Philip Alexander Bruce.

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Digitized by the Internet Archive

in 2010 with funding from

Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center





Published Quarterly by





Richmond, Va.


No. 707 East Franklin St.

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Baylor, John, Will (1772) 357

Book Reviews 104, 223 334 446

Byrd, William (1st), Letters of 225, 350

Council and General Court Minutes, 1622-1629 56, 142, 23S, 337

Council Papers 1698-1702 70, 151, 204,' 395

Genealogy: Blackwell 99 204 312

Fleming 94, 2O6, 327, 440

Gorsuch and Lovelace 81, 214, 317, 425

Harrison (Northern Va.) 97, 2II

Payne 221 315

Taylor (Southampton) 102, 213, 314

Todd _'_425

Yeardley 444

Illustrations: Ivlap of Virginia, 1702. By F. L. Michel. Frontispiece.

Walkern Church, Hertfordshire 80a

Gorsuch Arms .- gl

Tomb of Daniel and Alice Gorsuch 86a

Portraifof Mrs. Mary (Boiling) Fleming 94a

Wm. & Mary College 1702. By F. L. Michel 126a

Indians of Virginia, 1702. By F. L. Michel 130a

Fac-Simile of Signatures to Treaty of Fort Pitt
1778 168a

Church & houses in Williamsburg, 1702. By F. L.

Michel 274a

Dr. Graffenried's Map of Potomac River 302a

Portrait of Judge William Fleming 326a

Toddsbury , Gloucester Co 424a

King William County Records, Notes from 388

Michel, F. L., Journey to Virginia 1701-1702, (Translated by Dr. W J

Hinke.) 1_ 113^ 275

Notes and Querries 193, 305, 417

Pittsylvania County Tithables, 1767. Contributed by Mrs. N. E

Clement 180, 271

Virginia Frontier in History. By David I. Bushnell, Jr 44, 168

Virginia Gazette, 1752 and 1755, Extracts from .404

Virginia Gleanings in England. By Lathrop Withington and

LeoCullcnton 66, 158, 261, 379

Virginia in 1678 _ _ 77

Virginia in 1678-79 _163, 250, 361

Virginia Historical Society, List of Officers and Members, January

Virginia Historical Society, Proceedings of Annual Meeting, April

William & Mary Collegers. Frewen, Chancery Suit, 1702... ..374









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'ir|'. The Journey of Francis Louis MicHelj.-^^^rV^r
- ^2/? Tlie^A^LTgima Frontier in History ' / - "


: 3. Minutes of the:Council and General Coiirt • >-
•^^iVirginia^'Gleamngs in England
];5S^ Council^^pS^, 1698-1701i^;^fc;; ;- .^-^ . -;
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and Lovelace, Fleming, Harrison (N
i.j. . Blackwell and Taylor (Southampton).

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Gorsuch and Lovelace, Fleming, Harrisdri (Northern Virginiay,t^g»\


S.:I Book Reviews v:-






and i ■'■.•: ■■}'■ t!\ i'h'. - (' l.-b.VKi;; ■

THE "'■:.:■

Virginia Magazine

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Vol. XXIV. January, 1916. No. 1

Report of the Journey of Francis Louis Michel from

Berne, Switzerland, to Virginia, October 2,

1701-December 1, 1702.(1)

Translated and edited by Prof. Wm. J. Hinke, Ph. D,

[The attention of the translator (Prof. Hinke) was first drawn
to the reports and letters of Michel by Mr. Albert Cook Myers,
the well known Quaker historian of Pennsylvania. In his
researches, connected with the editing of the "Complete Works
of Wm. Penn," Mr. Myers had come across these valuable
documents, which had been printed in part in 1898 in a histori-
cal yearbook, published in Berne, Switzerland. It is entitled,
"Neues Bemer Taschenbuch auf das Jahr 1898," i. e., "New
Berne Pocket Book for the Year 1898." In this Year Book (pp.
59-144) Mr. J. H. Graf published a series of reports and letters of
Michel, from a Ms. in the city library of Berne, under the title:
"Francis Louis Michel of Berne and his first Travels to America,
1701-1704." As there were a number of omissions in this pub-
lication, a complete copy of the Ms. was secured through the

(l)-Tliis report of Michel is accompanied by a map, which he himself
drew of the entrance of the Chesapeake Bay. The reproduction in the
M.'VGAZiNE is a reduced copy of Micliel's map.

