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The Swallow , Captain Moons and Mafter


The fleet was attended by two fmaller
veflels, one of which was a ketch, command
ed by Matthew Fitch, the other a pinnace,
in which went Captain Davies and Mafter

This fleet failed from Plymouth on the
fecond day of June, 1609. Though their
orders were not to ga by the old route of the
Canaries and the Weft-Indies, but to fleer


* Purchas, v. 1733-


directly for Virginia, yet they went as far
fouthward as the twenty-fixth degree of lat
itude ; where the heat was fo exceffive, that
many of the people were taken with ca
lentures. In two ihips, thirty-two perfons
died ; others fuffered feverely, and one veflel
only was free from ficknefs.

The whole fleet kept company till the
twenty-fourth of July, wheri they fuppofed
themfelves to be within eight days fail of
Virginia, ftretching to the north-weft, and
eroding the Gulf Stream. On that day, be
gan a violent tcmpeft from the north-earl,
accompanied with a horrid darknefs, which
continued forty-four hours. In this gale
the fleet was fcattered. The Admiral's ihip,
on board of which was the CommiiTion for
the new Government, with the three princi
pal officers, was wrecked on the ifland of
Bermuda. The ketch foundered at fea. The
remainder, much damaged and diftrefled,
arrived one after another in James River,
about the middle of Auguft.

The provifions brought by thefe ihips
were infufficient for the Colony and the paf-
iengcrs. This deficiency proved very detri
mental, and occafioned the miferies and re-


preaches which have been already mentioned.
The fpace of ten months from Auguft 1 609,
to the arrival of Lord Delaware, in June 1 6 to,
was known in Virginia for many years af
ter, by the name of " the ftarving time."
But the want of provifion was not the only
deficiency ; there was a total want of princi
ple and of order.

Of the company who arrived at this time,
the following defcription is given by a native
Virginian.*' " A great part of them cori-
fifted of unruly fparks, packed off, by their
friends, to efcape a worfe deftiny at home.
The reft were chiefly made up of poor gen
tlemen, broken tradefmen, rakes and liber
tines, footmen, and fuch others as were much
fitter to ruin a Commonwealth than to help
to raife or maintain one. This lewd compa
ny were led by their feditious Captains into
many mifchiefs and extravagancies. They
aflumed the power of difpofmg of the Gov
ernment ; and conferred it fometimes on one,
and fometimes on another. To day the old
Commiffion muft rule, to-morrow the new,
and the next day neither. All was anarchy
and diftradion."


t * Stith, 103.


Such being the character of the people,
there could not have been any great hope of
fuccefs, if the whole fleet had arrived in fafety.

The Admiral's fhip had on board a great
quantity of provifion. She was feparated
from the fleet in the ftorm, and fprang a leak
at fea, fb that with conftant pumping and
bailing, they could fcarcely keep her above
water for three days and four nights ; dur
ing which time Sir George Somers did not
once leave the quarter-deck. The crew,
\vorn out with fatigue and defpairing of life,
broached the ftrong liquors, and took leav
of each other with an inebriating draught,
till many of them fell afleep. In this dread
ful extremity, Sir George difcovered laud ;
the news of which awoke and revived them,,
^nd every man exerted himfelf tp do his
duty. At length the fhip ftrucls ground
in fuch a pofition between two rocks, at the
diftance of half a mile from the fhoje, that
the people and a great part of the cargo
were fafely landed.

The Bermuda Iflands were uninhabited,,
and had the reputation of being enchanted.*


* " Whereas it is reported that this land of Bermudas,
the iflands about it, are enchanted and kept by evil




But when the people were on more they
found the air pure and falubrious, and fruits
of various kinds growing in luxuriant plenty
and perfection. The fhore was covered
with tortoifes, the fea abounded with fifli,
and in the woods they found wild hogs,
which it is fuppofed had efcaped from fome
veflel wrecked on the ifland.

Here they remained nine months. The
two fenior officers lived apart, and each, \f ith
the afliftance of the men, built a veflel of the
cedars which grew on the ifland, and the

iron and cordage faved from the wreck.

Sir George Somers laboured with his own
hands every day till his veflel was completed.
One of thefe veflels was called the Patience,
the other the Deliverance.

It is remarked,* that during their abod$
on this ifland, they had morning and even
ing prayers daily ; divine fervice was per
formed and two fermons were preached ev
ery Lord's day, by their Chaplain Mr,


and wicked fpirits ; it is a moft idle and falfe report.
God grant that we have brought r.o wicked fpirits with
us, or that there come none after us ; for we found noth
ing there fo ill as ourfelves."

