The Complete Writings of Charles Dudley Warner Volume 3
Charles Dudley Warner

Part 5 out of 7

friendship, because they had the weapons which they supposed had been
captured in a fight with the Massawomeks. These Indians had
hatchets, knives, pieces of iron and brass, they reported came from
the Susquesahanocks, a mighty people, the enemies of the Massawomeks,
living at the head of the bay. As Smith in his barge could not
ascend to them, he sent an interpreter to request a visit from them.
In three or four days sixty of these giant-like people came down with
presents of venison, tobacco-pipes three feet in length, baskets,
targets, and bows and arrows. Some further notice is necessary of
this first appearance of the Susquehannocks, who became afterwards so
well known, by reason of their great stature and their friendliness.
Portraits of these noble savages appeared in De Bry's voyages, which
were used in Smith's map, and also by Strachey. These beautiful
copperplate engravings spread through Europe most exaggerated ideas
of the American savages.

"Our order," says Smith, "was daily to have prayers, with a psalm, at
which solemnity the poor savages wondered." When it was over the
Susquesahanocks, in a fervent manner, held up their hands to the sun,
and then embracing the Captain, adored him in like manner. With a
furious manner and "a hellish voyce " they began an oration of their
loves, covered him with their painted bear-skins, hung a chain of
white beads about his neck, and hailed his creation as their governor
and protector, promising aid and victuals if he would stay and help
them fight the Massawomeks. Much they told him of the Atquanachuks,
who live on the Ocean Sea, the Massawomeks and other people living on
a great water beyond the mountain (which Smith understood to be some
great lake or the river of Canada), and that they received their
hatchets and other commodities from the French. They moumed greatly
at Smith's departure. Of Powhatan they knew nothing but the name.

Strachey, who probably enlarges from Smith his account of the same
people, whom he calls Sasquesahanougs, says they were well-
proportioned giants, but of an honest and simple disposition. Their
language well beseemed their proportions, "sounding from them as it
were a great voice in a vault or cave, as an ecco." The picture of
one of these chiefs is given in De Bry,and described by Strachey,"
the calf of whose leg was three-quarters of a yard about, and all the
rest of his limbs so answerable to the same proportions that he
seemed the goodliest man they ever saw."

It would not entertain the reader to follow Smith in all the small
adventures of the exploration, during which he says he went about
3,000 miles (three thousand miles in three or four weeks in a row-
boat is nothing in Smith's memory), "with such watery diet in these
great waters and barbarous countries." Much hardship he endured,
alternately skirmishing and feasting with the Indians; many were the
tribes he struck an alliance with, and many valuable details he added
to the geographical knowledge of the region. In all this exploration
Smith showed himself skillful as he was vigorous and adventurous.

He returned to James River September 7th. Many had died, some were
sick, Ratcliffe, the late President, was a prisoner for mutiny,
Master Scrivener had diligently gathered the harvest, but much of the
provisions had been spoiled by rain. Thus the summer was consumed,
and nothing had been accomplished except Smith's discovery.



On the 10th of September, by the election of the Council and the
request of the company, Captain Smith received the letters-patent,
and became President. He stopped the building of Ratcliffe's
"palace," repaired the church and the storehouse, got ready the
buildings for the supply expected from England, reduced the fort to a
"five square form," set and trained the watch and exercised the
company every Saturday on a plain called Smithfield, to the amazement
of the on-looking Indians.

Captain Newport arrived with a new supply of seventy persons. Among
them were Captain Francis West, brother to Lord Delaware, Captain
Peter Winne, and Captain Peter Waldo, appointed on the Council, eight
Dutchmen and Poles, and Mistress Forest and Anne Burrows her maid,
the first white women in the colony.

Smith did not relish the arrival of Captain Newport nor the
instructions under which he returned. He came back commanded to
discover the country of Monacan (above the Falls) and to perform the
ceremony of coronation on the Emperor Powhatan.

How Newport got this private commission when he had returned to
England without a lump of gold, nor any certainty of the South Sea,
or one of the lost company sent out by Raleigh; and why he brought a
"fine peeced barge" which must be carried over unknown mountains
before it reached the South Sea, he could not understand. " As for
the coronation of Powhatan and his presents of basin and ewer, bed,
bedding, clothes, and such costly novelties, they had been much
better well spared than so ill spent, for we had his favor and better
for a plain piece of copper, till this stately kind of soliciting
made him so much overvalue himself that he respected us as much as
nothing at all." Smith evidently understood the situation much
better than the promoters in England; and we can quite excuse him in
his rage over the foolishness and greed of most of his companions.
There was little nonsense about Smith in action, though he need not
turn his hand on any man of that age as a boaster.

To send out Poles and Dutchmen to make pitch, tar, and glass would
have been well enough if the colony had been firmly established and
supplied with necessaries; and they might have sent two hundred
colonists instead of seventy, if they had ordered them to go to work
collecting provisions of the Indians for the winter, instead of
attempting this strange discovery of the South Sea, and wasting their
time on a more strange coronation. "Now was there no way," asks
Smith, "to make us miserable," but by direction from England to
perform this discovery and coronation, "to take that time, spend what
victuals we had, tire and starve our men, having no means to carry
victuals, ammunition, the hurt or the sick, but on their own backs?"

Smith seems to have protested against all this nonsense, but though
he was governor, the Council overruled him. Captain Newport decided
to take one hundred and twenty men, fearing to go with a less number
and journey to Werowocomoco to crown Powhatan. In order to save time
Smith offered to take a message to Powhatan, and induce him to come
to Jamestown and receive the honor and the presents. Accompanied by
only four men he crossed by land to Werowocomoco, passed the
Pamaunkee (York) River in a canoe, and sent for Powhatan, who was
thirty miles off. Meantime Pocahontas, who by his own account was a
mere child, and her women entertained Smith in the following manner:

"In a fayre plaine they made a fire, before which, sitting upon a
mat, suddenly amongst the woods was heard such a hydeous noise and
shreeking that the English betook themselves to their armes, and
seized upon two or three old men, by them supposing Powhatan with all
his power was come to surprise them. But presently Pocahontas came,
willing him to kill her if any hurt were intended, and the beholders,
which were men, women and children, satisfied the Captaine that there
was no such matter. Then presently they were presented with this
anticke: Thirty young women came naked out of the woods, only covered
behind and before with a few greene leaves, their bodies all painted,
some of one color, some of another, but all differing; their leader
had a fayre payre of Bucks hornes on her head, and an Otters skinne
at her girdle, and another at her arme, a quiver of arrows at her
backe, a bow and arrows in her hand; the next had in her hand a
sword, another a club, another a pot-sticke: all horned alike; the
rest every one with their several devises. These fiends with most
hellish shouts and cries, rushing from among the trees, cast
themselves in a ring about the fire, singing and dancing with most
excellent ill-varietie, oft falling into their infernal passions, and
solemnly again to sing and dance; having spent nearly an hour in this
Mascarado, as they entered,in like manner they departed.

"Having reaccommodated themselves, they solemnly invited him to their
lodgings, where he was no sooner within the house, but all these
Nymphs more tormented him than ever, with crowding, pressing, and
hanging about him, most tediously crying, 'Love you not me? Love you
not me?' This salutation ended, the feast was set, consisting of all
the Salvage dainties they could devise: some attending, others
singing and dancing about them: which mirth being ended, with fire
brands instead of torches they conducted him to his lodging."

The next day Powhatan arrived. Smith delivered up the Indian
Namontuck, who had just returned from a voyage to England--whither it
was suspected the Emperor wished him to go to spy out the weakness of
the English tribe--and repeated Father Newport's request that
Powhatan would come to Jamestown to receive the presents and join in
an expedition against his enemies, the Monacans.

Powhatan's reply was worthy of his imperial highness, and has been
copied ever since in the speeches of the lords of the soil to the
pale faces: "If your king has sent me present, I also am a king, and
this is my land: eight days I will stay to receive them. Your father
is to come to me, not I to him, nor yet to your fort, neither will I
bite at such a bait; as for the Monacans, I can revenge my own

This was the lofty potentate whom Smith, by his way of management,
could have tickled out of his senses with a glass bead, and who would
infinitely have preferred a big shining copper kettle to the
misplaced honor intended to be thrust upon him, but the offer of
which puffed him up beyond the reach of negotiation. Smith returned
with his message. Newport despatched the presents round by water a
hundred miles, and the Captains, with fifty soldiers, went over land
to Werowocomoco, where occurred the ridiculous ceremony of the
coronation, which Smith describes with much humor. "The next day,"
he says, "was appointed for the coronation. Then the presents were
brought him, his bason and ewer, bed and furniture set up, his
scarlet cloke and apparel, with much adoe put on him, being persuaded
by Namontuck they would not hurt him. But a foule trouble there was
to make him kneel to receive his Crown; he not knowing the majesty
nor wearing of a Crown, nor bending of the knee, endured so many
persuasions, examples and instructions as tyred them all. At last by
bearing hard on his shoulders, he a little stooped, and three having
the crown in their hands put it on his head, when by the warning of a
pistoll the boats were prepared with such a volley of shot that the
king start up in a horrible feare, till he saw all was well. Then
remembering himself to congratulate their kindness he gave his old
shoes and his mantell to Captain Newport!"

The Monacan expedition the King discouraged, and refused to furnish
for it either guides or men. Besides his old shoes, the crowned
monarch charitably gave Newport a little heap of corn, only seven or
eight bushels, and with this little result the absurd expedition
returned to Jamestown.

Shortly after Captain Newport with a chosen company of one hundred
and twenty men (leaving eighty with President Smith in the fort) and
accompanied by Captain Waldo, Lieutenant Percy, Captain Winne, Mr.
West, and Mr. Scrivener, who was eager for adventure, set off for the
discovery of Monacan. The expedition, as Smith predicted, was
fruitless: the Indians deceived them and refused to trade, and the
company got back to Jamestown, half of them sick, all grumbling, and
worn out with toil, famine, and discontent.

Smith at once set the whole colony to work, some to make glass, tar,
pitch, and soap-ashes, and others he conducted five miles down the
river to learn to fell trees and make clapboards. In this company
were a couple of gallants, lately come over, Gabriel Beadle and John
Russell, proper gentlemen, but unused to hardships, whom Smith has
immortalized by his novel cure of their profanity. They took gayly
to the rough life, and entered into the attack on the forest so
pleasantly that in a week they were masters of chopping: "making it
their delight to hear the trees thunder as they fell, but the axes so
often blistered their tender fingers that many times every third blow
had a loud othe to drown the echo; for remedie of which sinne the
President devised how to have every man's othes numbered, and at
night for every othe to have a Canne of water powred downe his
sleeve, with which every offender was so washed (himself and all),
that a man would scarce hear an othe in a weake." In the clearing of
our country since, this excellent plan has fallen into desuetude, for
want of any pious Captain Smith in the logging camps.

These gentlemen, says Smith, did not spend their time in wood-logging
like hirelings, but entered into it with such spirit that thirty of
them would accomplish more than a hundred of the sort that had to be
driven to work; yet, he sagaciously adds, "twenty good workmen had
been better than them all."

Returning to the fort, Smith, as usual, found the time consumed and
no provisions got, and Newport's ship lying idle at a great charge.
With Percy he set out on an expedition for corn to the Chickahominy,
which the insolent Indians, knowing their want, would not supply.
Perceiving that it was Powhatan's policy to starve them (as if it was
the business of the Indians to support all the European vagabonds and
adventurers who came to dispossess them of their country), Smith gave
out that he came not so much for corn as to revenge his imprisonment
and the death of his men murdered by the Indians, and proceeded to
make war. This high-handed treatment made the savages sue for peace,
and furnish, although they complained of want themselves, owing to a
bad harvest, a hundred bushels of corn.

This supply contented the company, who feared nothing so much as
starving, and yet, says Smith, so envied him that they would rather
hazard starving than have him get reputation by his vigorous conduct.
There is no contemporary account of that period except this which
Smith indited. He says that Newport and Ratcliffe conspired not only
to depose him but to keep him out of the fort; since being President
they could not control his movements, but that their horns were much
too short to effect it.

