Friday, June 30, 2017

1607 The Settlement of Jamestown by Captain John Smith

This narrative is taken from the 3rd book of the 5th volume "The Generall Historie of Virginia, New England & the Summer Isles: Together with The True Travels, Adventures and Observations, and a Sea Grammar" (London, 1624).

It might well be thought, a country so faire (as Virginia is) and a people so tractable, would long ere this have been quietly possessed, to the satisfaction of the adventurers, and the eternizing of the memory of those that effected it. But because all the world do see a failure; this following treatise shall give satisfaction to all indifferent readers, how the business has been carried: where no doubt they will easily understand and answer to their question, how it came to passe there was no better speed and success in those proceedings.

Captain Bartholomew Gosnold, one of the first movers of this plantation, having many years solicited many of his friends, but found small assistance; at last prevailed with some gentlemen, as Captain John Smith, Master Edward-maria Wingfield, Master Robert Hunt, and divers others, who depended a year upon his projects, but nothing could be effected, till by their great charge and industry, it came to be apprehended by certain of the nobility, gentry, and merchants, so that his Majesty by his letters patents, gave commission for establishing councils, to direct here; and to govern, and to execute there. To effect this, was spent another year, and by that, three ships were provided, one of 100 tons, another of 40 and a pinnace of 20. The transportation of the company was committed to Captain Christopher Newport, a mariner well practiced for the western parts of America. But their orders for government were put in a box, not to be opened, nor the governors known until they arrived in Virginia.

On the 19 of December, 1606, we set sail from Blackwall, but by unprosperous winds, were kept six weeks in the sight of England; all which time, Master Hunt our preacher, was so weak and sick, that few expected his recovery. Yet although he were but twenty miles from his habitation (the time we were in the Downes) and notwithstanding the stormy weather, nor the scandalous imputations (of some few, little better than atheists, of the greatest rank among us) suggested against him, all this could never force from him so much as a seeming desire to leave the business, but preferred the service of God, in so good a voyage, before any affection to contest with his godless foes whose disastrous designs (could they have prevailed) had even then overthrown the business, so many discontents did then arise, had he not with the water of patience, and his godly exhortations (but chiefly by his true devoted examples) quenched those flames of envy, and dissension...

The first land they made they called Cape Henry; where thirty of them recreating themselves on shore, were assaulted by five savages, who hurt two of the English very dangerously.

That night was the box opened, and the orders read, in which Bartholomew Gosnol, John Smith, Edward Wingfield, Christopher Newport, John Ratliff, John Martin, and George Kendall, were named to be the council, and to choose a president among them for a year, who with the council should govern. Matters of moment were to be examined by a jury, but determined by the major part of the council, in which the president had two voices.

Until the 13 of May they sought a place to plant in; then the council was sworn, Master Wingfield was chosen president, and an oration made, why Captain Smith was not admitted of the council as the rest.

Now falleth every man to work, the council contrive the fort, the rest cut down trees to make place to pitch their tents; some provide clapboard to relade the ships, some make gardens, some nets, etc. The savages often visited us kindly. The president's overweening jealousy would admit no exercise at arms, or fortification but the boughs of trees cast together in the form of a half moon by the extraordinary pains and diligence of Captain Kendall.

Newport, Smith, and twenty others, were sent to discover the head of the river: by divers small habitations they passed, in six days they arrived at a town called Powhatan, consisting of some twelve houses, pleasantly seated on a hill; before it three fertile isles, about it many of their cornfields, the place is very pleasant, and strong by nature, of this place the Prince is called Powhatan, and his people Powhatans. To this place the river is navigable: but higher within a mile, by reason of the rocks and isles, there is not passage for a small boat, this they call the falls. The people in all parts kindly entreated them, till being returned within twenty miles of Jamestown, they gave just cause of jealousy: but had God not blessed the discoverers otherwise than those at the fort, there had then been an end of that plantation; for at the fort, where they arrived the next day, they found 17 men hurt, and a boy slain by the savages, and had it not chanced a cross bar shot from the ships struck down a bough from a tree among them, that caused them to retire, our men had all been slain, being securely all at work, and their arms in dry fats.

Hereupon the president was contented the fort should be pallisaded, the ordnance mounted, his men armed and exercised: for many were the assaults, and ambuscades of the savages, and our men by their disorderly straggling were often hurt, when the savages by the nimbleness of their heels well escaped.

What toil we had, with so small a power to guard our workmen by day, watch all night, resist our enemies, and effect our business, to relade the ships, cut down trees, and prepare the ground to plant our corn, etc., I refer to the reader's consideration.

Six weeks being spent in this manner, Captain Newport (who was hired only for our transportation) was to return with the ships.

Now Captain Smith, who all this time from their departure from the Canaries was restrained as a prisoner upon the scandalous suggestions of some of the chiefs (envying his repute) who fained he intended to usurp the government, murder the council, and make himself king, that his confederates were dispersed in all the three ships, and that divers of his confederates that revealed it, would affirm it; for this he was committed as a prisoner.

Thirteen weeks he remained thus suspected, and by that time the ships should return they pretended out of their commiserations, to refer him to the council in England to receive a check, rather than by particulating his designs make him so odious to the world, as to touch his life, or utterly overthrow his reputation. But he so much scorned their charity, and publicly defied the uttermost of their cruelty; he wisely prevented their policies, though he could not suppress their envy; yet so well he demeaned himself in this business, as all the company did see his innocency, and his adversaries' malice, and those suborned to accuse him, accused his accusers of subornation; many untruths were alleged against him; but being so apparently disproved, begat a general hatred in the hearts of the company against such unjust commanders, that the president was adjudged to give him 2001; so that all he had was seized upon, in part of satisfaction, which Smith presently returned to the store for the general use of the colony.

Many were the mischiefs that daily sprung from their ignorant (yet ambitious) spirits; but the good doctrine and exhortation of our preacher Master Hunt reconciled them, and caused Captain Smith to be admitted of the council.

The next day all received the communion, the day following the savages voluntarily desired peace, and Captain Newport returned for England with news; leaving in Virginia 100 the 15 of June 1607.

Being thus left to our fortunes, it fortuned that within ten days scarce ten among us could either go, or well stand, such extreme weakness and sickness oppressed us. And thereat none need marvel, if they consider the cause and reason, which was this.

While the ships stayed, our allowance was somewhat bettered, by a daily proportion of biscuit, which the sailors would pilfer to sell, give, or exchange with us, for money, sassafras, furs, or love. But when they departed, there remained neither tavern, beer house, nor place of relief, but the common kettle. Had we been as free from all sins as gluttony, and drunkenness, we might have been canonized for Saints; but our president would never have been admitted, for ingrossing to his private, oatmeal, sack, oil, aquavitse, beef, eggs, or what not, but the kettle; that indeed he allowed equally to be distributed, and that was half a pint of wheat, and as much barley boiled with water for a man a day, and this having fried some 26 weeks in the ship's hold, contained as many worms as grains; so that we might truly call it rather so much bran than corn, our drink was water, our lodgings castles in the air.

