Jamestown - Timeline (Collapse All)
1. All Kingdomes are maintained by Rents of traficque, but especially by the latter, which in maritaine places most floriseth by means of Navigation.
8. Where Collonies are fownded for a publique-well maye continewe in better obedience, and become more industrious, then where private men are absolute signors . . . for-as-much as better men of haviour and qualitie will ingage themselves in a publique service, which carrieth more reputacon with it, then a private, which is for the most part ignominious in the end.
11. . . . likewise we shall recieve such things as shalbe most available to our necessaties, which intercourse of trade maye rather be called a home bread trafique than a forraigne exchange.
14. The want of our fresh and presente supplie of our discoveries hath in manner taken awaye the title which the Lawe of nacions giveth us unto the Coast first fownde out by our industrie, forasmuch as whasoever a man relinquiseth mayebe claymned by the next findor as his own property neither is it sufficient to set foot in a countrie but to possesse and howld it.
wee greately commending and graciously accepting of their desires to the furtherance of soe noble a worke which may by the providence of Almightie God hereafter tende to the glorie of hys divyne maiestie in propagating of Christian religion to suche people as yet live in darknesse and myserable ignorance of the true knowledge and worshippe of god and may in tyme bring the infidels and salvages lyving in those partes to humane civilitie and to a setled and quiete governmente.
You brave heroic minds,
Worthy your country's name,
That honor still pursue,
Go, and subdue,
Whilst loit'ring hinds
Lurk here at home, with shame.
. . .
And cheerfully at sea,
Success you still entice,
To get the pearl and gold,
And ours to hold,
Earth's only paradise,
. . .
And in regions far
Such heroes bring ye forth,
As those from whom we came;
And plant our name
Under that star
Not known unto our north.
Furthermore our will and pleasure is, and we doe hereby determine and ordaine, that euery person and persons being our subjects of euery the said Collonie and Plantations shall from time to time well entreate those saluages in those parts, and use all good meanes to draw the saluages and heathen people of the said seueral places and of the territories and Countries adjoining to the true seruice and knowledge of God, and that all just, kind and charitable courses shall be holden with such of them, as shall conforme themselues to any good and sociable traffique and dealing with the subjects of us . . . whereby they may be the sooner drawne to the true knowledge of God, and the Obedience of us, our heires and successors, under such seuere paines and punishments as shal be inflicted by the same saueral Presidents and Councells.
And that immediately upon the Election and nomination of the said President the President himself Shall in the presence of said Counsel and Some twenty of the Principal Persons adventureres in the said Voyage to be by the Said President and Counsel Called thereunto take his Corporal Oath upon the holy Evangelists of Alleageance to Our Soverain Lord the king.
Secondly you must in no Case Suffer any of the natural people of the Country to inhabit between You and the Sea Coast for you Cannot Carry Your Selves so towards them but they will Grow Discontented with Your habitation and be ready to Guide and assist any Nation that Shall Come to invade You and if You neglect this You neglect Your Safety. . . .
In all Your Passages you must have Great Care not to Offend the naturals if You Can Eschew it and imploy Some few of your Company to trade with them for Corn and all Other lasting Victuals . . . and this you must Do before that they perceive you mean to plant among them. . . .
And how Weary Soever your Soldiers be Let them never trust the Country people with the Carriage of their Weapons for if they Run from You with Your Shott which they only fear they will Easily kill them with all their arrows. And whensoever any of Yours Shoots before them be sure that they be Chosen out of your best Markesmen for if they See Your Learners miss what they aim at they will think the Weapon not so terrible and thereby will be bould to Assailt You. Above all things Do not advertize the killing of any of your men that the Country people may know . . . they are but Common men. . . . Do well also not to Let them See or know of Your Sick men . . . which may also Encourage them to many Enterprizes.
we were entertayned with much Courtesye in every place. We found here a Wiroans . . . gaus vs a Deare roasted . . . His people gaue us mullberyes, sodd wheate and beanes, and he caused his weomen to make Cakes for vs. . . . he was willing to send guydes with vs. . . .
Further we certifyed him that we were frendes with all his people. . . . Here vpon he . . .moved of his owne accord a leauge of fryndship with vs. . . .
So vpon one of the little Ilettes at the mouth of the falls he [Newport] sett vp a Crosse with this inscriptyon Jacobus Rex 1607. and his owne name below: At the erecting hereof we prayed for our kyng and our owne prosperous succes in this his Actyon, and proclaymed him kyng, with a greate showte. . . .
they would shew vs any thing we Demaunded, and laboured very much by signes to make vs vnderstand their Languadg. . . .
in our absence, there came aboue 200 of them with their kyng and gaue a furious Assault on our fort, endaungering their overthrowe. . . .
Thursday by breake of Day 3 of them had most adventurously stollen vnder our Bullwark and hidden themselues in the long grasse; spyed a man of ours going out to doe naturall necessity, shott him in the head, and through the Clothes in two places, but missed the skynne.
The people steal anything that comes neare them, yea are so practized in this art that lookeing in our face they would with their foote betweene their toes convey a chizell knife, percer or any indifferent light thing: which having once conveyed they hold it an injury to take the same from them; They are naturally given to trechery, howbeit we could not finde it in our travell vp the river, but rather a most kind and loving people. . . .
I found they account after death to goe into an other world pointing eastward to the Element, and when they saw vs at prayer they observed vs with great silence and respect. . . .
To conclude they are a very witty and ingenious people, apt both to vnderstand and speake our language, so that I hope in god as he hath miraculously preserved vs hither from all dangers both of sea and land & their fury so he will make vs authors of his holy will in converting them to our true Christian faith by his owne inspireing grace and knowledge of his deity.
We acknowledge ourselves accomptable for our time here spent were it but to give you satisfaction of our industries and affections to this most Honourable action, and the better to quicken those good spirits which have alreadie bestowed themselves here, and to put life into such dead understandings or beleefs that must first see and feel the womb of our labour and this land before they will entertain any good hope of us or of the land.
Within less than seven weeks, we are fortified well against the Indians. We have sown good store of wheat -- we have sent you a taste of Clapboard -- we have built some houses -- we have spared some hands to a discovery, and still as God shall enhable us with strength we will better and better our proceedings. . . .
This land would flow with milk and honey if so seconded by your carefull wisdomes and bountifull hands, wee doe not perswade to shoot one Arrow to seek another but to find them both. And we doubt not but to send them home with goulden heads, at least our desires, labours and lives shall to that engage themselves.
We are set down 80 miles within a River, for breadth, sweetness of water, length navigable up into the country, deep and bold channel so stored with sturgion and other sweet fish as no man's fortune hath ever possessed the like. . . . The soil is most fruitfull, laden with good Oake, Ashe. . . .
We entreat your succours for our seconds with all expedition least that all devouring Spaniard lay his ravenous hands upon those gold showing mountains, which if we be so enabled he shall never dare to think on. -- This note doth make known where our necessities do most strike us, we beseech your present relief accordingly, otherwise to our greatest and last griefes, we shall against our wills not will that which we most willingly would.
this is all I will saye to you, that svche a Baye, a Ryvar and a land did nevar the eye of mane behovld . . . Rokes & movntynes, that prommyseth Infynt treasver . . . the moste Statle, Riche kingedom in the woorld, nevar posseste by anye Christian prynce . . .
The countrie is excellent and very rich in gold and Copper, of the gold we have brought a say and hope to be with your Lordship shortlie to show it his Majesty and the rest of the Lords.
Oure newe dyscovery ys more Lyke to prove the Lande of Canaan then the Lande of Ophir. . . . In the ende all turned to vapore.
The six and twentieth day of Aprill, about foure a clocke in the morning, wee descried the land of Virginia . . we could find nothing worth the speaking of, but faire meddowes and goodly tall Trees, with such Fresh-waters running through the woods, as I was almost rauished at the first sight thereof. At night, when we were going aboard, there came the Sauages creeping vpon all foure, from the Hills like Beares, with their Bowes in their mouthes, charged vs very desperately in the faces. . . .
The fourteenth day we landed all our men which were set to worke about the fortification [James-fort/ Jamestown], and others some to watch and ward as it was conuenient. The first night of our landing, about midnight, there came some Sauages sayling close to our quarter: presently there was an alarum given; vpon that the sauages ran away, and we were not troubled any more by them that night. Not long after there came two Sauages that seemed to be Commanders, brauely drest, with Crownes of coloured haire vpon their heads, which came as messengers from the Werowance of Paspihae; telling vs that their Werowance was comming and would be merry with vs with a fat Deare. . .
But yet the Sauages murmured at our planting in the Countrie, whereupon this Werowance made answere againe very wisely of a Sauage, Why should you bee offended with them as long as they hurt you not, nor take any thing away by force, they take but a little waste ground, which doth you nor any of vs any good. . . .
Our men were destroyed by with cruell diseases as Swellings, Flixes, Burning Feuers, and by warres, and some departed suddenly, but for the most part they died of meere famine. There were neuer Englishmen left in a forreigne Country in such miserie as wee were in this new discouered Virginia . . . our food was but a small Can of Barlie sod in water to fiue men a day, our drinke cold water cold water taken out of the Riuer, which was at floud verie salt, at a low tide full of slime and filth, which was the destruction of many of our men. Thus we liued for the space of fiue moneths in this miserable distresse. . . . It pleased God, after a while, to send those people which were our mortall enemies to releeue vs with victuals . . otherwise wee had all perished.
The 10 of September, Mr Ratcliff, Mr Smyth, and Mr Martynn, came to the President's tennt with a warrant, subscribed vnder their handes, to depose the President [Wingfield is writing of himself in the third person at this point]; sayeing they thought him very unworthy to be eyther Prsident or of the Councell, and therefore discharged him of bothe. He answered them, that they had eased him of a great deale of care and trouble; that, long since, hee had diuers tymes profered them the place at an easier rate; and, further, that the President ought to be remoued (as appeareth in his Mats instruccons for our government) by the greater number of xiij voyces, Councellors; that they were but three, and therefore wished them to proceede advisedly. But they told him, if they did him wrong, they must answere it. Then said the deposed President, I ame at your pleasure: dispose of me as you will, wthout further garboiles. . . . .
First [Ratliffe] said that I had denyed him a penny whitle, a Chickyn, a spoonfull of beere, and served him with foule Corne. . . . Master Martyn followed with, he reporteth that I doe slack the service in the Collonye, and doe nothing but tend my pot, spitt, and oven. . . .
As I understand by a report, I am much charged wth staruing the Collony. I did alwaies giue eury man his allowance faithfully, both of corne, oyle, aquivite, &c., as was by the Counsell proportioned: neyther was it bettered after my tyme, untill, towards th' end of March, a bisket was allowed to euery workeing man for his breakefast, by means of the puision brought vs by Captn. Newport; as will appeare hereafter. It is further said, I did much banquit and ryot. I never had but one squirell roasted; whereof I gave part to Mr Ratcliff, then sick: yet was that squirell given me. I did never heate a flesh pott but when the comon pot was so used likewise. Yet how often Mr President's and the Councellors' spitts haue night & daye bene endaungered to break their backes,--so laden wth swanns, geese, ducks, &c! how many times their flesh potts haue swelled, many hungry eies did behold, to their great longing; and what great theeues and theeving thear hath been in the comon stoare since my tyme, I doubt not but is already made knowne to his Mats Councell for Virginia. . . . .
The . . . daie of . . . the President did beat James Read, the Smyth. The Smythe stroake him againe. For this he was condemned to be hanged; but, before he was turned of the lather, he desired to speak with the President in private, to whome he accused Mr Kendall of a mutiny, and so escaped himself. What indictment Mr Recorder framed against the Smyth, I knowe not; but I knowe it is familiar for the President, Counsellors, and other officers, to beate men at their pleasures. One lyeth sick till death, another walketh lame, the third cryeth out of all his boanes; wch myseryes they doe take vpon their consciences to come to them by this their alms of beating. Wear this whipping, lawing, beating, and hanging, in Virginia, knowne in England, I fear it would driue many well affected myndes from this honoble action of Virginia. . . .
I can say nothing more then is here written, only what I have learned and gathered from the generall consent of all (that I have conversed withall) as-well marriners as others, which have had imployment that way; is that the Country is excellent & pleasant, the clime temperate and health full, the ground fertill and good, the commodities to be expected (if well followed) many, for our people, the worst being already past, these former having indured the heate of the day, whereby those that shall succeede, may at ease labour for their profit, in the most sweete, cool, and temperate shade: the action most honorable, and the end to the high glory of God, to the erecting of true religion among Infidells, to the overthrow of superstition and idolatrie, to the winning of many thousands of wandring sheepe, unto Christs fold, who now, and till now, have strayed in the unknowne paths of Paganisme, Idolatrie, and superstition. (from the preface by J.H.)
Here we went ashore (being some 12 miles higher then the barge had bene) to refresh our selves, during the boyling of our vituals: One of the Indians I tooke with me, to see the nature of the soile, and to cross the boughts of the river: the other Indian I left with Maister Robbinson and Thomas Emry, with their matches light. And order to discharge a peece, for my retreat, at the first sight of any Indian. But within a quarter of an houre I heard a loud cry, and a hollowing of Indians, but no warning peece. Supposing them surprised, and that the Indians had betraid us, presently I seazed him and bound his arme fast to my hand in a garter, with my pistoll ready bent to be revenged on him: he advised me to fly, and seemed ignorant of what was done. But as we went discoursing, I was struck with an arrow on the right thigh, but without harme: upon this occasion I espied 2 Indians drawing their bowes, which I prevented in discharging a french pistoll: By that I had charged againe, 3 or 4 more did the like: for the first fell downe and fled: At my discharge, they did the like. My hinde I made my barricado, who offered not to strive. 20 or 30 arrowes were shot at me but short. 3 or 4 times I had discharged my pistoll ere the king of Pamaunck called Opekenkenough with 200 men invironed me, eache drawing their bowe: which done they laid them upon the ground, yet without shot: My hinde teated betwixt them and me of conditions of peace; he discovered me to be the Captaine: my request was to retire to the boate: they demaunded my armes, the rest they saide were slaine, onely me they would reserve: The Indian importuned me not to shoot. In retiring being in the midst of a low quagmire, and minding them more then my steps, I stept fast into the quagmire, and also the Indian in drawing me forth: Thus surprised, I resolved to trie their mercies: my armes I caste from me, till which none durst approach me. . . .