T. 1^


>:• ". ''.\> kindness and courtesy of the Chief Librarian of the Berne
; . .1 library, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang F. von Miihnen. The whole Ms.

is now published for the first time in an English translation. (la)
. ' Francis Louis Michel, who is well known through his con-

nection with Baron Graffenried and the establishment of the
\,;,. . first colony at New Berne, North Carolina, in the year
:; ' 1710, belonged to a prominent Berne family, Michel von
• . .,/, . Schwertschwendi. His father, David Michel, bom 1634, was
Lord of Ralligen, becam.e member of the Great Council of
■•;. ■ Berne in 1673 and prefect of Gottstatt in 1684. He died Feb-
•'■ ' r ruary 7, 1696. He had three children. His younger son, John
iJ: ,1 ! Louis, born April 6, 1684, became Lord of Aarau and revenue
ccmimiissioner in Yverdon. His older son, whose date of birth
scem.s to be unknown, led an adventurous life as traveler and
explorer in Am.erica. His daughter, Johanna Esther, was
married to Abraham Wild, prefect of Buchsee. In his early
life Francis Louis Michel had a military training. He probably
served as an officer in the French army. His whole later con-
..... V, duct, as well as his interest in military affairs, point in that
1 ... direction. After he had returned hom.e, Michel made two

1 lu- bui v)i journeys to Am.erica, between the years 1702-1704. His letters
f'...;-,",: I' and reports show that he at setthng a Swiss colony in
? ill- ,..■ • ", Am:erica. In this he was not directly successful, but his letters
CaU'-.: :'v led to the organization of a joint-stock company, known as
firu' .1 V .; George Ritter and Co., under whose auspices Christopher von
'•• '■■■■ < Graffen-ried founded the colony of New Berne, N. C,
■ 1..' .. ; in the year 1710, at the m.outh of the Trent and Neuse rivers.
,,.-,, ..: The more important documents of Francis Louis Michel,
i'.,. ■ ' ■ preserved at Berne, are in rcahty not the originals themselves,
.1 ' ri l.._ but copies, m.ade by his brother, John Louis Michel. They

consist of the following:

1 r ;■ a I A short report of his journey to America, October 2, 1701-

'■ December 1, 1702, accompanied by a series of sketches: (a) A

' ■ • ■ n-ap showing the entrance of the Chesapeake Bay; (b) a sketch

•■• ■■-'•■ ■ "•■' of the College at William.sburg; (c) a sketch of the State House,

(la)-ln the interpretation of difr'cult words, the translator had the
:: ' , assi.-tancc of Prof. A. B. Faust, of Cornell University, and of Prof. W. F.
;,,.• • .. von Miilinen, of the University cf Berne, Switzerland.


\jt\ r 1 .! 'I.-/! 2i;'


begun 1702; (d) a sketch of the Church at Williamsburg; (e) a
sketch of a waterspout; (f) a sketch of three Indians and their

2. "Several letters, which arrived after the departure of my
brother, dated February 14, 1703, from London, and from

3. A draft of a petition to the Queen of England, asking for a
concession, in order to found a colony there.]

Short Report of the American Journey, which was made
FROM the 2nd of October of Last Year to the First op
December of this Current Year 1702. , ,

On the Ship Nassau,

built for 700 tons and forty pieces [of cannon].

Account of my first travels.

Soli Deo Gloria. , . '

1701, October. After I had determined upon this ioumey,
I engaged passage on a ship going down the Rhine, at Basle, on
the Sth of October, and on the 30th of said month I arrived in
Rotterdam, where an English yacht lay ready, to convey
Milord Galloway to London. I made use of this opportunity.
On the evening of the 31st, we left the land and with the ebb
and a weak but good wind sailed for three hours, then anchored.
In the morning we made use of the tide and at ten o'clock
reached Bricl [Brielle](2), a city five hours distant from Rotter-
dam. As the wind was too weak Milord stayed there till the
following morning. In the forenoon we sailed with an east wind
out of the Rhine into the ocean, for about two hours, when we
were forced, Ijccause of the weak wind and the unfavorable tide,
to cast anchor. At evening the aforesaid wind increased and
we advanced during the night about 30 hours [90 miles]. At
noon we saw land, which looked as if it were encloc:d by high,
white walls, inasmuch as the largest part of England towards
the ocean lies upon white and high cliffs of chalk. At evening

(2)-Brielle lies at what is now the mouth of the New Meuse River, on
the island of Voorne.


we anchored in the Terns [Thames]. In the morning we sailed
up the stream, covered with ships, through a beautiful and fer-
tile district, passing the town of Gravesend.