With this lodging and diet, our extreme toil in bearing and planting pallisades, so strained and bruised us, and our continual labor in the extremity of the heat had so weakened us, as were cause sufficient to have made us as miserable in our native country, or any other place in the world.

From May, to September, those that escaped, lived upon sturgeon, and sea-crabs, fifty in this time we buried, the rest seeing the president's projects to escape these miseries in our pinnace by flight (who all this time had neither felt want nor sickness) so moved our dead spirits, as we deposed him; and established Ratcliff in his place, (Gosnol being dead) Kendall deposed. Smith newly recovered, Martin and Ratcliff was by his care preserved and relieved, and the most of the soldiers recovered with the skillful diligence of Master Thomas Wotton our surgeon general.

But now was all our provision spent, the sturgeon gone, all helps abandoned, each hour expecting the fury of the savages; when God the patron of all good endeavors, in that desperate extremity so changed the hearts of the savages, that they brought such plenty of their fruits, and provision, as no man wanted...

But our comedies never endured long without a tragedy; some idle exceptions being muttered against Captain Smith, for not discovering the head of Chickahamania river, and taxed by the council, to be too slow in so worthy an attempt. The next voyage he proceeded so far that with much labor by cutting of trees insunder he made his passage; but when his barge could pass no farther, he left her in a broad bay out of danger of shot, commanding none should go ashore till his return: himself with two English and two savages went up higher in a canoe; but he was not long absent, but his men went ashore, whose want of government gave both occasion and opportunity to the savages to surprise one George Cassen, whom they slew, and much failed not to have cut off the boat and all the rest.

Smith little dreaming of that accident, being got to the marshes at the river's head, twenty miles in the desert, had his two men slain (as is supposed) sleeping by the canoe, while himself by fowling sought them victual: who finding he was beset with 200 savages, two of them he slew, still defending himself with the aid of a savage his guide whom he bound to his arm with his garters, and used him as a buckler, yet he was shot in his thigh a little, and had many arrows that stuck in his clothes but no great hurt, till at last they took him prisoner.

When this news came to Jamestown, much was their sorrow for his loss, few expecting what ensued.

Six or seven weeks those Barbarians kept him prisoner, many strange triumphs and conjurations they made of him, yet he so demeaned himself among them, as he not only diverted them from surprising the fort, but procured his own liberty, and got himself and his company such estimation among them, that those savages admired him more than their own Quiyouckosucks...

At last they brought him to Meronocomoco, where was Powhatan their emperor. Here more than two hundred of those grim courtiers stood wondering at him, as he had been a monster; till Powhatan and his train had put themselves in their greatest braveries. Before a fire upon a seat like a bedstead, he sat covered with a great robe, made of Rarowcun (raccoon?) skins, and all the tails hanging by. On either hand did sit a young wench of 16 or 18 years, and along on each side the house, two rows of men, and behind them as many women, with all their heads and shoulders painted red: many of their heads bedecked with the white down of birds; but every one with something: and a great chain of white beads about their necks.

At his entrance before the king, all the people gave a great shout. The queen of Appamatuck was appointed to bring him water to wash his hands, and another brought him a bunch of feathers, instead of a towel to dry them: having feasted him after their best barbarous manner they could, a long consultation was held, but the conclusion was, two great stones were brought before Powhatan: then as many as could laid hands on him, dragged him to them, and thereon laid his head, and being ready with their clubs, to beat out his brains, Pocahontas the king's dearest daughter, when no entreaty could prevail, got his head in her arms, and laid her own upon his to save him from death: whereat the Emperor was contented he should live to make him hatchets, and her bells, beads, and copper; for they thought him as well of all occupations as themselves. For the king himself will make his own robes, shoes, bowes, arrows, pots; plant, hunt, or do anything so well as the rest.

They say he bore a pleasant show,
But sure his heart was sad.
For who can pleasant be, and rest,
That lives in fear and dread:
And having life suspected, doth
It still suspected lead.

Two days after, Powhatan having disguised himself in the most fearful manner he could, caused Captain Smith to be brought forth to a great house in the woods, and thereupon a mat by the fire to be left alone. Not long after from behind a mat that divided the house, was made the most doleful noise he ever heard; then Powhatan more like a devil than a man, with some two hundred more as black as himself, came unto him and told him now they were friends, and presently he should go to Jamestown, to send him two great guns, and a grindstone, for which he would give him the country of Capahowosick, and forever esteem him as his son Nantaquoud.

So to Jamestown with 12 guides Powhatan sent him. That night they quartered in the woods, he still expecting (as he had done all this long time of his imprisonment) every hour to be put to one death or other: for all their feasting. But almighty God (by his divine providence) had mollified the hearts of those stern barbarians with compassion. The next morning betimes they came to the fort, where Smith having used the savages with what kindness he could, he showed Rawhunt, Powhatan's trusty servant, two demi-culverins and a millstone to carry Powhatan: they found them somewhat too heavy; but when they did see him discharge them, being loaded with stones, among the boughs of a great tree loaded with icicles the ice and branches came so tumbling down, that the poor savages ran away half dead with fear. But at last we regained some conference with them, and gave them such toys; and sent to Powhatan, his women, and children such presents, as gave them in general full content.

Now in Jamestown they were all in combustion, the strongest preparing once more to run away with the pinnace; which with the hazard of his life, with Sakre falcon and musket shot, Smith forced now the third time to stay or sink.

Some no better than they should be, had plotted with the president, the next day to have put him to death by the Levitical law, for the lives of Robinson and Emry; pretending the fault was his that had led them to their ends: but he quickly took such order with such lawyers, that he laid them by the heels till he sent some of them prisoners for England.

Now every once in four or five days, Pocahontas with her attendants, brought him so much provision, that saved many of their lives, that else for all this had starved with hunger.

Thus from numb death our good God sent relief,

The sweet assuager of all other grief.

His relation of the plenty he had seen, especially at Werawocomoco, and of the state and bounty of Powhatan, (which till that time was unknown) so revived their dead spirits (especially the love of Pocahontas) as all men's fear was abandoned.

Thus you may see what difficulties still crossed any good endeavor; and the good success of the business being thus often brought to the very period of destruction; yet you see by what strange means God has still delivered it.

As for the insufficiency of them admitted in commission, that error could not be prevented by the electors; there being no other choice, and all strangers to each other's education, qualities, or disposition.

