Saturday, August 31, 2019

1686 Virginia Women through the Eyes of a Visiting Frenchman

Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes in 1685, ending French toleration of Protestants. Many French Protestants fled to other countries friendly to Protestants. In England, the Huguenots were seen as temporary refugees, waiting for French policies to change again. In the New World, however, the colonies were eager to recruit the Huguenots as permanent settlers. Virginia was land-rich and people-poor, and Protestant refugees were prime targets for expanding the local population.

One Huguenot refugee in Virginia during 1686, Durand de Dauphine fled France, arrived at the North River separating Mathews and Gloucester counties on September 22, 1686. The idea of settling in Virginia was intriguing to the Frenchman:

The land is so rich & so fertile that when a man has fifty acres of ground, two men-servants, a maid & some cattle, neither he nor his wife do anything but visit among their neighbors. Most of them do not even take the trouble to oversee the work of their slaves, for there is no house, however modest, where there is not what is called a Lieutenant, generally a freedman, under whose commands two servants are placed. This Lieutenant keeps himself, works & makes his two servants work, & receives one-third of the tobacco, grain, & whatever they have planted, & thus the master has only to take his share of the crops.

Occasionally Durand comments in his journal specifically about the women of Virginia...
Moreover, the Captain sold here all the women servants for tobacco...A
s we were crossing the river, which it was necessary to do here in boats, Mr. Wormeley said to me that there lived in this neighbourhood the widow of a worthy citizen; that she was only 30 years of age, good looking, without children, and that he knew that she wanted nothing better than to marry a person of quality; that he had great influence with her; that she had a good house, a plantation of 1,000 acres of land, and plenty of servants and cattle of all kinds; that it was only a league's distance, and if I agreed we might turn out of our way and he would propose me to her as a husband...the refuge of people who are unable to make a living in England. Taking ship, they are brought hither and sold for their passage. The country constitutes also the galleys of England, for those who have committed any crime short of hanging may be banished and condemned to service in America. It is also the refuge of bankrupts. As to women likewise, it is the refuge of those who have been convicted of picking and stealing or have lost their reputations for chastity...Each one is master in his own plantation. The gentlemen, whom they call squires, are greatly honoured and respected. Moreover, they have the best of manners and good faith. They serve nearly all the offices of honour or emolument in the country...When a man runs through his property he exhausts that of his wife also, and this is not unjust for the women show the way in drinking and smoking. They spend most of their time visiting one another.

With tobacco they buy lands, hire and buy cattle; and as they can secure all they want with this commodity they become so lazy that they even import from England their linen and their hats, their women's clothes and their shoes... her to make shoes, and flax to make linen. On arriving I saw as good and as fine flax growing in Virginia as there is in Europe, but they let it waste after having gathered it, because there is not a woman in all the country who knows how to spin...W
hen I went to church (all their churches are in the woods) I saw the parson and all the congregation smoking in the churchyard while waiting for the hour of service. When the sermon was over they did the same thing before separating. There are seats provided in the churchyards for this purpose. It was here that I saw that everyone smoked, women and girls and boys down to the age of seven years...Whatever their estates, for what reason I do not know, they build their houses consisting only of two ground floor rooms, with some closets and one or two prophet's chambers above. According to his means, each planter provides as many of such houses as he needs. They build also a separate kitchen, a house for the Christian (white indentured servants) slaves, another for negro slaves, and several tobacco barns, so that in arriving at the plantation of a person of importance you think you are entering a considerable village...When the women do their washing, if the clothes are not all dried the same day, they leave them out of doors sometimes two or three days and nights at a time.

(Robert Beverly explains these separate work houses in his History of Virginia, Book IV, Ch XVI,
"All their drudgeries of cooking, washing, dairies, etc., are perform'd in offices detacht from the dwelling-houses, which by this means are kept more cool and sweet."  And yet, even when they live not 500 yards from the church, they mount their horses to go there. The women ride like the men, always at a canter. I was astonished how they held themselves on.
A Frenchman in Virginia; Being the Memoirs of a Huguenot Refugee in 1686 Translated by a Virginian, by Fairfax Harrison Published: Originally in 1687

Thursday, August 29, 2019

1619 Letter on Tobacco (not a word about Slaves!) from John Pory, Secretary of Virginia

The London Company was an English joint-stock company established in 1606 by royal charter by King James I with the purpose of establishing colonial settlements in North America.

Letter on Tobacco not Slaves from John Pory, Secretary of Virginia (1619)
(1572–1636) an official appointed by the Virginia Company, wrote this letter in the important year of 1619 -when the 1st persons of African ancestry were brought to Virginia. Yet, Pory  focused on an apparently good harvest that had offered a brief respite from previous years of death and starvation, and he wrote about the colonists' obsession with growing tobacco and obtaining servants.

John Pory, Secretary of Virginia, to Sir Dudley Carleton, Sept. 30, 1619.

Right Honourable, and my singular good Lorde:
. . . Both those of our nation and the Indians also have this Torrid summer been visited with great sickness and mortality; which our good God (his name be blessed for it) hath recompensed with a marvelous plenty, such as hath not been since our first coming into the land. For my self I was partly at land and partly at sea vexed with a calenture of some 4 or 5 months. But (praised be God) I am now as healthful as ever I was in my life. Here (as your lordship cannot be ignorant) I am, for fault of a better, Secretary of Estate, the first that ever was chosen and appointed by Commission from the Counsell and Company in England, under their hands and common scale. By my fees I must maintain my self; which the Governour tells me, may this year amount to a matter of £300 sterling; whereof fifty I do owe to himself, and I pray God the remainder may amount to a hundred more. As yet I have gotten nothing, save only (if I may speak it without boasting) a general reputation of integrity, for having spoken freely to all matters, according to my conscience; and as near as I could discern, done every man right.

