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In a small rivulet near Jamestown was found a glittering, yellowish sand, (its lustre probably derived from particles of mica,) which their excitable imaginations immediately believed to be gold. This became the all-absorbing topic of thought and discourse, and "there was no talk, no hope, no work, but dig gold, wash gold, refine gold, load gold." The unskilful refiners, whom Newport had brought over with him, pronounced this shining sand to be very valuable ore, forgetting that "all that glisters is not gold." This, of course, carried the frenzy to its height, and, confirmed by the testimony of men of supposed skill and experience, every one indulged in the most magnificent
their accustomed dainties, with feather beds and down pillows, taverns and ale-houses in every breathingplace, neither such plenty of gold (and silver and dissolute liberty, as they expected, they had little or no care of any thing, but to pamper their bellies, to fly away with our pinnaces, or procure their means to return for England. For the country was to them a misery, a ruin, a death, a hell, and their reports here and their actions there according." Another writer, describing the character of the colonists at the time of Smith's departure for England, observes, after enumerating a few useful mechanics, "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 but help to maintain one." Smith's Virginia, (Richmond Edition,) Vol. I. p. 241.
visions of wealth and aggrandizement. Nothing would content Newport, but the freighting of his ship with this worthless trash, to the great mortification and chagrin of Captain Smith, who was no believer in golden dreams, and foresaw the evil consequences of neglecting duties of the most important nature, to chase phantoms and bubbles. The writer of this portion of the History of the colony says, "Never did any thing more torment him, than to see all necessary business neglected, to fraught such a drunken ship with so much gilded dirt." Wingfield and Captain Archer returned with Newport to England, which afforded to Smith a slight balm of consolation for his troubles and vexations.
As soon as the spring opened, Smith and Scrivener (who had been admitted a member of the council) set themselves diligently to work to rebuild Jamestown, to repair the church, storehouse, and fortifications, and to cut down trees and plant corn for the ensuing season. While they were thus occupied, Captain Nelson arrived in the Phoenix, from the West Indies, where he had remained during the winter. He was received with great joy, as he had long been given up for lost. He brought an ample stock of provisions, enough to relieve the colony from all apprehensions of want for the next half-year. His
generous and manly conduct endeared him to the settlers, and his presence seemed to diffuse a general activity and spirit of enterprise among them. Even the President was roused from his usual sluggishness and imbecility; for, says the writer of this portion of the History, "to re-lade this ship with some good tidings, the President (not holding it stood with the dignity of his place to leave the fort) gave order to Captain Smith to discover and search the commodities of the Monacans' country beyond the Falls." Sixty men were allotted to him for this expedition, which he was prevented from undertaking, by troubles near at hand.
At Captain Newport's departure, Powhatan, who perceived the superiority of the English weapons over the rude ones of his own people, made him a present of twenty turkeys, as a token of his regard, desiring him to send in return twenty swords, which request was inconsiderately granted. He afterwards made a similar present to Captain Smith, expecting a like return; but, finding himself disappointed, he ordered his people to hover round Jamestown, and take possession of the Englishmen's weapons, whenever they had an opportunity, either by stratagem or force. These orders were faithfully executed, and were productive of great annoyance and inconvenience to the colonists. No notice was taken of their depredations for a time, because they had strict
orders from England to keep on the best possible terms with Powhatan and his people. "This charitable humor prevailed till well it chanced they meddled with Captain Smith," who then took the matter into his own hands, and acted with such promptness and energy, punishing so severely the offenders whom he detected, that Powhatan found he was playing a losing game; so "he sent his messengers and his dearest daughter Pocahontas with presents, to excuse him of the injuries done by some rash untoward captains, his subjects, desiring their liberties for this time. with the assurance of his love for ever."* Smith dismissed his prisoners, after giving them "what correction he saw fit," pretending to be thus merciful only for the sake of Pocahontas. His conduct was too resolute and spirited to meet the approbation of his colleagues in the council; though it had struck such terror into the Indians, and that too without any bloodshed, that they no longer molested the colonists, whereas before they "had sometime peace and war twice in a day, and very seldom a week but they had some treacherous villany or other."
The Phoenix was sent home in June, 1608,
* How consistent is tyranny! Powhatan's disavowal of his express orders is worthy of King John or Louis the Eleventh.
with a load of cedar, by Captain Smith's influence; though Martin was very anxious that she also should be loaded with golden sand. He was "willingly admitted" to return with her to England, being a sickly and inefficient man, and having his head so full of golden dreams, as to make him useless, whatever might have been his natural capacity.
Captain Smith explores the Chesapeake in two Expeditions. - He is chosen President of the Colony.
THE enterprising character of Captain Smith prompted him to an arduous undertaking, namely, the examination and survey of Chesapeake Bay, to ascertain more completely the resources of the country and to open a friendly communication with its native inhabitants. He set out in an open barge of about three tons' burthen, accompanied by Dr. Russell and thirteen others. They left Jamestown on the 2d of June, 1608, in company with the Phoenix, and parted with her at Cape Henry. They then crossed the bay to the eastern shore and fell in with a cluster of islands