And if any deem it a shame to our Nation to have any mention made of those enormities, let him peruse the Histories of the Spaniard's Discoveries and Plantations, where they may see how many mutinies, disorders, and dissensions have accompanied them, and crossed their attempts: which being known to be particular men's offenses; does take away the general scorn and contempt, which malice, presumption, coveteousness, or ignorance might produce; to the scandal and reproach of those, whose actions and valiant resolutions deserve a more worthy respect.

Now whether it had been better for Captain Smith, to have concluded with any of those several projects, to have abandoned the country, with some ten or twelve of them, who were called the better sort, and have left Master Hunt our preacher, Master Anthony Gosnol, a most honest, worthy, and industrious gentleman, Master Thomas Wotton, and some 27 others of his countrymen to the fury of the savages, famine, and all manner of mischiefs, and inconveniences, (for they were but forty in all to keep possession of this large country;) or starve himself with them for company, for want of lodging: or but adventuring abroad to make them provision, or by his opposition to preserve the action, and save all their lives; I leave to the censure of all honest men to consider....

Thursday, June 29, 2017

17C British Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born English artist, 1607-1677)

Wenceslaus Hollar (Czech artist, 1607-1677)  'Ornatus Muliebris Anglicanus. The severall 'Habits of Englishwomen, from the Nobilitie to the 'Country Woman, as they are in these times. 1640.'  An English lady with wavy hair standing whole length to right, holding a feather fan in her left hand; wearing a veil over her face, gown with broad collar, and gloves.

We have few depictions of women in the 17C British American colonies, but the prints by Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677) allow us to see the hairstyles & fashions being worn on the other side of the Atlantic during the early years of the English colonization of America. The artist Hollar was born in 1607, the son of an upper middle-class civic official. He left his native Prague at age 20. He was almost blind in one eye but became a skilled artist. His 1st book of etchings was published in 1635, in Cologne, when Hollar was 28. The following year his work caught they eye of English art collector the Earl of Arundel who visiting the continent.  Hollar became a part of his household, settling in England early in 1637. He left London for Antwerp in 1642, where he continued to work on a variety of projects for 10 years.  In 1652, he returned to England, working on a number of large projects for the publishers John Ogilby & William Dugdale. Hollar died in London in1677. By his life's end, he had produced nearly 3000 separate etchings.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Food Eaten by Early Virginia Colonists

The animal bones from food supplies found in a pit dating prior to 1610 reveal that the 104 men and boys who landed at Jamestown survived primarily on fish and turtles! Sturgeon was the most common fish. A sturgeon may live up to 60 years, weigh up to 800 pounds and reach lengths of up to 15 feet.


Tortoyses here (such as in the Bermudas) I have seene about the entrance of our bay, but we have not taken of them, but of the land tortoyses we take and eate dailie...William Strachey

Archaeologists have found the bony plates which cover the heads of sturgeon and the bony shields, or scutes, which cover the body. The sturgeon is an anadromous fish, which means that it spends most of its life in brackish or salt water, but migrates into coastal rivers to spawn. The Jamestown colonists report that the sturgeon were plentiful in the James River from May until September.
"...fish lying so thicke with their heads above the water, as for want of nets (our barge driving amongst them) we attempted to catch them with a frying pan, but we found it a bad instrument to catch fish with."  John Smith

The colonists also dined on rays, herons, gulls, oysters, raccoons, and other native Virginia animals, as well as provisions of beef, pork, and fish they brought with them from England. Domestic animals brought by the first colonists were intended as breeding stock although they were quickly eaten during the Starving Time winter of 1609-1610. Other evidence of this terrible period of Jamestown's history, when over 40% of the colonists died of apparent starvation, has been found with the food remains. Elements of poisonous snakes, malodorous musk turtles, and horses indicate the men's desperation to find sustenance.
See The Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

17C British Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born English artist, 1607-1677)

Wenceslaus Hollar (Czech artist, 1607-1677)  'Ornatus Muliebris Anglicanus. The severall 'Habits of Englishwomen, from the Nobilitie to the 'Country Woman, as they are in these times. 1640.' An English lady with curly hair standing whole length to right with her back turned towards the viewer and head in profile, holding a fan; wearing flowers in her hair, pearl necklace, dress with broad sleeves, and octagonal mirror hanging from a cord on the right side.

We have few depictions of women in the 17C British American colonies, but the prints by Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677) allow us to see the hairstyles & fashions being worn on the other side of the Atlantic during the early years of the English colonization of America. The artist Hollar was born in 1607, the son of an upper middle-class civic official. He left his native Prague at age 20. He was almost blind in one eye but became a skilled artist. His 1st book of etchings was published in 1635, in Cologne, when Hollar was 28. The following year his work caught they eye of English art collector the Earl of Arundel who visiting the continent.  Hollar became a part of his household, settling in England early in 1637. He left London for Antwerp in 1642, where he continued to work on a variety of projects for 10 years.  In 1652, he returned to England, working on a number of large projects for the publishers John Ogilby & William Dugdale. Hollar died in London in1677. By his life's end, he had produced nearly 3000 separate etchings.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Virginia, John Smith's Account of The Starving Time, 1609-1610

Now we all found the losse of Captaine Smith, yea his greatest maligners could now curse his losse: as for corne provision and contribution from the Salvages, we had nothing but mortall wounds, with clubs and arrowes; as for our Hogs, Hens, Goats I Sheepe, Horse, or what lived, our commanders, officers and Salvages daily consumed them, some small proportions sometimes we tasted, till all was devoured; then swords, armes, pieces, or any thing, wee traded with the Salvages, whose cruell fingers were so oft imbrewed in our blouds, that what by their cruelties our Governours indiscretion, and the losse of our ships, of five hundred within six moneths after Captain Smiths departure [October 1609-March 1610], there remained not past sixtie men, women and children, most miserable and poore creatures; and those were preserved for the most part, by roots, herbes, acornes, walnuts, berries, now and then a little fish: they that had startch in these extremities, made no small use of it; yea even the very skinnes of our horses.

Nay, so great was our famine, that a Salvage we slew and buried, the poorer sort tooke him up againe and eat him; and so did divers one another boyled and stewed with roots and herbs: And one amongst the rest did kill his wife, powdered [i.e., salted] her, and had eaten part of her before it was knowne; for which hee was executed, as hee well deserved: now whether shee was better roasted, boyled or carbonado'd [i.e., grilled], I know not; but of such a dish as powdered wife I never heard of.

