed, and as many were made prisoners, of 
whom two were elders or senators. For 
their ransom one hundred bushels of corn 
were paid in additkr to the tribute. Th e 
boats were loaded |br Jamestow*., -ue f 



154 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

which was overset in the passage, and eleven 
men, with her whole cargo, were lost. The 
natives were so awed by this chastisement, 
that they supplied the colony with such pro- 
visions as they could spare from their own 
stock or procure by hunting ; and being thus 
supplied, the colonists gave themselves chief- 
ly to the planting of tobacco. 

In 1617 Captain ARGAL was appointed dep- 
uty-governor of the colony under Lord Dela- 
ware, and admiral of the adjacent seas.* 
When he arrived, in May, he found the pali- 
sades broken, the church fallen down, and 
the well of fresh water spoiled ; but the mar- 
ket-square and the streets of Jamestown were 
planted with tobacco,! and the people were 
dispersed, wherever they could find room, to 
cultivate that precious weed, the value of 
which was supposed to be much augmented 
by a new mode of cure, drying it on lines 
rather than fermenting it in heaps. The au- 
thor of this discovery was a Mr. Lambert, and 
the effect of it was a great demand from Eng- 

* [Argal was a kinsman of the treasurer, Sir Thomas Smith, 
but gained this appointment by favour of the Earl of Warwick, 
who " concerted matters with him, and entered into a partner- 
ship." Stith, 145. The office of admiral was very convenien 
ir his scLtfmes of speedy enrichment. H.J 

+ Stith, 146. 



ARG A L. 



155 



land for lines, which afterward became a cap- 
)" -1 article of traffic. 

To counteract the ill effects of Yeardley's 
indulgence, Argal revived the severe disci- 
pline, which was grounded on the martial 
laws framed by his patron, Sir Thomas 
Smith, a specimen of which may be seen in 
the following edicts : He fixed the advance 
on goods imported from England at twenty- 
five per cent., and the price of tobacco at 
three shillings per pound :* the penalty for 
transgressing this regulation was three years' 
slavery. No person was allowed to fire a 
gun except in his own defence against an 
enemy till a new supply of ammunition 
should arrive, on penalty of one year's slave- 
ry. Absence from church on Sundays and 
holydays was punished by laying the offender 
neck and heels for one whole night, orf by 
one week's slavery ; the second offence by 
one month's, and the third by one year's 
slavery. Private trade with the savages, or 
teaching them the use of arms, was punisha- 
ble by death. 

These and similar laws were executed with 

* Stith, 147. 

f [Stith, 147, says, " lie neck and heels that night, and be t 
lave to the colony the following week." H.] 



156 AME-RICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

such rigour as to render the deputy-governor 
odious to the colony. They had entertained 
a hope of deliverance by the expected arrival 
of Lord Delaware, who sailed from England 
for Virginia (April, 1618) in a large ship eon- 
xaining two hundred people. After touching 
at the Western Islands, a succession of con- 
trary winds and bad weather protracted the 
voyage to sixteen weeks, during which time 
many of the people fell sick, and about thirty 
died, among whom was Lord Delaware. 
This fatal news was known first in Virginia ; 
but the report of Argal's injurious conduct 
had gone to England, and made a deep im- 
pression to his disadvantage on the minds 
of his best friends. Besides a great number 
of wrongs to particular persons, he was char- 
ged with converting to his own use what re- 
mained of the public stores ; with depreda- 
tion and waste of the revenues of the com- 
pany ; and with many offences in matters of 
state and government. At first the company 
were so alarmed as to think of an application 
to the crown for redress ; but, on farther con- 
sideration, they wrote a letter of reprehension 
to him, and another of complaint to Lord 
Delaware, whom they supposed to be at the 
head of the colony, requesting f.hat Argal 



A R 6 A L. 157 

might be sent to England to answer the 
cnarges laid against him. 

Both these letters fell into Argal's hands. 
Convinced that his time was short, he deter- 
mined to make the most of it for his own in- 
terest. Having assumed the care of his lord- 
ship's estate in Virginia, he converted the la- 
bour of the tenants and the produce of the 
land to his own use. But Edward Brewster, 
who had been appointed overseer of the plan- 
tation by his lordship's order before his death, 
endeavoured to withdraw them from Argal's 
service, and employ them for the benefit of 
the estate. When he threatened one who re- 
fused to obey him, the fellow made his com- 
plaint to the governor : Brewster was arrest- 
ed, tried by a court-martial, and sentenced 
to death in consequence of the aforesaid laws 
of Sir Thomas Smith. Sensible of the ex- 
treme severity of these laws, the court which 
had passed the sentence, accompanied by the 
clergy, went in a body to the governor to in- 
tercede for Brewster's life, which, with much 
difficulty, they obtained on this condition, 
that he should quit Virginia never more to 
return, and should give his oath that he would, 
neither in England nor elsewhere, say or do 
anything to the dishonour of the governor. 



158 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

On his going to England he was advised to 
appeal to the company ; and the prosecution 
of this appeal, added to the odium which Ar- 
gal had incurred, determined them to senu 
over a new governor to examine the com 
plaints and accusations on the spot. 

The person chosen to execute this commis 
sion was YEARDLEY, his rival, who on this oc- 
casion was knighted, and appointed governor 
general of the colony, where he arrived in the 
spring of 1619.* 

The Earl of Warwick, who was Argal's 
friend and partner in trade, had taken care 
to give him information of what was doing 
and to despatch a small vessel, which arrived 
before the new governor, and carried off Ar- 
gal with all his effects. By this manoeuvre 
and by virtue of his partnership with the earl 
he not only escaped the intended examina- 
tion in Virginia, but secured the greater part 
of his property, and defrauded the company 
of that restitution which they had a right to 
expect. 

The character of Captain Argal, like thav 
of most who were concerned in the coloniza- 
tion and government of Virginia, is different- 
ly drawn. On the one hand he is spoken of 
as a good mariner, a civil gentleman, a man 

* Stith, 154. 



A R O A L. 159 

of public spirit, active, industrious, and care- 
lul to provide for the people, and keep them 
constantly employed.* On the other hand 
he is described as negligent of the public bu- 
siness, seeking only his own interest, rapa- 
cious, passionate, arbitrary, and cruel ; push- 
ing his unrighteous gains by all means of 
extortion and oppression. Mr. Stith,t who, 
from the best information which he could ob- 
tain, at the distance of more than a century, 
by searching the public records of the colony 
and the journals of the company, pronounces 
him " a man of good sense, of great industry 
and resolution," and says that, " when the 
company warned him peremptorily to exhibit 
his accounts, and make answer to such things 
as they had charged against him, he so foiled 
and perplexed all their proceedings, and gave 
them so much trouble and annoyance, that 
they were never able to bring him to any ac- 
count or punishment." 

Nothing more is now known of him but 
that, after quitting Virginia, he was employed 
in 1620 to command a ship of war in an ex- 
pedition against the Algerines,t and that in 
1623 he was knighted by King James. 

* Smith and Purchas. t Stitb, 229. 

t Stith, 184. 

$ [He was named in the temporary commission given by King 



AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

About the same time that Lord Delaware 
died at sea, the great Indian prince Powhat- 
an died at his seat in Virginia (April, 1618).* 
He was a person of excellent natural talents 
penetrating and crafty, and a complete mas- 
ter of all the arts of savage policy,! but to- 
tally void of truth, justice, and magnanimity.-} 
He was succeeded by his second brother 
Opitchapan, who, being decrepit and inac- 
tive, was soon obscured by the superior abil- 
ities and ambition of his younger brother 
Opecanchanough. Both of them renewed 
and confirmed the peace which Powhatan 
had made with the colony, and Opecanchan- 
ough finally engrossed the whole power of 
government ; for the Indians do not so much 
regard the order of succession as brilliancy 
of talents and intrepidity of mind in their 
chiefs. 

To ingratiate themselves with this prince 
and attach him more closely to their interest, 

James to Manderille and others, July 15, 1624. Hazard, i., 183 
He was also, as is mentioned hereafter, an unsuccessful riva. 
with Sir Francis Wyatt for the governorship of Virginia in 
1624. H.] 

* The same year is also memorable for the death of Sit 
Walter Raleigh, who may be considered as the founder of the 
colony of Virginia. See vol. i., p. 323. 

t Smith, 125 J Stith, 154. 



ARGAL. 161 

the colony built a house for him after the 
English mode. With this he was so much 
pleased that he kept the keys continually in 
his hands, opening and shutting the doors 
many times in a day, and showing the ma- 
chinery of the locks to his own people and to 
strangers. In return for this favour, he gave 
liberty to the English to seat themselves at 
any places on the shores of the rivers where 
the natives had no villages, and entered into 
a farther treaty with them for the discovery 
of mines, and for mutual friendship and de- 
fence.* This treaty was, at the request of 
Opecanchanough, engraven on a brass plate 
and fastened to one of the largest oaks, that 
it might be always in view, and held in per- 
petual remembrance. 

Yeardley, being rid of the trouble of calling 
Argal to account, applied himself to the busi- 
ness of his government. The first thing 
which he did was to add six new members to 
the council, Francis West,* Nathaniel Pow 

* Purchas, v., 1786, 8. 

t [Master Francis West, a younger brother of Lord Dela- 
ware, came to Virginia with Newport, in his third voyage, in. 
the winter of 1607-8. He attended Smith in his expedition to 
Pamunkv ; in 1609 he was sent, " with 120 men," whence he in 
afterward called captain, to make a settlement at the falls of 
James River, which he did very " inconsiderately." He soon re- 



162 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

el,* John Pory,t John Ralfe, William Wick- 

turned to Jamestown, having lost many of his men, and set out on 
a trading voyage in a. small ship with thirty or forty men, and, be- 
ing unsuccessful, set sail for England. He seems from the text 
to have returned to Virginia, but was living in England in 1622 
(Smith, 72, 90-2, 105. New-England's Trials, p. 15), and 
perhaps remained there till he was appointed one of the coun- 
cil of Sir Francis Wyat (but see Prince, 218). He seems to 
have been an amiable but inefficient man. Smith ascribes to 
him a " gentle nature." 

He was named a councillor under Yeardley, and in the com- 
mission to Harvey in 1627. Hazard, i., 232, 234. After tho 
death of Yeardley in the latter part of 1627, he was choseLi by 
the council to succeed him, and, having held the government t 
few months, is presumed to have died early in 1G28. Burk, ii., 

21, 2. H.] 

* [Nathaniel Powel came to Virginia with Captain Smith in 
1607, and his name occurs among the " gentlemen'' in the cata 
logue of the first planters. Smith, 43. He accompanied Smith 
in several of his exploring journeys, was employed by him, some- 
times alone, in services requiring both courage and discretion, 
and wrote some of the narratives from which his History of Vir- 
ginia was compiled. When Argal stole away from the colony in 
1619, he left Powel, who has now the title of captain, for his 
deputy. He held this office but ten or twelve days, till Yeard- 
ley arrived, who, as is stated in the text, chose h;m into his 
council. Ib., 126. He was slain, with his family, and his 
body " butcher-like haggled," in the general massacre of March 

22, 1622. Smith, p. 145, calls him " a valiant so'.dier, and not 
tny in the country better known among them." H.] 

t [Master John Porey, as he wrote his name, was one of taw 
grantees in the Virginia patent of 1609 (Hazard, I., 61), was ed- 
ucated at Cambridge, and had been in Parliament. He was 
not one of the adventurers, at least his name in not on the list 
of them in 1620, and probably not one of the planters, but em- 



AEGAL. 163 

ham, and Samuel Maycock.* The next was 
to publish his intention of calling a Gener- 
al Assembly, the privileges and powers of 
which were denned in his commission. He 
also granted to the oldest planters a discharge 
from all service to the colony but such as 
was voluntary, or obligatory by the laws and 
customs of nations, with a confirmation of all 
their estates real and personal, to be holden 
in the same manner as by English subjects. 

ployed by the company for his intelligence and supposed integri- 
ty. He made some pretensions to religion (Smith, 142, and 
Morton's Memorial, 84), but was of an intriguing, restless spir- 
it. He was appointed secretary of state in Virginia on the 
recommendation of the Earl of Warwick, who doubtless thought 
him, as he proved, a fit instrument for his purposes. Burk, i., 
Anp , 322. It may not be amiss to say, that the secretary's place 
was one of some consequence. In 1691, the company, in their 
instructions, gave order that the secretary should have twenty- 
five men " to serve and attend" him. Smith, 127. After in- 
tercepting the proofs of Argal's misconduct, the company could 
not have longer employed him. He was a member of the tem- 
porary commission appointed by the king, July 15, 1624, after 
he had suppressed the meetings of the company. Hazard, i., 
183. Some curious letters of his are preserved in the Ellis 
Collection of Original Papers, iii., 237, seqq. H.] 

* [Of Samuel Maycock I find little, except that he was slain 
by the Indians, March 22, 1622. In the list of the slain he is 
called Captain Macock. He had a plantation of 1000 acres 
on the south side of James River, in the corporation of Henri- 
co. Burk, i., 333. The date of his arrival is uncertain, and 
his name is not among those who came before 1609. H.] 
II. N 



164 AMERICAN BIOGEAPHY. 

Finding a great scarcity of corn, he made 
some amends for his former error by promo- 
ting the cultivation of it. The first year of 
his administration (1619) was remarkable for 
very great crops of wheat and Indian corn, 
and for a very great mortality of the people, 
not less than 300 of whom died. 

In the month of July of this year, the first 
General Assembly of the colony of Virginia 
met at Jamestown.* The deputies were cho- 
sen by the townships or boroughs, no coun- 
ties being at that time formed. From this 
circumstance, the Lower House of Assembly 
was always afterward called the House of 
Burgesses till the revolution in 1776. In 
this Assembly, the governor, council, and 
burgesses sat in one house, and jointly " de- 
bated all matters thought expedient for the 
good of the colony." The laws then enacted 
were of the nature of local regulations, and 
were transmitted to England for the approba- 
tion of the treasurer and company. It is 
said that they were -judiciously drawn up ; 
but no vestige of them now remains. 

Thus, at the expiration of twelve years 

* Beverley (p. 35) says that the first Assembly was called 
in 1620. But Stith, who had more accurately searched the rec- 
ords, says that the first was in 1619, and the second in 1620. 
P. 160. 



AROAL. 165 

from their settlement, the Virginians first en- 
joyed the privilege of a colonial Legislature, 
in which they were represented by persons 
of their own election.* They received as a 
favour what they might have claimed as a 
right, and, with minds depressed by the arbi- 
trary system under which they had been held, 
thanked the company for this favour, and 
begged them to reduce to a compendium, 
with his majesty's approbation, the laws of 
England suitable for Virginia ; giving this as 
a reason, that it was not fit for subjects to be 
governed by any laws but those which re- 
ceived an authority from their sovereign. 

It seems to have been a general sentiment 
among these colonists not to make Virginia 
the place of their permanent residence, but, 
after having acquired a fortune by planting 
and trade, to return to England.! For this 
reason most of them were destitute of fami- 
lies, and had no natural attachment to the 
country. To remedy this material defect, 
Sir Edwin Sandys, the new treasurer, pro- 
posed to the company to send over a freight 
of young women to make wives for the plant- 
ers. This proposal, with several others made 
by that eminent statesman, was received with 
* Chalmers, 44. t Stith, 165. 



166 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

universal applause ; and the success answer 
ed their expectations. Ninety girls, " young 
and uncorrupt," were sent over at one time* 
(1620) ; and sixty more, " handsome and well- 
recommended," at another (1621). t These 
were soon blessed with the object of their 
wishes. The price of a wife at first was one 

* Purchas, v., 1783. 

t [The following remnant of the early times, when women 
were willing to get married and not ashamed to own it, is a let- 
ter accompanying a shipment of marriageable ladies made from 
England to the colony in Virginia. It is dated 

" London,, August 21, 1621. 

" We send you a shipment, one widow and eleven maids, for 
wives of the people of Virginia : there hath been especial care 
had in the choice of them, for there hath not one of them been 
received but upon good commendations. 

" In case they cannot be presently married, we desire that 
they may be put with several householders that have wives until 
they can be provided with husbands. There are nearly fifty 
more that are shortly to come, and are sent by our honourable 
lord and treasurer, the Earl of Southampton, and certain worthy 
gentlemen, who, taking into consideration that the plantation 
can never flourish till families be planted, and the respect of 
wives and children for their people on the soil, therefore having 
given this fair beginning ; reimbursing of whose charges, it ia 
ordered that every man that marries them give one hundred and 
twenty pounds of best leaf tobacco for each of them. 

" We desire that the marriage be free, according to nature, 
and we would not have those maids deceived and marry to ser- 
vants, but only to such freemen or tenants as have means to 
maintain them. We pray you, therefore, to be fathers of them 
in this business, not enforcing them to marry against their wills '* 
-H.] 



A R G A L. 

hundred and twenty pounds of tobacco ; but, 
as the number became scarce, the price was 
increased to one hundred and fifty pounds, 
the value of which, in money, was three shil- 
lings per pound.* By a subsequent act of 
Assembly, it was ordained th,at " the price of 
a wife should have the precedence of all other 
debts in recovery and payment, because, of 
all kinds of merchandise, this was the most 
desirable. "f 

To this salutary project of the company 
King James was pleased to add another, 
which he signified to the treasurer by a let- 
ter, $ commanding them to send to Virginia 
one hundred dissolute persons convicted of 
crimes, who should be delivered to them by 
the knight-marshal. The season of the year 
(November) was unfavourable for transporta- 
tion ; but so peremptory was the king's com- 
mand, and so submissive the temper of the 
company, that they became bound for the 
subsistence of these wretches till they could 
sail, which was not till February. The ex- 
pense of this equipment was 4000. 

On this transaction Mr. Stith, who takes 
every opportunity to expose the weak and 
arbitrary government of King James, makes 
* Chalmers, 46. t Stith, 197. t Ibid., 167. 



168 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

the following remarks : " Those who know 
with how high a hand this king sometimes 
carried it even with his Parliaments, will not 
be surprised to find him thus unmercifully 
insult a private company, and load them, 
against all law, with the maintenance and 
extraordinary expense of transporting such 
persons as he thought proper to banish. And 
I cannot but remark how early that custom 
arose of transporting loose and dissolute per- 
sons to Virginia as a place of punishment and 
disgrace, which, though originally designed 
for the advancement and increase of the col- 
ony, yet has certainly proved a great hinder- 
ance to its growth. For it hath laid one of 
the finest countries in America under the un- 
just scandal of being another Siberia, fit only 
for the reception of malefactors and the vilest 
of the people. So that few have been indu- 
ced willingly to transport themselves to such 
a place ; and our younger sisters, the north- 
ern colonies, have accordingly profited there- 
by. For this is one cause that they have 
outstripped us so much in the number of their 
inhabitants, and in the goodness and frequen- 
cy of their towns and cities." 

In the same year (1620) the merchandis 
of human flesh was farther augmented by the 



A R G A L. 

introduction of negroes from Africa.* A 
Dutch shi;? brought twenty of them for sale ; 
and the Virginians, who had but just emerged 
from a state of vassalage themselves, began 
to be the owners and masters of slaves.f 

The principal commodity produced in Vir- 
ginia besides corn was tobacco, an article of 
luxury much in demand in the north of Eu- 
rope. Great had been the difficulties attend- 
ing this trade, partly from the jealousy of the 
Spaniards, who cultivated it in their Ameri- 
can colonies, partly from the obsequiousness 
of James to that nation, and partly from his 
own squeamish aversion to tobacco, against 
the use of which, in his princely wisdom, he 
had written a book.J 

* Beverley, p. 35. 

t [In 1618 Captain Argal sent out, at the expense of the Earl 
of Warwick, " on a roving voyage to the Spanish dominions in 
the Indies, a ship called the Treasurer, manned with the ablest 
men in the colony, with an old commission against the Spanish 
West from the Duke of Savoy." She returned to Virginia af- 
ter some ten months with " her booty, which were a certain 
number of negroes." They were not left at Virginia, because 
Captain Argal was now gone home, bnt were put on the earl's 
plantation in the Somer Islands. It would seem that the Dutch 
owe their unenviable notoriety of introducing slavery into Vir- 
ginia only to accident. Declaration of the Council for Virginia, 
May 7th, 1623. Burk's Hist, of Va., i., 319. H.] 

J This book is entitled "A Counterblast to Tobacco," and i 
printed in a folio volume of the works of King James. In this 



170 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

The Virginia Company themselves were 
opposed to its cultivation, and readily admit- 
ted various projects for encouraging other 
productions of more immediate use and ben- 
efit to mankind. As the country naturally 
yielded mulberry-trees and vines, it was 
thought that silk and wine might be manu- 
factured to advantage. To facilitate these 
projects, eggs of the silk-worm were procu- 
red from the southern countries of Europe ; 
books on the subject were translated from 
foreign languages ; persons skilled in the 
management of silk-worms and the cultiva- 
tion of vines were engaged ; and, to crown 
all, a royal order from King James, enclosed 
in a letter from the treasurer and council, 
was sent over to Virginia, with high expecta- 
tions of success. But no exertions or author- 
ity could prevail to make the cultivation of 
tobacco yield to that of silk and wine ; and, 
after the trade of the colony was laid open, 
and the Dutch had free access to their ports, 
the growth of tobacco received such encour- 
agement as to become the grand staple of the 
colony. 

curious work he compares the smoke of tobacco to the smoke 
of the bottomless pit, and says it is only proper to regale the 
devil after dinner. 



ARGAL. 171 

At this time the company in England was 
divided into two parties : the Earl of Warwick 
was at the head of one, and the Earl of South- 
ampton* of the other. The former was the 

* [Henry Wriothesley, third Earl of Southampton, grandsou 
of Wriothesley, the famous chancellor of Edward VI. He was 
a great favourite with the gallant and unfortunate Earl of Essex, 
by whom he was appointed general of the horse in Ireland con- 
trary to the known wishes of the queen, by whose repeated or- 
ders he was displaced. Winwood, i., 47. He was connected 
with Essex (in 1601) in his rash conspiracy to seize the person 
of Elizabeth, was convicted, and, while his patron lost his life, 
he suffered attainder, and was imprisoned during the queen's life. 
On the accession of James he was liberated, his attainder re- 
versed by act of Parliament, and his title and estates restored 
toy a new patent in 1603. He was afterward made captain of 
the Isle of Wight and governor of Carisbrooke Castle, and in 
1618 a member of the privy-council. In his later years he 
commanded an English regiment in the Dutch service, and died 
in the Netherlands Nov. 10, 1624. Birth's Mem. Eliz., ii., 494. 
Burke's Extinct, Dormant, and Suspended Peerages. He " was 
of a brave and generous, but haughty and impetuous temper." 
His disposition was ill-adapted to the servility and base intrigue 
which prevailed in the court and cabinet of James, where he 
obtained no share of political power. He was chosen (in 1620) 
treasurer of the Virginia Company, contrary to the wishes of the 
king, which office he held till the charter was vacated, and, 
both in this station, which was one of considerable weight and 
influence, and in his place in the house, shewed himself an op- 
ponent of the measures of the court. Aikin's Mem. of the 
Court of James I., ii., 205, 206. He was father to the excel 
lent and noble treasurer Southampton, and grandfather to the 
glory of her sex, the heroic Rachel Lady Russel. He accom- 
panied Essex as a volunteer in the unsuccessful expedition 
II. O 



172 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

least in number, but had the ear and support 
of the king ; and their virulence was direct- 
ed against Yeardley, who had intercepted a 
packet from his own secretary, Pory, contain- 
ing the proofs of Argal's misconduct, which 
had been prepared to be used against him at 
his trial, but which the secretary had been 
bribed to convey to his close friend, the Earl 
of Warwick. The governor, being a man of 
a mild and gentle temper, was so overcome 
with the opposition and menaces of the fac- 
tion, which were publicly known in the col- 
ony, that his authority was weakened, his 
spirits dejected, and his health impaired to 
that degree that he became unfit for business, 
and requested a dismission from the cares of 
government. His commission expired in No- 
vember, 1621, but he continued in the colo- 
ny, was a member of the council, and enjoyed 
the respect and esteem of the people. 

against the Spanish West India fleet in 1597 ; and, during a 
period of royal displeasure, we believe for his marriage, which 
for a while banished him from the court, attended Secretary Ce- 
cil to France to conclude the treaty of Vervins. Aikin's Eliz., 
vol. ii. Not the least of his merits is it that he was the patron 
and friend of William Shakspeare. About the year 1619 he 
was imprisoned through the influence of Buckingham, whom "he 
rebuked with some passion for speaking often to the same thing 
in the house and out of order." Soon after he went over to the 
Dutch. Aikin's James, ii., 206. H.] 



A R 6 A L. 173 

During this short administration many new 
settlements were made on James and York 
Rivers, and the planters, being supplied with 
wives and servants, Began to think them- 
selves at home, and to take pleasure in culti- 
vating their lands ; but they neglected to pro- 
vide for their defence, placing too great con- 
fidence in the continuance of that tranquillity 
which they had long enjoyed by their treaty 
with the Indians. 



174 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 



XV. SIR FRANCIS WYAT. 

WHEN Sir George Yeardley requested a 
dismission from the burden of government, 
the Earl of Southampton recommended to the 
company Sir Francis Wyat as his successor. 
He was a young gentleman of a good family 
in Ireland,* who, on account of his educa- 
tion, fortune, and integrity, was every way 
equal to the place, and was accordingly cho- 
sen, t 

He received from the company a set of in- 
structions, which were intended to be a per- 
manent directory for the governor and coun- 
cil of the colony. In these it was recom- 
mended to them to provide for the service of 
God, according to the form and discipline of 
the Church of England ; to administer justice 
according to the laws of England ; to protect 
the natives, and cultivate peace with them ; to 
educate their children, and to endeavour their 
civilization and conversion ; to encourage in- 
dustry ; to suppress gaming, intemperance, 
and excess in apparel ; to give no offence to 
any other prince, state, or people ; to harbour 

* Stith, 187. t Hazard, vol. i., 232. t Stith, 195. 



WYAT. 175 

no pirates ; to build fortifications ; to culti- 
vate corn, wine, and silk ; to search for min- 
erals, dyes, gums, and medicinal drugs ; and 
to " draw off the people from the excessive 
planting of tobacco." 

Immediately on Wyat's arrival (October, 
1621),* he sent a special message to Opitcha- 
pan and Opecanchanough by Mr. George 
Thorpe, a gentleman of note in the colony, 
and a great friend to the Indians, to confirm 
the former treaties of peace and friendship. 
They both expressed great satisfaction at the 
arrival of the new governor, and Mr. Thorpe 
imagined that he could perceive an uncom- 
mon degree of religious sensibility in Ope- 
canchanough. That artful chief so far im- 
posed on the credulity of this good gentle- 
man as to persuade him that he acknowl- 
edged his own religion to be wrong ; that he 
desired to be instructed in the Christian doc- 
trine ; and that he wished for a more friend- 
ly and familiar intercourse with the English. 
He also confirmed a former promise of send- 
ing a guide to show them some mines above 
the falls. But all these pretences served only 
to conceal a design which he had long med- 
itated, to destroy the whole English colony. 

* [Sir Francis entered upon his government Nov. 18, and im- 
mediately sent Mr. Thorpe, &c. Stith, 204. H.] 



176 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

The peace which had subsisted since the 
marriage of Pocahontas had lulled the Eng- 
lish into security, and disposed them to ex- 
tend their plantations along the banks of the 
rivers as far as the Potowmac,* in situations 
too remote from each other. Their houses 
were open and free to the natives, who be- 
came acquainted with their manner of living, 
their hours of eating, of labour and repose, 
the use of their arms and tools, and frequent- 
ly borrowed their boats, for the convenience 
of fishing and fowling, and to pass the rivers. 
This familiarity was pleasing to the English, 
as it indicated a spirit of moderation, which 
had been always recommended by the com- 
pany in England to the planters, and as 
it afforded a favourable symptom of the civ- 
ilization and conversion of the natives ; but 
by them or their leaders it was designed to 
conceal the most sanguinary intentions. 