As touching the quality of this country, three things there be which in few years may bring this Colony to perfection; the English plough, Vineyards, and Cattle. For the first, there be many grounds here cleared by the Indians to our hands, which being much worn out,' will bear no more of their corn, which requireth an extraordinary deal of sappe and substance to nourish it; but of our grain of all sorts it will bear great abundance. We have had this year a plentiful crop of English wheat, though the last harvest 1618 was only shed upon the stubble, and so self-sown, with out other manurance. In July last so soon as we had reaped this self-sown wheat, we set Indian corn upon the same ground, which is come up in great abundance; and so by this means we are to enjoy two crops in one year from off one and the same field. The greatest labour we have yet bestowed upon English wheat, hath been upon new broken up ground one ploughing only and one harrowing, far short of the Tithe used in Christendom, which when we shall have ability enough to perform, we shall produce miracles out of this earth.

All our riches for the present do consist in Tobacco wherein one man by his own labour hath in one year raised; to himself to the value of £200 sterling; and another by the means of six servants hath cleared at one crop a thousand pound English. These be true, yet indeed rare examples, yet possible to be done by others. Our principal wealth (I should have said) consisteth in servants: But they are chargeable to be furnished with arms, apparel and bedding and for their transportation and casual [contingent expenses], both at sea, and for their first year commonly at land also: But if they escape, they prove very hardy, and sound able men.

Now that your lordship may know, that we are not the veriest beggers in the world, our cowkeeper here of James City on Sundays goes accoutered all in fresh flaming silk; and a wife of one that in England had professed the black art, not of a scholar, but of a collier of Croydon, weare her rough beaver hat with a fair pearl hatband, and a silken suit thereto correspondent. But to leave the Populace, and to come higher; the Governour here, who at his first coming, besides a great deal of worth in his person, brought only his sword with him, was at his late being in London, together with his lady, out of his mere gettings here, able to disburse very near three thousand pound [£] to furnish himself for his voyage. And once within seven years, I am persuaded (absit invidia verbo) that the Governors place here may be as profitable as the lord Deputies of Ireland.

. . . And therefore seeing I have rnissed that singular happiness [being placed in Sir Dudley's service], I must for what remains, depend upon Gods providence, who my hope is, will be so merciful towards me, as once more before I die, to vouchsafe me the sight of your countenance, wherein, I speak unfainedly, I shall enjoy as much happiness as in any other thing I can imagine in this world.

At my first coming hither the solitary uncouthness of this place, compared with those parts of Christendome or Turkey where I had been; and likewise my being sequestered from all occurrences and passages which are so rife there, did not a little vex me. And yet in these five months of my continuance here, there have come at one time or another eleven sail of ships into this river; but freighted more with ignorance, then with any other merchandise. At length being hardened to this custom of abstinence from curiosity, I am resolved wholly to mind my business here, and next after my pen, to have some good book always in store, being in solitude the best and choicest company. Besides among these Crystal rivers, and odiferous woods I do escape much expense, envy, contempt, vanity, and vexation of mind. Yet good my lorde, have a little compassion upon me, and be pleased to send me what pamplets and relations of the Interim since I was with you, as your lordship shall think good, directing the same (if you please) in a box to Mr. Ralfe Yeardley, Apothecary (brother to Sir George Yeardley our governour), . . .

Your lordships ever most humbly at your command,
John Pory

 Lyon G. Tyler, ed., Narratives of Early Virginia, 1606-1625 (New York, 1907), 282-87.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

1685 in Philadelphia - Letter talks of bricks & fish & linen, but no mention of women...

About the progress of the town--
but no mention of women...

Letter from ROBERT TURNER to WILLIAM PENN on 3 August 1685

Having an opportunity by a Ship from this River, (out of which several have gone this Year) I thought fit to give a short account of proceedings, as to settlements here, and the Improvements both in Town and Country. As to the Country, the Improvements are large, and settlements very throng by way of Townships and Villages. Great inclinations to planting Orchards, which are easily raised, and some brought to perfection...

Now as to the Town of Philadelphia it goeth on in Planting and Building to admiration, both in the front and backward, and there are about 600 houses in 3 years time. And since I built my Brick House, the foundation of which was laid at thy going, which I did design after a good manner to encourage others, and that from building with Wood, it being the first, many take example, and some that built Wooden Houses, are sorry for it: Brick building is said to be as cheap: Bricks are exceeding good, and better than when I built: More Makers fallen in, and Bricks cheaper...and now many brave Brick Houses are going up, with good Cellars.

Arthur Cook is building him a brave Brick House near William Frampton’s, on the front: For William Frampton hath since built a good Brick house, by his Brew house and Bake house, and let the other for an Ordinary.

John Wheeler, from New England, is building a good Brick house, by the Blew Anchor; and the two Brickmakers a Double Brick House and Cellars; besides several others going on:

Samuel Carpenter has built another house by his. I am building another Brick house by mine, which is three large stories high, besides a good large Brick Cellar under it, of two Bricks and a half thickness in the wall, and the next story half under Ground, the Cellar hath an Arched Door for a Vault to go (under the Street) to the River, and so to bring in goods, or deliver out...

Thomas Smith and Daniel Pege are Partners, and set to making of Brick this Year, and they are very good; also, Pastorus, the German Friend, Agent for the Company at Frankford, with his Dutch People, are preparing to make Brick next year.

Samuel Carpenter is our Lime burner on his Wharf. Brave Lime Stone found here, as the Workmen say, being proved. We build most Houses with Balconies. Lots are much desir’d in the Town, great buying one of another. We are now laying the foundation of a large plain Brick house, for a Meeting House, in the Center, (sixty foot long, and about forty foot broad) and hope to have it soon up, many hearts and hands at Work that will do it.

A large Meeting House, 50 foot long, and 38 foot broad, also going up, on the front of the River, for an evening Meeting, the work going on apace. Many Towns People settling their liberty Lands. I hope the Society will rub off the Reproaches some have cast upon them. We now begin to gather in something of our many great Debts.

I do understand Three Companies for Whale Catching are designed to fish in the River’s Mouth this season, and find through the great Plenty of fish they may begin early. A Fisherman this Year found the way to catch Whiteins in this River, and it’s expected many sorts of fish more than hath been yet caught may be taken by the skilful. Fish are in such plenty that many sorts on trial have been taken with Nets in the Winter time: the Swedes laughing at the English for going to try, have since tried themselves. The River so big, and full of several sorts of brave fish, that it is believed, except frozen over, we may catch any time in the Winter. . . .