This was that time, which still to this day [1624] we called the starving time; it were too vile to say, and scarce to be beleeved, what we endured: but the occasion was our owne, for want of providence industrie and government, and not the barrennesse and defect of the Countrie, as is generally supposed; for till then in three yeeres, for the numbers were landed us, we had never from England provision sufficient for six months, though it seemed by the bils of loading sufficient was sent us, such a glutton is the Sea, and such good fellowes the Mariners; we as little tasted of the great proportion sent us, as they of our want and miseries, yet notwithstanding they ever overswayed and ruled the businesses though we endured all that is said, and chiefly lived on what this good Countrie naturally afforded. Yet had wee beene even in Paradice it selfe with these Governours, it would not have beene much better withe us; yet there was amongst us, who had they had the government as Captaine Smith appointed, but that they could not maintains it, would surely have kept us from those extremities of miseries. This in ten daies more, would have supplanted us all with death.

But God that would not this Countrie should be unplanted, sent Sir Thomas Gates, and Sir George Sommers with one hundred and fiftie people most happily preserved by the Bermudas to preserve us.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

1610 "Newes from Virginia" by Richard Rich

"Newes from Virginia" was written by an English soldier who sailed with Somers's fleet from England to Virginia in 1609, & participated in the near-abandonment of the Virginia colony in 1610. Rich tells of a baby boy & a baby girl being born there and baptised. He tells of the rich natural fruits & vegetables, hogs, birds, & turtles abounding in Virginia. He celebrates the deliverance of Sir Thomas Gates from the hurricane and the saving of the Virginia colony from near failure.
"Newes from Virginia" By Richard Rich 

By R. Rich, “one of the Voyage” to Virginia, 1608. News from Virginia. The Lost Flocke Triumphant. 1610.

READER,—how to stile thee I knowe not, perhaps learned, perhaps unlearned; happily captious, happily envious; indeed, what or how to tearme thee I knowe not, only as I began I will proceede.

Reader, thou dost peradventure imagine that I am mercenarie in this busines, and write for money (as your moderne Poets use) hired by some of those ever to be admired adventurers to flatter the world. No, I disclaime it. I have knowne the voyage, past the danger, seene that honorable work of Virginia, and I thanke God am arrived here to tell thee what I have seene, done and past. If thou wilt believe me, so; if not, so too; for I cannot force thee but to thy owne liking. I am a soldier, blunt and plaine, and so is the phrase of my newes; and I protest it is true. If thou ask why I put it in verse, I prethee knowe it was only to feede mine owne humour. I must confesse that, had I not debard myselfe of that large scope which to the writing of prose is allowed, I should have much easd myselfe, and given thee better content. But I intreat thee to take this as it is, and before many daies expire, I will promise thee the same worke more at large.

I did feare prevention by some of your writers, if they should have gotten but some part of the newes by the tayle, and therefore, though it be rude, let it passe with thy liking, and in so doing I shall like well of thee; but, how ever, I have not long to stay. If thou wilt be unnatural to thy countryman, thou maist,—I must not loose my patrymonie, I am for Virginia againe, and so I will bid thee hartily farewell with an honest verse,—
 
As I came hether to see my native land,
To waft me backe lend me thy gentle hand.

Thy loving Country-man, R. R.    

Newes From Virginia

of the happy arrivall of that famous and worthy knight Sir Thomas Gates and well reputed and valiante Captaine Newport into England.

IT is no idle fabulous tale, nor is it fayned newes:
For Truth herself is heere arriv’d, because you should not muse.
With her both Gates and Newport come, to tell Report doth lye,
Which did devulge unto the world, that they at sea did dye.

Tis true that eleaven monthes and more, these gallant worthy wights       
Was in the shippe Sea-venture nam’d depriv’d Virginia’s sight.
And bravely did they glyde the maine, till Neptune gan to frowne,
As if a courser prowdly backt would throwe his ryder downe.

The seas did rage, the windes did blowe, distressed were they then;
Their ship did leake, her tacklings breake, in daunger were her men.        
But heaven was pylotte in this storme, and to an iland nere,
Bermoothawes call’d, conducted then, which did abate their feare.

But yet these worthies forced were, opprest with weather againe,
To runne their ship betweene two rockes, where she doth still remaine.
And then on shoare the iland came, inhabited by hogges,        
Some foule and tortoyses there were, they only had one dogge.

To kill these swyne, to yeild them foode that little had to eate,
Their store was spent, and all things scant, alas! they wanted meate.
A thousand hogges that dogge did kill, their hunger to sustaine,
And with such foode did in that ile two and forty weekes remaine.        

And there two gallant pynases did build of seader-tree;
The brave Deliverance one was call’d, of seaventy tonne was shee.
The other Patience had to name, her burthen thirty tonne;
Two only of their men which there pale death did overcome.

And for the losse of these two soules, which were accounted deere,   
A sonne and daughter then was borne, and were baptized there.
The two and forty weekes being past, they hoyst sayle and away;
Their ships with hogs well freighted were, their harts with mickle joy.

And so unto Virginia came, where these brave soldiers finde
The English-men opprest with greife and discontent in minde.        
They seem’d distracted and forlorne, for those two worthyes losse,
Yet at their home returne they joyd, among’st them some were crosse.

And in the mid’st of discontent came noble Delaware;
He heard the greifes on either part, and sett them free from care.
He comforts them and cheeres their hearts, that they abound with joy;   
He feedes them full and feedes their soules with Gods word every day.

A discreet counsell he creates of men of worthy fame,
That noble Gates leiftenant was the admirall had to name.
The worthy Sir George Somers knight, and others of commaund;
Maister Georg Pearcy, which is brother unto Northumberland.        

Sir Fardinando Wayneman knight, and others of good fame,
That noble lord his company, which to Virginia came,
And landed there; his number was one hundred seaventy; then
Ad to the rest, and they make full foure hundred able men.

Where they unto their labour fall, as men that meane to thrive;        
Let’s pray that heaven may blesse them all, and keep them long alive.
Those men that vagrants liv’d with us, have there deserved well;
Their governour writes in their praise, as divers letters tel.

And to th’ adventurers thus he writes be not dismayd at all,
For scandall cannot doe us wrong, God will not let us fall.        
Let England knowe our willingnesse, for that our worke is goode;
Wee hope to plant a nation, where none before hath stood.

To glorifie the lord tis done, and to no other end;
He that would crosse so good a worke, to God can be no friend.
There is no feare of hunger here for corne much store here growes,   
Much fish the gallant rivers yeild, tis truth without suppose.

Great store of fowle, of venison, of grapes and mulberries,
Of chestnuts, walnuts, and such like, of fruits and strawberries,
There is indeed no want at all, but some, condiciond ill,
That wish the worke should not goe on with words doe seeme to kill.     
And for an instance of their store, the noble Delaware
Hath for the present hither sent, to testifie his care
In mannaging so good a worke, to gallant ships, by name
The Blessing and the Hercules, well fraught, and in the same

Two ships, are these commodities, furres, sturgeon, caviare,        
Blacke walnut-tree, and some deale boords, with such they laden are;
Some pearle, some wainscot and clapbords, with some sassafras wood,
And iron promist, for tis true their mynes are very good.

