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Argall, 1G12. . J . .

old, she was married to a cnieitam named.
Kocoum. Be that as it may, it is certain that in
1612 young Captain Argall found her staying
with the Potomac tribe, whose chief he bribed
with a copper kettle to connive at her abduction.
She was inveigled on board Argall's ship and
taken to Jamestown, to be held as a hostage for
her father's good behaviour. 1 It is not clear what

1 Another interesting person sailed with Argall to James-
town. A lad, Henry Spelman, son of the famous antiquary, Sir
Henry Spelman, was at the Pamunkey village when Ratcliffe and
his party were massacred by The Powhatan (see ahove, p. 153).
The young man's life was saved by Pocahontas, and he was
probably adopted. Argall found him with Pocahontas among
the Potomacs, and bought him at the cost of a small further out-
lay in copper. Spelman afterward became a person of some im-
portance in the colony. His " Relation of Virginia," containing
an interesting account of the Ratcliffe massacre and other mat-


might have come of this, for The Powhatan's con-
duct was so unsatisfactory that Dale had about
made up his mind to use fire and sword against
him, when all at once the affair took an un-
expected turn. Among the passengers on the ill-
fated Sea Venture were John Rolfe and his wife,
of Heacham, in Norfolk. During their stay on
the Bermuda Islands, a daughter was born to them
and christened Bermuda. Shortly after their
arrival in Virginia, Mrs. Rolfe died, and now an
affection sprang up between the widower and the
captive Pocahontas. Whether the Indian hus-
band of the latter (if Strachey is to be believed)
was living or dead, would make little difference
according to Indian notions ; for among all the
Indian tribes, when first studied by white men,
marriage was a contract terminable at pleasure by
either party. Scruples of a different sort troubled
Rolfe, who hesitated about marrying a heathen
unless he could make it the occasion of saving her
soul from the Devil. This was easily achieved by
converting her to Christianity and bap-
tizing her with the Bible name Rebekah. Pocahontas
Sir Thomas Dale improved the occasion Roife, April,

1 f*"\ J.

to renew the old alliance with The Pow-
hatan, who may have welcomed such an escape
from a doubtful trial of arms ; and the marriage
was solemnized in April, 1614, in the church at
Jamestown, in the presence of an amicable com-
pany of Indians and Englishmen. One could

ters, was first published under the learned editorship of Henry
Stevens in 1872, and has since been reprinted in Arber's invalu-
able edition of Smith's Works, pp. ci.-cxiv.


wish that more of the details connected with this
affair had been observed and recorded for us, so
that modern studies of Indian law and custom
might be brought to bear upon them. How much
weight this alliance may have had with the In-
dians, one can hardly say ; but at all events they
made little or no trouble for the next eight years.
Other foes than red men called for Dale's atten-
tion. In the neighbourhood of the Gulf of St.
Lawrence the French were as busily at work as
the English in Virginia. The 45th parallel, the
northern limit of oldest Virginia, runs through
the country now called Nova Scotia. At Port
Royal, on the Bay of Fundy, a small French col-
ony had been struggling against dire adversity
ever since 1G04, and more lately a party of French
Jesuits had begun to make a settlement on Mount
Desert Island, off the coast of Maine. In one of

his fishing excursions Captain Argall
attacks the discovered this Jesuit settlement and

promptly extinguished it, carrying his
prisoners to Jamestown. Then Dale sent him
back to patrol that northern coast, and presently
Argall swooped upon Port Royal and burned it to
the ground, carrying off the live-stock as booty
and the inhabitants as prisoners. The French
ambassador in London protested and received
evasive answers until the affair was allowed to
drop and Port Royal was rebuilt without further
molestation by the English. These events were
the first premonition of a mighty conflict, not to
be fully entered upon till the days of Argall's
grandchildren, and not to be finally decided until


the days of their grandchildren, when Wolfe
climbed the Heights of Abraham. We are told


that on his way back to Jamestown the uncere-
monious Argall looked in at the Hudson aiul warns
River, and finding Heiidrick Christhn- iheDlltch -
sen there with his colony of Dutch traders, ordered
him under penalty of a broadside to haul down
the flag of the Netherlands and run up the Eng-
lish ensign. The philosophic Dutchman quietly
obeyed, but as soon as the ship was out of sight
he replaced his own flag, consigning Captain
Argall sotto voce to a much warmer place than
the Hudson River.