The manufacture of Linen by the Germans goes on finely, and they make fine Linen: Samuel Carpenter having been lately there, declares they had gathered one Crop of Flax, and had sowed for the Second and saw it come up well: And they say, might have had forewarder and better, had they had old seed, and not stayed so long for the Growth of new seed to sow again. And I may believe it, for large hath my experience been this Years, though in a small piece of Ground, to the admiration of many.

I thought fit to signify this much, knowing thou wouldst be glad to hear of thy People and Province’s welfare; the Lord preserve us all, and make way for thy return, which is much desired, not only by our Friends but all sorts.

I am, etc. thy truly Loving Friend, Robert Turner.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

1682 William Penn's (1644-1718) Letter to His Wife & Children Before He Leaves for the Colonies

Young William Penn (1644-1718) in Armor

William Penn (1644-1718) arrived in Pennsylvania on October 29, 1682 after almost 7 weeks at sea. In 2 years Penn returned to England. He traveled back to Pennsylvania in 1699, and left again for England in 1701, never to return.
William Penn (1644-1718)  a Few Years Later
Before leaving England for Pennsylvania in 1682, William Penn wrote a letter to his wife and children.

 My dear Wife and Children.
My love, that sea, nor land, nor death itself can extinguish or lessen toward you, most endearedly visits you with eternal embraces and will abide with you forever. And may the God of my life watch over you and bless you and do you good in this world and forever. Some things are upon my spirit to leave with you, in your respective capacities, as I am to one a husband, and to the rest a father, if I should never see you more in this world.

My dear wife, remember thou was the love of my youth, and much the joy of my life, the most beloved, as well as most worthy, of all my earthly comforts. And the reason of that love was more thy inward than thy outward excellences (which yet were many). God knows, and thou knows it. I can say it was a match of providence's making, and God's image in us both was the first thing and the most amiable and engaging ornament in our eyes. Now I am to leave thee, and that without knowing whether I shall ever see thee more in this world. Take my counsel into thy bosom and let it dwell with thee in my stead while thou lives.

Ist. Let the fear of the Lord, and a zeal and love to His glory, dwell richly in thy heart, and thou will watch for good over thyself and thy dear children and family, that no rude, light, or bad thing be committed, else God will be offended, and He will repent Himself of the good He intends thee and thine.

2dly. Be diligent in meetings of worship and business; stir up thyself and others herein; it is thy day and place. And let meetings be kept once a day in the family to wait upon the Lord, who has given us much time for ourselves. And my dearest, to make thy family matters easy to thee, divide thy time, and be regular. It is easy and sweet. Thy retirement will afford thee to do it, as in the morning to view the business of the house and fix it as thou desire, seeing all be in order, that by thy counsel all may move, and to thee render an account every evening. The time for work, for walking, for meals, may be certain, at least as near as may be. And grieve not thyself with careless servants. They will disorder thee. Rather pay them and let them go if they will not be better by admonitions. This is best, to avoid many words, which I know wound the soul and offend the Lord.

3dly. Cast up thy income and see what it daily amounts to, by which thou may be sure to have it in thy sight and power to keep within compass. And I beseech thee to live low and sparingly till my debts are paid, and then enlarge as thou see it convenient. Remember thy mother's example when thy father's public-spiritedness had worsted his estate (which is my case). I know thou loves plain things and are averse to the pomp of the world, a nobility natural to thee. I write not as doubtful, but to quicken thee, for my sake, to be more vigilant herein, knowing that God will bless thy care, and thy poor children and thee for it. My mind is wrapped up in a saying of thy father's. "I desire not riches, but to owe nothing." And truly that is wealth; and more than enough to live is a snare attended with many sorrows.

I need not bid thee be humble, for thou are so; nor meek and patient, for it is much of thy natural disposition. But I pray thee, be often in retirement with the Lord and guard against encroaching friendships. Keep them at arm's end; for it is giving away our power, aye, and self too, into the possession of another. And that which might seem engaging in the beginning, may prove a yoke and burden too hard and heavy in the end. Wherefore keep dominion over thyself, and let thy children, good meetings, and Friends be the pleasure of thy life.

4thly. And now, my dearest, let me recommend to thy care my dear children, abundantly beloved of me as the Lord's blessings and the sweet pledges of our mutual and endeared affection. Above all things, endeavor to breed them up in the love of virtue and that holy plain way of it which we have lived in, that the world, in no part of it, get into my family. I had rather they were homely than finely bred, as to outward behavior; yet I love sweetness mixed with gravity, and cheerfulness tempered with sobriety. Religion in the heart leads into this true civility, teaching men and women to be mild and courteous in their behavior, an accomplishment worthy indeed of praise.

5thly. Next, breed them up in a love one of another. Tell them, it is the charge I left behind me, and that it is the way to have the love and blessing of God upon them; also what his portion is who hates, or calls his brother fool. Sometimes separate them, but not long; and allow them to send and give each other small things, to endear one another with once more. I say, tell them it was my counsel, they should be tender and affectionate one to another.

For their learning, be liberal. Spare no cost, for by such parsimony all is lost that is saved; but let it be useful knowledge, such as is consistent with truth and godliness, not cherishing a vain conversation or idle mind, but ingenuity mixed with industry is good for the body and mind too. I recommend the useful parts of mathematics, as building houses or ships, measuring, surveying, dialing, navigation, etc.; but agriculture is especially in my eye. Let my children be husbandmen and housewives. It is industrious, healthy, honest, and of good example, like Abraham and the holy ancients who pleased God and obtained a good report. This leads to consider the works of God and nature, of things that are good and divert the mind from being taken up with the vain arts and inventions of a luxurious world. It is commendable in the princes of Germany, and [the] nobles of that empire, that they have all their children instructed in some useful occupation. Rather keep an ingenious person in the house to teach them than send them to schools, too many evil impressions being commonly received there. Be sure to observe their genius and don't cross it as to learning. Let them not dwell too long on one thing, but let their change be agreeable, and all their diversions have some little bodily labor in them.

