Page images

family, at this time, in all the vast extent of coaft from Florida to Greenland.

1603.] Martin Pring and William Brown, were this year fent by Sir Walter Raleigh, with two small veffels, to make discoveries in North Virginia. They came upon the coaft which was broken with a multitude of iflands, in latitude 43° 30′ north. They coafted fouthward to Cape Cod Bay; thence round the Cape into a commodious harbour in latitude 41° 25, where they went afhore and tarried feven weeks, during which time they loaded one of their veffels with faffafras, and returned to England.

Bartholomew Gilbert, in a voyage to South Virginia, in fearch of the third colony which had been left there by Governor White in 1587, having touched at feveral of the Weft-India Iflands, landed near Chefapeek Bay, where, in a skirmish with the Indians, he and four of his men were unfortunately flain. The reft, without any further fearch for the colony, returned to England.

France, being at this time in a ftate of tranquility in confequence of the edict of Nantz in favour of the Proteftants, paffed by Henry IV, (April 1598) and of the peace with Philip king of Spain and Portugal, was induced to purfue her difcoveries in America. Accordingly the king figned a patent in favor of De Mons, (1603) of all the country from the 40th to the 46th degrees of north latitude under the name 1604 of Acadia. The next year De Mons ranged the coaft from St. Lawrence to Cape Sable, and fo round to Cape Cod.

1605.] In May 1605, George's Ifland and Pentecoft Harbour were difcovered by Capt. George Weymouth. In May he entered a large river in latitude 43° 20, (variation 11° 15′ weft,) which Mr. Prince, in his Chronology, fuppofes muft have been Sagadahok; but from the latitude, it was more probably the Pifcataqua. Capt. Weymouth carried with him to England five of the natives.

1606.] In the Spring of this year, James I. by patent, divided Virginia into two colonies. The fouthern included all lands between the 34th and 41ft degrees of north latitude. This was ftyled the first colony, under the name of South Virginia, and was granted to the London Company. The northern, called the fecond colony, and known by the general name of North Virginia, included all lands between the 38th and 45th degrees north latitude, and was granted to the Plymouth Company. Each of thefe colonies had a council of thirteen men to govern them. To prevent difputes about territory, the colonies were prohibited to plant within an hundred miles of each other. There appears to be an inconfiftency in thefe grants, as the lands lying between the 38th and 41ft degrees, are covered by both patents.

Both the London and Plymouth companies enterprized fettlements within the limits of their respective grants. With what fuccefs will now be mentioned.

Mr. Piercy, brother of the Earl of Northumberland, in the fervice of the London Company, went over with a colony to Virginia, and difcovered Powhatan, now James River. In the mean time the Plymouth Company fent Capt. Henry Challons in a veffel of fifty-five tons to plant a colony in North Virginia; but in his voyage he was taken by a Spanish fleet and carried to Spain.

1607.] The London company this fpring, fent Capt. Chriftopher New, April 26.] port with three veffels to South Virginia. On the 26th of April he entered Chefapeek Bay, and landed, and foon after gave to the most fouthern point, the name of Cape Henry, which it ftill retains, Having elected Mr. Edward Wingfield prefident for the year, they next day landed all their men, and began a fettlement on James river, at a place which they called James-Town. This is June 22.] the firft town that was fettled by the English in North America. The June following Capt. Newport failed for England, leaving with the prefident one hundred and four perfons.

May 13.]

Auguft 22.] In Auguft died Capt. Bartholomew Gofnold, the first projector of this fettlement, and one of the council. The following winter James-Town was burnt,

During this time the Plymouth company fitted out two fhips under the command of Admiral Rawley Gilbert. They failed for North Virginia on the 31st of May, with one hundred planters, and Capt. George Popham for their prefident. They arrived in Auguft, and fettled about nine or ten leagues to the fouthward of the mouth of Sagadahok river. A great part of the colony, however, difheartened by the feverity of the winter, returned to England in December, leaving their prefident, Capt. Popham, with only forty-five men.

It was in the fall of this year that the famous Mr. Robinson, with part of his congregation, who afterwards fettled at Plymouth in New-England, removed from the North of England to Holland, to avoid the cruelties of perfecution, and for the fake of enjoying " purity of worship and liberty of confcience."

This year a small company of merchants at Dieppe and St. Malo's, founded Quebec, or rather the colony which they fent, built a few huts there, which did not take the form of a town until the reign of Lewis XIV.

1608.] The Sagadahok colony fuffered incredible hardships after the departure of their friends in December. In the depth of winter, which was extremely cold, their ftore-house caught fire and was confumed, with moft of their provifions and lodgings. Their misfortunes were increased, foon after, by the death of their prefident. Rawley Gilbert was appointed to fucceed him.

