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Secondly, when by his former preparation he was enfeebled of abilitie and credit, to performe his designements, as it were impatient to abide in expectation better opportunitie and meanes, which God might raise, he thrust himselfe againe into the action, for which he was not fit, presuming the cause pretended on Gods behalfe, would carie him to the desired ende. Into which, having thus made reentrie, he could not yeeld againe to withdraw though hee sawe no encouragement to proceed, lest his credite, foyled in his first attempt, in a second should utterly be disgraced. Betweene extremities, hee made a right adventure, putting all to God and good fortune, and which was worst refused not to entertaine every person and meanes whatsoever, to furnish out this expedition, the successe whereof hath bene declared.
But such is the infinite bountie of God, who from every evill deriveth good. For besides that fruite may growe in time of our travelling into those Northwest lands, the crosses, turmoiles, and afflictions, both in the preparation and execution of this voyage, did correct the intemperate humors, which before we noted to bee in this Gentleman, and made unsavorie, and lesse delightful his other manifold vertues.
Then as he was refined, and made neerer drawing unto the image of God: so it pleased the divine will to resume him unto himselfe, whither both his, and every other high and noble minde, have alwayes aspired.
Sir Humphrey Gilbert, who planted the first English colony in North America, was born in Devonshire about 1539, and was the step brother of Sir Walter Raleigh. He was educated at Eton and Oxford, and devoted himself to the study of navigation and the art of In 1566 he prepared and presented to the queen a "Discourse of Discovery for a New Passage to Cataia," which became the incitement to Frobisher's voyage ten years later in search of the North-west passage. He served in France and Ireland, and in 1571 entered Parliament for Plymouth. In 1572 he was sent to the Netherlands to assist the Zeelanders against their Spanish tyrants. In 1577 he set forth another discourse, on "How her Majesty might annoy the King of Spain by fitting out a fleet of war-ships under pretence of a voyage of discovery, and so fall upon the enemy's shipping, destroy his trade in Newfoundland and the West Indies, and possess both Regions." This reveals the motive of his subsequent career. In 1578 he obtained from the queen a charter for discovery, to plant a colony, and to be governor. The first expedition, in which he was assisted by Raleigh, left Dartmouth in 1578, but met with disaster, involving Gilbert in losses from which it took several years to recover. In June, 1583, he sailed from Plymouth, with a fleet of five ships, upon the famous voyage whose story, as told by Edward Hayes, the commander of one of the vessels, is given in the present leaflet. Hayes's account was published in Hakluyt.
There is no good special work on Gilbert. The scholarly article in the Dictionary of National Biography is by C. H. Coote; and this contains a good bibliography. See also the references in the Narrative and Critical History of America, Vol. III. Hayes's account is reprinted in Payne's "Voyages of the Elizabethan Seamen to America," second series, with a valuable introduction.
THE DIRECTORS OF THE OLD SOUTH WORK,
Old South Meeting-house, Boston, Mass.
THE ACCOUNT BY RALPH LANE.
An account of the particularities of the imployments of the English men left in Virginia by Richard Greenevill under the charge of Master Ralph Lane Generall of the same, from the 17. of August 1585. until the 18. of Iune 1586. at which time they departed the Countrey; sent and directed to Sir Walter Ralegh.
THat I may proceede with order in this discourse, I thinke it requisite to divide it into two parts. The first shall declare the particularities of such partes of the Countrey within the maine, as our weake number, and supply of things necessarie did inable us to enter into the discovery of.
The second part shall set downe the reasons generally moving us to resolve on our departure at the instant with the Generall Sir Francis Drake, and our common request for passage with him, when the barkes, pinnesses, and boates with the Masters and Mariners meant by him to bee left in the Countrey, for the supply of such, as for a further time meant to have stayed there, were caryed away with tempest and foule weather: In the beginning whereof shall bee declared the conspiracie of Pemisapan, with the Savages of the maine to have cut us off, &c.
The first part declaring the particularities of the Countrey of Virginia.
FIrst therefore touching the particularities of the Country, you shall understand that our discoverie of the same hath beene
extended from the Island of Roanoak, (the same having bene the place of our settlement or habitation) into the South, into the North, into the Northwest, and into the West.
The uttermost place to the Southward of any discovery was Secotan, being by estimation fourescore miles distant from Roanoak. The passage from thence was through a broad sound within the mayne, the same being without kenning of lande, and yet full of flats and shoalds: we had but one boate with four oares to passe through the same, which boate could not carry above fifteene men with their furniture, baggage, and victuall for seven dayes at the most: and as for our pinesse, besides that she drew too deep water for that shallow sound, she would not stirre for an oare: for these and other reasons (winter also being at hand) we thought good wholly to leeve the discovery of those parts untill our stronger supply.
To the Northward our furthest discovery was to the Chesepians distant from Roanoak about 130. miles, the passage to it was very shallow and most dangerous, by reason of the bredth of the sound, and the little succour that upon any flawe was there to be had.
