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by the earl of Southanipton and lord Arundel, under the com- 1605. mand of George Weymouth. He sailed from the Downs with 28 persons on the last of March ; and on the 14th of May dis- March 31. covered land in about 41° 30' north latitude. Being entangled here among shoals, he quitted this land, and about 50 leagues May 18. distant discovered several islands, on one of which he landed, Lands on and called it St. George. Within three leagues of this island he which he came into a harbour, which he called Pentecost harbour ; then calls St.
George. sailed up a great river 40 miles; set up crosses in several places;
Pentecost and had some traffic with the natives. In July, he returned to harbour. England, carrying with him five Indians; one a Sagamore, and three others of them persons of distinction.'
ALTHOUGH 109 years had elapsed since the discovery of the 1606. continent of America by the Cabots, in the service of Henry VII. of England ; yet the English had made no effectual settlement in any part of the New World. Twenty years had passed since the first attempt of Sir Walter Raleigh to establish a colony in Virginia ; but not an Englishman was now to be found in all the Virginia territory. The period, however, of English colonization at length arrived. The grant made to Raleigh being void by his attainder, several gentlemen, by the incitement of Mr. Richard Hakluyt, petitioned king James, to grant them a patent for the settling of two plantations on the main coasts of America. The king ac
. Rosier's account of this voyage is in Purchas, v. 1659—1676; and in Smith, Virg. 18—20; entitled, “ Relation of Discovery Northward of Virginia, by George Weymouth: Written by James Rosier." See also Harris' Voy. i. 817, 818. Keith, 52. Prince, 14. Stith, 34. “ The discovery of which they seem to be proudest was that of a river, which they do upon many accounts prefer to any known American river.” Dr. Belknap, in his first volume of American Biography, says, this great river is supposed to be either Penobscot, or Kenebeck; but, before the publication of his second volume, he had satisfied himself, after careful examination and inquiry, that it was the Penobscot. Americ. Biog. i. 41; ii. 149. Purchas [i. 755.] says, Weymouth“ discovered three score miles up a most excellent river.”
2 Three years before, at the time of queen Elizabeth's death (1603), which was 110 years after the discovery of America by Columbus, neither the French, Dutch, nor English, nor any other nation, excepting the Spanish, had made any permanent settement in this New World. In North America, to the north of Mexico, not a single European family could be found. The French had now (1606) just begun to make settlements in Canada and Acadie; and these, with the Spanish soldiers, maintained at two or three posts in Florida, appear to have been all the Europeans in North America.
3 He had been arraigned for high treason, and declared guilty ; but was reprieved, and committed to the Tower of London. Oldys, Life of Ralegh, 152 -157.
4 Mr. Hakluyt, at that time prebendary of Westminster, was “the most active and efficacious promoter” of the English settlements in America; and to him · England is more indebted for its American possessions than to any man of that age.' Robertson, b. 9, where there is a sketch of his character. He published his first volume of Voyages and Discoveries of the English Nation in 1589, and the third, in 1600; a work, which will perpetuate the praise due to his learning, diligence, and fidelity; and which will always furnish some of the best materials for American history. See also Belknap, Biog. i. 408.
K. James divides Vir
1606. cordingly, by a patent, dated the 10th of April, divided that
portion of North America, which stretches from the 34th to April 10.
the 45th degree of latitude, into two districts, nearly equal.
The Southern, called the First Colony, he granted to the Longinia into
don Company; the Northern, called the Second Colony, he 2 colonies. granted to the Plymouth Company. He authorized Sir Thomas The First is Gates, Sir George Somers, Richard Hakluyt, Edward Maria allotted to Wingfield, and their associates, chiefly resident in London, to Company: settle any part that they should choose, of the Southern district;
and vested in them a right of property to the land, extending along the coast fifty miles on each side of the place of their first
habitation, and reaching into the interior country 100 miles. the Second, The Northern district he allotted, as a place
of settlement, to Plymouth several knights, gentlemen, and merchants of Bristol, Plymouth, Company. and other parts of the west of England, with a similar grant of
The supreme government of the colonies that were to be settled, was vested in a Council, resident in England, to be named by the king, according to such laws and ordinances as should be given under his sign manual ; and the subordinate jurisdiction was committed to a council, resident in America, which was also
to be nominated by the king, and to act conformably to his inPrivileges. Structions. The charter, while it thus restricted the emigrants in
the important article of internal regulation, secured to them and their descendants all the rights of denizens, in the same manner as if they had remained or had been born in England ; and granted them the privilege of holding their lands in America by the freest and least burdensome tenure. The king permitted whatever was necessary for the sustenance or commerce of the new colonies to be exported from England, during the space of seven years, without paying any duty; and, as a farther incitement to industry, he granted them liberty of trade with other nations; and appropriated the duty, to be levied on foreign commodities, for 21 years, as a fund for the benefit of the colonies. He also granted them liberty of coining for their own use ; of repelling enemies; and of staying ships that should trade there without leave.2
1“ That vast country, being found upon experience and tryal too large to be moulded upon one entire government, it was thought meet should be divided into a first and second colony." Hubbard, MS. N. Eng. 29. The Southem Colony was desirous of “ beginning their Plantation and Habitation in some fit and convenient place” between 34 and 41 degrees north latitude, along the coasts of Virginia; the Northern Colony was desirous of planting between 38 and 45 degrees; and the Charter gave liberty accordingly : “ Provided that the Plantation and Habitation of such of the said Colonies, as shall last plant themselves shall not be made within one hundred English miles of the other of them, that first began to make their Plantation.” Charter.