When grown big, have most care for them; for then there are more snares both within and without. When marriageable, see that they have worthy persons in their eye, of good life and good fame for piety and understanding. I need no wealth but sufficiency; and be sure their love be dear, fervent, and mutual, that it may be happy for them. I choose not they should be married into earthly covetous kindred. And of cities and towns of concourse beware. The world is apt to stick close to those who have lived and got wealth there. A country life and estate I like best for my children. I prefer a decent mansion of a hundred pounds per annum before ten thousand pounds in London, or suchlike place, in a way of trade.

In fine, my dear, endeavor to breed them dutiful to the Lord, and His blessed light, truth, and grace in their hearts, who is their Creator, and His fear will grow up with them. Teach a child (says the wise man) the way thou will have him to walk; and when he is old, he will not forget it. Next, obedience to thee their dear mother; and that not for wrath, but for conscience sake. [Be] liberal to the poor, pitiful to the miserable, humble and kind to all. And may my God make thee a blessing and give thee comfort in our dear children; and in age, gather thee to the joy and blessedness of the just (where no death shall separate us) forever.

And now, my dear children that are the gifts and mercies of the God of your tender father, hear my counsel and lay it up in your hearts. Love it more than treasure and follow it, and you shall be blessed here and happy hereafter.

In the first place, remember your Creator in the days of your youth. It was the glory of Israel in the 2d of Jeremiah: and how did God bless Josiah, because he feared him in his youth! And so He did Jacob, Joseph, and Moses. Oh! my dear children, remember and fear and serve Him who made you, and gave you to me and your dear mother, that you may live to Him and glorify Him in your generations. To do this, in your youthful days seek after the Lord, that you may find Him, remembering His great love in creating you; that you are not beasts, plants, or stones, but that He has kept you and given you His grace within, and substance without, and provided plentifully for you. This remember in your youth, that you may be kept from the evil of the world; for, in age, it will be harder to overcome the temptations of it.

Wherefore, my dear children, eschew the appearance of evil, and love and cleave to that in your hearts that shows you evil from good, and tells you when you do amiss, and reproves you for it. It is the light of Christ, that He has given you for your salvation. If you do this, and follow my counsel, God will bless you in this world and give you an inheritance in that which shall never have an end. For the light of Jesus is of a purifying nature; it seasons those who love it and take heed to it, and never leaves such till it has brought them to the city of God that has foundations. Oh! that ye may be seasoned with the gracious nature of it; hide it in your hearts, and flee, my dear children, from all youthful lusts, the vain sports, pastimes and pleasures of the world, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. You are now beginning to live-what would some give for your time? Oh! I could have lived better, were I as you, in the flower of youth. Therefore, love and fear the Lord, keep close to meetings; and delight to wait upon the Lord God of your father and mother, among his despised people, as we have done. And count it your honor to be members of that society, and heirs of that living fellowship, which is enjoyed among them-for the experience of which your father's soul blesses the Lord forever.

Next, be obedient to your dear mother, a woman whose virtue and good name is an honor to you; for she has been exceeded by none in her time for her plainness, integrity, industry, humanity, virtue, and good understanding, qualities not usual among women of her worldly condition and quality. Therefore, honor and obey her, my dear children, as your mother, and your father's love and delight; nay, love her too, for she loved your father with a deep and upright love, choosing him before all her many suitors. And though she be of a delicate constitution and noble spirit, yet she descended to the utmost tenderness and care for you, performing in painfulness acts of service to you in your infancy, as a mother and a nurse too. I charge you before the Lord, honor and obey, love and cherish, your dear mother.

Next betake yourselves to some honest, industrious course of life; and that not of sordid covetousness, but for example and to avoid idleness. And if you change your condition and marry, choose with the knowledge and consent of your mother, if living, guardians, or those that have the charge of you. Mind neither beauty nor riches, but the fear of the Lord and a sweet and amiable disposition, such as you can love above all this world and that may make your habitations pleasant and desirable to you. And being married, be tender, affectionate, and patient, and meek. Live in the fear of the Lord, and He will bless you and your offspring. Be sure to live within compass; borrow not, neither be beholden to any. Ruin not yourselves by kindness to others, for that exceeds the due bounds of friendship; neither will a true friend expect it. Small matters I heed not.

Let your industry and parsimony go no farther than for a sufficiency for life, and to make a provision for your children (and that in moderation, if the Lord gives you any). I charge you to help the poor and needy. Let the Lord have a voluntary share of your income, for the good of the poor, both in our Society and others; for we are all His creatures, remembering that he that gives to the poor, lends to the Lord. Know well your incomings, and your outgoings may be the better regulated. Love not money, nor the world. Use them only and they will serve you; but if you love them, you serve them, which will debase your spirits as well as offend the Lord. Pity the distressed, and hold out a hand of help to them; it may be your case, and as you mete to others, God will mete to you again.

Be humble and gentle in your conversation; of few words, I charge you; but always pertinent when you speak, hearing out before you attempt to answer, and then speaking as if you would persuade, not impose.

Affront none, neither revenge the affronts that are done to you; but forgive, and you shall be forgiven of your Heavenly Father.

In making friends, consider well, first; and when you are fixed, be true, not wavering by reports nor deserting in affliction, for that becomes not the good and virtuous.

Watch against anger; neither speak nor act in it, for like drunkenness, it makes a man a beast and throws people into desperate inconveniences.

Avoid flatterers; for they are thieves in disguise. Their praise is costly, designing to get by those they bespeak. They are the worst of creatures; they lie to flatter and flatter to cheat, and, which is worse, if you believe them, you cheat yourselves most dangerously. But the virtuous-though poor-love, cherish, and prefer. Remember David, who asking the Lord, "Who shall abide in Thy tabernacle; who shall dwell in Thy holy hill?" answers, "He that walks uprightly, works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart; in whose eyes the vile person is condemned, but honors them who fears the Lord."

Next, my children, be temperate in all things: in your diet, for that is physic by prevention; it keeps, nay, it makes people healthy and their generation sound. This is exclusive of the spiritual advantage it brings. Be also plain in your apparel; keep out that lust which reigns too much over some. Let your virtues be your ornaments; remembering, life is more than food, and the body than raiment. Let your furniture be simple and cheap. Avoid pride, avarice, and luxury. Read my No Cross, No Crown; there is instruction. Make your conversation with the most eminent for wisdom and piety; and shun all wicked men, as you hope for the blessing of God, and the comfort of your father's living and dying prayers. Be sure you speak no evil of any; no, not of the meanest, much less of your superiors, as magistrates, guardians, tutors, teachers, and elders in Christ.