At this time in the "old Taverne," as Smith calls the fort, everybody
who had money or goods made all he could by trade; soldiers, sailors,
and savages were agreed to barter, and there was more care to
maintain their damnable and private trade than to provide the things
necessary for the colony. In a few weeks the whites had bartered
away nearly all the axes, chisels, hoes, and picks, and what powder,
shot, and pikeheads they could steal, in exchange for furs, baskets,
young beasts and such like commodities. Though the supply of furs
was scanty in Virginia, one master confessed he had got in one voyage
by this private trade what he sold in England for thirty pounds.
"These are the Saint-seeming Worthies of Virginia," indignantly
exclaims the President, "that have, notwithstanding all this, meate,
drinke, and wages." But now they began to get weary of the country,
their trade being prevented. "The loss, scorn, and misery was the
poor officers, gentlemen and careless governors, who were bought and
sold." The adventurers were cheated, and all their actions
overthrown by false information and unwise directions.

Master Scrivener was sent with the barges and pinnace to
Werowocomoco, where by the aid of Namontuck he procured a little
corn, though the savages were more ready to fight than to trade. At
length Newport's ship was loaded with clapboards, pitch, tar, glass,
frankincense (?) and soapashes, and despatched to England. About two
hundred men were left in the colony. With Newport, Smith sent his
famous letter to the Treasurer and Council in England. It is so good
a specimen of Smith's ability with the pen, reveals so well his
sagacity and knowledge of what a colony needed, and exposes so
clearly the ill-management of the London promoters, and the condition
of the colony, that we copy it entire. It appears by this letter
that Smith's " Map of Virginia," and his description of the country
and its people, which were not published till 1612, were sent by this
opportunity. Captain Newport sailed for England late in the autumn
of 1608. The letter reads:


I received your letter wherein you write that our minds are so set
upon faction, and idle conceits in dividing the country without your
consents, and that we feed you but with ifs and ands, hopes and some
few proofes; as if we would keepe the mystery of the businesse to
ourselves: and that we must expressly follow your instructions sent
by Captain Newport: the charge of whose voyage amounts to neare two
thousand pounds, the which if we cannot defray by the ships returne
we are likely to remain as banished men. To these particulars I
humbly intreat your pardons if I offend you with my rude answer.

For our factions, unless you would have me run away and leave the
country, I cannot prevent them; because I do make many stay that
would else fly away whither. For the Idle letter sent to my Lord of
Salisbury, by the President and his confederates, for dividing the
country, &c., what it was I know not, for you saw no hand of mine to
it; nor ever dream't I of any such matter. That we feed you with
hopes, &c. Though I be no scholar, I am past a schoolboy; and I
desire but to know what either you and these here doe know, but that
I have learned to tell you by the continuall hazard of my life. I
have not concealed from you anything I know; but I feare some cause
you to believe much more than is true.

Expressly to follow your directions by Captain Newport, though they
be performed, I was directly against it; but according to our
commission, I was content to be overouled by the major part of the
Councill, I feare to the hazard of us all; which now is generally
confessed when it is too late. Onely Captaine Winne and Captaine
Walclo I have sworne of the Councill, and crowned Powhattan according
to your instructions.

For the charge of the voyage of two or three thousand pounds we have
not received the value of one hundred pounds, and for the quartered
boat to be borne by the souldiers over the falls. Newport had 120 of
the best men he could chuse. If he had burnt her to ashes, one might
have carried her in a bag, but as she is, five hundred cannot to a
navigable place above the falls. And for him at that time to find in
the South Sea a mine of gold; or any of them sent by Sir Walter
Raleigh; at our consultation I told them was as likely as the rest.
But during this great discovery of thirtie miles (which might as well
have been done by one man, and much more, for the value of a pound of
copper at a seasonable tyme), they had the pinnace and all the boats
with them but one that remained with me to serve the fort. In their
absence I followed the new begun works of Pitch and Tarre, Glasse,
Sope-ashes, Clapboord, whereof some small quantities we have sent
you. But if you rightly consider what an infinite toyle it is in
Russia and Swethland, where the woods are proper for naught els, and
though there be the helpe both of man and beast in those ancient
commonwealths, which many an hundred years have used it, yet
thousands of those poor people can scarce get necessaries to live,
but from hand to mouth, and though your factors there can buy as much
in a week as will fraught you a ship, or as much as you please, you
must not expect from us any such matter, which are but as many of
ignorant, miserable soules, that are scarce able to get wherewith to
live, and defend ourselves against the inconstant Salvages: finding
but here and there a tree fit for the purpose, and want all things
else the Russians have. For the Coronation of Powhattan, by whose
advice you sent him such presents, I know not; but this give me leave
to tell you, I feare they will be the confusion of us all ere we
heare from you again. At your ships arrivall, the Salvages harvest
was newly gathered, and we going to buy it, our owne not being halve
sufficient for so great a number. As for the two ships loading of
corne Newport promised to provide us from Powhattan, he brought us
but fourteen bushels; and from the Monacans nothing, but the most of
the men sicke and neare famished. From your ship we had not
provision in victuals worth twenty pound, and we are more than two
hundred to live upon this, the one halfe sicke, the other little
better. For the saylers (I confesse), they daily make good cheare,
but our dyet is a little meale and water, and not sufficient of that.
Though there be fish in the Sea, fowles in the ayre, and beasts in
the woods, their bounds are so large, they so wilde, and we so weake
and ignorant, we cannot much trouble them. Captaine Newport we much
suspect to be the Author of these inventions. Now that you should
know, I have made you as great a discovery as he, for less charge
than he spendeth you every meale; I had sent you this mappe of the
Countries and Nations that inhabit them, as you may see at large.
Also two barrels of stones, and such as I take to be good. Iron ore
at the least; so divided, as by their notes you may see in what
places I found them. The souldiers say many of your officers
maintaine their families out of that you sent us, and that Newport
hath an hundred pounds a year for carrying newes. For every master
you have yet sent can find the way as well as he, so that an hundred
pounds might be spared, which is more than we have all, that helps to
pay him wages. Cap. Ratliffe is now called Sicklemore, a poore
counterfeited Imposture. I have sent you him home least the Company
should cut his throat. What he is, now every one can tell you: if he
and Archer returne againe, they are sufficient to keep us always in
factions. When you send againe I entreat you rather send but thirty
carpenters, husbandmen, gardiners, fishermen, blacksmiths, masons,
and diggers up of trees roots, well provided, then a thousand of such
as we have; for except wee be able both to lodge them, and feed them,
the most will consume with want of necessaries before they can be
made good for anything. Thus if you please to consider this account,
and the unnecessary wages to Captaine Newport, or his ships so long
lingering and staying here (for notwithstanding his boasting to leave
us victuals for 12 months, though we had 89 by this discovery lame
and sicke, and but a pinte of corne a day for a man, we were
constrained to give him three hogsheads of that to victuall him
homeward), or yet to send into Germany or Poleland for glassemen and
the rest, till we be able to sustaine ourselves, and releeve them
when they come. It were better to give five hundred pound a ton for
those grosse Commodities in Denmarke, then send for them hither, till
more necessary things be provided. For in over-toyling our weake and
unskilfull bodies, to satisfy this desire of present profit, we can
scarce ever recover ourselves from one supply to another. And I
humbly intreat you hereafter, let us have what we should receive, and
not stand to the Saylers courtesie to leave us what they please, els
you may charge us what you will, but we not you with anything. These
are the causes that have kept us in Virginia from laying such a
foundation that ere this might have given much better content and
satisfaction, but as yet you must not look for any profitable
returning. So I humbly rest.

After the departure of Newport, Smith, with his accustomed
resolution, set to work to gather supplies for the winter. Corn had
to be extorted from the Indians by force. In one expedition to
Nansemond, when the Indians refused to trade, Smith fired upon them,
and then landed and burned one of their houses; whereupon they
submitted and loaded his three boats with corn. The ground was
covered with ice and snow, and the nights were bitterly cold. The
device for sleeping warm in the open air was to sweep the snow away
from the ground and build a fire; the fire was then raked off from
the heated earth and a mat spread, upon which the whites lay warm,
sheltered by a mat hung up on the windward side, until the ground got
cold, when they builded a fire on another place. Many a cold winter
night did the explorers endure this hardship, yet grew fat and lusty
under it.

About this time was solemnized the marriage of John Laydon and Anne
Burrows, the first in Virginia. Anne was the maid of Mistress
Forrest, who had just come out to grow up with the country, and John
was a laborer who came with the first colony in 1607. This was
actually the "First Family of Virginia," about which so much has been
eloquently said.

Provisions were still wanting. Mr. Scrivener and Mr. Percy returned
from an expedition with nothing. Smith proposed to surprise
Powhatan, and seize his store of corn, but he says he was hindered in
this project by Captain Winne and Mr. Scrivener (who had heretofore
been considered one of Smith's friends), whom he now suspected of
plotting his ruin in England.

Powhatan on his part sent word to Smith to visit him, to send him men
to build a house, give him a grindstone, fifty swords, some big guns,
a cock and a hen, much copper and beads, in return for which he
would load his ship with corn. Without any confidence in the crafty
savage, Smith humored him by sending several workmen, including four
Dutchmen, to build him a house. Meantime with two barges and the
pinnace and forty-six men, including Lieutenant Percy, Captain Wirt,
and Captain William Phittiplace, on the 29th of December he set out
on a journey to the Pamaunky, or York, River.

The first night was spent at " Warraskogack," the king of which
warned Smith that while Powhatan would receive him kindly he was only
seeking an opportunity to cut their throats and seize their arms.
Christmas was kept with extreme winds, rain, frost and snow among the
savages at Kecoughton, where before roaring fires they made merry
with plenty of oysters, fish, flesh, wild fowls and good bread. The
President and two others went gunning for birds, and brought down one
hundred and forty-eight fowls with three shots.

Ascending the river, on the 12th of January they reached
Werowocomoco. The river was frozen half a mile from the shore, and
when the barge could not come to land by reason of the ice and muddy
shallows, they effected a landing by wading. Powhatan at their
request sent them venison, turkeys, and bread; the next day he
feasted them, and then inquired when they were going, ignoring his
invitation to them to come. Hereupon followed a long game of fence
between Powhatan and Captain Smith, each trying to overreach the
other, and each indulging profusely in lies and pledges. Each
professed the utmost love for the other.

Smith upbraided him with neglect of his promise to supply them with
corn, and told him, in reply to his demand for weapons, that he had
no arms to spare. Powhatan asked him, if he came on a peaceful
errand, to lay aside his weapons, for he had heard that the English
came not so much for trade as to invade his people and possess his
country, and the people did not dare to bring in their corn while the
English were around.

Powhatan seemed indifferent about the building. The Dutchmen who had
come to build Powhatan a house liked the Indian plenty better than
the risk of starvation with the colony, revealed to Powhatan the
poverty of the whites, and plotted to betray them, of which plot
Smith was not certain till six months later. Powhatan discoursed
eloquently on the advantage of peace over war: "I have seen the death
of all my people thrice," he said, "and not any one living of those
three generations but myself; I know the difference of peace and war
better than any in my country. But I am now old and ere long must
die." He wanted to leave his brothers and sisters in peace. He
heard that Smith came to destroy his country. He asked him what good
it would do to destroy them that provided his food, to drive them
into the woods where they must feed on roots and acorns; "and be so
hunted by you that I can neither rest, eat nor sleep, but my tired
men must watch, and if a twig but break every one crieth, there
cometh Captain Smith!" They might live in peace, and trade, if Smith
would only lay aside his arms. Smith, in return, boasted of his
power to get provisions, and said that he had only been restrained
from violence by his love for Powhatan; that the Indians came armed
to Jamestown, and it was the habit of the whites to wear their arms.
Powhatan then contrasted the liberality of Newport, and told Smith
that while he had used him more kindly than any other chief, he had
received from him (Smith) the least kindness of any.