Then, maugre scandall, false report, or any opposition,
Th’ adventurers doe thus devulge to men of good condition,        
That he that wants shall have reliefe, be he of honest minde,
Apparel, coyne, or any thing, to such they will be kinde.

To such as to Virginia do purpose to repaire;
And when that they shall thither come, each man shall have his share.
Day wages for the laborer, and for his more content,        
A house and garden plot shall have; besides, tis further ment

That every man shall have a part, and not thereof denaid,
Of generall profit, as if that he twelve pounds ten shillings paid;
And he that in Virginia shall copper coyne receive,
For hyer or commodities, and will the country leave        

Upon delivery of such coyne unto the Governour,
Shall by exchange at his returne be by their treasurer
Paid him in London at first sight, no man shall cause to grieve,
For tis their generall will and wish that every man should live.

The number of adventurers, that are for this plantation,        
Are full eight hundred worthy men, some noble, all of fashion.
Good, discreete, their worke is good, and as they have begun,
May Heaven assist them in their worke, and thus our newes is done.

Friday, June 23, 2017

17C British Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born English artist, 1607-1677) & Others

Wenceslaus Hollar (Czech artist, 1607-1677) Mrs Killigrew. We have few depictions of women in the 17C British American colonies, but the prints by Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677) allow us to see the hairstyles & fashions being worn on the other side of the Atlantic during the early years of the English colonization of America. We even have paintings of Mrs. Killigrew.
Anthony Van Dyke Mary Hill, Lady Killigrew (1615-1686)  Mary Hill and her husband had 7 children.  She is depicted here holding roses, the symbol of a happily married lady.
Artist unknown, Mary Hill, Lady Killigrew (1615-1686)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

1611 Excerpts from For the Colony in Virginea Britannia. Lawes Divine, Morall and Martiall

The Virginia Company asked Sir Thomas Gates (1585-1621) to impose a strict set of regulations on the colony. Gates, who became governor of the colony in 1611, and Sir Thomas Dale (c 1560-1619), the marshal, wrote and enforced the laws.  These laws are the earliest extant English-language body of laws in the western hemisphere. These laws were more like a business code of conduct intended to regulate the everyday activities of its members, employees, & servants, both men & women, working in Virginia between 1611-1624.
Sir Thomas Gates (1585-1621) 
1.  First since we owe our highest and supreme duty, our greatest, and all our allegeance to him, from whom all power and authoritie is derived, and flowes as from the first, and onely fountaine, and being especiall souldiers emprest in this sacred cause, we must along expect our successe from him, who is onely the blesser of all good attempts, the King of kings, the commaunder of commaunders, and Lord of Hostes, I do strictly commaund and charge all Captaines and Officers, of what qualitie or nature soever, whether commaunders in the field, or in towne, or townes, forts or fortresses, to have a care that the Almightie God bee duly and daily served, and that they call upon their people to heare Sermons, as that also they diligently frequent Morning and Evening praier themselves by their owne exemplar and daily life, and dutie herein, encouraging others thereunto, and that such, who shall often and wilfully absent themselves, be duly punished according to the martiall law in that case provided...

6.  Everie man and woman duly twice a day upon the first towling of the Bell shall upon the working daies repaire unto the Church, to hear divine Service upon pain of losing his or her dayes allowance for the first omission, for the second to be whipt, and for the third ot be condemned ot the Gallies for six Moneths. Likewise no man or woman shall daire to violate or breake the Sabboth by any gaming, publique, or private abroad, or at home, but duly sanctifie and observe the same, both himselfe and his familie, by preparing themselves at home with private prayer, that they may be the better fitted for the publique, according to the commandements of God, and the orders of our Church, as also every man and woman shall repaire in the morning to the divine service, and Sermons preached upon the Saboth day, and in the afternoon to divine service, and Catechsing, upon paine for the first fault to lose their provision, and allowance, and also to be whipt, and for the third to suffer death...
Sir Thomas Dale (c 1560-1619)
9.  No man shal commit the horrible, and detestable sins of Sodomie upon pain of death; and he or she that can be lawfully convict of Adultery shall be punished with death. No man shall ravish or force any woman, maid or Indian, or other, upon pain of death, and know the[e] that he or shee, that shall commit fornication, and evident proofe made thereof, for their first fault shall be whipt, for their second they shall be whipt, and for their third they shall be whipt three times a weeke for one month, and aske publique forgivenesse in the Assembly of the Congregation.

10.  No man shall be found guilty of Sacriledge, which is a Trespasse as well committed in violating and abusing any sacred ministry, duty or office of the Church, irreverently, or prophanely, as by beeing a Church robber, to filch, steale or carry away any thing out of the Church appertaining thereunto, or unto any holy, and consecrated place, to the divine Service of God, which no man should doe upon paine of death: likewise he that shall rob the store of any commodities therein, of what quality soever, whether provisions of victuals, or of Arms, Trucking stuffe [i.e., trading cloth], Apparrell, Linnen, or Wollen, Hose or Shooes, Hats or Caps, Instruments or Tooles of Steele, Iron, etc. or shall rob from his fellow souldier, or neighbour, any thing that is his, victuals, apparell, household stuffe, toole, or what necessary else soever, by water or land, out of boate, house, or knapsack, shall bee punished with death...
13.  No manner of Person whatsoever, contrarie to the word of God (which tyes every particular and private man, for conscience sake to obedience, and duty of the Magistrate, and such as shall be placed in authoritie of them[)], shall detract, slaunder, calumniate, murmur, mutenie, resist, disobey, or neglect the commaundments, either of the Lord Governour, and Captaine Generall, the Lieutenant Generall, the Martiall, the Councell, or any authorised Captaine, Commaunder or publike Officer, upon paine for the first time so offending to be whipt three severall times, and upon his knees to acknowledge his offence, with asking forgivenesse upon the Saboth day in the assembly of the congregation, and for the second time so offending to be condemned to the Gally for three yeares: and for the third time so offending to be punished with death...

