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The Avant Couriers of Colonization. By Hon. James Phinney

Baxter, 1

Captain Martin Pring, last of the Elizabethan Seamen. By Prof.

Alfred L. P. Dennis, 2e

A Pioneer Voyager of the Sixteenth Century : Sir Humphrey

Gilbert. By Rev. Henry O. Thayer, 51

Tercentenary of the Landing of De Monts at St. Croix Island, 74
Opening Address. By Hon. Charles E. Swain, ... 75

Address of Welcome. By Hon. Almon I. Teed, ... 76

Response. By Rev. Henry S. Burrage, D.D. ... 78

Poem, "The Island's Story." By Mrs. Ida Vose Woodbury, 81
De Monts and Acadia. By Maj.-Gen. Joshua L. Chamberlain, 83
Opening Address, The Calais Celebration. By Gen. B. B.

Murray, 110

Address, "Samuel de Champlaiu." By Hon. James P. Baxter, 127

Ode. By Henry Milner Rideout, 146


, 162

The Waymouth Tercentenary,

Opening Address. By Mr. George Arthur Smith,
Address of Welcome. By Hon. Joseph E. Moore,
Address. By Hon. William T. Cobb, ....
Address. By Mr. J. B. Keating, ....

Address. By Maj.-Gen. Joshua L. Chamberlain, .
Closing Address. By Hon. Charles E. Littlefield,
Opening Address, Evening. By Hon. James P. Baxter,
Poem, "Westward to England," ....

Address. By Rev. Henry S. Burrage, D.D., .
Perfecting or Valuation Lists of Kittery, Maine, 1760. By

Nathan Goold, 205

Correspondence Pertaining to Penobscot, 223

An Old Journal. By Rev. Everett S. Stackpole, D.D., . . 241

An Old-Time Burial Ground. By Samuel T. Dole, ... 245

Inscriptions on Headstones in " Smith Cemetery,'' . . . 253

The Depredation at Pemaquid in August, 1699. By Victor Hugo

Paltsits, 261

Joseph W. Porter. By Hon. E. B. Neally, 275

The First Democratic State Convention in Maine During the

Rebellion. By Hon. Joseph Williamson, .... 279

The Capture of the Chesapeake. By Francis L. Littlefield, . 285

A Chapter in the History of Ancient Cushnoc — Now Augusta.

By Samuel Lane Boardman, 310

From Old Colony Records, Plymouth, 1634, Prence, Governor, 327



Recollections of the Old Time Militia and the Annual General

Muster, By S. B. Cloudraan, 331

Stephen Bachiler and the Plough Company of 1630. By V. C.

Sanborn, 342

The Burial Place of Richard King. By Hon. Augustus F.

Moulton, 370

Ancient Pemaquid. By Rev. Henry O. Thayer, . ... 374

Seargent Smith Prentiss. By William H. Looney, Esq., . . 389
The Constitutional Convention of 1819. By Hon. Harry R.