Believing that the palaver was only to get an opportunity to cut his
throat, Smith got the savages to break the ice in order to bring up
the barge and load it with corn, and gave orders for his soldiers to
land and surprise Powhatan; meantime, to allay his suspicions,
telling him the lie that next day he would lay aside his arms and
trust Powhatan's promises. But Powhatan was not to be caught with
such chaff. Leaving two or three women to talk with the Captain he
secretly fled away with his women, children, and luggage. When Smith
perceived this treachery he fired into the "naked devils" who were in
sight. The next day Powhatan sent to excuse his flight, and
presented him a bracelet and chain of pearl and vowed eternal

With matchlocks lighted, Smith forced the Indians to load the boats;
but as they were aground, and could not be got off till high water,
he was compelled to spend the night on shore. Powhatan and the
treacherous Dutchmen are represented as plotting to kill Smith that
night. Provisions were to be brought him with professions of
friendship, and Smith was to be attacked while at supper. The
Indians, with all the merry sports they could devise, spent the time
till night, and then returned to Powhatan.

The plot was frustrated in the providence of God by a strange means.
"For Pocahuntas his dearest jewele and daughter in that dark night
came through the irksome woods, and told our Captaine good cheer
should be sent us by and by; but Powhatan and all the power he could
make would after come and kill us all, if they that brought it could
not kill us with our own weapons when we were at supper. Therefore
if we would live she wished us presently to be gone. Such things as
she delighted in he would have given her; but with the tears rolling
down her cheeks she said she durst not to be seen to have any; for if
Powhatan should know it, she were but dead, and so she ran away by
herself as she came."

[This instance of female devotion is exactly paralleled in
D'Albertis's "New Guinea." Abia, a pretty Biota girl of seventeen,
made her way to his solitary habitation at the peril of her life, to
inform him that the men of Rapa would shortly bring him insects and
other presents, in order to get near him without suspicion, and then
kill him. He tried to reward the brave girl by hanging a gold chain
about her neck, but she refused it, saying it would betray her. He
could only reward her with a fervent kiss, upon which she fled.
Smith omits that part of the incident.]

In less than an hour ten burly fellows arrived with great platters of
victuals, and begged Smith to put out the matches (the smoke of which
made them sick) and sit down and eat. Smith, on his guard, compelled
them to taste each dish, and then sent them back to Powhatan. All
night the whites watched, but though the savages lurked about, no
attack was made. Leaving the four Dutchmen to build Powhatan's
house, and an Englishman to shoot game for him, Smith next evening
departed for Pamaunky.

No sooner had he gone than two of the Dutchmen made their way
overland to Jamestown, and, pretending Smith had sent them, procured
arms, tools, and clothing. They induced also half a dozen sailors,
"expert thieves," to accompany them to live with Powhatan; and
altogether they stole, besides powder and shot, fifty swords, eight
pieces, eight pistols, and three hundred hatchets. Edward Boynton
and Richard Savage, who had been left with Powhatan, seeing the
treachery, endeavored to escape, but were apprehended by the Indians.

At Pamaunky there was the same sort of palaver with Opechancanough,
the king, to whom Smith the year before had expounded the mysteries
of history, geography, and astronomy. After much fencing in talk,
Smith, with fifteen companions, went up to the King's house, where
presently he found himself betrayed and surrounded by seven hundred
armed savages, seeking his life. His company being dismayed, Smith
restored their courage by a speech, and then, boldly charging the
King with intent to murder him, he challenged him to a single combat
on an island in the river, each to use his own arms, but Smith to be
as naked as the King. The King still professed friendship, and laid
a great present at the door, about which the Indians lay in ambush to
kill Smith. But this hero, according to his own account, took prompt
measures. He marched out to the King where he stood guarded by fifty
of his chiefs, seized him by his long hair in the midst of his men,
and pointing a pistol at his breast led, him trembling and near dead
with fear amongst all his people. The King gave up his arms, and the
savages, astonished that any man dare treat their king thus, threw
down their bows. Smith, still holding the King by the hair, made
them a bold address, offering peace or war. They chose peace.

In the picture of this remarkable scene in the "General Historie,"
the savage is represented as gigantic in stature, big enough to crush
the little Smith in an instant if he had but chosen. Having given
the savages the choice to load his ship with corn or to load it
himself with their dead carcasses, the Indians so thronged in with
their commodities that Smith was tired of receiving them, and leaving
his comrades to trade, he lay down to rest. When he was asleep the
Indians, armed some with clubs, and some with old English swords,
entered into the house. Smith awoke in time, seized his arms, and
others coming to his rescue, they cleared the house.

While enduring these perils, sad news was brought from Jamestown.
Mr. Scrivener, who had letters from England (writes Smith) urging him
to make himself Caesar or nothing, declined in his affection for
Smith, and began to exercise extra authority. Against the advice of
the others, he needs must make a journey to the Isle of Hogs, taking
with him in the boat Captain Waldo, Anthony Gosnoll (or Gosnold,
believed to be a relative of Captain Bartholomew Gosnold), and eight
others. The boat was overwhelmed in a storm, and sunk, no one knows
how or where. The savages were the first to discover the bodies of
the lost. News of this disaster was brought to Captain Smith (who
did not disturb the rest by making it known) by Richard Wiffin, who
encountered great dangers on the way. Lodging overnight at
Powhatan's, he saw great preparations for war, and found himself in
peril. Pocahontas hid him for a time, and by her means, and
extraordinary bribes, in three days' travel he reached Smith.

Powhatan, according to Smith, threatened death to his followers if
they did not kill Smith. At one time swarms of natives, unarmed,
came bringing great supplies of provisions; this was to put Smith off
his guard, surround him with hundreds of savages, and slay him by an
ambush. But he also laid in ambush and got the better of the crafty
foe with a superior craft. They sent him poisoned food, which made
his company sick, but was fatal to no one. Smith apologizes for
temporizing with the Indians at this time, by explaining that his
purpose was to surprise Powhatan and his store of provisions. But
when they stealthily stole up to the seat of that crafty chief, they
found that those "damned Dutchmen" had caused Powhatan to abandon his
new house at Werowocomoco, and to carry away all his corn and

The reward of this wearisome winter campaign was two hundred weight
of deer-suet and four hundred and seventy-nine bushels of corn for
the general store. They had not to show such murdering and
destroying as the Spaniards in their "relations," nor heaps and mines
of gold and silver; the land of Virginia was barbarous and ill-
planted, and without precious jewels, but no Spanish relation could
show, with such scant means, so much country explored, so many
natives reduced to obedience, with so little bloodshed.



Without entering at all into the consideration of the character of
the early settlers of Virginia and of Massachusetts, one contrast
forces itself upon the mind as we read the narratives of the
different plantations. In Massachusetts there was from the beginning
a steady purpose to make a permanent settlement and colony, and
nearly all those who came over worked, with more or less friction,
with this end before them. The attempt in Virginia partook more of
the character of a temporary adventure. In Massachusetts from the
beginning a commonwealth was in view. In Virginia, although the
London promoters desired a colony to be fixed that would be
profitable to themselves, and many of the adventurers, Captain Smith
among them, desired a permanent planting, a great majority of those
who went thither had only in mind the advantages of trade, the
excitement of a free and licentious life, and the adventure of
something new and startling. It was long before the movers in it
gave up the notion of discovering precious metals or a short way to
the South Sea. The troubles the primitive colony endured resulted
quite as much from its own instability of purpose, recklessness, and
insubordination as from the hostility of the Indians. The majority
spent their time in idleness, quarreling, and plotting mutiny.

The ships departed for England in December, 1608. When Smith
returned from his expedition for food in the winter of 1609, he found
that all the provision except what he had gathered was so rotted from
the rain, and eaten by rats and worms, that the hogs would scarcely
eat it. Yet this had been the diet of the soldiers, who had consumed
the victuals and accomplished nothing except to let the savages have
the most of the tools and a good part of the arms.

Taking stock of what he brought in, Smith found food enough to last
till the next harvest, and at once organized the company into bands
of ten or fifteen, and compelled them to go to work. Six hours a day
were devoted to labor, and the remainder to rest and merry exercises.
Even with this liberal allowance of pastime a great part of the
colony still sulked. Smith made them a short address, exhibiting his
power in the letters-patent, and assuring them that he would enforce
discipline and punish the idle and froward; telling them that those
that did not work should not eat, and that the labor of forty or
fifty industrious men should not be consumed to maintain a hundred
and fifty idle loiterers. He made a public table of good and bad
conduct; but even with this inducement the worst had to be driven to
work by punishment or the fear of it.

The Dutchmen with Powhatan continued to make trouble, and
confederates in the camp supplied them with powder and shot, swords
and tools. Powhatan kept the whites who were with him to instruct
the Indians in the art of war. They expected other whites to join
them, and those not coming, they sent Francis, their companion,
disguised as an Indian, to find out the cause. He came to the Glass
house in the woods a mile from Jamestown, which was the rendezvous
for all their villainy. Here they laid an ambush of forty men for
Smith, who hearing of the Dutchman, went thither to apprehend him.
The rascal had gone, and Smith, sending twenty soldiers to follow and
capture him, started alone from the Glass house to return to the
fort. And now occurred another of those personal adventures which
made Smith famous by his own narration.

On his way he encountered the King of Paspahegh, "a most strong,
stout savage," who, seeing that Smith had only his falchion,
attempted to shoot him. Smith grappled him; the savage prevented his
drawing his blade, and bore him into the river to drown him. Long
they struggled in the water, when the President got the savage by the
throat and nearly strangled him, and drawing his weapon, was about to
cut off his head, when the King begged his life so pitifully, that
Smith led him prisoner to the fort and put him in chains.

In the pictures of this achievement, the savage is represented as
about twice the size and stature of Smith; another illustration that
this heroic soul was never contented to take one of his size.

The Dutchman was captured, who, notwithstanding his excuses that he
had escaped from Powhatan and did not intend to return, but was only
walking in the woods to gather walnuts, on the testimony of Paspahegh
of his treachery, was also "laid by the heels." Smith now proposed
to Paspahegh to spare his life if he would induce Powhatan to send
back the renegade Dutchmen. The messengers for this purpose reported
that the Dutchmen, though not detained by Powhatan, would not come,
and the Indians said they could not bring them on their backs fifty
miles through the woods. Daily the King's wives, children, and
people came to visit him, and brought presents to procure peace and
his release. While this was going on, the King, though fettered,
escaped. A pursuit only resulted in a vain fight with the Indians.
Smith then made prisoners of two Indians who seemed to be hanging
around the camp, Kemps and Tussore, "the two most exact villains in
all the country," who would betray their own king and kindred for a
piece of copper, and sent them with a force of soldiers, under Percy,
against Paspahegh. The expedition burned his house, but did not
capture the fugitive. Smith then went against them himself, killed
six or seven, burned their houses, and took their boats and fishing
wires. Thereupon the savages sued for peace, and an amnesty was
established that lasted as long as Smith remained in the country.

Another incident occurred about this time which greatly raised
Smith's credit in all that country. The Chicahomanians, who always
were friendly traders, were great thieves. One of them stole a
Pistol, and two proper young fellows, brothers, known to be his
confederates, were apprehended. One of them was put in the dungeon
and the other sent to recover the pistol within twelve hours, in
default of which his brother would be hanged. The President, pitying
the wretched savage in the dungeon, sent him some victuals and
charcoal for a fire. "Ere midnight his brother returned with the
pistol, but the poor savage in the dungeon was so smothered with the
smoke he had made, and so piteously burnt, that we found him dead.
The other most lamentably bewailed his death, and broke forth in such
bitter agonies, that the President, to quiet him, told him that if
hereafter they would not steal, he would make him alive again; but he
(Smith) little thought he could be recovered." Nevertheless, by a
liberal use of aqua vitae and vinegar the Indian was brought again to
life, but "so drunk and affrighted that he seemed lunatic, the which
as much tormented and grieved the other as before to see him dead."
Upon further promise of good behavior Smith promised to bring the
Indian out of this malady also, and so laid him by a fire to sleep.
In the morning the savage had recovered his perfect senses, his
wounds were dressed, and the brothers with presents of copper were
sent away well contented. This was spread among the savages for a
miracle, that Smith could make a man alive that was dead. He
narrates a second incident which served to give the Indians a
wholesome fear of the whites: "Another ingenious savage of Powhatan
having gotten a great bag of powder and the back of an armour at
Werowocomoco, amongst a many of his companions, to show his
extraordinary skill, he did dry it on the back as he had seen the
soldiers at Jamestown. But he dried it so long, they peeping over it
to see his skill, it took fire, and blew him to death, and one or two
more, and the rest so scorched they had little pleasure any more to
meddle with gunpowder."