Be no busybodies; meddle not with other folks' matters but when in conscience and duly pressed, for it procures trouble, and is ill-mannered, and very unseemly to wise men.

In your families, remember Abraham, Moses, and Joshua, their integrity to the Lord; and do as [if] you have them for your examples. Let the fear and service of the living God be encouraged in your houses, and that plainness, sobriety, and moderation in all things, as becomes God's chosen people. And, as I advise you, my beloved children, do you counsel yours, if God should give you any. Yea, I counsel and command them, as my posterity, that they love and serve the Lord God with an upright heart, that He may bless you and yours, from generation to generation.

And as for you who are likely to be concerned in the government of Pennsylvania and my parts of East Jersey, especially the first, I do charge you before the Lord God and his only angels that-you be lowly, diligent, and tender; fearing God, loving the people, and hating covetousness. Let justice have its impartial course, and the law free passage. Though to your loss, protect no man against it, for you are not above the law, but the law above you. Live therefore the lives yourselves you would have the people live; and then you have right and boldness to punish the transgressor. Keep upon the square, for God sees you; therefore do your duty; and be sure you see with your own eyes, and hear with your own ears. Entertain no lurchers; cherish no informers for gain or revenge; use no tricks, fly to no devices to support or cover injustice, but let your hearts be upright before the Lord, trusting in Him above the contrivances of men, and none shall be able to hurt or supplant.

Oh! the Lord is a strong God; and He can do whatsover He pleases. And though men consider it not, it is the Lord that rules and overrules in the kingdoms of men; and He builds up and pulls down. 1, your father, am the man that can say, he that trusts in the Lord shall not be confounded. But God, in due time, will make His enemies be at peace with Him.

If you thus behave yourselves, and so become a terror to evildoers and a praise to them that do well, God, my God, will be with you, in wisdom and a sound mind, and make you blessed instruments in His hand for the settlement of some of those desolate parts of the world -- which my soul desires above all worldly honors and riches, both for you that go and you that stay, you that govern and you that are governed - -that in the end you may be gathered with me to the rest of God.

Finally, my children, love one another with a true and endeared love, and your dear relations on both sides; and take care to preserve tender affection in your children to each other, often marrying within themselves, so [long] as it be without the bounds forbidden in God's law. That so they may not, like the forgetting and unnatural world, grow out of kindred and as cold as strangers; but, as becomes a truly natural and Christian stock, you and yours after you may live in the pure and fervent love of God toward one another, as becomes brethren in the spiritual and natural relation.

So my God, that has blessed me with His abundant mercies, both of this and the other and better life, be with you all, guide you by His counsel, bless you, and bring you to His eternal glory, that you may shine, my dear children, in the firmament of God's power, with the blessed spirits of the just, that celestial family, praising and admiring Him, the God and Father of it, forever and ever. For there is no God like unto Him: the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob; the God of the Prophets, the Apostles, and Martyrs of Jesus; in whom I live forever.

So farewell to my thrice dearly beloved wife and children. Yours, as God pleases, in that which no waters can quench, no time forget, nor distance wear away, but remains forever.    William Penn
A Drawing of William Penn (1644-1718)  Made During His Life

Upon landing in the colonies, a shipmate wrote this description, At our arrival, we found it a wilderness; the chief inhabitants were Indians, and some Swedes; who received us in a friendly manner: and though there was a great number of us,… provisions were found for us, by the Swedes and Indians, at very reasonable rates, as well as brought from diverse other parts, that were inhabited before. -- Richard Townsend, Shipmate of William Penn On the Proprietor's first visit to Pennsylvania, 1682

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Captain John Smith, The Generall Historie of Virginia, New England & the Summer Isles (1624)

Captain John Smith, The Generall Historie of Virginia, New England & the Summer Isles (1624)

The Names of them that were the first Planters, were these following.
Mr. Edward Maria Wingfield
Captain Bartholomew Gosnoll
Captain John Smith
Captain John Ratliffe
Captain George Kendall

Gent. [Gentlemen]
47 gentlemen listed.

4 carpenters listed

12 laborers listed, including one named "Old William"

James Read, Blacksmith
Jonas Profit, Sailer
Thomas Cowper, Barber
William Garret, Bricklayer
Edward Brinto, Mason
William Love, Taylor
Nic. Scott, Drum
William Wilkinson, Surg.

With divers others to the number of 100.

Chapter II
What Happened Till the First Supply

Being thus left to our fortunes, it fortuned that within ten days scarce ten amongst 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: Whilst 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 engrossing to his private [use] oatmeal, sack, oil, aquavitae, beef, eggs, or what not, but the [common] 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 Pallisadoes 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 that we deposed him and established Ratcliffe in his place (Gosnold being dead), Kendall deposed. Smith newly recovered [from illness], Martin and Ratcliffe 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 provisions that no man wanted.

And now, where some, affirmed it was ill done of the Council to send forth men so badly provided, this incontradictable reason will show them plainly they are too ill advised to nourish such ill conceits. First, the fault of our going was our own. What could be thought fitting or necessary we had; but what we should find or want or where we should be we were all ignorant; and supposing to make our passage in two months with victual to live and the advantage of the spring to work, we were at sea five months, where we both spent our victual and lost the opportunity of the time and season to plant by the unskillful presumption of our ignorant transporters that understood not at all what they undertook.

Such actions have ever since the world's beginning been subject to such accidents, and everything of worth is found full of difficulties; but nothing so difficult as to establish a commonwealth so far remote from men and means, and where men's minds are so untoward as neither do well themselves nor suffer others. But to proceed.

The new President and Martin, being little beloved, of weak judgment in dangers and less industry in peace, committed the managing of all things abroad to Captain Smith; who by his own example, good words, and fair promises set some to mow, others to bind thatch, some to build houses, others to thatch them, himself always bearing the greatest task for his own share, so that in short time he provided most of them lodgings, neglecting any for himself.