Jordan's News from Bermudas, 1613.

* Purchas, v. 1746.



Bucke. One marriage was celebrated, and
two children were born and baptized. Five
of the company died, one of whom was
murdered. The murderer was put under
confinement, but efcaped and hid himfelf
among the woods and rocks, with another
offender, till the departure of the company,
when they were left behind. Many of the
people were fo well pleafed with the place,
thai they were with difficulty prevailed on
to quit thefe pleafant iilands.

The lower feams of the vefTels were calked
with the remains of the ufelefs cables, and a
fmall quantity of tar faved from the wreck.
The upper feams were fecured with lime
made of calcined ftones and {hells, flaked
with frefh water and foftened with the oil
of tortoifes. This cement foon became dry
and firm. The wild hogs ferved for fea-
ftores, being preferred with fait, cryftallized
on the rocks.

On the tenth of May, 1 6 1 o, the company,
confiding of one hundred and twenty per-
fons, embarked, and after encountering fome
difficulty among the rocks, the next day got
clear of the land, and fhaped their courfe for
Virginia ; where they arrived on the twenty-





j at Point Comfort, and two days after
at James-Town, The Colony, reduced to
fixty perfons, in a fickly, mutinous and ftarv-
ing condition, gave them a mournful welt
come. The new Governor, Sir Thomas
Gates, caufed the bell to be rung, and fum-
moneci the whole company to the Church ;
where, after an affectionate prayer by Mr.
Bucke, the new Commiffion wa.s read, and
the former Preiident Mr. Percy, then fcarcely
able to (land, delivered, up the old Patent,*
with his CommifTion,

On a ftricT: examination, it was found thafc
the provifions brought by the two pinna~
ces, would ferve the people not more than
fixteen days, and that what they had in the
town would be fpent in ten. It being feecj
time, the Indians had no corn to fpare, and
they were fo hoflile that no. treaty could be
holden with them. The fturgeon had not
yet come into the river, and many of thy
nets were ufelefs. No hope remained of
preferring the Colony ; and, after mature de>
liberation, it was determined to abandon the
country. The neareft place where any rer
lief could be obtained was Newfoundland ;
thither they propofed to fail, and there they




expected to meet the fiftiing veflels from
England, on board of which the people
might be diftributed and get paflages home,
when the feafon of fifhing fhould be com

Having taken this refolution, and buried
their ordnance at the gate of the fort, on
the feventh of June, at beat of drum, the
whole company embarked in four pinnaces*
It was with difficulty that fome of the peo
ple were reftrained from fctting fire to the
town ; but the Governor', with a felect com
pany, remained on fhore till the others had
embarked, and he was the laft that ftepped
into the boat. About noon they came to
fail, and fell down with the ebb, that evening,
to Hog-Ifland. The next morning's tide
brought them to Mulberry-Ifland Point ;
where, lying at anchor, they difcovered a
boat coming up the river with the flood.
In an hour's time the boat came along fide
the Governor's pinnace, and proved to be
an exprefs from the Lord Delaware, who
had arrived, with three mips and a fupply
of provision, two days before, at Point Com
fort ; where the Captain of the fort had in
formed him of the intended evacuation ; and


32 D E L A W A R E.

his Lordmip immediately difpatched his fkiff
with letters by Captain Edward Brcwfter, to
prevent their departure. On receiving thefe
letters, the Governor ordered the anchors
to be weighed, and the wind> being eafterly,
brought them back, in the night, to their
old quarters at James-Town.

On the Lord's day June 10, the mips
came to anchor before the town. As foon
as Lord Delaware came on fhore, he fell
down on his knees, and continued fome time
in filent devotion. He then went to Church,
and after fervice, his Commiffion was read,
which conftituted him " Governor and Cap
tain-General during his life, of the Colony
and Plantation of Virginia."* Sir Thomas
Gates delive&d up his Commiffion and the
Colony Seal. On this occafion, Lord Dela
ware made a public addrefs to the people,
blaming them for their former idlenefs and
mifconducl:, and exhorting them to a con
trary behaviour, left he fliould be obliged to
draw the fword of juflice againft delinquents,
and cut them off ; adding, that he had rather
ipill his own blood to protect them from