But the Territorie and soyle of the Chesepians (being distant fifteene miles from the shore) was for pleasantnes of seat, for temperature of Climate, for fertilitie of soyle and for the commoditie of the Sea, besides multitude of Beares (being an excellent good victuall) with great woods of Sassafras, and Wallnut trees, is not to be excelled by any other whatsoever.
There be sundry Kings, whom they call Weroances, and Countreys of great fertility adioyning to the same, as the Mandoages, Tripanicks, and Opossians, which all came to visite the Colonie of the English, which I had for a time appointed to be resident there.
To the Northwest the farthest place of our discovery was to Chawanook distant from Roanoak about 130. miles. Our passage thither lyeth through a broad sound, ‡ but all fresh water, and the chanell of a great depth, navigable for good shipping, but out of the chanell full of shoalds.
The Townes about the waters side situated by the way are these following: Passaquenoke The womans Towne, Chepanoc, Weapomeiok, Muscamunge, and Metackwem: all these being under the iurisdiction of the king of Weopomeiok, called Okisco: From Muscamunge we enter into the River,§ and iurisdiction Pamlico Sound. † Chesapeake Bay. Albemarle Sound. § River Meherrin?
of Chawanook: There the River beginneth to straighten until it come to Chawanook, and then groweth to be as narrow as the Thames betweene Westminster and Lambeth.
Betwene Muscamunge and Chawanook upon the left hand as wee passe, thither, is a goodly high land, and there is a Towne which we called The blinde Towne, but the Savages called it Ohanoak, and hath a very goodly corne field belonging unto it: it is subiect to Chawanook.
Chawanook it selfe is the greatest Province and Seigniorie lying upon that River, and that the Towne it selfe is able to put 700. fighting men into the fielde, besides the force of the Province it selfe.
The king of the sayd Province is called Menatonon, a man impotent in his lims, but otherwise for a Savage, a very grave and wise man, and of a very singular good discourse in matters concerning the state, not onely of his owne Countrey, and the disposition of his owne men, but also of his neighbours round about him as well farre as neere, and of the commodities that eache Countrey yeeldeth. When I had him prisoner with me, for two dayes that we were together, he gave mee more understanding and light of the Countrey then I had received by all the searches and Savages that before I or any of my companie had had conference with: it was in March last past 1586. Amongst other things he tolde me, that going three dayes iourney in a Canoe up his River of Chawanook, and then descending to the land, you are within foure dayes iourney to passe over land Northeast to a certaine kings countrey, whose Province lyeth upon the Sea, but his place of greatest strength is an Island situate, as he described unto mee, in a Bay, the water round about the Island very deepe.
Out of this Bay hee signified unto mee, that this King had so greate quantitie of Pearle, and doeth so ordinarily take the same, as that not onely his owne skinnes that hee weareth, and the better sort of his gentlemen and followers are full set with the sayd Pearle, but also his beds, and houses are garnished with them, and that hee hath such quantitie of them, that it is a wonder to see.
He shewed me that the sayd King was with him at Chawanook two yeeres before, and brought him certaine Pearle, but the same of the worst sort, yet was he faine to buy them of him for copper at a deere rate, as he thought. Hee gave mee a rope of the same pearle, but they were blacke, and naught, yet
many of them were very great, and a few amongst a number very orient and round, all which I lost with other things of mine, comming aboord Sir Francis Drake his Fleete; yet he tolde me that the sayd King had great store of Pearle that were white, great, and round, and that his blacke Pearle his men did take out of shallow water, but the white Pearle his men fished for in very deepe water.
It seemed to me by his speach, that the sayd King had traffique with white men that had clothes as we have, for these white Pearle, and that was the reason that hee would not depart with other then with blacke Pearles, to those of the same countrey.
The king of Chawanook promised to give me guids to go over land into that kings countrey whensoever I would: but he advised me to take good store of men with me, and good store of victuall, for he said, that king would be loth to suffer any strangers to enter into his Countrey, and especially to meddle with the fishing for any Pearle there, and that hee was able to make a great many of men in to the field, which he sayd would fight very well.
Hereupon I resolved with my selfe, that if your supplie had come before the ende of Aprill, and that you had sent any store of boates or men, to have had them made in any reasonable time, with a sufficient number of men and victuals to have found us untill the newe corne were come in, I would have sent a small barke with two pinnesses about by Sea to the Northward to have found out the Bay he spake of, and to have sounded the barre if there were any, which should have ridden there in the sayd Bay about that Iland, while I with all the small boates I could make, and with two hundred men would have gone up to the head of the river of Chawanook with the guids that Menatonon would have given me, which I would have bene assured should have beene of his best men, (for I had his best beloved sonne prisoner with me) who also should have kept me companie in an handlocke with the rest, foote by foote, all the voyage over land.
My meaning was further at the head of the River in the place of my descent where I would have left my boates, to have raised a sconse with a small trench, and a pallisado upon the top of it, in the which, and in the guard of my boates I would have left five and twentie, or thirtie men, with the rest would I have marched with as much victuall as every man could have