Page images


legislative and executive powers for the government SECT. of the colony. A small fleet of three ships was fitted out and placed under the command of the 1587. governour captain White. About one hundred and seventeen adventurers and settlers, consisting of men, women, and children,* with a plentiful supply of provisions, were embarked on board the fleet. They were directed by Sir Walter to fix their plantation and erect a fort at the bay of Chesapeake, which had been discovered by governour Lane the preceding year. Thus prepared for a permanent settlement, they arrived on the 22d of July, 1587; at Hatteras. The governour, with forty of his best men, went on board the pinnace, intending to pass up to the island of Roanoke, in the hope of finding the fifteen Englishmen, whom Sir Richard Grenville had left there the year before; and, after a conference with them concerning the state of the country and of the Indians, to return to the fleet, and proceed along the coast to the bay of Chesapeake, according to the orders of Raleigh. But no sooner had the pinnace left the ship, than a gentleman, instructed by Fernando, the principal naval commander, who was destined to return soon to England,† called to the

* See a list of their names in Hazard's collections, Vol. 1. p. 40. Although these adventurers composed in reality the third English colony attempted to be settled in America, consisting the before-mentioned fifteen men as one, yet as Robertson and other historians speak of these above under White as the second colony sent out, their authority is here followed.

+ In the Indenture of Jan. 7th, 1587, above-mentioned, (under which this colony was attempted to be planted) mention is made of "Simon Fernando of London,” as one of the



SECT. sailors on board the pinnace, and charged them not to bring back any of the planters, excepting the governour and two or three others, whom he approved, but to leave them in the island; for the summer, he observed, was far spent, and therefore he would land all the planters in no other place. The sailors on board the pinnace, as well as those on board the ship, having been persuaded by the master to this measure, the governour, judging it best not to contend with them, proceeded to Roanoke. At sunset he landed with his men at that place in the island, where the fifteen men were left; but discovered no signs of them, excepting the bones of one man, whom they supposed to have been killed by the savages. The next day the governour and several of his company went to the north end of the island, where governour Lane had erected his fort, and his men had built several decent dwelling houses, the preceding year; hoping to find here some signs, if not the certain knowledge, of the fifteen men. But, on coming to the place, and finding the fort razed, and all the houses, though standing unhurt, overgrown with weeds and vines, and deer feeding within them, they returned in despair of ever seeing their looked-for countrymen alive. Orders were given the same day for the repair of the houses, and for


grantees, and who was probably also one of the twelve assistants or counsellors. His name appears also in the list of colonists, (published in Hazard's Collections, Vol. 1, p. 40.) "who remained to inhabit in Virginia" at this time, they could not therefore be the same persons, but I find it related as above in Holmes's Annals, Vol. 1, p. 125, who probably took it from some authentic writer.


the erection of new cottages. All the colony, con- SECT. sisting of one hundred and seventeen persons, soon after landed, and began to make the necessary' preparations for their accommodation and comfort. It was not long before they were visited by Manteo, the faithful Indian, who had accompanied Amidas and Barlow to England;* from whom they received some intelligence of the fate of their countrymen. He informed them, that the natives secretly set upon

* Although the names of two Indians, Manteo and Towaye, are mentioned in the list of adventurers in this expedition, published in Hazard's collections, vol. 1, p. 40. as "Savages that were in England and returned home into Virginia with them;" which seems to be repeated in Holmes's Annals, vol. 1, p. 127, note, 1.; yet there is evidently a mistake in this supposition, although it may be so in Hackluyt; not merely because it is expressly said by Oldmixon, in his British Empire in America, vol. 1, p. 212, and Burk in his History of Virginia, vol. 1, p. 51, that Manteo and Wanchese, the two Indians who had been in England, returned with governour Lane and his colony under Sir Richard Grenville, but that it would be otherwise impossible to suppose, that Manteo should be said to have come to captain White's colony soon after their arrival, and given them some information of the loss of the fifteen men left by Grenville, as he is said by most writers to have done, if he had not been in the country during the time when these fifteen men resided at Roanoke. The improbability also of governour Lane's coming out with a colony and leaving these two Indians in England, when he must have been certain of their utility to them, forms a strong ground against the supposition. The difference between the names "Towaye" and "Wanchese" appears to be immaterial, as Indians are said to change their names frequently, and the name of Towaye most probably means the same person as that of Wanchese. It is possible, that they were mentioned in the list of colonists, because, being friendly to them, they might make their constant residence with them.





SECT. them, and killed some; the rest fled into the


The colony had now been but a few days on the island, when Mr. Howe, a gentleman who was one of the council, or court of assistants as it was called, was attacked and barbarously murdered by the natives, as he happened to stroll about at a little distance from the fort, which the new planters had repaired or erected. Soon afterwards a party was sent under the command of captain Stafford, accompanied by Manteo, to a place called Croatan, which it seems was the name of an Indian town, situated near Ocracock inlet, and on the northern part of the island of which Cape Look-out is the southern extremity. At first, the natives seemed determined to oppose the captain's debarkation ; but, through the persuasion of Manteo, they were induced to alter their resolution, lay down their arms, and enter into an alliance against the Indians of Scroton, on the continent. Upon this occasion, it was, that they received further information of the fate of the little co. lony left by Grenville. Seven of the fifteen, it seems, had been killed by the Indians of Scroton, who fell upon them by surprise, and set fire to their houses in the night ; while the remaining eight escaped to the water-side, went over to a little island near Cape Hatteras, and were never since heard of.* The

• The above account of the destruction of these unfortunate men, is from the Mod. Univ. Hist. Vol. 39, p. 239 ; but it is somewhat differently related in an extract from Hackluyt, iii, 283, 284, published in Holmes's Anhals, Vol. I, p. ,126, note 1 : “ About a week afterward, some of the English people going to Croatan, were told by the Indians, that the 15


reader will recollect, that the Indians of Scroton were SECT. the same tribe or nation, upon whom Sir Richard Grenville had exercised such an imprudent revenge 1587. for the theft of a silver cup. In consequence of this

a intelligence, it was now resolved to fall upon the Scrotons; upon which expedition, the governour set out in person, attended by twenty-eight select soldiers, well armed. Being informed of the situation of their principal town, he attacked it in the night, broke in with the greatest impetuosity ; but was astonished to find that he had killed and wound. ed several of his allies, the Croatans. The Scrotons, it seems, expecting an attack from the English settlement, to revenge the ruin of Grenville's little co- . lony, and the death of Mr. Howe, had evacuated the place; and, after their departue, the Croatans had un. luckily taken possession of it.

Two small events about this time, have been thought by historians, worth recording. On the thirteenth of August Manteo, the friendly Indian, was baptized at Roanoke, according to a previous order of Sir Walter Raleigh ; and, in reward of his

Englishmen, left by Grenville, were surprised by 30 Indians; who, having treacherously slain one of them, compelled the rest to repair to the house containing their provisions and weapons, which the Indians instantly set on fire; that the English, leaving the house, skirmished with them about an hour; that in this skirmish, another of their number was shot in the mouth with an arrow, and died ; that they retired fighting to the water-side, where lay their boat, with which they Aled towards Hatteras ; that they landed on a little island on the right hand of the entrance into the harbour of Hatteras, where they remained a-while, and afterward departed, whither they knew not.”


« PreviousContinue »