1701, November. To-night, namely the 4th of November,
we landed in London, not far from the Tower. But before we
landed we were carefully searched for the third time, whether
we had any dutiable goods. Even the trunks of Milord were
not spared. The dutiable goods consist among other things
of yam, laces, linen, that is unused, wine, whiskey, and other
foreign goods. As it was already dark and as I was unacquaint-
ed with English customs and the English language, I had great
difficulty in finding a lodging place for the night. But in the
morning a Frenchman showed me a room, in the so-called
Quarter Gracq, which was rented by the week, where I stayed
till my embarkation.

I shall not delay long in order to describe this great and mighty
city and the fertile country, because, as one of the most beautiful
and richest countries, it is sufficiently well known. In this great
metropolis the splendid St. Paul's cathedral is especially note-
worthy, whose size and costly workmanship excite attention,
since m.ore than thirty six years have been spent in its erection
and m.ore than ten years will still be necessary before it is com-
pletcd(3). It is built of large white hewn stone. To secure the
necessary mioney for it the burning of hard coal is taxed. Each
wagonload is taxed a crown, which yields an incredibly large

Not far from the city two royal castles arc located, together
with the adjoining pleasure and game parks, where the late
king William used to spend much time. One is called Kensing-
ton(4), the other Grenwitsch [Greenwich]. (5)

(.3)-According to Baedeker's Lon^/o?i, IGtii cd.. 1911, p 91, "the present
church, desig^ned by Cliristophcr Wren and bepun in 107.5. was opened for
divine service on Deceinljcr 2, 1G97, and completed in 1710. The greater
part of the cost of the construction, which may be estimated at about
850,000 1., wat^ defrayed by a ta.x on coal entering the jjort o'' London."

(4)-Kensin{,ton Palace was purchased from the second Earl of Nottinjr-
ham by Kinf^ William III. in 16S9. The present brick edifice was built
for William and Mary in lGSO-91. Sec Baedeker's London, p. 264.

(5)-Grecnwich Palace, l:uilt by Charles II. in 1667, was converted into
a Hospital for aged and disabled soldiers by William III. in 1G94. See
Baedeker's London, p. 393.


In order to gain my purpose, I went out daily to inquire when
the West India ships would sail. After eight days I learned
that within four weeks, as usual, a large number of ships would
leave for that country, but especially the ship Nassau, upon
which it was possible at that time, because of the King's liberal-
ity, to travel free of charge. To that end I inquired of the
commissioner, appointed for that purpose, who at ap-
proved of my desire and informed me that the ship would sail
within four weeks. The stranger can find out daily, at the
Bourse, when and where the ships ready to sail leave, and also
the name of the captain and at what place and time he is to be
found; the size of the ship, the number of sailors and cannons
is also stated.

The ordinary fare is five pounds, sometimes six, for the jour-
ney across, but only half that amount for the return journey.
After I had made sure of the ship, I inquired what marketable
goods could be purchased. I bought, as far as I was able, SDme
of every kind, also what was necessary for the journey and my
stay there, namely: A mattress, linen, whiskey, ready-made
clothes, hats, stockings, shoes, rifles, all kinds of household
goods and implements, knives, scissors, shoe buekles, hair
powder, especially amber, all kinds of perfumes and laces; in
short everything that a man needs, except food. Tae ordinary
and lowest profit is fifty per cent. But there are goad^ on which
one can double and even treble his money. The largest profit
of the merchants is due to the fact that the inhabitants of the
West [Western World] have to order everything from England,
because through lack of artisans nothing can be made in that
country, although the materials for many things can be found
there. It is probable that the merchants in England make no
search for this [material], but rather discourage it, because they
would lose much in trade.

When I had finished my purchases and the appointed tims
had come, I went to the commissiDner, named Captain Jaco,
who resides in St. Anne street. (6) He informed me that tha
ship would soon be ready to leave and that it was lying at anchor

(6)-St. Anne St. is near Westminster Abbey, connecting Orchard St
and Great Peter St.