In the spring of the next year (1622) an 
opportunity offered to throw off the mask of 
friendship and kindle their secret enmity into 
a blaze. Among the natives who frequently 
visited the English was a tall, handsome 
young chief, renowned for his courage and 
success in war, and excessively fond of fine- 

* Beverley, 39. 



W Y A T. 177 

ry in dress. His Indian name was Nemata- 
now, but by the English he was called Jack 
of the Feather. Coming to the store of one 
Morgan, he there viewed several toys and or- 
naments which were very agreeable to the In- 
dian taste, and persuaded Morgan to carry 
them to Pamunky, where he assured him of 
an advantageous traffic. Morgan consented 
to go with him, but was murdered by the 
way. 

In a few days Nematanow came again to 
the store, with Morgan's cap on his head ; and 
being interrogated by two stout lads who at- 
tended there what was become of their mas- 
ter, he answered that he was dead. The 
boys seized him and endeavoured to carry 
him before a magistrate, but his violent re- 
sistance and the insolence of his language 
so provoked them that they shot him. The 
wound proved mortal ; and, when dying, he 
earnestly requested of the boys that the man- 
ner of his death might be concealed from his 
countrymen, and that he might be privately 
buried among the English. 

As soon as this transaction was known, 
Opeeanchanough demanded satisfaction ; but 
being answered that the retaliation was just, 
fae formed a plan for a general massacre of 



178 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

the English, and appointed Friday, the twen- 
ty-second day of March, for its execution ; 
but he dissembled his resentment to the last 
moment. Parties of Indians were distributed 
through the colony to attack every plantation 
at the same hour of the day, when the men 
should be abroad and at work. On the 
evening before and on the morning of that 
fatal day, the Indians came as usual to the 
houses of the English, bringing game and 
fish to sell, and sat down with them to break- 
fast. So general was the combination, and 
so deep the plot, that about one hour before 
noon they fell on the people in the fields and 
houses, and with their own tools and weap- 
ons killed indiscriminately persons of all ages, 
sexes, and characters, inhumanly mangling 
their dead bodies, and triumphing over them 
with all the expressions of frantic joy. 

Where any resistance was made it was 
generally successful. Several houses were 
defended, and some few of the assailants 
slain. One of Captain Smith's old soldiers, 
Nathaniel Causie, though wounded, split the 
scull of an Indian and put the whole party 
to flight. Several other parties were disper- 
sed by the firing of a single gun, or by the 
presenting of a gun even in the hands of a 
woman. 



W Y A T. 179 

Jamestown was preserved by the fidelity 
of Chanco,* a young Indian convert who 
lived with Richard Pace, and was treated by 
him as a son. The brother of this Indian 
came to lie with him the night before the 
massacre, and revealed to him the plot, ur- 
ging him to kill his master, as he intended to 
do by his own. As soon as he was gone in 
the morning, Chanco gave notice of what 
was intended to his master, who, having se- 
cured his own house, gave the alarm to his 
neighbours, and sent an express to James- 
town. 

Three hundred and forty-nine people t fell 

* Stith, 212. 

t The number slain at the several plantations, from Captain 
Smith's History, page 149 : 

1. At Captain John Berkeley's plantation, seated at the 

Falling Creek, sixty-six miles from James City, him- 
self and twenty-one others . . . . .22 

2. At Master Thomas Sheffield's plantation, three miles 

from the Falling Creek, himself and twelve others . 13 

3. At Henrico Islands, two miles from Sheffield's planta- 

tion 6 

4. Slain of the College people, twenty miles from Henrico 17 

5. At Charles City, and of Captain Smith's men . . 5 

6. At the next adjoining plantation .... 8 

7. At William Farrar's house 10 

8. At Brickley Hundred, fifty miles from Charles City, 

Master George Thorpe and ten more . . .11 

9. At Westover, a mile from Brickley .... 2 
10. At Master John West's plantation .... 8 



180 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

in this general massacre, of which number 
six were members of the council. None of 
these were more lamented than Mr. George 
Thorpe. This gentleman was one of the best 
friends of the Indians, and had been earnest- 

11. At Captain Nathaniel West's plantation ... 2 

12. At Richard Owen's house, himself and six more . 7 

13. At Lieutenant Gibbs's plantation . . . .12 

14. At Master Owen Macar's house, himself and three more 4 

15. At Martin's Hundred, seven miles from James City . 73 

16. At another place 7 

17. At Edward Bonit's plantation . . . . .50 

18. At Master Waters's house, himself and four more . 5 

19. At Apamatuck's River, at Master Perec's plantation, 

five miles from the College ..... 4 

20. At Master Maycock's dividend, Captain Samuel May- 

cock and four more ...... 5 

21. At Flowerda Hundred, Sir George Yeardley's planta- 

tion 6 

22. On the other side, opposite to it . . . .7 

23. At Master Swinhow's house, himself and seven more 8 

24. At Master William Bickar's house, himself and four 

more ......... 5 

25. At Weanock, of Sir George Yeardley's people . .21 

26. At Powel Brooke, Captain Nathaniel Powel and twelve 

more 13 

27. At Southampton Hundred 5 

28. At Martin's Brandon Hundred 7 

29. At Captain Henry Spilman's house .... 2 

30. At Ensign Spence's house ..... 5 

31. At Master Thomas Perse's house, by Mulberry Inland, 

himself and four more . .... 5 

The whole number . . . 349 



w y A T. 181 

ly concerned in the business of instructing 
and evangelizing them. He had left a hand- 
some estate and an honourable employment 
in England, and was appointed chief mana- 
ger of a plantation and a seminary designed 
for the maintenance and education of young 
Indians in Virginia. He had been remarka- 
bly kind and generous to them, and it was 
by his exertion that the house was built in 
which Opecanchanough took so much pleas- 
ure. Just before his death he was warned 
of his danger by one of his servants, who im- 
mediately made his escape ;* but Mr. Thorpe 
would not believe that they intended him any 
harm, and thus fell a victim to their fury. His 
corpse was mangled and abused in a manner 
too shocking to be related. 

One effect of this massacre was the ruin of 
the iron-works at Falling Creek, where the 
destruction was so complete, that of twenty- 
four people, only a boy and girl escaped by 
hiding themselves.f The superintendent of 
this work had discovered a vein of lead ore, 
which he kept to himself, but made use of it 
to supply himself and his friends with shot. 
The knowledge of this was lost by his death 
for many years. It was again found by Col- 

* Smith, 145. t Beverley, 43. 



182 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

onel Byrd, and again lost. The place was a 
third time found by John Chiswell ; and the 
mine is now, or has been lately, wrought to 
advantage. 

Another consequence of this fatal event 
was an order of the government to draw to- 
gether the remnant of the people into a nar- 
row compass. Of eighty plantations all were 
abandoned but six,* which lay contiguous, at 
the lower part of James River.f The own- 
ers or overseers of three or four others refused 
to obey the order, and intrenched themselves, 
mounting cannon for their defence. $ 

The next effect was a ferocious war. The 
Indians were hunted like beasts of prey, and 
as many as could be found were destroyed. 
But, as they were very expert in hiding them- 
selves and escaping the pursuit, the English 
resolved to dissemble with them in their own 
way.$ To this they were farther impelled by 

* Purchas, v., 1792. 

t The six plantations to which the government ordered the 
people to retire, were Shirley Hundred, Flowerda Hundred, 
Jamestown, Paspiha, Kiquotan, and Southampton. 

t Those persons who refused to obey the order were Mr. Ed- 
ward Hill, at Elizabeth City, Mr. Samuel Jordan, at Jordan's 
Point, and Mr. Daniel Gookin, at Newport's News. 

Mrs. Proctor, a gentlewoman of a heroic spirit, defended her 
plantation a month, till the officers of the colony obliged her to 
abandon it. $ Keith, 139. 



WYAT. 183 



the fear of famine. As seedtime came on, 
both sides thought it necessary to relax their 
hostile operations and attend to the business 
of planting. Peace was then offered by the 
English, and accepted by the Indians ; but, 
when the corn began to grow, the English 
suddenly attacked the Indians in their fields, 
killed many of them, and destroyed their 
corn. The summer was such a season of 
confusion that a sufficiency of food could not 
be obtained, and the people were reduced to 
great straits. 

The unrelenting severity with which this 
war was prosecuted by the Virginians against 
the Indians transmitted mutual abhorrence to 
the posterity of both, and procured to the for- 
mer the name of " the long knife," by which 
they are still distinguished in the hieroglyphic 
language of the natives. 

Though a general permission of residence 
had been given by Powhatan and his success- 
ors to the colonists, yet they rather affected 
to consider the country as acquired by dis- 
covery or conquest ;* and both these ideas* 
were much favoured by the English court.f 

* Chalmers, 39, 68. 

t Mr. Jefferson, in his Notes on Virginia (p. 153), observes, 
" That the lands of this country were taken from them by cou- 



184 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

The civilization of the natives was a very 
desirable object ; but those who knew them 
best thought that they could not be civilized 
till they were first subdued,* or till their 
priests were destroyed.! 

It is certain that many pious and charita- 
ble persons in England were very warmly in- 
terested in their conversion. Money and 
books, church plate and other furniture, were 
liberally contributed. A college was in a 
fair way of being founded ; to the support of 
which lands were appropriated, and brought 
into a state of cultivation. Some few instan- 
ces of the influence of Gospel principles on 
the savage mind, particularly Pocahontas and 
Chanco, gave sanguine hope of success, and 
even the massacre did not abate the ardour 
of that hope in the minds of those who had 
indulged it. The experience of almost two 
centuries has not extinguished it ; and, how- 
ever discouraging the prospect, it is best for 

quest is not so general a truth as is supposed. I find in our 
historians and records repeated proofs of purchases, which cover 
a considerable part of the lower country, and many more would 
doubtless be found on farther search. The upper country, we 
know, has been acquired altogether by purchases made in the 
most unexceptionable form." A more particular account of the 
earliest purchases is desirable, specifying the date, the extent. 
and the compensation. 
* Smith, 147. t Stith, 233. 



W Y A T. 185 

the cause of virtue that it never should be 
abandoned. There may be some fruit which, 
though not splendid nor extensive, yet may 
correspond with the genius of a religion 
which is compared by its Author to " leaven 
hid in the meal." The power of evangelical 
truth on the human mind must not be con- 
sidered as void of reality, because not ex- 
posed to public observation. 

When the news of the massacre was car- 
ried to England, the governor and colony 
were considered as subjects of blame by 
those very persons who had always enjoined 
them to treat the Indians with mildness. 
However, ships were despatched with a sup- 
ply of provisions, to which the Corporation of 
London, as well as several persons of for- 
tune, largely contributed. The king lent them 
twenty barrels of powder, and a quantity 
of unserviceable arms from the Tower, and 
promised to levy four hundred soldiers in the 
several counties of England for their protec- 
tion ; but, though frequently solicited by the 
company in England and the colony in Vir- 
ginia, he could never be induced to fulfil this 
promise. 

The calamities which had befallen the col- 
ony, and the dissensions which had agitated 



186 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

the company, became such topics of com- 
plaint, and were so represented to the king 
and his privy council, that a commission was 
issued,* under the great seal, to Sir William 
Jones, Sir Nicholas Fortescue, Sir Francis 
Goston, Sir Richard Sutton, Sir William Pitt, 
Sir Henry Bouchier, and Sir Henry Spilman, 
or any four of them, to inquire into all matters 
respecting Virginia from the beginning of its 
settlement. 

* [This commission was issued on the 9th of May Stith. 
298 ; who adds, " Who these commissioners were, and what 
were their characters and conduct through life, I cannot say. I 
only find that Camden, in his Annals for the year 1619, briefly 
mentions Fortescue, Goston, Sutton, and Pitt, late commission- 
ers for the navy, to be then knighted." He had stated above that 
Jones was " one of his majesty's justices for the Court of Com- 
mon Pleas." Little can be added to this scanty notice. Smith, 
in his list of the commissioners, p. 168, does not mention Spil- 
man, and Burk writes the name Spiller ; the text follows Stitk. 
Which spelling is right I have no means of determining ; but 
I find Sir(1) Henry Spiller to have been a member of the 
House of Commons in the Parliament of 1620. Gobbet's Parl. 
Hist., i., 1174. Sir William Pitt is named on the same cat- 
alogue, p. 1171. He was a native of Caernarvonshire, educa- 
ted at Oxford, studied at Lincoln's Inn, and was made a justice 
of the King's Bench in the last year of James. Several of his 
reports of important cases were published. He died Dec. 9, 
1640. Wood represents him as "eminent for his knowledge of 
our municipal laws." Ath. Oxon. Sir Francis Goston was a 
member of the commission which met at Sir Thomas Smith's 
house after the dissolution of the Virginia Company. Hazard, 
L, 183. H.] 



W Y A T. 187 

To enable them to carry on this inquiry, 
all the books and papers of the company 
were ordered into the custody of the com- 
missioners ; their deputy-treasurer* was ar- 
rested and confined ; and all letters which 
should arrive from the colony were, by the 
king's command, to be intercepted. This 
was a very discouraging introduction to the 
business, and plainly showed not only the ar- 
bitrary disposition of the king, but the turn 
which would be given to the inquiry. On 
the arrival of a ship from Virginia,! her 
packets were seized and laid before the privy 
council. 

The transactions of these commissioners 

* [Nicholas Ferrar, one of the most able and efficient mem- 
bers of the Virginia Company, born in London, Feb., 1592, 
was a pensioner, and afterward fellow-commoner, of Clare 
Hall, Cambridge. After leaving Cambridge he travelled over 
a great part of Europe, and on his return in 1619, by the influ- 
ence of Sir Edwin Sandys, was appointed " king's counsel 
for the Virginia plantation." In 1622 he was chosen deputy- 
treasurer under the Earl of Southampton, and remained in this 
office till the company was dissolved. It was owing to his dil- 
igence and skill that the enemies of the charter did not succeed 
in gaining a repeal of it much earlier. He was a member of 
the Parliament of 1624, and soon after purchased an estate in 
Little Gidding, in Huntingdonshire, where he spent the remain- 
der of his life in religious meditation and the offices of devotion. 
He died Dec., 1637. Life by Dr. Peckard, in Wordsworth's 
Eccl. Biog., v., 75. H.] t Stith, 298. 

II. P 



188 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

were always kept concealed, but the result 
of them was made known by an order of 
council (October, 1623), which set forth, 
" That his majesty, having taken into his 
princely consideration the distressed state of 
Virginia, occasioned by the ill government of 
the company, had resolved by a new charter 
to appoint a governor and twelve assistants 
to reside in England, and a governor with 
twelve assistants to reside in Virginia ; the 
former to be nominated by his majesty in 
council, the latter to be nominated by the 
governor and assistants in England, and to 
be approved by the king in council; and that 
all proceedings should be subject to the royal 
direction." The company was ordered to 
assemble and resolve whether they would 
submit and resign their charter ; and, in de- 
fault of such submission, the king signified 
his determination to proceed for recalling 
their charter in such manner as to him should 
seem meet. 

This arbitrary mandate so astonished the 
company, that when they met it was read 
over three times, as if they had distrusted 
their own ears.* Then a long silence en- 
sued; and, when the question was called for, 

* Stith, 304. 



WYAT. 189 

twenty-six only voted for a surrender, and 
one hundred and twelve declared against it. 
These proceedings gave such an alarm to 
all who were concerned in the plantation or 
trade of the colony, that some ships which 
were preparing to sail were stopped ; but 
the king ordered them to proceed, declaring 
that the change of government would injure 
no man's property.* At the same time, he 
thought it proper to appoint commissionersf 
to go to Virginia and inquire into the state of 
the colony. These were Sir John Harvey, 

* [By an order from the privy council, Oct. 20th. Stitb, 
'496. H.] 

t [The appointment was made by the lords of the privy 
council, Oct. 24th. Stith, 297. John Harvey was not yet 
knighted. Stith spells the third name on the list Piersey, 1. c., 
and in Hazard it is Percey and Pearcy. He adds, that " Cap- 
tain Harvey and Mr. Porey seem to have been most active in 
this business." Porey had an old grudge to gratify. " As for 
Mr. Jefferson, he never appeared in it, but seems all along a 
hearty friend to the company," and was resident in England 
during most of the term of the commission. " And Captain 
Matthews expressly joined with the General Assembly in their 
opposite representations to his majesty." He commanded one 
of the companies in the general and concerted attack upon the 
Indians of July 23d, 1623 (Stith, 303), and was a member of the 
council under Wyatin 1624, under Yeardley in 1625, and Har- 
vey in 1627. Hazard, i., 230, 234. Jefferson was one of the 
witnesses against Martin in 1622. Stith, 225. Percy is named 
one of the councillors in the second commission to Yeardley, 
and in Harvey's. Hazard, i., 230, 234 H.] 



190 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

afterward governor, John Pory, who had been 
secretary, Abraham Percy, Samuel Matthews, 
and John Jefferson.* The subjects of their 
inquiry were, " How many plantations there 
be ; which of them be public and which pri- 
vate ; what people, men, women, and chil- 
dren, there be in each plantation ; what forti- 
fications, or what place is best to be forti- 
fied ; what houses, and how many ; what cat- 
tle, arms, ammunition, and ordnance ; what 
boats and barges ; what bridges and public 
works ; how the colony standeth in respect 
of the savages ; what hopes may be truly 
conceived of the plantation, and the means to 
attain these hopes." The governor and coun- 
cil of Virginia were ordered to afford their 
best assistance to the commissioners ; but no 
copy of their instructions was delivered to 
them. 

After the departure of the commissioners, 
a writ of quo warranto was issued by the 
court of King's Bench against the company 
(November 10, 1623), t and upon the repre- 

* Chalmers, 77. 

t [The indecent haste of this step shows the king's determi- 
nation to destroy the company at any rate. The appointment 
of commissioners to visit Virginia and report minutely the state 
of affairs there, gave his proceedings a show of equity and mod- 
eration ; but this writ was issued in seventeen days from the 



WYAT. 

sentation of the attorney-general* that no de- 
fence could be made by the company with- 
out their books and their deputy-treasurer, 
the latter was liberated and the former were 
restored. The redeliveryt of them to the 
privy council was protracted till the clerks of 
the company had taken copies of them4 

date of their commission (Oct. 24 Burk. i., 272), and when 
they were hardly out of sight of England. H.J 

* [Sir Thomas Coventry, who was, or had been in 1620, one 
of the adventurers. Smith, 131. H.] 

f [Such is the uniform statement of the historians of Vir- 
ginia. The difference is unimportant, except as it may show 
the foresight and preparation of the company ; but Peckard, p. 
149, 150, who says nothing of the redelivery of them to the com- 
pany, states that the copies were made some time before the ori- 
ginals were demanded by the council, and that they were made 
privately, by the order of the deputy-treasurer, without the 
knowledge of the company, and that the work cost him 50 
He adds, p, 149, 150, 151, that "the copies were carefully colla- 
ted with the originals, and attested upon oath by the examiners 
to be true copies," and that, after the dissolution of the compa- 
ny, the Earl of Southampton, fearing that his house might be 
searched for them, delivered them into the custody of Sir R. 
Killigrew, who at his death left them in care of Edward Sack- 
Till, earl of Dorset. P. 90, note. Burk, i., 275, speaks of 
another volume used in preparing his history, of which Slith waa 
ignorant, and which made the papers complete. H.] 

t These copies were deposited in the hands of the Earl of 
Southampton, and after his death, which happened in 1G24, de- 
scended to his son. After his death in 1667, they were pur- 
chased of his executors for sixty guineas by Colonel Byrd, of 
Virginia, then in England. From these copies and from the 
Records of the colony, Mr. Stith compiled his History of Vir- 



192 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

In the beginning of 1624 the commission- 
ers arrived in Virginia, and a General As- 
sembly was called, not at their request, for 
they kept all their designs as secret as possi- 
ble. But, notwithstanding all the precau- 
tions which had been taken to prevent the 
colony from getting any knowledge of the 
proceedings in England, they were by this 
time well informed of the whole, and had 
copies of several papers which had been ex- 
hibited against them. 

The Assembly, which met on the 14th of 
February,* drew up answers to what had 
been alleged, in a spirited and masterly style, 
and appointed John Porentis,f one of the 
council, to go to England as their agent to 
solicit the cause of the colony. This gentle- 
man unhappily died on his passage ; but their 
petition to the king and their address to the 
privy council were delivered, in which they 

ginia, which extends no farther than the year 1624.* Preface, 
p. vi. * Stith, 304. 

t Perhaps a typographical error. Yet, when such apparent- 
ly occur, I have retained the text, for it is easier to convict Burk 
of a mistake than Belknap. Burk (i., 285) spells the name 
Pountis. Smith (p. 138) says Mr. John Porentas was chosen 
of the council in 1620. H.] 

* [They were sent back to England bv the late John Ran- 
dolph. H.I 



WYAT. 193 

requested that, in case of a change of the 
government, they might not again fall into 
the power of Sir Thomas Smith or his confi- 
dants ; that the governors sent over to them, 
might not have absolute authority, but be re- 
strained to act by the advice of council ; and, 
above all, that they might have " the liberty 
of General Assemblies, than which nothing 
could more conduce to the public satisfaction 
and utility." They complained that the short 
continuance of then- governors had been very 
disadvantageous. " The first year they were 
raw and inexperienced, and generally in ill 
health through a change of climate ; the sec- 
ond they began to understand something of 
the affairs of the colony ; and the third they 
were preparing to return." 

To the honour of Governor Wyat, it is ob- 
served, that he was v*ery active, and joined 
most cordially in preparing these petitions ;* 
and was very far from desiring absolute and 
inordinate power, either in himself or in fu- 
ture governors. 

The Assembly was very unanimous in their 
proceedings, and intended, like the commis- 
sioners, to keep them secret. But Pory, who 
had long been versed in the arts of corrup- 

* Stith 315. 



194 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

tion, found means to obtain copies of all then 
acts. Edward Sharpies, clerk of the coun- 
cil, was afterward convicted of bribery and 
breach of trust, for which he was sentenced 
to the pillory, and lost one of his ears. 

The commissioners, finding that thing3 
were going on in the Assembly contrary to 
their wishes, resolved to open some of their 
powers with a view to intimidate them, and 
then endeavoured to draw them into an ex- 
plicit submission to the revocation of their 
charter. But the Assembly had the wisdom 
and firmness to evade the proposal, by re- 
questing to see the whole extent of their com- 
mission. This being denied, they answered 
that, when the surrender of their charter 
should be demanded by authority, it would 
be time enough to make a reply. 

The laws enacted by this Assembly are the 
oldest which are to be found in the records 
of the colony. They contain many wise and 
good provisions.* One of them is equivalent 
to a Bill of Rights, defining the powers of the 
governor, council, and assembly, and the priv- 
ileges of the people with regard to taxes,t 

* Stith, 319-322. 

t [The provision relating to taxes is worth transcribing, as it 
shows the notions of freedom that then prevailed in the colony. 



WYAT. 195 

dens, and personal services.* The twen- 
second of March, the day of the massacre, 
s ordered to be solemnized as a day of de- 
votion. 

While these things were doing in the col- 
ony, its enemies in England were endeavour- 
ing, by means of some persons who had re- 
turned from Virginia, to injure the character 
of the governor ; but he was sufficiently vin- 
dicated by the testimony of other persons, 
who asserted, on their own knowledge, the 
uprightness of his proceedings, and declared, 
upon their honour and conscience, that they 
esteemed him just and sincere, free from all 
corruption and private views. As he had re- 
quested leave to quit the government at the 

It declares that " the governor should not lay any taxes or impo- 
sitions upon the colony, their lands, or commodities, otherwise 
than by the authority of the General Assembly ; to be levied and 
employed as the said Assembly should appoint." Burk, i., 281. 
Stith, 320. H.] 

* At this time women were scarce and much in request, and 
it was common for a woman to connect herself with more than 
one man at a time, by which means great uneasiness arose be- 
tween private persons, and much trouble to the government. 
It was therefore ordered " That every minister should give no- 
tice in his church, that what man or woman soever should use 
any word or speech tending to a contract of marriage to two 
several persons at one time, although not precise and legal, 
should either undergo corporeal punishment or pay a fine, ac- 
cording to the quality of the offender." Stith, 322. 



196 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

expiration of his commission, the company 
took up the matter ; and, when Sir Samuel 
Argal was nominated as a candidate in com- 
petition with him, there appeared but eight 
votes in his favour, and sixty-nine for the 
continuance of Wyat. 

The Parliament assembled in February, 
1624, and the company, finding themselves 
too weak to resist the encroachments of a 
prince who had engrossed almost the whole 
power of the state, applied to the House of 
Commons for protection. The king was 
highly offended at this attempt, and sent a 
prohibitory letter to the speaker, which was 
no sooner read than the company's petition 
was ordered to be withdrawn. 

However singular this interference on the 
one hand and compliance on the other may 
now appear, it was usual at that time for the 
king to impose his mandates, and for the 
Commons,* who knew not the extent of their 
own rights, to obey, though not without the 
animadversions of the most intelligent and 
zealous members. The royal prerogative was 
held inviolably sacred, till the indiscretions 
of a subsequent reign reduced it to an object 
of contempt. In this instance the Commons, 
* Chalmers, 66. 



W Y A T. 197 

nowever passive in their submission to the 
crown, yet showed their regard to the inter- 
est of the complainants as well as of the na- 
tion, by petitioning the king that no tobacco 
should be imported but of the growth of the 
colonies.* To this James consented, and a 
proclamation was issued accordingly. t 

The commissioners, on their return from 
Virginia, reported to the kingt " that the peo- 
ple sent to inhabit there were most of them, 
by sickness, famine, and massacres of the sav- 
ages, dead ; that those who were living were 
in necessity and want, and in continual dan- 
ger from the savages ; but that the country 
itself appeared to be fruitful, and, to those 
who had resided there some time, healthy ; 
that, if industry were used, it would produce 
divers staple commodities, though for sixteen 
years past it had yielded few or none ; that 
this neglect must fall on the governors and 
company, who had power to direct the plan- 
tations ; that the said plantations were of 
great importance, and would remain a last- 
ing monument to posterity of his majesty's 
most gracious and happy government, if the 

* Hazard, i., 198. 

t [The proclamation was dated Sept. 29, 1624. Hazard, L, 
197. H] J Hazard, i., 190. 



198 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

same were prosecuted to those ends for which 
they were first undertaken ; that if the pro- 
visions and instructions of the first charter 
(1606) had been pursued, much better effect 
had been produced than by the alteration 
tnereof into so popular a course, and among 
so many hands as it then was, which caused 
much confusion and contention." 

On this report the king, by a proclamation 
(July 15), suppressed the meetings of the 
company ; and, till a more perfect settlement 
could be made, ordered a committee of the 
privy council to sit every Thursday at the 
house of Sir Thomas Smith* for conducting 
the affairs of the colony. f Soon after, viz., 
in Trinity term, the Quo Warranto was 
brought to trial in the court of King's Bench, 
judgment was given against the company, 
and the charter was vacated. \ 

* [It may be not uninteresting to state that Sir Thomas 
Smith lived in Philpot Lane. At the head of the committee, 
which was composed of others as well as privy counsellors, was 
Viscount Mandeville. SirFerdinando Gorges, Sir Samuel Argal, 
John Porey, Sir George Calvert, Sir John Wolstenholme, and 
others, were members. Hazard, i., 183, where the commission 
is given at length. H.] t Stith, 329. 

