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VIII.

and Pamlico sounds. Before long they excited the enmity CHAP of the Indians. On one of their exploring expeditions, a silver cup was lost or stolen. The Indians were charged June,

1585 with the theft ; perhaps they were innocent. Because it was not restored, Grenville, with very little prudence and less justice, set fire to their village and destroyed their standing corn. Little did he know the train of sorrow and death he introduced by thus harshly treating the Indians and making them enemies. A few weeks after the fleet sailed for England, unlawfully cruising against the Spanish on the voyage.

Governor Lane now explored the country, noticed the various productions of the soil, and the general character of the inhabitants. The colonists found many strange plants ;—the corn, the sweet potato, the tobacco plant, were seen by them for the first time. Lane was unfit for his station; he became unreasonably suspicious of the Indians. With professions of friendship, he visited a prominent chief, and was hospitably received and entertained ; this kindness he repaid by basely murdering the chief and his followers. Men capable of such

1586. treachery were necessarily unfit to found a Christian State. Provisions now began to fail and the colonists to despond.

Just at this time Sir Francis Drake, on his way home from the West Indies, called to visit the colony of his friend Raleigh. Though they had been but a year in the country, the colonists begged him to take them home. Drake granted their request. They were scarcely out of sight of land, when a ship, sent by Raleigh, laden with supplies, arrived. The colonists could not be found, and the ship returned to England. In a fortnight Grenville appeared with three ships ; not finding the colonists he also returned home, unwisely leaving fifteen men to keep possession of the territory.

Though disappointed Raleigh did not despair. The natural advantages of the country had failed to induce the

VIII.

CHAP. first company to remain. It was hoped, that if surrounded

by social and domestic ties, future colonists would learn to 1586. look upon it as their true home. Sir Walter's second

company was composed of emigrants with their families, who should cultivate the soil, and eventually found a State for themselves and their posterity. Queen Elizabeth pro fessed to favor the enterprise, but did nothing to aid it The expedition was fitted out with all that was necessary

to form an agricultural settlement. Raleigh appointed Jan.,

John White governor, with directions to form the settle1587. ment on the shores of Chesapeake bay.

They came first to the Island of Roanoke, there to be

hold a melancholy spectacle—the bleaching bones of the July, men whom Grenville had left. All had become a desert.

Doubtless they had been murdered by the Indians. Fernando, the naval officer in command of the fleet, refused to assist in exploring the shores of the Chesapeake, and the colonists were compelled to remain on the Island of Roanoke. The scene of two failures was to be the witness of a third. The Indians were evidently hostile. The

colonists becoming alarmed, urged the governor to hasten Avg. to England and speedily bring them assistance. Previous

to his leaving, Mrs. Dare, his daughter, and wife of one of his lieutenants, gave birth to a female child, the first child of English parentage born on the soil of the United States ; it was appropriately named Virginia.

White on his return found England in a state of great excitement. The Pope had excommunicated Queen Elizabeth, and had absolved her subjects from their allegiance to her throne ; at the same time promising her kingdom to any Catholic prince who should take possession of it. The revengeful Philip, of Spain, that good son of the Church, had been for three years preparing an immense army and fleet, with which he intended to invade and con

quer England. The fleet was boastfully named the Invin1588. cible Armada. The English naval commanders flocked

DEATH OF SIR WALTER RALEIGH.

43

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home from every part of the world to defend their native CHAP land, and to battle for the Protestant religion. English seamanship and bravery completely triumphed. From 1588. that hour the prestige of Spain on the ocean was gone-it passed to England. It is not strange that in such exciting times the poor colonists of Roanoke were overlooked or forgotten. As soon as the danger was passed, aid was sent; but it came too late : not a vestige of the colony was to be found ; death had done its work, whether by the band of the savage, or by disease, none can tell. What may have been their sufferings is veiled in darkness. Eighty years after, the English were told by the Indians that the Hatteras tribe had adopted the colonists into their number. The probability is that they were taken prisoners and carried far into the interior. A few years before Sir Francis Drake had broken up the Spanish settlement at St. Augustine. Thus, one hundred years after the first voyage of Columbus, the continent was once more in the possession of the Red Men.

Sir Walter Raleigh had now expended nearly all his fortune ; yet, when he saw no prospect of ever deriving benefit from bis endeavors, he sent several times, at his own expense, to seek for the lost colonists and to render them aid. Sir Walter's genius and perseverance prepared the way for the successful settlement of Virginia ; he had sown the seed, others enjoyed the harvest. The remainder of his life was clouded by misfortune. On the accession of James I., he was arraigned on a frivolous charge of high treason ; a charge got up by his enemies, never substantiated, and never believed by those who condemned him. On his trial he defended himself with a dignity and consciousness of innocence that excited the admiration of the world and put to shame his enemies. His remaining property was taken from him by the king, and for thirteen years he was left to languish in the Tower of London ;

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CHAP. James not yet daring to order the execution of the patriot

statesman, who was an ornament to England and the age in which he lived. After the lapse of sixteen years the

and Sir Walter met death on the scaffold with the calmness and dignity of an innocent and Christian

1588.

hour came,

man.

CHAPTER IX.

THE SETTLEMENT OF VIRGINIA,

London and Plymouth Companies. King James' Laws.— The Voyage and

Arrival.-Jamestown.-John Smith; his Character, Energy, Captivity, and Release.—Misery of the Colonists.- New Emigrants.—Lord Delaware.—Sir Thomas Gates.- Pocahontas; her Capture and Marriage.Yeardley.--First Legislative Assembly.

IX.

The bold and energetic Elizabeth was succeeded by the CHAP timid and pedantic James I. To sustain herself against the power of Spain, she had raised a strong military force, 1606. both on sea and land. But James had an instinctive dread of gunpowder, he was in favor of peace at all hazards, even at the expense of national honor. He disbanded the greater portion of the army, and dismissed many of those employed in the navy. These men, left without regular employment, were easily induced to try their fortunes as colonists in Virginia. They were not good material, as we shall see, but they prepared the way for better men, and ultimately for success.

Sir Walter Raleigh having sacrificed his fortune in fruitless attempts to found a colony, had induced some gentlemen to form a company, and engage in the enterprise. To this company he had transferred his patent, with all its privileges, on very liberal terms. The company manifested but little energy : they had neither the enthusiasm nor the liberality of Sir Walter.

England claimed the territory from Cape Fear, in North Carolina, to Newfoundland, and to the West indefinitely.

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