In 1616 George Yeardley, who was already in
Virginia, succeeded Sir Thomas Gates as deputy-
governor, and Dale, who had affairs in Europe
that needed attention, sailed for England, lie
had much reason to feel proud of what had been
accomplished during his five years' rule. Strict
order bad been maintained and the Indians had
been pacified, while the colony had trebled in
numbers, and symptoms of prosperity were every-
where visible. In the ship which carried Dale to
England went John Rolfe and his wife yisitof

Pocahontas. Much ado was made over l

the Indian woman, who was presented at

court by Lady Delaware and everywhere treated

as a princess. There is a trustworthy tradition

that Khiir James was inclined to censure Kolt'e for


marrying into a royal family without consulting
his own sovereign. In the English imagination
The Powhatan figured as a sovereign : and \vheu
European feudal ideas were applied to the case it


seemed as if in certain contingencies the infant
son of Rolfe and Pocahontas might become " King
of Virginia." The dusky princess was entertained
with banquets and receptions, she was often seen
at the theatre, and was watched with great curi-
osity by the people. It was then that " La Belle
Sauva;e ' became a favourite name for London


taverns. Her portrait, engraved by the celebrated
artist, Simon Van Pass, 1 shows us a rather hand-
some and dignified young woman, with her neck
encircled by the broad serrated collar or ruff char-
acteristic of that period, an embroidered and jew-
elled cap on her head, and a fan in her hand. The
inscription on the portrait gives her age as oiie-
and-twenty, which would make her thirteen at the
time when she rescued Captain Smith. While she
was in England, she had an interview with Smith.
He had made his exploring voyage on the New
England coast two years before, when he changed
the name of the country from North Virginia to
New England. In 1615 he had started in the ser-
vice of the Plymouth Company with an expedition
for colonizing New England, but had been cap-
tured by French cruisers and carried to Rochelle.
After his return from France he was making prep-
arations for another voyage to New Eng-
viewwith land, when he heard of Pocahontas and
called on her. When he addressed her,
as all did in England, as Lady Rebekah, she
seemed hurt and turned away, covering her face
with her hands. She insisted upon calling him
Father and having him call her his child, as for-
1 Neill's Virginia Company, p. 98.


meiiy in the wilderness. Then she added, " They
did always tell us you were dead, and I knew not
otherwise till I came to Plymouth." 1

Early in 1617 Argall was appointed deputy-gov-
ernor of Virginia and sailed in March to supersede
Yeardley. Rolfe was made secretary of the col-
ony and went in the same ship ; but Pocahontas
fell suddenly ill, and died before leav-

r* i 01 i i n Death of

ing (jrravesend. one was buried in the Pocahontas,
parish church there. Her son, Thomas
Rolfe, was left with an uncle in England, where
he grew to manhood. Then he went to Virginia,
to become the ancestor, not of a line of kings, but
of the families of Murray, Fleming, Gay, Whittle,
Robertson, Boiling, and Eldredge, as well as of
the branch of Randolphs to which the famous John
Randolph of Roanoke belonged. 2 One cannot
leave the story of Pocahontas without recalling the
curious experiences of a feathered chieftain in her
party named Tomocomo, whom The Powhatan had
instructed to make a report on the population of
England. For this purpose he was equipped with
a sheaf of sticks on which he was to make a notch
for every white person he should meet.
Plymouth must have kept poor Tomo- census-
corn o busy enough, but on arriving in
London he uttered an amazed grunt and threw his
sticks away. He had also been instructed to ob-
serve carefully the king and queen and God, and

1 Smith's Works, p. 533.

2 See Meade's Old Churches and Families of Virginia, ii. 79 ;
a most useful and delightful book, in about a thousand pages
without an index !


report on their personal appearance. Tomoeomo
found it hard to believe that so puny a creature as
James Stuart could be the chief of the white men,
and he could not understand why he was not told
where God lived and taken to see him.