J [The argument of the attorney-general on the Quo War- 
ranto is curious as showing the straits to which the enemies ol 
the company were driven for reasons. " The main inconve- 
nience," he said, " was, that the company had power to carry 



WYAT. 199 

This was the end of the Virginia Compa- 
ny, one of the most public-spirited societies 

away to Virginia as many of the king's loving subjects as were 
desirous to go ; and, consequently, they might carry away all the 
king's subjects, and leave his majesty a kingdom indeed, but no 
subjects in it." We cannot wonder that " this argument ex- 
torted a smile even from the judges." Peckard's Life of Fer- 
rar, 146. The causes which led to the dissolution of the Vir- 
ginia Company form a curious chapter in history. During the 
later years of its existence King James seems to have been 
resolutely bent on its destruction, and, though his measures 
were artfully designed to wear the appearance of equity and 
moderation, no means of effecting the purpose were scrupled at 
or spared. The Marquis of Hamilton and the Earl of Pembroke 
again and again informed the company that all resistance would 
be in vain, as its destruction was resolved on. N. F., 129, 132. 
The king disliked the company for the political character of its 
members. Southampton and Sandys, the leaders, and probably 
the large body which sided with them, shared in the then grow- 
ing fondness for religious and political freedom. They had in- 
fused too much of a popular spirit into the institutions of the 
new state rising under their care to suit him. Inflated with no- 
tions of the Divine right of kings, he may have been jealous of 
them as trenching on his prerogative. His vanity, nursed by 
courtly flatteries, led him to think himself a more suitable over- 
seer of a plantation than any company. Gondomar, the Spanish 
Ambassador, had some influence in this matter. The king was 
fretfully anxious to conclude the Spanish match, and, to further 
it, was ready to yield almost anything to the Spanish court. 
Gondomar, it is said (N. F., 129, 130), told him that " they were 
deep politicians, and had farther designs than a tobacco planta- 
tion . . . that, once being become numerous, they intended to 
Btep beyond their limits, and, for aught he knew, they might 
visit his master's mines."* See Smith's N. E. 

* [A strange suspicion, yet not without some grounds, in the 



200 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

which had ever been engaged in such an un- 
dertaking.* Mr. Stith, who had searched all 
their records and papers, concludes his histo- 
ry by observing that they were " gentlemen 
of very noble, clear, and disinterested views, 
willing to spend much of their time and 
money, and did actually expend more than 
100,000 of their own fortunes, without any 

There was, besides, a party in the company itself which fa- 
voured the scheme of the king, headed by the Earl of Warwick, 
supported by Alderman Johnson, and made up of the needy, ra- 
pacious, and dissatisfied of the adventurers. Many had entered 
the company to repair shattered fortunes, or to become rich of a 
sudden. They looked for the golden returns which the Span- 
iards had brought from Mexico and Peru, and could not abide 
the tardy gains of agriculture. They had expended much, and 
were liable to farther assessments, and were hardly contented to 
have received only " sassafras and soap ashes." Such persons 
were readily induced to join the party of Warwick and the king. 
Warwick was a rival of Southampton, and had, moreover, been 
guilty of some underhand practices, which drew upon him no 
very gentle expression of the company's displeasure. The ene- 
mies of the colony who had been in Virginia, Butler and Ar- 
gal, were urged, and, it is alleged, suborned, to bear their testi- 
mony to its necessities and rank disorder. The company made 
a stout defence, but, assailed from high places without, and be- 
trayed by bitter enemies within, without success. H.] 

* Stith, 330. 

ignorance of geography which then seems to have prevailed. 
We read in Stith, 123, " One Cole and Kitchens, with three men, 
plotted to run away to the Spaniards, whom they supposed to be 
inhabiting somewhere within five days' journey of the fort." 
Smith also refers to a similar mistake. Smith, 10. H.] 



WYAT. 201 

prospect of present gain or retribution, in 
advancing an enterprise which they conceiv- 
ed to be of very great consequence to their 
country." 

No sooner was the company dissolved than 
James issued a new commission (August 26) 
for the government of the colony. In it the 
history of the plantation was briefly recited. 
Sir Francis Wyat was continued governor, 
with eleven assistants or counsellors, Francis 
West, Sir George Yeardley,* George San- 

* [Little can be added to the information which Dr. Belknap 
has given us of Sir George Yeardley. In the narrative (in 
Smith, 1 19) of his appointment by Sir Thomas Dale, he is men- 
tioned as " one Master George Yearly." He could hardly have 
been a person of much note among the colonists. Indeed, this 
is the first mention of him. One fact merits to be recorded, as 
illustrating both the character of the man and the state of the 
colony under his first brief, but feeble and ill-judged, administra 
tion. " Captain Yearly had a salvage or two so well trained up 
to their pieces, they were as expert as any of the English, and 
one hee kept purposely to kill him fowle. There were divers 
others had salvages in like manner for their men." Smith, 121. 
He returned to England in 1617. Ib., 121. The burden of gov- 
ernment seems to have been too much for his, perhaps, indolent 
temper. We believe that after his return he remained in Virginia 
till his death. In June of 1622 or 3 we hear of him on a journey 
to his plantation at Accomac " with a number of the greatest gal- 
lants in the land," and in the latter part of the summer command- 
ing 300 men on an expedition to Nansemond against the Indians. 
The result of this valiant enterprise was the supposed killing of 
two Indians, and the destruction of a quantity of their com. 
How far the failure was owing to the want of conduct in the 
leader, we do not know. H.] 



202 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

dys,* Roger Smith,f Ralph Hamor,t who had 

* [George Sandys, or Sands, as his name is written in Smith, 
Sandis in Hazard, was the brother of Sir Edwin Sandys, the 
tried friend and treasurer of the Virginia Company. He was 
born in 1577, and received a part of his education at Oxford. 
In 1610 he went abroad, and travelled over a great part of Eu- 
rope to Turkey, where few travellers of his day went, and to 
Palestine and Egypt. After his return he published a volume 
of his travels, folio, Oxford, 1615, which was received with great 
favour. He was one of the grantees in the second patent of 
Virginia. Hazard, i., 61. Though his turn seems to have been 
rather to the quiet of literary pursuits than to active business, he 
was appointed the company's treasurer in Virginia, where he ar- 
rived with Sir Francis Wyat in the autumn of 1 62 1 . Smith, 140. 
We have no knowledge of his official conduct there. He had a 
plantation of 300 acres, but found, doubtless, more delight in his 
classics than in raising tobacco. In 1626, fol. (Lond. Bibliog. 
Brit., 1632, Oxon.), he published a metrical translation of Ovid's 
Metamorphoses, which he had made in Virginia, and which was 
dedicated to King Charles I. In the dedication he says that "it 
was doubly a stranger, being sprung from an ancient Roman 
stock, and bred up in the New World, of the rudeness whereof 
it could not but participate." Stith. He published several 
other works, which gained him favour and friendship among tho 
literary men of his day ; and, having lived chiefly in retirement, 
he died in 1643, at the house of Sir Francis Wyat, his relative? 
in Bexley, Kent. Aikin. He was of the council under Wyat, 
Yeardley (second), and Harvey in 1627. Hazard, i , 230, 234. 
In the year 1639 the grand Assembly (of Virginia) appointed 
George Sandis, Esq., their agent to the English court, with 
particular instructions to oppose the re-establishment of the 
company ; but he, forgetting his duty to his constituents, pre- 
sented a petition to the House of Commons, in the name of the 
adventurers and planters in Virginia, for restoring the letters 
patent of incorporation to the treasurer and company. When 



WYAT. 203 

been of the former council,* with the addi- 
tion of John Martin, John Harvey, Samuel 
Matthews, Abraham Percy, Isaac Madison,f 

intelligence of this was received in Virginia, the Assembly pass- 
ed a solemn declaration disclaiming their agent's conduct, and 
affirming that it was never their intention to make way for the 
old company or any other, so well pleased were they with a 
royal government. MS. Annals relative to Virginia, in second 
volume of Force's Hist. Tracts. H.] 

t [Of Roger Smith I find nothing, save that 100 acres were 
assigned to Captain Roger Smith by order of court. Burk, i., 
335. He was a councillor under Yeardley in 1625, and Harvey 
afterward. Hazard, i., 230, 234. H.] 

t [Ralph Hamor was in Virginia in 1614. He was sent in 
that year, as a special messenger, by Sir Thomas Dale to Pow- 
hatan, to ask that his second daughter might live with the Eng- 
lish as an " assurance of peace and friendship." Smith, 115. 
We have in Smith, 116, a brief narrative, written that year by 
him and John Rolfe. The date of his arrival is uncertain, though 
not before 1609. He was one named in the charter of that year. 
Hazard, i., 61. Of his previous life we know nothing. In 
the massacre of 1622 he was surprised by the Indians in the 
woods, but escaped " to his new house then building ; there, 
only with spades, axes, and brickbats, he defended himself and 
his company till the savages departed." Smith, 146. After 
this we find him in command of " a ship and a pinitace" (ib., 
154), and I suppose went a voyage to Newfoundland, 157. He 
was apparently a man of resoluteness and energy. Five hun- 
dred acres were assigned to him by order of court, on the south 
aide of James River. Burk, i., 336. He was a councillor 
also under Yeardley in 1625, and Harvey from 1627. Hazard, 
i., 230, 234. He had a brother Thomas living near him. Ralph 
Hamor, Jr., was one of the adventurers. H.] 

* Hazard, i., 189. 

f [Smith mentions a Captain Madison who was employed by 

II.-Q 



204 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

and William Clayborne. The governor and 
council were appointed during the king's 
pleasure, with authority to rule the colony 
and punish offenders as fully as any govern- 
or and council might have done. No As- 
sembly was mentioned or allowed, because 
the king supposed, agreeably to the report of 
the commissioners, that "so popular a course" 
was one cause of the late calamities ; and he 
hated the existence of such a body within any 
part of his dominions, especially when they 
were disposed to inquire into their own rights, 
and redress the grievances of the people. 

After the death of James, which happened 
on the 27th of March, 1625, his son and suc- 
cessor Charles issued a proclamation* ex- 
pressing his resolution that the colony and 
government of Virginia should depend im- 
mediately on himself, without the interven- 
tion of any commercial company. He also 
followed the example of his father in making 
no mention of a representative Assembly in 
any of his subsequent commissions. 

Governor Wyat in his first administration in affairs of some dif- 
ficulty and danger, and in which he showed considerable tact 
and courage, p. 154, 6, 7. I suppose this to be the same person. 
He had a plantation of 250 acres not ^r below the falls. Burk, 
332. H.] * Hazard, i., 203. 



W Y A T . 205 

Governor Wyat, on the death of his father, 
Sir George Wyat,* having returned to Ire- 
land, the government of Virginia fell again 
into the hands of Sir George Yeardley. But 
his death happening within the year 1626, he 
was succeeded by Sir John Harvey. 

* Hazard, i., 231, 236. 



206 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 



XVI. BARTHOLOMEW GOSNOLD.* 
MARTI^ PRING. BARTHOLOMEW 
GILBERT. GEORGE WEYMOUTH. 

THE voyages made to America by these 
navigators, in the beginning of the seventeenth 
century, may be considered as the leading 
steps to the colonization of New-England, 
Excepting the fishery at Newfoundland, the 
Europeans were at that time in actual pos- 
session of no part of North America, though 
the English claimed a right to the whole by 
virtue of prior discovery. The attempts which 
Raleigh had made to colonize the southern 
part of the territory, called Virginia, had fail- 
ed ; but he and his associates enjoyed an ex- 
clusive patent from the crown of England 
for the whole coast ; and these adventurers 

* The account of Gosnold's voyage and discovery in the first 
volume of this work is so erroneous, from the misinformation 
which I had received, that I thought it best to write the whole 
of it anew. The former mistakes are here corrected, partly 
from the best information which I could obtain after the most 
assiduous inquiry, but principally from my own observation on 
the spot, compared with the journal of the voyage more trW- 
tally examined than before. 



G O S N O L D. 207 

obtained a license, under this authority, to 
make their voyages and settlements. 

BARTHOLOMEW GOSNOLD was an active, in- 
trepid, and experienced mariner in the west 
of England.* He had sailed in one of the 
ships employed by Raleigh to Virginia, and 
was convinced that there must be a shorter 
and safer way across the Atlantic than the 
usual route by the Canaries and the West In- 
dia Islands. At whose expense he undertook 
his voyage to the northern part of Virginia 
does not appear, but that it was with the ap- 
probation of Sir Walter Raleigh and his as- 
sociates is evident from an account of the 
voyage which was presented to him.f 

On the 26th of March, 1602, Gosnold sail- 
ed from FalmouthJ in a small bark, the ton- 
nage of which is not mentioned, carrying thir- 
ty-two persons, of whom eight were mari- 
ners. $ The design of the voyage was to find 

* Stith, 35, 48. Oldmixon, i., 218. 

t Purchas, v., 1651. t Ibid., 1647. 

$ The names of the persons who went in this voyage, aa 
far as I can collect them, are as follows : Bartholomew Gosnold, 
commander ; Bartholomew Gilbert, second officer ; John An- 
gel; Robert Salteme. He went again the next year with Pring. 
He was afterward a clergyman. William Streete; Gabriel Ar- 
cher,* gentleman and journalist. He afterward went to Vir- 

* [I find Gabriel Archer, gentleman, named among the gran- 
tees in the second patent to the Virginia Company. Hazard, i^ 
60. H.] 



208 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

a direct and short course to Virginia, and, 
upon the discovery of a proper seat for a plan- 
tation, twelve of the company were to return 
to England, and twenty to remain in Amer- 
ica, till farther assistance and supplies could 
be sent to them. 

The former part of this design was accom- 
plished, as far as the winds and other circum- 
stances would permit. They went no far- 
ther southward than the 37th degree of lati- 
tude, within sight of St. Mary, one of the 
"Western Islands. In the 43d degree they 
approached the Continent of America, which 
they first discovered on the 13th of May, af- 
ter a passage of seven weeks.* The weak- 
ness of their bark, and their ignorance of the 
route, made them carry but little sail, or they 
might have arrived some days sooner. They 
judged that they had shortened the distance 
500 leagues. 

It is not easy to determine from the journal 
what part of the coast they first saw.f Old- 
mixon says it was the north side of Massa- 
chusetts Bay. The description in the jour- 

ginia. Archer's Hope, near Williamsburg, is named from him. 
James Rosier. He wrote an account of the voyage and pre- 
sented it to Sir Walter Raleigh. John Brierton, or Brereton j 

Tucker, from whom the shoal called Tucker's Terror is 

named. * Smith, 16. t Hist. Amer., i., 218 



G O S N O L D. 209 

nal does in some respects agree with the 
coast extending from Cape Ann to Marble- 
head, or to the rocky point of Nahant. 

From a rock, which they called Savage 
Rock, a shallop of European fabric came off 
to them, in which were eight savages, two 
or three of whom were dressed in European 
habits. From these circumstances they con- 
cluded that some fishing vessel of Biscay had 
been there, and that the crew were destroyed 
by the natives. These people, by signs, invi- 
ted them to stay, but " the harbour being 
naught, and doubting the weather," they did 
not think proper to accept the invitation. 

In the night they stood to the southward, 
and the next morning found themselves " em- 
bayed with a mighty headland," which at first 
appeared " like an island, by reason of a 
large sound which lay between it and the 
main." Within a league of this land they 
came to anchor in fifteen fathoms, and took a 
very great quantity of cod. From this cir- 
cumstance the land was named Cape Cod. It 
is described as a low, sandy shore, but without 
danger, and lying in the latitude of 42. Cap- 
tain Gosnold, with Mr. Brierton and three 
men, went to it, and found the shore bold and 
the sand very deep. A young Indian, with 



210 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

copper pendents in his ears, a bow in his 
hand, and arrows at his back, came to them, 
and in a friendly manner offered his service ; 
but, as they were in haste to return to the 
ship, they had little conference with him. 

On the sixteenth they sailed by the shore 
southerly, and at the end of twelve leagues 
saw a point of land, with breakers at a dis- 
tance. In attempting to double this point 
they came suddenly into shoal water, from 
which they extricated themselves by standing 
out to sea. This point they named Point 
Care, and the breakers Tucker's Terror, 
from the person who first discovered the dan- 
ger. In the night they bore up towards the 
land, and came to anchor in eight fathoms. 
The next day (17th), seeing many breakers 
about them, and the weather being foul, they 
lay at anchor. 

On the 18th, the weather being clear, they 
sent their boat to sound a breach which lay 
off another point, to which they gave the 
name of Gilbert's Point. The ship remained 
at anchor the whole of this day, and som.e 
of the natives came from the shore in their 
canoes to visit them. These people were 
dressed in skins, and furnished with pipes and 
tobacco; one of them had a breastplate of 



GOSNOLD. 211 

copper. They appeared more timorous than 
those of Savage Rock, but were very thievish. 

When the people in the boat returned from 
sounding, they reported a depth of water 
from four to seven fathoms over the breach, 
which the ship passed the next day (19th), 
and came to anchor again above a league be- 
yond it. Here they remained two days, sur- 
rounded by schools of fish and flocks of aquat- 
ic birds. To the northward of west, they 
saw several hummocks, which they imagined 
were distinct islands ; but, when they sailed 
towards them (on the 21st), they found them 
to be small hills within the land. They dis- 
covered also an opening, into which they en- 
deavoured to enter, supposing it to be the 
southern extremity of the sound between Cape 
Cod and the mainland. But, on examination, 
the water proving very shoal, they called it 
Shoal Hope, and proceeded to the westward. 
The coast was full of people, who ran along 
the shore, accompanying the ship as she sail- 
ed ; and many smokes appeared within the 
land. 

In coasting along to the westward, they 
discovered an island, on which the next day 
(22d) they landed. The description qf it in 

the Journal is this : " A disinhabited island ; 
II. R 



212 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

from Shoal Hope it is eight leagues ; in cir 
cuit it is five miles, and hath forty-one degrees 
and one quarter of latitude. The place most 
pleasant ; for we found it full of wood, vines, 
gooseberry bushes, hurt-berries, raspices, eg- 
lantine [sweet-briar], &c. Here we had 
cranes, herns, shoulers, geese, and divers 
other birds, which there, at that time, upon 
the cliffs, being sandy with some rocky stones, 
did breed and had young. In this place we 
saw deer. Here we rode in eight fathoms, 
near the shore, where we took great store of 
cod, as before at Cape Cod, but much bet- 
ter. This island is sound, and hath no dan- 
ger about it." They gave it the name of 
Martha's Vineyard, from the great number of 
vines which they found on it. 

From this island they passed (on the 24th) 
round a very high and distinguished promon- 
tory, to which they gave the name of Dover 
Cliff, and came to anchor "in a fair sound, 
where they rode all night." 

Between them and the main, which was 
then in sight, lay " a ledge of rocks, extend- 
ing a mile into the sea, but all above water, 
and without danger." They went round the 
western extremity of this ledge, and " came 
to anchor in eight fathoms, a quarter of a 



GOSNOLD. 213 

mile from the shore, in one of the stateliest 
sounds that they had ever seen." This they 
called Gosnold's Hope. The north side of 
it was the mainland stretching east and west, 
distant four leagues from the island, where 
they came to anchor, to which they gave the 
name of Elizabeth, in honour of their queen. 

On the 28th of May they held a council 
respecting the place of their abode, which 
they determined to be " in the west part of 
Elizabeth Island, the northeast part running 
out of their ken." The island is thus de- 
scribed : "In the western side it admitteth 
some creeks or sandy coves, so girded, as the 
water in some places meeteth, to which the 
Indians from the main do often resort for 
fishing crabs. There is eight fathom very 
near the shore, and the latitude is 41 10'.* 

The breadth of the island from sound to 
sound, in the western part, is not passing a 
mile at most, altogether unpeopled and dis- 
inhabited. 

"It is overgrown with wood and rubbish. 
The woods are oak, ash, beech, walnut, 
witch-hazel, sassafrage, and cedars, with di- 

* In GosnolcTs letter to his father, the latitude is said to be 
41 20 , which is nearer the truth. It is laid down in Des 
Barres's Charts 41 24'. 



214 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

vers others of unknown names. The rubbish 
is wild pease, young sassafrage, cherry-trees, 
vines, eglantine (or sweet-briar), gooseberry 
bushes, hawthorn, honeysuckles, with others 
of the like quality. The herbs and roots are 
strawberries, rasps, ground-nuts, alexander, 
surrin, tansy, &c., without count. Touching 
the fertility of the soil, by our own experi- 
ence we found it to be excellent ; for, sow- 
ing some English pulse, it sprouted out in 
one fortnight almost half a foot. 

" In this island is a pond of fresh water, in 
circuit two miles, on one side not distant 
from the sea thirty yards. In the centre of it 
is a rocky islet containing near an acre of 
ground, full of wood and rubbish, on which 
we began our fort and place of abode, and 
made a punt or flat-bottomed boat to pass to 
and fro over the fresh water. 

" On the north side, near adjoining to Eliz- 
abeth, is an islet, in compass half a mile, full 
of cedars, by me called Hill's Hap ; to the 
northward of which, in the middle of an open- 
ing on the main, appeared another like it, 
which I called Hap's Hill" When Captain 
Gosnold, with divers of the company, " went 
in the shallop towards Hill's Hap to view it 
and the sandy cove," they found a bark ca- 



GOSNOLD. 215 

noe, which the Indians had quitted for fear 
of them. This they took and brought to 
England. It is not said that they made any 
acknowledgment or recompense for it. 

Before I proceed in the account of Gos- 
nold's transactions, it is necessary to make 
some remarks on the preceding detail, which 
is either abridged or extracted from the Jour- 
nal written by Gabriel Archer. This Journal 
contains some inaccuracies, which may be 
corrected by carefully comparing its several 
parts, and by actual observations of the pla- 
ces described. I have taken much pains to 
obtain information by consulting the best 
maps, and conversing or corresponding with 
pilots and other persons. But, for my great- 
er satisfaction, I have visited the island on 
which Gosnold built his house and fort, the 
ruins of which are still visible, though at the 
distance of nearly two centuries. 

That Gosnold's Cape Cod is the promon- 
tory which now bears that name, is evident 
from his description. The point which he 
denominated Care, at the distance of twelve 
leagues southward of Cape Cod, agrees very 
well with Malebarre, or Sandy Point, the 
southeastern extremity of the county of Barn- 
stable. The shoal water and breach, which 



216 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

he called Tucker's Terror, correspond with 
the shoal and breakers commonly called the 
Pollock Rip, which extends to the southeast 
of this remarkable point. 

To avoid this danger, it being late in the 
day, he stood so far out to sea as to over- 
shoot the eastern entrance of what is now 
called the Vineyard Sound. The land which 
he made in the night was a white cliff on the 
eastern coast of Nantucket, now called San- 
koty Head. The breach which lay off Gil- 
bert's Point I take to be the Bass Rip and 
the Pollock Rip, with the cross ripplings which 
extend from the southeast extremity of that 
island. Over these ripplings there is a depth 
of water from four to seven fathoms, accord- 
ing to a late map of Nantucket, published by 
Peleg Coffin, Esq., and others. That Gos- 
nold did not enter the Vineyard Sound, but 
overshot it in the night, is demonstrated by 
comparing his journal with that of Martin 
Pring the next year, a passage from which 
shall be cited in its proper place. 

The large opening which he saw, but did 
not enter, and to which he gave the name of 
Skoal Hope, agrees very well with the open 
/.ore to the westward of the little island of 
Muskeget. 



GOSNOLD. 217 

The island which he called Martha's Vine- 
yard now bears the name of No-Man's Land. 
This is clear from his account of its size, five 
miles in circuit ; its distance from Shoal Hope, 
eight leagues, and from Elizabeth Island, five 
leagues ; the safety of approaching it on all 
sides, and the small but excellent cod which 
are always taken near it in the spring months. 
The only material objection is that he found 
deer upon the island ; but this is removed by 
comparing his account with the Journal of 
Martin Pring, who the next year found deer 
in abundance on the large island now called 
the Vineyard. I have had credible testimony 
that deer have been seen swimming across the 
Vineyard Sound when pursued by hunters. 
This island was a sequestered spot, where 
those deer who took refuge upon it would 
probably remain undisturbed and multiply.* 

The lofty promontory to which he gave the 

* The following information was given to me by Benjamin 
Bassett, Esq., of Chilmark : 

"About the year 1720 the last deer was seen on the Vine- 
yard and shot at. The horns of these animals have been 
ploughed up several times on the west end of the island. If 
one deer could swim across the Vineyard Sound, why not 
more 1 No-Man's Land is four miles from the Vineyard ; and if 
deer could cross the sound seven miles, why not from the Vine- 
yard to No-Man's Land 1" 



218 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

name of Dover Cliff is Gay Head, an object 
too singular and entertaining to pass unob- 
served, and far superior in magnitude to any 
other cliff on any of these islands. The " fair 
sound" into which he entered after doubling 
this cliff is the western extremity of the Vine- 
yard Sound, and his anchoring-place was 
probably in or near Menemsha Bight. 

For what reason, and at what time, the 
name of Martha's Vineyard was transferred 
from the small island, so called by Gosnold, 
to the large island which now bears it, are- 
questions which remain in obscurity. That 
Gosnold at first took the southern side of this 
large island to be the main, is evident. When 
he doubled the cliff at its western end he 
knew it to be an island, but gave no name to 
any part of it except the cliff.* 

* The reader will give to the following conjecture as much 
weight as it deserves : 

The large island is frequently called Martin's Vineyard, espe- 
cially by the old writers. This is commonly supposed to be a 
mistake. But why 1 Captain Pring's Christian name was 
Martin, and this island has as good a right to the appellation of 
vineyard as the other, being equally productive of vines. The 
names Martha and Martin are easily confounded ; and, as one 
island only was supposed to be designated by the Vineyard, it 
was natural to give it to the greater. Tlie lesser became disre- 
garded, and, being not inhabited or claimed by any, it was sup- 
posed to belong to no man, and was called No-Man's Land. 



GOSNOLD. 219 

" The ledge of rocks extending a mile into 
fV sea," between his anchoring-ground and 

; main, is that remarkable ledge distinguish- 
ed by the name of the Sow and Pigs. The 
" stately sound" which he entered after pass- 
ing round these rocks is the mouth of Buz- 
zard's Bay, and the Island Elizabeth is the 
westernmost of the islands which now go by 
the name of Elizabeth's Islands. Its Indian 
name is Cutty hunk, a contraction of Poo-cut- 
oh-hunk-un-noh, which signifies a thing that 
lies out of the water. The names of the 
others are Nashawena, Pasque, Naushon, 
Nenimisset, and Peniquese, besides some of 
less note. 

In this island, at the west end, on the north 
side, is a pond of fresh water three quarters 
of a mile in length, and of unequal breadth ; 
but, if measured in all its sinuosities, would 
amount to two miles in circuit. In the mid- 
dle of its breadth, near the west end, is a 
" rocky islet containing near an acre of 
ground." 

In an old Dutch map, extant, in Ogilby's History of America, 
p. 168, the name of Marthae's Vyncard is given to a email isl- 
and lying southward of Elizabet EyI, and the name of Texel is 
given to the large island which is now called the Vineyard. 
The situation of the small island agrees with that of No-Man's 
Land. 



220 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

To this spot I went on the 20th day of June, 
1797, in company with several gentlemen* 
whose curiosity and obliging kindness indu- 
ced them to accompany me. The protecting 
hand of Nature has reserved this favourite 
spot to herself. Its fertility and its produc- 
tions are exactly the same as in Gosnold's 
time, excepting the wood, of which there is 
none. Every species of what he calls " rub- 
bish," with strawberries, pease, tansy, and 
other fruits and herbs, appear in rich abun- 
dance, unmolested by any animal but aquatic 
birds. We had the supreme satisfaction to 
find the cellar of Gosnold's storehouse, the 
stones of which were evidently taken from 
the neighbouring beach, the rocks of the islet 
being less movable, and lying in ledges. 

The whole island of Cuttyhunk has been 
for many years stripped of its wood ; but I 
was informed by Mr. Greenill, an old resi- 
dent farmer, that the trees which formerly 
grew on it were such as are described in 
Gosnold's Journal. The soil is a very fine 
garden mould, from the bottom of the valleys 
to. the top of the hills, and affords rich pas- 
ture. 

* Noah Webster, Esq., of New- York ; Captain Tallman, Mr. 
John Spooner, Mr. Allen, a pilot, of New-Bedford. 