-r f,

yni tr.i. v

lir^i .c:li.'':L«i zcpK ^r'Vfit'


at Blackwahl [Blackwall](7), one hour from London. He gave
me a note to Captain Robert Trischen, to receive me and to
board me according to custom.

1701, December. On the 15th of December I went on board
of ship. I looked at once for a well located cabin and with some
effort made myself comfortable. There were 140 persons on
the sam.e deck. We stayed there without prospect [of depart-
ure] till January 14, 1702.

1702, January. The cause [of the delay] was the contrary
wind and also the fact that our ship, because of its size, was
Eubjcct to m;ilitary service. But Mr. William, the owner of the
ship, substituted another ship in its place. He was able to
secure this concession because he was a member of parliament
at that time. Fourteen ships are owned by him. The king
has knighted him. He has great wealth. In his youth he was
a ccm.m.on sailor.

During this tim.e m.erchandise and provisions were daily taken
on beard, and also scm.e poor English (*) people, or persons who
had been guilty of some crim.e, young and old, sold into servitude
for four years. Those who are not of age must serve, according
to law, till they have reached the 21st year, for food and clothes.
When they are sold in Virginia the ordinary price is from ten to
eighteen pounds. After they have gained their liberty, they
work for scm.e years, until they themselves can set up a planta-
tion or farm, as indeed mxst of the inhabitants of that land have
ccme in in such a m.anner and have settled there in that way.

In passing, I cannot emit to relate briefly what happened on
the 22nd at night, at ten o'clock, through those sold into servi-
tude. It should be known that there are people in England
and especially in London, who sell foreigners and simple-
mir.dcd people to go on West India ships. About fifty of these
deceived and liberty-loving people plotted together, supplied
thcm.selves secretly ^^ith sticks, to be used in case they would
meet opposition in their effort to seize the sloop by force and to

(7)-The Blackwall docks, near Blackwall tunnel, are at the east end of

(*)-The original does not read"Armee Leutcn," as the printed edition
(Year Book, p. 67) gives it, but "armen Leuten," as Prof, von Mulinen
reads it.




return to the land. But they had to come up the stairway,
close to which I and four French famiUcs had settled. We
looked in upon the commotion for a while, not knowing of their
intention, until they all made a furious rush to seize the stair-
way. We thought their object was to attack us, hence four
of us seized swords and held the passage-way, until the ship's
owner, together with twelve sailors, who had heard the uproar
in their beds, came down in their shirts with their guns and
anchor bars, saw the tumult and knocked down everybody who
resisted and did not escape. Many were badly wounded and
beaten. They took twenty of the leaders, whom they laid,
during the whole cold night, backvv'ards across the cable and the
anchor-ropes. The noise was heard on shore and became known
in London. The captain came to hear what was the nature
of the tumuli. After he had heard of their plan, he ordered
twelve of the chief ringleaders and also two women, who had
incited the revolt, to be locked up in irons. They had to suffer
for it during the whole journey. The owner of the ship and
also the captain were very grateful, that so few of us had held
up the mob, and had taken the part of the ship's owner, in re-
turn for whirh we were well treated. Especially at our de-
parture, when the King refused to pay the passage money for
the fugitives from France [Huguenots], as the commissioner in-
formed us, wc had no other thought than that we would have
to pay, namicly six pounds sterling. But the rich owner asked
us to see him. We had to relate to him from beginning to end
how it all hr.d happened. He told us that, though there was
no hope that we be paid from the king's treasury as hitherto,
yet in consideration of our services and faithfulness, he wished
us good luck on our journey, but asked no money. Each one
also had to drink to his health.

After the above date we were fully ready for the journey and
we weighed anchor for the fifth time, in vain. On the 14th,
however, we had good sailing weather, hence we left in the fore-
noon and in the evening reached Gravesend, situated about 21
miles from London. It is provided with a stron g fort (8)^ on

(8)-"0n the Essex bank, opposite Gravesend, we observe the low
bastions of Tillniry Fort, originally constructed by Henry VIII. to defend
the mouth of the Thames, and since extended and strengthened;" see
Baedeker, London, p. 392.