Lord Chief Juftice Popham made every exertion to keep this colony alive by repeatedly fending them fupplies. But the circumitance of his death, which happened this year, together with that of prefident Gilbert's being called to England to fettle his affairs, broke up the colony, and they all returned with him to England.

The unfavourable reports which these first unfortunate adventurers propagated refpecting the country, prevented any further attempts to fettle North Virginia for feveral years after.

1609.] The London company, laft year, fent Capt. Nelfon, with two fhips and one hundred and twenty perfons, to James-Town; and this year Capt. John Smith, afterwards prefident, arrived on the coaft of South Virginia, and by failing up a number of the rivers, difcovered the interior country. In September, Capt. Newport arrived with seventy persons, which increased the colony to two hundred fouls.


Mr. Robinson and his congregation, who had fettled at Amfterdam, removed this year to Leyden, where they remained more than eleven years, till a part of them came over to New England.

The council for South Virginia having refigned their old commiffion, requested and obtained a new one; in confequence of which they appointed Sir Thomas Weft, Lord De la War, general of the colony; Sir Thomas Gates, his lieutenant; Sir Geerge Somers, Admiral; Sir Thomas Dale, high marshal; Sir Ferdinand Wainman, general of the horse, and Capt. Newport, vice-admiral.

June 8.] In June, Sir T. Gates, admiral Newport, and Sir George Somers, with seven ships and a ketch and pinnace, having five hundred fouls on board, men, women, and children, failed from Falmouth for July 24.] South Virginia. In croffing the Bahama Gulf, on the 24th July, the fleet was overtaken by a violent ftorm, and separated, Four days after, Sir George Somers ran his veffel afhore on one of the Bermudas Islands, which, from this circumftance, have been called the Somer Inlands. The people on board, one hundred and fifty in number, all got fafe on fhore, and there remained until the following May. The remainder of the fleet arrived at Virginia in Auguft. The colony was now increased to five hundred men. Capt. Smith, then prefident, a little before the arrival of the fleet, had been very badly burnt by means of fome powder which had accidentally caught fire. This unfortunate circumstance, together with the oppofition he met with from those who had lately arrived, induced him to leave the colony and return to England, which he accordingly did the laft of September. Francis Weft, his fucceffor in office, foon followed him, and George Piercy was elected prefident.

1610.] The year following, the South Virginia or London company, fealed a patent to Lord De la War, conftituting him Governor and Captain-General of South-Virginia. He foon after embarked for America with Capt. Argal and one hundred and fifty men, in three fhips.

The unfortunate people, who, the year before, had been shipwrecked on the Bermudas Islands, had employed themselves during the winter and fpring, under the direction of Sir Thomas Gates, Sir George Somers, and admiral Newport, in building a floop to transport themselves to the continent. They embarked for Virginia on the roth of May, with about one hundred and fifty perfons on board, leaving two of their men behind, who chofe to stay, and landed at James-Town on the 23d of the fame month. Finding the colony, which at the time of Capt. Smith's departure, confifted of five hundred fouls, now reduced to fixty, and those few in a diftreffed and wretched fituation, they with one voice refolved to return to England; and for this purpofe, on the 7th of June, the whole colony repaired on board their veffels, broke up the fettlement, and failed down the river on their way to their native country.

Fortunately, Lord De la War, who had embarked for James-Town the March before, met them the day after they failed, and perfuaded them to return with him to James-Town, where they arrived and landed the 10th of June. The government of the colony of right devolved upon Lord De la War. From this time we may date the effectual settlement of Virginia. Its hiftory, from this period, will be given in its proper place,


As early as the year 1608, or 1609, Henry Hudfon, an Englishman, under a commiffion from the king his mafler, difcovered Long Ifland, New York, and the river which fill bears his name, and afterwards fold the country, or rather his right, to the Dutch. Their writers, however, contend that Hudfon was fent out by the Eaft-India company in 1609, to discover a northweft paffage to China; and that having firft difcovered Delaware Bay, he came and penetrated Hudson's river as far as latitude 43°. It is faid however that there was a fale, and that the English objected to it, though for fome time they neglected to oppofe the Dutch fettlement of the country.

1610.] In 1610, Hudfon failed again to this country, then called by the Dutch New Netherlands, and four years after, the States General granted a patent to fundry merchants for an exclufive trade on the 1614 North river, who the fame year, (1614) built a fort on the weft fide near Albany. From this time we may date the fettlement of NewYork, the hiftory of which will be annexed to a defcription of the State. Conception Bay, on the Island of Newfoundland, was fettled in the year 1610, by about forty planters under governor John Guy, to whom king James had given a patent of incorporation.