Virgin, ........... 416


Monument to Martin Pring, Frontispiece

St. Croix Island from the American Shore, .... 74

Hon. Almon I. Teed, 77

Hon. Charles E. Swan, 79

Gen. Joshua L. Chamberlain, 84

French Cruiser Troude and U. S. S. Detroit, .... 97

Mr. James Vroom, 107

Tablet Unveiled at St. Croix Island, June 25, 1904, ... 109

Hon. Benjamin B. Murray, Ill

Samuel de Champlain, 127

Hon. James P. Baxter, 128

Map of St. Croix Island, with surroundings, .... 132

Champlain's Sketch of the Island of St. Croix and buildings, . 134

Tercentenary Exercises and View from St. Croix Island, . . 14.5

Cross on Allen's Island, 153

Revenue Cutter Woodbury in St. George's Harbor, . . . 154

Hon. Franklin L. Trussell, 156

Mr. Arthur George Smith, 158

Dedication of Cross at St. George's Harbor, 160

Waymouth and his Company, 162

Hon. Joseph E. Moore, 164

Memorial Boulder and Tablet at Thomaston, .... 166

Hon. John B. Keating, 168

Hon. Charles E. Littlefield, 174

Rev. Henry S. Burrage, D.D., 189

Cockington Church, 192

St. George's Harbor, 200

King Memorial Boulder and Tablet, 370

Seargent Smith Prentiss, 389





A paper read on November 19, 1903, before the Maine Historical

Society at a meeting commemorative of the tercentenary of

Martin Pring''s first voyage to America

How long before the discoveries of Columbus and
Cabot tbe western hemispbere had been visited by
adventurers from other parts of the world will ever
be a matter of speculation. Traditions of prior dis-
coveries therein have engaged the attention and sup-
port of ingenious writers, but they are too vague to
stand the test of historical criticism. Such are the
alleged discoveries by Phoenicians, perhaps the most
daring navigators of antiquity, of Jews, Chinese,
Irish, Scandinavians and Welsh. Even the discov-
eries so generally believed to have been made by the
Norsemen in the tenth century, although the sagas
which describe them bear internal evidences of truth,
cannot be properly regarded as history.

The first known discovery of the North American
continent was made by John Cabot on June 24, 1497.
Even Cabot's landfall and the extent of his discov-
eries are matters of controversy. He was followed
in the spring of 1500 by the Cortereal brothers.

Vol. II. 2


Gaspar and Miguel, wlio penetrated the waters which
wash the shores of Labrador, but encountering ice
made a brief survey of the coast and returned to Lis-
bon in the autumn of 1500.

In the spring of 1501, Gaspar again set sail for the
New World with three ships, and striking the coast
south of his former landfall, he followed it northerly
for several hundred miles, when encountering ice he
turned back and skirted the coast toward the south.
A bit of a sword and silver earrings of European
manufacture, supposed relics of Cabot's visit, were
discovered in possession of the natives, who were so
unsuspicious of strangers that fifty-seven of them weer
made prisoners, probably by enticing them on board
his vessels. An eminent authority supposes these
people to have been captured on the coast of Maine. ^
Setting sail without their commander two of his ships
reached Lisbon in safety. Miguel, after watching in
vain for the return of his brother, set out with three
ships on the 10th of May, 1502, to seek him, and
safely reaching the American coast, began a careful
search for the missing ship. Finding the rivers and
inlets numerous, he divided his fleet so as to make
his search more effective, arranging a rendezvous for
the 20th of August. Two of the vessels met at the
appointed time and place and awaited the arrival of
the other bearing their commander, but he did not
appear, and weary with waiting, they returned to
Lisbon without him. When another spring returned,
the king dispatched an expedition in search of the

* Kohl in " Documentary History of Maine," Vol. I.


brotKers, but it returned without success. They had
disappeared in the gray mists which sweep mysteri-
ously along the northern shores of the American con-
tinent, leaving the world forever to wonder at their
fate, and relatives and friends to plan expeditions for
their rescue from perils wrought but in dreams.

Nor were the English idle, for on the 9th of March,
1501, Richard Ward, Thomas Ashurst and John
Thomas, ship owners of Bristol, associating them-
selves with three Portuguese mariners, Juan Gonsal-
vez and Juan and Francisco Fernandez, obtained
from Henry VII. letters patent for western discovery.
In pursuance of their object, two voyages, of which
no particulars have been preserved, were doubtless
made in 1501 and 1502, when the association ended,
and a new one was formed by Ashurst and another
Bristol merchant, Hugh Eliot, with two of the Portu-
guese, to whom letters patent were issued December
9, 1502. Under this association three successive
voyages appear to have been made in the years 1503,
1504 and 1505, but everything relating to them is
\reiled in obscurity. Equally unsuccessful were the
efforts of the French to gather fruit from Cabot's dis-
coveries. In 1506, Jean Denys of Honfleur, and in
1508, Thomas Aubert, sailed from the shores of
France to the northwest with high hopes of winning
wealth and fame, but their efforts were barren of
results, and in 1518, an attempt at settlement on
Sable Island by the Baron de Lery proved abortive.
On March 15, 1521, Emmanuel, King of Portugal,
issued letters patent to Joao Alvarez Fagundes, to


possess and colonize lands in the New World, and
from an ancient Portuguese chart it would appear
that he discovered the present Nova Scotia. For a
long time his name figures in the cartography of this

On January 17, 1524, Jean Verrazano under the
patronage of Francis I., of France, set sail in a small
vessel called the Dauphine with fifty men and pro-
visions for eight months, on a voyage of discovery to
the northwest. Verrazano probably made his land-
fall on the North Carolinian coast. Finding no har-
bor, he skirted the coast for fifty leagues southward,
and then turning to the north explored the coast for
about seven hundred leagues, when, finding his pro-
visions growing scanty, he set sail for home and
arrived at Dieppe in July.