* Purchas, v. 1 754,


Having difplaced fuch men as had abufed
their power, and appointed proper perfons
to office ; he afligned to every man his por
tion of labour, according to his capacity ;
among which the culture of vines was not
forgotten; fome t Frenchmen having been
imported for the purpofe. There had been
no divifion of the lands, but all was common
property ; and the Colony was confidered as
one great family, fed daily out of the public
ftore. Their employments were under the
direction of the Government, and the prod-
uce of their labours was brought into the
common ftock. The Indians were fo trou-
blefome, that it would not have been prudent
for the people to difperfe, till they Ihould be
better able to defend themfelves, or till the
favages fhould be more friendly. They
were therefore lodged within the fortifica
tions of James-Town ; their working and
timing parties, when abroad, were well armed
or guarded ; their fituation was hazard
ous ; and the profpet of improvement,
confidering the character of the majority,
\vas not very flattering. " The moft honert
and induftrious would fcarcely take fo much
pains in a week, as they would have done
E for


for themfelves in a day ; prefuming that
however the harvcft profpered, the general
ftore muft maintain them ; by which means
they reaped not fa much corn from the la
bours of thirty men, as three men could have
produced, on their own lands."*

No dependence could be placed on any
fupply of provifions from this mode of ex
ertion. The ftores brought over in the fleet
might have kept them alive, with prudent
management, for the greater part of a year ;
but within that time it would be neceffary
to provide more. The Bermuda Iflande
were full of hogs, and Sir George Somers
offered to go thither with a party to kill and
fait them. This offer was readily accepted,
and he embarked in his own cedar vefiel of
thirty tons, accompanied by Captain Samuel
Argal, in another.

They failed together, till by contrary winds
they were driven among the Shoals of Nan-
tucket and Cape Cod ; whence Argal found
his way back to Virginia, and was difpatched
to the Potowmack for corn. There he found
Henry Spelman, an Englifh youth, who
had been preferved from the fury of Powha-
tan, by his daughter Pocahontas. By his


* Purchas, v. 1766.


Argal procured a fupply of corn,
which he carried to James-Town.

Sir George Somers, after long ftruggling
with contrary winds, was driven to the northr
eaftern fhore of America ; where he refrefh-
ed his men, *hen puriued the main objedt
of his voyage, and arrived fafely at Bermu
da. There he began to collecl: the fwine,
and prepare their flefti for food ; but the
fatigues to which he had been expofed by
fea and land, proved too fevere for his ad
vanced age, and he funk under the burden.
Finding his time fhort, he made a proper
difpofition of his eftate, and charged his
nephew, Matthew Somers, who commanded
under him, to return with the provifion to
Virginia. But the love of his native coun
try prevailed. Having buried the entrails
a,t Bermuda, he carried the corps of his un
cle to England, and depofited it at Whit-
church in Dorfetfliire. A monument was.
afterward erected at Bermuda to the mem
ory of this excellent man.* The town of


* This monument was ere&ed about ten years after
his death, by Nathaniel Butler, then Governor of Bermu
da ; of which the following account is ^iven by Captain
Smith, in his hiftory of Virginia and the Scni-r 'Iflands,
page 193.

j6 D E L A W A R E.

St. George was named for him, and the ift-
ands -were called Somer lilands, The re
turn of this veffel gave the firft account in
England of the difcovery of thofe iflands.

Virginia, thus left deilitute cf fo able
and virtuous a friend, was foon after de
prived of the pretence of its Governor, Lord
Delaware. Having built two forts at the
rnouth of James River, and another at the
falls ; and having rendered his Govern
ment refpe&able in the view both of the
Englifh and Indians, he found his health
fo much impaired, that he was obliged in
nine months to quit the country, intend
ing to go to Nevis, for the benefit of the


; finding accidentally a Iktle crcfs ereAed in a bye
place among many tmihes, riianding that there

was buried the heart and entrails of Sir Gfcrge Scmsrr, he
refolred to hare a better memory to fo worthy a foldier.
So finding a great marble ftone, u .: r f L:.giand,

he caufed it by malbns to be -wrought handforaly and
laid over the place, which he environed with a fqaare wall
of hevra-ftpne, tomb-like ; whereon he caufed to be en
graven this epitaph, he had competed.

" In the year fixteeB hundred vtd e'eves,

Noble Sir Get^ge Somers wait hence to heaven ;

Whefe well tried worth that aeW him ffill employ'd,

Gave him the knowledge of the wnrld fo wide-

Hence 'twas Itj Heaven's decree, that to this p

He bronght new go efts and name, to mutual grace ^

At laft his fool and body being to part,

He here bequeath'd his entrails and his heart"

P E L A W A R E. 37.

warm baths. By contrary winds, he was
forced to the Weftern Iflands, where he ob
tained great relief from the frefh fruits of the
country; but hewasadvifed not to hazard him-
felf again in Virginia, tiU his health {hould
be more perfectly reftcred, by a voyage to
England. Sir Thomas Dale and Sir Thomas
Gates having prevloufiy gone at different
times to England, the Government was
again left in the hands cf Mr. Percy ; a gen
tleman of a noble family and a good heart,
but of very moderate abilities.