OOSNOLD. 221 

The length of the island is rather more 
than two miles, and its breadth about one 
mile. The beach between the pond and the 
sea is twenty-seven yards wide. It is so high 
and firm a barrier, that the sea never flows 
into the pond but when agitated by a violent 
gale from the northwest. The pond is deep 
in the middle. It has no visible outlet. Its 
fish are perch, eels, and turtles, and it is fre- 
quented by aquatic birds, both wild and do- 
mestic. 

On the north side of the island, connected 
with it by a beach, is an elevation, the Indian 
name of which is Copicut. Either this hill, 
or the little Island of Peniquese, which lies a 
mile to the northward, is the place which 
Gosnold called Hill's Hap. Between Copi- 
cut and Cuttyhunk is a circular sandy cove, 
with a narrow entrance. Hap's Hill, on the 
opposite shore of the main, distant four 
leagues, is a round elevation on a point of 
land near the Dumplin Rocks, between the 
Rivers of Apooneganset and Pascamanset, in 
the township of Dartmouth. 

From the south side of Cuttyhunk the 
promontory of Gay Head, which Gosnold 
called Dover Cliff, and the island which he 
named Martha's Vinevard, lie in full view, 



222 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

and appear to great advantage. No other 
objects in that region bear any resemblance 
to them or to the description given of them, 
nor is there a ledge of rocks projecting from 
any other island a mile into the sea. 

While Gabriel Archer and a party, gener- 
ally consisting of ten, laboured in clearing 
the "rocky islet" of wood, and building a 
storehouse and fort, Captain Gosnold and the 
rest of the company were employed either in 
making discoveries, or fishing, or collecting 
sassafras. On the 31st of May he went to 
the mainland, on the shore of which he was 
met by a company of the natives, " men, 
women, and children, who, with all courteous 
kindness, entertained him, giving him skins 
of wild beasts, tobacco, turtles, hemp, artifi- 
cial strings coloured [wampum], and such 
like things as they had about them." The 
stately groves, flowery meadows, and running 
brooks afforded delightful entertainment to 
the adventurers. The principal discovery 
which they made was of two good harbours, 
one of which I take to be Apooneganset, and 
the other Pascamanset, between which lies 
the round hill which they called Hap's Hill. 
They observed the coast to extend five leagues 
farther to the southwest, as it does, to Secon- 



OOSNOLD. 223 

net Point. As they spent but one day in this 
excursion, they did not fully explore the main, 
though from what they observed, the land 
being broken and the shore rocky, they were 
convinced of the existence of other harbours 
on that coast. 

On the 5th of June, an Indian chief and 
fifty men, armed with bows and arrows, land- 
ed on the island. Archer and his men left 
their work and met them on the beach. Af- 
ter mutual salutations, they sat down and be- 
gan a traffic, exchanging such things as they 
had to mutual satisfaction. The ship then 
lay at anchor a league off. Gosnold, seeing 
the Indians approach the island, came on shore 
with twelve men, and was received by Arch- 
er's party with military ceremony as their 
commander. The captain gave the chief a 
straw hat and two knives. The former he 
little regarded ; the latter he received with 
great admiration. 

In a subsequent visit they became better 
acquainted, and had a larger trade for furs. 
At dinner they entertained the savages with 
fish and mustard, and gave them beer to 
drink. The effect of the mustard on the no- 
ses of the Indians afforded them much diver- 
sion. One of them stole a target, and con- 



224 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

veyed it on board his canoe ; when it was 
demanded of the chief, it was immediately 
restored. No demand was made of the birch 
canoe which Gosnold had a few days before 
taken from the Indians. When the chief 
and his retinue took their leave, four or five 
of the Indians stayed and helped the adven- 
turers to dig the roots of sassafras, with 
which, as well as furs and other productions 
of the country, the ship was loaded for her 
homeward voyage. Having performed this 
service, the Indians were invited on board the 
ship, but they declined the invitation, and 
returned to the main. This island had no 
fixed inhabitants ; the natives of the opposite 
shore frequently visited it, for the purpose of 
gathering shellfish, with which its creeks and 
coves abounded. 

All these Indians had ornaments of copper. 
When the adventurers asked them, by signs, 
whence they obtained this metal, one of them 
made answer by digging a hole in the ground 
and pointing to the main, from which cir- 
cumstance it was understood that the adja- 
cent country contained mines of copper. In 
the course of almost two centuries, no copper 
has been there discovered, though iron, a 
much more useful metal, wholly unknown to 



GOSNOLD. 226 

the natives, is found in great plenty. The 
question, Whence^did they obtain copper ? is 
yet without an answer. 

Three weeks were spent in clearing the 
islet, digging and stoning a cellar, building a 
house, fortifying it with palisades, and cover- 
ing it with sedge, which then grew in great 
plenty on the sides of the pond. During 
this time a survey was made of their provis- 
ions. After reserving enough to victual twelve 
men, who were to go home in the bark, no 
more could be left with the remaining twenty 
than would suffice them for six weeks ; and 
the ship could not return till the end of the 
next autumn. This was a very discouraging 
circumstance. 

A jealousy also arose respecting the profits 
of the ship's lading, those who stayed behind 
claiming a share as well as those who should 
return to England. While these subjects 
were in debate, a single Indian came on 
board, from whose apparently grave and so- 
ber deportment they suspected him to have 
been sent as a spy. In a few days after the 
ship went to Hill's Hap, out of sight of the 
fort, to take in a load of cedar, and was there 
detained so much longer than they expected 
that the party at the fort had expended their 



226 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

provision. Four of them went in search of 
shellfish, and divided themselves, two and 
two, going different ways. One of these 
small parties was suddenly attacked by four 
Indians in a canoe, who wounded one of them 
in the arm with an arrow. His companion 
seized the canoe and cut their bowstrings, 
on which they fled. It being late in the day 
and the weather stormy, this couple were 
obliged to pass the night in the woods, and 
did not reach the fort till the next day. The 
whole party subsisted on shellfish, ground- 
nuts, and herbs till the ship came and took 
them on board. A new consultation was 
then holden. Those who had been the most 
resolute to remain were discouraged, and the 
unanimous voice was in favour of returning 
to England. 

On the 17th of June they doubled the 
rocky ledge of Elizabeth, passed by Dover 
Cliff, sailed to the island which they had 
called Martha's Vineyard, and employed 
themselves in taking young geese, cranes, 
and herns. The next day they set sail for 
England, and, after a pleasant passage of 
five weeks, arrived at Exmouth, in Devon- 
shire. 

Thus failed the first attempt to plant a col- 



G O S N O L D. 227 

ony in North Virginia, the causes of which 
are obvious. The loss of Sir Walter Ra- 
leigh's company in South Virginia was then 
recent in memory, and the same causes might 
have operated here to produce the same ef- 
fect. Twenty men, situated on an island, 
surrounded by other islands and the main, 
and furnished with six weeks' provisions only, 
could not maintain possession of a territory 
to which they had no right against the force 
of its native proprietors. They might easily 
have been cut off when seeking food abroad, 
or their fort might have been invested, and 
they must have surrendered at discretion, or 
have been starved to death had no direct as- 
sault been made upon them. The prudence 
of their retreat is unquestionable to any per- 
son who considers their hazardous situation. 

During this voyage, and especially while 
on shore, the whole company enjoyed re- 
markably good health. They were highly 
pleased with the salubrity, fertility, and ap- 
parent advantages of the country. Gosnold 
was so enthusiastic an admirer of it, that he 
was indefatigable in his endeavours to for- 
ward the settlement of a colony in conjunction 
with Captain John Smith. With him, in 
1607, he embarked in the expedition to South 

II. S 



228 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

Virginia, where he had the rank of a coun- 
sellor. Soon after his arrival, by excessive 
fatigue in the extremity of the summer heat, 
he fell a sacrifice, with fifty others, to the insa- 
lubrity of that climate, and the scanty measure 
and bad quality of the provisions with which 
that unfortunate colony was furnished.* 

The discovery made by Gosnold, and es- 
pecially the shortness of the time in which 
the voyage was performed, induced Richard 
Hackluyt,t then prebendary of St. Augus- 
tine's Church in Bristol, to use his influence 
with the mayor, aldermen, and merchants of 
that opulent mercantile city to prosecute the 
discovery of the northern parts of Virginia. 
The first step was to obtain permission of 
Raleigh and his associates. This was under- 
taken and accomplished by Hackluyt, in con- 
junction with John Angel and Robert Sal- 
terne, both of whom had been with Gosnold 
to America. The next was to equip two ves- 
sels, one a ship of fifty tons, called the 

* In an account of the first settlement of Virginia, written 
by George Percy, I find the following note : 

"The 22d of August died Captain Bartholomew Gosnold, 
one of our council. He was honourably buried, having all tho 
ordnance in the fort shot off, with many volleys of small shot. 
After his death the council could hardly agree." Purchas, iv., 
1690. f Ib., v.. 1654 



P R I N G. 

Speedwell, carrying thirty men, the other a 
bark of twenty-six tons, called the Discover- 
er, carrying thirteen men. The commander 
of the ship was MARTIN PRING, and his mate 
Edmund Jones. The bark was commanded 
by William Browne, whose mate was Samuel 
Kirkland. Salterne was the principal agent 
or supercargo, and was furnished with va- 
rious kinds of clothing, hardware, and trink- 
ets to trade with the natives. The vessels 
were victualled for eight months, and sailed 
on the 10th of April, 1603, a few days after 
the death of Queen Elizabeth. 

They went so far to the southward as to 
be within sight of the Azores, and in the be- 
ginning of June fell in with the American 
coast, between the 43d and 44th degrees of 
latitude, among those numerous islands which 
cover the District of Maine. One of these 
they named Fox Island, from some of that 
species of animal which they saw upon it. 
Among these islands, in the mouth of Penob- 
scot Bay, they found good anchorage and 
fishing. The land being rocky, they judged 
it proper for the drying of cod, which they 
took in great plenty, and esteemed better 
than those usually taken at Newfoundland. 

Having passed all the islands, they ranged 



230 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

the coast to the southwest, and entered four 
inlets, which are thus described : " The most 
easterly was barred at the mouth; but, hav- 
ing passed over the bar, we ran up it for five 
miles, and for a certain space found very 
good depth. Coming out again, as we sail- 
ed southwest we lighted on two other inlets, 
which we found to pierce not far into the 
land. The fourth and most westerly was the 
best, which we rowed up ten or twelve miles. 
In all these places we found no people, but 
signs of fires where they had been. Howbeit, 
we beheld very goodly groves and woods, and 
sundry sorts of beasts. But, meeting with no 
sassafras, we left these places, with all the 
aforesaid islands, shaping our course for Sav- 
age Rock, discovered the year before by Cap- 
tain Gosnold." 

From this description I conclude that, af- 
ter they had passed the islands as far west 
ward as Casco Bay, the easternmost of the 
four inlets which they entered was the mouth 
of the River Saco. The two next were Ken- 
nebunk and York Rivers, and the western- 
most and best was the River Piscataqua. 
The reason of their finding no people was, 
that the natives were at that season (June) 
fishing at the falls of the rivers, and the ves- 



PR ING. 231 

tiges of fires marked the places at or near the 
mouths of the rivers where they had resided 
and taken fish in the earlier months of the 
spring. In steering for Savage Rock they 
must have doubled Cape Ann, which brought 
them into the Bay of Massachusetts, on the 
northern shore of which I suppose Savage 
Rock to be situated. 

It seems that one principal object of their 
voyage was to collect sassafras, which was 
esteemed a highly medicinal vegetable. In 
several parts of these journals, and in other 
books of the same date, it is celebrated as a 
sovereign remedy for the plague, the vene- 
real disease, the stone, the strangury, and 
other maladies.* One of Gosnold's men had 
been cured by it, in twelve hours, of a sur- 
feit, occasioned by eating greedily of the bel- 
lies of dogfish, which is called a " delicious 
meat." 

The journal then proceeds : " Going on 
the main at Savage Rock, we found people, 
with whom we had no long conversation, be- 
cause here also we could find no sassafras. 

* " Saxifraga, Saxifragum, herba a frangcndis in corpora 
calculis appellata. Si bibatur semen aut radix cum vino, uri- 
nam optime provocat et calculos expellit, atque medetur stran- 
guriffi ac obstructionibus renuro et vesicae ; succus foliorum de- 
'et maculas faciei." Gerard. Vide Minshou in verbum. 



232 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

Departing hence, we bare into that great gulf 
which Captain Gosnold overshot the year be- 
fore, coasting and finding people on the 
north side thereof. Not yet satisfied in our 
expectation, we left them and sailed over, 
and came to anchor on the south side, in the 
latitude of forty-one degrees and odd min- 
utes, where we went on land in a certain 
bay, which we called Whitson Bay, by the 
name of the worshipful master, John Whit- 
son, then mayor of the city of Bristol, and 
one of the chief adventurers. Finding a 
pleasant hill adjoining, we called it Mount 
Aldworth, for Master Robert Aid worth's sake, 
a chief furtherer of the voyage, as well with 
his purse as with his travel. Here we had 
sufficient quantity of sassafras." 

In another part of this journal Whitson 
Bay is thus described : " At the entrance of 
this excellent haven we found twenty fath- 
oms of water, and rode at our ease in seven 
fathoms, being land-locked, the haven wind- 
ing in compass like the shell of a snail ; and 
it is in latitude of forty-one degrees and 
twenty minutes. We also observed that we 
could find no sassafras but in sandy ground."* 

* The following note is by Peleg Coffin, Esq. " The haven 
here described must have been that of Edgartowu. No other 



p u i N u 233 

Though this company had no design to 
make a settlement in America, yet, consider- 
ing that the place where they found it conve- 
nient to reside was full of inhabitants, they 
built a temporary hut and enclosed it with a 
barricade, in which they kept constant guard 
by day and night, while others were employ- 
ed in collecting sassafras in the woods. The 
Indians frequently visited them in parties of 
various numbers, from" ten to a hundred. 
They were used kindly, had trinkets present- 
ed them, and were fed with English pulse, 

could with propriety be represented as winding or land-locked, 
as is truly the harbour of Edgartowu, generally called Oldtown.' 
To this I subjoin an extract of a letter from the Rev. Joseph 
Thaxter, minister of Edgartown, dated Nov. 15, 1797. " It is 
evident to me, and others better acquainted than I am, with 
whom I have consulted, that Pring, as soon as he passed the 
sandy point of Monumoy [Malebar], bore to the westward, and 
came through what is called Butler's Hole ; that he kept the 
North Channel till he got as far as Falmouth, and then crossed 
over into Oldtown Harbour, which corresponds in every respect 
to his description except in the depth of water at the entrance 
of the harbour ; there are now but fourteen fathoms ; in the 
harbour there are seven and a half. I would suggest an idea, 
whether there is now the same depth of water at the entrance 
as in 1603. It is certain that the shoals shift, and that Cape 
Poge, within the memory of man, has been washed into the 
sea thirty or forty rods. From this circumstance the difference 
in the depth of water may be easily accounted for. There are 
several pleasant hills adjoining to the harbour, and to this day 
plenty of sassafras." 



AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

their own food being chiefly fish. They were 
adorned with plates of copper; their bows, 
arrows, and quivers were very neatly made ; 
and their birchen canoes were considered as 
great curiosities, one of which, of seventeen 
feet in length and four in breadth, was car- 
ried home to Bristol as a specimen of their 
ingenuity. Whether it was bought or stolen 
from them is uncertain. 

Th6 natives were excessively fond of mu- 
sic, and would dance in a ring round an Eng- 
lish youth who played on an instrument called 
" a gitterne."* But they were greatly terri- 
fied at the barking of two English mastiffs,, 
which always kept them at a distance when 
the people were tired of their company. 

The growth of the place consisted of sas- 
safras, vines, cedar, oak, ash, beech, birch, 
cherry, hazel, walnut, maple, holly, and wild 
plum. The land animals were " stags and 
fallow deer in abundance, bears, wolves, fox- 
es, lusernes,f porcupines, and dogs with sharp 

* Guittara, Hispan. Cithara, Lat. Guittare, Fr. Ghittar, 
Ttal. Vide Minsheu and Junius. 

t " Luserne, Lucern, a beast near the bigness of a wolf, of col- 
our between red and brown, something mayled like a cat, and 
mingled with black spots ; bred in Muscovy, and is a rich furre." 
Vide Minsheu in verbum Furre-. 

Could this animal be the racoon 1 Josseryii gives the nama 
of luserne to the wild^nt. 



PR ING. 235 

and long noses."* The waters and shores 
abounded with fish and shellfish of various 
kinds, and aquatic birds in great plenty. 

By the end of July they had loaded their 
bark with sassafras, and sent her to England. 
After which they made as much despatch as 
possible in lading the ship, the departure of 
which was accelerated by the following inci- 
dent : 

The Indians had hitherto been on friendly 
terms with the adventurers ; but, seeing their 
number lessened and one of their vessels 
gone, and those who remained dispersed at 
their several employments, they came one 
day about noon, to the number of one hun- 
dred and forty, armed with bows and arrows, 
to the barricade, where four men were on 

* As the existence of this species of animal has been doubted, 
I must remark that it is several times mentioned by the earliest 
adventurers, and twice in Pring's Journal. Josselyn, who was 
a naturalist, and resided several years in the eastern parts of 
New-England, gives this account of it : 

" I know of but one kind of beast in New-England produced 
by equivocal generation, and that is the Indian dog, begotten 
between a wolf and a fox, or between a fox and a wolf, which 
they made use of, taming them and bringing them up to hunt 
with; but, since the English came among them, they have got- 
ten store of our dogs, which they bring up and keep in as much 
subjection as they do their wives." Josselyn's Voyages to 
N. E., 1673, p. 94. 



236 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

guard with their muskets. The Indians call- 
ed to them to come out, which they refused, 
and stood on their defence. Captain Pring, 
with two men only, was on board the ship ; 
as soon as he perceived the danger he secu- 
red the ship as well as he could, and fired 
one of his great guns as a signal to the la- 
bourers in the woods, who were reposing after 
their fatigue, depending on the mastiffs for 
protection. The dogs, hearing the gun, awoke 
their masters, who then, hearing a second gun, 
took to their arms and came to the relief of 
the guard. At the sight of the men and dogs 
the Indians desisted from their purpose, and, 
affecting to turn the whole into a jest, went 
off laughing,' without any damage on either 
side. 

In a few days after they set fire to the 
woods where the sassafras grew, to the ex- 
tent of a mile. These alarming circumstan- 
ces determined Pring to retire. After the 
people had embarked and were weighing the 
anchors, a larger number than ever they had 
seen, about two hundred, came down to the 
shore, and some in their canoes came off to 
the ship, apparently to invite the adventurers 
to a longer continuance. It was not easy to 
believe the invitation fnendly, nor prudent 



GILBERT. 237 

to accept it. They therefore came to sail, it 
being the ninth of August. After a passage 
of five weeks, by the route of the Azores, 
they came into soundings, and on the second 
of October arrived at King Road, below Bris- 
tol, where the bark had arrived about a fort- 
night before them. This whole voyage was 
completed in six months. Its objects were 
to make discoveries, and to collect furs and 
sassafras. No instance of aggression on the 
part of the adventurers is mentioned, nor on 
the part of the natives, till after the sailing of 
the bark. 

At the same time that Martin Pring was 
employed in this voyage, BARTHOLOMEW GIL- 
BERT went on a farther discovery to the south- 
ern part of Virginia, having it also in view to 
look for the lost colony of Sir Walter Raleigh.* 
He sailed from Plymouth May 10, 1603, in 
the bark Elizabeth, of fifty tons, and went by 
the way of Madeira to the West Indies, where 
he touched at several of the islands, taking in 
lignum-vitse, tortoises, and tobacco. 

On the sixth of July he quitted the islands 
and steered for Virginia. In four days he got 
into the Gulf Stream, and was becalmed five 
days. After which the wind sprang up, and 

* Purchas, v., 1656. 



238 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

on the 20th he saw land in the 40th degree of 
latitude. His object was to fetch the mouth 
of Chesepeag Bay ; but the wind being ad- 
verse, after beating against it for several days, 
the necessity of wood and water obliged him 
to come to anchor about a mile from the 
shore, where there was an appearance of the 
entrance of a river. 

On Friday, the 29th of July, Captain Gil- 
bert, accompanied by Thomas Canner, a gen- 
tleman of Bernard's Inn, Richard Harrison, 
mate, Henry Kenton, surgeon, and Derrick, 
a Dutchman, went on shore, leaving two boys 
to keep the boat. Immediately after they 
had entered the wood the savages attacked, 
pursued, and killed every one of them : two 
of them fell in sight of the boys, who had 
much difficulty to prevent the Indians from 
hauling the boat on shore. 

With heavy hearts they got back to the 
ship, whose crew, reduced to eleven, inclu- 
ding the boys, dared not make any farther 
attempt, but steered for the Western Islands ; 
after passing them, they arrived in the River 
Thames about the end of September, when 
the city of London was " most grievously in- 
fected with the plague." 

After the peace which King James made 



WEYMOUTH. 239 

with Spain in 1604, when the passion for the 
discovery of a Northwest Passage was in full 
vigour, a ship ^as sent from England by the 
Earl of Southampton and Lord Arundel of 
Wardour, with a view to this object. The 
commander of the ship was GEORGE WEY- 
MOUTH. He sailed from the Downs on the 
last day of March, 1605, and came in sight 
of the American coast on the 13th of May, in 
the latitude of 41 degrees 30 minutes. 

Being there entangled among shoals and 
breakers, he quitted this land, and, at the 
distance of fifty leagues, discovered several 
islands, to one of which he gave the name of 
St. George. Within three leagues of this isl- 
and he came into a harbour, which he called 
Pentecost Harbour, and sailed up a noble riv- 
er, to which it does not appear that he gave 
any name, nor does he mention any name by 
which it was called by the natives. 

The conjectures of historians respecting 
this river have been various. Oldmixon sup- 
poses it to have been James River in Virgin- 
ia, while Beverley, who aims to correct him, 
affirms it to have been Hudson's River in 
New- York. Neither of them could have 
made these mistakes if they had read the 
original account in Purchas with any alien 



240 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

tion. In Smith's History of Virginia an 
abridgment of the voyage is given, but in so 
slight and indefinite a manner as to afford no 
satisfaction respecting the situation of the riv- 
er, whether it were northward or southward 
from the land first discovered. 

To ascertain this matter I have carefully 
examined Weymouth's Journal, and compa- 
red it with the best maps ; but, for more per- 
fect satisfaction, I gave an abstract of the 
Voyage, with a number of queries, to Captain 
JOHN FOSTER WILLIAMS, an experienced mar- 
iner, and commander of the revenue cutter 
belonging to this port, who has very obliging- 
ly communicated to me his observations made 
in a late cruise. Both of these papers are 
here subjoined. 



" ABSTRACT of the VOYAGE of Captain GEORGE 
WEYMOUTH to the Coast of America, from 
the printed Journal, extant in Purchases 
Pilgrims, part iv., page 1659: 

" A.D. 1605, March 31. Captain George 
Wei/mouth sailed from England in the Arch- 
angel for the northern part of Virginia, as the 
whole coast of North America was then called. 



WEYMOUTH. 241 

" May 13. Arrived in soundings 160 fath- 
oms. 

" 14. In five or six leagues' distance shoal- 
ed the water from one hundred to five fath- 
oms ; saw from the masthead a whitish sandy 
cliff, W.N.W. six leagues ; many breaches 
nearer the land ; the ground foul, and depth 
varying from six to fifteen fathoms. Parted 
from the land. Latitude 41 degrees 30 min- 
utes. 

" 15. Wind between W.S.W. and S.S.W. 
In want of wood and water. Land much 
desired, and therefore sought for it where the 
wind would best suffer us." 

QUERY 1. As the wind then blew, must not 
the course be to the north and east ? 

" 16. In almost fifty leagues' run found no 
land, the charts being erroneous. 

" 17. Saw land, which bore N.N.E. ; a 
great gale of wind, and the sea high. Stood 
off till two in the morning, then stood in again. 
At eight A.M. saw land again, bearing N.E. 
It appeared a mean highland, being, as we 
afterward found it, an island of no great com- 
pass. About noon came to anchor on the 
north side in forty fathoms, about a league 
from shore. Named the island St. George." 



242 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

QUERY 2. Could this island be Segwin or 
Monhegan ? or, if neither, what island wait ? 

" While we were on shore on the island 
our men on board caught thirty large cod and 
haddock. From hence we discerned many 
islands, and the mainland extending from 
W.S.W. to E.N.E. A great way up into 
the main, as it then seemed, we discerned 
very high mountains, though the main seemed 
but low land. The mountains bore N.N.E. 
from us." 

QUERY 3. What mountains were these ? 

" May 19. Being Whitsunday, weighed an- 
chor at twelve o'clock, and came along to 
the other islands more adjoining to the main, 
and in the road directly to the mountains, about 
three leagues from the first island, found a 
safe harbour, defended from all winds, in an 
excellent depth of water for ships of any bur- 
den, in six, seven, eight, nine, ten fathoms, 
upon a clay ooze, very tough, where is good 
mooring even on the rocks by the cliff' side. 
Named it Pentecost Harbour." 

QUERY 4. Do these marks agree with Saga- 
dahock or Musqueto Harbour, or St. George's 
Island ? or, if not, with what harbour do they 
agree ? 

" May 20. Went ashore, found water issu- 



WEYMOUTH. 243 

ing from springs down the rocky cliffs, and 
dug pits to receive it. Found, at no great 
depth, clay, blue, red, and white. Good lob- 
sters, rockfish, plaise, and lumps. With two 
or three hooks caught cod and haddock enough 
for the ship's company three days. 

" 24. The captain, with fourteen men arm- 
ed, marched through two of the islands, one 
of which we guessed to be four or five miles 
in compass and one broad. Abundance of 
great muscles, some of which contained pearls. 
One had fourteen pearls in it. 

" 30. The captain, with thirteen men, de- 
parted in the shallop, leaving the ship in har- 
bour. 

" 31. The shallop returned, having discov- 
ered a great river trending far up into the 
main." 

QUERY 5. What river was this ? 

" June 1. Indians came and traded with 
us. Pointing to one part of the main, east- 
ward, they signified to us that the bashabe, 
their king, had plenty of furs and much to- 
bacco." 

N.B. Here Weymouth kidnapped five of 
the natives. 

" June 11. Passed up into the river with 
ur ship about twenty-six miles." 

II. T 



244 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

Observations by the Author of the Voyage, 
James Rosier. 

" The first and chief thing required for a 
plantation is a bold coast, and fair land to 
fall in with. The next is a safe harbour for 
ships to ride in. 

" The first is a special attribute of this 
shore, being free from sands or dangerous 
rocks, in a continual good depth, with a most 
excellent landfall as can be desired, which is 
the first island, named St. George. 

" For the second, here are more good har- 
bours for ships of all burdens than all Eng- 
land can afford. The river, as it runneth up 
into the main very nigh forty miles towards 
the Great Mountains, beareth in breadth a 
mile, sometimes three fourths, and half a mile 
is the narrowest, where you shall never have 
less than four or five fathom hard by the 
shore, but six, seven, eight, nine, ten at low 
water. On both sides, every half mile, very 
gallant coves, some able to contain almost 
one hundred sail of ships ; the ground is an 
excellent soft ooze, with tough clay for an- 
chor-hold ; and ships may lie without anchor, 
only moored to the shore with a hawse*. 

" It floweth sixteen or eighteen feet at high 
water 



WEYMOUTH. 245 

" Here are made by nature most excellent 
places, as dockes to grave and careen ships 
of all burdens, secure from all winds. 

" The river yieldeth plenty of salmon, and 
other fishes of great bigness. 

" The bordering land is most rich, trending 
all along on both sides in an equal plain, nei- 
ther mountainous nor rocky, but verged with 
a green border of grass, which may be made 
good feeding-ground, being plentiful like the 
outward islands, with fresh water, which 
streameth down in many places. 