In the year 1525, Estevan Gomez under authority
of the Spanish king, set out on a similar voyage. His
landfall must have been near that of Verrazano and
his course to the north along almost the same lines.
He entered the Penobscot River which he named the
Rio de las Gamos, or river of stags, on account of the
abundance of these animals which he saw there. It
appears that he followed the coast to the vicinity of
Newfoundland. Before his return to Spain, with the
proverbial cruelty of the Spaniard, " He filled his ship
with innocent people of both sexes half naked," says
Peter Martyr, to be sold for slaves.

On the 20th of May, 1527, the Samson & Mary of
Guilford, under the command of John Rut, sailed
from the Thames, touching at Plymouth Harbor, from


whence slie departed on the 10th of June, and on the
3d of August, came to anchor in the harbor of St.
Johns amidst a fleet of fourteen ships, Norman, Breton
and Portuguese, which had come to those far off
shores to gather the harvest of the seas. By the
fragmentary account which has been preserved of
this voyage, we see something of the extent of mari-
time enterprise in those waters even at this early day.
For several years we have no record of English
or French voyages to the northwest ; but in 1534,
Jacques Cartier, having obtained a commission from
the French king, Francis I., set sail from St. Malo,
with two ships each of sixty tons burden, to explore
the northern coast of x^merica in order to find an
opening to India. Failing in this, he returned home,
but not discouraged he set out with three vessels on
another voyage to the same region the following year,
intending to establish himself there for the winter.
On this voyage he discovered the St. Lawrence, and
remained in the country until the spring of 1536,
when he returned home. Before the return of Cartier
from this voyage, there sailed from Gravesend at the
end of April, 1536, an English expedition consisting
of two ships commanded by Robert Hore. We hear
of him at Cape Breton, from whence he took his
departure for home the same year. It seems improb-
able that he sailed as far south as the Maine coast.
In 1541, Cartier in conjunction with the Sieur de
Roberval, attempted to settle a colony on the St.
Lawrence, but the enterprise came to a disastrous
close two years later.


It is not until 15G5 that we hear of another voyage
of exploration by either English or French. In the
late summer of that year Captain John Hawkins fol-
lowed the entire coast of North America from Florida
to Newfoundland, with three ships, exploring it as he
went. The coast of Maine with its many bays and
rivers, must have attracted attention, and the knowl-
edge he gained of the region must have passed to
others, and perhaps have been the means of subse-
quently arousing the interest of his countrymen
in it.

For some years we have no record of voyages to
the northwest for the purpose of discovery or coloni-
zation. Adventurers, discouraged by repeated failure,
had adopted the opinion of Peter Martyr to the effect
that, " They that seek riches must not go to the frozen
north." A few, however, like Sir Humphrey Gilbert,
continued to hold an adverse opinion. Inspired by
Gilbert, Martin Frobisher, who had won a reputation
in England, for seamanship, succeeded, with the aid
of the Earl of Warwick, in fitting out two small barks,
manned with thirty-four men, with which he crossed
the ocean, sailing from Gravesend in June, 1576. He
made two successive voyages in 1577 and 1578, but
did not approach the Maine coast. When he arrived,
however, in English waters, an expedition, consisting
of seven ships and three hundred and fifty men, was
ready to sail thither, under the command of Sir
Humphrey Gilbert. This heroic man had given
inspiration to the first voyage of Frobisher, and on
the 11th of the preceding June, had been granted


by the queen, letters patent " For the inhabiting and
planting an English colony in America." One of the
ships, the Falcon, was commanded by Walter Raleigh,
then twenty-six years old, but the undertaking proved
abortive, though under the command of two of Eng-
land's bravest and most accomplished sons.

Another scheme, however, had been under con-
sideration by Sir Francis Walsingham, the astute
Secretary of Elizabeth, who doubtless desired to
gather direct knowledge through a trusty servant of
the northern part of America, hence, shortly after
Raleigh's return, a vessel under the charge of Simon
Ferdinando, a Portuguese navigator, in the employ of
the Secretary, set sail from Dartmouth to make a
reconnoissance of the coast of Norumbega, which he
successfully accomplished.