When Argall arrived in Virginia, he found that
a new industry, at which sundry experiments had
been made under Dale, was acquiring large dimen-
sions and fast becoming established. Of all the
gifts that America has vouchsafed to the Old World,
the most widely acceptable has been that which
a Greek punster might have called " the Bacchic
gift," TO POLKXIKOV Suprjpa, tobacco. No other visi-
ble and tangible product of Columbus's discovery
has been so universally diffused among all kinds
and conditions of men, even to the remot-
est nooks and corners of the habitable
earth. Its serene and placid charm has everywhere
proved irresistible, although from the outset its
use has been frowned upon with an acerbity such
as no other affair of hygiene has ever called forth.
The first recorded mention of tobacco is in Colum-
bus's diary for November 20, 1492. The use of it
Was soon introduced into the Spanish peninsula,
and about 1560 the French ambassador at Lisbon,
Jean Nicot, sent some of the fragrant herb into
France, where it was named in honour of him
Nicotiana. It seems to have been first brought to
England by Lane's returning colonists in 1586, and
early in the seventeenth century it was becoming
fashionable to smoke, in spite of the bull of Pope
Urban VIII. and King James's "Counterblast
to Tobacco." Every one will remember how that


royal author characterized smoking as " a custom
loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful
to the brain, dangerous to the lungs, and in the
black stinking fume thereof nearest resembling
the horrible Stygian smoke of the pit that is bot-
tomless." On Twelfth Night, 1614, a dramatic
entertainment, got up by the gentlemen of Gray's
Inn and called the Mask of Flowers, was The Mask
performed before the king and queen at
Whitehall. In it the old classic Silenus appears,
jovial and corpulent, holding his goatskin wine-
bag, and with him a novel companion, an Ameri-
can chieftain named Kawasha, dressed in an em-
broidered mantle cut like tobacco leaves, with a
red cap trimmed with gold on his head, rings in
his ears, a chain of glass beads around his neck,
and a bow and arrows in his hand. These two
strange worthies discuss the merits of wine and
tobacco :

Silenus. Kawasha comes in majesty ;
Was never such a god as he.
He 's come from a far country
To make our nose a chimney.

Kawasha. The wine takes the contrary way
To get into the hood ;
But good tobacco makes no stay,
But seizeth where it should.
More incense hath burned at
Great Kawasha's foot
Than to Silen and Bacchus both,
And take in Jove to boot.

Silenus. The worthies they were nine, 't is true,
And lately Arthur's knights I knew,
But now are come up worthies new,
The roaring boys, Kawasha's crew.


Eawasha. Silenus tops l the barrel, but
Tobacco tops the brain
And makes the vapours fine and soote, 2
That man revives again.
Nothing but fumigation
Doth charm away ill sprites.
Kawasha and his nation
Found out these holy rites. 3

In Virginia the first settlers found the Indians
cultivating tobacco in small gardens. The first
Englishman to make experiments with it is said
to have been John Rolfe in 1612. Under Yeard-
ley's first administration, in 1616, the cultivation
of tobacco became fairly established, and from that
time forth it was a recognized staple of the colony.
The effects of this were very notable. As the
great purchasing; power of a tobacco crop

Effects of n i .1 i

tobacco cui- came to be generally known, the people
of Virginia devoted themselves more and


more to its cultivation, until nearly all other crops
and most other forms of industry were neglected.
Thus the type of society, as we shall hereafter see,
was largely determined by the cultivation of to-
bacco. Moreover a clear and positive inducement
was now offered for emigration such as had not
existed before since the first dreams of gold and
silver were dispelled. After the first disappoint-

1 There is a play upon words here. The first " top " is appar-
ently equivalent to "drink up," as in the following: "Its no
hainous offence (beleeve me) for a young man ... to toppe of
a canne roundly," Terence in English, 1614. The second "top"
seems equivalent to "put the finishing touch on." "Silenus
quaffs the barrel, but Tobacco perfects the brain."