" As we passed with a gentle wind in our 
ship up this river, any man may conceive with 
what admiration we all consented in joy ; 
many who had been travellers in sundry 
countries, and in the most famous rivers, af- 
firmed them not comparable to this. I will 
not prefer it before our River of Thames, be- 
cause it is England's richest treasure ; but 
we did all wish those excellent harbours, 
good depths, continual convenient breadth, 
and small tidegates to be as well therein, for 
our country's good, as we found them here ; 
then I would boldly affirm it to be the most 
rich, beautiful, large, secure harbouring river 
that the world affordeth." 



246 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

" June 12. Our captain manned his shallop 
with seventeen men, and ran up to the codde 
of the river, where we landed, leaving six to 
keep the shallop. Ten of us, with our shot, 
and some armed, with a boy to carry powder 
and match, marched up the country towards 
the mountains, which we descried at our first 
falling in with the land, and were continually 
in our view. To some of them the river 
brought us so near, as we judged ourselves 
when we landed, to be within a league of 
them ; but we found them not, having march- 
ed wellnigh four miles, and passed three 
great hills. Wherefore, because the weather 
was hot, and our men in their armour not 
able to travel far and return to our pinnace 
at night, we resolved not to travel farther. 

"We were no sooner come aboard our 
pinnace, returning down towards our ship, 
but we espied a canoe coming from the far- 
ther part of the codde of the river, eastward. 
In it were three Indians, one of whom we had 
before seen, and his coming was very ear- 
nestly to importune us to let one of our men 
go with them to the bashabe, and then the 
next morning he would come to our ship with 
furs and tobacco." 

N.B. They did not accept the invitation, 



WEYMOUTH. 247 

because they suspected danger from the sav- 
ages, having detained five of their people on 
board to be carried to England. 

" June 13. By two o'clock in the morning, 
taking advantage of the tide, \ve went in our 
pinnace up to that part of the river which 
trendeth west into the main, and we carried 
a cross to erect at that point (a thing never 
omitted by any Christian travellers). Into that 
river we rowed, by estimation, twenty miles. 

" What profit or pleasure is described in 
the former part of the river is wholly doubled 
in this ; for the breadth and depth is such that 
a ship drawing seventeen or eighteen feet of 
water might have passed as far as we went 
with our shallop, and much farther, because 
we left it in so good depth. From the place 
of our ship's riding in the harbour, at the en- 
trance into the sound, to the farthest point we 
were in this river, by our estimation was not 
much less than threescore miles." [That is, as 
I understand it, from Pentecost Harbour they 
went in the ship forty miles to the codde of 
the river, and thence in the shallop or pin- 
nace twenty miles up the west branch.] 

QUERY 6. What is meant by codde ? It 
appears to be an old word. 

" We were so pleased with this river, and 



248 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY 

so loth to forsake it, that we would have con- 
tinued there willingly for two days, having 
only bread and cheese to eat. But the tide 
not suffering it, we came down with the ebb. 
We conceived that the river ran very far into 
the land, for we passed six or seven miles al- 
together fresh water (whereof we all drank), 
forced up by the flowing of the salt water. 

" June 14. We warped our ship down to 
the river's mouth, and there came to anchor. 

" 15. Weighed anchor, and, with a breeze 
from the land, came to our watering-place in 
Pentecost Harbour and filled our cask. 

" Our captain, upon a rock in the midst of 
this harbour, made his observation by the sun 
of the height, latitude, and variation, exactly, 
upon all his instruments, viz., astrolabe, semi- 
sphere, ring, and cross-staff, and an excellent 
variation compass. The latitude he found 43 
degrees 20 minutes north, the variation 11 
degrees 15 minutes west." 

N.B. In this latitude no part of the Amer- 
ican coast lies except Cape Porpoise, where 
is only a boat harbour. The rivers nearest 
to it are on the south. Kennebunk, a tide-river 
of no great extent, terminating in a brook ; 
and on the north Saco, the navigation of which 
is obstructed by a bar at its mouth, and by a 



WEYMOUTH. 249 

fall at the distance of six or seven miles from 
the sea. Neither of these could be the river 
described in Weymouth's Journal. His ob- 
servation of the latitude, or the printed ac- 
count of it, must have been erroneous. 

Captain Williams will be so obliging as 
to put down his remarks on the above ab- 
stract in writing, for the use of his humble 
servant, JEREMY BELKNAP. 

Boston, August 4, 1797. 



Captain WILLIAMS' s Answer. 

" The first land Captain Weymouth saw, 
a whitish sandy cliff, W.N.W. six leagues, 
must have been Sankoty Head [Nantucket]. 
With the wind at W.S.W. and S.S.W. he 
could have fetched into this bay [Boston], 
and must have seen Cape Cod had the 
weather been clear. But 

" The land he saw on the 17th I think 
must be the island Monhegan, as no other 
island answers the description. In my last 
cruise to the eastward I sounded, and had 
thirty fathoms about one league to the north- 
ward of the island. The many islands he saw, 
and the mainland, extending from W.S.W. 



250 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

to E.N.E., agree with that shore ; the mount- 
ains he saw bearing N.N.E. were Penobscot 
Hills or Mountains ; for, from the place where 
I suppose the ship lay at anchor, the above 
mountains bear N.N.E. 

" The harbour where 1 he lay with his ship, 
and named Pentecost Harbour, is, I suppose, 
what is now called George's Island Harbour, 
which bears north from Monhegan about two 
leagues ; which harbour and islands agree 
with his descriptions, I think, tolerably well, 
and the name, George's Islands, serves to 
confirm it. 

" When the captain went in his boat and 
discovered a great river trending far up into 
the main, I suppose he went as far as Two- 
Bush Island, about three or four leagues from 
the ship ;' from thence he could discover Pe- 
nobscot Bay. 

Miles. 

Distance from the ship to Two-Bush Island is about . . 10 

From Two-Bush Island to Owl's Head 9 

From Owl's Head to the north end of Long Island ... 27 
From the north end of Long Island to Old Fort Pownal . 6 
From the Old Fort to the head of the tide or falls in Pe- 
nobscot River 30 

82 

" I suppose he went with his ship round 
Two- Bush Island, and then sailed up to the 



W E Y M O U T H. 251 

westward of Long Island, supposing himself 
to be then in the river, the mountains on the 
main to the westward extending near as high 
up as Belfast Bay. I think it probable that 
he anchored with his ship off the point which 
is now called the Old Fort Point. 

" The codde of the river, where he went 
with his shallop, and marched up in the coun- 
try towards the mountains, I think must be 
Belfast Bay. 

" The canoe that came from the farther part 
of the codde of the river eastward, with In- 
dians, I think it probable came from Baga- 
duce. 

" The word codde is not common, but I 
have often heard it ; as, ' up in the codde of 
the bay,' meaning the bottom of the bay. I 
suppose what he calls ' the codde of the river' 
is a bay in the river. 

" The latitude of St. George's Island Har- 
bour, according to Holland's map, is forty- 
three degrees forty-eight minutes, which is 
nine leagues more north than the observation 
made by Captain Weymouth. 



" Boston, October 1, 1797. 

" SIR, I made the foregoing remarks while 
on my last cruise to the eastward. If any 
1I.-U 



252 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

farther information is necessary that is in my 
power to give you, you may command me. 
" I am, with respect, sir, 

" Your obedient humble servant, 

" JOHN FOSTER WILLIAMS. 

" Rev. Dr. Belknap." 

Weymouth's voyage is memorable only for 
the discovery of Penobscot River, and for the 
decoying of five of the natives on board his 
ship, whom he carried to England. Three 
of them were taken into the family of Sir Fer- 
dinando G orges, then governor of Plymouth, 
in Devonshire. The information which he 
gained from them, corroborated by Martin 
Pring, of Bristol, who made a second voyage 
in 1606 (and prosecuted the discovery of the 
rivers in the District of Maine), prepared the 
way for the attempt of Sir John Popham and 
others to establish a colony at Sagadahock in 
1607, an account of which attempt, and its 
failure, is already given in the Life of Sir 
Ferdinando Gorges.* 

In the early accounts of this country we 
find the names of Mavoshen and Norumbega. 
Mavoshen was a name for the whole District 
of Maine, containing nine or ten rivers, the 

* Vol. ii., p. 53. 



WEYMOUTH. 253 

westernmost of which was Shawakotock (writ- 
ten by the French Chouakoet, and by the 
English Saco). The easternmost was Q,uibe- 
quesson,* which I take to be eastward of Pe- 
nobscot, but cannot say by what name it is 
now called. Norumbega was a part of the 
same district, comprehending Penobscot Bay 
and River, but its eastern and western limits 
are not described. t 

It is also to be noted that the River Penob- 
scot was sometimes called Pemaquid, though 
this latter name is now restricted to a point 
or neck of land which lies about six leagues 
to the westward. Penobscot is called by the 
French Pentagoet. 

This confusion of names occasions no small 
perplexity to inquirers into the geography and 
early history of this country. 

* Purchas, v., 1873. t Ib., V., 1625, 163S. 



254 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 



XVII. JOHN ROBINSON. 

THE first effectual settlements of the Eng- 
lish in New-England were made by those 
who, after the Reformation, dissented from 
the establishment of the Episcopal Church, 
who suffered on account of their dissent, and 
sought an asylum from their sufferings. Uni- 
formity was insisted on with such rigour as 
disgusted many conscientious ministers and 
people of the Church of England, and caused 
that separation which has ever since subsist- 
ed. Those who could not conform to the 
establishment, but wished for a more com- 
plete reformation, were at first distinguished 
by the name of Puritans ; and among these 
the most rigid were the Brownists, so called 
from Robert Brown,* " a fiery young clergy - 

* [Brown was descended from an ancient and honourable 
family in Rutlandshire, and born, I think, at Tolethorp, in that 
shire, and was nearly related to William Cecil, the lord-treasu- 
rer. He was educated at Cambridge, where, says Fuller (Church 
History of Britain, book ix., vi., 2), "the vehemency of his 
utterance passed for zeal among the common people, and made 
the vulgar to admire, the wise to suspect him." He afterward 
passed some time in Zealand, whence he returned "with a full 
cry against the Church of England, as, having so much of Rome, 



E O B I N S O N. 255 

man," who in 1580 headed a zealous party, 
and was vehement for a total separation. But 

she had nothing of Christ in her discipline. In 1580 he "perch- 
ed in the city of Norwich," in Norfolk. Here he soon became 
obnoxious to the ecclesiastical authority, and was committed to 
the custody of the sheriff of Norfolk, but was released at the in- 
stance of his kinsman Cecil. Vaughan, who says he settled 
there in 1581, is probably in error, as Cecil's letter to the Bishop 
of Norwich is dated April 21st, 1581. Being thus harassed at 
home, he fled to Middleburgh, in Zealand, where he collected a 
church, and published a treatise on Reformation. The design 
of this publication was to persuade the people to act on their 
own views of church-polity, without tarrying " till the magis- 
trate command and compel them." In 1585 Brown appeared 
again in England, where he was not long without calling for the 
renewed vigilance of the bishop's pursuivants. Cecil once more 
interceded with Whitgift, then Archbishop of Canterbury, and 
procured the release of his disorderly relative, who for some 
three or four years after remained silent, though still resolute in 
his nonconformity. Resuming his itinerant labours at the close 
of that period, and still vehement in his invectives " against 
bishops, ceremonies, ordination of ministers, and what not," he 
was publicly excommunicated by the Bishop of Peterborough. 
He is said to have been so much affected by this sentence as 
earnestly to have implored absolution, which he obtained on 
easy terms, probably through the influence of Lord Burleigh. He 
was even preferred to a valuable living in Northamptonshire, 
which he retained till his death ; and, " though against them in 
judgment, was perchance pleased to take the tithes of his own 
parish." The last forty years of his life were passed in obscu- 
rity and contempt. He used to boast that he had been commit- 
ted to thirty-two prisons. Fuller, who in his youth had often 
seen him, says " he was of an imperious nature ; offended if 
what he affirmed but in common discourse were not received 
as an oracle." He adds that he was rather free both in judg 



256 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

his zeal, however violent, was void of consist- 
ency, for in his advanced years he conformed 

ment and practice, having a wife " with whom for many years 
he never lived, and a church wherein he never preached." When 
above eighty years old, he in a passion struck a constable, who 
required the payment of a tax of him, and, being stubborn be- 
fore the magistrate, " as if ambitious to renew his ancient ac- 
quaintance with the prison," was carried on a feather-bed in a 
cart to the jail in Northampton, where he died in 1630. See 
Vaughan's Memorials of the Stuart Dynasty, vol. i., p. 304-306, 
and Fuller's Church History, lib. ix., 6, 2-8. 

Neither by learning, nor weight of character, nor by any his- 
torical evidence, can he be considered the founder of that sect of 
ultra Puritans which has borne his name. The sect had exist- 
ed in much privacy long before him, and were called Brownists 
not so much from their own choice as from the purpose of their 
enemies to bring reproach upon them, by identifying, in the pop- 
ular opinion, the whole body with the excesses and weakness of 
that restless and unstable man. 

The following sketch of their principles is abridged from 
Vaughan, i., 297, 298, who is not too unfavourably inclined to- 
wards them : " T^hey considered every properly-constituted church 
as a strictly voluntary association, of such only as made a credi- 
ble profession of the Gospel ; and as the object of their union 
was purely religious, they claimed an entire independence of the 
magistrate, to whom they looked for protection from injury on 
account of their religious opinions, and for nothing more. They 
also claimed to be entirely independent of the jurisdiction of the 
prelates. They chose from among themselves the pastors who 
should administer the ordinances of the New Testament, and 
deacons or elders who should manage their few temporal mat 
ters. They discarded forms of prayer, but retained the practice 
of church censures; and, appealing to the Bible as the only rule 
of their faith and obedience, they spoke of their peculiarities as 
those of the first Christians, and sanctioned by the Word of God 



ROBINSON. 267 

to the Church, while others, who more delib- 
erately withdrew, retained their separation, 
though they became more candid and moder- 
ate in their principles.* Of these people a 
congregation was formed about the year 
1602, near the confines of the counties of 
York, Nottingham, and Lincoln, who chose 
for their ministers Richard Clifton and John 
Robinson. t 

Mr. Robinson was born in the year 1575, 
but the place of his birth is unknown. He 
was probably educated in the University of 
Cambridge ;$ and he is said to have been "a 
man of a learned, polished, and modest spirit; 
pious and studious of the truth ; largely ac- 
complished with gifts and qualifications suita- 
ble to be a shepherd over this flock of Christ." 
Before his election to this office he had a 
benefice near Yarmouth, in Norfolk, where 
his friends were frequently molested by the 
bishop's officers, and some were almost ru- 

They were, in short, with some slight exceptions, what the 
churches of Protestant Dissenters in England have long been ; 
and the arguments employed by them in vindication of their 
tenets and conduct will be found to be, in substance, the same 
with those which the body of professors who have separated 
from the Established Church still use." H.] 

* Neal's New-England, i., 58, 64. 

t Princo, i., 4, 20. t Morton, 2. 



258 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

ined by prosecutions in the ecclesiastical 
courts.* 

The reigning prince at that time was James 
I., than whom a more contemptible character 
never sat on the British throne. Educated 
in the principles of Presbyterianism in Scot- 
land, he forgot them all on his advancement 
to the throne of the three kingdoms.! Flat- 
tered by the bishops, he gave all ecclesiasti- 
cal power into their hands, and intrusted 
sycophants with the management of the state, 
while he indolently resigned himself to liter- 
ary and sensual indulgences ; in the former 
of which he was a pedant, in the latter an 
epicure.! The prosecution of the Puritans 

* Neal's Puritans, 8vo, ii., 49. t Ib., N. E., i., 70. 

t [The character of James has suffered somewhat in Puritan 
hands. He had been educated a Presbyterian, and he might 
well hate that church, for its ministers were somewhat solicit- 
ous to control him, and not always in the most respectful man- 
ner. "The ministers of Edinburgh," we are told, "used to 
pray that God would turn his heart : Archbishop Whitgift, at 
the conference at Hampton Court, falling on his knees, exclaim- 
ed that he doubted not his majesty spoke by the special grace 
of God." The anecdote may not be literally true, but he would 
seem to have had good reason to prefer the bishops. While 
James was on his way from Scotland to London, he was waited 
on by a committee of the Puritan clergy with a petition signed 
by 825 (Fuller says 750) of their number, and called the Mille- 
nary, as if it had been signed by a thousand, asking to be relieved 
from the use of the cross in baptism, the surplice, the ring in 



ROBINSON. 259 

was conducted with unrelenting severity in 
the former part of his reign, when Bancroft* 

marriage, and the like unimportant ceremonies, and that non-res- 
idences might be abolished, the sanctity of the Sabbath preserv- 
ed, &c. Neal, ii., 5, 6. James appointed Jan. 14th, 1604, for 
a conference, in his presence, between the bishops and four of 
their principal divines. He doubtless wished to show his own 
skill in theological discussion, and was pleased with an opportu- 
nity of saying " no bishop, no king ;" though, in Fuller's ac- 
count of this debate (Church History, x., 20-29), he does not 
appear so much at disadvantage as most writers have represent- 
ed him ; and the Puritans, if they had the best cause, had not, 
in all respects, the best of the argument. He made them a few 
slight concessions, and March 4th issued his proclamation re- 
quiring instant and complete conformity. Hallam, i., 404, calls 
him, in reference to these matters, " rather a bold liar than a good 
dissembler." 

The literary attainments of King James have been almost al- 
ways sneered at, and, I cannot doubt, much underrated by later 
times, however overpraised by the flatterers of his own. The 
vanity of being " the most learned clerk in his kingdom" could 
not make his attainments less, though it served to render him 
ridiculous. His learning was rare, even if out of place, in a 
king ; and yet a love of studious retirement, and the accom- 
plishment of extensive literary labours, are hardly less praise- 
worthy in James than in Alfred. His works show in excess 
the false taste which prevailed in the literature of his day, and 
contain not a few passages of wit and good sense. He was 
certainly a sincere lover of learning, and a generous patron of 
learned men. H.] 

* [Richard Bancroft was translated from London to the See 
of Canterbury December 4th, 1604. Percival, Apology for the 
Apostolic Succession, p. 105. Vaughan, i., 275. A curious 
account of the policy of the king in this selection for so impor- 
tant an office is related in Sir John Harrington's Nugse Anliqu, 



260 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

was Alchbishop of Canterbury. Abbot,* who 

ii., 26. " His majesty in his learning knowing, and in his wis- 
dom weighing, that this same strict charge, ' feed my sheep,' 
requires a pastoral courage of driving in the stray sheep and 
driving out the infectious, as of feeding the sound, made espe- 
cial choice of the Bishop of London.". The character and con 
duct of Bancroft fully approved the discernment of his master. 
He had written against the Puritans with violence and abuse ; 
he had avowed the doctrine of passive obedience and the Divine 
right of kings ; he had been " learned and stout," as well as 
fawning and obsequious, in the conference at Hampton Court ; 
he was prepared, in the roughness of a temper already imbitter- 
ed by contest and opposition, to carry on the work of intoler- 
ance and persecution. The laws of the former reign, in no way 
mitigated under James, were carried into execution with unspa- 
ring rigour, till the strictness with which conformity was insisted 
on offended even many zealous adherents of the Church. With 
all his severity, he was a man of strong mind and much learning. 
He was born September, 1544, educated at Cambridge, and died 
of the stone November 2d, 1610. Kippis' Biographia Britan- 
nica, and Aikin. Fuller's Church History of England. H.] 

* [George Abbot was born at Guilford, in Surrey, Eng., Oc- 
tober 29, 1562. He was a student of Baliol College, Oxford, 
in 1578, and, after leaving the University, soon attained honour- 
able preferments. Wood's Ath. Oxon. He was consecrated 
Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry December 3, 1609, translated 
to London January 20th, 1610, and to Canterbury April 9th, 
1611, and June 23d sworn of the privy council. He was learn- 
ed and eloquent, and an indefatigable preacher. Fuller says 
" he was a grave man in his life, and unblameable in conversa- 
tion." His theological opinions were strongly tinctured with 
Calvinism. Hence, in part, his sympathies with the Puritans, 
and his exceedingly remiss execution of the laws touching con- 
formity. Perhaps, also, he wished the aid of that party, now 
growing strong in Parliament, against the papists, to whom he 



ROBINSON. 261 

guccee Jed him, was favourable to them ; but 
when Laud* came into power, they were 
treated with every mark of insult and cruelty. 

was specially averse. Clarendon says " he inquired but little 
after the strict observance of the discipline of the Church ; but if 
men forbore a public reviling at the ecclesiastical government, 
they were secure from any inquisition from him, and were equally 
preferred." This- is rather an overstatement, though the Non- 
conformists enjoyed much more quiet and security under him 
than uiAer either Bancroft or Laud. When King James in 
1618 i*sued his "Book of Sports," and ordered that it should 
be real from every pulpit in the kingdom, the archbishop had 
the boldness to refuse obedience. Vaughan, i., 334. He was 
suspended from his office for a time by Charles I. for refusing 
to license Sibthorpe's sermon, which justified unlawful exactions 
of mowy. He died in 1633. Kippis' Biog. Brit., 153, 154. 
-H.] 

* [William Laud has commonly been regarded as merely a 
narrow-minded and malignant persecutor. Those who suffered 
from him and those who executed him have given his character to 
the world. A truer account of the principle which seems to have 
influenced him in the harsh measures he thought it his duty to 
urge is given by Hallam, in his Constitutional History of Eng- 
land, ii., 53, 54, though Hallam has evidently no love for him. 
" His talents, though enabling him to acquire a large portion of 
theological learning, seem not to have been above mediocrity. 
.... No one can deny that he was a generous patron of letters, 
and as warm in friendship as in enmity. But he had placed be- 
fore his eyes the aggrandizement, first of the Church, and next 
of the royal prerogative, as his end and aim in every action. 
Though not literally destitute of religion, it was so subordinate 
to worldly interest, that he became an intolerant persecutor of 
the Puritan clergy, not from bigotry, which, in its usual sense, 
he never displayed, but systematic policy." Very similar to 
this judgment was that of King Jarnes. When in 1621 Lord- 



262 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

Robinson's congregation did not escape 
persecution by separating from the establish- 

keeper Williams recommended Laud to him for the vacant see of 
St. David's, the king for a long time refused, and remarked, with 
a clear insight into his character, " I keep back Laud from all 
place and authority, because I find he hath a restless spirit, and 
cannot see when matters are well, but loves to toss and change, 
and to bring things to a pitch of reformation floating in his own 
brain, which may endanger the steadfastness of that which is in 
good pass." Racket's Life of Williams, 63. May, also, in his 
History of the Parliament of November, 1640, a work of singu- 
lar impartiality for a contemporary history of those times, says, 
p. 19, "He had few vulgar and private vices, as being neither 
taxed of covetousness, intemperance, or incontinence, and a 
man not altogether so bad in his personal character as unfit for 
the state of England." In his theological opinions Laud was a 
strenuous favourer of Arminianism, the popular theology of the 
court under Charles I. and during the latter years of James, and 
was rather repelled by the strict Calvinism of the Puritans : he 
was fond of ceremonial in religious worship, and could not tol- 
erate with the severe simplicity of their service : he had extrav- 
agant notions of the authority of the Church, and they had al- 
ready begun to doubt and deny it : he was suspected of being 
inclined to popery, and they distrusted and hated him. That 
his execution of his plan of church-policy was often harsh, and 
sometimes tyrannical, cannot be denied ; though of the harshest 
case, that of Prynne, much can be said to justify it. Fuller 
admits that, being of a quick temper, he used " to infuse more 
vinegar than oil into all his censures." 

Laud was born at Reading, in Berkshire, in 1573, and edu- 
cated at St. John's College, Cambridge. He was consecrated 
Bishop of St. David's November 18th, 1621, translated to Bath 
and Wells 1627, to London 1628, and to Canterbury in 1633. 
Percival. He was " of low stature, but high parts, admira- 
ble in his naturals, unblamable in his morals, and very strict 



ROBINSON. 263 

ment and forming an independent church. 
Still exposed to the penalties of the ecclesi- 
astical law,* they were extremely harassed ; 

in his conversation." Worthies of England, i., 129. He was 
tried by the Long Parliament on a charge of high treason, and, 
though the charge was sustained by the slighcst possible evi- 
dence, he was condemned, and executed Nov. 10th, 1645. H.] 
* [It were worth our while to notice the provisions of some 
( of the principal acts of Parliament touching the Puritans, and 
the manner in which they were executed. The earliest under 
Elizabeth was the so-called Act of Uniformity, 1 Eliz., c. 2, 
which " prohibited, under pain of forfeiting goods and chattels 
for the first offence, of a year's imprisonment for the second, 
and of imprisonment during life for the third, the use by a min- 
ister, whether beneficed or not, of any but the established litur- 
gy ; and imposed a fine of one shilling on all who should absent 
themselves from church on Sundays and holydays." Hallam, 
Constitutional History, i., 153. This act was aimed chiefly at 
the papists, but operated with equal effect on the growing class 
of Nonconformists. " The repugnance felt by a large part of the 
Protestant clergy to the ceremonies with which Elizabeth would 
not consent to dispense, showed itself in irregular transgressions 
of the uniformity prescribed by statute. Some continued to 
wear the habits, others laid them aside : the communicants re- 
ceived the sacrament sitting, or standing, or kneeling, according 
to the minister's taste ; some baptized in the font, others in a 
basin ; some with the sign of the cross, others without it." Ib., , 
i., 241, 242, Am. ed. This state of irregularity continued, the 
laws being not strictly enforced, till 1565, when Archbishop 
Parker obtained of the queen a proclamation requiring strict 
obedience to the directions of the Prayer-book in all matters of 
custom and discipline. Thirty-seven of ninety-eight ministers 
in London refused, and were suspended from their office and 
deprived of their livings. Some of the more zealous now set 
op private meetings, and in 1567 a company were seized in 



AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

some were thrown into prison, some were 
confined to their own houses ; others were 

their religious exercises, and several of them imprisoned. The 
Puritans were driven to take new ground ; and in 1570 arose 
Thomas Cartwright, St. Margaret's Professor of Divinity at Cam- 
bridge, who, leaving the questions of the cross and the surplice, 
taught that no form of church-governmant was lawful except 
the Presbyterian, and that a separation from the Established 
Church was the duty of Christian men. See alsoVaughan,i.,f>8. 
The laws were now enforced with new severity. Preachers 
who refused to conform were imprisoned, and laymen who lis- 
tened to their sermons. Prophesyings were forbidden and put 
down. Catechizing, even in private houses, where any others 
than the family were present, were declared unlawful. Sub- 
scriptions were strictly insisted on, and in six counties two hun- 
dred and thirty-three ministers were suspended for refusing to 
comply. The High Commission Court was established, im- 
powered to punish all persons absent from church, to reform all 
heresies, by fine, imprisonment, and excommunication, and to 
examine suspected persons on their oath. In 1593, 35 Eliz., 
c. 1, an act was passed by Parliament "enacting the penalty 
of imprisonment against any person above the age of sixteen 
who should forbear, for the space of a month, to repair to some 
church, until he should make such open submission and declara- 
tion of conformity as the act. appoints. Those who refused to 
submit to these conditions were to abjure the realm, and, if they 
should return without the queen's license, to suffer death as 
felons." Hallam, i., 288. Parl. Hist., i., 863. Multitudes of 
the Brownists fled to Holland to escape the rigours of this stat- 
ute. In the latter part of the reign of Elizabeth the Puritans 
had become a great party, in the State as well as in the Church, 
and were obnoxious to the government for the liberal principles 
they avowed no less than for the steady refusal to observe oflen- 
eive ceremonies. 

