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The pacific disposition of king James, and his SECT. inexperience in the usage and law of nations, had induced him to suppose, that by his mere accession 1604. to the throne of England, peace was thereby restored between England and Spain, he having been always before, as king of Scotland, in amity with Spain. He had on the 23d of June, 1603, before any terms of peace were concerted, or even proposed by Spain, recalled all the letters of marque that had been granted by Elizabeth against the nation; and, although a sort of peace actually existed between Spain and England from the commencement of his reign, yet it was not until the 18th of August, 1604, that the treaty of peace was signed between the two nations.* This event removed many of the obstacles that stood in the way of the British trade, and opened to their ships a free access to many countries, to which they had not before resorted. old passion for the discovery of a north-west passage, now revived again in its full vigour. With a view to this discovery, two noblemen of the highest rank and influence in the kingdom, were induced to send out a ship under the command of captain George Weymouth. Writers who have mentioned 1605. this voyage, differ so widely, and give such con- Captain tradictory accounts of it, that it has become scarcely mouth's intitled to notice. It seems that they sailed on the voyage. last day of May, 1605, from Dartmouth, (some say,
sapeake and the time of his landing, it would seem that it could not be higher to the north-eastward than the Hudson's river. More probably, however, some where along the sea-coast of Maryland, or state of Delaware.
* Hume's Hist. of Eng. end of ch. 45, in James I, reign.
SECT. from the Downs,) and met with nothing of consequence, till such time as they judged themselves to 1605. be very near the coast of what was then called Virginia; but the winds carrying them to the northward, in the latitude of 41° 30', and their wood and water beginning to grow extremely short, they became very desirous of seeing land. By their charts they had reason to expect it, and therefore bore directly in with it, according to their instructions, yet they found none in a run of almost 50 leagues. After running this distance they discovered several islands, on one of which they landed, and called it St. George. Within three leagues of this island, they came into a harbour, which they called Pentecost harbour, because it was about Whitsuntide they discovered it. They then sailed up a great river forty miles; set up crosses in several places, and had some traffick with the natives. In July they returned to England, carrying with them five Indians; one a Sagamore, and three others of them, persons of distinction, whom they had taken as prisoners.§
* In Harris's Voyages, Vol. 2, p. 223, this island is said to be that which is now called Long island, near New York.
† In the Mod. Univ. Hist. Vol. 39, p. 240, this harbour is said to be the mouth of Hudson's river.
This river is said by Oldmixon, in his British Empire in America, Vol. 1, p. 220, to have been "the river of Powha tan," now called James's river, in Virginia. Dr. Belknap (American Biog. ii, 149,) is satisfied, that it was the Penobscot, in Maine; but from the Mod. Univ. Hist. Vol. 39, p. 240, it would seem to have been the Hudson's; which is the most probable, if (according to Harris's Voyages, just cited,) the island above-mentioned was Long Island.
§ See Harris's Voyages, Vol. 2, p. 223. Holmes's Annals, Vol. 1, p. 150.
The progress of the French in settling colonies in America-A settlement of convicts on the Isle of Sables, by the French-Chauvin's voyages to the St. Lawrence-Pontgrave's voyage to the same The Sieur de Mont's commission, and voyages under it-His patent revoked-Pontrincourt's endeavours to fix a settlement at Port Royal, Nova Scotia-The Sieur de Mont obtains a restoration of his grant-and establishes the first permanent colony in Canada, under the conduct of Champlain.
THE connection which necessarily subsists SECT. between the events attending the early settlements
of the French in Acadia, now called Nova Scotia, 1598. and Canada, and those of the former British colo- The pronies in North America, must apologise for a short of the digression here, in taking a cursory notice of the in settling early progress of those French settlements. In do. colonies in ing this it will be necessary to carry the attention of America. the reader a few years back.
That great and good monarch, Henry IV, of France, (having acceded to the throne of that kingdom in the year 1589,) as soon as he had defeated his enemies, the Guise faction, and obtained quiet possession of the crown, with a liberality of mind, which always marked his character, issued his edict of the 4th of July, 1590, whereby he revoked those extorted from his predecessor by the Leaguers, and established religious liberty of conscience throughout his dominions. A restless disposition, however, which appears to have too much attended the conduct of the Hugonots or Protestants of France,
SECT. throughout their unhappy civil wars of the six. teenth century, did not permit them to rest quiet 1598. with these concessions of Henry.* Indeed, as he had been a Protestant and one of their leaders, and had obtained the crown principally by their means, they might naturally look up to him for greater favours than a mere toleration. Be this as it may, he thought it proper to yield to the importunities of their deputies, who had for that purpose waited upon him at Nantz, where he then was, by issuing another edict, bearing date the 13th of April, 1598, since well known and celebrated in history under the emphatic denomination of "The Edict of Nantz;" the revocation of which by Louis the fourteenth, in the year 1685, is said to have been productive of much mischief to France for many succeeding years. By this edict of Henry, the Protestants were, not only restored to the free enjoyment of their religion, and a safe protection in their civil rights by the establishment of particular tribunals of justice for them, but they were also advanced to an almost equal share of political liberty, by a free admission to all employments of trust, profit, and honour in the state.†
France, having thus recovered some tranquillity after fifty years of internal commotion since her last attempts at colonisation in 1549, was now enabled
* The Hugonots, or Protestants of France, are said to have been at this time, about a twelfth part of the nation.Voltaire's Age of Lewis XIV, Vol. 2, p. 183.
+ Mod. Univ. Hist. Vol. 24. p. 334, 342, 377.
See before, p. 41.
to exercise again, the enterprising talents of her citi- SECT. In the same year in which the Protestants obtained from Henry the edict of Nantes, (1598,) the Marquis de la Roche, a Breton gentleman, re- ment of ceiving from the king a commission to conquer on the isle Canada, and other countries, not possessed by any Christian prince, sailed from France, in quality of French. lord-lieutenant of those countries, taking with him a person of the name of Chetodel, of Normandy, for his pilot. The marquis, having most absurdly pitched upon the isle of Sables, (which lies about fifty leagues to the south-east of Cape Breton, is about ten leagues in circumference, and is itself a mere sand-bank,) as a proper place for a settlement, left there about forty malefactors, the refuse of the French jails. The history of those poor wretches, contains the history of the expedition. The marquis, after cruising for some time on the coast of Nova Scotia, returned to France, without being able to carry them off the miserable island; and is said to have died of grief for having lost all his interest at that court. As for his wretched colony, they must all have perished, had not a French ship been wrecked upon the island, and a few sheep driven upon it at the same time. With the boards of the wreck, they erected huts; with the sheep, they supported nature: and when they had eat them up, they lived on fish. Their clothes wearing out, they made coats of seal's skins; and in this miserable condi. tion, they spent seven years, till Henry IV ordered
* See a like colony of convicts authorised by the commission to Quartier, before mentioned, and referred to in a note in p. 40.