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VI.

SECT. "colonists, and the events which attended them, more

properly appertains to a history of Virginia, of 1607. which there are several, we shall for the future con

fine ourselves only to those incidents thereof which have some immediate relation to that of Maryland.

SECTION VII.

The distresses of the first Virginia colony, and the services of cap

tain Smith-His first attempt to explore the bay of Chesapeake His second attempt more successful-A general sketch of the tribes of Indians then inhabiting Virginia and Maryland-Smith becomes president of Virginia, and the tenor of some instructions from England to Virginia-An attempt of the Plymouth company to settle a colony in Maine- The second charter of Virginia, and the causes of granting it—The settlement of the Dutch at New York-English attempt to settle Newfoundland-The third charter of Virginia-Captain Argall's expedition to break up the French and Dutch settlements at Nova Scotia and New York.

VII.

tresses of

and the

: DURING the remaining part of the year 1607, SECT. after the arrival and settlement of this first Virginia colony at James' town, it appears to have struggled 1607. with much difficulty for existence. The provisions The diswhich were left for their sustenance by Newport, the first

Virginia who sailed with his ships for England, some time in colony, June this year, were not only scanty, but bad in services of their quality, having received damage in the holds Saptain of their ships during the voyage. Hence the cololonists became subject to diseases, arising as well from the unhealthiness of the climate, as from a scarcity bordering on famine. This contributed much to a diminution of their numbers. They were harassed also with repeated attacks by the natives, who were far from being content with the visit of these strangers, when they found out that it would probably be permanent. Added to those difficulties, the conduct of their president Wingfield, and his successor Ratcliffe, was such as to

SECT. excite considerable disturbance and dissatisfaction. VII.

Disregarding the distresses of the colony, these 1607. presidents had not only consumed the stores of pro

visions, in the indulgence of their own luxury, but had planned schemes for deserting the country and escaping to England. Smith, whose active and vigorous mind had been constantly employed dura ing these distresses, both in protecting the colony from the hostile attacks of the savages, and in procuring from the natives corn and other provisions, was obviously the only member of the council in whom the colonists could, with any confidence, repose the administration of their affairs. Pursuing with ardour, his endeavours to procure supplies, as well as to explore the country, he was unfortunately captured by the Indians; but after undergoing an interesting series of adventures, with them for seven weeks, his life was almost miraculously saved, through the amiable interposition of the princess Pocahontas, a favourite daughter of the emperor Powhatan. Restored to the colony again, his influ-, ence became doubly necessary. Wearied with their hardships and distresses, a great portion of the colony had determined to abandon the country. He arrived just in time to prevent the execution of their design. By persuasion, he obtained a majority for continuing; and by force, he compelled the minority to submit. He now experienced also, some benefit from his captivity; for it acquired him considerable repute among the Indians, and enabled him to preserve the colony in plenty of provisions until the arrival of two vessels, which had been dis. patched from England under the command of cap

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VII.

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1608.

tain Newport, with a supply of provisions, of instru- SECT. ments of husbandry, and with a reinforcement of one hundred and twenty persons.

This seasonable accession of force and provi- His first sions, although it brought joy to the colonists, yet attempt to

explore had the inconvenience of inducing them again to a the bay of relaxation of discipline, and to a neglect of the ad- peake. vice and direction of Smith, who zealously opposed their idle pursuit of wealth, in loading the ships destined to return in the spring, with an imaginary golden ore, instead of preparing for their future subsistence. Perceiving this, he bent his attention to more important pursuits. Well knowing that this fatal delusion would end in a scarcity of food, which had indeed already begun to be felt, he proposed, as they had not hitherto extended their researches beyond the countries contiguous to James' river, to open an intercourse with the more remote tribes, and to explore the shores of that vast reservoir of waters--the bay of Chesapeake. The execution of this arduous design, he undertook himself, aceompanied by doctor Russell, in an open boat of about three tons burthen, and with a crew of thirteen men. On the second of June, he fell down the river in company with the boat of Newport's vessels, under the command of captain Nelson; and parting with her at the capes, began his survey at Cape Charles. He examined, with im. mense fatigue and danger, every river, inlet, and bay, 'on both sides of the Chesapeake, as far as the mouth of the Rappahanock; from whence he returned on the twenty-first of July to James' town:

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VII.

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1608.

spxtaccording to some, through the want of provisions,*

but more probably, as mentioned by others,t from
an accident which happened to him at the mouth of
the Rappahanock. Having stuck with his sword, a
fish called the Stingray, which lay in the sedge, the
animal struck him in the wrist with the thorn which
lay in its tail. The pain was for some time so vio.
lent, and the appearance of the wound so swoln and
livid, that his life was despaired of. From this
place they immediately sailed to James' town; and
in memory of this event, a small island at the mouth
of that river has been called Stingray island. I

On his return to James' town, he found the co-
lony in the utmost confusion and disorder. Those
who had arrived last with Newport, were all sick;
a general scarcity prevailed, and an universal dis-
content with the president, Ratcliffe, whom they
charged with riotously consuming the stores, and
innecessarily fatiguing the people with building a
house of pleasure for himself in the woods. The
seasonable arrival of Smith, prevented their fury
from breaking out into acts of personal violence ;-
and they contented themselves with deposing their
president. Whether Smith was immediately thereon

* Marshall's Life of Washington, Vol. 1, p. 39.

Burk's Hist. of Virginia, Vol. 1, p. 121. # Burk’s Hist. of Virginia, Vol. 1, p. 121. I find it so related by Burk, who probably took it from Stith ; but it is to be observed, that no island is there laid down in bishop Ma dison's new map of Virginia, but the south cape of Rappahanock is there denominated Stingray Point. As the island is mentioned to have been small, it may possibly have been since washed away, or not worthy of notice in a map.

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