"These and many other such pretty incidents," says Smith, "so amazed
and affrighted Powhatan and his people that from all parts they
desired peace;" stolen articles were returned, thieves sent to
Jamestown for punishment, and the whole country became as free for
the whites as for the Indians.

And now ensued, in the spring of 1609, a prosperous period of three
months, the longest season of quiet the colony had enjoyed, but only
a respite from greater disasters. The friendship of the Indians and
the temporary subordination of the settlers we must attribute to
Smith's vigor, shrewdness, and spirit of industry. It was much
easier to manage the Indian's than the idle and vicious men that
composed the majority of the settlement.

In these three months they manufactured three or four lasts (fourteen
barrels in a last) of tar, pitch, and soap-ashes, produced some
specimens of glass, dug a well of excellent sweet water in the fort,
which they had wanted for two years, built twenty houses, repaired
the church, planted thirty or forty acres of ground, and erected a
block-house on the neck of the island, where a garrison was stationed
to trade with the savages and permit neither whites nor Indians to
pass except on the President's order. Even the domestic animals
partook the industrious spirit: "of three sowes in eighteen months
increased 60 and od Pigs; and neare 500 chickings brought up
themselves without having any meat given them." The hogs were
transferred to Hog Isle, where another block house was built and
garrisoned, and the garrison were permitted to take "exercise" in
cutting down trees and making clapboards and wainscot. They were
building a fort on high ground, intended for an easily defended
retreat, when a woful discovery put an end to their thriving plans.

Upon examination of the corn stored in casks, it was found half-
rotten, and the rest consumed by rats, which had bred in thousands
from the few which came over in the ships. The colony was now at its
wits end, for there was nothing to eat except the wild products of
the country. In this prospect of famine, the two Indians, Kemps and
Tussore, who had been kept fettered while showing the whites how to
plant the fields, were turned loose; but they were unwilling to
depart from such congenial company. The savages in the neighborhood
showed their love by bringing to camp, for sixteen days, each day at
least a hundred squirrels, turkeys, deer, and other wild beasts. But
without corn, the work of fortifying and building had to be
abandoned, and the settlers dispersed to provide victuals. A party
of sixty or eighty men under Ensign Laxon were sent down the river to
live on oysters; some twenty went with Lieutenant Percy to try
fishing at Point Comfort, where for six weeks not a net was cast,
owing to the sickness of Percy, who had been burnt with gunpowder;
and another party, going to the Falls with Master West, found nothing
to eat but a few acorns.

Up to this time the whole colony was fed by the labors of thirty or
forty men: there was more sturgeon than could be devoured by dog and
man; it was dried, pounded, and mixed with caviare, sorrel, and other
herbs, to make bread; bread was also made of the "Tockwhogh" root,
and with the fish and these wild fruits they lived very well. But
there were one hundred and fifty of the colony who would rather
starve or eat each other than help gather food. These "distracted,
gluttonous loiterers" would have sold anything they had--tools, arms,
and their houses--for anything the savages would bring them to eat.
Hearing that there was a basket of corn at Powhatan's, fifty miles
away, they would have exchanged all their property for it. To
satisfy their factious humors, Smith succeeded in getting half of it:
"they would have sold their souls," he says, for the other half,
though not sufficient to last them a week.

The clamors became so loud that Smith punished the ringleader, one
Dyer, a crafty fellow, and his ancient maligner, and then made one of
his conciliatory addresses. Having shown them how impossible it was
to get corn, and reminded them of his own exertions, and that he had
always shared with them anything he had, he told them that he should
stand their nonsense no longer; he should force the idle to work, and
punish them if they railed; if any attempted to escape to
Newfoundland in the pinnace they would arrive at the gallows; the
sick should not starve; every man able must work, and every man who
did not gather as much in a day as he did should be put out of the
fort as a drone.

Such was the effect of this speech that of the two hundred only seven
died in this pinching time, except those who were drowned; no man
died of want. Captain Winne and Master Leigh had died before this
famine occurred. Many of the men were billeted among the savages,
who used them well, and stood in such awe of the power at the fort
that they dared not wrong the whites out of a pin. The Indians
caught Smith's humor, and some of the men who ran away to seek Kemps
and Tussore were mocked and ridiculed, and had applied to them--
Smith's law of "who cannot work must not eat;" they were almost
starved and beaten nearly to death. After amusing himself with them,
Kemps returned the fugitives, whom Smith punished until they were
content to labor at home, rather than adventure to live idly among
the savages, "of whom," says our shrewd chronicler, "there was more
hope to make better christians and good subjects than the one half of
them that counterfeited themselves both." The Indians were in such
subjection that any who were punished at the fort would beg the
President not to tell their chief, for they would be again punished
at home and sent back for another round.

We hear now of the last efforts to find traces of the lost colony of
Sir Walter Raleigh. Master Sicklemore returned from the Chawwonoke
(Chowan River) with no tidings of them; and Master Powell, and Anas
Todkill who had been conducted to the Mangoags, in the regions south
of the James, could learn nothing but that they were all dead. The
king of this country was a very proper, devout, and friendly man; he
acknowledged that our God exceeded his as much as our guns did his
bows and arrows, and asked the President to pray his God for him, for
all the gods of the Mangoags were angry.

The Dutchmen and one Bentley, another fugitive, who were with
Powhatan, continued to plot against the colony, and the President
employed a Swiss, named William Volday, to go and regain them with
promises of pardon. Volday turned out to be a hypocrite, and a
greater rascal than the others. Many of the discontented in the fort
were brought into the scheme, which was, with Powhatan's aid, to
surprise and destroy Jamestown. News of this getting about in the
fort, there was a demand that the President should cut off these
Dutchmen. Percy and Cuderington, two gentlemen, volunteered to do
it; but Smith sent instead Master Wiffin and Jeffrey Abbot, to go and
stab them or shoot them. But the Dutchmen were too shrewd to be
caught, and Powhatan sent a conciliatory message that he did not
detain the Dutchmen, nor hinder the slaying of them.

While this plot was simmering, and Smith was surrounded by treachery
inside the fort and outside, and the savages were being taught that
King James would kill Smith because he had used the Indians so
unkindly, Captain Argall and Master Thomas Sedan arrived out in a
well-furnished vessel, sent by Master Cornelius to trade and fish for
sturgeon. The wine and other good provision of the ship were so
opportune to the necessities of the colony that the President seized
them. Argall lost his voyage; his ship was revictualed and sent back
to England, but one may be sure that this event was so represented as
to increase the fostered dissatisfaction with Smith in London. For
one reason or another, most of the persons who returned had probably
carried a bad report of him. Argall brought to Jamestown from London
a report of great complaints of him for his dealings with the savages
and not returning ships freighted with the products of the country.
Misrepresented in London, and unsupported and conspired against in
Virginia, Smith felt his fall near at hand. On the face of it he was
the victim of envy and the rascality of incompetent and bad men; but
whatever his capacity for dealing with savages, it must be confessed
that he lacked something which conciliates success with one's own
people. A new commission was about to be issued, and a great supply
was in preparation under Lord De La Ware.



The London company were profoundly dissatisfied with the results of
the Virginia colony. The South Sea was not discovered, no gold had
turned up, there were no valuable products from the new land, and the
promoters received no profits on their ventures. With their
expectations, it is not to be wondered at that they were still
further annoyed by the quarreling amongst the colonists themselves,
and wished to begin over again.

A new charter, dated May 23, 1609, with enlarged powers, was got from
King James. Hundreds of corporators were named, and even thousands
were included in the various London trades and guilds that were
joined in the enterprise. Among the names we find that of Captain
John Smith. But he was out of the Council, nor was he given then or
ever afterward any place or employment in Virginia, or in the
management of its affairs. The grant included all the American coast
two hundred miles north and two hundred miles south of Point Comfort,
and all the territory from the coast up into the land throughout from
sea to sea, west and northwest. A leading object of the project
still being (as we have seen it was with Smith's precious crew at
Jamestown) the conversion and reduction of the natives to the true
religion, no one was permitted in the colony who had not taken the
oath of supremacy.

Under this charter the Council gave a commission to Sir Thomas West,
Lord Delaware, Captain-General of Virginia; Sir Thomas Gates,
Lieutenant-General; Sir George Somers, Admiral; Captain Newport,
Vice-Admiral; Sir Thomas Dale, High Marshal; Sir Frederick Wainman,
General of the Horse, and many other officers for life.

With so many wealthy corporators money flowed into the treasury, and
a great expedition was readily fitted out. Towards the end of May,
1609, there sailed from England nine ships and five hundred people,
under the command of Sir Thomas Gates, Sir George Somers, and Captain
Newport. Each of these commanders had a commission, and the one who
arrived first was to call in the old commission; as they could not
agree, they all sailed in one ship, the Sea Venture.

This brave expedition was involved in a contest with a hurricane; one
vessel was sunk, and the Sea Venture, with the three commanders, one
hundred and fifty men, the new commissioners, bills of lading, all
sorts of instructions, and much provision, was wrecked on the
Bermudas. With this company was William Strachey, of whom we shall
hear more hereafter. Seven vessels reached Jamestown, and brought,
among other annoyances, Smith's old enemy, Captain Ratcliffe, alias
Sicklemore, in command of a ship. Among the company were also
Captains Martin, Archer, Wood, Webbe, Moore, King, Davis, and several
gentlemen of good means, and a crowd of the riff-raff of London.
Some of these Captains whom Smith had sent home, now returned with
new pretensions, and had on the voyage prejudiced the company against
him. When the fleet was first espied, the President thought it was
Spaniards, and prepared to defend himself, the Indians promptly
coming to his assistance.

This hurricane tossed about another expedition still more famous,
that of Henry Hudson, who had sailed from England on his third voyage
toward Nova Zembla March 25th, and in July and August was beating
down the Atlantic coast. On the 18th of August he entered the Capes
of Virginia, and sailed a little way up the Bay. He knew he was at
the mouth of the James River, "where our Englishmen are," as he says.
The next day a gale from the northeast made him fear being driven
aground in the shallows, and he put to sea. The storm continued for
several days. On the 21st "a sea broke over the fore-course and
split it;" and that night something more ominous occurred: "that
night [the chronicle records] our cat ran crying from one side of the
ship to the other, looking overboard, which made us to wonder, but we
saw nothing." On the 26th they were again off the bank of Virginia,
and in the very bay and in sight of the islands they had seen on the
18th. It appeared to Hudson "a great bay with rivers," but too
shallow to explore without a small boat. After lingering till the
29th, without any suggestion of ascending the James, he sailed
northward and made the lucky stroke of river exploration which
immortalized him.

It seems strange that he did not search for the English colony, but
the adventurers of that day were independent actors, and did not care
to share with each other the glories of discovery.

The first of the scattered fleet of Gates and Somers came in on the
11th, and the rest straggled along during the three or four days
following. It was a narrow chance that Hudson missed them all, and
one may imagine that the fate of the Virginia colony and of the New
York settlement would have been different if the explorer of the
Hudson had gone up the James.