19.  There shall be no Capttain, Master, Marriner, saylor, or any else of what quality or condition soever, belonging to any Ship or Ships, at this time remaining, or which shall hereafter arrive within this our River, bargaine, buy, truck, or trade with any one member in this Colony, man, woman, or child, for any toole or instrument of iron, steel or what else, whether appertaining to Smith Carpenter, Joyner, Shipwright, or any manuall occupation, or handicraft man whatsoever, resident within our Colonie, nor shall they buy or bargaine, for any apparell, linnen, or wollen, householdstuffe, bedde, bedding, sheete towels, napkins, brasse, pewter, or such like, eyther for ready money, or provisions, nor shall they exchange their provisions, of what quality soever, whether Butter, Cheese, Bisket, meal, Oatmele, Aquavite, oyle, Bacon, Apparell, or householdstuffe, at any time, or so long as they shall here remain, from the date of the presents upon paine of losse of their wages in England, confiscation and forfeiture of such their moneies and provisions, and upon peril beside of such corporall punishment as shall be inflicted upon them by verdict and censure of a martiall Court: Nor shall any officer, souldier, or Trades man, or any else of what sort soever, members of this Colony, dare to sell any such Toole, or instruments, necessary and usefull, for the businesse of the Colonie, or trucke, sell, exchange, or give away his apparell, or household stuffe of what sort soever, unto any such Seaman, either for mony, or any such foresaid provisions, upon paine of 3 times severall whipping, for the one offender, and the other upon perill of incurring censure, whether of disgrace, or addition of such punishment, as shall bee thought fit by a Court Martiall. 

20.  Whereas sometimes heeretofore the covetous and wide affections of some greedy and ill disposed Seamen, Saylers, and Marriners, laying hold upon the advanage of the present necessity, under which the Colony sometimes suffered, have sold unto our people, provisions of Meale, Oatmeale, Bisket, Butter, Cheese, etc., at unreasonable rates, and prises unconscionable: for avoiding the like to bee now put in practise, there shall be no Captain, Master, Marriner, or Saylor, or what Officer else belonging to any ship, or shippes, now within our river, or heereafter which shall arrive, shall dare to bargaine, exchange, barter, truck, trade, or sell, upon paine of death, unto any one Landman member of this present Colony, any provisions of what kind soever, above the determined valuations, and prises, set downe and proclaimed, and sent therefore unto each of your several ships, to bee fixed uppon your Maine mast, to the intent that want of due notice, and ignorance in this case, be no excuse, or plea, for any one offender herein...

23.  No man shall imbezell, lose, or willingly breake, or fraudulently make away, either Spade, Shovell, Hatchet, Axe, Mattocke, or other toole or instrument uppon paine of whipping.

24.  Any man that hath any edge toole, either of his owne, or which hath heeretofore beene belonging to the store, see that he bring it instantly to the storehouse, where he shall receive it againe by a particular note, both of the toole, and of his name taken, that such a toole unto him appertaineth, at whose hands, upon any necessary occasion, the said toole may be required, and this shall he do, upone paine of severe punishment.

31.  What man or woman soever, shall rob any garden, publike or private, being set to weed the same, or wilfully pluck up therein any roote, herbe, or flower, to spoile and wast or steale the same, or robbe any vineyard, or gather up the grapes, or steale any eares of the corne growing, wheter in the ground belonging to the same fort or towne where he dwelleth, or in any other, shall be punished with death...

All such Bakers are appointed to bake bread, or what else, either for the store to be given out in generall, or for any one in particular, shall not steale nor imbezel, loose, or defraud any man of his due and proper weight and measure, nor use any dishonest and deceiptfull tricke to make the bread weigh heavier, or make it courser upon purpose to keepe back any part or measure of the flower or meale committed unto him, nor aske, take, or detaine any one loafe more or lesse of r his hire or paines for so baking, since whilest he who delivered unto him such meale or flower, being to attend the businesse of the Colonie, such baker or bakers are imposed upon no other service or duties, but onely so to bake for such as do worke, and this shall hee take notice of, upon paine for the first time offending herein of losing his eares, and for the second time to be condemned a yeare to the Gallies, and for the third time offending, to be condemned to the Gallies for three yeares.

All such cookes as are appointed to seeth [i.e., boil], bake or dresse any manner of way, flesh, fish, or what else, of what kind soever, either for the general company, or for any private man, shall not make lesse, or cut away any part or parcel of such flesh, fish, etc. Nor detaine or demaund any part or parcell, as allowance or hire for his so dressing the same, since as aforesaid of the baker, hee or they such Cooke or Cookes, exempted from other publike works abroad, are to attend such seething and dressing fo such publike flesh, fish, or other provisions of what kinds soever, as their service and duties expected from them by the Colony, and this shall they take notice of, upon paine for the first time offending herein, of losing his eares, and for the second time to be condemned a yeare to the Gallies: and for the third time offending to be condemned to the Gallies for three yeares.

All fishermen, dressers of Sturgeon or such like appointed to fish, or to cure the said Sturgeon for the use of the Colonie, shall give a just and true account of al said fish as they shall take by day or night, of what kinde soever, the same to bring unto the Governour: As also of all suck kegges of Sturgeon or Caviare as they shall prepare and cure upon perill for the first time offending herein, of loosing his eares, and for the second time to be condemned a yeare to the Gallies, and for the third time offending, to be condemned to the Gallies for three yeares...

The Summarie of the Marshall Lawes

Thee are now further to understand, that all these prohibited, and forefended [i.e., forbidden] trespasses and misdemenors, with the injoyned observance of all these thus repeated, Civill and Politique Lawes, provided, and declared against what Crimes soever, whether against the divine Majesty of God, or our soveraigne, and Liege Lord, King James, the detestable crime of Sodomie, Incest, Blasphemie, Treason against the person of the principall Generals, and Commaunders of this Colonie, and their designs, against detracting, murmuring, calumniating, or slaundering of the Right Honourable the Councell resident in England, and the Committies there, the general Councell, and chiefe Commaunders heere, as also against intemperate raylings, worser sort, by the most impudent, ignorant, and prophane, such as have neither touch of humanitie, nor of conscience amongst ourselves against Adultery, Fornication, Rape, Murther, Theft, false witnessing in any cause, and other the rest of the Civill, and Politique Lawes and Orders, necesarily appertaining, and properly belinging to the Government of the State and Condition of the present Coloby, as it now subsisteth: I say thee are to know, that all these thus joyned, with their due punishments, and perils heere declared, and published, are no lesse subject to the Martiall law, then unto the Civill Magistrate and where the Alarum, Tumult, and practise of arms, are not excercised, and where these now following Lawes, appertaining only to Martiall discipline, are diligently to be observed, and shall be severely executed.

1.  No man shall willingly absent himself, when hee is summoned to take the oath of Supremacy, upon paine of death.

2.  Every Souldier comming into this Colonie, shall willingly take his oath to serve the Kind and the Colonie, and to be faithfull, and obedient to such Officers, and Commaunders, as shall be appointed over him, during the time of his aboad therein, according to the Tenor of the oath in that case provided, upon paine of being committed to the Gallies.