This done, seeing the savages' superfluity begin to decrease (with some of the workmen) shipped himself in the shallop to search the country for trade. The want of the language, knowledge to manage his boat without sails, the want of a sufficient power (knowing the multitude of the savages), apparel for his men, and other necessaries, were infinite impediments, yet no discouragement. Being but six or seven in company, he went down the river to Kecoughtan, where at first they scorned him, as a famished man, and would in derision offer him a handful of corn, a piece of bread for their swords and muskets, and such like proportions also for their apparel. But seeing by trade and courtesy there was nothing to be had, he made bold to try such conclusions as necessity enforced, though contrary to his commission. [He] let fly his muskets, ran his boat on shore, whereat they all fled into the woods. So marching towards their houses, they might see great heaps of corn: much ado he had to restrain his hungry soldiers from present taking of it, expecting as it happened that the savages would assault them; as not long after they did with a most hideous noise. Sixty or seventy of them, some black, some red, some white, some parti-colored came in a square order, singing and dancing out of the woods, with their Okee (which was an idol made of skins, stuffed with moss, all painted and hung with chains and copper) borne before them. And in this manner, being well armed with clubs, targets, bows and arrows, they charged the English, that so kindly received them with their muskets loaden with pistol shot, that down fell their god and divers lay on the ground. The rest fled again to the woods and ere long sent one of the Quiyoughkasoucks to offer peace and redeem their Okee. Smith told them if only six of them would come unarmed and load his boat, he would not only be their friend, but restore them their Okee, and give them beads, copper, and hatchets besides: which on both sides was to their contents performed: and then they brought him venison, turkeys, wild fowl, bread, and what they had, singing and dancing in sign of friendship till they departed. . . .

Thus God unboundless by his power,
Made them thus kind, would us devour.

Smith, perceiving (notwithstanding their late misery) not any regarded but from hand to mouth (the company being well recovered), caused the pinnace to be provided with things fitting to get provision for the year following. But in the interim he made three or four journeys and discovered the people of Chickahamania. Yet what he carefully provided the rest carelessly spent. Wingfield and Kendall living in disgrace, seeing all things at random in the absence of Smith, the company's dislike of their President's weakness, and their small love to Martin's never mending sickness, strengthened themselves with the sailors and other confederates to regain their former credit and authority, or at least such means aboard the pinnace (being fitted to sail as Smith had appointed for trade) to alter her course and to go for England. Smith unexpectedly returning had the plot discovered to him. Much trouble he had to prevent it, till with store of saker and musket shot he forced them to stay or sink in the river; which action cost the life of Captain Kendall. These brawls are so disgustful, as some will say, they were better forgotten, yet all men of good judgment will conclude it were better their baseness should be manifest to the world than the business bear the scorn and share of their excused disorders.

The President and Captain Archer not long after intended also to have abandoned the country, which project also was curbed and suppressed by Smith. The Spaniard never more greedily desired gold than he [Smith] victual; nor his soldiers more to abandon the country than he to keep it. But [he found] plenty of corn in the river of Chickahominy, where hundreds of savages in diverse places stood with baskets expecting his coming. And now the winter approaching, the river became so covered with swans, geese, ducks, and cranes that we daily feasted with good bread, Virginia peas, pumpkins, and putchamins [persimmons], fish, fowl, and diverse sorts of wild beasts as fat as we could eat them, so that none of our tuftaffaty [silly] humorists desired to go for England.

But our comedies never endured long without a tragedy. Some idle exceptions being muttered against Captain Smith for not discovering the head of Chickahominy River and [being] taxed by the Council to be too slow in so worthy an attempt, the next voyage [in December] he proceeded so far that with much labor by cutting trees in sunder 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.

[Among the colonists on the next ship arriving included the following tradesmen.]
Daniel Stallings, Jeweller.
Richard Belfield, a Goldsmith.
William Dawson, a refiner.
Abram Ransack, a refiner.
Post Ginnat, a Surgeon
William Johnson, a Goldsmith.
John Lewes, a Cooper.
Peter Keffer, a gunsmith.
Robert Cotton, a tobacco pipe-maker.
Rob: Alberton, a perfumer.
Richard Dole, a Blacksmith.

Chapter V.
The Accidents that happened in the Discovery of the Bay of Chesapeake

The prodigality of the President's state went so deepe into our small store, that Smith and Scrivener tied him and his Parasites to the rules of proportion. But now Smith being to depart, the President's authority so overswayed the discretion of Master Scrivener that our store, our time, our strength and labors were idly consumed to fulfill his fantasies. The second of June 1608 , Smith left the fort to perform his discovery with this company [Six gentlemen and Seven soldiers, and One doctor]

These being in an open barge near three tons burden, leaving the Phoenix at Cape Henry, they crossed the Bay to the eastern shore and fell with the isles called Smith's Isles, after our captain's name. The first people we saw were two grim and stout savages upon Cape Charles, with long poles like javelins, headed with bone. They boldly demanded what we were and what we would, but after many circumstances they seemed very kind and directed us to Accomac, the habitation of their werowance, where we were kindly entreated. This king was the comeliest, proper, civil savage we encountered. His country is a pleasant fertile clay soil, some small creeks, good harbors for small barks but not for ships. He told us of a strange accident lately happened him, and it was: Two children being dead, some extreme passions or dreaming visions, fantasies, or affection moved their parents again to revisit their dead carcasses, whose benumbed bodies reflected to the eyes of the beholders such delightful countenances, as though they had regained their vital spirits. This as a miracle drew many to behold them, all which being a great part of his people, not long after died and but few escaped.

They spake the language of Powhatan, wherein they made such descriptions of the Bay, isles, and rivers that often did us exceeding pleasure. Passing along the coast, [we searched] every inlet and bay fit for harbors and habitations. Seeing many isles in the midst of the Bay we bore up for them, but ere we could obtain them such an extreme gust of wind, rain, thunder, and lightning happened that with great danger we escaped the unmerciful raging of that oceanlike water. The highest land on the main, yet it was but low, we called Keale's Hill, and these uninhabited isles, Russell's Isles.