At the same time, Gilbert, who was making active
preparations to renew his voyage, was obliged by
orders from the Privy Council, of which Walsingham
was a potent factor, to relinquish his undertaking.
Sir Humphrey, however, not to be baffled, succeeded
a few months later in sending a ship, under the
charge of a trusty agent, to the same' region. The
name of the man was John Walker, and he explored
the entrance of the Norumbega, as the Penobscot was
then called, where, upon a hill nine leagues from the
river's mouth, he found what he called a silver mine,
and, obtaining "In an Indian house VII miles with
in the lande from the ryvers side, IIIc drye hides,^
whereof the most parte of them were eighteene foote

* Doubtless these were hides of the moose, Alcea Americanus.


by the square," he set sail for home, which he reached
after a quick run of seventeen days.

Raleigh, however, cherished the purpose of plant-
ing a colony in America, and, when his growing for-
tune enabled him to put this purpose into execution,
he came to the aid of Gilbert, who was still striving
to get materials together for his proposed colony, and
who had been stimulated to new exertions by the
successful voyages of Walker and others with whom
he had personally conferred.

Gilbert also had the aid of Sir George Peckham,
Sir Thomas Gerard, and other influential men, in this
enterprise, and on the 11th day of June, 1583, with
five vessels and two hundred and sixty men, Raleigh
being detained at home by Elizabeth, he sailed from
Cawsand Bay. In his former voyage Gilbert had suf-
fered losses which crippled him, and he had struggled
against almost insurmountable obstacles to equip his
fleet. As it was, he was obliged to sail with an insuf-
cient supply of provisions, and although his ultimate
destination was the coast of Maine, he laid his course
for Newfoundland, hoping to be able to supply his
scanty stores from fishing vessels, which he might
encounter, having a supply beyond their needs. On
the 7th of July, seven weeks after leaving home, land
was sighted. Reaching Conception Bay he found the
Swallow, one of his ships, lost in the fog, and, sailing
southward, entered the harbor of St. Johns on the 3d
of August, where he found the Squirrel, another of
his ships. Here he lost so many men from sickness
and desertion, that he had not enough to navigate his


ships and he therefore decided to leave the Swallow
behind to transport the sick home. On the 27th of
August, Sir Humphrey sailed from the harbor of St.
Johns with the Delight, the Golden Hind and Squir-
rel. Two days after sailing, the largest of his ships,
the Delight, was driven ashore in a gale and lost with
nearly all her crew. Finding it impracticable to con-
tinue his explorations to the coast of Maine, Sir
Humphrey turned homeward, cheering his comrades
with promises of a new expedition which should
result in good for all. As the ships passed north of
the Azores they encountered heavy seas, and on the
night of the 9th of September, the Squirrel foundered,
bearing to destruction the brave Gilbert and her
crew. Thirteen days later, the Golden Hind, the
only remaining ship of the fleet, battered and well
nigh disabled, entered the port of Falmouth.

During the remainder of the sixteenth century we
have no account of voyages of exploration to the
northeastern shores of the New World, either by
French or English.

On March 25, 1602, Bartholomew Gosnold sailed
from Falmouth in a small ship, named the Concord,
with thirty-two persons, eight of whom were mari-
ners. A portion of these were to remain in the coun-
try "for population." His landfall was north of
Massachusetts Bay. Sailing southward he passed
Cape Cod and came to an island which he named
after Queen Elizabeth, and there erected a small fort
and storehouse for his proposed settlement ; but,
while he was loading his ship with sassafras, cedar


and other commodities obtained by traffic with tbe
savages, many of the colonists became homesick, and
in the end the settlement was abandoned and all
returned home.^

Another expedition for the purpose of discovering
a northwest passage to India commanded by George
Waymouth was dispatched by the East India Com-
pany, May 2, of the same year. Taking a course far
to the north and encountering many dangers, Way-
mouth abandoned his undertaking and made his way
back to England.

A relation of Gosnold's voyage describing the
country in glowing terms was published upon his
return home awakening a fresh interest in the new
country and certain of the " Chief est merchants of
Bristol " fitted out two vessels, the Speedwell and
Discoverer, under command of Martin Pring, which
sailed from Milford Haven, April 10, 1603. On the
15th of the previous month Champlain sailed on his
first voyage to Canada, the scene of the exploits of
his noted countryman, Jacques Cartier, and the fol-
lowing year settled a French colony on an island,
which he named St. Croix, near the present town of
Calais, Maine. Having suffered the loss of many of