2 Sweet.

3 Nichols, Progresses of King James, ii. 739.



ments it became difficult to persuade men of hard
sense to go to Virginia, and we have seen what a
wretched set of people were drawn together by the
Company's communistic schemes. But those who
came to acquire wealth by raising tobacco were of
a better sort, men of business-like ideas who knew
what they wanted and how to devote themselves
to the task of getting it. With the establishment
of tobacco culture there began a steady improve-
ment in the characters and fortunes of the colo-
nists, and the demand for their staple in Europe
soon became so great as forever to end the possi-
bility of perishing from want. Henceforth what-
ever a Virginian needed he could buy with tobacco.
We have now to see how Virginia, which was
fast becoming able to support itself, became also
a self-governing community. The administrations
of Lord Delaware, of Dale, of Yeardley, and of
Argall, were all despotisms, whether mild or
harsh. To trace the evolution of free govern-
ment, we must take our start in the year 1612,
when the London Company obtained its TheLon don
third charter. The immediate occasion u^Har-
for taking out this charter was the de- er>1
sire of the Company to include among its posses-
sions the Bermuda Islands, and they were now
added to Virginia. At the same time it was felt
that the government of the Company needed some
further emendation in order to give the members
more direct and continuous control over its pro-
ceedings. It was thus provided that there should
be weekly meetings, at which not less than five
members of the council and fifteen of the Company


must be present. Besides this there were to be
Held four general courts or quarter sessions in the
course of each year, for electing the treasurer and
council and passing laws for the government of the
colony. At these quarter sessions charges could be
brought against delinquent servants of the Com-
pany, which was clothed with full judicial powers
of hearing and deciding such cases and inflicting
punishments. A good many subscribers had been
alarmed by evil tidings from Virginia so that they
would refuse or more often would simply neglect
to pay in the amount of their subscriptions. To
remedy these evils the Company was empowered
to expel delinquent members or to bring suits in
law and equity against them to recover damages or
compel performance. Furthermore, it was allowed
to replenish its treasury by setting up lotteries, a
practice in which few people at that time saw any-
thing objectionable. Such a lottery was held at a
house in St. Paul's Churchyard, in July, 1612, of
which the continuator of Stow's Chronicle tells
us : " This lottery was so plainly carried


and honestly performed that it gave full
satisfaction to all persons. Thomas Sharplisse, a
tailor of London, had the chief prize, viz., 4,000
crowns in fair plate, which was sent to his house
in very stately manner. During the whole time
of the drawing of this lottery, there were always
present divers worshipful knights and esquires,
accompanied with sundry grave discreet citizens."
In September the Spanish ambassador, Zuniga,
wrote home that " there was a lottery on foot to
raise 20,000 ducats [equivalent to about $40,000].


In this all the livery companies adventured. The
grocers ventured 62 15s., and won a silver [dish]
and cover valued at 13 10s." 1

This remodelling of the Company's charter was
an event of political importance. Formerly the
meetings of the Company had been few and far
between, and its affairs had been practically con-
trolled by the council, and in many cases by its
chief executive officer, the treasurer, Sir Thomas
Smith. Now the weekly meetings of the Com-
pany, and its courts of quarter sessions, armed
with such legislative and judicial powers, put a
new face upon things. It made the Company a
democratic self-governing body, and when we re-
call the membership of the Company we T heCom-
can see what this meant. There were SL b a~ n
fifty-six of the craft-guilds or liveried p c e r nt
companies of the city of London, whose po
lord mayor was also a prominent member, and
the political spirit of London was aggressively
liberal and opposed to high prerogative. There
were also more than a hundred London merchants
and more than two hundred persons belonging to
the nobility and gentry, including some of the
foremost peers and knights in the party hostile to
the Stuart king's pretensions. The meetings of
the Company were full of discussions which could
not help taking a political turn, since some of
the most burning political questions of the day
as, for example, the great dispute over monopolies
and other disputes were commercial in charac-
ter. Men's eyes were soon opened to the ex-

1 Neill's Virginia Company, p. 66.


istence of a great deliberative body outside of
Parliament and expressing itself with much free-
dom on exciting topics. The social position and
weighty character of the members drew general
attention to their proceedings, especially as many
of them were also members of either the House
of Lords or the House of Commons. We can
easily believe the statement that the discussions
of the Company were followed with even deeper
interest than the debates in Parliament. It took
a few years for this aspect of the situation to be-
come fully developed, but opposition to the new
charter was soon manifested, even by

Opposition .." -it

to the char- sundry members ot the Company itselt.