Under James, who ascended the throne in 1603, new and 



ROBINSON. 265 

obliged to leave their farms and suspend their 
usual occupations. Such was their distress 
and perplexity, that an emigration to some 
foreign country seemed the only means of 
safety. Their first views were directed to 
Holland, where the spirit of commerce had 
dictated a free toleration of religious opin- 
ions ; a blessing which neither the wisdom 
of politicians nor the charity of clergymen 
had admitted into any other of the European 
states. But the ports of their own country 
were shut against them ; they could get away 
only by seeking concealment and giving ex- 
travagant rates for their passages, and fees to 
the mariners.* 

In the autumn of 1607, a company of 
these Dissenters hired a ship at Boston, in 

more odious laws were passed against them, one of which may 
serve as a specimen, declaring that any one who affirmed any 
of the thirty-nine articles to be erroneous was by that very af- 
drmation excommunicated, and, by consequence, incapable of 
being a witness in courts of justice, of recovering debts by le- 
gal process, &c. Hallam, i., 412, note. He also published a 
declaration, May 24, 1618, which, however, was not enforced till 
the time of Charles I., and required it to be read in the church- 
es, " permitting all lawful recreations on Sunday after Divine 
service, such as dancing, archery, May-games and morrice- 
dances, and other usual sports. No crje who had not attended 
the Church-service was entitled to this privilege." Hallam, i^, 
545. H.] * Hazard's Collections, i., 151. 



266 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

Lincolnshire, to carry them to Holland. The 
master promised to be ready at a certain 
hour of the day to take them on board, with 
their families and effects. They assembled 
at the place, but he disappointed them. Af- 
terward he came in the night, and, when they 
were embarked, betrayed them into the hands 
of searchers and other officers,* who, having 
robbed them of money, books, and other ar- 
ticles, and treated the women with indecency, 
carried them back into the town, and exposed 
them as a laughing spectacle to the multitude. 
They were arraigned before the magistrates, 
who used them with civility, but could not 
release them without an order of the king and 
council. Till this arrived, they suffered a 
month's imprisonment ; seven were bound 
over to the assize, and the others were re- 
leased. 

The next spring (1608) they made another 
attempt, t and hired a Dutch vessel, then ly- 
ing in the harbour, to take them on board. 
The place agreed on was an unfrequented 
common between Hull and Grimsby, re- 
mote from any houses. The women and 
children, with the baggage, were sent down 
the river in a small bark, and the men agreed 
to meet them by land ; but they came to the 

* Prince, 23. Hutch., i., 449 t Mather's Mag , ii.. 3. 



ROBINSON. 267 

place a day before the ship arrived. The 
water being rough and the women sick, they 
prevailed on the pilot of the bark to put into 
a small creek, where they lay aground, when 
the Dutchman came and took one boatload 
of the men on board. Before he could send 
for the others a company of armed men ap- 
peared on horseback, which so frightened 
him that he weighed anchor, and, the wind 
being fair, put to sea. Some of the men 
who were left behind escaped ; others, who 
went to the assistance of the women, were 
with them apprehended and carried from one 
justice of the peace to another ; but the justi- 
ces, not knowing what to do with so many 
helpless and distressed persons, dismissed 
them. Having sold their houses, cattle, and 
furniture, they had no homes to which they 
could retire, and were therefore cast on the 
charity of their friends. Those who were 
hurried to sea without their families, and des- 
titute of even a change of clothes, endured a 
terrible storm, in which neither sun, moon, 
nor stars appeared for several days. This 
storm drove them far to the northward, and 
they very narrowly escaped foundering. Af- 
ter fourteen days they arrived at Amsterdam, 
where the people were surprised at their de- 
liverance ; the temoest having been vry se- 
ll. X 



268 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

vere, and much damage having been sustain- 
ed, both at sea and in the harbours of the 
Continent. 

This forlorn company of emigrants were 
soon after joined by their wives and families. 
The remainder of the church went over in the 
following summer ;* Mr. Robinson, with a 
few others, remained to help the weakest till 
they were all embarked. t 

At Amsterdam they found a congregation 
of their countrymen who had the same reli- 
gious views, and had emigrated before them.J 
Their minister was John Smith, a man of 
good abilities and a popular preacher, but 
unsteady in his opinions. These people 
fell into controversy, and were soon scatter- 

* Prince, 24. 

t As nothing more is said of " the aged Mr. Clifton," it is 
probable that he died before this embarcation.* 

t Prince, 19, 24, 26. 

Mr. Neal says that he refined on the principles of the 
Brownists, and at last declared for the Baptists ; that he left 

* [The Plymouth Church Records, copied in Hazard, i., 350, 
speak of Mr. Clifton as " a Grave and reverend Preacher, whoe, 
by his paines and Diligence, hzfd done much good, and under God, 
had bin a meaner of the Conversion of many." Prince (in the 
edition of 1826) says Mr. Clifton fled with his flock to Holland, 
and that, when they removed to Leyden, he remained at Amster- 
dam, and died there. P. 117, 120. The Church Records are 
quoted for both statements. H.] 



ROBINSON. 269 

ed.* Fearing that the infection might spread, 

Amsterdam, and settled with a party at Leyden,* where, being at 
& loss for a proper administrator of baptism, he first plunged him- 
self, and then performed the ceremony on others, which gained 
him the name of a Sc- Baptist. After this he embraced the 
principles of Arminius, and published a book, which Robinson 
answered in 1611 ; but Smith soon after died, and his congre- 
gation was dissolved. NeaPs Puritans, 8vo, ii., 49. 

* [As early as 1593, the number of the so-called Brownists in 
England was stated by Sir Walter Raleigh, in a debate in Parlia- 
ment touching the expediency of getting rid of them all by trans- 
portation to the colonies, to have been not less than 20,000 men, 
besides their families. Neal's N. E., i., 64. D'Ewes's Journal, 
p. 517. They were too numerous to be transported ; the only al- 
ternative was to crush them by severe penalties. To avoid oppres- 
sion at home, many went abroad to tho United Provinces and 
elsewhere in 1592 and onward. In this or the next year, a church 
was formed of these exiles at Amsterdam. Their first pastor, 
who also gathered the church, was Francis Johnson, who had 
been a Puritan minister in England, and their first teacher Henry 
Ainsworth, who has been well esteemed in later days for his an- 
notations on portions of the Old Testament, and who published, 
among other pieces, "An Arrow against Idolatry" and "Tho 
Communion of Saints," which have been reckoned among the 
ablest controversial tracts of an age which abounded in contro- 
versy. They put forth an eloquent " Apology and Defence," and 
a confession of their faith about 1598. Vaughan, i., 60, note. 
(Neal says in 1602. Hist. Puritans, ii.,70, 8vo.) The church 
was divided in 1599 on account of some difference of opinion, 
respecting discipline, between the pastor and teacher, and a per- 
haps indiscreet marriage of the former. Johnson soon after re- 
moved to Embden, and his church, made up of the minority of 
the original one, soon became extinct. Ainsworth remained at 

* [John Cotton says that Smith lived and died in Amsterdam, 
and never went to Leyden. Way of Cong. Church. Cleared, p. 7. 



270 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

Robinson proposed to his church a farther 
removal, to which, though much to their dis- 
advantage in a temporal view, they consent- 
ed, and, after one year spent at Amsterdam, 
they removed to Leyden, where they contin- 
ued eleven years. During this time their 
number so increased, by frequent emigrations 
from England, that they had in the church 
three hundred communicants.* 

At Leyden they enjoyed much harmony 
among themselves,! and a friendly inter- 
course with the Dutch, who, observing their 
diligence and fidelity in their business, enter- 
tained so great a respect for them, that the 
magistrates of the city (1619), in the seat of 

Amsterdam, where he was for a time associated with Smith, and 
where he died in 1622. He was succeeded by Canne, somewhat 
famous for his biblical labours. Vaughan, i., 309-320. H.] 

* Cotton's preface to Robbins's ordination sermon. 

t Governor HUTCHINSON (I presume through inattention) 
has misrepresented this matter (vol. ii., 451) by saying, " that 
in the twelve years of their residence in Holland they had con- 
tention among themselves, divided, and became two churches." 
The two churches of Smith and Robinson subsisted distinctly 
and unconnectedly before they quitted England. It was to avoid 
contention that the latter removed from Amsterdam, where the 
former fell to pieces. Not the least evidence of contention in 
the Church of Leyden appears in any of our first historians, but 
there is the fullest testimony of the contrary in all of them. 
No division took place till the emigration of part of them to 
America, when the utmost harmony and love were manifested 
on the occasion. 



ROBINSON. 271 

justice, having occasion to censure some of 
the French Protestants, who had a church 
there, made this public declaration : " These 
English have lived among us ten years, and 
yet we never had any suit or accusation 
against any of them ; but your quarrels are 
continual."* 

The year (1609) in which Mr. Robinson 
went to Leyden was remarkable for the death 
of Jacobus Arrninius,t one of the Divinity 
professors in the University of that city. Be- 
tween his successor, Episcopius,t and the oth- 

* Morton, 5. 

t [James Harmensen, better known by his Latinized name 
which is given in the text. He was born at Qude-water, iu 
South Holland, in 1560, studied at Utrecht, at Geneva, under 
the celebrated Theodore Beza, and at Padua, and was chosen 
pastor of one of the churches in Amsterdam in 1588. About 
1591 he was induced to attempt an answer to a work written 
against the Calvinistic doctrine of predestination, which he then 
believed. In this attempt his own views were changed, and he 
became a strenuous opponent of that doctrine, and asserter of 
the freedom of human will. In 1603 he was chosen professor 
of divinity in the University of Leyden, where his lectures and 
writings gained many converts to his opinions. He died Oct. 
19, 1609. He was a man of an amiable temper and pure life. 
Bono, canacientia Paraditus, " a good conscience is paradise," 
was his motto. See Bayle, Dictionnaire Historique ct Critique, 
art. Arminius ; also Biographie Universelle, and Aikin. H.] 

t [Simon Episcopius (Bisschop) was born at Amsterdam in 
.583, and in 1600 entered the University of Leyden, where he 
became attached to the person and doctrine of Arminius. He 



272 AMERICAN B OGRAPHY. 

er theological professor, Polyander, there was 
much opposition,* the former teaching the 
doctrine of Arminius, and the other that of 
Calvin. The controversy was so bitter, that 
the disciples of the one would scarcely hear 
the lectures of the other. Robinson, though 
he preached constantly three times in the 
week, and was much engaged in writing, at- 
tended the discourses of each, and became 
master of the arguments on both sides of the 
controverted questions. Being fully persua- 
ded of the truth of the Calvinian system, and 
openly preaching it, his zeal and abilities 
rendered him formidable to the Arminians, 
which induced Episcopius (1613) to publish 
several theses, and engage to defend them 
against all opposers. 

Men of equal abilities and learning, but of 
different sentiments, are not easily induced to 
submission, especially in a country where 
opinion is not fettered and restrained by the 

was elected professor of divinity at Leyden in 1612. When in 
1618, 1619, the sentiments of Arminius were condemned by the 
Synod of Dort, he retired to France, where he resided chiefly 
till the death of Prince Maurice. In 1626 he returned, and be- 
came the pastor of a church at Rotterdam. In 1634 he was 
elected professor of theology in a new Arminian college at Am- 
sterdam, where he died, April 4th, 1643. He wrote many 
works, chiefly commentaries and controversial treatises. Bayle. 
H.] * Prince, 29, 36. 



R O R I N S O N. 273 

ruling power. Polyander, aided by the minis- 
ters of the city, requested Robinson to accept 
the challenge. Though his vanity was flat- 
tered by the request, yet, being a stranger, he 
modestly declined the combat. But their 
pressing importunity prevailed over his reluc- 
tance ; and, judging it te be his duty, he, on 
a set day, held a public disputation with the 
Arminian professor, in presence of a very nu- 
merous assembly. 

It is usual, on such occasions, for the par- 
tisans on both sides to claim the victory for 
their respective champions. Whether it were 
so at this time cannot be determined, as we 
have no account of the controversy from the 
Arminian party. Governor Bradford, who 
was a member of Robinson's church, and 
probably present at the disputation, gives this 
account of it :* " He so defended the truth 
and foiled the opposer as to put him to an 
apparent nonplus in this great and public 
audience. The same he did a second and a 
third time, upon the like occasions, which, as 
it caused many to give praise to God that 
the truth had so famous a victory, so it pro- 
duced for Mr. Robinson much respect and 
honour from these learned men and others." 

* Prince, 38. 



274 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

When Robinson first went to Holland, he 
was one of the most rigid separatists from 
the Church of England. He had written in 
defence of the separation, in answer to Dr. 
William Ames,* whose name, in the petu- 
lance of his wit, he had changed to Amiss, t 
After his removal to Holland he met with 
Dr. Ames and Mr. Robert Parker^ an emi- 
nent divine of Wiltshire, who had been obli- 

* Dr. Ames was educated at Cambridge, under the famous 
Perkins, and became Fellow of Christ's College. In 1609 he 
gave offence to the gentlemen of the University by preaching 
against cards and dice, and, to avoid prosecution for noncon- 
formity, fled to Holland. He first settled at the Hague, whence 
he was invited by the States of Friesland to the chair of theo- 
logical professor at Franeker, which he filled with reputation 
for twelve years. He was an able controversial writer ; his 
style was concise, and his arguments acute. He wrote several 
treatises against the Arminians, besides his famous Medulla 
Theologies. He afterward removed to Rotterdam ; but the air 
of Holland not agreeing with his constitution, he determined 
to come to New-England. This was prevented by his death 
in 1633. His widow and family afterward came over, and his 
posterity have been respectable ever since. His valuable libra- 
ry became the property of Harvard College, where it was con- 
sumed by fire in 1764. Prince, 29.. Neal's Puritans, ii., 47, 
265, &c. t Hubbard's MS. Hist., p. 36. 

t [Mr. Parker went to Holland, I suppose, about 1603 or 
1604, having published a treatise on the cross in baptism, which 
rendered his residence in England insecure. He stayed awhile 
at Amsterdam, and removed to Doesburg, and served as chap- 
lain to an English regiment stationed there, and died there in 
1630. Neal's History of the Puritans, ii., 69, 96, 8vo. H.] 



ROBINSON. 275 

ged to fly thither from the terrors of the High 
Commission Court, under the direction of 
.' chb'ishop Bancroft. In a free conversa- 
tion with these gentlemen, Robinson was con- 
vinced of his mistake, submitted to the re- 
proof of Dr. Ames, and became, ever after, 
more moderate in his sentiments respecting 
separation. In a book which he published 
(1610), he allowed and defended the lawful- 
ness of communicating with the Church of 
England " in the word and prayer," that is, 
in the extempore prayer before the sermon, 
though not in the use of the Liturgy, nor in 
the indiscriminate admission to the sacra- 
ments. Yet he would allow the pious mem- 
bers of the Church of England, and of all the 
reformed churches, to communicate with his 
church ; declaring that he separated from no 
church, but from the corruptions of all church- 
es. This book gained him the title of a Semi- 
separatist, and was so offensive to the rigid 
Brownists of Amsterdam that they would 
scarcely hold communion with the Church of 
Leyden. These were called Robinsonians 
and Independents, but the name by which 
they distinguished themselves was a Congre- 
gational Church. 

Their grand principle was the same which 



276 AMERICAN BIOGEAPHY. 

was afterward held and defended by Chil 
lingvvorth* and Hoadley,t that the Scrip- 
tures, given by inspiration, contain the true 
religion ; that every man has a- right te judge 
for himself of their meaning ; to try all doc- 
trines by them ; and to worship God accord- 
ing to the dictates of his own enlightened 
conscience. t They admitted for truth the 
doctrinal articles of the Church of England, 
as well as of the reformed churches in France, 
Geneva, Switzerland, and the United Prov- 
inces ; allowing all their members free com- 

* [William Chillingworth was born at Oxford, Oct., 1602, 
and educated at Trinity College, of which he was elected a Fel- 
low June 10th, 1628. He is best known by his famous reply to 
the Jesuit Knott, entitled "The Religion of Protestants a Safe 
Way to Salvation," published in 1367. Hallam (Const. Hist., 
ii., 102, 103) styles him " the founder of what has been called the 
latitudinarian school of theology in England," and ascribes to 
him "an inextinguishable skepticism, yet a skepticism which be- 
longs to a vigorous, not that which denotes a feeble understand- 
ing.''-^ 

t [Benjamin Hoadley, a voluminous writer, chiefly on con- 
troversial topics, and distinguished for an excess of moderation 
and liberality. He was born at Westerham, in Kent, 1676 ; en- 
tered Catharine Hall as a pensioner in 1691 ; was made chaplain 
to George I. ; in 1715 consecrated Bishop of Bangor ; in 1721 
translated to Hereford ; in 1723 to Salisbury ; in 1734 to Win- 
chester. He died in 1761. Aikin. H.] 

t Prince, 91-93. Cotton's Preface. 

$ The words of Robinson in his Apology, as cited by NeaJ f 
are as follow : 



ROBINSON. 277 

munion, and differing from them only in mat- 
ters of an ecclesiastical nature. Respecting 
these, they held, 1. That no church ought to 
consist of more members than can conve- 
niently meet together for worship and disci- 
pline. 2. That every church of Christ is to 
consist only of such as appear to believe in 
him and obey him. 3. That any competent 
number of such have a right, when conscience 
obliges them, to form themselves into a dis- 
tinct church. 4. That this incorporation is, 
by some contract or covenant, expressed or 

" Profitemur coratn Deo et hominibus, adeo nobis convenire 
cum ecclesiis reformatis, Belgicis, in re religlonis, ut omnibus 
et singulis earundem ecclesiarum fidei articulis, prout habentur 
in barmonii confessionum fidei, paralL sumus subscribere. Ec- 
clesias reformatas pro veris et genuinis, habemus, cum iisdem in 
sacris Dei communionem profiternur, et quantum in nobis est, 
colimus. Conciones publicas ab illarum pastoribus habitat, ex 
uostris qui norunt linguam Belgicam frequentant. Sacram cce- 
nam earum mcrnbris, si qua forte nostris coetibus intersint nobis 
cognita, participants."* Neal's Puritans, 8vo, ii., 49. 

* [We give also Mr. Neal's translation : " We profess, before 
God and men, that we agree so entirely with the reformed 
Dutch churches in matters of religion, that we are willing to 
subscribe to all and every one of their articles, as they are set 
down in the harmony of confessions. We acknowledge the re- 
formed churches for true and genuine; we hold communion 
with them as far as we can ; those among us that understand tho 
Dutch language frequent their sermons ; and we administer the 
Lord's Supper to such of their members as are known to ut, 
and desire it occasionally." H.] 



278 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

implied. 5. That, being thus incorporated, 
they have a right to choose their own offi- 
cers. 6. That these officers are pastors or 
teaching elders, ruling elders, and deacons. 
7. That elders, being chosen and ordained, 
have no power to rule the church but by con- 
sent of the brethren. 8. That all elders and 
ail churches are equal in respect of powers 
and privileges. 9. With respect to ordinan- 
ces, they held that baptism is to be adminis- 
tered to visible believers and their infant chil- 
dren ; but they admitted only the children of 
communicants to baptism. That the Lord's 
Supper is to be received sitting at the table ; 
while they were in Holland they received it 
every Lord's Day. That ecclesiastical cen- 
sures were wholly spiritual, and not to be 
accompanied with temporal penalties. 10. 
They admitted no holy days but the Christian 
Sabbath, though they had occasionally days 
of fasting and thanksgiving. And, finally, 
they renounced all right of human invention 
or imposition in religious matters. 

Having enjoyed their liberty in Holland 

* eight or nine years, in which time they had 

become acquainted with the country and the 

manners of its inhabitants, they began to think 

of another removal (1617), the reasons of 



ROBINSON. 279 

which were these :* 1. Most of them had 
been bred to the business of husbandry in 
England ; but in Holland they were obliged 
to learn mechanical trades, and use various 
methods for their subsistence which were not 
so agreeable to them as cultivation. 2. The 
language, manners, and habits of the Dutch 
were not rendered pleasing by familiarity; 
and, in particular, the loose and careless man- 
ner in which the Sabbath was regarded in 
Holland gave them great offence. 3. The 
climate was unfavourable to their health ; 
many of them were in the decline of life ; 
their children, oppressed with labour and dis- 
ease, became infirm, and the vigour of nature 
seemed to abate at an early age. 4. The 
licentiousness in which youth was indulged 
was a pernicious example to their children, 
some of whom became sailors, others sol- 
diers, and many were dissolute in their mor- 
als ; nor could their parents restrain them 
without giving offence and incurring re- 
proach. These considerations afforded them 
the melancholy prospect that their posterity 1 
would in time become so mixed with the 
Dutch as to lose their interest in the English 
nation, to which they had a natural and 
strong attachment. 5. They observed, also, 

* Morton, 3-6. Math. Mag , ii.. 2. 



280 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

that many other English people who had 
gone to Holland suffered in their health and 
substance, and either returned home to bear 
the inconveniences from which they had fled, 
or were reduced to poverty abroad. For 
these reasons* they concluded that Holland 
was not a country in which they could hope 
for a permanent and agreeable residence. 

The question then was, to what part of the 
world should they remove where they might 
expect freedom from the burdens under which 
they had formerly groaned, and the blessings 
of civil and religious liberty which they had 
lately enjoyed. 

The Dutch merchants, being apprized of 
their discontent, made them large offers if 
they would go to some of their foreign plan- 
tations ;f but their attachment to the English 
nation and government was invincible.^: Sir 

* [Morton (p. 20) adds another reason which weighed much 
with many of them. " Lastly, and which was not the least, a 
great hope and inward zeal they had of laying some good found- 
ation, or, at least, to make some good way thereunto, for the 
propagating and advancement of the Gospel of the kingdom of 
Christ in these remote parts of the world." H.] 

t [Morton says, " Although some of them were low in their 
estates, yet the Dutch, observing that they were diligent, faith- 
ful, and careful of their engagements, had great respect to them, 
and strove for their custom." H.] 

J Hubbard's MS. History, 37. [See p. 4^45, of the printed 
copy. H.] 



ROBINSON. 281 

Walter Raleigh had about this time raised 
the fame of Guiana, a rich and fertile coun- 
try of America between the tropics, blessed 
with a perpetual spring, and productive of 
everything which could satisfy the wants of 
man with little labour. To this country the 
views of some of the most sanguine were di- 
rected ; but, considering that in such warm 
climates diseases were generated which often 
proved fatal to European constitutions, and 
that their nearest neighbours would be the 
Spaniards, who, though they had not actually 
occupied the country, yet claimed it as their 
own, and might easily dispossess them, as 
they had the French of Florida, the major 
part disapproved of this proposal. 

They then turned their thoughts towards 
that part of America comprehended under 
the general name of Virginia.* There, if 
they should join the colony already establish- 
ed, they must submit to the government of 
the Church of England. If they should at- 
tempt a new plantation, the horrors of a wil- 
derness and the cruelties of its savage inhab- 
itants were presented to their view. It was 
answered that the Dutch had begun to plant 
within these limits, and were unmolested ; 

* Prince, 50. Hazard, i., 359. 



282 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

that all great undertakings were attended 
with difficulties, but that the prospect of dan- 
ger did not render the enterprise desperate ; 
that, should they remain in Holland, they 
were not free from danger, as a truce be- 
tween the United Provinces and Spain, which 
had subsisted twelve years, was nearly expi- 
red, and preparations were making to renew 
the war ; that the Spaniards, if successful, 
might prove as cruel as the savages ; and that 
liberty, both civil and religious, was altogether 
precarious in Europe. These considerations 
determined their views towards the uninhab- 
ited part of North America, claimed by their 
native prince as part of his dominions ; and 
their hope was that, by emigrating hither, 
they might make way for the propagation of 
the Christian religion in a heathen land, though 
(to use a phrase of their own) " they should 
be but as stepping-stones to others" who 
might come after them. 

These things were first debated in private, 
and afterward proposed to the whole congre- 
gation, who, after mature deliberation, and a 
devout address to Heaven, determined to 
make application to the Virginia Company in 
London, and to inquire whether King James 
would grant them liberty of conscience in hi 



ROBINSON. 283 

American dominions. John Carver and Rob- 
ert Cushman were appointed their agents on 
this occasion, and letters were written by Mr. 
Robinson and Mr. Brewster, their ruling el- 
der, in the name of the congregation, to Sir 
Edwin Sandys and Sir John Worstenholme,* 
two principal members of the Virginia Com- 
pany. 

In those letters they recommended them- 
selves as proper persons for emigration,! be- 

* [For some account of Sir Edwin Sandys, see note to p. 110. 
Sir John Worstenholme, or Wolstenholme, as the name is now 
commonly written, was " a wealthy merchant, and a farmer of 
the customs." Stith's History of Virginia, 186. He was an 
influential member of the Virginia Company from 1609 (Haz- 
ard, i., 61), and a candidate for the governorship in opposition 
to Sir Edwin Sandys at the election in 1619, when he received 
twenty-three out of a hundred votes. Stith, 159. In 1622 he 
was one of four persons nominated for that office to the compa- 
ny by King James, and, though sustained by royal influence, 
again failed of an election. The reason of his unpopularity with 
the company was his attachment to the faction of the Earl of 
Warwick. Ib., 230, 186. He was, after the dissolution of the 
Virginia Company, one of the commissioners for Virginia, ap- 
pointed June 27, 1631. Hazard, i., 312. In Forster's North- 
ern Voyages (p. 352) he is mentioned as one of " the public- 
spirited gentlemen who had had the former (before 1616) voya- 
ges on discoveries (in search of a Northwest Passage) made at 
their own expense." An inlet, discovered in 1616 bv Bylot 
and Baffin, on the northern side of Baffin's Bay, was named 
for him Wolstenholme's Sound. Ib., 254. H.J 

t Hazard, 52. 

II. Y 



AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

cause they were " weaned from the delicate 
milk of their own country, and so inured to 
the difficulties of a strange land that no small 
things would discourage them or make them 
wish to return home ; that they had acquired 
habits of frugality, industry, and self-denial, 
and were united in a solemn covenant, by 
which they were bound to seek the welfare 
of the whole company, and of every individ- 
ual person." They also gave a succinct and 
candid account of their religious principles 
and practices for the information of the king 
and his council. 

The answer which they received was as 
favourable as they could expect. The Vir- 
ginia Company promised them as ample priv- 
ileges as were in their power to grant.* It 
was thought prudent not to deliver their let- 
ter to the king and council ; but application 
was made to Sir Robert Norton,! secretary 

* Hubbard, 38. 

t [Doubtless this name was written Naunton. The second 
volume, having been printed after the decease of the author, 
contains many more errors of the press than the first, which he 
revised. Sir Robert Naunton was of an ancient family in Suf- 
folk, and was a fellow-commoner at Trinity College, Cambridge. 
He served as secretary to his uncle, William Ashley, her ma- 
jesty's ambassador to Scotland in 1589. In 1596 he was sent 
by the Earl of Essex to France, where he remained seveial 
years. While there he maintained a correspondence with Es- 



E O B I N IS O N. 285 

of state, who employed his interest with 
Archbishop Abbot, and, by means of his 
mediation, the king promised to connive at 
their religious practices, but he denied them 
toleration under the great seal. With this 
answer, and some private encouragement, the 
agents returned to Holland. 

It was impossible for them to transport 
themselves to America without assistance 
from the merchant adventurers in England. 
Farther agency and agreements were neces- 
sary. The dissensions in the Virginia Com- 
pany were tedious and violent, and it was not 

aex and other noblemen, and his letters are among the most cu- 
rious monuments of the minute political history of that period. 
The earl's letters show that Naunton held a high place in his 
confidence and esteem. On the disgrace of that nobleman 
Naunton retired to Cambridge, where, in 1601, he was chosen 
Orator to the University. Afterward he returned to political 
life, and, having passed through several minor offices of trust, 
he was appointed secretary of state in January, 1618, a place 
which he is supposed to have owed to the favour of Bucking- 
ham. Having incurred the displeasure of that powerful favour- 
ite, he lost his place in 1620. He was afterward made guardian 
of the Court of Wards, which office he held at his death, March 
11134, '5. " He was a man of considerable learning, and well 
qualified for political affairs." He wrote a work, now very cu- 
rious and valuable, entitled " Fragmenta Regalia;" or, " The 
true Character of Queen Elizabeth and her Favourites." It 
has been reprinted in vol. v. of the Harleian Miscellany. See 
Birch's Memoirs of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, i., 369, 370. 
A*in's Biog. Diet., Gorton. H.] 



286 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

till after two whole years that all the neces- 
sary provisions and arrangements* could be 
made for their voyage. 