3.  If any Souldier, of what maner of man else soever, of what quality of condition soever he be, shal tacitely compact, with any Sea-man, Captain, Master, or Marriner, to convay himselfe a Board any shippe, with intent to depart from, and abandon the Colony, without a lawful Passe from the Generall, or chiefe commander of the Colonie, at that time, and shall happen to bee prevented, and taken therwith, before the shippe shall depart out of our Bay, that Captaine, Maister or mariner, that shall so receive him, shall lose his wages, and be condemned to the Gallies for three yeeres, and he the sworne servant of the Colony, Souldier, or what else, shall bee put to death with the Armes which he carrieth.

4.  When any select, and appointed Forces, for the execution and performance of any intended service, shall be drawne into the field, and shall dislodge from one place unto another, that Souldier that shall quit or forsake his Colors, shall be punished with death.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

17C British Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born English artist, 1607-1677)

Wenceslaus Hollar (Czech artist, 1607-1677) Anne Webouts.  We have few depictions of women in the 17C British American colonies, but the prints by Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677) allow us to see the hairstyles & fashions being worn on the other side of the Atlantic during the early years of the English colonization of America. The artist Hollar was born in 1607, the son of an upper middle-class civic official. He left his native Prague at age 20. He was almost blind in one eye but became a skilled artist. His 1st book of etchings was published in 1635, in Cologne, when Hollar was 28. The following year his work caught they eye of English art collector the Earl of Arundel who visiting the continent.  Hollar became a part of his household, settling in England early in 1637. He left London for Antwerp in 1642, where he continued to work on a variety of projects for 10 years.  In 1652, he returned to England, working on a number of large projects for the publishers John Ogilby & William Dugdale. Hollar died in London in1677. By his life's end, he had produced nearly 3000 separate etchings.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Robert Beverley History of Virginia 1705 - Indians & their Dress

The History and Present State of Virginia, in Four Parts published originally in London in 1705.  
Book III Of the Indians, their Religion, Laws, and Customs, in War and Peace
Chapter I. OF THE INDIANS AND THEIR DRESS.

§ 1. The Indians are of the middling and largest stature of the English. They are straight and well proportioned, having the cleanest and most exact limbs in the world. They are so perfect in their outward frame, that I never heard of one single Indian that was either dwarfish, crooked, bandy-legged, or otherwise misshapen. But if they have any such practice among them as the Romans had, of exposing such children till they died, as were weak and misshapen at their birth, they are very shy of confessing it, and I could never yet learn that they had.

Their color, when they are grown up, is a chestnut brown and tawny; but much clearer in their infancy. Their skin comes afterwards to harden and grow blacker by greasing and sunning themselves. They have generally coal black hair, and very black eyes, which are most commonly graced with that sort of squint which many of the Jews are observed to have. Their women are generally beautiful, possessing shape and features agreeable enough, and wanting no charm but that of education and a fair complexion.
Indian man in his summer dress
§ 2. The men wear their hair cut after several fanciful fashions, sometimes greased, and sometimes painted. The great men, or better sort, preserve a long lock behind for distinction. They pull their beards up by the roots with musselshells, and both men and women do the same by the other parts of their body for cleanliness sake. The women wear the hair of the head very long, either hanging at their backs, or brought before in a single lock, bound up with a fillet of peak, or beads; sometimes also they wear it neatly tied up in a knot behind. It is commonly greased, and shining black, but never painted.

The people of condition, of both sexes, wear a sort of coronets on their heads, from four to six inches broad, open at the top, and composed of peak, or beads, or else of both interwoven together, and worked into figures, made by a nice mixture of the colors. Sometimes they wear a wreath of died furs, as likewise bracelets on their necks and arms. The common people go bareheaded, only sticking large shining feathers about their heads, as their fancies lead them.

§ 3. Their clothes are a large mantle, carelessly wrapped about their bodies, and sometimes girt close in the middle with a girdle. The upper part of this mantle is drawn close upon the shoulders, and the other hangs below their knees. When that's thrown off, they have only for modesty sake a piece of cloth, or a small skin tied round their waist, which reaches down to the middle of the thigh. The common sort tie only a string round their middle, and pass a piece of cloth or skin round between their thighs, which they turn at each end over the string.

Their shoes, when they wear any, are made of an entire piece of buckskin, except when they sew a piece to the bottom to thicken the sole. They are fastened on with running strings, the skin being drawn together like a purse on the top of the foot, and tied round the ankle. The Indian name of this kind of shoe is, moccasin.

But because a draught of these things will inform the reader more at first view than a description in many words, I shall present him with the following prints drawn by the life.

Tab. II. is an Indian man in his summer dress. The upper part of his hair is cut short to make a ridge, which stands up like the comb of a cock, the rest is either shorn off, or knotted behind his ear. On his head are stuck three feathers of the wild turkey, pheasant, hawk, or such like. At his ear is hung a fine shell with pearl drops. At his breast is a tablet, or fine shell, smooth as polished marble, which sometimes also hath etched on it a star, half moon, or other figure, according to the maker's fancy. Upon his neck and wrists hang strings of beads, peak and roenoke. His apron is made of a deer skin, gashed round the edges, which hang like tassels or fringe; at the upper end of the fringe is' an edging of peak, to make it finer. His quiver is of a thin bark; but sometimes they make it of the skin of a fox, or young wolf, with the head hanging to it, which has a wild sort of terror in it; and to make it yet more warlike, they tie it on with the tail of a panther, buffalo, or such like, letting the end hang down between their legs. The pricked lines on his shoulders, breast and legs, represent the figures painted thereon. In his left hand he holds a bow, and in his right an arrow. The mark upon his shoulderblade is a distinction used by the Indians in traveling, to show the nation they are of; and perhaps is the same with that which Baron Lahontan calls the arms and heraldry of the Indians. Thus the several lettered marks are used by several other nations about Virginia, when they make a journey to their friends and allies.The landscape is a natural representation of an Indian field.
Tab. Ill is two Indian men in their winter dress. Seldom any but the elder people wore the winter cloaks (which they call match-coats) till they got a supply of European goods; and now most have them of one sort or other in the cold winter weather. Fig. 1 wears the proper Indian match-coat, which is made of skins, dressed with the fur on, sewed together, and worn with the fur inwards, having the edges also gashed for beauty's sake. On his feet are moccasins. By him stand some Indian cabins on the banks of the river. Fig. 2 wears the Duffield match-coat bought of the English; on his head is^a coronet of peak, on his legs are stockings made of Duffields: that is, they take a length to reach from the ankle to the knee, so broad as to wrap round the leg; this they sew together, letting the edges stand out at an inch beyond the seam. When this is on, they garter below knee, and fasten the lower end in the moccasin.