Arriving at Weramocomoco, their Emperour proudly lying uppon a Bedstead a foote high, upon tenne or twelves Mattes, richly hung with Manie Chaynes of great Pearles about his necke, and covered with a great Covering of Rahaughcums. At heade sat a woman, at his feete another; on each side sitting uppon a Matte uppon the ground, were raunged his chiefe men on each side of the fire, tenne in a ranke, and behinde them as many young women, each a great Chaine of white Beaddes over their shoulders, their heades painted in redde: and with such a grave and Majesticall countenance, as draue me into admiration to see such state in a naked Salvage. . . .
So fat they fed mee, that I much doubted they intended to have sacrificed mee to the Quiyoughquosicke, which is a superiour power they worship: a more uglier thing cannot be described. One they have for chief sacrifices, which is a superiour power they worship: a more uglier thing cannot be described. One they have for chief sacrifices, which also they call Quiyoughquiosick. To cure the sick, a man, with a Rattle, and extreame howling, showting, singing, and such violent gestures and Anticke actions over the patient, will sucke out blood and flegme from the patient, out of their unable stomacke, or any diseased place, as no labour will more tire them. . . .
Powhatan understanding we detaine certaine Salvages, sent his Daughter [Pocahontas], a child of tenne years old: which, not only for feature, countenance, and proportion, much exceedeth any of the rest of his people: but for wit and spirit, the only Nonpareil of his Country. This hee sent by his most trustie messenger, called Rawhunt, as much exceeding in deformitie of person; but of a subtill wit and crafty understanding. . . .
I Received your Letter, wherein you write, that our minds are so set vpon faction, and idle conceits in diuiding the country without your consents, and that we feed You but with ifs & ands, hopes, & some few proofes. . . . To these particulars I humbly intreat your Pardons if I offend you with my rude Answer. . . .
As for our factions, vnlesse you would huue me run away and leaue the Country, I cannot prevent them; because I do make many stay that would els fly any whether. . . .
For the charge of this Voyage of two or three thousand pounds, we haue not reciued the value of an hundred pounds. And for the quartred Boat to be borne by the Souldiers over the Falles, Newport had 120 of the best men he could chuse. If he had burnt her to ashes, one might have carried her over in a bag, but as she is, fiue hundred cannot, to a navigable place aboue the Falles. . . .
You must not expect from vs any such matter, which are but a many of ignorant miserable soules, that are scarece able to get wherewith to liue, and defend our selues against the inconstant Salvages. . . .
For the Coronation of Powhatan, by whose advice you sent him such presents, I know not; but this giue me leaue to toell you, I feare they will be the confusion of vs all ere we heare from you againe. . . .
From your Ship we had not provision in victuals worth twenty pound, and we are more than two hundred to liue vpon this: the one half sicke, the other little better. . . . our dyet is a little meale and water, and not sufficient of that. . . .
When you send againe I intreate you rather send but thirty Carpenters, husbandmen, gardiners, fisher men, blacksmiths, masons, and diggers vp of trees, roots, well provided; then a thousand of such as we haue [gentlemen]; for except wee be able both to lodge them, and feed them, the most will consume with want of necessaries before they can be made good for any thing. . . .
we had 89 by this discovery lame and sicke, and but a pinte of Corne a day for a man. . . .
It were better to giue fiue hundred pound a tun for those grosse Commodities in Denmarke, then send for them hither, till more necessary things be provided. For in over-toyling our weake and vunskilfull bodies, to satisfie this desire of present profit, we can scarce ever recover our selues from one Supply to another. . . .
These are the causes that haue kept vs in Virginia, from laying such a foundation, that ere this might haue given much better content and satisfaction; but as yet you must not looke for any profitable returnes: so I humbly rest.
It was proposed: [blank] that some forme of writinge in way of Iustification of our plantation might be concieued, and pass, (though not by publique authorytye) into many handes. The motion seemed to have these inducements. . . .
1. First, that it mought give adventurers, a clearnes and satisfaction, for the Iustice of the action, and so encourage them, and draw on others. . . .
They which differed from him had these motuives. . . .
1. ther is much of a Confession, in euery unnecessarie Apology: that to moue scruple, especially of Conscience, wher there is afore quiettnes and no doubting rather shakes and deterrs, then settles, or confirmes. . . .
Because therfore, we shalbe putt to defend our title, not yet publiquely quarreled, not only comparatiuely to be as good as the Spaniards . . . but absoluttly to be good against the Naturall people: some thought it better to abstayne from this vnnessisary way of prouication.
Whereas (if God permit) for the better setling of the Colony and Plantation in Virginia, there is a voyage intended thither by many Noblemen, Knights, Marchants, and others to be set forth and furnished with all conuenient speed. And for that so honorable an action pleasing to God, and commodious many waies to this Common-Wealth should be furthered. . . . This is therefore to intimate and give notice to al Artificers, Smiths, Carpenters, Coopers, Shipwrights . . . [to go] to the house of Sir Thomas Smith . . . [they] shall be admitted to goe as Aduenturers in the said Voyage to Virginia, where they shall have houses to dwell in, with Gardens and Orchards, and also food and clothing at the common charge. . . .
Whereas in our last meeting and conference the other day, observing your sufficient reasons answering all objections, and your constant resolution to go on in our Plantation, they gave me so good content and satisfaction, that I am driven against my selfe, to confesse mine own error in standing out so long, whereby many of you (my friends) were engaged in the businesse before mee, at whose often instigations I was but little moved, and lightly estéemed of it till being in place, where observing the wise and prudent speech, of a worthy Gentleman, (well knowne to you all) a most painful mannager of such publike affayres within this Cittie, which moved so effectually, touching the publike utilitie of this noble enterprise, that withholding no longer, I yéelded my money and endeavours as others did to advance the same, and now upon more advised consideration, I must needes say I never accompted my poore meanes employed to better purpose, then (by Gods helpe) the successe of this may bee. . . .
So I wish and intreat all well affected subjects, some in their persons, others in their purses, cheerfully to adventure, and joyntly take in hand this high and acceptable worke, tending to advance and spread the kingdom of God, and the knowledge of the truth, among so many millions of men and women, Savage and blind, that never yet saw the true light shine before their eyes, to enlighten their minds and comfort their soules, as also for the honor of our King, and enlarging of his kingdome, and for preservation and defence of that small number our friends and countrimen already planted, least for want of more supplies we become a scorne to the world subjecting our former adventurers to apparent spoile and hazard, and our people (as a prey) to be sackt and puld out of possession. . . .
And now in discribing the naturall seate and disposition of the countrie it selfe: if I should say no more but with Caleb and Joshua, The land which we have searched out is a very good land, if the Lord love us, he will bring our people to it, and will give it us for a possession. . . .
The country it selfe is large and great assuredly, though as yet, no exact discovery can bee made of all. It is also commendable and hopefull every way, the ayre and clymate most sweete and wholsome, much warmer then England, and very agreeable to our Natures: It is inhabited with wild and savage people, that live and lie up and downe in troupes like heards of Deare in a Forrest: they have no law but nature, their apparell skinnes of beasts, but most goe naked: the better sort have houses, but poore ones, they have no Arts nor Science, yet they live under superior command such as it is, they are generally very loving and gentle, and doe entertaine and relieve our people with great kindnesse: they are easy to be brought to good, and would fayne embrace a better condition. . . .
And as for supplanting the savages, we have no such intent: Our intrusion into their possessions shall tend to their great good, and no way to their hurt, unlesse as unbridled beastes, they procure it to themselves: Wee purpose to proclaime and make it knowne to them all, by some publike interpretation that our comming thither is to plant our selves in their countrie: yet not to supplant and roote them out, but to bring them from their base condition to a farre better: First, in regard of God the Creator, and of Jesus Christ their Redeemer, if they will beleeve in him. And secondly, in respect of earthly blessings, whereof they have now no comfortable use, but in beastly brutish manner, with promise to defend them against all publike and private enemies. . . .
And now to our present businesse in hand, which so many stumble at, in regard of the continuall charge, I would have them know, that it cannot be great nor long, as the businesse may be handled. Two things are especially required herein, people to make the plantation, and money to furnish our present provisions and shipping now in hand: For the first wee neede not doubt, our land abounding with swarmes of idle persons, which having no meanes of labour to reléeve their misery, doe likewise swarme in lewd and naughtie practises, so that if we seeke not some waies for their forreine employment, wee must provide shortly more prisons and corrections for their bad conditions, for it fares with populous common weales, as with plants and trees that bee too frolicke, which not able to sustaine and feede their multitude of branches, doe admit an engrafting of their buds and sciences into some other soile, accounting it a benefite for preservation of their kind, and a disburdening their stocke of those superfluous twigs that suck away their nourishment. . . .
And as for the generall sort that shall goe to bee planters, bee they never so poore, so they be honest, and painefull, the place will make them rich: all kinde of Artificers wee must first imploy, are Carpenters, Ship-wrights, Masons, Sawyers, Brickemakers, Bricklayers, Plowmen, Sowers, Planters, Fishermen, Coopers, Smiths, Mettel-men, Taylers, Turners, and such like, to make and fitte all necessaries, for comfort and use of the Colony, and for such as are of no trades (if they bee industrious) they shall have there imployment enough, for there is a world of means to set many thousands a worke, partly in such things as I mentioned before, and many other profitable workes, for no man must live idle there. . . .
And consider well that great worke of freeing the poore Indians from the devourer, a compassion that every good man (but passing by) would shew unto a beast: their children when they come to be saved, will blesse the day when first their fathers saw your faces.
"to ease the city and suburbs of a swarme of unnecessary inmates, as a contynual cause of dearth and famine, and the very originall cause of all the Plagues, that happen in this Kingdome.
Shall I further here adde . . . that the wisedom of our SALOMON [James I] is an happinesse, not onely to his owne people and Subjects, but even to strangers also? . . . let the honourable expedition now happily intended for Virginea be a witnesses: enterprised, I say not auspicious, but by the most wise & religious direction and protection of our chiefest Pilot, seconded by so many honorable and worthy personages in this State and kingdome, that it may iustly giue ecouragement with alacrity and cheerfulnesse for some to undertake, for others to further so noble & so religious an attempt. . . .
I may not stay . . . to mention . . . the great and manifold benefits which may redound to this our so populous a Nation, by planting an English Colony in a Territory as large and spacious almost as is England, and in a soyle so rich, fertill, and fruitefull, as that besides the sufficiencyes it naturally yealds for it selfe, may with best conuenience, supply some of the greatest wantes and necessities of these Kingdomes. . . .
But that happinesse, which I mentioned, is an happie and glorious worke indeed, of planting among those poor and sauage, and to be pittied Virginians, not onely humanitie, instead of brutish inciuility, but Religion also, Piety, the true knowledge and sincere worship of God, where his name is not heard off: and reducing those to Faith and salvation by Christ, who as yet in the blindnesse of their Infidelity and superstition, doe offer Sacrifice, yes, euen themselves vnto the Diuell.
This being the Religious and honourable intendment of this enterprise, what glory shall heereby redound vnto God? What Honour to our Soueraigne? What comfort to those his Subjects, who shall be the meanes of furtherers of so happy a worke, not onely to see a new BRITAINE in another world, but to heare also those, as yet Heathen, Barbarous, and Brutish people, together with our English, to learne the speech and language of Canaan. . . .
[The Indians] not onely saying with this Queen of Sheba, Happy are thy people, and thy Subjects, but happy are wee and others, that were strangers to you; yea strangers and aliants to God, happy are we by thee, and by they wisedome.
March 15, 1609: They have printed a book [Johnson's Nova Britannia] . . . in which they call that [country] Great Britain, which, for the exaltation of their religion and its extension throughout the world, all should come to support with their persons and their property.
April 12, 1609: For all the information I have sent Your Majesty about the determination of these [people] to go to Virginia, it seems that I always fall short, for the preparations they are making here are the most urgent they know how to make, for they have seen to it that the ministers, in their sermons, stress the importance of filling the world with their religion, and of everyone exerting themselves to give what they have to so great an undertaking.
To come to the second generall head, which in the beginning I proposed, concerning the manner and dispositions of the Inhabitants. . . . But for all their faire and cunning speeches, they [Indians] are not overmuch to be trusted: for they be the greatest traitors of the world, as their manifold most craftie contrived and bloody treasons, here set down at large, doe evidently prove. They be also as unconstant as the weathercock, and most readie to take all occasions of advantages to doe mischiefe. They are great liars and dissemblers; for which faults often times they had their deserved paiments. And many times they gave good testimonie of their great valour and resolution. To handle them gently, while gentle courses may be found to serve, it will be without comparison the best: but if gentle polishing will not serve, then we shall not want hammerours and rough masons enow, I meane our old soldiours trained up in the Netherlands, to square and prepare them to our Preachers hands. To conclude, I trust by your Honours and Worships wise instructions to the noble Governour, the worthy experimented Lieutenant and Admirall, and other chiefe managers of the businesse, all things shall be so prudently carried, that the painfull Preachers shall be reverenced and cherished, the valiant and forward soldiour respected, the diligent rewarded, the coward emboldened, the weake and sick relieved, the mutinous suppressed, the reputation of the Christians among the Salvages preserved, our most holy faith exalted, all Paganisme and Idolatrie by little and little utterly extinguished.
Witnesse abroad the planting intended, or rather already happily begun of our English Colonie in Virginia . . . and the reducing vnto a civill societie (as hope may iustly conceiue) of so many thousands of those sillie, brutish, and ignorant soules, now fast bound with the chaines or error and ignorance vnder the bondage and slauery of the Deuill.