No sooner had the newcomers landed than trouble began. They would
have deposed Smith on report of the new commission, but they could
show no warrant. Smith professed himself willing to retire to
England, but, seeing the new commission did not arrive, held on to
his authority, and began to enforce it to save the whole colony from
anarchy. He depicts the situation in a paragraph: "To a thousand
mischiefs these lewd Captains led this lewd company, wherein were
many unruly gallants, packed thither by their friends to escape ill
destinies, and those would dispose and determine of the government,
sometimes to one, the next day to another; today the old commission
must rule, tomorrow the new, the next day neither; in fine, they
would rule all or ruin all; yet in charity we must endure them thus
to destroy us, or by correcting their follies, have brought the
world's censure upon us to be guilty of their blouds. Happie had we
beene had they never arrived, and we forever abandoned, as we were
left to our fortunes; for on earth for their number was never more
confusion or misery than their factions occasioned." In this company
came a boy, named Henry Spelman, whose subsequent career possesses
considerable interest.

The President proceeded with his usual vigor: he "laid by the heels"
the chief mischief-makers till he should get leisure to punish them;
sent Mr. West with one hundred and twenty good men to the Falls to
make a settlement; and despatched Martin with near as many and their
proportion of provisions to Nansemond, on the river of that name
emptying into the James, obliquely opposite Point Comfort.

Lieutenant Percy was sick and had leave to depart for England when he
chose. The President's year being about expired, in accordance with
the charter, he resigned, and Captain Martin was elected President.
But knowing his inability, he, after holding it three hours, resigned
it to Smith, and went down to Nansemond. The tribe used him kindly,
but he was so frightened with their noisy demonstration of mirth that
he surprised and captured the poor naked King with his houses, and
began fortifying his position, showing so much fear that the savages
were emboldened to attack him, kill some of his men, release their
King, and carry off a thousand bushels of corn which had been
purchased, Martin not offering to intercept them. The frightened
Captain sent to Smith for aid, who despatched to him thirty good
shot. Martin, too chicken-hearted to use them, came back with them
to Jamestown, leaving his company to their fortunes. In this
adventure the President commends the courage of one George Forrest,
who, with seventeen arrows sticking into him and one shot through
him, lived six or seven days.

Meantime Smith, going up to the Falls to look after Captain West, met
that hero on his way to Jamestown. He turned him back, and found
that he had planted his colony on an unfavorable flat, subject not
only to the overflowing of the river, but to more intolerable
inconveniences. To place him more advantageously the President sent
to Powhatan, offering to buy the place called Powhatan, promising to
defend him against the Monacans, to pay him in copper, and make a
general alliance of trade and friendship.

But "those furies," as Smith calls West and his associates, refused
to move to Powhatan or to accept these conditions. They contemned
his authority, expecting all the time the new commission, and,
regarding all the Monacans' country as full of gold, determined that
no one should interfere with them in the possession of it. Smith,
however, was not intimidated from landing and attempting to quell
their mutiny. In his "General Historie " it is written "I doe more
than wonder to think how onely with five men he either durst or would
adventure as he did (knowing how greedy they were of his bloud) to
come amongst them." He landed and ordered the arrest of the chief
disturbers, but the crowd hustled him off. He seized one of their
boats and escaped to the ship which contained the provision.
Fortunately the sailors were friendly and saved his life, and a
considerable number of the better sort, seeing the malice of
Ratcliffe and Archer, took Smith's part.

Out of the occurrences at this new settlement grew many of the
charges which were preferred against Smith. According to the
"General Historie" the company of Ratcliffe and Archer was a
disorderly rabble, constantly tormenting the Indians, stealing their
corn, robbing their gardens, beating them, and breaking into their
houses and taking them prisoners. The Indians daily complained to
the President that these "protectors" he had given them were worse
enemies than the Monacans, and desired his pardon if they defended
themselves, since he could not punish their tormentors. They even
proposed to fight for him against them. Smith says that after
spending nine days in trying to restrain them, and showing them how
they deceived themselves with "great guilded hopes of the South Sea
Mines," he abandoned them to their folly and set sail for Jamestown.

No sooner was he under way than the savages attacked the fort, slew
many of the whites who were outside, rescued their friends who were
prisoners, and thoroughly terrified the garrison. Smith's ship
happening to go aground half a league below, they sent off to him,
and were glad to submit on any terms to his mercy. He "put by the
heels" six or seven of the chief offenders, and transferred the
colony to Powhatan, where were a fort capable of defense against all
the savages in Virginia, dry houses for lodging, and two hundred
acres of ground ready to be planted. This place, so strong and
delightful in situation, they called Non-such. The savages appeared
and exchanged captives, and all became friends again.

At this moment, unfortunately, Captain West returned. All the
victuals and munitions having been put ashore, the old factious
projects were revived. The soft-hearted West was made to believe
that the rebellion had been solely on his account. Smith, seeing
them bent on their own way, took the row-boat for Jamestown. The
colony abandoned the pleasant Non-such and returned to the open air
at West's Fort. On his way down, Smith met with the accident that
suddenly terminated his career in Virginia.

While he was sleeping in his boat his powder-bag was accidentally
fired; the explosion tore the flesh from his body and thighs, nine or
ten inches square, in the most frightful manner. To quench the
tormenting fire, frying him in his clothes, he leaped into the deep
river, where, ere they could recover him, he was nearly drowned. In
this pitiable condition, without either surgeon or surgery, he was to
go nearly a hundred miles.

It is now time for the appearance upon the scene of the boy Henry
Spelman, with his brief narration, which touches this period of
Smith's life. Henry Spelman was the third son of the distinguished
antiquarian, Sir Henry Spelman, of Coughan, Norfolk, who was married
in 1581. It is reasonably conjectured that he could not have been
over twenty-one when in May, 1609, he joined the company going to
Virginia. Henry was evidently a scapegrace, whose friends were
willing to be rid of him. Such being his character, it is more than
probable that he was shipped bound as an apprentice, and of course
with the conditions of apprenticeship in like expeditions of that
period--to be sold or bound out at the end of the voyage to pay for
his passage. He remained for several years in Virginia, living most
of the time among the Indians, and a sort of indifferent go between
of the savages and the settlers. According to his own story it was
on October 20, 1609, that he was taken up the river to Powhatan by
Captain Smith, and it was in April, 1613, that he was rescued from
his easy-setting captivity on the Potomac by Captain Argall. During
his sojourn in Virginia, or more probably shortly after his return to
England, he wrote a brief and bungling narration of his experiences
in the colony, and a description of Indian life. The MS. was not
printed in his time, but mislaid or forgotten. By a strange series
of chances it turned up in our day, and was identified and prepared
for the press in 1861. Before the proof was read, the type was
accidentally broken up and the MS. again mislaid. Lost sight of for
several years, it was recovered and a small number of copies of it
were printed at London in 1872, edited by Mr. James F. Hunnewell.

Spelman's narration would be very important if we could trust it. He
appeared to have set down what he saw, and his story has a certain
simplicity that gains for it some credit. But he was a reckless boy,
unaccustomed to weigh evidence, and quite likely to write as facts
the rumors that he heard. He took very readily to the ways of Indian
life. Some years after, Spelman returned to Virginia with the title
of Captain, and in 1617 we find this reference to him in the "General
Historie": " Here, as at many other times, we are beholden to Capt.
Henry Spilman, an interpreter, a gentleman that lived long time in
this country, and sometimes a prisoner among the Salvages, and done
much good service though but badly rewarded." Smith would probably
not have left this on record had he been aware of the contents of the
MS. that Spelman had left for after-times.

Spelman begins his Relation, from which I shall quote substantially,
without following the spelling or noting all the interlineations,
with the reason for his emigration, which was, "being in displeasure
of my friends, and desirous to see other countries." After a brief
account of the voyage and the joyful arrival at Jamestown, the
Relation continues:

"Having here unloaded our goods and bestowed some senight or
fortnight in viewing the country, I was carried by Capt. Smith, our
President, to the Falls, to the little Powhatan, where, unknown to
me, he sold me to him for a town called Powhatan; and, leaving me
with him, the little Powhatan, he made known to Capt. West how he had
bought a town for them to dwell in. Whereupon Capt. West, growing
angry because he had bestowed cost to begin a town in another place,
Capt. Smith desiring that Capt. West would come and settle himself
there, but Capt. West, having bestowed cost to begin a town in
another place, misliked it, and unkindness thereupon arising between
them, Capt. Smith at that time replied little, but afterward combined
with Powhatan to kill Capt. West, which plot took but small effect,
for in the meantime Capt. Smith was apprehended and sent aboard for

That this roving boy was "thrown in" as a makeweight in the trade for
the town is not impossible; but that Smith combined with Powhatan to
kill Captain West is doubtless West's perversion of the offer of the
Indians to fight on Smith's side against him.

According to Spelman's Relation, he stayed only seven or eight days
with the little Powhatan, when he got leave to go to Jamestown, being
desirous to see the English and to fetch the small articles that
belonged to him. The Indian King agreed to wait for him at that
place, but he stayed too long, and on his return the little Powhatan
had departed, and Spelman went back to Jamestown. Shortly after, the
great Powhatan sent Thomas Savage with a present of venison to
President Percy. Savage was loath to return alone, and Spelman was
appointed to go with him, which he did willingly, as victuals were
scarce in camp. He carried some copper and a hatchet, which he
presented to Powhatan, and that Emperor treated him and his comrade
very kindly, seating them at his own mess-table. After some three
weeks of this life, Powhatan sent this guileless youth down to decoy
the English into his hands, promising to freight a ship with corn if
they would visit him. Spelman took the message and brought back the
English reply, whereupon Powhatan laid the plot which resulted in the
killing of Captain Ratcliffe and thirty-eight men, only two of his
company escaping to Jamestown. Spelman gives two versions of this
incident. During the massacre Spelman says that Powhatan sent him
and Savage to a town some sixteen miles away. Smith's "General
Historie" says that on this occasion "Pocahuntas saved a boy named
Henry Spilman that lived many years afterward, by her means, among
the Patawomekes." Spelman says not a word about Pocahuntas. On the
contrary, he describes the visit of the King of the Patawomekes to
Powhatan; says that the King took a fancy to him; that he and Dutch
Samuel, fearing for their lives, escaped from Powhatan's town; were
pursued; that Samuel was killed, and that Spelman, after dodging
about in the forest, found his way to the Potomac, where he lived
with this good King Patomecke at a place called Pasptanzie for more
than a year. Here he seems to have passed his time agreeably, for
although he had occasional fights with the squaws of Patomecke, the
King was always his friend, and so much was he attached to the boy
that he would not give him up to Captain Argall without some copper
in exchange.

When Smith returned wounded to Jamestown, he was physically in no
condition to face the situation. With no medical attendance, his
death was not improbable. He had no strength to enforce discipline
nor organize expeditions for supplies; besides, he was acting under a
commission whose virtue had expired, and the mutinous spirits
rebelled against his authority. Ratcliffe, Archer, and the others
who were awaiting trial conspired against him, and Smith says he
would have been murdered in his bed if the murderer's heart had not
failed him when he went to fire his pistol at the defenseless sick
man. However, Smith was forced to yield to circumstances. No sooner
had he given out that he would depart for England than they persuaded
Mr. Percy to stay and act as President, and all eyes were turned in
expectation of favor upon the new commanders. Smith being thus
divested of authority, the most of the colony turned against him;
many preferred charges, and began to collect testimony. "The ships
were detained three weeks to get up proofs of his ill-conduct"--"time
and charges," says Smith, dryly, "that might much better have been

It must have enraged the doughty Captain, lying thus helpless, to see
his enemies triumph, the most factious of the disturbers in the
colony in charge of affairs, and become his accusers. Even at this
distance we can read the account with little patience, and should
have none at all if the account were not edited by Smith himself.
His revenge was in his good fortune in setting his own story afloat
in the current of history. The first narrative of these events,
published by Smith in his Oxford tract of 1612, was considerably
remodeled and changed in his "General Historie" of 1624. As we have
said before, he had a progressive memory, and his opponents ought to
be thankful that the pungent Captain did not live to work the story
over a third time.