1 The Earl of Southampton, the patron and friend of Shakespeare, was also a
patron of Gosnold in this voyage, and the Rev. Edward Everett Hale calls attention
to the resemblance of passages in " The Tempest " and the description of the land-
ing at Cuttyunk by Gosnold. Mr. Hale supposes Shakespeare to have heard this
description and used it in his play, and concludes his interesting article on the
subject by saying that Shakespeare was " Describing an island which is in commu-
nication with the vexed Bermoothes; yet there is no allusion to an orange, a
banana, a yam or a potato, a feather cloak or a palm tree, or a pineapple or a
monkey or a parrot, or anything else which refers to the Gulf of Mexico or the
tropics. Does not this seem as if he meant that the local color of " The Tempest"
should be that which was suggested by the gentlemen adventurers and the seamen
who were talking of Cuttyhunk, its climate and productions, as they told traveller's
stories up and down in London."


his colonists during the severe winter which followed
their arrival in the new country, he explored the coast
toward the south in the summer of 1605, but finally
removed his shattered colony to the north establishing
it at a place named by him Port Royal, now known as
Annapolis. In June, 1603, Pring was off the coast of
Maine, which he explored, noting the fine forests
and innumerable animals with which the country
abounded. Being desirous of obtaining a supply of
sassafras he shaped his course to Massachusetts Bay,
where he loaded the Discoverer with the commodity
he was seeking and dispatched her for England, fol-
lowing himself later and reaching England, Octo-
ber 2d.

The meeting of the Society to-night is the tercen-
tenary celebration of this voyage of Pring, to whom
we must accord an honorable place among the
renowned seamen of the Elizabethan Age,. and whose
name wiU forever adorn the early pages of our
history. While Pring himself never led a colony
here, his explorations of the coast, and the careful
charts which he made and exhibited to Gorges and
others on his return to England, explaining to them
the fertility of the soil which he had tested by plant-
ing seeds, and the many advantages which the coun-
try offered to colonial enterprise, were of great
importance in stimulating them to undertake the
settlement of the country. Many years, however,
elapsed before a permanent colony was founded
within the present limits of Maine. In the brief
review which I have given of voyages to our northern

2d maeste historicai. society

shores I have spoken chiefly of French and English
enterprises, because after the voyage of Gomez
we have no accounts of Spanish or Portuguese voy-
ages thither ; but we know that many vessels went
annually to Newfoundland and adjacent waters to fish
and traffic with the natives, and there can be no
doubt that voyages for discovery and exploration
were made by Spain who claimed the entire territory
as her own. The publication of such discoveries,
however, was not allowed. Nor is there doubt that
the coast of Maine was familiar to adventurers long
before Pring's voyage. Kohl, we know, expresses
his belief that the savages captured for slaves by
Cortereal in 1502, came from the coast of Maine, and
we know that the Penobscot appears on the chart of
Gomez in 1525. Yet we have no evidences of occu-
pation during the sixteenth century. Gosnold's and
Pring's voyages, however, with Waymouth's voyage
to the coast of Maine which followed, mark the begin-
ning of the movement towards the colonization of New
England. I have thought that a brief account of the
voyages to our northern coast, preceding those of Gos-
nold and Pring, would be a fitting introduction to
the subject which is to be presented to the Society on
this very interesting occasion.




A paper read on November 19, 1903, before the Maine Historical

Society at a meeting commemorative of the tercentenary of

Martin Fringes first voyage to America

In the year 1603, Captain Martin Pring of Bristol,
England, sailed westward to this coast and, after
spending some weeks in Whitson Bay, now Plymouth
Harbor in Massachusetts, returned to England with a
shipload of sassafras. By many students this voyage
has been remarked chiefly because seventeen years
later the Mayflower, driven from her course by storms,
dropped anchor in the same waters where formerly
Captain Pring had found both safety and profit.
Such lovers of coincidence have sought to give to
Captain Pring's achievement merely an introductory
character, to credit him with sagacity in the choice of
a harbor only because other men of wider fame were
later compelled by the will of the winds to the same
harbor. In short these Greek givers would notice
and praise Captain Pring for something he could
neither help nor hinder, and thus would bury his
rightful glory beneath borrowed laurels ; by so doing

Vol. IL 2*


they in reality deny him substantive value and make
his fame a poor ex post facto affair, at the mercy of
every judicial reader.

Such unearned honors and such unnecessary claims
to notice, Captain Pring himself would be the first to

Online LibraryMaine Historical SocietyCollections of the Maine historical society (Volume 15) → online text (page 1 of 37)