Which being the principall scope of this businesse, wee may with Gods blessing assuredly expect the fruites which usually accompany such godly enterprises; as are the honour of his Maiestie, whose name shall by this meanes be glorious vnto the ends of the world, the enlarging and further strengthning of his Realmes and Dominions, the easing of this Land, which euen groaneth vnder the burden and number of her inhabitants, the plentifull enriching of our selues and our Country with such commodities as she now laboureth with the penury of them.
Our most sacred Soueraigne . . . desireth to present this land a a pure Virgine to Christ. Such as doe mannage the expedition, are carefull to carry thither no Traitors, nor Papists that depend on the Great Whore. Lord finish this good worke thou hast begun; and marry this land, a pure Virgine to thy kingly sonne Christ Jesus; so shall thy name bee magnified: and we shall haue a Virgin or Maiden Britain, a comfortable addition to our Great Britain. . . .
The Lord called Abraham to goe into another Countrey. . . . The reason why God will haue his to fill the earth is, because the Lord would haue His workes to be known. . . . Neither can there be any doubt, but that the Lord that called Abraham into another Countrey, doeth also by the same holy hand, call you to goe and carry the Gospell to a nation that neuer heard of Christ.
And if these objectors had any braines in their head, but those which are sicke, they could easily find a difference betweene a bloudy inuasion, and the planting of a peaceable Colony, in a waste country, where the people do liue but like Deere in heards, and (no not in this stouping age, of the gray headed world, ful of yeres and experience) haue not as yet attained vnto the first modestie that was in Adam, that knew he was naked, where they know no God but the divell, nor sacrifice, but to offer their men and children vnto Moloch. . . .
Bee not then discouraged, though you light on enemies: for that did God foretell vnto Abram, that hee and his seed must find. Rather be strong, and of good courage: because the Lord is with you; and with them, but an arme of flesh.
A right sure foundation therefore haue you . . . laid for the immortalitie of your names and memory, which, for the aduancement of Gods glorie, the renown of his Maiestie, and the good of your Countrie, haue vndertaken so honourable a proiect, as all posterities shal blesse you and vphold your names and memories so long the Sunne and Moone endureth: whereas they which preferre their money before vertue, their pleasure before honour, and their sensuall securitie before heroicall adventures, shall perish with their money, die with their pleasures, and be buried in euverlasting forgetfulnes. . . .
So may man say to himselfe: The earth was mine, God gaue it me, and my posteritie, by the name of the children of men, and [garbled] take it not out of the hands of beasts, and brutish sauages, which haue no interest in it, because they participate rather of the nature of beasts then men. . . .
And therefore we may iustly say, as the children of Israel say here to Joshua, we are a great people, and the lande is too narrow for us: so that whatsoever we haue beene, now it behooves us to be both prudent and politicke . . . to imbrace euery occasion which hath any probabilitie in it of future hopes: And seeing there is neither preferment nor employment for all within the lists of our countrey, we might iustly be accounted, as in former times, both impudent and improvident, if we will yet sit with our armes foulded in our bosomes, and not rather seeke after such adventures whereby the glory of God may be advanced, the territories of our kingdome enlarged, our people both preferred and employed abroad, our wants supplyed at home, his Maiesties customes wonderfully augmented, and th honour and renown of our Nation spied and propagated to the ends of the world. . . .
It is euerie mans dutie to travell both by sea and land, and to venture either with his person or with his purse, to bring the barbarous and sauage people to a civill and Christian kinde of government, under which they may learne how to live holily, iustly, and soberly in this world, and to apprehend the meanes to saue their soules in the world to come. . . .
there is no intendment to take away from them by force that rightfull inheritaunce which they haue in that Countrey, for they are willing to entertaine us, and haue offered to [?] into our handes on reasonable conditions, more lande then we shall bee able this long time to plant and manure . . . so that we goe to live peaceablie among them, and not to supplant them. . .
Moreover, all Politititians doe with one consent, holde and maintaine, that a Christian king may lawfullie make war uppon barbarous and sauage people, and such as live under no lawfull and warrantable government, and may make a conquest of them, so that the warre be undertaken to this ende, to reclaim and reduce those sauages from their barbarous kinde of life.
These signes are past and gone: when the sun will be darkened, and the moon turned into bloud, we cannot tell: but for the publication of the Gospel ouer the world, it may be proued by many instances. One most pregnant, most fresh, is that of Virginia which now (by God grace) through our English shal heare news of Christ, the gospel of Christ shall be published, no doubt the sound of the preachers will goe out into that corner of the world, and make it as a well watered garden. There were a people of the like qualitie (with the naturall inhabitants of Virginia) poore and naked things, (I call them so, the more to indeare your affections) when they were conquered, there was that crueltie vsed vnto them, that scandall was giuen vnto the name of Christ, the name of Christianity grewe odious vnto them, by reason of that cruelty they would let it haue no roome in their thoughts. . . . I hope our English are of that metall that hauing in their hands the key of the kingdome of God, they will not keep those weake ones out, but rather make way for the Gospell (as I hope they may) by their gentle & humane dealing.
And lastely, because the principall effect which wee cann desier or expect of this action is the conversion and reduccion of the people in those partes unto the true worshipp of God and Christian religion, in which respect wee would be lothe that anie person should be permitted to passe that wee suspected to affect the superstitions of the Churche of Rome, wee doe hereby declare that it is oure will and pleasure that none be permitted to pass in anie voiadge from time to time to be made into the saide countrie but such as firste shall have taken the oath of supremacie.
give me leaue to examine the lying speeches that haue injuriously vilified and traduced a great part of the glory of God, the Honour of our land, Joy of our nation, and expectation of many wise, and Noble Senators of this kingdom, I mean in the plantation of Virginia. When the [?] of the Indians, was offered to that learned and famous Prince Henry the seuenth, Some idle, dull and vnworthy Sceptickes moued the king not to entertaine the motion. Wee know our losse by the Sapniards gaine, but now the Souls of those Dreamers doe seeme by a Pithagericall Transanimation to bee come into some of those scandalous and slanderous Detractors of that most Noble Voyage. . . .
it is like to be the most worthy Voyage that euer was effected by any Christian in deserving any Country of the world; both for the peace of the Entry, for the plenty of the Countrey, and for the Clymate. Seeing that the Coantry is not vnlike to equalize . . . Tyrus for colours, Basan for woods, Persia for oyls, Arabia for spices, Spaine for silks, Tharsis for shipping, Netherlands for fish, Bonania for fruite, and by tillage, Babylon for corne, besides the aboundance of . . . . The Philosopher commendeth the Temperature, the Marchant the Commodity, the Polititian the Opportunity, the Diuine the Piety, in convertsing so many thousand soules. The Virginian desireth it, and the Spaniard enuyeth us, and yet our own lasie, drousie, yet barking Countrimen traduce it. . . .
the Angel of Virginia cryeth out to this land, as the Angell of Macedonia did to Paul, O come and help us.
No, my Beloued, to the present assurance of great profite, add this future profite, that whosever hath a hand in this businesse shall receive an vnspeakable blessing, for they that turn many to righteousnesse, shall shine as the starres for euer and euer. . . . you will obtaine their best commodities, they will obtaine the sauing of their soules . . . . goe and possess the land, it is a good land, a land flowing with milke and honey.
7. You shall, with all propensenes and diligence, endeavour the conversion of the natives to the knowledge and worship of the true God and their redeemer Christ Jesus, as the most pious and noble end of this plantacion, which the better to effect you must procure from them some convenient nomber of their children to be brought up in your language and manners, and if you finde it convenient, we think it reasonable you first remove from them their Iniocasockes or Priests by a surprise of them all and detaininge them prisoners, for they are so wrapped up in the fogge and mierie of their iniquity and so tirrified with their continuall tirrany, chained under the bond of deathe unto the divell that while they live amounge them to poison and infect them their mindes, you shall never make any great progres into this glorious worke, nor have any civill peace or concurre with them. And in case of necessity or conveniency, we pronounce it not crueltie nor breache of charity to deal more sharpely with them and to proceede even to [death?] with these murtherers of soules and sacrificers of God's images to the divill, referringe the consideracion of this as a waighty matter of important consequence to the circumstances of the busines and place in your discrecion. . . .
17. Your enemies can be but of two sortes straungers and natiues, for the first. . . . [second] If you hope to winne them [the natives] and to provide for your selves by trade, you wilbe deceaued for already your Copper is embased by your abundance and neglect of prisinge it, and they will never feede you but for feare. Wherefore if you perceaue that they vppon your landing, fly vp into the Countrey and forsake their habitacion you must seise into your custody half there corne and harvest and their Werowances and all other their knowne successors at whom whom if you intreate well and educate those which are younge and to succeede in the government in your Manners and Religion, their people will easily obey you and become in time Civill and Christian.
Now did we all lament much the absence of our Gouernour, for contentions began to grow, and factions, and partakings, &c., Insomuch as the President [Smith], to strengthen his authority, accorded with the Mariners, and gaue not any due respect to many worthy Gentlemen, that came in our Ships.
We heard all the Counsell were dead but Captaine Smith the President, who reigned sole gouernor without assistance and would at first admitt of no councell but himselfe. The man is sent home to answere some misdemeanors whereof I perswade me he can scarcly clear himself from great imputation of blame.
I haue hoped . . . that it might not be an injury to your highnesse . . . if I should dare to inscribe your Princely name . . . who haue so lately begun . . . to plant Christianitie in Virginia. . . . Christian charitie inuiteth you to be the chiefe worker in the sauing of millions of soules: the necessitie of your countrie of Great Britaine, (overpopulous) doth require it: And lastly your poore Virginians doe seeme to implore your Princely aid, to help them to shake off the yoke of the diuel, who hath hitherto made them liue worse than beasts, that hencefoorth they might be brought into the foulde of Christ, and (in time) to liue under your Christian government.
Examin whither ever any state
Hath not miscarried, when dilisiousnes
The child of wealth was borne, that dith abate
Men by increasing of their substaunces,
Or what rich Tresorous state, hath not undone
The Conqueror, and wonne those, who hath wonne;
If Indes may not unto Christendome
As Fatall be, as Asia was to Rome.
It is very expedient that your Lordship with all diligence indeavor the conversion of the natives and savages to the knowledge and worship of the true God and theire redeemer Christ Jesus as the most pious and noble end of this plantation; which the better to effecte you are to procure from them some of theire children to be brought up in our language and manners and, if you finde it convenient, we thinke it necesserie you first remove from them the iniocks or priests by a surprise of them and detaninge them prisoners and in case they shalbe willfull and obstinate then to send over some three or foure of them into England, we may endevor theire conversion here.
The Principall and Maine ends . . . weare first to preach, and baptize into Christian religion, and by propagation of the Gospell, to recouer out of the armes of the Diuell, a number of poore and miserable soules wrapt vpp vnto death, in almost invinceable ignorance, to endeauor the fulfilling and accomplishment of the number of the elect. . . . Secondly . . . by trans-planting the rancknesse and multitude of increase in our peoples of which there is left no vent, but age. . . . Lastly, the apparance and assurance of Private commodity to the particular vndertakers, by recouering and possessing to them-selves a frutifull land. . . . These being the true; and essentiall ends of this Plantation, and corresponding to our first rule, of Religious, Noble, and Peaceable. . . .
our confidence against any enemy, is built vppon solid and sunstantiall reason: And to giue some taste thereof; our enemies must bee eyther the Natiues, or Strangers: Against the first the war would be as easie as the argument. . . .
Who can avoid the hand of God, or dispute with him? Is he fit to undertake any great action, whose courage is shaken and dissolved with one storm?
We doubt not, but by examination of what is said, our first ends are yet safe, and the waies vnto them in no sort so difficult, as should more affright and deter us now, then at the first meditation of them. But if these bee not sufficient to satisfie . . . wee haue concluded and resolved to set forth the Right Honorable: the Lord de la Warre. . . . a Baron and Peere of this kingdom . . . [who] shall expose him-selfe for the common-good to al these hazards and paines which we feare and safely talke off, that sitt idle at home. . . .
Let euery man look inward, and disperse that clowd of auarice which darkenth his spirituall sight, and hee will finde there, that when hee shall appeare before the Tribunall of Heaven, it shall be questioned him what hee hath done? Hath he fed and cloth'd the hungry and naked?
some few of those unruly youths sent thither, (being of most leaud and bad condition) and such as no ground can hold for want of good directions there . . . giving out in all places where they come (to colour their own misbehaviour, and the cause of their returne with some pretence) most vile and scandalous reports, both of the Country itselfe, and of the Cariage of the businesse there. Which hath also given occasion that sundry false rumours and despightfull speeches have been devised and given out by men that seeme of better sort, being such as lie at home, and doe gladly take all occasions to cheere themselves with the prevention of happy successe in any action of publike good. . . .
yet men of wisdome and better resolution doe well conceive and know, that these devices infused into the tongues and heades of such devisors (by the Father of untruths) doe serve for nothing else, but as a cloke to cover the wretched and leaud pranks of the one sort, and the stupidity and backwardnesses of the other, to advance any commendable action that taxeth their purse, and tendeth not wholly to their owne advantage. . . .
And for that former experience hath too dearely taught, how much and manie waies it hurteth to suffer Parents to disburden themselves of lascivious sonnes, masters of bad servants and wives of ill husbands, and so to clogge the businesse with such an idle crue, as did thrust themselves in the last voiage, that will rather starve for hunger, than lay their hands to labor.
More particularly, wee heere see the cause why no more come in to assist this present purpose of plantation in Virginea, euen because the greater part of men are vnconuerted & vnsanctified men, and seeke meerely the world and themselues, and no further. They make many excuses, and deuise objections; but the fountaine of all is, because they may not haue present profit. . . . Tell them of getting XX . in the C. o how they bite at it, o how it stirres them! But tell them of planting a Church, of conuerting 10000 soules to God, they are senselesse as stones: they stirre no more then if men spoke of toies and trifles: nay they smile at the simplicities, and laugh in their sleeves at the sillinesse of such as ingage themselves in such matters. . . .