It is no doubt true, however, that but for the accident to our hero,
he would have continued to rule till the arrival of Gates and Somers
with the new commissions; as he himself says, "but had that unhappy
blast not happened, he would quickly have qualified the heat of those
humors and factions, had the ships but once left them and us to our
fortunes; and have made that provision from among the salvages, as we
neither feared Spaniard, Salvage, nor famine: nor would have left
Virginia nor our lawful authority, but at as dear a price as we had
bought it, and paid for it."

He doubtless would have fought it out against all comers; and who
shall say that he does not merit the glowing eulogy on himself which
he inserts in his General History? "What shall I say but this, we
left him, that in all his proceedings made justice his first guide,
and experience his second, ever hating baseness, sloth, pride, and
indignity, more than any dangers; that upon no danger would send them
where he would not lead them himself; that would never see us want
what he either had or could by any means get us; that would rather
want than borrow; or starve than not pay; that loved action more than
words, and hated falsehood and covetousness worse than death; whose
adventures were our lives, and whose loss our deaths."

A handsomer thing never was said of another man than Smith could say
of himself, but he believed it, as also did many of his comrades, we
must suppose. He suffered detraction enough, but he suffered also
abundant eulogy both in verse and prose. Among his eulogists, of
course, is not the factious Captain Ratcliffe. In the English
Colonial State papers, edited by Mr. Noel Sainsbury, is a note, dated
Jamestown, October 4, 1609, from Captain "John Radclyffe comenly
called," to the Earl of Salisbury, which contains this remark upon
Smith's departure after the arrival of the last supply: "They heard
that all the Council were dead but Capt. [John] Smith, President, who
reigned sole Governor, and is now sent home to answer some

Captain Archer also regards this matter in a different light from
that in which Smith represents it. In a letter from Jamestown,
written in August, he says:

"In as much as the President [Smith], to strengthen his authority,
accorded with the variances and gave not any due respect to many
worthy gentlemen that were in our ships, wherefore they generally,
with my consent, chose Master West, my Lord De La Ware's brother,
their Governor or President de bene esse, in the absence of Sir
Thomas Gates, or if he be miscarried by sea, then to continue till we
heard news from our counsell in England. This choice of him they
made not to disturb the old President during his term, but as his
authority expired, then to take upon him the sole government, with
such assistants of the captains or discreet persons as the colony

"Perhaps you shall have it blamed as a mutinie by such as retaine old
malice, but Master West, Master Piercie, and all the respected
gentlemen of worth in Virginia, can and will testify otherwise upon
their oaths. For the King's patent we ratified, but refused to be
governed by the President--that is, after his time was expired and
only subjected ourselves to Master West, whom we labor to have next

It is clear from this statement that the attempt was made to
supersede Smith even before his time expired, and without any
authority (since the new commissions were still with Gates and Somers
in Bermuda), for the reason that Smith did not pay proper respect to
the newly arrived "gentlemen." Smith was no doubt dictatorial and
offensive, and from his point of view he was the only man who
understood Virginia, and knew how successfully to conduct the affairs
of the colony. If this assumption were true it would be none the
less disagreeable to the new-comers.

At the time of Smith's deposition the colony was in prosperous
condition. The "General Historie " says that he left them "with
three ships, seven boats, commodities ready to trade, the harvest
newly gathered, ten weeks' provision in store, four hundred ninety
and odd persons, twenty-four pieces of ordnance, three hundred
muskets, snaphances and fire-locks, shot, powder, and match
sufficient, curats, pikes, swords, and morrios, more than men; the
Salvages, their language and habitations well known to a hundred
well-trained and expert soldiers; nets for fishing; tools of all
kinds to work; apparel to supply our wants; six mules and a horse;
five or six hundred swine; as many hens and chickens; some goats;
some sheep; what was brought or bred there remained." Jamestown was
also strongly palisaded and contained some fifty or sixty houses;
besides there were five or six other forts and plantations, "not so
sumptuous as our succerers expected, they were better than they
provided any for us."

These expectations might well be disappointed if they were founded
upon the pictures of forts and fortifications in Virginia and in the
Somers Islands, which appeared in De Bry and in the "General
Historie," where they appear as massive stone structures with all the
finish and elegance of the European military science of the day.

Notwithstanding these ample provisions for the colony, Smith had
small expectation that it would thrive without him. "They regarding
nothing," he says, "but from hand to mouth, did consume what we had,
took care for nothing but to perfect some colorable complaint against
Captain Smith."

Nor was the composition of the colony such as to beget high hopes of
it. There was but one carpenter, and three others that desired to
learn, two blacksmiths, ten sailors; those called laborers were for
the most part footmen, brought over to wait upon the adventurers, who
did not know what a day's work was--all the real laborers were the
Dutchmen and Poles and some dozen others. "For all the rest were
poor gentlemen, tradesmen, serving men, libertines, and such like,
ten times more fit to spoil a commonwealth than either begin one or
help to maintain one. For when neither the fear of God, nor the law,
nor shame, nor displeasure of their friends could rule them here,
there is small hope ever to bring one in twenty of them to be good
there." Some of them proved more industrious than was expected;
"but ten good workmen would have done more substantial work in a day
than ten of them in a week."

The disreputable character of the majority of these colonists is
abundantly proved by other contemporary testimony. In the letter of
the Governor and Council of Virginia to the London Company, dated
Jamestown, July 7, 1610, signed by Lord De La Ware, Thomas Gates,
George Percy, Ferd. Wenman, and William Strachey, and probably
composed by Strachey, after speaking of the bountiful capacity of the
country, the writer exclaims: "Only let me truly acknowledge there
are not one hundred or two of deboisht hands, dropt forth by year
after year, with penury and leysure, ill provided for before they
come, and worse governed when they are here, men of such distempered
bodies and infected minds, whom no examples daily before their eyes,
either of goodness or punishment, can deterr from their habituall
impieties, or terrifie from a shameful death, that must be the
carpenters and workmen in this so glorious a building."

The chapter in the "General Historie" relating to Smith's last days
in Virginia was transferred from the narrative in the appendix to
Smith's "Map of Virginia," Oxford, 1612, but much changed in the
transfer. In the "General Historie" Smith says very little about the
nature of the charges against him. In the original narrative signed
by Richard Pots and edited by Smith, there are more details of the
charges. One omitted passage is this: "Now all those Smith had
either whipped or punished, or in any way disgraced, had free power
and liberty to say or sweare anything, and from a whole armful of
their examinations this was concluded."

Another omitted passage relates to the charge, to which reference is
made in the "General Historie," that Smith proposed to marry

"Some propheticall spirit calculated he had the salvages in such
subjection, he would have made himself a king by marrying Pocahuntas,
Powhatan's daughter. It is true she was the very nonpareil
of his kingdom, and at most not past thirteen or fourteen years of
age. Very oft she came to our fort with what she could get for
Capt. Smith, that ever loved and used all the country well, but her
especially he ever much respected, and she so well requited it, that
when her father intended to have surprised him, she by stealth in
the dark night came through the wild woods and told him of it.
But her marriage could in no way have entitled him by any right
to the kingdom, nor was it ever suspected he had such a thought, or
more regarded her or any of them than in honest reason and discretion
he might. If he would he might have married her, or have
done what he listed. For there were none that could have hindered
his determination."

It is fair, in passing, to remark that the above allusion to the
night visit of Pocahontas to Smith in this tract of 1612 helps to
confirm the story, which does not appear in the previous narration of
Smith's encounter with Powhatan at Werowocomoco in the same tract,
but is celebrated in the "General Historie." It is also hinted
plainly enough that Smith might have taken the girl to wife, Indian



It was necessary to follow for a time the fortune of the Virginia
colony after the departure of Captain Smith. Of its disasters and
speedy decline there is no more doubt than there is of the opinion of
Smith that these were owing to his absence. The savages, we read in
his narration, no sooner knew he was gone than they all revolted and
spoiled and murdered all they encountered.

The day before Captain Smith sailed, Captain Davis arrived in a small
pinnace with sixteen men. These, with a company from the fort under
Captain Ratcliffe, were sent down to Point Comfort. Captain West and
Captain Martin, having lost their boats and half their men among the
savages at the Falls, returned to Jamestown. The colony now lived
upon what Smith had provided, "and now they had presidents with all
their appurtenances. President Percy was so sick he could neither go
nor stand. Provisions getting short, West and Ratcliffe went abroad
to trade, and Ratcliffe and twenty-eight of his men were slain by an
ambush of Powhatan's, as before related in the narrative of Henry
Spelman. Powhatan cut off their boats, and refused to trade, so that
Captain West set sail for England. What ensued cannot be more
vividly told than in the "General Historie":

"Now we all found the losse of Capt. Smith, yea his greatest
maligners could now curse his losse; as for corne provision and
contribution from the salvages, we had nothing but mortall wounds,
with clubs and arrowes; as for our hogs, hens, goats, sheep, horse,
or what lived, our commanders, officers and salvages daily consumed
them, some small proportions sometimes we tasted, till all was
devoured; then swords, arms, pieces or anything was traded with the
salvages, whose cruell fingers were so oft imbrued in our blouds,
that what by their crueltie, our Governor's indiscretion, and the
losse of our ships, of five hundred within six months after Capt.
Smith's departure, there remained not past sixty men, women and
children, most miserable and poore creatures; and those were
preserved for the most part, by roots, herbes, acorns, walnuts,
berries, now and then a little fish; they that had starch in these
extremities made no small use of it, yea, even the very skinnes of
our horses. Nay, so great was our famine, that a salvage we slew and
buried, the poorer sort took him up again and eat him, and so did
divers one another boyled, and stewed with roots and herbs. And one
amongst the rest did kill his wife, poudered her and had eaten part
of her before it was knowne, for which he was executed, as he well
deserved; now whether she was better roasted, boyled, or carbonaded,
I know not, but of such a dish as powdered wife I never heard of.
This was that time, which still to this day we called the starving
time; it were too vile to say and scarce to be believed what we
endured; but the occasion was our owne, for want of providence,
industrie and government, and not the barreness and defect of the
country as is generally supposed."

This playful allusion to powdered wife, and speculation as to how she
was best cooked, is the first instance we have been able to find of
what is called "American humor," and Captain Smith has the honor of
being the first of the "American humorists" who have handled subjects
of this kind with such pleasing gayety.

It is to be noticed that this horrible story of cannibalism and wife-
eating appears in Smith's "General Historie" of 1624, without a word
of contradiction or explanation, although the company as early as
1610 had taken pains to get at the facts, and Smith must have seen
their "Declaration," which supposes the story was started by enemies
of the colony. Some reported they saw it, some that Captain Smith
said so, and some that one Beadle, the lieutenant of Captain Davis,
did relate it. In "A True Declaration of the State of the Colonie in
Virginia," published by the advice and direction of the Council of
Virginia, London, 1610, we read:

"But to clear all doubt, Sir Thomas Yates thus relateth the tragedie:

"There was one of the company who mortally hated his wife, and
therefore secretly killed her, then cut her in pieces and hid her in
divers parts of his house: when the woman was missing, the man
suspected, his house searched, and parts of her mangled body were
discovered, to excuse himself he said that his wife died, that he hid
her to satisfie his hunger, and that he fed daily upon her. Upon
this his house was again searched, when they found a good quantitie
of meale, oatmeale, beanes and pease. Hee therefore was arraigned,
confessed the murder, and was burned for his horrible villainy."

