صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

SECT. long afterwards, and that on the north side Cape VI. Charles, in honour of the then duke of York, who 1607. was afterwards king Charles I, of England. Impa

14

J

tient to land, a party of about thirty men went on shore at Cape Henry, to recreate and refresh themselves, but they were suddenly and boldly attacked by only five savages, who wounded two of them very dangerously." A large and beautiful river which empties itself into the bay, on the west of Cape Henry, naturally first invited their attention. It was in that season of the year when the country is clothed in its richest verdure, and seemed to pre-sent itself to them dressed in its most attractive charms. In search of some fit place for a settlement, they proceeded up this river, to which they gave the name of James, in honour of his majesty; though called by the natives Powhatan, probably in honour of their grand chief or sovereign, who ́ occasionally dwelt on its banks. Near the mouth of this river they met with five of the natives, who invited them to their town, Kecoughtan, or Kichotan, where Hampton now stands. Here those who went on shore were feasted with cakes made of Indian corn, and "regaled with tobacco and a dance."* In return, they presented to the natives beads and other trinkets. As they proceeded further up the river, another company of Indians appeared in arms. Their chief Apamatica, holding in one hand his bow and arrows, and in the other a pipe of tobacco, demanded the cause of their coming. They made signs of peace, and were received in a friend-·

·

.

Smith's Hist. of Virginia.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ly manner. On further exploring the river they sECT. came to a peninsula, situated on the north side of

VI.

A

[ocr errors]

it, where they were also hospitably received by the 1607. natives, whose chief Paspiha, being informed of their intentions, offered them as much land as they wanted, and sent them a deer for their entertainment. As this peninsula was so situated as not only to afford them convenient anchorage, but some security against any invasion of the natives, it was fixed upon as the most eligible spot for their first colonisation. Accordingly they here debarked on the 13th of May, and called the place James' town, which name it has ever since retained. The sealed instructions before-mentioned being now opened, it was found, that Bartholomew Gosnold, John Smith, Edward Maria Wingfield, Christopher Newport, John Martin, John Ratcliffe, and George Kendall, were appointed counsellors, who being duly sworn, proceeded, according to the king's instruction under the privy seal before-mentioned, to elect their president, of which their choice fell upon Edward Maria Wingfield. They excluded Smith from the council, and a declaration was entered on their minutes, setting down at large their reasons for so doing. He was released from his confinement, but it was with some difficulty that he could obtain a trial in the colony, his accusers proposing that he should be sent to England for that purpose. After a fair hearing, however, he was honourably acquitted of the charges against him, and took his seat in the council.

As a minute detail of the proceedings of these

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

VI.

SECT. colonists, and the events which attended them, more properly appertains to a history of Virginia, of which there are several, we shall for the future confine ourselves only to those incidents thereof which have some immediate relation to that of Maryland.

1607.

[ocr errors]

SECTION VII.

The distresses of the first Virginia colony, and the services of captain Smith-His first attempt to explore the bay of Chesapeake→ His second attempt more successful—A general sketch of the tribes of Indians then inhabiting Virginia and Maryland-Smith becomes president of Virginia, and the tenor of some instructions from England to Virginia-An attempt of the Plymouth company to settle a colony in Maine-The second charter of Virginia, and the causes of granting it-The settlement of the Dutch at New York-English attempt to settle Newfoundland-The third charter of Virginia-Captain Argall's expedition to break up the Freneh and Dutch settlements at Nova Scotia and New York.

VII.

tresses of

Virginia

and the

services of

Smith.

DURING the remaining part of the year 1607, SECT. after the arrival and settlement of this first Virginia colony at James' town, it appears to have struggled 1607. with much difficulty for existence. The provisions The diswhich were left for their sustenance by Newport, the first who sailed with his ships for England, some time in colony, June this year, were not only scanty, but bad in their quality, having received damage in the holds captain of their ships during the voyage. Hence the cololonists became subject to diseases, arising as well from the unhealthiness of the climate, as from à scarcity bordering on famine. This contributed much to a diminution of their numbers. They were harassed also with repeated attacks by the natives, who were far from being content with the visit of these strangers, when they found out that it would probably be permanent. Added to those difficulties, the conduct of their president Wingfield, and his successor Ratcliffe, was such as to

VII.

SECT. excite considerable disturbance and dissatisfaction. Disregarding the distresses of the colony, these 1607. presidents had not only consumed the stores of provisions, in the indulgence of their own luxury, but had planned schemes for deserting the country and escaping to England. Smith, whose active and vigorous mind had been constantly employed during these distresses, both in protecting the colony from the hostile attacks of the savages, and in procuring from the natives corn and other provisions, was obviously the only member of the council in whom the colonists could, with any confidence, repose the administration of their affairs. Pursuing with ardour, his endeavours to procure supplies, as well as to explore the country, he was unfortunately captured by the Indians; but after undergoing an interesting series of adventures, with them for seven weeks, his life was almost miraculously saved, through the amiable interposition of the princess Pocahontas, a favourite daughter of the emperor Powhatan. Restored to, the colony again, his influence became doubly necessary. Wearied with their hardships and distresses, a great portion of the colony had determined to abandon the country. He arrived just in time to prevent the execution of their design. By persuasion; he obtained a majority for continuing; and by force, he compelled the minority to submit. He now experienced also, some benefit from his captivity; for it acquired him considerable repute among the Indians, and enabled him to preserve the colony in plenty of provisions until the arrival of two vessels, which had been dispatched from England under the command of cap

[ocr errors]
« السابقةمتابعة »