Out of which grounde appeareth euidently, not only the lawfulnesses but even the excellencie, and goodnesse, and indeed the plaine necessity . . . of this present action: the principal ends thereof being the plantation of a Church of English hristians there, and consequently the conuersion of the heathen from the diuel to God: which ground being so laid, it then followth that either we are not conuerted or they are not our brethren, or els that we being conuerted must labout their conuersion. . . .
for the same God made them as well as vs, of as good matter as he made vs, gave them as perfect and good soules and bodies as to vs, and the same Messiah and Sauiour is sent to them as to vs, for if a Virginian hauing our language, had learned our religion, professed our faith, craved baptisme, and challenged salvation by Christ: could either man deny him baptisme, or would God deny him saluation?
giuing us favour in the eies of the sauages, who rather inuite vs then resist vs: then, directing us to a land where is want of inhabitants, and consequently roome both for them and vs; and to a people inclinable (as we see by some experience already) first to ciuility, and so to religion: and to such a land and such a people as (more more then any other land or people we know of) haue the commodities which we want, and want that which we haue for them. . . .
for the time was when we were sauage and unciuill, and worshipped the diuell, as they now do, then God sent some to make vs ciuill, others to make vs christians. If such had not been sent vs we had yet continued wild and unciuill, and worshippers of the diuell. . . .
we will take nothing from the Sauages by power nor pillage, by craft nor violence. . . . we will exchange with them for that which they may spare. . . . we will giue them such things as they greatly desire . .. such things as they want and neede, and are infinitely more excellent then all wee take from them: and that is 1. Ciuilitie for their bodies, 2. Christianitie for their soules. . . . religion, they haue from vs for nothing. . . . And this may suffice for the lawfulness of the action. . . .
And thou Virginea, whom though mine eies see not, my heart shall loue. . . . Thou shalt now have thy forme from one of the most glorious Nations vnder the Sunne . . . thy God is comming towards thee. . . . and he that was the God of Israel, and is still the God of England, will shortly I doubt not bring it to passe, that men shall say, Blessed be the Lord God of Virginea.
3 That no man blaspheme Gods holy name upon paine of death, or use unlawful oathes, taking the name of God in vaine, curse, or banne, upon paine of severe punishment for the first offence so committed, and, for the second, to have a bodkin thrust through his tongue, and if he continue the blaspheming of Gods holy name, for the third time so offending, he shall be brought to a martiall court, and there receive censure of death for his offence.
It appeared raither as the ruins of some auntient fortification, then that any people living might now inhabit it. . . . the Indian as fast killing without as the famine and pestilence within. . . . and offended Indian, who (it is most certaine) knew all this their weaknes, and forbare too timely to assault the forte, or hazard themselves in a fruitles warr on such whom they were assured in short time would of themselves perish.
Some dangerous and secret discontents nourished amongst us had like to have been the parents of bloody issues and mischiefs. They began first in the seamen, who in time had fastened unto them (by false baits) many of our landman likewise, and some of whom (for opinion of their religion) was carried an extraordinary and good respect. The angles wherewith chiefly they thus hooked in these disquieted pools were how that in Virginia nothing but wretchedness and labor must be expected.
and yet the water seemed rather to increase, then to diminish: in so much that all our men, being utterly spent, tired, and disabled for longer labour, were euen resolued, without any hope of their liues, to shut up the hatches, and to have committed themselves to the mercy of the sea (which is said to be mercilesse) or rather to the mercy of their mighty God and redeemer (whose mercies exceed all his works) seeing no help, nor hope, in the apprehension of mans reason, that any mothers child could escape that ineuitable danger.
And to th' Adventurers thus he [West] writes,
be not dismayed at all:
For scandall cannot doe vs wrong,
God will not let vs fall.
Let England knowe our willingnesse,
for that our worke is good,
Wee hope to plant a Nation,
where none before hath stood.
Three heads. Lawfull, Possible, Profitable. wherefore under these three heads of lawfulnesse, possiblility, and commoditie, will I marshall all those reasons, which may resolve the religious, encourage the personall, confirme the noble, and satisfie the timorous adventurer. . . .
First, if it bee unlawfull: it must be so, either in respect of the law of God, or in regard to the lawe of man. If in respect of Gods lawe, (considering our primarie end is to plant religion, our secondarie and subalternate ends are for the honour and profit of our nation) I demand a resolution of this plaine question: whether it bee not a determinated truth, that the Gospell should bee preached, to all the world, before the end of the world? . . .
For the second, to preach the Gospell to a nation conquered, and to set their soules at liberty, when we have brought their bodies to slaverie; It may be a matter sacred in the Preachers, but I know not how justifiable in the rulers. Who for their meere ambition, doe set upon it, the glosse of religion. Let the divines of Salamanca, discusse that question, how the possessor of the west Indies, first destroied, and then instructed.
The third, belongs to us, who by way of marchandizing and trade, doe buy of them the pearles of earth, and sell to them the pearles of heaven; which action, if it be unlawfull, it must proceede from one of these grounds, either because we come to them, or trade with them, or tarrie and dwell and possesse part of their country amongst them.
Is it unlawfull because wee come to them? why is it not a dutie of christianitie to behold the imprinted footsteps of Gods glorie in euer region vnder heauen? Is it not against the lawe of nations, to violate a peaceable stranger, or to denie him harbour. . . .
Finallie, it is not unlawfull that we possess part of their land, and dwell with them, and defend ourselues from them. Partlie because there is no other, moderate, and mixt course, to bring them to conuersion, but by dailie conuersation, where they may see the life, and learne the language each of other. Partlie, because there is no trust to the fidelitie of humane beasts. . . .Partlie because there is room sufficient in the land . . . for them, and vs. . . . Partlie, because they haue violated the lawe of nations . . . . But chieflie because Paspehay sold vnto vs for Copper, land to inherit and inhabit. . . .
Let him know that Plato defineth it, to bee no iniustice, to take sword out of the hand of a mad man; That Austen hath allowed it, for a lawfull offensive warre, quod ulcisitur injurias that revengeth bloudie injuries. So that if just offenses shall arise, it can bee no more injustice to warre against infidells, than it is when upon just occasions wee warre against Christians. . . .
Certainlie hee is but a rotten subject that quarrells the actions of his countrie, descrying a serpentine stinge under the faire leaves of pietie. . . .
Now shall the scandalous reports of a viperous generation, preponderate the testimonies of so worthie leaders? shall their venemous tongues, blast the reputation of an auncient & worthy Peere, who upon the ocular certainty of future blessings, hath protested in this Letters, that he will sacrifice himselfe for his Countrie in this service, if he may be seconded; and if the company doe give it over he will yet lay all his fortunes upon the prosecution of the plantation? shall sworne lyes, and combined oathes, so far priviledge trechery, and piracy as to rob us of our hopes, & to quell our noble resolutions? God forbid: Quiin mendacio confidit, cito diffidit, a lyers confidence, is but a blazing diffidence. . . .
let no man adore his golde as his god, nor him Mammon as his maker. If God haue scattered his blessings vpon you as snow, will you returne no tributary acknowledgement of his goodnesse? If you will, can you select a more excellent subject, then to cast down the altars of Diuels, that you may raise vp the Altar of Christ? . . . Doubt ye not but God hath determined, and demonstrated (by the wondrous preseruation of those principal persons which fell vpon the Bermudos) that he will raise our state, and build his Church in that excellent climate, if the action be seconded with resolution and Religion.
and so that it is not intended any more to burden the action with vagrant and unnecessarie persons: this is to give notice to so many honest and industrious men, as Carpenters, Smiths, Coopers . . . they shall be entertained for the Voyage.
The eyes of all Europe are looking upon our endevors to spread the Gospell among the Heathen people of Virginia, to plant our English nation there, and to settle at in those parts which may be peculiar to our nation, so that we may thereby be secured from being eaten out of all profits of trade, by our more industrious neighbors. We cannot doubt but that the eyes, also, of your best judgments and affections are fixed no less upon a design of so great consequence. . . .
The reasons, wherefore, that action hath not yet received the success of our desires and expectations are published in print to all the world. . . . That reason in few words was want of means to imploy good men and want of just payment of the means which were promised. . . . we entreat your favors.
BEING now by accident returned from my Charge at Virginea, contrary either to my owne desire, or other men's expectations, who spare not to censure me, in point of duty, and to discourse and question the reason, though they apprehend not the true cause of my returne, I am forced, (out of a willingnesse to satisfie every man) to deliver unto your Lordships, and the rest of this Assembly, briefely (but truely), in what state I have lived, ever since my arrival to the Colonie; what hath beene the just occasion of my sudden departure thence; and in what termes I have left the same: The rather because I perceive, that since my comming into England, such a coldnesse and irresolution is bred in many of the Adventurers that some of them seeke to withdraw those paiments, which they have subscribed towards the Charge of the Plantation, and by which that Action must bee supported and maintained; making this my returne the colour of their needlesse backwardnes and unjust protraction. . . .
The countrey is wonderfull fertile and very rich, and makes good whatsoever heretofore hath beene reported of it, the Cattell already there, are much encreased, and thrive exceedingly with the pasture of that Countrey: The Kine all this last Winter, though the ground was covered most with Snow, and the season sharpe, lived without other feeding than the grasse they found, with which they prospered well, and many of them readie to fall with Calve; Milke being a great nourishment and refreshing to our people, serving also (in occasion) as well for Physicke as for Food, so that it is no way to be doubted, but when it shall please God that Sir Thomas Dale, and Sir Thomas Gates, shall arrive in Virginia with their extraordinary supply of one hundred Kine, and two hundred Swine, besides store of all manner of other provisions for the sustenance and maintenance of the Collony, there will appeare that successe in the Action as shall give no man cause to distrust that hath already adventured, but encourage every good minde to further so worthy a worke, as will redound both to the Glory of God, to the Credit of our Nation, and to the Comfort of all those that have beene Instruments in the furthering of it.
Nor can I conceive how sutch people as we are inforced to bring over hither by peradventure, and gathering them up in sutch riotous, lasie and infected places can intertaine themselves with other thoughts or put on other behaviour then what accompanies sutch disordered persons, so prophane, so riotous, so full of Mutenie and treasonable Intendments, so I am well to witness in a parcell of 300 which I brought with me, of which well may I say not many give testimonie beside their names that they are Christians, besides of sutch diseased and crased bodies as the Sea hither and this Clime here but a little searching them, render them so unhable, fainte and desperate of recoverie as of 300 not three score may be called forth or imploied upon any labour or service.
1 First since we owe our highest and supreme duty, our greatest, and all our allegeance to him, from whom all power and authoritie is derived, and flowes as from the first, and onely fountaine, and being especiall souldiers emprest in this sacred cause, we must alone expect our successe from him, who is onely the blesser of all good attempts, the King of kings, the commaunder of commaunders, and Lord of Hosts, I do strictly commaund and charge all Captaines and Officers, of what qualitie or nature soever, whether commanders in the field, or in the towne, or townes, forts or fortresses, to have a care that the Almightie God bee duly and daily served, and that they call upon their people to heare Sermons, as that also they diligently frequent Morning and Evening praier themselves by their owne exemplar and daily life, and dutie herein, encouraging others thereunto, and that such, who shall often and wilfully absent themselves, be duly punished according to the martiall law in that case provided.
12 No manner of person whatsoever, shall dare to detract, slaunder, calumniate, or utter unseemely, and unfitting speeches, either against his Majesties Honourable Councell for this Colony, resident in England, or against the Committies, Assistants unto the said Councell, or against the zealous indeavors, & intentions of the whole body of Adventurers for this pious and Christian Plantation, or against any publique booke, or bookes, which by their mature advise, and grave wisedomes, shall be thought fit, to be set foorth and publisht, for the advancement of the good of this Colony, and the felicity thereof, upon paine for the first time so offending, to bee whipt three severall times, and upon his knees to acknowledge his offence and to aske forgivenesse upon the Saboth day in the assembly of the congregation, and for the second time so offending to be condemned to the Galley for three yeares, and for the third time so offending to be punished with death.
22 Ther shall no man or woman, Launderer or Launderesse, dare to wash any uncleane Linnen, drive bucks, or throw out the water or suds of fowle cloathes, in the open streete, within the Pallizadoes, or within forty foote of the same, nor rench, and make cleane, any kettle, pot, or pan, or such like vessell within twenty foote of the olde well, or new Pumpe: nor shall any one aforesaid, within lesse than a quarter of one mile from the Pallizadoes, dare to doe the necessities of nature, since by thse unmanly, slothfull, and loathsome immodesties, the whole Fort may bee choaked, and poisoned with ill aires, and so corrupt (as in all reason cannot but much infect the same) and this shall they take notice of, and avoide, upon paine of whipping and further punishment, as shall be thought meete, by the censure of a martiall Court.
29 No man or woman, (upon paine of death) shall runne away from the Colonie, to Powhathan, or any savage Weroance else whatsoever.
Butt our messengers stayeinge Longer then we expected we feared thatt wch after hapned. So Capte: MARTIN did Apointe wth halfe of our men to take the Island Pforce And beinge upon the way we espyed A Canoe wherein we weare Pswaded our messengers to be butt they Pceaveinge us retourned backe from whense they came And we never sett eye upon our Messengers after. Butt understood from the Indyans themselves thatt they weare sacrifysed And thatt their Braynes weare cutt and skraped outt of their heades wth mussell shelles beinge Landed and acquaynted wth their Trechery we Beate the Salvages outt of the Island burned their howses Ransaked their Temples Tooke downe the Corpes of their deade kings from of their Toambes And caryed away their pearles Copp and braceletts, wherewth they doe decore their kings funeralles. . . .
The wch was Pbly ocasyoned by Capte: RATLIEFES creduletie for Haveinge POWHATANS sonne and dowghter Aboard his pinesse freely suffred them to depte ageine on shoare whome if he had deteyned mighte have bene A Sufficyentt pledge for his saffety And after nott kepeinge A Pper and fitteinge Courte of Guarde butt suffreinge his men by towe and thre and small Numbers in A Company to straggle into the Salvages howses when the Slye owlde kinge espyed A fitteinge Tyme Cutt them all of onely surprysed Capte: RATLIEFE Alyve who he caused to be bownd unto a tree naked wth a fyer before And by woemen his fleshe was skraped from his bones wth mussell shelles and befre his face throwne into the fyre. And so for want of circumspection miserably Pished. . . .