In the beginning of 1620 they kept a sol- 
emn day of prayer,t when Mr. Robinson de- 
livered a discourse from 1 Samuel, xxiii., 3, 4, 
in which he endeavoured to remove their 
doubts and confirm their resolutions. It had 
been previously determined that a part of 
them should go to America and prepare the 
way for the others, and that, if a major part 
should consent to go, the pastor should go 
with them, otherwise he should remain in 
Holland. It was found, on examination, that, 
though a major part was willing to go, yet 
they could not all get ready in season ; there- 
fore, the greater number being obliged to stay, 
they required Mr. Robinson to stay with them. 
Mr. Brewster, the ruling elder, was appointed 
to go with the minority, who were "to be an 
absolute church of themselves, as well as 
those that should stay, with this proviso, that, 
as any should go over or return, they should 
be reputed as members, without farther dis- 
mission or testimonial y Thb others were to 
follow as soon as possible. 

* [An account of these arrangements may be found in tut 
Life of Carver, in this volume. H.] t Prince, 66. 



ROBINSON. 287 

In July they kept another day of prayer, 
when Mr. Robinson preached to them from 
Ezra, viii., 21,* and concluded his discourse 
with an exhortation which breathes a noble 
spirit of Christian liberty, and gives a just 
idea of the sentiments of this excellent di- 
vine, whose charity was the more conspicu- 
ous because of his former narrow principles, 
and the general bigotry of the reformed min- 
isters and churches of that day. 

" Brethren," said he, " we are now quick- 
ly to part from one another, and whether I 
may ever live to see your face on earth any 
more, the GOD of heaven only knows ; but, 
whether the Lord hath appointed that or not, 
I charge you before GOD and his blessed an- 
gels that you follow me no farther than you 
have seen me follow the Lord Jesus Christ. 

" If God reveal anything to you by any 
other instrument of his, be as ready to receive 
it as ever you were to receive any truth by 
my ministry ; for I am verily persuaded, I am 
very confident that the Lord has more truth 
yet to break forth out of his Holy Word. For 
my part, I cannot sufficiently bewail the con- 
dition of the reformed churches, who are 
come to a period in religion, and will go at 
* Neal'i New-England, i. 78. 



288 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

present no farther than the instruments of 
Jheir reformation. The Lutherans cann'ot be 
drawn to go beyond what Luther saw. What- 
ever part of his will our good God has reveal- 
ed to Calvin, they will rather die than em- 
brace it. And the Calvinists, you see, stick 
fast where they were left by that great man 
of God, who yet saw not all things. 

" This is a misery much to be lamented ; 
for, though they were burning and shining 
lights in their times, yet they penetrated not 
into the whole counsel of God ; but, were 
they now living, would be as willing to em- 
brace farther light as that which they first re- 
ceived. I beseech you remember, it is an 
article of your church covenant, ' That you 
be ready to receive whatever truth shall be 
made known to you from the written word 
of GOD.' Remember that and every other 
article of your sacred cove aant. But I must 
here withal exhort you to take heed what you 
receive as truth. Examine it, consider it, and 
compare it with other scriptures of truth be- 
fore you receive it, for it is not possible that 
the Christian world should come so lately out 
of such thick anti-Christian darkness, and that 
perfection of knowledge should break forth 
at once. 



ROBINSON. 289 

" I must also advise you to abandon, avoid, 
and shake off the name of BROWNIST. It is a 
mere nickname, and a brand for the making 
religion, and the professors of it, odious to the 
Christian world." 

Having said this, with some other things 
relating to their private conduct, he devoutly 
committed them to the care and protection of 
Divine Providence.* 

On the 21st of July the intended passen- 
gers quitted Leyden to embark at Delftha- 
ven, to which place they were accompanied 
by many of their brethren and friends, several 
of whom had come from Amsterdam to take 
their leave of them. The evening was spent, 
till very late, in friendly conversation ; and 
the next morning, the wind being fair, they 
went on board, where Mr. Robinson, on his 
knees, in a most ardent and affectionate 
prayer, again committed them to their Divine 
Protector, dnd with many tears they parted. 

After their arrival in New-England he kept 
up a friendly correspondence with them ;t and, 

* [Morton adds, " The rest of the time (besides that occupied 
by the sermon) was spent in pouring out of prayers unto the 
Lord with great fervency, mixed with abundance of tears." 
Memorial, p. 23. H.] 

t fit is much to be regretted that so few records of this cor- 
respondence have been preserved. The few which remain are 



290 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

when any of them went to Europe, they were 
received by him with the most cordial wel- 
come. The difficulties which then attended 
a voyage across the Atlantic, the expense of 
an equipment for a new colony, and the hard- 
ships necessarily incident to a plantation in a 
distant wilderness, proved a burden ^almost 
too great for those who came over. They 
had a hard struggle to support themselves 
here, and pay the debts which they had con- 
tracted in England, while those who remain- 
ed in Holland were in general too poor to 
bear the expense of a removal to America 
without the help of their brethren who had 

but enough to show the greatness of our loss. In a letter to 
the colonists, dated at Leyden, June 30th, 1621, he thus con- 
soles those who survived for the loss of their fellows : " In a 
battle it is not looked for but that divers should die : it is 
thought well for a side if it get the victory, though with the loss 
of divers, if not too many or too great. God, I hope, hath 
given you the victory, after many difficulties for yourselves and 
others, though I doubt not many do and will remain for you 
and us to strive with." He adds, in a spirit of wise counsel, 
" It is a Christian's honour to give honour according to men's 
places, and his liberty to serve God in faith, and his brethren in 
love orderly, and with a willing and free heart." Bradford's 
Letter-book, in Mass. Hist. Coll., iii., 45. The excellent letter 
which he addressed to the company on their departure from 
Holland may be found entire in Morton's Memorial, p. 24-29, 
Davis's edition, and in Neal's New- England. It is too long to 
be inserted here. H.] 



ROBINSON. 291 

come before them. These things prevented 
Mr. Robinson from gratifying his earnest de- 
sire to visit his American brethren, and their 
equally ardent wish to see him, till he was 
removed by death to a better country.* 

He continued with his church at Leyden, 
in good health, and with a fair prospect of 
living to a more advanced age, till Saturday, 
the 22d of February, 1625, when he was 
seized with an inward ague, which, however 
distressing, did not prevent his preaching 
twice on the next day.t Through the fol- 
lowing week his disorder increased in malig- 
nity, and on Saturday, March 1, put an end 
to his valuable life, in the fiftieth year of his 
age, and in the height of his reputation and 
usefulness. 

Mr. Robinson was a man of a good genius, 
quick penetration, ready wit, great modesty, 
integrity, and candour. His classic literature 

* Morton, in his Memorial (p. 86), says that " his and their 
adversaries had long been plotting how they might hinder his 
coming to New-England." Hutchinson (vol. ii., p. 454) say 
" he was prevented by disappointments from those in England 
who undertook to provide for the passage of him and his con- 
gregation." Whether these disappointments were designed or 
unavoidable cannot now be determined. Candour would lead us 
to suppose the latter. But the former supposition is within the 
limits of credibility. 

f Collections of the Historical Society for 1795, p. 40. 
II. Z 



292 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY 

and acuteness in disputation were acknowl- 
edged by his adversaries. His manners were 
easy, courteous, and obliging. His preach- 
ing was instructive and affecting. Though 
in his younger years he was rigid in his sep- 
aration from the Episcopal Church, by whose 
governors he and his friends were treated 
with unrelenting severity, yet, when convin- 
ced of his error, he openly acknowledged 
it, and by experience and conversation with 
good men he became moderate and charita- 
ble, without abating his zeal for strict and real 
religion. It is always a sign of a good heart 
when a man becomes mild and candid as he 
grows in years. This was eminently true of 
Mr. Robinson. He learned to esteem all 
good men of every religious persuasion, and 
charged his flock to maintain the like candid 
and benevolent conduct. His sentiments 
respecting the reformer , as expressed in his 
valedictory discourse, will entail immortal 
honour to his memory, evidencing his accu- 
rate discernment, his inflexible honesty, and 
his fervent zeal for truth and a good con- 
science. He was also possessed, in an emi- 
nent degree, of the talent of peace-making, 
and was happy in composing differences 
among neighbours and in families, so that 



ROBINSON. 293 

peace and unity were preserved in his con- 
gregation.* It is said that " such was the 
reciprocal love and respect between him and 
his flock, that it might be said of them, as it 
was said of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius 
and the people of Rome, that it was hard to 
judge whether he delighted more in having 
such a people, or they in having such a pas- 
tor." Besides his singular abilities in moral 
and theological matters, he was very discern- 
ing and prudent in civil affairs, and able to 
give them good advice in regard to their sec- 
ular and political conduct. He was highly 
esteemed, not only by his own flock, but by 
the magistracy and clergy of Leyden, who 
gave him the use of one of their churches, in 
the chancel of which he was buried. Mr. 
Prince, who visited that city in 1714,t says 
that the most ancient people then living told 
him, from their parents, that the whole city 
and University regarded him as a great and 
good man, whose death they sincerely la- 
mented, and that they honoured his funeral 
with their presence. 

This event proved the dissolution of the 
church over which he had presided at Ley- 
den. Some of them removed to Amsterdam, 

Hazard, i., 355. t Annals, p. 160 



294 . AMERICA? 1 BIOGRAPHY. 

some to other parts of the Netherlands, and 
others came to New-England, among whom 
were his widow and children. His son Isaac 
lived to the age of ninety, and left male pos- 
terity in the county of Barnstable. 



CAKVEB. 295 



XVIII. JOHN CARVER. 

WE have no particulars of the life of Mr. 
Carver previous to his appointment as one 
of the agents of the English Congregational 
Church in Leyden.* At that time he was in 
high esteem as a grave, pious, prudent, judi- 
cious man, and sustained the office of a dea- 
con. In the letters written by Sir Edwin 
Sandys, of the Virginia Company, to Mr. 
Robinson, the agents are said to have " car- 
ried themselves with good discretion."! 

The business of the agency was long de- 
layed by the discontents and factions in the 
Company of Virginia, by the removal of their 
former treasurer, Sir Thomas Smith, and the 
enmity between him and Sir Edwin Sandys, 
his successor. At length a patent was ob- 
tained under the company's seal ;J but, by 

* Hubbard's MS., p. 38 [p. 46 of the printed copy. H.]. 

t [Sandys' letter is dated November 13, 1617. Hubbard's 
New-England, 46. H.] 

t [This patent was granted probably in " the autumn of 1619," 
tt which time it was carried to Leyden to be considered by the 
proposed emigrants. The precise date is nowhere mentioned, 
o far as I have been able to examine. The records of th 



296 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. , 

the advice of some friends, it was taken in 
the name of John Wincob, a religious gen- 
tleman belonging to the family of the Count- 
ess of Lincoln,* who intended to accompany 
the adventurers to America. This patent, and 
the proposals of Thomas Weston, of London, 
merchant, and other persons who appeared 
friendly to the design, were carried to Ley- 
den in the autumn of 1619 for the consider- 
ation of the people. At the same time there 
was a plan forming for a new council in the 
west of England, to superintend the planta- 
tion and fishery of North Virginia, the name 
of which was changed to New-England. 
To this expected establishment Weston and 
the other merchants began to incline, chiefly 
from the hope of present gain by the fishery. 
This caused some embarrassment, and a va- 
riety of opinions ; but, considering that the 
council for New-England was not yet incor- 
porated, and that, if they should wait for that 
event, they might be detained another year, 

Virginia Company have never been printed, and are now in 
England. Of Wincob I find nothing farther, except that he 
never came to America. It was thought prudent, probably, to 
have the patent made out in the name of some one residing in 
England. H.] 

* [The family-name of the house of Lincoln was Clinton. 
-H-] 



CARVER. 297 

before which time the war between the Dutch 
and the Spaniards might be renewed, the 
majority concluded to take the patent, which 
had been obtained from the company of South 
Virginia, and emigrate to some place near 
Hudson's River, which was within their ter- 
ritory. 

The next spring (1620) Weston himself 
went over to Leyden, where the people en- 
tered into articles of agreement with him 
both for shipping and money, to assist in 
their transportation. Carver and Cushman 
were again sent to London, to receive the 
money and provide for the voyage. When 
they came there, they found the other mer- 
chants so very penurious and severe, that they 
were obliged tp consent to some alteration 
in the articles, which, though not relished by 
their constituents, yet were so strongly insist- 
ed on, that without them the whole adventure 
must have been frustrated. 

The articles, with their amendments, were 
these :* " 1. The adventurers and planters 
do agree that every person that goeth, being 
sixteen years old and upward, be rated at ten 
pounds, and that ten pounds be accounted a 

* Hubbard's MS., p. 40 [p. 48 in the printed copy. H.]. 
Hazard's Collections, i., 87. 



298 AMERICA NBIOGRAPHY. 

single share. 2. That he that goeth in pee* 
son, and furnisheth himself out with ten 
pounds, either in money or other provisions, 
be accounted as having twenty pounds in 
stock, and in the division shall receive a 
double share. 3. The persons transported 
and the adventurers shall continue their joint 
stock and partnership the space of seven 
years, except some unexpected impediments 
do cause the whole company to agree other- 
wise, during which time all profits and ben- 
efits that are gotten by trade, traffic, truck- 
ing, working, fishing, or any other means, of 
any other person or persons, shall remain still 
in the common stock, until the division. 4. 
That at their coming there they shall choose 
out such a number of fit persons as may fur- 
nish their ships and boats for fishing upon the 
sea, employing the rest in their several fac- 
ulties upon the land, as building houses, till- 
ing and planting the ground, and making such 
commodities as shall be most useful for the 
colony. 5. That at the end of the seven 
years the capital and profits, viz., the houses, 
lands, goods, and chattels, be equally divided 
among the adventurers, if any debt or detri- 
ment concerning this adventure * 6. Who- 

* Here something seems to be wanting which cannot now be, 
supplied. 



CARVER. 299 

soever cometh to the colony hereafter, or put- 
>-4,h anything into the stock, shall at the end 
> the seven years be allowed proportionally 
to the time of his so doing. 7. He that shall 
carry his wife, or children, or servants, shall 
be allowed for every person now aged six- 
teen years and upward a single share in the 
division ; or, if he provide them necessaries, 
a double share ; or, if they be between ten 
years old and sixteen, then two of them to 
be reckoned for a person, both in transporta- 
tion and division. 8. That such children as 
now go, and are under ten years of age, have 
no other share in the division than fifty acres 
of unmanured land. 9. That such persons 
as die before the seven years be expired, their 
executors to have their parts or shares at the 
division, proportionally to the time of their 
life in the colony. 10. That all such persons 
as are of the colony are to have meat, drink, 
and apparel out of the common stock and 
goods of the said colony." 

The difference between the articles as first 
agreed on and as finally concluded lay in these 
two points : 1. In the former it was provided 
that " the houses and lands improved, espe- 
cially gardens and home-fields, should remain 
undivided wholly to the planters at the end 



300 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

of the seven years," but in the latter the 
houses and lands were to be equally divided. 
2. In the former the planters were " allowed 
two days in the week for their own private 
employment, for the comfort of themselves 
and families, especially such as had them to 
take care for." In the latter this article was 
wholly omitted. 

On these hard conditions, and with this 
small encouragement, the pilgrims of Leyden, 
supported by a pious confidence in- the Su- 
preme Disposer of all things, and animated 
by a fortitude resulting from the steady prin- 
ciples of the religion which they professed, 
determined to cast themselves on the care of 
Divine Providence,* and embark for America. 

* ["Their faith," says Vaughan (i., 438), "knew nothing of 
chance, nothing of creature power. It filled all places with 
God ; and, regarding all agencies as dependant on him, it indu- 
ced a fearlessness of man, and of the things that were supposed 

to be dependant on his favour or his wrath The elements 

of nature and the revolutions of time, the pressure of every 
breeze, and the balancing of every contingency, were, in their 
apprehension, part of a vast and unalterable apparatus of means, 
every movement of which was leading to some religious achieve- 
ment, and was an approach nearer to those great ends in which 
the Redeemer of the world should obtain his reward and be 
satisfied. While they meditated on these things, time often 
disappeared in the vastness of eternity, and the earth, with its 
transitory interests, faded into vanity before the brightness of a 
celestial kingdom an eternal and boundless empire." H.J 



301 

With the proceeds of their own estates, put 
into a common stock, and the assistance of 
the merchants, to whom they had mortgaged 
their labour and trade for seven years, two 
vessels were provided. One in Holland, of 
sixty tons, called the Speedwell, commanded 
by a Captain Reynolds, which was intended 
to transport some of them to America, and 
there to remain in their service one year, for 
fishing and other uses. Another of one hun- 
dred and eighty tons, called the Mayflower, 
was chartered by Mr. Cushman in London, 
and sent round to Southampton, in Hamp- 
shire, whither Mr. Carver went to superin- 
tend her equipment. This vessel was com- 
manded by a Captain Jones, and, after dis- 
charging her passengers in America, was to 
return to England. Seven hundred pounds 
sterling were expended in provisions and 
stores, and other necessary preparations, and 
the value of the trading venture which they 
carried was seventeen hundred pounds. Mr. 
"Weston came from London to Southampton 
to see them despatched. The Speedwell, 
with the passengers, having arrived there 
from Leyden, and the necessary officers be- 
ing chosen to govern the people and take care 
of the provisions and stores on the voyage, 



302 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

both ships, carrying one hundred and twenty 
passengers, sailed from Southampton on the 
fifth day of August, 1620. 

They had not sailed many leagues down 
the channel before Reynolds, master of the 
Speedwell, complained that his vessel was 
too leaky to proceed.* Both ships then put 
in at Dartmouth, where the Speedwell was 
searched and repaired ; and the workmen 
judged her sufficient for the voyage. On 
the twenty-first of August they put to sea 
again, and, having sailed in company about 
one hundred leagues, Reynolds renewed his 
complaints against his ship, declaring that, 
by constant pumping, he could scarcely keep 
her above water, on which both ships again 
put. back to Plymouth. Another search was 
made, and, no defect appearing, the leaky 
condition of the ship was judged to be owing 
to her general weakness, and she was pro- 
nounced unfit for the voyage. About twenty 
of the passengers went on shore. The oth- 
ers, with their provisions, were received on 
board the Mayflower, and on the sixth of 
September the company, consisting of one 
hundred and one passengers (besides the 
ship's officers and crew), took their last leave 
* Prince, 71. Morton, 13. 



CARTER. 303 

of England, having consumed a whole month 
in these vexatious and expensive delays. 

The true causes of these misadventures did 
not then appear. One was, that the Speed- 
well was overmasted, which error being rem- 
edied, the vessel afterward made several safe 
and profitable voyages. But the principal 
cause was the deceit of the master and crew, 
who, having engaged to remain a whole year 
in the service of the colony, and apprehend- 
ing hard fare in that employment, were glad 
of such an excuse to rid themselves of the 
bargain. 

The Mayflower, Jones, proceeded with 
fair winds in the former part of her voyage, 
and then met with bad weather and contrary 
winds, so that for several days no sail could 
be carried. The ship laboured so much in 
the sea that one of the main beams sprung, 
which renewed the fears and distress of the 
passengers. They had then made about one 
half of their voyage, and the chief of the 
company began a consultation with the com- 
mander of the ship whether it were better to 
proceed or to return. But one of the pas- 
sengers having on board a large iron screw, 
it was applied to the beam, and forced it into 
its place. This successful effort determined 
them to proceed. 



304 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

No other particulars of this long and te- 
dious voyage are preserved,* but that the ship 
being leaky, and the people close stowed, 
were continually wet ; that one young man, a 
servant of Samuel Fuller, died at sea ; and 
that one child was born, and called Oceanus ; 
he was son of Stephen Hopkins. 

On the ninth of November, at break of 
day, they made land, which proved to be the 
white sandy cliffs of Cape Cod. This land- 
fall being farther northward than they intend- 
ed, they immediately put about the ship to 
the southward, and before noon found them- 
selves among shoals and breakers.! Had 
they pursued their southern course, as the 
weather was fine, they might, in a few hours 
more, have found an opening, and passed 
safely to the westward, agreeably to their ori- 
ginal design, which was to go to Hudson's 
River. But, having been so long at sea, the 
sight of any land was welcome to women 
and children ; the new danger was formida- 
ble ; and the eagerness of the passengers to 
be set on shore was irresistible. These cir- 

* Smith, 230. 

t These shoals lie off the southeast extremity of the cape, 
which was called by Gosnold Point Care, by the Dutch and 
French Malebarre. and is now known by the name of Sandy 
Point. 



CARVER. 305 

cumstances, coinciding with the secret views 
of the master, who had been promised a re- 
ward by some agents of the Dutch West In- 
dia Company if he would not carry them to 
Hudson's River,* induced him to put about 
to the northward. Before night the ship was 
clear of the danger. The next day they 
doubled the northern extremity of the cape 
(Race Point), and, a storm coming on, the 
ship was brought to anchor in Cape Cod 
harbour, where she lay perfectly secure from 
winds and shoals. 

This harbour, being m the forty-second de- 
gree of north latitude, was without the terri- 
tory of the South Virginia Company. The 
charter which these emigrants had received 
from them of course became useless. Some 
symptoms of faction, at the same time, ap- 
pearing among the servants, who had been 
received on board in England, purporting 
that when on shore they should be under no 
government, and that one man would be as 
good as another, t it was thought proper, by 
the most judicious persons, to have recourse 

* Of this plot between Jones and the Dutch, Secretary Mor- 
ton says he had certain intelligence. Memorial, p. 34. 

t Mourt's Relation, in Purchas, vol. v., 1843. Prince, 84. 
Hutch., ii., 456. 



306 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

to natural law ; and that, before disembar ca- 
tion, they should enter into an association, 
and combine themselves in a political body, 
to be governed by the majority.* To this 
they consented ; and, after solemn prayer 
and thanksgiving, a written instrument being 
drawn, they subscribed it with their own 

. * [The earliest account of the origin of this compact, by 
Edward Winslow (in Mourt's Relation, Mass. Hist. Coll., viii., 
205), is this : " This day, before we are come to harbour, ob- 
serving some not well affected to unity and concord, but gave 
some appearance of faction, it was thought good there should 
be an association and agreement," &c. It has usually been 
ascribed to motives more creditable to the body of the plant- 
ers, and in later days a vast deal of eloquence has been wast- 
ed, through inattention to the facts of the case. It may 
be doubted whether the "symptoms of faction" were confi- 
ned to " the servants." The instrument of compact, it will 
be observed, establishes no frame of government. It only 
settles the doctrines of equality and of the majority ; and they 
were probably affirmed for their convenience, to secure the 
power of the orderly and the submission of the evil-disposed, 
without any foresight of the vast political importance they were 
afterward to assume. The settlers were no political theorists, 
and had other matters of more pressing moment to attend to 
than laws and policies. They elected only one officer, and took 
no pains to define his powers. The only other reason leading 
them to the compact that is stated by the early writers, Morton, 
37, and Bradford (in Prince, 162), is, that their patent, being 
designed for another place, was void as to the one where they 
were. They regarded this arrangement as a temporary one, till 
a new patent could be obtained (see p. 30 of volume iii. 
Hubbard's N. E., 62), and never dreamed of settling natural 
rights, or establishing eternal principles by it. H.] 



CAEVEB. 307 

hands, and by a unanimous vote chose JOHN 
CARVER their governor for one year. 

The instrument was conceived in these 
terms : " In the name of God, Amen. We, 
whose names are underwritten, the loyal sub- 
jects of our dread sovereign lord, King James, 
by the grace of God, of Great Britain, France, 
and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c., 
having undertaken, for the glory of God, and 
advancement of the Christian faith, and hon- 
our of our king and country, a voyage, to 
plant the first colony in the northern parts of 
Virginia, do, by these presents, solemnly and 
mutually, in the presence of GOD and of one 
another, covenant and combine ourselves to- 
gether into a civil body politic, for our better 
ordering and preservation, and furtherance 
of the ends aforesaid ; and, by virtue hereof, 
to enact, constitute, and frame such just and 
equal laws and ordinances, acts, constitutions, 
and offices, from time to time, as shall be 
thought most meet and convenient for the 
general good of the colony, unto which we 
promise all due subjection and obedience. In 
witness whereof, we have hereunto subscribed 
our names, at Cape Cod, the eleventh day of 
November, in the year of the reign of our sov- 
ereign lord, King James of England, France, 

II A A 



308 



AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 



and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland 
the fifty-fourth, Anno Domini 1620."* 

* The names of the subscribers arc placed in the following 
order by Secretary Morton ; but Mr. Prince, with his usual ac- 
curacy, has compared the list with Governor Bradford's MS. 
History, and added their titles, and the number of each one's 
family which came over at this time ; observing that some left 
the whole, and others part of their families, either in England 
or Holland, who came over afterward. He has also been so 
curious as to note those who brought their wives, marked with 
a (t), and those who died before the end of the next March, 
distinguished by an asterism (*). 



Mr. John Carverf ... 8 

Mr. William Bradfordt . 2 

Mr. Edward Winslowf . 5 

Mr. William Brewstert . 6 

Mr. Isaac Allertonf . . 6 

Capt. Miles Standisht 2 

John Alden 1 

Mr. Samuel Fuller ... 2 

*Mr. Christopher Martinf 4 

*Mr. William Mullirist 5 

*Mr. William Whitet - - 5 
'besides a son born in 
Cape Cod Harbour, and 
named Peregrine.'] 

Mr. Richard Warren . . 1 
John Howland [of Car- 
ver's family]. 

Gilbert Winslow ... 1 

"Edmund Margeson . . 1 

Peter Brown .... 1 

*Riphard Britteridge . . 1 
Qeorge Soule [of Edward 
Winslow's family]. 

'-vd Clarke ... 1 

Gardiner ... 1 



Mr. Stephen Hopkinsf . 8 

*Edward Tillyf .... 4 

*John Tillyt 3 

Francis Cook .... 2 

*Thomas Rogers ... 2 

*Thomas Tinkerf ... 3 

*John Ridgdalef ... 2 

*Edvvard Fullert ... 3 

*John Turner .... 3 

Francis Eatonf .... 3 

* James Chiltonf ... 3 

*John Crackston ... 2 

John Billingtonf . . 4 

*Moses Fletcher .... 1 

*John Goodman .... 1 

*Degory Priest .... 1 

*Thomas Williams ... 1 

*John Allerton .... 1 

*Thomas English ... 1 
Edward Dotey > both of 
Edward Leister J Stephen 

Hopkins's family. 

Total persons . 101 

Of whom were subscribers 41 



CARVER. 309 

Government being thus regularly estab- 
lished on a truly republican principle, sixteen 
armed men were sent on shore, as soon as 
the weather would permit, to fetch wood and 
make discoveries.* They returned at night 
with a boatload of juniper wood, and made 
report " that they found the land to be a 
narrow neck, having the harbour on one 
side and the ocean on the other ; that the 
ground consisted of sandhills, like the Downs 
in Holland ; that in some places the soil was 
black earth ' a spit's depth ;' that the trees 
were oak, pine, sassafras, juniper, birch, hol- 
ly, ash, and walnut ; that the forest was open 
and without underwood ; that no inhabitants, 
houses, nor fresh water were to be seen." 
This account was as much as could be col- 
lected in one Saturday's afternoon. The 
next day they rested. 

While they lay in this harbour, which was 
the space of five weeks, they saw great flocks 
of seafowl and whales every day playing 
about them. The master and mate, who had 
been acquainted with the fishery in the north- 
ern seas of Europe, supposed that they might 
in that time have made oil to the value of 
three or four thousand pounds. It was too 

* Mourt's Relation. 



310 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

late in the season for cod ; and, indeed, they 
caught none but small fish near the shore, 
and shellfish. The margin of the sea was 
so shallow that they were obliged to wade 
ashore, and the weather being severe, many 
of them took colds and coughs, which in the 
course of the winter proved mortal. 