The next day searching them for fresh water we could find none, the defect whereof forced us to follow the next eastern channel, which brought us to the river of Wighcocomoco [Pocomoke].

The people at first with great fury seemed to assault us, yet at last with songs and dances and much mirth became very tractable. But searching their habitations for water, we could fill but three barricoes [kegs] and that such puddle [water] that never till then we ever knew the want of good water. We digged and searched in many places but before two days were expired, we would have refused two barricoes of gold for one of that puddle water of Wighcocomoco.

Being past these isles, which are many in number but all naught for habitation, falling with a high land upon the main, we found a great pond of fresh water but so exceeding hot we supposed it some bath. That place we called Point Ployer in honor of that most honorable House of Moussaye in Brittany that in an extreme extremity once relieved our captain.

From Wighcocomoco to this place all the coast is low broken isles of morap [marsh], grown a mile or two in breadth and ten or twelve in length, good to cut for hay in summer and to catch fish and fowl in winter; but the land beyond them is all covered over with wood, as is the rest of the country.

Being thus refreshed, in crossing over from the main to other isles we discovered, the wind and waters so much increased with thunder, lightning, and rain that our mast and sail blew overboard and such mighty waves overracked us in that small barge that with great labor we kept her from sinking by freeing [bailing] out the water.

Two days we were enforced to inhabit these uninhabited isles, which for the extremity of gusts, thunder, rain, storms, and ill weather we called Limbo. Repairing our sail with our shirts, we set sail for the main and fell with a pretty convenient river on the east called Kuskarawaok [Nanticoke]. The people ran as amazed in troops from place to place and diverse got into the tops of trees. They were not sparing of their arrows, nor [of] the greatest passion they could express of their anger. Long they shot, we still riding at an anchor without their reach, making all the signs of friendship we could.

The next day they came unarmed with everyone a basket, dancing in a ring to draw us on shore. But seeing there was nothing in them but villainy, we discharged a volley of muskets charged with pistol shot; whereat they all lay tumbling on the ground, creeping some one way, some another into a great cluster of reeds hard by, where their companies lay in ambuscado. Towards the evening we weighed [anchor] and approaching the shore, discharging five or six shot among the reeds, we landed where there lay a many of baskets and much blood, but saw not a savage. A smoke appearing on the other side of the river, we rowed thither, where we found two or three little houses, in each a fire. There we left some pieces of copper, beads, bells, and looking glasses, and then went into the Bay; but when it was dark we came back again.

Early in the morning four savages came to us in their canoe, whom we used with such courtesy. [They] not knowing what we were nor had done, having been in the Bay a fishing, bade us stay and ere long they would return, which they did and some twenty more with them; with whom after a little conference, two or three thousand men, women, and children came clustering about us, everyone presenting us with something, which a little bead would so well requite that we became such friends they would contend who should fetch us water, stay with us for hostage, conduct our men any whither, and give us the best content.

Here doth inhabit the people Sarapinagh, Nause, Arseek, and Nantaquake, the best merchants of all other savages. They much extolled a great nation called Massawomekes, in search of whom we returned by Limbo. This river, but only at the entrance, is very narrow, and the people of small stature as them of Wighcocomoco; the land but low, yet it may prove very commodious because it is but a ridge of land betwixt the Bay and the main ocean. Finding this eastern shore shallow broken isles, and for most part without fresh water, we passed by the straits of Limbo for the western shore. So broad is the Bay here we could scarce perceive the great high cliffs on the other side. By them we anchored that night and called them Rickard's Cliffs.

Thirty leagues we sailed more northwards not finding any inhabitants, leaving all the eastern shore, low islands but overgrown with wood, as all the coast beyond them so far as we could see. The western shore by which we sailed we found all along well watered but very mountainous and barren, the valleys very fertile but extreme thick of small wood so well as trees and much frequented with wolves, bears, deer, and other wild beasts.

We passed many shallow creeks but the first we found navigable for a ship we called Bolus [Patapsco], for that the clay in many places under the cliffs by the high water mark did grow up in red and white knots as gum out of trees; and in some places so participated together as though they were all of one nature, excepting the color; the rest of the earth on both sides being hard sandy gravel, which made us think it bole-armeniac and terra sigillata.

When we first set sail some of our gallants doubted nothing but that our captain would make too much haste home. But having lain in this small barge not above twelve or fourteen days, oft tired at the oars, our bread spoiled with wet so much that it was rotten (yet so good were their stomachs that they could digest it) they did with continual complaints so importune him now to return as caused him bespeake them in this manner:

Gentlemen, if you would remember the memorable history of Sir Ralph Lane, how his company importuned him to proceed in the discovery of Moratico, alleging they had yet a dog that being boiled with sassafras leaves would richly feed them in their returns; then what a shame would it be for you (that have been so suspicious of my tenderness) to force me [to] return with so much provision as we have and scarce able to say where we have been nor yet heard of that we were sent to seek? You cannot say but I have shared with you in the worst which is past; and for what is to come of lodging, diet, or whatsoever I am contented you allot the worst part to myself. As for your fears that I will lose myself in these unknown large waters or be swallowed up in some stormy gust, abandon these childish fears, for worse than is passed is not likely to happen. And there is as much danger to return as to proceed. Regain, therefore, your old spirits, for return I will not (if God please) till I have seen the Massawomekes [and] found Potomac or the head of this water you conceit to be endless.

Two or three days we expected [experienced] wind and weather whose adverse extremities added such discouragement that three or four fell sick, whose pitiful complaints caused us to return, leaving the Bay some nine miles broad at nine and ten fathom water.

The 16th of June we fell with the river Potomac. Fear being gone and our men recovered, we were all content to take some pains to know the name of that seven mile broad river. For thirty miles' sail we could see no inhabitants. Then we were conducted by two savages up a little bayed creek towards Onawmanient [Nomini Bay], where all the woods were laid with ambuscados to the number of three or four thousand [more likely hundred] savages, so strangely painted, grimed and disguised, shouting, yelling, and crying as so many spirits from hell could not have showed more terrible.