Now all of us att James Towne beginneinge to feele that sharpe pricke of hunger wch noe man trewly descrybe butt he wch hath Tasted the bitternesse thereof A worlde of miseries ensewed as the Sequell will expresse unto you in so mutche thatt some to satisfye their hunger have robbed the store for the wch I caused them to be executed. Then haveinge fedd uponn horses and other beastes as long as they Lasted we weare gladd to make shifte wth vermine as doggs Catts Ratts and myce All was fishe thatt came to Nett to satisfye Crewell hunger as to eate Bootes shoes or any other leather some colde Come by And those being Spente and devoured some weare inforced to searche the woodes and to feede upon Serpents and snakes and to digge the earthe for wylde and unknowne Rootes where many of our men weare Cutt off of and slayne by the Salvages. And now famin begineinge to Looke gastely and pale in every face thatt notheinge was spared to mainteyne Lyfe and to doe those things wch seame incredible As to digge up dead corpses outt of graves and to eate them and some have Licked upp the Bloode wch hathe fallen from their weake fellowes And amongste the reste this was moste Lamentable Thatt one of our Colline murdered his wyfe Ripped the childe outt of her woambe and threw itt into the River and after chopped the Mother in pieces and salted her for his foode The same not beinge discovered before he had eaten Pte thereof for the wch crewell and inhumane factt I aiudged him to be executed the acknowledgmt of the dede beinge inforced from him by torture haveinge hunge by the Thumbes wth weightes att his feete a quarter of an howere before he wolde confesse the same. . . .
And understande the mallice of the Salvages who knoweinge our weaknes had dyvrs Tymes assawlted us wthoutt the foarte Fyndeinge of fyve hundrethe men we had onely lefte Aboutt sixty. The reste beinge either sterved throwe famin or cutt of by the Salvages And those wch weare Liveinge weare so maugre and Leane thatt itt was Lamentable to behowlde them for many throwe extreme hunger have Runne outt of their naked bedds beinge so Leane thatt they Looked Lyke Anotamies Cryeinge owtt we are starved We are starved others goeinge to bedd as we imagined in healthe weare fownd deade the nexte morneinge And amongste the Reste one thinge hapned wch was very remarkable wherein god sheowd his iuste Judgment for one Hughe PRYSE being pinched wth extreme famin In A furious distracted moode did come openly into the markett place Blaspheameinge exclameinge and cryeinge owtt thatt there was noe god. Alledgeinge that if there were A god he wolde nott suffer his creatures whom he had made and framed to indure those miseries And to Pishe for wante of foods and sustenance Butt itt appeared the same day that the Almighty was displeased wth him for goeinge thatt afternoone wth A Butcher A corpulentt fatt man into the woods to seke for some Reliefe bothe of them weare slaine by Salvages. And after beinge fownde gods Indignacyon was showed upon PRYSES Corpes wch was Rente in pieces wth wolves or other wylde Beasts And his Bowles Torne outt of his boddy beinge A Leane spare man And the fatt Butcher nott lyeinge Above sixe yardes from him was fownd altogether untouched onely by the Salvages Arrowes whereby he Receiaved his deathe. . . .
And then we fell in upon them putt some fiftene or sixtene to the Sworde and Almoste all the reste to flyghte Whereupon I cawsed my drume to beate and drewe all my Sowldiers to the Cullers My Lieftenantt bringeinge wth him the Quene and her Children and one Indyann prisoners for the wch I taxed him becawse he had Spared them his Answer was thatt haveinge them now in my Custodie I mighte doe wth them whatt I pleased. Upon the same I cawsed the Indians heade to be cutt of. And then disPsed my fyles Apointeinge my Sowldiers to burne their howses and to cutt downe their Corne groweinge aboutt the Towne, And after we marched wth the quene And her Children to our Boates ageinge, where beinge noe soener well shipped my sowldiers did begin to murmur becawse the quene and her Children weare spared. So upon the same A Cowncell beinge called itt was Agreed upon to putt the Children to deathe the wch was effected by Throweinge them overboard and shoteinge owtt their Braynes in the water yett for all this Crewellty the Sowldiers weare nott well pleased And I had mutche to doe To save the quenes lyfe for thatt Tyme. . . .
in so much as there is no common speech nor publike name of any thing this day . . . which is more wildly depraued, traduced and derided by such unhallowed lips, then the name of VIRGINEA. For which cause . . . I have set my self to publish this briefe appollogie to the sight and view of all men . . . to free the name it selfe from the inurious scoffer, and this commendable enterprise from the scorne and derision of any such, as by ignorance or malice haue sought the way to wrong it. . . .
And for the poore Indians, what shall I say, but God that hath many waies shewed mercie to you, make you shew mercie to them and theirs. And howsoeuer thay may seeme vnto you so intollerable wicked and rooted in mischiefe, that they cannot be moued, yet consider rightly and be not discouraged, they are no worse then the nature of Gentiles, and euen of those Gentiles so hainouslie decyphered by S. Paul to bee full of wickednesse, haters of God, doers of wrong, such as could neuer be appeased, and yet himself did liue to see, that by the fruits of his owne labours, many thousands euen of them became true beleeuing Christians, and of whose race and offspring consisteth (well neere) the whole Church of God at this day. This is the worke that wee furst intended, and haue publisht to the world to be chief in our thoughts, the bring those infidell people from the worship of Diuels to the seruice of God. And this is the knot that you must vntie, or cut asunder, before you can conquer those sundrie impediments, that will surely hinder all other proceedings, if this be not first preferred.
Take their children and traine them vp with gentlenesse, teach them our English tongue, and the principles of religion; winne the elder sort by wisedome and discretion, make them equal with your English in case of protection wealth and habitation, doing iustice on such as shall doe them wrong. Weapons of warre are needfull, I grant, but for defence only, and not in this case. If you seeke to gain this victorie vpon them by strategems of warre, you shall vtterly lose it, and neuer come neere it, but shall make your names odious to all their posteritie. In steed of Iron and steele you must haue patience and humanitie to manage their crooked nature to your forme of ciuilitie; for as our prouerb is, Looke how you winne them, so you must weare them: if by way of peace and gentlenesse, then shall you alwaies range them in loue to you wards, and in peace with your English people; and by proceedings in that way, shall open the springs of earthly benefits to them both, and of safetie to your selves.
Wherin (as the foundation to all the succeeding business) is deriued downe to our tymes, the auntient Right and Clayme, which wee make to this part of America, and therin both the Objections answered, and Doubts cleerly satisfied of such, who thorough Mallice, or Ignorance, eyther haue, or may hereafter, call the lawfulnes of the proceeding hereof in question.
So as we may conclude then at least, that as Christopher Columbus, discovered the Islands, and Continent of the West-Indies for Spayne: John, and Sebastian Cabot, made discovery no lesse of the rest from Florida nor-ward, to the behoofe of England. . . .
synce the tyme of Grace, we are taught to acknowledge every man, that bears the Impression of Gods stampe, to be not only our neighbour, but to be our brother, how far distinguished and removed by Seas or landes soever from vs; and in that Stile, doe far disioyned Princes salute each the other; and indeed yt is the generall office of Mankynd, not only to wish good, but to bring yt to passe, for one of the like creation. Now, what greater good can we derive vnto them then the knowledge of the true and everliving God? and what doth more directly and rarely minister that effect, then Society? and to ioyne with them in friendship? . . .
why then besydes these alleadged divine Motiues, politique and rationall respects, even common Trade, and hope of profitt, might make vs forward for our Countryes sake, to whose good we ar therefore borne, to be Adventurers. . . .
I must ask them agayne, in which shall we offer them Iniury? for proffering them trade, or the knowledge of Christ? from one of these two, or both, the Iniury must proceed: why, what Iniury can yt be to people of any Nation for Christians to come vnto their Portes, Havens, or Territoryes, when the Law of Nations (which is the lawe of god and man) doth priveledge all men to doe so, which admits yt lawfull . . . . shall yt not follow, yf traffique be thus iustefyable which intendes nothing but transitory profitt, and increase of temporall and worldly goodes, shall not planting the Christian faith be much more? . . . what is the travayle for all the pompe, the treasure, the pleasure, and whatsoever belongeth to this life, compared to the Riches of the Soule?. . .
All the Iniury that we purpose vnto them, is but the Amendement of these horrible Hethenishnes, and the reduction of them to the aforesaid manly dutyes, and to the knowledge, (which the Romans could not giue us) of that god, who must saue both them and vs, and who bought vs alike, with a deare sufferance, and pretious measure of mercye. . . .
Planting . . . may well be devided into 2. sortes, when Christians by the good liking and willing assent of the Saluadges, are admitted by them to quiet possession, and when Christians being inhumanely repulsed, doe seeke to attayne and maynteyne the right for which they come: in regard of establishement of Christian religion, either of them may be lawfully exercised.
They are inconstant in everie thing, but what feare constraineth them to keepe. Craftie, timerous, quicke of apprehension and very ingenuous. Some are of disposition fearefull, some bold, most cautelous, all Savage. Generally covetous of copper, beads, and such like trash. They are soone moved to anger, and so malitious, that they seldome forget an injury. . . .
There is yet in Virginia no place discovered to bee so Savage in which the Savages have not a religion, Deare, and Bow and Arrowes. All thinges that were able to do them hurt beyond their prevention, they adore with their kinde of divine worship; as the fire, water, lightning, thunder, our ordinance, peeces, horses, &c. But their chiefe God they worship is the Divell. Him they call Oke and serve him more of feare than love. They say they have conference with him, and fashion themselves as neare to his shape as they can imagine. In their Temples, they have his image evill favouredly carved, and then painted and adorned with chaines, copper, and beades; and covered with a skin, in such manner as the deformity may well suit with such a God. . . .
To divert them from this blind idolatrie, many used their best indeavours, chiefly with the Werowances of Quiyoughcohanock; whose devotion, apprehension, and good disposition much exceeded any in those Countries: who though we could not as yet prevaile withall to forsake his false Gods, yet this he did beleeve, that our God as much exceeded theirs, as our Gunnes did their Bowes and Arrows; and many times did send to the President, at James towne, men with presents, intreating them to pray to his God for raine, for his Gods would not send him any. And in this lamentable ignorance doe these poore souls sacrifice themselves to the Divell, not knowing their Creator.
Although the countrie people be very barbarous; yet have they amongst them such government, as that their Magistrats for good commanding, and their people for due subjection and obeying, excell many places that would be counted very civill. The forme of their Comon wealth is a monarchicall governement. One as Emperour ruleth over many kings or governours. Their chiefe ruler is called Powhatan, and taketh his name of the principall place of dwelling called Powhatan. But his proper name is Wahunsonacock.
Thus they rid themselues of the Indian charge committing them to the care of Locusts, who must goe into barren Countryes, whereeuen corne is wanting, to Christen & Baptize them, whom when they shall haue brought to be a rich and flourishing Christianity, then you shall see Ministers doe their best to driue away those Locusts, that themselues may there dwell, and swym alone with their wiues and children in that full State. . . . yet would they haue dealt with thee, as they do with Virginia now, into which they send not a troup of learned men, but vnder pretence of conuerting her, they empty into her bosome the refuse of the Realme, whome they terme the very excrements of their swelling State. (323-24)
Virginian Princes, ye must now renounce
Your superstitious worship of these Sunnes,
Subject to cloudy darknings and descents,
And of your fit deuotions, turne the euents
To this our Briton Phoebus, whose bright skie,
(Enlightened with a Christian piety)
Is neuer subject to black Error's night,
And hath already offer'd heauens true light
To your darke Region; which acknowledge now;
Descend, and to him all your homage vow.
Let the miserable condition of these naked slaues of the diuell moue you to compassion toward them. They acknowledge that there is a great good God, but know him not, hauing the eyes of their vunderstanding as yet blinded: wherefore they serue the divell for feare, after a most base manner, sacrificing sometimes (as I haue heere heard) their owne Children to him. I have sent one Image of their god to the Counsell in England, which is painted vpon one side of a toad-stoole, much like vnto a deformed monster. . . .
Oh remember (I beseech you) what was the state of England before the Gospell was preached in our Countrey: How much better were we then, and concerning our soules health, then these now are? . . .
But if any of vs should misdoubt that this barbarous people is vncapable of such heauenly mysteries, let such men know that they are farre mistaken in the nature of these men, for besides the promise of God, which is without respect of persons, made as well to vnwise men after the flesh, as to the wise, etc. let vs not thinke that these men are so simple as some haue supposed them: for they are of bodie lustie, strong, and very nimble: they are a very vnderstanding generation, quicke of apprehension, suddaine in their dispatches, subtile in their dealings, exquisite in their inuentions, and industrous in their labour. . . .
Finally, there is ciuill gouernement amongst them which they stricly obserue, and shew thereby that the law of Nature dwelleth in them.
fraught hir backe corne which I having reported to our English, and returneing their answeare to ye Powhatan. Captaine Ratclyff came with a shipp with xxiiij or xxv men to Orohpikes, and leaving his shipp there came by barge with sixteen men to ye Powhatan to Powmunkey where he very curtuously in shew received them by sending them bread and veinson in reward whereof Captaine Ratclyff sent him copper and beades and such like traff] traffique, not far from his owne but above half a mile from the barge, and himself in the evening comeing to the [ ther] house slenderly accompanied) welcomed him thither, And [after Cap. Rat] returned leaving the dutch man, Savage, and my self behinde him. The next day the Powhatan with a company of Salvages came to Capt: Ratclyff, and caried our English to their storehouse where their corne was to traffique with them, giveing them pieces of copper and beades and other things. According to ye proportions of ye basketts of corne which they brought but the Indians dealing deceitfully by pulling or beareing upp the bottom of their baskets with their hands soe that ye lesse corne might [ searve to] fill them. The English men taking exceptions against it and a discontentment riseing uppon it ye king [ conveied himself and] departed taking me and ye dutchman with him [and] his wives hence, And presently a great number Indians that lay lurking in ye woods & corne about began with an oulis and whoopubb and whilest our English men were in hast carieing their corne to their shipps the Indians that were hidden in ye corne shott the men as they passed by them and soe killed them all saveing one William Russell and one other whoe being acquainted with ye cuntry escaped to James towne by land.