On Monday, the thirteenth of November, 
the women went ashore under a guard to 
wash their clothes, and the men were impa- 
tient for a farther discovery. The shallop, 
which had been cut down and stowed be- 
tween decks, needed repairing, in Avhich sev- 
enteen days were employed. While this was 
doing they proposed that excursions might be 
made on foot. Much caution was necessary 
in an enterprise of this kind in a new and 
savage country. After consultation and prep- 
aration, sixteen men were equipped with mus- 
ket and ammunition, sword and corslet, under 
the command of Captain Miles Standish, who 
had "William Bradford, Stephen Hopkins,* 

* [Stephen Hopkins was chosen one of the assistants, from 
1633 to 1636. Farmer's Genealogical Register. He was one 
in the early expeditions for exploring the bay and country, and 
accompanied Standish in some of his early interviews with the 
Indians, and Winslow on his first visit to Massasoit. 

" Stephen Hopkins arrived at Plymouth in 1620. A son of 
his (Thomas) removed to the colony of Rhode Island. He 



CARVE*. 311 

and Edward Tilly* for his council of war. 
After many instructions given, they were 
rather permitted than ordered to go, and the 
time of their absence was limited to two days. 
When they had travelled one mile by the 
shore they saw five or six of the natives, who, 
on sight of them, fled. They attempted to 
pursue, and, lighting on their track, followed 
them till night ; but the thickets through 
which they had to pass, the weight of then 
armour, and their debility after a long voy- 
age, made them an unequal match, in point 
of travelling, to these nimble sons of nature. 
They rested at length by a spring, which af- 
forded them the first refreshing draught of 
American water.f 

(Thomas) had two sons, Thomas and William. William had 
Stephen (governor of the colony, and one of the signers of the 
Declaration of American Independence), Esck (the first commo- 
dore, if not the only admiral in the American navy), William, 
and John. Stephen had four sons, John, Rufus, George, and 
Sylvanus, and one daughter, Lydia." The above genealogy, 
obtained from one of the descendants of Admiral Hopkins, was 
kindly furnished me by the Hon. William R. Staples, of Provi- 
dence, R. I. H.] 

* [Edward Tilly died early in the year 1621. See the cata- 
logue on p. 308 of this volume. The exploring-party referred 
to in this sentence set out November 15th. Prince, 163. 
Mourt. H.] 

t [Mourt (108) places the finding of the spring on the second, 
though it may have been the " pond of fresh water" mentioned 



312 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

The discoveries made in this march were 
few, but novel and amusing. In one place 
they found a deer-trap, made by the bending 
of a young tree to the earth, with a noose un- 
der ground covered with acorns. Mr. Brad- 
ford's foot was caught in the trap, from which 
his companions disengaged him, and they 
were all entertained with the ingenuity of the 
device. In another place they came to an 
Indian burying-ground, and in one of the 
graves they found a mortar, an earthen pot, 
a bow and arrows, and other implements, all 
which they very carefully replaced, because 
they would not be guilty of violating the re- 
positories of the dead. But when they found 
a cellar, carefully lined with bark and cover- 
ed with a heap of sand, in which about four 
bushels of seed-corn in ears were well secu- 
red, after reasoning on the morality of the 
action, they took as much of the corn as they 
could carry, intending, when they should find 
the owners, to pay them to their satisfaction. 
On the third day they arrived, weary and 
welcome, where the ship lay, and delivered 

by Morton (40) in the present township of Truro. That it was 
a welcome discovery we may well imagine. Winslow (in 
Mourt, 1. c.) adds, " we brought neither beer nor water with us, 
and our only victuals were biscuit and Holland cheese, and a lit- 
tle bottle of aqua vitffi, so as we were sore athirst." H.] 



CARVER. 313 

their corn into the common store. The com- 
pany resolved to keep it for seed, and to pay 
the natives the full value when they should 
have opportunity. 

When the shallop was repaired and rigged, 
twenty-four of the company ventured on a 
second excursion to the same place, to make 
a farther discovery, having Captain Jones for 
their commander, with ten of his seamen and 
the ship's longboat.* The wind being high 
and the sea rough, the shallop came to an- 
chor under the land, while part of the com- 
pany waded on shore from the longboat, and 
travelled, as they supposed, six or seven miles, 
having directed the shallop to follow them 
the next morning. The weather was very 
cold, with snow, and the people, having no 
shelter, took such colds as afterward proved 
fatal to many. 

Before noon the next day the shallop took 
them on board, and sailed to the place which 
they denominated Cold Harbour .\ Finding 

* [This party started November 27th. Prince, 163. H.] 
t Mr. Prince conjectures this place to have been Barnstable 
Harbour (p. 74). But neither the time nor distance can agree 
with this conjecture. Barnstable is more than fifty miles from 
Cape Cod Harbour by land, a distance which they could not have 
travelled and back again in three short days of November. I 
rather think, after inouiry of gentlemen well acquainted with 



314 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

it not navigable for ships, and, consequently, 
not proper for their residence, after shooting 
some geese and ducks, which they devoured 
with " soldiers' stomachs," they went in search 
of seed-corn. The ground was frozen and 
covered with snow, but the cellars were known 
by heaps of sand, and the frozen earth was 
penetrated with their swords, till they gath- 
ered corn to the amount of ten bushels. This 
fortunate supply, with a quantity of beans 
preserved in the same manner, they took on 
the same condition as before; and it is re- 
marked by Governor Bradford that in six 
months after they paid the owners to their 
entire satisfaction.* The acquisition of this 
corn they always regarded as a particular fa- 
vour of Divine Providence, without which the 
colony could not have subsisted. 

Captain Jones, in the shallop, went back to 
the ship with the corn and fifteen of the weak- 
est of the people, intending to send mattocks 
and spades the next day. The eighteen who 
remained marched, as they supposed, five or 

Cape Cod, that Cold Harbour is the mouth of Paomet Creek, 
between Truro and Welfleet, and the description given in 
Mourt's Relation corresponds with this idea. Paorrnet is a tide- 
harbour for boats, distant between three and four leagues from 
the harbour of Cape Cod. See Collections of Historical Socie- 
ty for 1794, vol. iii., p. 196. * Prince, 75. 



CARVER. 315 

six miles into the woods, and, returning an- 
other way, discovered a mound of earth, in 
which they hoped to find more corn. On 
opening it, nothing appeared but the scull of 
a man preserved in red earth, the skeleton 
of an infant, and such arms, utensils, and or- 
naments as are usually deposited in Indian 
graves.* Not far distant were two deserted 
wigwams, with their furniture and some ven- 
ison, so ill preserved that even " soldiers' 
stomachs" could not relish it. On the arri- 
val of the shallop they returned to the ship 
the first of December. During their absence 
the wife of William White had been deliver- 
ed of a son, who, from the circumstances of 
his birth, was named Peregrine.f 

At this time they held a consultation re- 
specting their future settlement.^ Some 

* Mourt, 1846. 

t The following account of him is extracted from the Boston 
News' Letter of July 31, 1704, being the fifteenth number of the 
first newspaper printed in New-England: "Marshfield, July 22. 
Captain Peregrine White, of this town, aged eighty-three years 
and eight months, died here the 20th instant. He was vigor- 
ous and of a comely aspect to the last ; was the son of William 
White and Susanna his wife, born on board the Mayflower, 
Captain Jones, commander, in Cape Cod Harbour, November, 
1620, the first Englishman born in New-England. Although 
he was in the former part of his life extravagant, yet he waf 
much reformed in his last years, and died hopefully." 

$ Morton, 42. 






316 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

thought that Cold Harbour might be a prop- 
er place, because, though not deep enough 
for ships, it might be convenient for boats, 
and because a valuable fishery for whales 
and cod might be carried on there. The 
land was partly cleared of wood and good 
for corn, as appeared from the seed. It was 
also likely to be healthful and defensible. 
But the principal reasons were, that the win- 
ter was so far advanced as to prevent coast- 
ing and discovery, without danger of losing 
men and boats ; that the winds were varia- 
ble, and the storms sudden and violent ; that, 
by cold and wet lodging, the people were 
much affected with coughs, which, if they 
should not soon obtain shelter, would prove 
mortal ; that provisions were daily consu- 
ming, and the ship must reserve sufficient for 
the homeward voyage, whatever became of 
the colony. 

Others thought it best to go to a place 
called Agawam, twenty leagues northward, 
where they had heard of an excellent har- 
bour, good fishing, and a better soil for plant- 
ing. To this it was answered that there 
might possibly be as good a place nearer 
to them. Robert Coppin, their pilot, who 
had been here before, assured them that he 



CARVER. 317 

knew of a good harbour and a navigable riv- 
er not more than eight leagues across the 
bay to the westward. Upon the whole, they 
resolved to send the shallop round the shore 
of the bay on discovery, but not beyond the 
harbour of which Coppin had informed them. 
On Wednesday, the sixth of December, 
Governor Carver,* with nine of the princi- 
pal men, well armed, and the same number 
of seamen, of which Coppin was one, went 
out in the shallop. The weather was so cold 
that the spray of the sea froze on their coats, 
till they were cased with ice " like coats of 
iron." They sailed by the eastern shore of 
the bay, as they judged, six or seven leagues 
without finding any river or creek. At 
length they saw " a tongue of land,t being 
flat off from the shore, with a sandy point ; 
they bore up to gain the point, and found 
there a fair income, or road of a bay, being 
a league over at the narrowest, and two or 
three in length ; but they made right over to 
the land before them." As they came near 
the shore, they saw ten or twelve Indians cut- 
ting up a grampus, who, on sight of them, 

* [The narrative of this journey is fromMourt. H.] 
t This " tongue of land" is Billingsgate Point, the western 
hore of Welflect Harbour. 



318 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

ran away, carrying pieces of the fish which 
they had cut. They landed at the distance 
of a league or more from the grampus with 
great difficulty, on account of the flat sands. 
Here they built a barricade, and, placing 
sentinels, lay down to rest. 

The next morning, Thursday, December 
seventh, they divided themselves into two par- 
ties, eight in the shallop, and the rest on 
shore, to make farther discovery of this place, 
which they found to be " a bay, without ei- 
ther river or creek coming into it." They 
gave it the name of Grampus Bay, because 
they saw many fish of that species. They 
tracked the Indians on the sand, and found a 
path into the woods, which they followed a 
great way, till they came to old cornfields 
and a spacious burying- ground enclosed with 
pales. They ranged the wood till the close 
of the day, and then came down to the shore 
to meet the shallop, which they had not seen 
since the morning. At high water she put 
into a creek ; and, six men being left on 
board, two came on shore and lodged with 
their companions, under cover of a barricade 
and a guard. 

On Friday, December eighth, they rose at 
five in the morning to be ready to go on 



CARVER. 319 

board at high water. At the dawn of day 
they were surprised with the war-cry of the 
natives and a flight of arrows. They imme- 
diately seized their arms, and on the first dis- 
charge of musketry all the Indians fled but 
one stout man, who stood three shots behind 
a tree, and then retired, as they supposed 
wounded. They took up eighteen arraws, 
headed either with brass, deer's horns, or 
birds' claws, which they sent as a present to 
their friends in England. This unwelcome 
reception, and the shoal water of the place,* 
determined them to seek farther. They sail- 
ed along the shore as near as the extensive 
shoals would permit, but saw no harbour. 
The weather began to look threatening, and 
Coppin assured them that they might reach 
the harbour of which he had some knowl- 
edge before night. The wind being south- 
erly, they put themselves before it.f After 

* Morton says, " This is thought to be a place called Nam- 
skeket" (p. 44). A creek, which now bears the name of Ska- 
kit, lies between Eastham and Harwich, distant about three or 
four miles westward from Nauset, the seat of a tribe of In- 
dians, who (as they afterward learned) made this attack.* 

t The distance directly across the bay from Skakit is about 

* Dr f Freeman, in his notes on Mourt's Relation (Mats. 
Hist. Coll . viii., 219), supposes this to be Great Meadow Creek, 
in Truro. H.] 



320 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

some hours it began to rain ; the storm increas- 
ing, their rudder broke, their mast sprung, 
and their sails fell overboard. In this pit- 
eous plight, steering with two oars, the wind 
and the flood tide carried them into a cove 
full of breakers, and, it being dark, they were 
in danger of being driven on shore. The pi- 
lot confessed that he lOiew not the place ; 
but a stout seamen, who was steering, called 
to the rowers to put about and row hard. 
This effort happily brought them out of the 
cove into a fair sound, and under a point of 
land where they came safely to anchor. They 
were divided in their opinions about going 
on shore ; but about midnight, the wind shift- 
ing to the northwest, the severity of the cold 
made a fire necessary. They therefore got 
on shore, and with some difficulty kindled a 
fire, and rested in safety. 

In the morning they found themselves on 
a small uninhabited island, within the en- 
trance of a spacious bay.* Here they stay- 
is leagues ; in Prince's Annals it is said they sailed 15 leagues 
"along the coast," 166. 

* This island has ever since borne the name of Clark's Isl- 
and, from the mate of the ship, the first man who stepped on 
shore. The cove where they were in danger lies between the 
Gurnet Head and Saguish Point, at the entrance of Plymouth 
Bay. 



CARVER 321 

ed all the next day (Saturday) drying their 
clothes, cleaning their arms, and repairing, 
as well as they could, their shallop. The fol- 
lowing day, being the Christian Sabbath, 
they rested. 

On Monday, December llth, they survey- 
ed and sounded the bay, which is described 
to be " in the shape of a fishhook ; a good 
harbour for shipping, larger than that of 
Cape Cod ; containing two small islands 
without inhabitants, innumerable store of 
fowls, different sorts of fish, besides shellfish 
in abundance. As they marched into the 
land* they found cornfields and brooks, and 
a very good situation for building."! With 
this joyful news they returned to the compa- 
ny, and on the 16th of December the ship 
came to anchor in the harbour, with all the 
passengers, except four who died at Cape 
Cod. 

Having surveyed the land, as well as the 
season would permit, in three days, they 

The rock on which they first stepped ashore at high water 
is now enclosed with a wharf. The upper part of it has been 
separated from the lower part, and drawn into the public square 
of the town of Plymouth, where it is distinguished by the name 
of The Forefather's Rock. The 22d of December (Gregorian 
style) is regarded by the people of Plymouth as a festival, 
t Mourt's Relation in Purchas, v., 1847. 



322 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

pitched upon a high ground on the southwest 
side of the bay, which was cleared of wood, 
and had formerly been planted. Under the 
south side of it was " a very sweet brook, in 
the entrance of which the shallop and boats 
could be secured, and many delicate springs 
of as good water as could be drank." On 
the opposite side of the brook was a cleared 
field, and beyond it a commanding eminence, 
on which they intended to lay a platform and 
mount their cannon. 

They went immediately to work laying 
out house-lots and a street ; felling, sawing, 
riving, and carrying timber ; and before the 
end of December, though much interrupted 
by stormy weather, by the death of two, and 
the sickness of many of their number, they 
had erected a storehouse, with a thatched 
roof, in which their goods were deposited, 
under a guard. Two rows of houses were 
begun, and, as fast as they could be covered,* 
the people, who were classed into nineteen 
families, came ashore, and were lodged in 
them. On Lord's day, the 31st of Decem- 
ber, they attended Divine service for the first 

* [" He agreed that every man should build his own house, 
tliiakiug by that course men would make more haste fnan wont- 
ing in common." Mourt. H.] 



C A B V E R, 323 

time on shore, and named the place PLY- 
MOUTH, partly because this harbour was so 
called in Captain Smith's map, published 
three or four years before, and partly in re- 
membrance of the very kind and friendly 
treatment which they had received from the 
inhabitants of Plymouth, the last port of their 
native country from which they sailed. 

At this time some of the people lodged 
on shore and others on board the ship, which 
lay at the distance of a mile and a half from 
the town, and, when the tide was out, there 
could be no communication between them. 
On the 14th of January, very early in the 
morning, as Governor Carver and Mr. Brad- 
ford lay *ick in bed at the storehouse, the 
thatched roof, by means of a spark, caught 
on fire and was soon consumed ; but, by the 
timely assistance of the people on shore, the 
lower part of the building was preserved. 
Here were deposited their whole stock of 
ammunition and several loaded guns ; but, 
happily, the fire did not reach them. The 
fire was seen by the people on board the 
ship, who could not come on shore till an 
hour afterward. They were greatly alarmed 
at the appearance, because two men, who 
had strolled into the woods, were missing, 
U. B B 



324 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

and they were apprehensive that the Indians 
had made an attack on theplace. In the 
evening the strollers found their way home, 
almost dead with hunger, fatigue, and cold. 

The bad weather and severe hardships to 
which this company were exposed, in a cli- 
mate much more rigorous than any to which 
they had ever been accustomed, with the 
scorbutic habits contracted in their voyage, 
and by living so long on shipboard, caused 
a great mortality among them in the winter. 
Before the month of April nearly one half* 
of them died. At some times the number of 
.he sick was so great that not more than six 
or seven were fit for duty, and these were 
almost wholly employed in attending the sick. 
The ship's company was in the same situa- 
tion, and Captain Jones, though earnestly 
desirous to get away, was obliged to stay till 
April, having lo^t one half of his men. 

By the beginning of March the governor 
was so far recovered of his first illness that 

* The exact bill of mortality, as collected by Mr. Prince, is 
te follows : 

In December . . 6 Of these, 21 were subscribers to the 
In January ... 8 civil compact, 

In February . . 17 and 23 were women, children, 

In March .... 13 and servants. 

Total . . 44 44 



CARVER. 326 

he was able to walk three miles to visit a 
large pond which Francis Billington had 
discovered from the top of a tree on a hill. 
At first it was supposed to be part of the 
ocean, but it proved to be the headwater of 
the brook which runs by the town. It has 
ever since borne the name of the first discov- 
erer,* which would otherwise have been for- 
gotten. 

Hitherto they had not seen any of the na- 
tives at this place. t The mortal pestilence 
which raged through the country four years 
before had almost depopulated it. One re- 
markable circumstance attending this pesti- 
lence was not known till after this settlement 
was made. A French ship had been wreck- 
ed on Cape Cod.$ The men were saved, 
with their provisions and goods.} The na- 
tives kept their eye on them till they found 
an opportunity to kill all but three or four, 
and divide their goods. The captives were 
sent, from one tribe to another as slaves. One 
of them learned so much of their language as 
to tell them that " God was angry with them 
fdr their cruelty, and would destroy them and 

* [Still called Billington Sea. H.] 

t See Gorges's Life, p. 57 of this volume. 

t Mourt in Pur., 1849. $ Morton, 60. 



326 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

give their country to another people." They 
answered that " they were too many for God 
to kill." He replied that, " if they were ever 
so many, God had many ways to kill them 
of which they were then ignorant." When 
the pestilence came among them (a new dis- 
ease, probably the yellow fever*), they re- 
membered the Frenchman's words, and, when 
the Plymouth settlers arrived at Cape Cod, 
the few survivers imagined that the other part 
of his prediction would soon be accomplish- 
ed. Soon after their arrival, the Indian priests 
or powows convened, and performed their 
incantations in a dark swamp three days suc- 
cessively, with a view to curse and destroy 
the new-comers. Had they known the mor- 
tality which raged among them, they would 
doubtless have rejoiced in the success of their 
endeavours, and might very easily have taken 
advantage of their weakness to exterminate 
them. But none of them were seen till after 
the sickness had abated, though some tools 
which had been left in the woods were miss- 
ing, which they had stolen in the night. 

On the sixteenth of March, when the spring 
was so far advanced as to invite them to make 
their gardens, a savage came boldly into the 

* See p. 58 of this volume. 



CARVER. 327 

place alone, walked through the street to tire 
rendezvous or storehouse, and pronounced 
the words Welcome, Englishmen ! His name 
was Samoset ; he belonged to a place distant 
five days' journey to the eastward, and had 
learned of the fishermen to speak broken 
English. 

He was received with kindness and hospi- 
tality, and he informed them " that, by the 
late pestilence, and a ferocious war, the num- 
ber of his countrymen had been so diminished 
that not more than one in twenty remained ; 
that the spot where they were now seated was 
called Patukset, and, though formerly popu- 
lous, yet every human being in it had died of 
the pestilence." This account was confirm- 
ed by the extent of the fields, the number of 
graves, and the remnants of skeletons lying 
on the ground. 

The account which he gave of himself was, 
" that he had been absent from home eight 
moons, part of the time among the Nausets, 
their nearest neighbours at the southeast, who 
were about one hundred strong, and more 
lately among the Wompaneags at the west- 
ward, who were about sixty ; that he had 
heard of the attack made on them by the 
Nausets at Namskeket; that these people were 



328 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

full of resentment against the Europeans, on 
account of the perfidy of Hunt, master of an 
English vessel, who had some years before 
the pestilence decoyed some of the natives 
(twenty from Patukset and seven from Nau- 
set) on board his ship, and sold them abroad 
as slaves ;* that they had killed three Eng- 
lish fishermen, besides the Frenchmen afore 
mentioned, in revenge for this affront. He 
also gave information of the lost tools, and 
promised to see them restored, and that he 
would bring the natives to trade with them." 

Samoset being dismissed with a present, 
returned the next day with five more of the 
natives, bringing the stolen tools, and a few 
skins for trade. t They were dismissed with 
a request to bring more, which they promised 
in a few days. Samoset feigned himself sick, 
and remained; but, as his companions did 
not return at the time, he was sent to inquire 
the reason. 

On the 22d he returned, in company with 
Squanto or Squantum, a native of Patusket, 
and the only one then living. He was one 

* [This was in 1614. New-England's Trials, 16. Hunt sold 
them at Malaga for 20 a head. Prince, 132. H.] 

t [" But, being the Lord's day, we would not trade, but, en- 
tertaining them, bid them come again." Mourt. H.] 



C A K V E H. 329 

of the twenty whom Hunt had carried away ; 
he had been sold in Spain, had lived in Lon- 
don with John Slany, merchant, treasurer of 
the Newfoundland Company ; had learned 
the English language, and came back to his 
native country with the fishermen.* These 
two persons were deputed by the sachem of 
the Wompaneags, Mas-sas-o-itJ whose resi- 
dence was at Sowams or Pokanoket, on the 
Narraganset Bay,}: to announce his coming, 
and bring some skins as a present. In about 
an hour the sachem, with his brother Qua-de- 
qui-nah, and his whole force of sixty men, ap- 
peared on the hill over against them. Squan- 
tum was sent to know his pleasure, and re- 
turned with the sachem's request that one of 
the company should come to him. Edward 
Winslow immediately went alone, carrying a 
present in his hand, with the governor's com- 
pliments, desiring to see the sachem, and 
enter on a friendly treaty. Massasoit left 
Winslow in the custody of his brother, to 

* [Squanto relumed with Captain Thomas Dermer in 1619. 
Prince, 153. H.J 

t Mr. Prince says that Mas-sas-o-it is word of four sylla- 
bles, and was so pronounced by the ancient people of Plymouth 
(p. 101). This remark is confirmed by the manner in which it i 
pelled in some parts of Mr. Winslow's Narrative, Ma-sas-o-wt 

t [See Dr. Belknao's note to page 12 of vol iii. H.J 



330 * AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY. 

whom another present was made, and, taking 
twenty of his men, unarmed, descended the 
hill towards the brook, over which lay a log 
bridge. Captain Miles Standish, at the head 
of six men, met him at the brook, and escort- 
ed him and his train to one of the best hou- 
ses, where three or four cushions were placed 
on a green rug spread over the floor. The. 
governor came in, preceded by a drum and 
trumpet, the sound of which greatly delight- 
ed the Indians. After mutual salutations,* he 
entered into conversation with the sachem, 
which issued in a treaty. The articles were, 
" 1. That neither he nor his should injure 
any of ours. 2. That if they did, he should 
send the offender, that we might punish him. 
3. That if our tools were taken away, he 
should restore them. 4. That if any unjustly 
warred against him, we would aid him ; and 
if any warred against us, he should aid us. 

* [" Our governor kissing his hand, the king kissed him, and 
so they sat down." Mourt, 229. On page 230 of the same, Ma- 
sassoit is thus described : " In his person he is a very lusty man, 
in his best years, an able body, grave of countenance, and spa* 
ring of speech ; in attire little or nothing differing from the 
rest of his followers, only in a great chain of white bone beads 
about his neck ; and at it, behind his neck, hangs a little bag 
of tobacco, which he drank (smoked) and gave us to drink. 
His face was painted with a sad red like murrey, and oiled both 
head and face, that he looked greasily. The king had in his bo- 
som, hanging by a string, a great long Icnife." H.] 



331 

X 

5. That he should certify his neighbour con- 
federates of this, that they might not wrong 
us, but be comprised in the conditions of 
peace. 6. That when their men came to us, 
they should leave their bows and arrows be- 
hind them, as we should leave our pieces 
when we came to them. 7. That in doing 
thus, King JAMES would esteem him as his 
friend and ally."* 

The conference being ended, and the com- 
pany having been entertained with such re- 
freshments as the place afforded, the sachem 
returned to his camp. This treaty, the work 
of one day, being honestly intended on both 
sides, was kept with fidelity as long as Ma- 
sassoit lived, but was afterward broken by 
Philip, his successor. 

The next day Massasoit sent for some of 
the English to visit him. Captain Standish 
and Isaac Allerton went, were kindly re- 
ceived, and treated with groundnuts and to- 
bacco. 

The sachem then returned to his headquar- 
ters, distant about forty miles ; but Squantum 

* [For the events of the first year of the Plymouth colony 
in New-England, we are much indebted to a work entitled 
"Mourt's Journal of a Plantation settled at Plymouth," written 
probably by Edward Winslow. It was abridged in Purchms, v., 
and printed, with notes, in Mass. Hist. Coll., TJii., tt9, wqq. 
-H] 



332 AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY 

and Samoset remained at Plymoutn, and in- 
structed the people how to plant their corn, 
and dress it with herrings, of which an im- 
mense quantity came into the brooks. The 
ground which they planted with corn was 
twenty acres. They sowed six acres with 
barley and pease ; the former yielded an in- 
different crop, but the latter were parched 
with the heat, and came to nothing.* 

While they were engaged in this labour, in 
which all were alike employed, on the fifth 
of April (the day on which the ship sailed for 
England) Governor Carver came out of the 
field at noon, complaining of a pain in his 
head, caused by the heat of the sun. It soon 
deprived him of his senses, and in a few days 
put an end to his life, to the great grief of 
this infant plantation. He was buried with 
all the honours which could be shown to the 
memory of a good man by a grateful people. 
The men were under arms, and fired several 
volleys over his grave. His affectionate wife, 
overcome with her loss, survived him but six 
weeks. 

Mr. Carver is represented as a man of great 
prudence, integrity, and firmness of mind. 

* [At a general meeting, March 23d, Mr. Carver was " cho- 
en, or rather confirmed," governor for the ensuing year. H. J 



CARVER. 333 

He had a good estate in England, which he 
spent in the emigration to Holland and Amer- 
ica. He was one of the foremost in action, 
and bore a large share of sufferings in the 
service of the colony, who confided in him 
as their friend and father. Piety, humility, 
and benevolence were eminent traits in his 
character, and it is particularly remarked, that 
in the time of general sickness which befell 
the colony, and with which he was affected, 
after he had himself recovered, he was assid- 
uous in attending the sick, and performing 
the most humiliating services for them, with- 
out any distinction of persons or characters. 

One of his grandsons lived to the age of 
one hundred and two years ; and about the 
middle of the present century (1755), he, his 
son, grandson, and great-grandson were all 
at the same time at work in the same field, 
while an infant of the fifth generation was 
within the house, at Marshfield. 

The memory of Governor Carver is still 
held in esteem ; a ship belonging to Plymouth 
now bears his name, and his broadsword is 
deposited as a curiosity in the cabinet of the 
Historical Society at Boston. 

END OF VOL. ii. 



University of California 

SOUTHERN REGIONAL LIBRARY FACILITY 

305 Oe Neve Drive - Parking Lot 17 Box 951388 

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA 90095-1388 

Return this material to the library from which it was borrowed. 



QL OCT G s 200; 




001 046 808 



I 

187.5 

B41a 

1855 

v.2