At the time of Lord Delaware's departure
(March 28, 1611,) the Colony confifted of
above two hundred people,* moil of whom
were in good health and well provided ; but
when Sir Thomas Dale arrived, in leis than
two months, T o,) with three il

bringing an addition of three hundred peo
ple, he found the old colonift? again relap-
ing into iheir former itate of indolence and
penury. Depending on the public ftore,
they had neglected :g, and were amu-

ing themfelves with bowling and other di
ve rfions in the ftreets of James-Town.
Nothing but the prefence of a fpirited Gov
* Purchas, v. 1763.


ernor, and a fevere execution of his
could induce thefe people to labour. The.
fe verities exercifed upon them were fuch a
could not be warranted by the laws of
England. The confequencea were difcon-
tent and infurreclion in fome ; and fervile
acquiefcence in others. Sir Thomas Dale
was efteemed as a man, who might fafely
he entrufted with power ; but the laws by,
which he governed, and his rigorous admin-
iftration of them, were the fubjeft of bitter
remonftrance and complaint.

The adventurers in England were flill in,
a ftate of difappointment ; and when Sir
Thomas Gates arrived without bringing
any returns adequate to their expectations,
the Council entered into a ferious delibera
tion, whether to proceed in their adventure,
or abandon the enterprize. Lord Delaware's
arrival in England caft a deeper gloom oa
the melancholy profpect. But the reprefent-
ations of thefe gentlemen, delivered in Coun
cil and confirmed by oath, ferved to keep up
their fpirits, and induce them ftill to renew
their exertions.

The fubftance of thefe reprefentations was,
that the country was rich in itfelf, but that



time and indufhy were neceflary to make its
wealth profitable to the adventurers ; that it
yielded abundance of valuable woods, as,
oak, walnut, am, larTafras, mulberry trees for
filk-worms, live oak, cedar and fir for mip~ f
ping, and that oh the banks of the Potow-
mack there were trees large enough for
mafts.j that it produced a fpecies of wild
hemp for cordage* pines which yielded tar,
and a vaft quantity of iron ore j befides lead,
antimony <y and other minerals, and feveral
kinds of coloured earths ; that in the woods
Were found various balfams and other medic-
inal drugs, with an immenfe quantiij O f
myrtle berries for wax ; that the foreft ar.d
rivers harboured beavers, otters, foxes and
deer, whofe fkins Were valuable articles of
commerce ; that fturgeon might be taken in
the greateft plenty in five noble rivers ; and
that without the bay to the northward, was
an excellent fifiSing bank for cod of the beft
quality ; that the foil was favourable to die
cultivation of vines, fugar-canes, oranges,
lemons, almonds and rice ; that the winters
were fo mild that cattle could get their
food abroad, and that fwine could be fatted
on wild fruits ; that the Indian corn yielded

a moil

a moft luxuriant harveft ; and in a word,
that it was " one of the goodlieft countries,
" promifmg as rich entrails as any kingdom
" of the earth, to which the fun is no near-
" er a neighbour."

Lord Delaware farther allured them, that
notwithftanding the ill ftate of his health,
he was fo far from mrinking or giving over
the enteirprize, that he was willing to lay
all he was worth on its fuccefs ; and to
return to Virginia with all convenient ex
pedition, f

Sir Tho*as Gates was again fent out with
f lx Afps, three hundred men, one hundred
cattle, two hundred fwine, and large fup-
jpiies of every kind. He arrived in the be
ginning of Auguft, ( 1 6 1 1 ) and received the
command from Sir Thomas Dale, who re
tired to Varina and employed himfelf in
erecting his town, Henrico, and improving
his plantation at New-Bermuda.

