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deceive him, had furnished him with guides, he had sECT. neglected to take any provisions with him, imagining he should be supplied by the natives on each 1585. bank. The consequence of which was, that he soon became reduced to extreme difficulties. After rowing four days against a strong current, he found the country wholly deserted, and laid waste by the inhabitants. Still, however, in hopes of better fortune, he pursued his course under the auspices of his guides, until at length they had nothing to subsist on but the flesh of two large dogs, which they were compelled to eat. Their perseverance being now wearied out, they returned to Roanoke island much chagrined and disappointed.*

In addition to the foregoing disappointment, they had, on their return, the disagreeable intelligence of the death of prince Granganemeo, which happened during their excursion. While this friendly Indian lived, his influence, supported by the authority of Ensenore, their father, had, as before observed, restrained the animosity of Wingina. It is not difficult to account for this authority of Granganemeo, if we believe that their manner of descent was similar to that of the other tribes of North American Indians. The brother of the reigning chief was heir apparent, and succeeded to the sovereignty in bar of the children of the chief.t This rule of descent might probably be founded on a very substantial reason, under a government purely military. It

Mod. Univ. Hist. Vol. 39, p. 239. Burk's Hist. of Virginia, Vol. 1, p. 57.

† Burk (Hist. of Virginia, Vol. 1, p. 58,) cites, in support of this, the instance of Puwhatan, in Virginia.


SECT. would in such case be obviously necessary, that the

reigning chief should be capable of discharging the 1585. military duties of his station ; which an infant or

minor, would be incapable of performing. This reason might also apply to an explanation of Win. gina's authority as a sovereign during the life of his father, Ensenore; who, now grown old and infirm, and incapable of going into battle with his enemies, might have delegated, if not totally resigned his power into the hands of his eldest son, Wingina. Another circumstance, arising on the death of Granganemeo, deserves to be noticed here; it seems to have been a custom, generally prevalent with the Indians of this part of America and Virginia, to change their name, when any extraordinary change took place either in their circumstances or feelings.* On this occasion Wingina assumed the name of Pemisapan, the etymology of which had probably some allusion either to the event or its consequences; and by this name alone he is designated by some historians. During the absence of the

governour, it had been reported that he and his party were lost; and the little influence, which Ensenore, (who upon all occasions, seems to have partaken in the friendly sentiments of his son Granganemeo, towards the English,) had, with his eldest son Wingina, now called Pemisapan, seems to have been, upon this report, nearly extinguished. Accordingly, Pemisapan was still ever secretly contriving mischief against

* Burk (Hist. of Virginia, Vol. 1, p. 58,) cites here similar instances among the successors of Powhatan, from Stith's Hist. of Virginia, p. 155.



them. He had projected a scheme of starving the sect. English out of the island Roanoke, by neglecting to plant or cultivate it. This scheme, however, 1585. seems to have been in some measure defeated, by a combination of fortunate circumstances, which took place in the spring of the following year. The chiefs of several other nations, had manifested an amicable disposition towards governour Lane and his settlers. The king of the Chowanocks, though from his former conduct, he must still have been a secret enemy, sent a present of pearl to Mr. Lane; and Okisko, king of the Weopopomewks, (another powerful nation, possessing all that country from Albemarle sound and Chowan river, to Chesapeake bay), in March, 1586, came himself, with twentyfour of his principal men, to own subjection to the queen of England. The aged and cautious Ense. nore, induced thereto, perhaps, more zealously by the pacific conduct of these other chiefs, exerted on this occasion, the little influence he had with his son, and prevailed upon him to relinquish his schemes, and to plant in corn, a considerable extent of ground, both on the island and main land.

This apparent prosperity of the adventurers, added to the influence of Ensenore, preserved peace for a short time with this savage. But on the death of Ensenore, which happened on the twentieth of April, this year, all check on his natural disposition being now removed, he meditated a plan for the utter extirpation of the colonists. Under pretence of solemnizing his father's funeral, he issued secret orders to the Indians, to rendezvous at a certain place, with intent to fall on the English with the


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SECT, whole force of the nation. The plot, however, II.

previous to the time fixed for its execution, was 1586. discovered to the English, by their prisoner Skiko,

the son of Menatonon. An attempt was made to retaliate on the Indians, by seizing their canoes, and thus keeping them in a state of seige on the island; but they took the alarm, and after a loss of six men escaped into the woods. After various stratagems on both sides, Pemisapan was, at last, on the first of June, drawn into an ambush, with eight of his chiefs, and slain. *

The colonists now began to be in so much distress, from want of food, that they were under the necessity of dispersing themselves into different parts of the country, in quest of the means of subsistence. It was, in consequence of this, that cap

. tain Stafford, who had, with a small party, been stationed on the southern part of Cape Look-out, to shift for themselves, and to “see if they could spy any sail pass by the coast,” sent, on the ninth of June, intelligence to Mr. Lane, that he discovered twenty sail of ships.t

Queen Elizabeth, being now at war with Spain, was advised to attack her settlements in America, and to surprise the Spanish galeons. In prosècution of this scheme, a fleet of twenty sail had been fitted out and, placed under the command of Sir Francis Drake. This distinguished naval com

* Burk's Hist. of Virginia, Vol. 1, p. 57, 60. Holmes's Annals, Vol. 1, p. 122.

† Mod. Univ. Hist. Vol. 39, p. 237. Robertson's Hist. of America, (h. 9) Vol. 4, p. 166. Burk’s Hist. of Virginia, Vol. 1, p. 60.



mander, after many important successes against the SECT. Spaniards, in the West Indies and South America, and attacking and reducing Fort St. John's, near St. Augustine's, in Florida, had, according to the special orders of queen Elizabeth, sailed to visit this English colony, and to yield it all possible assistance.* Arriving off Cape Look-out, and discovering a distant fire, the admiral sent his skiff ashore with some of his men, who found captain Stafford and his party there, and took them on board their ships. By their direction, the fleet proceeded the next day, to the place which the English colonists made their port; but some of the ships, being of too great draught to enter, anchored about two miles from the shore, “ without the harbour in a wilde roade at sea.”+ From this place Drake, who had been told that the colony was in distress for want of provi. sions, sent a letter by captain Stafford to governour Lane, then at his fort on Roanoke island, about six leagues distant, making him an offer of supplies. The next day, Mr. Lane and some of his company going on board the fleet, Drake made them two proposals ; either to leave them a ship, a pinnace, and several boats, with sufficient masters and mariners, furnished with a month's provisions, to stay and make further discovery of the country and coasts, and so much additional provision, as would be sufficient to carry them all to England; or, to give them a passage home in his fleet. The first

* Oldmixon's British Empire in America, Vol. 1, p. 214.

† According to the above description of the place where Drake arrived and anchored, it is most probable, that it was what is now called Roanoke inlet,


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