ter : Mid- . r J

dieton'a Some of them agreed with Sergeant


Montague that to confer such vast and
vague powers upon a mercantile corporation was
unconstitutional. In a debate in Parliament in
1614 a member of the Company named Middleton
attacked the charter on the ground that trade with
Virginia and agriculture there needed more strict
regulation than it was getting. " The shopkeep-
ers of London," he said, " sent over all kinds of
goods, for which they received tobacco instead of
coin, infinitely to the prejudice of the Common-
wealth. Many of the divines now smell of to-
bacco, and poor men spend 4d. of their day's wages
at night in smoke. [He] wished that this patent
may be damned, and an act of Parliament passed
for the government of the colony by a company." 1
So much effect was produced by speeches of this
sort that the council of the Company as a counter-

1 Neill's Virginia Company, p. 67.


stroke presented a petition for aid, and had it
defended before the House of Commons by the
eminent lawyer, Richard Martin, one of the most
brilliant speakers of the day. Martin gave a fine
historical description of English colonizing enter-
prise since Raleigh's first attempts, then he dwelt
upon the immediate and pressing needs of Vir-
ginia, especially the need for securing an ample
reinforcement of honest workmen with their wives
and children, and he urged the propriety of a lib-
eral parliamentary grant in aid of the

C-. . . m, Mr. Martin

ompany and its operations, llien at forgets

the close of an able and effective speech
his eloquence carried him away, and he so far for-
got himself as to remind the House that it had
been but a thriftless penury which had led King
Henry VII. to turn the cold shoulder upon Co-
lumbus, and to predict for them similar chagrin if
they should neglect the interests of Virginia. This
affair, as he truly said, was of far greater impor-
tance than many of the trifles on which the House
was in the habit of wasting its time. Poor Martin
should have stopped a minute sooner. His last
remark was heard with indignation. One member
asked if he supposed the House was a school and
he the schoolmaster ; another moved that he should
be committed for contempt; finally it was decided
that he should make a public apology. So the
next day, after a mild and courteous rebuke from
the Speaker, Mr. Martin apologized as an( jhasto
follows, according; to the brief memoran- a P 1 s lze -


dum entered upon the journal of the House of
Commons for that day : " All men liable to err,


and he particularly so, but he was not in love with
error, and as willing as any man to be divorced
therefrom. Admits that he digressed from the
subject ; that he was like a ship that cutteth the
cable and putteth to sea, for he cut his memory
and trusted to his invention. Was glad to be an
example to others, and submitted to the censure
not with a dejected countenance, for there is com-
fort in acknowledging an error." 1

While such incidents, trifling in themselves,
tended to create prejudice against the Company

on the part of many members of Par-
Factions , . ill
within the liament, tactions were soon developed

within the Company itself. There was,
first, the division between the court party, or sup-
porters of the king, and the country party, opposed
to his overweening pretensions. The difference
between court and country parties was analogous
to the difference between Tories and Whigs that
began in the reign of Charles II. A second di-
vision, crossing the first one, was that between
the defenders and opponents of the monopolies.
A third division grew out of a personal quarrel
between the treasurer, Sir Thomas Smith, and
a prominent shareholder, Lord Rich, afterwards
Earl of Warwick. This man's title remains to-
day in the name of Warwick County near the
mouth of James River. At first he and Sir
Thomas Smith were on very friendly terms. Sam-
uel Argall was closely connected by marriage with
Smith's family, and it was Lord Rich and his
friends who in 1617 secured Argall's appointment

1 Neill's Virginia Company, p. 71.


as deputy-governor of Virginia. The appointment
turned out to be far from creditable. Argall's
rule was as stern as Dale's, but it was not pub-
lic-spirited. From the upright and spotless Dale
severity could be endured ; with the self-seeking
and unscrupulous Argall it was quite otherwise.
He was so loudly accused of peculation and ex-
tortion that after one year the Company sent out
Lord Delaware to take personal charge of the
colony once more. That nobleman sailed in the
spring of 1618, with 200 emigrants. They went
by way of the Azores, and while touching at the
island of St. Michael, Lord Delaware
and thirty of his companions suddenly LordDeia-

ll ' 1 1 J' 1 1 1 ware,lG18.

iell sick and died in such manner as to
raise a strong suspicion that their Spanish hosts
had poisoned them. Among the governor's pri-
vate papers was one that instructed him to arrest
Argall and send him to England for trial. When
the ship arrived in Virginia this document fell

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Online LibraryJohn FiskeOld Virginia and her neighbours → online text (page 13 of 22)