Champlain, a Frenchman, had begun a fettlement at Quebec, 1608. St. Croix, Mount Manfel, and Port Royal were fettled about the fame time. These fettlements remained undisturbed till 1613, when the Virginians, hearing that the French had fettled within their limits, fent Capt, Argal to diflodge them. For this purpofe he failed ro Sagadahok, took their forts at Mount Manfel, St. Croix, and Port Royal, with their veffels, ordnance, cattle, and provifions, and carried them to James-Town in Virginia. Quebec was left in poffeffion of the French.

1614.] This year Capt. John Smith, with two fhips and forty-five men and boys, made a voyage to North Virginia, to make experiments upon a gold and copper mine. His orders were, to fifh and trade with the natives, if he fhould fail in his expectations with regard to the mine. To facilitate this bufinefs, he took with him Tantum, an Indian, perhaps one that Capt. Weymouth carried to England in 1605. In April he reached the Inland Monahigan in latitude 43° 30'. Here Capt. Smith was directed to stay and keep poffeffion, with ten men, for the purpose of making a trial of the whaling bufinefs, but being difappointed in this, he built feven boats, in which thirty-feven men made a very fuccefsful fishing voyage. In the mean time the captain himself, with eight men only, in a small boat, coafted from Penobscot to Sagadahok, Acocifco, Paffataquack, Tragabizanda, now called Cape Ann, thence to Acomak, where he skirmished with fome Indians; thence to Cape Cod where he fet his Indian Tantum afhore and left him, and returned to Monahigan. In this voyage he found two French fhips in the Bay of Maffachusetts, who had come there fix weeks before, and during that time, had been trading very advantageously with the Indians. It was conjectured that there were, at this time, three thoufand Indians upon the Maffachusetts Islands.

In July, Capt. Smith embarked for England in one of the veffels, leaving the other under the command of Capt. Thomas Hunt, to equip for a voyage to Spain. After Capt. Smith's departure, Hunt perfidiously allured twenty Indians (one of whom was Squanto, afterwards fo ferviceable to

the English) to come on board his fhip at Patuxit, and feven more at Naufit, and carried them to the Island of Malaga, where he fold them for twenty pounds each, to be flaves for life. This conduct, which fixes an indelible ftigma upon the character of Hunt, excited in the breasts of the Indians fuch an inveterate hatred of the English, as that, for many years after, all commercial intercourfe with them was rendered exceedingly dangerous.

Capt. Smith arrived at London the laft of Auguft, where he drew a map of the country, and called it NEW-ENGLAND. From this time North Virginia affumed the name of New-England, and the name Virginia was confined to the fouthern colony.

Between the years 1614 and 1620, feveral attempts were made by the Plymouth company to fettle New-England, but by various means they were all rendered ineffectual. During this time, however, an advantageous trade was carried on with the natives.

1617.] In the year 1617, Mr. Robinfon and his congregation, influenced by feveral weighty reasons, meditated a removal to America. Various difficulties intervened to prevent the fuccefs of their designs, 1620 until the year 1620, when a part of Mr. Robinson's congregation came over and fettled at Plymouth. At this time commenced the fettlement of New-England.

The particulars relating to the first emigrations to this northern part of America; the progrefs of its fettlement, &c. will be given in the history of New-England, to which the reader is referred.

In order to preferve the chronological order in which the feveral colonies, now grown into independent ftates, were firft fettled, it will be 1621 neceffary that I fhould just mention, that the next year after the fettlement of Plymouth, Captain John Mafon obtained of the Plymouth council a grant of a part of the prefent ftate of New-Hamp1623 fhire. Two years after, under the authority of this grant, a fmall colony fixed down near the mouth of Pifcataqua river. From this period we may date the fettlement of NEW-HAMPSHIRE.

1627.] In 1627, a colony of Swedes and Fins came over and landed at Cape Henlopen; and afterwards purchafed of the Indians the land from Cape Henlopen to the Falls of Delaware on both fides the river, which they called New Swedeland Stream. On this river they built feveral forts, and made fettlements.

1628.] On the 19th of March, 1628, the council for New-England fold to Sir Henry Rofwell, and five others, a large tract of land, lying round Maffachusetts Bay. The June following, Capt. John Endicot, with his wife and company, came over and fettled at Naumkeag, now called Salem. This was the firft English fettlement which was made in MASSACHUSETTS BAY. Plymouth, indeed, which is now included in the Commonwealth of Maffachusetts, was fettled eight years before, but at this time it was a feparate colony, under a diftinct government, and continued fo until the fecond charter of Maffachusetts was granted by William and Mary in 1691; by which Plymouth, the Province of Main and Sagadahok were annexed to Maffachusetts.

June 13, 1633.] In the reign of Charles the Firit, Lord Baltimore, a Roman Catholic, applied for and obtained a grant of a tract of land


« PreviousContinue »