This same "True Declaration," which singularly enough does not
mention the name of Captain Smith, who was so prominent an actor in
Virginia during the period to which it relates, confirms all that
Smith said as to the character of the colonists, especially the new
supply which landed in the eight vessels with Ratcliffe and Archer.
"Every man overvalueing his own strength would be a commander; every
man underprizing another's value, denied to be commanded." They were
negligent and improvident. "Every man sharked for his present
bootie, but was altogether careless of succeeding penurie." To
idleness and faction was joined treason. About thirty "unhallowed
creatures," in the winter of 1610, some five months before the
arrival of Captain Gates, seized upon the ship Swallow, which had
been prepared to trade with the Indians, and having obtained corn
conspired together and made a league to become pirates, dreaming of
mountains of gold and happy robberies. By this desertion they
weakened the colony, which waited for their return with the
provisions, and they made implacable enemies of the Indians by their
violence. "These are that scum of men," which, after roving the seas
and failing in their piracy, joined themselves to other pirates they
found on the sea, or returned to England, bound by a mutual oath to
discredit the land, and swore they were drawn away by famine. "These
are they that roared at the tragicall historie of the man eating up
his dead wife in Virginia"--"scandalous reports of a viperous

If further evidence were wanting, we have it in "The New Life of
Virginia," published by authority of the Council, London, 1612. This
is the second part of the "Nova Britannia," published in London,
1609. Both are prefaced by an epistle to Sir Thomas Smith, one of
the Council and treasurer, signed "R. I." Neither document contains
any allusion to Captain John Smith, or the part he played in
Virginia. The "New Life of Virginia," after speaking of the tempest
which drove Sir Thomas Gates on Bermuda, and the landing of the eight
ships at Jamestown, says: "By which means the body of the plantation
was now augmented with such numbers of irregular persons that it soon
became as so many members without a head, who as they were bad and
evil affected for the most part before they went hence; so now being
landed and wanting restraint, they displayed their condition in all
kinds of looseness, those chief and wisest guides among them (whereof
there were not many) did nothing but bitterly contend who should be
first to command the rest, the common sort, as is ever seen in such
cases grew factious and disordered out of measure, in so much as the
poor colony seemed (like the Colledge of English fugitives in Rome)
as a hostile camp within itself; in which distemper that envious man
stept in, sowing plentiful tares in the hearts of all, which grew to
such speedy confusion, that in few months ambition, sloth and
idleness had devoured the fruit of former labours, planting and
sowing were clean given over, the houses decayed, the church fell to
ruin, the store was spent, the cattle consumed, our people starved,
and the Indians by wrongs and injuries made our enemies.... As for
those wicked Impes that put themselves a shipboard, not knowing
otherwise how to live in England; or those ungratious sons that daily
vexed their fathers hearts at home, and were therefore thrust upon
the voyage, which either writing thence, or being returned back to
cover their own leudnes, do fill mens ears with false reports of
their miserable and perilous life in Virginia, let the imputation of
misery be to their idleness, and the blood that was spilt upon their
own heads that caused it."

Sir Thomas Gates affirmed that after his first coming there he had
seen some of them eat their fish raw rather than go a stone's cast to
fetch wood and dress it.

The colony was in such extremity in May, 1610, that it would have
been extinct in ten days but for the arrival of Sir Thomas Gates and
Sir George Somers and Captain Newport from the Bermudas. These
gallant gentlemen, with one hundred and fifty souls, had been wrecked
on the Bermudas in the Sea Venture in the preceding July. The
terrors of the hurricane which dispersed the fleet, and this
shipwreck, were much dwelt upon by the writers of the time, and the
Bermudas became a sort of enchanted islands, or realms of the
imagination. For three nights, and three days that were as black as
the nights, the water logged Sea Venture was scarcely kept afloat by
bailing. We have a vivid picture of the stanch Somers sitting upon
the poop of the ship, where he sat three days and three nights
together, without much meat and little or no sleep, conning the ship
to keep her as upright as he could, until he happily descried land.
The ship went ashore and was wedged into the rocks so fast that it
held together till all were got ashore, and a good part of the goods
and provisions, and the tackling and iron of the ship necessary for
the building and furnishing of a new ship.

This good fortune and the subsequent prosperous life on the island
and final deliverance was due to the noble Somers, or Sommers, after
whom the Bermudas were long called "Sommers Isles," which was
gradually corrupted into "The Summer Isles." These islands of
Bermuda had ever been accounted an enchanted pile of rocks and a
desert inhabitation for devils, which the navigator and mariner
avoided as Scylla and Charybdis, or the devil himself. But this
shipwrecked company found it the most delightful country in the
world, the climate was enchanting, delicious fruits abounded, the
waters swarmed with fish, some of them big enough to nearly drag the
fishers into the sea, while whales could be heard spouting and nosing
about the rocks at night; birds fat and tame and willing to be eaten
covered all the bushes, and such droves of wild hogs covered the
island that the slaughter of them for months seemed not to diminish
their number. The friendly disposition of the birds seemed most to
impress the writer of the "True Declaration of Virginia." He
remembers how the ravens fed Elias in the brook Cedron; "so God
provided for our disconsolate people in the midst of the sea by
foules; but with an admirable difference; unto Elias the ravens
brought meat, unto our men the foules brought (themselves) for meate:
for when they whistled, or made any strange noyse, the foules would
come and sit on their shoulders, they would suffer themselves to be
taken and weighed by our men, who would make choice of the fairest
and fattest and let flie the leane and lightest, an accident [the
chronicler exclaims], I take it [and everybody will take it], that
cannot be paralleled by any Historie, except when God sent abundance
of Quayles to feed his Israel in the barren wilderness."

The rescued voyagers built themselves comfortable houses on the
island, and dwelt there nine months in good health and plentifully
fed. Sunday was carefully observed, with sermons by Mr. Buck, the
chaplain, an Oxford man, who was assisted in the services by Stephen
Hopkins, one of the Puritans who were in the company. A marriage was
celebrated between Thomas Powell, the cook of Sir George Somers, and
Elizabeth Persons, the servant of Mrs. Horlow. Two children were
also born, a boy who was christened Bermudas and a girl Bermuda. The
girl was the child of Mr. John Rolfe and wife, the Rolfe who was
shortly afterward to become famous by another marriage. In order
that nothing should be wanting to the ordinary course of a civilized
community, a murder was committed. In the company were two Indians,
Machumps and Namontack, whose acquaintance we have before made,
returning from England, whither they had been sent by Captain Smith.
Falling out about something, Machumps slew Namontack, and having made
a hole to bury him, because it was too short he cut off his legs and
laid them by him. This proceeding Machumps concealed till he was in

Somers and Gates were busy building two cedar ships, the Deliverer,
of eighty tons, and a pinnace called the Patience. When these were
completed, the whole company, except two scamps who remained behind
and had adventures enough for a three-volume novel, embarked, and on
the 16th of May sailed for Jamestown, where they arrived on the 23d
or 24th, and found the colony in the pitiable condition before
described. A few famished settlers watched their coming. The church
bell was rung in the shaky edifice, and the emaciated colonists
assembled and heard the "zealous and sorrowful prayer" of Chaplain
Buck. The commission of Sir Thomas Gates was read, and Mr. Percy
retired from the governorship.

The town was empty and unfurnished, and seemed like the ruin of some
ancient fortification rather than the habitation of living men. The
palisades were down; the ports open; the gates unhinged; the church
ruined and unfrequented; the houses empty, torn to pieces or burnt;
the people not able to step into the woods to gather fire-wood; and
the Indians killing as fast without as famine and pestilence within.
William Strachey was among the new-comers, and this is the story that
he despatched as Lord Delaware's report to England in July. On
taking stock of provisions there was found only scant rations for
sixteen days, and Gates and Somers determined to abandon the
plantation, and, taking all on board their own ships, to make their
way to Newfoundland, in the hope of falling in with English vessels.
Accordingly, on the 7th of June they got on board and dropped down
the James.

Meantime the news of the disasters to the colony, and the supposed
loss of the Sea Venture, had created a great excitement in London,
and a panic and stoppage of subscriptions in the company. Lord
Delaware, a man of the highest reputation for courage and principle,
determined to go himself, as Captain-General, to Virginia, in the
hope of saving the fortunes of the colony. With three ships and one
hundred and fifty persons, mostly artificers, he embarked on the 1st
of April, 1610, and reached the Chesapeake Bay on the 5th of June,
just in time to meet the forlorn company of Gates and Somers putting
out to sea.

They turned back and ascended to Jamestown, when landing on Sunday,
the 10th, after a sermon by Mr. Buck, the commission of Lord Delaware
was read, and Gates turned over his authority to the new Governor.
He swore in as Council, Sir Thomas Gates, Lieutenant-General; Sir
George Somers, Admiral; Captain George Percy; Sir Ferdinando Wenman,
Marshal; Captain Christopher Newport, and William Strachey, Esq.,
Secretary and Recorder.

On the 19th of June the brave old sailor, Sir George Somers,
volunteered to return to the Bermudas in his pinnace to procure hogs
and other supplies for the colony. He was accompanied by Captain
Argall in the ship Discovery. After a rough voyage this noble old
knight reached the Bermudas. But his strength was not equal to the
memorable courage of his mind. At a place called Saint George he
died, and his men, confounded at the death of him who was the life of
them all, embalmed his body and set sail for England. Captain
Argall, after parting with his consort, without reaching the
Bermudas, and much beating about the coast, was compelled to return
to Jamestown.

Captain Gates was sent to England with despatches and to procure more
settlers and more supplies. Lord Delaware remained with the colony
less than a year; his health failing, he went in pursuit of it, in
March, 1611, to the West Indies. In June of that year Gates sailed
again, with six vessels, three hundred men, one hundred cows, besides
other cattle, and provisions of all sorts. With him went his wife,
who died on the passage, and his daughters. His expedition reached
the James in August. The colony now numbered seven hundred persons.
Gates seated himself at Hampton, a "delicate and necessary site for a

Percy commanded at Jamestown, and Sir Thomas Dale went up the river
to lay the foundations of Henrico.

We have no occasion to follow further the fortunes of the Virginia
colony, except to relate the story of Pocahontas under her different
names of Amonate, Matoaka, Mrs. Rolfe, and Lady Rebecca.



The simple story of the life of Pocahontas is sufficiently romantic
without the embellishments which have been wrought on it either by
the vanity of Captain Smith or the natural pride of the descendants
of this dusky princess who have been ennobled by the smallest rivulet
of her red blood.

That she was a child of remarkable intelligence, and that she early
showed a tender regard for the whites and rendered them willing and
unwilling service, is the concurrent evidence of all contemporary
testimony. That as a child she was well-favored, sprightly, and
prepossessing above all her copper-colored companions, we can
believe, and that as a woman her manners were attractive. If the
portrait taken of her in London--the best engraving of which is by
Simon de Passe--in 1616, when she is said to have been twenty-one
years old, does her justice, she had marked Indian features.

The first mention of her is in "The True Relation," written by
Captain Smith in Virginia in 1608. In this narrative, as our readers
have seen, she is not referred to until after Smith's return from the
captivity in which Powhatan used him "with all the kindness he could
devise." Her name first appears, toward the close of the relation,
in the following sentence:

"Powhatan understanding we detained certain salvages, sent his
daughter, a child of tenne yeares old, which not only for feature,
countenance, and proportion, much exceedeth any of the rest of his
people, but for wit and spirit the only nonpareil of his country:
this hee sent by his most trusty messenger, called Rawhunt, as much
exceeding in deformitie of person, but of a subtill wit and crafty
understanding, he with a long circumstance told mee how well Powhatan
loved and respected mee, and in that I should not doubt any way of
his kindness, he had sent his child, which he most esteemed, to see
mee, a Deere, and bread, besides for a present: desiring mee that the
Boy [Thomas Savage, the boy given by Newport to Powhatan] might come
again, which he loved exceedingly, his little Daughter he had taught
this lesson also: not taking notice at all of the Indians that had
been prisoners three daies, till that morning that she saw their
fathers and friends come quietly, and in good termes to entreate
their libertie.