Whilst I was in this business, I was told by certaine Indians, my friends, that the Great Powhatans Daughter Pokahuntis was with the great King Patowoneck, whether I presently repaired, resolving to possesse myselfe of her by any strategem that I could use, for the ransoming of so many Englishmen as were prisoners with Powhatan; as also to get such armes and tooles, as hee, and other Indians had got by murther and stealing from others of our Nation, with some quantitie of corne, for the Colonies reliefe.
Let me tell you all at home this one thing, and I pray remember it; if you give over this country and loose it, you, with your wisdoms, will leap such a gudgeon as our state hath not done the like since they lost the Kingdom of France; be not gulled with the clamorous report of base people; believe Caleb and Joshua; if the glory of God have no pwer with them and the conversion of these poor infidels, yet let the rich mammons' desire egge them on to inhabit these countries. I protest unto you, by the faith of an honest man, the more I range the country the more I admire it. I have seen the best countries in Europe; I protest unto you, before the Living God, put them all together, this country will be equivalent unto them if it be inhabitant with good people.
that if they work they shall be kept here, and they shall then subsist of themselves without England, the which they would not be brought to do if they could possibly hinder it. The reason is, say they, "We will weary out the Company at home in sending us provisions, and then, when they grow weary and see we do not prosper here, they will send for us home. Therefore let us weary them out," say they. I protest to you by the word of an honest man this is true! Now consider this people well and give your judgment what should become of them did I not compel them to work. Oh sire, my heart bleeds when I think what men we have here; and did I not carry a severe hand over them they would starve one the other by breaking open houses and chest to steal a pottle of corn from their poor brother, and when they have stolen that the poor man must starve.
Let therefore this my well advised protestation, which here I make betweene God and my own conscience, be a sufficient witnesse, at the dreadfull day of judgement (when the secret of all mens harts shall be opened) to condemne me herein, if my chiefest intent and purpose be not, to strive with all my power of body and minde, in the undertaking of so mightie a matter, no way led (so farre forth as mans weakenesse may permit) with the unbridled desire of carnall affection: but for the good of this plantation, for the honour of our countrie, for the glory of God, for my owne salvation, and for the converting to the true knowledge of God and Jesus Christ, an unbeleeving creature, namely Pokahuntas. To whom my hartie and best thoughts are, and have a long time bin so intagled, and inthralled in so intricate a laborinth, that I was even awearied to unwinde my selfe thereout. But almighty God, who never faileth his, that truly invocate his holy name hath opened the gate, and led me by the hand that I might plainely see and discerne the safe paths wherein to treade.
Now may you judge Sir, if the God of battailes haue not a helping hand in this, that hauing our swords drauun, killing their men, burning their houses, and taking their corne, yet they tendred us peace, and strive with all allacrity to keep us in good oppinion of them . . . .
I can assure you, no countrey of the world affordes more assured hopes of infinit riches, which both by mine own peoples discovery, & the relation of such Sauages, whose fidelity we have often found assureth me. . . .
These things haue animated me to stay for a little season, to leaue those, I am tied in conscience to returne vnto, to leave the assured benefts of my other fortunes, the sweete society of my friends, and acquaintance, wilt all mundall delightes, and reside heer with much turmoile, which I will constantly doe, rather, then see Gods glorie diminished, my King and Countrey dishonoured, and the poore people, I haue the charge of ruined.
Beloued friends, the goodnes of Almight God, in keeping these Islands secret, from all people of the world (except some that haue come hither against their willes, to their losse by meanes of shipwrack) till now that it hath pleased his holy Maiesty, to discouer and bestow them vpon his people of England, is so great as to stirre them vp with thankefull hearts, to praise his holy and great name.
Sure yong though in yeeres and knowledge I may be said to be, yet let me remember, to thee perhaps much knowing Reader, what the wisest man that ever writ or speake (excepting him that was both God and man) hath said, that such who bring others unto righteousnesse shal themselves shine as the stars in the firmament. And doubtlesse I doe beleeve, even amongst the rest of my Articles, when these poore Heathens shall be brought to entertaine the honour of the name, and glory of the Gospell of our blessed Saviour, when they shall testifie of the true and everliving God, and Jesus Christ to be their Salvation, their knowledge so inlarged and sanctified, that without him they confesse their eternal death: I do beleeve I say (and how can it be otherwise?) that they shal breake out and cry with rapture of so inexplicable mercie: Blessed be the King and Prince of England, and blessed be the English Nation, and blessed for ever be the most high God possessor of Heaven and earth, that sent these English as angels to bring such glad tidings amongst us. These will be doubtlesse the [unclear: empaticke] effects and exultation of this so Christian worke, and may these nothing move? Alas let Sanbal'at and Tobiah, Papists and Plaires, Ammonites and the feumme and dregges of the people, let them mocke at this holy Businesse, they that be filthie, let them be filthie still, and let such swine wallow in the mire, but let not the rod of the wicked fall upon the lot of the righteous, let not them shrinke backe, and call in their helpes from this so glorious enterprise, which the Prophet Isaiah cals, the declaring of God to the left hand, but let them that know the worke, rejoice and be glad in the happie successe of it, proclaiming that it is the everliving God that raigneth in England, and unto the ends of the world.
I haue breiflie sett downe the manner of all mens severall ymploymentes, the nomber of them, and the severall places of their abode; which places or seates are all our owne ground, not so much by conquest, which the Indyans hold a iust & lawful title but purchased of them freely, and they verie willingly selling it. . . .
There is no smale hope by piety, clemency, courtysie and civill demeanor ( by which meanes som are wonn to vs already) to convert and bring to the knowledge and true worshipp of Jesus Christ 1000:s of poore, wretched and mysbeleiving people: on whose faces a good Christian cannot looke, without sorrow, pittie, and commyseracion; seeing they beare the Image of our heavenly Creator, & wee and they come from one and the same moulde: especially wee knowyng, that they meerely through ignorance of God and Christ, doe runn headlong, yea with ioy into distrucion and perpetual damnation.
When first it pleased God to moue his Maiesties mind [to grant a Virginia charter], it was a thing seeming strange and doubtfull. . . . [but] Vpon which encouragement of so many worthy patrons, the Companie very deepely engaged themselues . . . insomuch as no earthly meanes seemed then wanting for the speedy reducing of that barbarous Nation, and sauage people, to a quiet Christian Common-wealth. But such was the will of Almighty God . . . that this great hope and preparation . . . was in a manner cleane defeated . . . [and the adventurers] for the most part withdrew themselues, in despaire of the enterprize . . . [but] a very small remnant of constant Aduenturers . . . were neuer discouraged . . . . Insomuch as by the fauorable assistance of God . . . our English Colonie there, subsisteth in a very good and prosperous condition. . . . [And now] we intend God willing to beginne a present diuision by Lot to euery man that hath already aduentured his mony or person.
[We] haue beene throughly informed and assured of the good estate of that colony, and how by the blessing of God and good government, there is great plentie and increase . . . And that there wants nothing for the setling of that Christian Plantation, but more hands to gather and returne those commodities which may bring profit to the Aduenturers, and encouragement to others . . . wee haue resolued to give free leaue and license to any who are now remaining in Virginia . . . to returne home into England.
It is laid unto your charge that you appropriate the Indian trade to your selfe, you use our frigott that came from the Somer Ilands and the other with our men to trade for your owne benefitt, you proclaime in the Colony that no man shall trade with the Indians, nor any buy any furs but yourselfe. . . .
Wee cannot imagine why you should give us warninge that Opachankano, and the Natives have given their country to Mr. Rolfe's child, and that they will reserve it from all others till he comes of yeares ecept as we suppose as some do here report it to be a deuise of your owne to some especcial purpose for yourselfe.
Our former cares and endeavours have been chiefly bent to the procuring and sending people to plant in Virginia so to prepare a way and to lay a foundation whereon a flourishing state might, in process of time by the blessing of Almighty God, be raised. . . . We have thought good to bend our present cares and consultations . . . to the setling there of a laudable form of government by majestracy and just laws for the happy guiding and governing of the people there inhabiting. . . .
that a convenient place be chosen and set out for the planting of a university at the said Henrico in time to come and that in the mean time preparation be made there for the building of the said college for the children of the infidels, according to such instructions as we shall deliver.
It having pleased him now, contrarily, of his especiall great grace, so to blesse and prosper our late carefull endevours, as well for the repairing of all former breaches, as for supplying of the present defects, wherewith the Colony was kept downe, that it hath as it were on a sodaine growne to double that height, strength, plenty, and prosperity, which it had in former times attained. . . . And first to remove that unworthy aspersion, wherewith ill disposed mindes, guiding their Actions by corrupt ends, have, both by Letters from thence, and by rumours here at home, sought unjustly to staine and blemish that Countrey, as being barren and unprofitable; -- Wee have thought it necessary, for the full satisfaction of all, to make it publikely knowne, that, by diligent examination, wee have assuredly found, those Letters and Rumours to have been false and malicious; procured by practice, and suborned to evill purposes: And contrarily disadvowed by the testimony, upon Oath, of the chiefe Inhabitants of all the Colony; by whom we are ascertained, that the Countrey is rich, spacious, and well watered. . . . In Summe, a Countrey, too good for ill people. . . .
Now touching the present estate of our Colony in that Countrey, Wee have thought it not unfit thus much briefly to declare. There have beene sent thither this last yeare, and are now presently in going, twelve hundred persons and upward, as particularly appeareth in the note above specified: and there are neere one thousand more remaining of those that were gone before. The men lately sent, have beene most of them choise men, borne and bred up to labour and industry.
Wee for the inlarging of Our Gouernment . . . and especially for the reducing of the sauage and barbarous people of those parts to the Christian faith . . . did grant them license to set foorth, erect, and publish Lotteries. . . . [have decided] to suspend the further execution of said Lotteries . . . without any conceit of withdrawing Our fauor in any degree from the said Company or plantation, and good worke by them intended.
But you, right worthy, that hath aduentured so freely, I will not examine, if it were for the glory of God, or your desire of gaine, which it may be you expect should flow vnto you with a full tide, for the conuersion of the Saluages, I wonder you vse not the meanes; I confesse you say well to haue them conuerted by faire meanes, but they scorne to acknowledge it: as for the gifts bestowed on them they deuour them and so they would the giuers if they could, and though many haue endeauoured by all the meanes they could by kindnesse to conuert them, they find nothing from them but derision and ridiculous answers. . . . till their Priests and Ancients haue their throats cut, there is no hope to bring them to conuersion.
First wee requier you in genneral take into spetiall regard and estimation the service of Almightie God and observance of his divine lawes and that the people in Virginia bee trained up in true religion, god lives and vertue, that ther example may be a meanes to winn the infidells to God. . . .
wee praie you also to have espetiall care that no injurie or oppresion bee wrought by the English against any of the natives of that countrie whereby the present peace may be disturbed and ancient quarrells (now buried) might be revived; provided, nevertheles, that the honor of our nation and safety of our people bee still preserved and all manner of insolence committed by the natives be severely and sharpelie punished. . . .
that the best meanes bee used to draw the better disposed of the natives to converse with our people and labor amongst them with convenient reward that therby they may growe to a likeing and love of civillity and finallie bee brought to the knowledge and love of God and true religion, which may prove also of great strength to our people against the savages or other invadors, whatsoever; and they may bee fit instruments to assist afterwards in the more gennerall conversion of the heathen people which wee somuch desier.
that for the laying of the surer foundation for the said conversion, that each town, cittie, burrough and other particular plantation bee procured to obtaine to themselves by just meanes a certaine number of the chilldren of the natives to be educated by them in true religion and a civill course of life.
Hereupon in my desire of their conuersion and saluation, with the sauing and preseruation of our owne countrie-men there alreadie, and which hereafter shall go to them, and of all other in these ruder countries and places, I haue bene bold to tender these my poore travles, vpon much hope and confidence. . . .
Thus haue I presumed to tender unto you . . . whatsoever the Lord has vouchsafed me, whereof I haue had hope, that it might help you in your governments and charges, for the good of those poore people committed to you, and specially which might further the happy successe of that so much desired Plantation, for the conuersion of the heathen, and training them up in good learning, and the feare of the Lord, and that so from the children, it may please God more easily to deriue the same unto their fathers, from the younger to the ancients, and so in time, by some of themselves so trained up, to propagate it to all their posterity.
Whereas Sr.: Francis wyatt findinge the Countrey at his arivall in very greate amytie and confidence with the natiives . . . [they] much satisfied with his coming, though they were before as they Confessed, in some Jealousie whether our new Gouernor, woulde Contynue the League or nott . . . Capt Thorpe found by discoursinge with him [Opecancanough], that he had more motiones of religione in him, then Coulde be ymmagined in soe greate blindnes, for hee willinglye Acknowledged that theirs was nott the right waye, desiringe to bee instructed in ours and confessed that God loved us better than them.
But since our last . . . itt hath pleased God for our many seruices to laye a most lamentable Afflictione uppon this Plantation, by the trecherie of the Indyans, who on the 22nd of March laste attempted in most places under the Colour of unsuspected amytie [?] by Surprize to haue cutt us of all, and to haue Swept us away at once throughoute the whole lande had itt nott plesed god of his abundant mercy to preuent them in many places, for which we can neuer sufficyent magnifie his blessed name.
Butt yet they puayled soe farr that they haue massacred in all partes aboue three hundred men, women, and children, and haue since nott only spoyled and slaine diuers of our Cattell, and some moer of our people, and burnte most of the Howses we haue forsaken, but haue also enforced us to quitt many of our Plantacions, and so unite more neerely together in some places the better for to strengthen and defende ourselues against them.
The occasion . . . is to celebrate the goodness of our good and gracious God . . . for the safe arriving of your Fleete . . . And for the happie (yea, and in a maner miraculous) landing of 800. people. . . .