1 'a.''


the other side of the water, where ships stop, sometimes be-
nt u ]• cause of stormy weather, at other times to get papers of clear-
ance and ammunilionO). The servants of the ship are also
paid here, if they have anything to demand.
\ , J We lay there till the 2-ith. As there was good wind then, we
f . ,, left in the forenoon and in the evening reached the mouth of the
,i: Terns [Thames] at Northpoint(lO). There we anchored. The

■ t.s"; • ■ battle ships of the first class pass the winter here. On the fol-

lowing day, with a weak wind, we advanced 88 miles. The

next day we passed a dangerous place over the covered sand-

' ■ . 'i banks(ll),which lie between Northpoint and Dunes [Downs](l2)

. .. The path of the ships is marked, as being 3, 4, 5 to 6 fathoms of

: I v.ater. The dangerous character of the place is shown by the

masts, which protrude out of the water at many places. These

lie not far from Marget [Margate]. On the 2Gth, in beautiful

weather, but with weak, contrary wind, we reached Dunes

• < ( ■ [Downs], where 64 large as well as small warships and mer-

.... chantmen of different nationalities were assembled. This

' ■ . harbor is guarded by two sea castles, between them lies an open

notable place (13), but the east wind is very dangerous to the

ships, which stay there, as five days before our arrival fifteen

; ! I . small and large ships, through the severe storm and the breaking

:. -i ; of anchor ropes or cables, were broken to pieces on the chalk

, , ; . cliffs, and partly were driven to and upon sandbanks where

.../.. m.ost of them suffered shipwreck.

' . .■ ' , 1702, February. We stayed there to the 6th of February, on

• ' ;■■ ' account of the contrary north-west wind. Two ships returned

cr. , from the sea badly used up through the rough weather. Inas-

"^.iii. ■ : ; much as the wind blew fro m the east in the evening, we, to-

■ ■ ^ (9)-The description of Baedeker aj^rees closely: "Vessels on their way
. ■. . , up the Thames here take pilots and customs house officer on board, and

outward hound vessels also usually touch here;" see London, p. 43"f.
'■• <'••'' ■■ (lO)-Northpoint is identical with the promontory North Foreland,
alaout half a mile from Margate. .

'' . ' ■ (ll)-These sandbanks are the dangerous quicksands, called Goodwin
' ' Sands; sec Baedeker, Crea; 5n'/(zjn, 3rd ed., 1S91, p. 2t. _

' ■■ ) . • . (12)-"The 'Downs,' between Goodwin Sands and the mainland form
■ •' • an excellent harbour of refuge in stormy weather;" see Baedeker, Great
' "• ■ " ■ ' Britain, p. 25.
' ■ (13)-This notable place is Deal, with Deal Castle to the north of the

town and Walmer Castle to the south of it; see Baedeker, Great Britain,
p. 25.

•J..:.••^. <.^A^ti.:l'^c^

■.;•,•» Jk..;.

iv.r.i; lr[> >.i


gether with twelve other ships, weighed anchor, but we could
not leave this evening with the others, because the captain de-
layed too long on shore and we had to weigh two heavy anchors.
At dawn, on the 7th, we sailed by Douvres [Dover], six miles
from Dunes. Here the channel is only 21 miles wide, so that
Calais in France can well be recognized. The wind changed to
our disadvantage, hence we had to tack about, towards the
coast of Normandy. We saw some French fishermen together
with a large ship. It soon signalled by a flag that it was Eng-
lish. Finally wc were compelled to make for Spit heat [Spit-
head] (14), which Hes opposite the Isle of Wight. We had great
difficulty in veering about, because the wind was altogether
contrary. There is a strong fort which guards the harbor(15)
This is one of the best and securest sea ports of England. A
large number of warships were there, most of them ready to
sail. They were filled with men pressed into service. We
stayed there during the night. The next morning we sailed
about six miles, in storaiy weather, and cast anchor before Cow
[Cowes], a beautiful place in the island(16). There were 56
merchantmen there, waiting for east wind, which had not blown
for ten weeks, the northerly and westerly wind is especially
common. There was among others a large Dutch ship there,
destined for the East Indies, which had waited six weeks for
favorable wind. The ship's company was large and sickness
was among them, so that more than forty persons had died

Online LibraryPhilip Alexander BruceThe Virginia magazine of history and biography (Volume 1916) → online text (page 1 of 53)