2 Stith, Virg. Appendix, No. 1, and Hazard, Coll. i. 50–58, contain entire
King James, on the 20th of November, issued “orders and 1606. instructions for the colonies," under the privy seal of England. He invested the general superintendence of the colonies in a Royal orcouncil in England, composed of a few persons of consideration ders issued and talents, who were empowered to make laws, and to constitute onies. officers for their government, with a proviso, that such ordinancss should not touch any man's life or member; should only continue in force until made void by the king, or his council; and should be, in substance, consonant to the laws of England.i
Lord Chief Justice Popham, Sir Ferdinando Gorges, and Aug. 12. some others of the Plymouth Company, sent Henry Challons, in magage of
H.Challons. a ship of 50 tons, to make farther discovery of the coasts of North Virginia ; and, if it should appear expedient, to leave as many men as he could spare in the country. On his passage Nov. 12. from the West India islands toward the American coast, he and is taken his crew, consisting of about 30 persons, were taken by a Spanish and carried fleet, and carried into Spain, where his vessel was confiscated.?
Although this misfortune damped the courage of the first adventurers ; yet the lord chief justice Popham having immediately after the departure of Challons sent out another ship, under the command of Thomas Hanam, whose business was not so much to plant, as to make discovery in order to planting; the account given of the country, on the return of this ship, was so favourable, that the people of England were encouraged, and the year after came more boldly forward as adventurers.
copies of this Patent. Purchas, b. 9. c. 1. Harris' Voy. i. 818. Smith, Virg. 203. Hubbard, N. Eng. c. 15. Brit. Emp. Introd. i. 22. Robertson, b. 9. Memoires de l'Amerique, ii. 185—192.
i Chalmers, b. 1. c. 2. Burke's Hist. Virginia, i. 85–92.
2 Purchas, b. 10. c. 1, 2, where there is an entire account of this voyage. See also Prince, 1606. Chalmers, i, 79. Univ. Hist. xxxix. 270. Joselyn, Voy. 244. Harris' Voy. i. 851. Brit. Emp. i. 255.
3 Purchas, v. 1827. Harris' Voy. i. 851. Prince says, that Martin Prinn was in this voyage with Hanam; that they had supplies for Challons, but, not finding him, returned to England; and that Sir F. Gorges said, Prinn brought the most exact account of the Virginia coast, that ever came to his hand. He is generally named Pring. See A. D. 1603.
FROM THE FIRST PERMANENT SETTLEMENT IN VIRGINIA, IN
1607, TO THE SETTLEMENT OF PLYMOUTH, IN 1620.
1607. This is the remarkable epoch of the arrival of the first permanent
manent colony on the Virginia coast. On the reception of the
English nation undertook the arduous task of planting the South-
It was the intention of captain Newport to land at Roanoke;
but, being driven by a violent storm to the northward of that Chesapeak place, he stood directly into the spacious Bay of Chesapeak, which Bay with seemed to invite his entrance. The promontory on the south of
the bay be named Cape Henry, in honour of the Prince of
the first colonists.
Smith, Hist. of Virginia, b. 2, 3. Purchas, Pilgrimage, i. 756 ; v. 1685.
Wales; and that on the north, Cape Charles, in honour of the 1607. Duke of York, afterward king Charles First of England. Thirty men, going on shore at Cape Henry for recreation, were suddenly assaulted by five Indians, who wounded two of them very dangerously. At night the box was opened, and the orders were Royal inread, in which Bartholomew Gosnold, John Smith, Edward Wing- structions field, Christopher Newport, John Ratcliffe, John Martin, and opened. George Kendall, were named to be of the council, and to choose from their number a president for a year, who, with the council, should govern the colony. The adventurers were employed in seeking a place for settlement until the 13th of May, when they may 13. took possession of a peninsula on the north side of the river Take posPowhatan, called by the English James River, about 40 miles session, and from its mouth. To make room for their projected town, they build a here began to cut down the trees of the forest, which had for town. centuries afforded shelter and food to the natives. The code of laws, hitherto cautiously concealed, was at length promulgated. Affairs of moment were to be examined by a jury, but deter- Laws promined by the major part of the council, in which the president mulgated. was to have two voices. The council was sworn; Wingfield was chosen president; and “now commenced the rule of the Wingfield most ancient administration of Virginia, consisting of seven per- president sons, and forming a pure aristocracy.” The members of the council, while they adhered to their orders in the choice of their president, on the most frivolous pretences excluded from a seat among them, Smith, famous in colonial annals, though nominated by the same instrument, from which they derived their authority. Animosities arose. Appeased in a degree at length by the prudent exhortations of Mr. Hunt, their chaplain, Smith was admitted into the council ; and, receiving the communion the next day, they all turned their undivided attention to the government of a colony, “ feeble in numbers and enterprise, which was thus planted in discord, and grew up in misery.” In honour of king James, they called the town which they now built, James Town uitTown. This was the first permanent habitation of the English ined James in America.
Newport and Smith, sent with 20 men to discover the head of the river Powhatan, arrived in six days at a town of the same name, consisting of about 12 houses, the principal and hereditary seat of Powhatan, emperor of the country. Although they received kind treatment throughout this excursion; yet, on their return to James Town, they found 17 men hurt, and a boy slain, by the Indians. To guard against frequent and sudden assaults
1 Chalmers, b. 1. 17–19. Newes from Virginia.
2 It was pleasantly situated on a hill, a little below the spot where Richmond is now built. Belknap, Biog. i. 256.