And secondly, seeing there is no Danger after their landing either through warres, or famine, or want of conuenient lodging, and looking too, through which many miscarried heretofore; for, blessed be God, there hath beene a long time, and still is a happie league of Peace and Amitie soundly concluded, and faithfully kept, between the English and the Natiues, that the fear of killing each other is now vanished away.
As for myselfe I vtterly disclaime them, they haue done against all my Lawes, they are most vnnaturall, and so none of mine. And therefore they that know no industry, no Arts, no culture, nor no good vse for this Countrey heere, but are meere ignorance, sloth, and brutishnesse, and an vnprofitable burthen onely of the earth: Such as these (I say) like the Dai and Syri, and such other people, are naturally borne slaues, as my chiefest Secretary well defines: And there is a naturall kind of right in you, that are bred noble, learned, wise, and vertouous, to direct them aright, to gouerne and to command them. (85-86)
O magna spes altera Brittania Virginia! I will repeat of thee, which I said before of they Royall Godmother, which named thee Virginia, o quam te memorum virgo? thy louely cheekes, alas, lately blushed with Virginian English bloud: but how soone and thy blush being turned to indignation, thou shalt wash, hast washed thy feet in the bloud of those natiue unnaturall Traytors, and now becommest a pure English virgin; a new other Brittaine, in the new other World: and let all English say and pray, God blesse Virginia. (100)
And since his Maiesties most happy comming to the Crowne, being an absolute King of three of the most populous Kingdomes . . . finding his Subjects to multiply by the blessed peace they enjoy vnder his happy gouernment, did out of his high wisedome and Princely care of the good of his Subjects, grant a most gracious Patent to diuers Honourable persons, and others of his louing Subjects, authorizing them thereby to goe on in the Plantation of this his lawfull and rightfull Kingdome of Virginia, which by the blessing of Almighty God is growne to good perfection. . . .
Neither yet did these beasts spare those amongst the rest well knowne vnto them, from whom they had daily recieued many benefits and fauors, but spitefully also massacred them, without remorse or pitty, being in this more fell then Lyons and Dragons which (as Histories record) haue beene so farre from hurting, as they haue both acknowledged, and gratefully requited their Benefactors; such is the force of good deeds, though done to cruel beasts, as to make them put off the very nature of beasts, and to put on humanity vpon them. But these miscreants, contraiwise in this kinde, put not off onely all humanity, but put on a worse and more then vnnaturall bruitishnesse. . . .
for whose vnderstanding is so shallow, as not to perceiue that this must needs bee for the good of the Plantation. . . . Because our hands which before were tied with gentlenesse and faire vsage, are now set at liberty by the treacherous violence of the Sauages, not vntying the Knot but cutting it: So that we, who hitherto haue had possession of no more ground then their waste . . . may now by right of Warre, and law of Nations, inuade the Country, and destroy them who sought to destroy vs: whereby wee shall enjoy their cultiuated places, turning the laborious Mattocke into the victorious Sword (wherein there is more both ease, benefit, and glory) and possessing the fruits of others labours. Now their cleared grounds in all their villages (which are siuate in the fruitfullest places of the land) shall be inhabited by vs, whereas heretofore the grubbing of woods was the greatest labour. . . .
Because the way of conquering them is much more easie then ciuilizing them by faire meanes, for they are a rude, barbarous, and naked people . . . a conquest may be of many, and at once; but ciuility is in particular, and slow, the effect of long time, and great industry.
O God! Is Vniformity, and Order Turning to Chaos? Shall Rapes, Incest, Murder, And all the Spawne of sinne, bring forth on Earth, Prosper, and not be strangled in their Birth? Shall Sauage men in their Ignorance aduance, Who while they thinke all things gouern'd by chance Worke mischief still in vncontrolled Wills, And like th' old Gyants seeme to rayse vp Hills To scale they Throne; break Orders Chaine in sunder, And not be fir'd with lightning, strooke with thunder?
The late calamities that haue befalne do much grieue but no whit daunt us, for we see no danger by rather aduantage to be made thereby . . . we see such a disposition in mens minds as we cannot but think that the seeding of this blood will be the Seed of the Plantation, for the addicion of price hath much endeared the purchase. And now to all the rest, we conceaue it a Sinne against the dead to abandon the enterprise, till we haue fully settled the possession for which so many of our Brethren haue lost their liues; this is the first thing due from us and you; and the next is a sharp reuenge uppon the bloody miscreants euen to the measure that they intended against us, the rooting them out for beinge longer a people uppon the face of the Earth.
From the beginning that our people settled in Virginia, they have been subjected to a great many adversities, difficulties and hard labor; but what I wish to relate has been one of the greatest setbacks that ever could have encountered, for the devil had through the medium of the priests such an influence upon the natives that they only waited for a good opportunity to extirpate the foreigners. In order to accomplish this Powhatan, King of the savages, succeeded in closing a treaty with the English by which he and his subjects promised to be faithful subjects of the King of England, in gratitude of which they offered to pay a yearly tribute. These articles of peace were engraved in copper and fastened to an oak tree close by the residence of King Powhatan, while both parties were greatly rejoiced over the success of closing this treaty. The savages were rejoiced, because they found the English too powerful to successfully resist and also because now the English were to defend them against attack of hostile tribes; the aim of the English was to obtain by means of this treaty a better and safer opportunity to inspect and conquer the country. This treaty lasted uninterruptedly for quite a while and both parties adhered to the terms of it so well that our people went among them unarmed and the Savages became so friendly that they often visited the English and dined with them which compliment the English frequently returned hoping by these means to reform the savages and induce them to embrace the Christian religion. . . .
On Friday before the day appointed by them for the attack they visited, entirely unarmed, some of our people in their dwellings, offering to exchange skins, fish and other things, while our people entirely ignorant of their plans received them in a friendly manner. When the day appointed for the massacre had arrived, a number of the savages visited many of our people in their dwellings, and while partaking with them of their meal the savages, at a given signal, drew their weapons and fell upon us murdering and killing everybody they could reach sparing neither women nor children, as well inside as outside the dwellings. In this attack 347 of the English of both sexes and all ages were killed. Simply killing our people did not satisfy their inhuman nature, they dragged the dead bodies all over the country, tearing them limb from limb, and carrying the pieces in triumph around. . . .
The result of Mr. Thorpe's efforts was that the King and his subjects began to show much inclination to embrace the Christian religion, from which the English expected much good, but it was not long before they found out that the savages were false and great hypocrites, for in the general massacre mentioned heretofore even Mr. Thorpe was not spared though he could have saved his life by flight. An hour before his death he was warned of the danger by one of his Indian servants who had embraced the Christian religion, but he had such faith in these savages that he remained at his post; his servant though was more prudent and fled to Jamestown, a place fortified by the English to protect themselves against the attacks of the Indians. . . .
but the hellish plan was frustrated by the disclosure of the project by a converted Indian in the employ of a Mr. Pace. . . . By the mercy of the Lord who had moved the heart of this converted Indian to give us timely warning the lives of more than a thousand of our people, of whom I was one, were spared. . . .
Bee not you discouraged, if the Promises which you have made to your selves, or to others, be not so soone discharg'd. Great Creatures ly long in the wombe; Lyons are litterd perfit, but Beare-whelpes lick'd unto their shape; actions which Kings undertake, are cast in a mould; they have their perfection quickly; actions of private men, and private purses, require more hammering, and more filing to their perfection. Onely let your principall ende, bee the propagation of the glorious Gospell. . . .
truely, if the whole Countrey were but such a Bridewell, to force idel persons to work, it had a good use. But it is already, not onely a Spleene, to draine the ill humors of the body, but a Liver, to breed good bloud; already the imployment breeds Marriners; already the place gives eesayes, nay Fraytes of Marchantable commodities; already it is a marke for the Envy, and for the ambition of our Enemies. . . . Neither can I recommend it to you, by any better Rhetorique then their malice. They would gladly have it, and therefore let us bee glad to hold it.
There is a Power rooted in Nature, and a Power rooted in Grace; a power yssuing from the Law of Nations, and a power growing out of the Gospell. In the Law of Nature and Nations, A Land never inhabited, by any, or utterly derelicted and immemorially abandoned by the former Inhabitants, becomes theirs that will possesse it. So also it is, if the inhabitants doe not in some measure fill the Land, so as the Land may bring foorth her increase for the use of men: for as a man does not become proprietary of the Sea, because he hath two or three boats, fishing in it, so neither does a man become Lord of a maine Continent, because hee hath two or three Cottages in the skirts thereof. . . .
Againe if the Land be peopled and cultivated by the people, and that Land produce in abundance such things, for want thereof their neghbours, or others (being not enemies) perish, the Law of Nations may justifie some force, in seeking, by permission of other commodities which they neede, to come to some of theirs. Many cases may be put, when not onely Commerce, and Trade, but Plantations in lands, not formally our owne, may be lawfull. . . .
when the instinct, the influence, the motions of the Holy Ghost enables your Conscience to say, that your principall ende is not gaine, nor glory, but to gaine Soules to the glory of God, this Seales the great Seale, this justifies Justice it selfe, this authorises Authoritie, and gives power to strength it selfe.
Reasons why it is not fittinge vtterlye to make an exterpation of the Sauages yett. My reasons are grounded two foulde. ffirst vppon holy writt and my owne experience. Seacondly, other necessarie vses and pfitte that maye retorn by the same.
Holy writt sayeth That God would not [?] the Children of Israell though they were of farr greater number, then wee are yet in many ages like to be, and came into a Country where weare walled towns, not to vtterly destroy the heathen, least the woode and wilde beast should ouer runn them.
My owne observation hath bene such as assureth me that if the Indians inhabitt not amongt vs vnder obedience And as they haue ever kept down the woode and slain the wolues, beares, and other beastes, (which are in great number) we shalbe more opressed in short tyme by their absence, then in their liueing by vs both for our own securitie as allso for our Cattle.
Wee have anticipated your desires by settinge uppon the Indyans in all places. . . . By conference of former experyences with those of ours uppon the Salvages, it is most apparant that they are an enemy nott suddenlie to be destroyde with the sworde by reasone of theire swyftnes of foote, and the advantages of the woods, to which uppon all our assaults they retyre but by way of starvinge and all other means that we can possibly devise we will Constantlie pursure their extirpatione. . . .
Whereas in the begininge of your Letters by the Trewlove you pass soe heavie a Censure uppon us as if we alone were guiltie. You may be pleased to Consider what instructions you have formerly given us, to wynn the Indyans to us by A kinde entertayninge them in our howses, and if it were possible to Cohabitt with us, and how ympossible it is for any watch and warde to secure us against secrett Enemies that live promiscouslie amongst us, and are harbored in our bosomes, all Histories and your owne Discourse may Sufficyently informe you. . . .
and that the Skye should sooner falle then Peace be broken, one his [Opechancanough] parte, and that he had given order to all his People to give us noe offence and desired the like from us.
In consideration of Gods most mercifull deliuerance of so many in this Cuntrie from the treachery of the Indian on the 22th day of March last: the Gouernor with the advice of the Counsell of State hath thought it very fitt, that the 22th day of March both this present yeare and for euer hereafter (in memory of that great preservation) be in this Cuntrie celebrated Holy.
for they were in such a Case by reason of the murder done all ouer the land they they could not plant anything att all, and att euerie Plantacion all of them for the most part were slaine and theyr howses and goods burnt . . . the land is ruinated and spoyled, and itt will not bee soe stronge againe not this 12 yeares, for att our Plantacion of seuenscore, there was butt 22 lefte aliue . . . Wherefore my humble request is that I maye be freed out of this Egyipt . . . redeeme me sodanly for I am almost pined and I want Clothes for truely I haue but one shirt one Ragged one & one payer of hose, one payer of shoes one suite of Cloothes so that I am like to Perish for want of succor & releife.
people crie out day, and night, Oh that they were in England without their lymbes and would not care to loose anie lymbe to bee in England againe, yea though they beg from doore to doore, for wee live in feare of the Enimy everie hower . . . the nighest helpe that Wee haue is ten miles of vs, and when the rogues overcame this place last, they slew 80 Persons how then shall wee doe for wee lye even in their teeth . . . My Cloke is stollen by one of my owne fellowes . . . I have not a penny nor a penny Worth to helpe me . . . you haue given more then my dayes allowance to a beggar at the doore . . . I know if you did but see me you would weepe to see me . . . the Answeare of this letter wilbee life or death to me.
Extreame hath beene the mortalitie of this yeare, which I am afraid hath dobled the Nomber of those which were massacred; yet with our small and sicklie forces we haue discomforted the Indians, round about vs, burnt their houses, gathered their Corn and slaine not a few . . . and will trie if wee can make them as secure as wee were, that wee may follow their example in destroying them.
Thorp [in charge of the Indian college] he hath brought such a misery vpon vs by letting the Indians haue their head and none must controll them.
No English heart, but heard with griefe, the massacre here done: And how by sauage trecheries, full many a mothers sonne: But God that gaue them power and leaue, their cruelties to use, Hath giuen them up into our hands, who English did abuse. For many reasons long, we lay, and no reuenge did take, Till Noble Wiat Gouernour, caus'd all the Counsell make A firme decree, that worthy men should venture to oppose, In iust reuenge to try their force, against these heathen foes. . . . From James his Towne, wel shipt and stord with men and victualle store: Up Nan-Somond riuer did they saile, long ere they came to shore. Who landing slew those enemies, that massacred our men: Tooke prisoners, corne, & burnt their townes and came abord again. . . . The Indians flie, and we I hope shall nere more want indure: For those that put their trust in God, shall of his grace be sure. Now Deere and Swine and Turkies, will dayly so increase: That faire Virginia, will I hope, proue plentifull by peace.
but God forgiue me I think the last massacre killed all our Countrie, beside them they killed, they burst the heart of all the rest.
Wee our selues haue taught them to bee trecherous by our false dealings with the poore kinge of Patomeche that had always been faythfull to the English.
If they send home our people and grow secure uppon the treatie, we shall have the better Advantage both to surprise them, and to cutt downe, theire Corne, by knowinge where they plant, which otherwise they will plant in such Corners, as will nott be possible for us to finde owte.