§4.1 don't find that the Indians have any other distinction in their dress, or the fashion of their hair, than only what a greater degree of riches enables them to make, except it be their religious persons, who are known by the particular cut of the hair and the unusual figure of their garments; as our clergy are distinguished by their canonical habit.

The habit of the Indian priest is a cloak made in the form of a woman's petticoat; but instead of tieing it about their middle, they fasten the gatherings about their neck and tie it upon the right shoulder, always keeping one arm out to use upon occasion. This cloak hangs even at the bottom, but reaches no lower than the middle of the thigh; but what is most particular in it is, that it is constantly made of a skin dressed soft, with the pelt or fur on the outside, and reversed ; insomuch, that when the cloak has been a little worn the hair falls down in flakes, and looks very shagged and frightful.
The cut of their hair is likewise peculiar to their function; for 'tis all shaven close except a thin crest, like a cock's comb, which stands bristling up, and runs in a semicircle from the forehead up along the crown to the nape of the neck. They likewise have a border of hair over the forehead, which by its own natural strength, and by the stiffening it receives from grease and paint, will stand out like the peak of a bonnet.
Tab. IV. Is a priest and a conjurer in their proper habits. The priest's habit is sufficiently described above. The conjurer shaves all his hair off, except the crest on the crown; upon his ear he wears the skin of some dark colored bird ; he, as well as the priest, is commonly grimed with soot or the like; to save his modesty he bangs an otter skin at his girdle, fastening the tail between his legs; upon his thigh hangs his pocket, which is fastened by tucking it under his girdle, the bottom of this is likewise fringed with tassels for ornament sake. In the middle between them is the Huskanawpen spoken of §32.

§5. The dress of the women is little different from that of the men, except in the tieing of their hair. The women of distinction wear deep necklaces, pendants and bracelets, made of small cylinders of the conch shell, which they call peak: they likewise keep their skin clean and shining with oil, while the men are commonly bedaubed all over with paint.

They are remarkable for having small round breasts, and so firm, that they are hardly ever observed to hang down, even in old women. They commonly go naked as far as the navel downward, and upward to the middle of the thigh, by which means they have the advantage of discovering their fine limbs and complete shape.
Tab. V. Is a couple of young women. The first wearing a coronet, necklace and bracelet of peak; the second a wreath of furs on her head, and her hair is bound with a fillet of peak and beads. Between the two is a woman under a tree making a basket of silk grass after their own manner.

Tab. VI. Is a woman and a boy running after her. One of her hands rests in her necklace of peak, and the other holds a gourd, in which they put water or other liquid.  
The boy wears a necklace of runtees, in his right hand is an Indian rattle, and in his left a roasting ear of corn. Round his waist is a small string, and another brought cross through his crotch, and for decency a soft skin is fastened before. Runtees are made of the conch shell as the peak is, only the shape is flat and round like a cheese, and drilled edge ways.

Monday, June 19, 2017

17C British Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born English artist, 1607-1677)

Wenceslaus Hollar (Czech artist, 1607-1677)  'Ornatus Muliebris Anglicanus. The severall 'Habits of Englishwomen, from the Nobilitie to the 'Country Woman, as they are in these times. 1640.'  An English lady with curly hair standing whole length in profile to right, wearing a cap, mask, cloak and muff, a feather fan hanging below her right arm. 

We have few depictions of women in the 17C British American colonies, but the prints by Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677) allow us to see the hairstyles & fashions being worn on the other side of the Atlantic during the early years of the English colonization of America. The artist Hollar was born in 1607, the son of an upper middle-class civic official. He left his native Prague at age 20. He was almost blind in one eye but became a skilled artist. His 1st book of etchings was published in 1635, in Cologne, when Hollar was 28. The following year his work caught they eye of English art collector the Earl of Arundel who visiting the continent.  Hollar became a part of his household, settling in England early in 1637. He left London for Antwerp in 1642, where he continued to work on a variety of projects for 10 years.  In 1652, he returned to England, working on a number of large projects for the publishers John Ogilby & William Dugdale. Hollar died in London in1677. By his life's end, he had produced nearly 3000 separate etchings.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The British American Colonies - Evoving from a Territory to a Hub of Commerce

Trafique, Commerce, and Trade are those great wheels that by their circular and continued motion turn into most Kingdoms of the Earth the plenty of abundant Riches that they are commonly fed withall: For Trafique in his right description is the very soul of a Kingdom...George Alsop, English indentured servant in Maryland, 1666.
What George Alsop called in 1666 "the very soul of a kingdom" had become a century later the central tie between Great Britain and her mainland Atlantic colonies. True, the pursuit of wealth was goal #1 for founding most colonies in the Americas, but in the 1600s Britain's primary focus was Europe—winning wars and gaining territory, influence, and "market share" — not America, where the commercial promise of its colonies stagnated.

Then the events of 1688 to 1713 changed everything, at least for males, in Britain and her American colonies. With the Glorious Revolution, the 1707 union of England and Scotland, and victory in the inter-colonial wars (creating a massive national debt), the "United Kingdom of Great Britain" became a first-class power. Militarily, its navy dominated the seas. Economically, its banks and financiers replaced the Dutch as the source of capital: working money. Commerce became the "soul of the kingdom," and Britain took a new look at North America. "By giving a new priority to overseas expansion," writes historian Alan Taylor, "the English committed their empire to maritime commerce rather than to European territory—a dramatic shift that elevated their American colonies to a new importance." 

Alsop is remembered for a significant 1666 work on colonial Maryland: A Character of the Province of Mary-Land, wherein is Described in four distinct Parts, (Viz.) I The Scituation, and plenty of the Province. II The Laws, Customs, and natural Demeanor of the Inhabitant. III The worst and best Usage of a Mary-Land Servant, opened in view. IV The Traffique and vendable Commodities of the Countrey. Also a small Treatise on the wilde and naked Indians (or Susquehanokes) of Mary-Land, their Customs, Manners, Absurdities, & Religion. Together with a Collection of Historical Letters.(London, 1666).
George Alsop by William Sherwin National Portrait Gallery, London,  After a 2-year apprenticeship, Alsop left London in 1658, due to a hatred for its local Puritans, according to his own account. Alsop worked as an indentured servant for 2 years. His master, Thomas Stockett (1635-1671), was one of 4 brothers who immigrated from England in 1658, settling in Baltimore County, Maryland. At the end of George Alsop's service to Thomas Stockett, he grew ill and returned to England. He then published his book on Maryland, asserting that his goal is to encourage European and English emigration to America. Alsop's eagerness to praise every aspect of Maryland dominates his work which does seem to be a fairly reliable historical source of information for early Baltimore County, Maryland, and the Native Susquehannock.