In the beginning of the next year, (1612)
Capt. Argal, who had carried home Lord
Delaware, came again to Virginia with two
fhips, and was again fent to the Potowmack
for corn ; of which he procured fourteen


* Purchas, v. 1758.

f Ibid. 1763.


hundred bufhels.* There he entered into an
acquaintance with Japazaws, the Sachem, an
old friend of Capt Smith, and of all the En-
glifli who had come tp America. In his
territory, Pocahontas, the daughter of Pow*
hatan, was concealed. The reafon of her
quitting the dominion of her father is un
known. Certain it is, that he had been in' ; a
ftate of hoftility with the Colony ever fmce
the departure of Smith ; and, that the fre
quent depredations and murders committed
by the Indians on the Englifh, were in the
higheft degree painful to this tender-hearted
prmcefs. Argal contrived a plan to get her
into his pofleffion. He bargained with
Japazaws to bring her on board the $iip
under pretencet-of a vifit, in company with
his own wife ; then difmifmg the Sachem
and his wife with the promiied reward,f he
carried Pocahontas to James-Town, where
fhe had not been, fmce Capt. Smith had left
the colony.

A meffage was fent to Powhatan to in-*

form him that his daughter was iu their

hands, and that {he might be reflored to him

on condition that he would deliver up all


* Purchas, v. 1765. f Stith, 128.


the Ehglifh whom he held as captives, with
all the arms, tools, and uteniils which the
Indians had ftolen, and furnim the Colony
with a large quantity of corn. This propo-
fal threw him into much perplexity ; for
though he loved his daughter, he was loth
to give fo much for her redemption. After
three months he fent back feven of the cap
tives, with three unferviceable mufkets, an
axe, a faw, and one canoe loaded with corn.
He alfo fent word that when they mould
deliver his daughter, he would give them
five hundred bufhels of corn, and make full
fatisfaclion for all pafl injuries. No reliance
could be placed on fuch a promife. The
negociation was broken, and the King was
offended. The next fpring (1613) another
attempt was made, accompanied with threat-*
ening on the part of the Englifh ; and ftrat-
agem on the part of the Indians. This
proved equally ineffectual. At length it \yaa
announced to Powhatan, that John Rolfe,
an Englifh gentleman, was in love with Po-
cahontas, and had obtained her confent, and
the licenfe of the Governor, to marry her.
The Prince was foftened by this intelligence,
and fent one of his chiefs id attend the



nuptial foleninity. After this event, Pow-
featan was friendly to the Colony, as long .
as he lived j and a free trade was carried
on between them and his people.

The vifit which this lady made to Eng
land, with her hufband, and her death which
happened there, in the bloom of her youth,
have been related in the life of Capt. Smith.*
It is there obferved, that " feveral families of
note in Virginia are defcended from her."
The defcent is thus traced by Mr. Stith.f
Her fon, Thomas Rolfe, was educated ia
England, and came over to Virginia ; where
he became a man o fortune and diftin&ion,
and inherited a hrge trac~l of land which had
been the property of his grandfather POW*.
hatan. He left an only daughter, who was
married to Col. Robert Boiling. His fon,
Major John Boiling, was father to Col. John,
Boiling, whofe five daughters were married
to Col. Richard Randolph, Col. John FlerrK
ing, Dr. William Gay, Mr, Thomas EU.
dridge and Mr. James Murray. Sugh was^,
tjie ftate of the family in 1 747.

The reconciliation between Powhatan and.
the Englim, awakened the fears, of the In-*.


* Vol. I. 307310, f Stitb, 146.

44 D E L A \V A R E;

dians of Chickahomony, a formidable and
free people. They were governed by an af-
fembly of their elders, or wife men, who
alfo bore the character of Priefts. They
hated Powhatan, as a tyrant, and were al
ways jealous of his defign to fubjeft them.
They had taken advantage of the diflention
between him and the Englifh, to aflert their
liberty ; but on his reconciliation, they ap
prehended that he might make ufe of the
friendship of the Colony, to reduce them
under his yoke. To prevent this, they fent
a deputation to Sir Thomas Dale, to excufe
their former ill conduct, and fubmit them-
felves to the Englifh government. Sir
Thomas was pleafed with the offer, and on
a day appointed went with Capt. Argal and
fifty men to their village, where a peace was
concluded on the following conditions,

1. That they mould forever be called
[Toflenteflas] New Englifhmen, and be true
fubjects of King James and his deputies.

2. That they fnould neither kill nor de
tain any of the Englifh nor their ftray cattle,
but bring them home.

3. That they mould always be ready to.
farnim the Englifh with three hundred mcn s
againft the Spaniards or any other enemy.

4. That


4. That they fhould not enter any of the
Englifh. fettlements without previoufly fend
ing in word that they were New Englifh-

5. That every bow-man at harveft fhould
bring into the ftore two meafures [2^- bufh-
els] of corn, as a tribute, for which he fhould
receive a hatchet.

6. That the eight elders or chiefs fhould
fee all this performed, or receive punifhment
themfelves ; and that for their fidelity, each
one fhould receive a red coat, a copper chaip,

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