Notwithstandinge many disasterous accidents that enterprizes of this nature, especyally in the infancy thereof are subject unto, yet pleased god soe to blesse the labors and endevers, that were ymployed for the beginninge and Progress of this Plantatione, that in the first twelve yeers, during all which tyme Sr. Thomas Smith was Treasurer and Gouernor of the Compeny, with the Expense of 70000 lbs or thereabouts, brought in for the most pte by voluntary Adventurors, beeinge agreate many of them his neere freendes and allyants, and for his sake Joyninge them selves in the Busines, and with the losse of a very few of his majesties Subjects (those alsoe beinge People for the most pte of the meanest Ranke, A large and very spacyous pte of the Country was fully discouered. . . .
The natives of the Country in soe awfull a aleancye and amytie with them, that many of those heathens voluntariely yeelded them selves subjects and servants to our gratious Soueraigne and priding themselues in that title, did togeather with moste of the rest pay a yeerly Contributione of corne for Sustentatione of the Colony, that they becam mutually healpfull and pfitable each to other.
There haveinge been as itt is thought not fewer then Tenn thousand soules transported thether there are not through the aforementioned abuses and neglects aboue Two thousand of them att the present to be found alive many of them allso in a sickly and despate estate: Soe that itt may vndoubtedly be expected that vnless the confusions and pryvate ends of some of the Company here and the badd execusions in secondinge them by their Agents there be redressed with spede by some divine and supreame hand that in steed of a Plantacion itt will shortly gett the name of a slaughter house and soe justly becom both odious to our selvs & contemptible to all the world.
Itt cannot be denyed butt itt is to be deplored with much sorrow that the blessinge of God appearing in the encrease and prosperitie of the Plantacion drew on that bloody resolucion from the Infidles & as itt is conceiued hath excited here att home divers troublesome Opposicions by personns (itt seemeth) little favoringe Virginia's psperitie. But the one as wee hope wilbe sharplie revenged, and the other must be borne with patience and with constancie ouercom.
Whereas in the Beginning of Sir Thomas Smith's twelve years government it was published in print thoughout the Kingdom of England that a plantation should be settled in Virginia for the glory of God in the propagation of the Gospel of Christ (the conversion of the savages), to the Honor of His Majesty by the enlarging of his territories and future enriching of his kingdom -- for which respects many noble and well-minded persons were induced to adventure great sums of money to the advancement of so pious and noble a work, who have from the very first been frustrate of their expectation, as we conceive, by the misgovernment of Sir Thomas Smith, aiming at nothing more than a particular gain to be raised out of the labors of such as both voluntarily adventured themselves and were otherwise sent over at the common charge. . . .
By all which hath heretofore been said concerning this colony. from the infancy thereof and until the experation of Sir Thomas Smith's government, may easily be perceived and plainly understood what just cause he or any else have to boast of the flourishing estate of those times, wherein so great miseries and calamities were endured, and so few works of moment or importance performed, himself being justly to be charged as a prime author thereof by his neglect of providing and allowing better means to proceed in so great a work.
[The beginning of the Virginia plantation under Smythe] not onely tooke life and beinge butt pceeded in a moste hopefull and comfortable Course for many yeares togeather with unity and loue amongst ourselues and . . . enterteynment of those Sauadge Indians by which endeauors sundry of those Infidells and some of emynent sort were conuerted to Christian Religion . . . . Butt wee know not howe itt is of late yeares com to passe that nothwithstandinge your Majestie's subjects haue been in great multitude exported to the Plantacions yett the aforesaid Comodities and other the fruits of the worke do not appear as in former times, our unitie and peace att home is turned to Ciuill discord and dissencion amongst ourselves, and to Massacre and Hostility between the Natives and our Colony in Virginia, and diuers of the Antient Aduenturers and Planters conceiue themselues many ways iniured abused and oppressed. In which respect fearinge that the utter ruine and distruccion of those great works is like to followe . . . we are forced for remedy to appeale to your moste excellent Majesty.
7. Expectinge accordinge to their printed Bookes a great fowardnes of divers and sundry Comodities, At myne arrivall I found not any one of them so much as in any towardnes of being. For the Iron workes were utterly wasted and the men dead, The Furnaces for Glass and Pots at a stay and in a smale hope, As for the rest they were had in a generall derision even amongst themselves, and the Pamphlets that had published here beinge sent thither by Hundreds wer laughed to scorne, and every base fellow boldly gave them the Lye in divers perticulars, Soe that Tobacco onely was the busines and for ought that I could here every man madded upon that, and lyttle thought or looked for any thinge else.
Answere 7. That the Country yields divers usefull and rich Commodities wch by reason of the Infancie of the Plantacion, and this unexpected Massacre cannot yett be brought to perfeccon, and is no lesse hindred by the emulous and envious reports of ill willers whose pryvate ends by time wilbe discovered and by God recompensed. And wee doe further answer that this Country is a moste fruitfull Country and doth certainely produce divers rich Comodities. Itt is true that the Ironworks are wasted and the men dead, but that was by the Massacre wch if itt had not happened ther had been a good proofe of that Comodity, for the works wer in a very great forwardnes. As for Vines likewise ther were divers Vine-yeards planted in sundry places, butt all of them putt back by the Massacre,
10. There havinge been as it is thought not fewer than Tenn thousand soules transported thither ther are not through the aforenamed abuses and neglects above Two thousand of them at the present to be found alive, many of them alsoe in a sickly and desperate estate: Soe that itt may undoubtedly [be] expected that unlesse the Confusions and pryvate ends of some of the Company here, and the bad executions in secondinge them by their Agents there be redressed with speed by some divine and supreame hand, that in steed of a Plantacion it will shortly gett the name of a Slaughterhouse, and soe justly become both odious to our selves and contemptible to all the worlde.
Answere. All these wee leave to be answered by the Governor and Company some of them beinge unfitt to be determyned by us. And for the last wee being ignorant how many have been transported or are now lyvinge there.
Theire cares haue not bene vneffectuall weee Confesse for the Colony is nowe oppressed with famyn and sicknes within and engaged in a Warre with the Natives without, and whereas the Savages were formerly brought to good Corespondencie or made tributarie to vs, they nowe dare maynteyne an open Warre with our people and beinge armed with our Weapons and havinge learned the vse of our guns can brave our countrymen at theire verie doores: and in their necessities what but vttter shippwracke can be expected when at the helm of this Wetherbeaten vessell there sitts scare one able and experienced Councellor to guide her but all of them generallie either newe Commers or men of Contemplacion and discourse not of action and experience in gouernment.
no pson whatsoeuer . . . shall hold any conference with any Indians . . . if they [Indians] shall stand out, to shoote or kill they by any meanes they can. . . . generally in all points to be uery carefull and watchfull to pvent theire treacheries, knowing that (with Gods assistance) , they canot hurt vs, through theire strength but our owne carelesnes, being well assured that theire pfidious craft is much more dangerous than open violence.
[Besides Pocahontas] conversion of those Infidells did not happen [during Smythe's administration] duringe which time the English were allmost allso in continuall Hostilitie with the Infidells. . . . As for the Hostilitie with the Infidells duringe 3 of these last 4 yeares ther hath not been any whereof yett we [the Sandys faction] boasts not consideringe that itt lulled the English asleepe in too great securitie and consequently gaue optunitie to the late bloody Massacre which if itt had not happened these opposers [the Smythe faction] must have been mute haveinge nothinge else wherwith to disgrace the Plantacion.
itt doth plainely appeare that the said Informacion is in all the materiall parts thereof most vntrue and may seeme to have been purposely framed by the said Capt: Butler to raise distemper and trouble in the Companies of the Plantaccions.
[The Virginia Company has] found in their vnderstandinge that one chiefe roote of all these Diuuisionns and of Sundry other machinaccions to the great detriment of the Plantaccions and bendinge withall to a course for dissoluccion of the Companies have pceeded . . . .
The 22 of Maye Captin Tucker was sente with 12 men in to Potomacke Ryver to feche som of our Engleshe which the Indianes detayned, and withall in culler to conclude a pease with the great Kinge Apochanzion. . . . After a manye fayned speches the pease was to be concluded in a helthe or tooe in sacke which was sente of porpose in the butte with Capten Tucker to poysen them . . . . how manye we canot wryte of but that is thought some tooe hundred weare poysned and thaye comyng backe killed som 50 mor and brought hom parte of ther heades. . . . God send us vyctrie, as we macke noe question god asistinge.
Whereas we are advised by you to obserue rules of Justice with these barbarous and pfidious enemys, wee hold nothinge iniuste, that may tend to their ruine, (except breach of faith) Strategems were ever allowed against all enemies, but with these neither fayre Warre nor good quarter is ever to be held, nor is there other hope of theire subversione, who ever may informe you to the Contrarie.
That God desireth and willeth His name, His truth and Gospel by us to be published in those heathen and barbarian lands, the inclination and readiness alone of those people and nations may sufficiently assure us, who, as it were prepared of God to receive the Gospel from our mouths if it might be but sounded unto them, do even of their own accord offer themselves to be taught, suffer their children to be baptized and instructed by us, and, as weary of and half seeing the grossness of their own abominations and the goodness of our observations, do make no great difficulty to prefer our religion before theirs and to confess that it is God that we and the devil that they do worship.
In those 12 yeers of Sr Tho: Smith his government, we averr that the Colony for the most parte remayned in great want and misery under most severe and Crewell lawes sent over in printe, and contrary to the expresse Letter of the Kinge in his most gracious Charter, and as mercylessly executed, often times without tryall or Judgment. The allowance in those tymes for a man was only eight ounces of meale and half a pinte of pease for a daye, the one and the other mouldy, rotten, full of Cobwebs and Maggotts loathsome to man and not fytt for beasts, wch forced many to flee for reliefe to the Savage Enemy, who being taken againe were putt to sundry deaths as by hanginge, shooting and breakinge uppon the wheele and others were forced by famine to filch for their bellies, of whom one for steelinge of 2 or 3 pints of oatemeale had a bodkinge thrust through his tounge and was tyed wth a chaine to a tree untill he starved, yf a man through his sicknes had not been able to worke, he had noe allowance at all, and soe consequently perished. Many through these extremities, being weery of life, digged holes in the earth and there hidd themselves till they famished.
Wee cannot for this our scarsitie blame our Comanders heere, in respect that or sustenance was to come from England, for had they at that time given us better allowance we had perished in generall, soe lamentable was our scarsitie that we were constrayned to eate Doggs, Catts, ratts, Snakes, Toadstooles, horse hides and wt nott, one man out of the mysery that he endured, killinge his wiefe powdered her upp to eate her, for wch he was burned. Many besides fedd on the Corps of dead men, and one who had gotten unsatiable, out of custome to that foode could not be restrayned, untill such tyme as he was executed for it, and in deede soe miserable was our estate, that the happyest day that ever some of them hoped to see, was when the Indyans killed a mare, they wishinge whilst she was a boylinge that Sr Tho: Smith were uppon her backe in the kettle.
Yt hath pleased God this yeere to give us a greate Victorie over Otiotan and the Pomunkeys. . . . And amnge so many of his benefitts God hath sent us a pleantiful harvest of Corne and the industrious are well stored with other provisiones, soe that exceptinge the number of men the Colony hath worne owt the Skarrs of the massacre.
Virginia hath roome enough for her owne (were their numbers an hundred times as many) and for others also which wanting at home, seeke habitations there in vacant places, with perhaps better right than the first, which (being like Cain noth Murtherers and Vagabonds in their whatsoeuer and howsouer owne) I can scarcely call Inhabitatants. To question this right, were to accuse almost all Nations which were rocked (for the most part) in no other cradle. . . .
Another right is that of Merchandise . . . God in manifold wisedome hath diuersified euery Countries commodities, so that all are rich, and all are poore; not that one should be hungry and another drunken, but that the whole world might be as one body of mankind, each member communicating with the other for the publike good.
or if the sauages dealt perfidiously with them (as Powhatan confessed to Cap. Smith, that hee had beene at their slaughter, and had diuerse vtensills of theirs to shew) their carkasses [the Roanoke colonists], the dispersed bones of their and their Countrey mens since murthered carkasses [referring to the 1622 massacre], have taken a mortall immortall possession, and, being dead, speake, proclaime and cry. This our earth is truly English, and therefore this Land is justly yours O English. . . .
But when Virginia was violently rauished by her owne ruder Natiues, yea her virgin sheekes dyed with the bloud of three Colonies . . . . that I speake not of thousands otherwise mis-caring here and miscarrying there, taking possession of Virginia by their facts, and fates, by so manifold losses adding to the price of Virginia's purchase: Temperance could not temper her selfe, yea the stupid Earth seemes distempered with such bloudy potions and cries that shee is ready to spue out her Inhabitants: Iustice cryeth to God for vengeance, and in his name adiureth Prudence and Fortitutde to the execution.
I like a plantation in a pure soil; that is, where people are not displanted to the end to plant in others. For else it is rather an extirpation than a plantation.
We here present in all humbleness our deliberate opinion touching the forme of Government now fitted to be established for the restoring and reviving of that Plantation, if it be possible yet to be recovered. . . .
The Plantation being growne to this height by the end of the year 1621, it pleased God in his secrett judgment to give leave to the enemies thereof, by many powerfull and most wicked meanes to bring it downe agayne to the ground. The first Blowe was a most blowdy massacre, when by the Treacherous crulety of the savages about 400 of our People were slayne, upon the 22th of March 1621 . The terror whereof with the losse of much cattle and other substance, and a sodayne alteracion of the state of all things, so dismaide the whole Colony, as they almost gave themselves for gone. But then appeared both the love of the Company to the Plantation.
Whereas the Colonie of Virginia, Planted by the hands of Our most deare father of blessed memory, for the propagation of Christian Religion, the increase of Trade, and the enlarging of his Royal Empire, hath not hitherto prospered so happily, as was hoped and desired . . . Our full resolution is . . . that the Government of the Colonie of Virginia shall immediately depend on Our Selfe and not be committed to any Company or Corporation . . .