"In the afternoon they [the friends of the prisoners] being gone, we
guarded them [the prisoners] as before to the church, and after
prayer, gave them to Pocahuntas the King's Daughter, in regard of her
father's kindness in sending her: after having well fed them, as all
the time of their imprisonment, we gave them their bows, arrowes, or
what else they had, and with much content, sent them packing:
Pocahuntas, also we requited with such trifles as contented her, to
tel that we had used the Paspaheyans very kindly in so releasing

The next allusion to her is in the fourth chapter of the narratives
which are appended to the " Map of Virginia," etc. This was sent
home by Smith, with a description of Virginia, in the late autumn of
1608. It was published at Oxford in 1612, from two to three years
after Smith's return to England. The appendix contains the
narratives of several of Smith's companions in Virginia, edited by
Dr. Symonds and overlooked by Smith. In one of these is a brief
reference to the above-quoted incident.

This Oxford tract, it is scarcely necessary to repeat, contains no
reference to the saving of Smith's life by Pocahontas from the clubs
of Powhatan.

The next published mention of Pocahontas, in point of time, is in
Chapter X. and the last of the appendix to the "Map of Virginia,"
and is Smith's denial, already quoted, of his intention to marry
Pocahontas. In this passage he speaks of her as "at most not past 13
or 14 years of age." If she was thirteen or fourteen in 1609, when
Smith left Virginia, she must have been more than ten when he wrote
his "True Relation," composed in the winter of 1608, which in all
probability was carried to England by Captain Nelson, who left
Jamestown June 2d.

The next contemporary authority to be consulted in regard to
Pocahontas is William Strachey, who, as we have seen, went with the
expedition of Gates and Somers, was shipwrecked on the Bermudas, and
reached Jamestown May 23 or 24, 1610, and was made Secretary and
Recorder of the colony under Lord Delaware. Of the origin and life
of Strachey, who was a person of importance in Virginia, little is
known. The better impression is that he was the William Strachey of
Saffron Walden, who was married in 1588 and was living in 1620, and
that it was his grandson of the same name who was subsequently
connected with the Virginia colony. He was, judged by his writings,
a man of considerable education, a good deal of a pedant, and shared
the credulity and fondness for embellishment of the writers of his
time. His connection with Lord Delaware, and his part in framing the
code of laws in Virginia, which may be inferred from the fact that he
first published them, show that he was a trusted and capable man.

William Strachey left behind him a manuscript entitled "The Historie
of Travaile into Virginia Britanica, &c., gathered and observed as
well by those who went first thither, as collected by William
Strachey, gent., three years thither, employed as Secretaire of
State." How long he remained in Virginia is uncertain, but it could
not have been "three years," though he may have been continued
Secretary for that period, for he was in London in 1612, in which
year he published there the laws of Virginia which had been
established by Sir Thomas Gates May 24, 1610, approved by Lord
Delaware June 10, 1610, and enlarged by Sir Thomas Dale June 22,

The "Travaile" was first published by the Hakluyt Society in 1849.
When and where it was written, and whether it was all composed at one
time, are matters much in dispute. The first book, descriptive of
Virginia and its people, is complete; the second book, a narration of
discoveries in America, is unfinished. Only the first book concerns
us. That Strachey made notes in Virginia may be assumed, but the
book was no doubt written after his return to England

[This code of laws, with its penalty of whipping and death for what
are held now to be venial offenses, gives it a high place among the
Black Codes. One clause will suffice:

"Every man and woman duly twice a day upon the first towling of the
Bell shall upon the working daies repaire unto the church, to hear
divine service upon pain of losing his or her allowance for the first
omission, for the second to be whipt, and for the third to be
condemned to the Gallies for six months. Likewise no man or woman
shall dare to violate the Sabbath by any gaming, publique or private,
abroad or at home, but duly sanctifie and observe the same, both
himselfe and his familie, by preparing themselves at home with
private prayer, that they may be the better fitted for the publique,
according to the commandments of God, and the orders of our church,
as also every man and woman shall repaire in the morning to the
divine service, and sermons preached upon the Sabbath day, and in the
afternoon to divine service, and Catechism upon paine for the first
fault to lose their provision, and allowance for the whole week
following, for the second to lose the said allowance and also to be
whipt, and for the third to suffer death."]

Was it written before or after the publication of Smith's "Map and
Description" at Oxford in 1612? The question is important, because
Smith's "Description" and Strachey's "Travaile" are page after page
literally the same. One was taken from the other. Commonly at that
time manuscripts seem to have been passed around and much read before
they were published. Purchas acknowledges that he had unpublished
manuscripts of Smith when he compiled his narrative. Did Smith see
Strachey's manuscript before he published his Oxford tract, or did
Strachey enlarge his own notes from Smith's description? It has been
usually assumed that Strachey cribbed from Smith without
acknowledgment. If it were a question to be settled by the internal
evidence of the two accounts, I should incline to think that Smith
condensed his description from Strachey, but the dates incline the
balance in Smith's favor.

Strachey in his "Travaile" refers sometimes to Smith, and always with
respect. It will be noted that Smith's "Map" was engraved and
published before the "Description" in the Oxford tract. Purchas had
it, for he says, in writing of Virginia for his "Pilgrimage" (which
was published in 1613):

"Concerning-the latter [Virginia], Capt. John Smith, partly by word
of mouth, partly by his mappe thereof in print, and more fully by a
Manuscript which he courteously communicated to mee, hath acquainted
me with that whereof himselfe with great perill and paine, had been
the discoverer." Strachey in his "Travaile" alludes to it, and pays
a tribute to Smith in the following: "Their severall habitations are
more plainly described by the annexed mappe, set forth by Capt.
Smith, of whose paines taken herein I leave to the censure of the
reader to judge. Sure I am there will not return from thence in
hast, any one who hath been more industrious, or who hath had (Capt.
Geo. Percie excepted) greater experience amongst them, however
misconstruction may traduce here at home, where is not easily seen
the mixed sufferances, both of body and mynd, which is there daylie,
and with no few hazards and hearty griefes undergon."

There are two copies of the Strachey manuscript. The one used by the
Hakluyt Society is dedicated to Sir Francis Bacon, with the title of
"Lord High Chancellor," and Bacon had not that title conferred on him
till after 1618. But the copy among the Ashmolean manuscripts at
Oxford is dedicated to Sir Allen Apsley, with the title of "Purveyor
to His Majestie's Navie Royall"; and as Sir Allen was made
"Lieutenant of the Tower" in 1616, it is believed that the manuscript
must have been written before that date, since the author would not
have omitted the more important of the two titles in his dedication.

Strachey's prefatory letter to the Council, prefixed to his "Laws"
(1612), is dated "From my lodging in the Black Friars. At your best
pleasures, either to return unto the colony, or pray for the success
of it heere." In his letter he speaks of his experience in the
Bermudas and Virginia: "The full storie of both in due time [I] shall
consecrate unto your view.... Howbit since many impediments, as yet
must detaine such my observations in the shadow of darknesse, untill
I shall be able to deliver them perfect unto your judgments," etc.

This is not, as has been assumed, a statement that the observations
were not written then, only that they were not "perfect"; in fact,
they were detained in the "shadow of darknesse" till the year 1849.
Our own inference is, from all the circumstances, that Strachey began
his manuscript in Virginia or shortly after his return, and added to
it and corrected it from time to time up to 1616.

We are now in a position to consider Strachey's allusions to
Pocahontas. The first occurs in his description of the apparel of
Indian women:

"The better sort of women cover themselves (for the most part) all
over with skin mantells, finely drest, shagged and fringed at the
skyrt, carved and coloured with some pretty work, or the proportion
of beasts, fowle, tortayses, or other such like imagry, as shall best
please or expresse the fancy of the wearer; their younger women goe
not shadowed amongst their owne companie, until they be nigh eleaven
or twelve returnes of the leafe old (for soe they accompt and bring
about the yeare, calling the fall of the leaf tagnitock); nor are
thev much ashamed thereof, and therefore would the before remembered
Pocahontas, a well featured, but wanton yong girle, Powhatan's
daughter, sometymes resorting to our fort, of the age then of eleven
or twelve yeares, get the boyes forth with her into the markett
place, and make them wheele, falling on their hands, turning up their
heeles upwards, whome she would followe and wheele so herself, naked
as she was, all the fort over; but being once twelve yeares, they put
on a kind of semecinctum lethern apron (as do our artificers or
handycrafts men) before their bellies, and are very shamefac't to be
seene bare. We have seene some use mantells made both of Turkey
feathers, and other fowle, so prettily wrought and woven with
threeds, that nothing could be discerned but the feathers, which were
exceedingly warme and very handsome."

Strachey did not see Pocahontas. She did not resort to the camp
after the departure of Smith in September, 1609, until she was
kidnapped by Governor Dale in April, 1613. He repeats what he heard
of her. The time mentioned by him of her resorting to the fort, "of
the age then of eleven or twelve yeares," must have been the time
referred to by Smith when he might have married her, namely, in
1608-9, when he calls her "not past 13 or 14 years of age." The
description of her as a "yong girle" tumbling about the fort, "naked
as she was," would seem to preclude the idea that she was married at
that time.

The use of the word "wanton" is not necessarily disparaging, for
"wanton" in that age was frequently synonymous with "playful" and
"sportive"; but it is singular that she should be spoken of as "well
featured, but wanton." Strachey, however, gives in another place
what is no doubt the real significance of the Indian name
"Pocahontas." He says:

"Both men, women, and children have their severall names; at first
according to the severall humor of their parents; and for the men
children, at first, when they are young, their mothers give them a
name, calling them by some affectionate title, or perhaps observing
their promising inclination give it accordingly; and so the great
King Powhatan called a young daughter of his, whom he loved well,
Pocahontas, which may signify a little wanton; howbeyt she was
rightly called Amonata at more ripe years."

The Indian girls married very young. The polygamous Powhatan had a
large number of wives, but of all his women, his favorites were a
dozen "for the most part very young women," the names of whom
Strachey obtained from one Kemps, an Indian a good deal about camp,
whom Smith certifies was a great villain. Strachey gives a list of
the names of twelve of them, at the head of which is Winganuske.
This list was no doubt written down by the author in Virginia, and it
is followed by a sentence, quoted below, giving also the number of
Powhatan's children. The "great darling" in this list was
Winganuske, a sister of Machumps, who, according to Smith, murdered
his comrade in the Bermudas. Strachey writes:

"He [Powhatan] was reported by the said Kemps, as also by the Indian
Machumps, who was sometyme in England, and comes to and fro amongst
us as he dares, and as Powhatan gives him leave, for it is not
otherwise safe for him, no more than it was for one Amarice, who had
his braynes knockt out for selling but a baskett of corne, and lying
in the English fort two or three days without Powhatan's leave; I say
they often reported unto us that Powhatan had then lyving twenty
sonnes and ten daughters, besyde a young one by Winganuske, Machumps
his sister, and a great darling of the King's; and besides, younge
Pocohunta, a daughter of his, using sometyme to our fort in tymes
past, nowe married to a private Captaine, called Kocoum, some two
years since."

This passage is a great puzzle. Does Strachey intend to say that
Pocahontas was married to an Iniaan named Kocoum? She might have
been during the time after Smith's departure in 1609, and her
kidnapping in 1613, when she was of marriageable age. We shall see
hereafter that Powhatan, in 1614, said he had sold another favorite
daughter of his, whom Sir Thomas Dale desired, and who was not twelve
years of age, to be wife to a great chief. The term "private
Captain" might perhaps be applied to an Indian chief. Smith, in his
"General Historie,' says the Indians have "but few occasions to use
any officers more than one commander, which commonly they call
Werowance, or Caucorouse, which is Captaine." It is probably not
possible, with the best intentions, to twist Kocoum into Caucorouse,
or to suppose that Strachey intended to say that a private captain
was called in Indian a Kocoum. Werowance and Caucorouse are not
synonymous terms. Werowance means "chief," and Caucorouse means"
talker" or "orator," and is the original of our word "caucus."

Either Strachey was uninformed, or Pocahontas was married to an
Indian--a not violent presumption considering her age and the fact
that war between Powhatan and the whites for some time had cut off
intercourse between them--or Strachey referred to her marriage with
Rolfe, whom he calls by mistake Kocoum. If this is to be accepted,
then this paragraph must have been written in England in 1616, and


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