Many bravadoes they made, but to appease their fury our captain prepared with as seeming a willingness (as they) to encounter them. But the grazing of our bullets upon the water (many being shot on purpose they might see them) with the echo of the woods so amazed them as down went their bows and arrows; and exchanging hostages, James Watkins was sent six miles up the woods to their king's habitation. We were kindly used of those savages of whom we understood they were commanded to betray us, by the direction of Powhatan; and he so directed from the discontented at Jamestown because our captain did cause them stay in their country against their wills.

(The like encounters we found at Potomac, Cecocawonce and diverse other places; but at Moyaones, Nacotchtant, and Toags the people did their best to content us.)

Having gone so high as we could with the boat, we met diverse savages in canoes well loaden with the flesh of bears, deer, and other beasts; whereof we had part. Here we found mighty rocks growing in some places above the ground as high as the shrubby trees and diverse other solid quarries of diverse tinctures; and diverse places where the waters had fallen from high mountains they had left a tinctured spangled scurf that made many bare places seem as gilded. Digging the ground above in the highest cliffs of rocks, we saw it was a clay sand so mingled with yellow spangles as if it had been half pin-dust.

In our return, inquiring still for this matchqueon [as the Indians called this spangled pin-dust], the king of Potomac gave us guides to conduct us up a little river called Quiyough [Aquia Creek], up which we rowed so high as we could. Leaving the boat, with six shot and diverse savages he marched seven or eight miles before they came to the mine. [He led the bound hostages by] a small chain [which] they were to have for their pains, being proud so richly to be adorned.

The mine is a great rocky mountain like antimony, wherein they digged a great hole with shell and hatchets. And hard by it runneth a fair brook of crystal-like water where they wash away the dross and keep the remainder, which they put in little bags and sell it all over the country to paint their bodies, faces, or idols, which makes them look like blackamoors dusted over with silver. With so much as we could carry we returned to our boat, kindly requiting this kind king and all his kind people.

The cause of this discovery was to search [for] this mine of which Newport did assure us that those small bags we had given him, in England he had tried [and found] to hold half silver; but all we got proved of no value. Also to search what furs the best whereof is at Kuskarawaok, where is made so much roanoke [shells] or white beads that occasion as much dissension among the savages as gold and silver among Christians. And what other minerals, rivers, rocks, nations, woods, fishings, fruits, victual, and what other commodities the land affordeth. And whether the Bay were endless or how far it extended.

Of mines we were all ignorant, but a few beavers, otters, bears, martins, and minks we found. And in diverse places that abundance, of fish lying so thick with their heads above the water [that] as for want of nets (our barge driving among them) we attempted to catch them with a frying pan, but we found it a bad instrument to catch fish with. Neither better fish, more plenty, nor more variety for small fish had any of us ever seen in any place so swimming in the water, but they are not to be caught with frying pans. Some small cod also we did see swim close by the shore by Smith's Isles, and some as high as Rickard's Cliffs. And some we have found dead upon the shore.

To express all our quarrels, treacheries, and encounters amongst those savages I should be too tedious. But in brief, at all times we so encountered them and curbed their insolencies that they concluded with presents to purchase peace; yet we lost not a man. At our first meeting our captain ever observed this order: to demand their bows and arrows, swords, mantles, and furs, with some child or two for hostage; whereby we could quickly perceive when they intended any villainy.

Having finished this discovery (though our victual was near spent) he intended to see his imprisonment-acquaintances upon the river of Rappahannock, by many called Tappahannock. But our boat by reason of the ebb chancing to ground upon a many shoals lying in the entrances, we spied many fishes lurking in the reeds. Our captain sporting himself by nailing them to the ground with his sword set us all a fishing in that manner. Thus we took more in one hour than we could eat in a day.

But it chanced our captain taking a fish from his sword (not knowing her condition) being much of the fashion of a thornback but a long tail like a riding rod, whereon the middest is a most poisoned sting of two or three inches long, bearded like a saw on each side, which she struck into the wrist of his arm near an inch and a half. No blood nor wound was seen but a little blue spot. But the torment was instantly so extreme that in four hours had so swollen his hand, arm, and shoulder we all with much sorrow concluded [anticipated] his funeral and prepared his grave in an island by, as himself directed. Yet it pleased God by a precious oil Doctor Russell at the first applied to it when he sounded it with a probe (ere night) his tormenting pain was so well assuaged that he ate of the fish to his supper, which gave no less joy and content to us than ease to himself. For which we called the island Stingray Isle after the name of the fish.

Having neither surgeon nor surgery but that preservative oil, we presently set sails for Jamestown, passing the mouths of the rivers Piankatank and Pamunkey. The next day we safely arrived at Kecoughtan.

The simple savages seeing our captain hurt and another bloody by breaking his skin, our numbers of bows, arrows, swords, mantles, and furs would needs imagine we had been at wars. The truth of these accidents would not satisfy them, but impatiently importuned us to know with whom. Finding their aptness to believe, we failed not (as a great secret) to tell them anything that might affright them, what spoil we had got and made of the Massawomekes. This rumor went faster up the river than our barge, that arrived at Warraskoyack the 20th of July, where trimming her with painted streamers and such devices as we could we made them at Jamestown jealous of [suspicious of being] a Spanish frigate, where we all, God be thanked, safely arrived the 21st of July.

There we found the last Supply [of new settlers] were all sick, the rest some lame, some bruised-all unable to do anything but complain of the pride and unreasonable needless cruelty of the silly President that had riotously consumed the store and to fulfill his follies about building him an unnecessary building for his pleasure in the woods had brought them all to that misery, that had we not arrived they had as strangely tormented him with revenge.

But the good news of our discovery and the good hope we had by the savages' relation that our Bay had stretched into the South Sea or somewhat near it, appeased their fury. But conditionally that Ratcliffe should be deposed and that Captain Smith would take upon him the government, as by course it did belong.

Their request being effected, he substituted Master Scrivener, his dear friend, in the Presidency, equally distributing those private provisions the other had engrossed, appointing more honest officers to assist Master Scrivener (who then lay exceeding sick of a calenture). And in regard of the weakness of the company and heat of the year, they being unable to work, he left them to live at ease to recover their health, but embarked himself to finish his discovery. . . .

So setting sail for the southern shore, we sailed up a narrow river up the country of Chesapeake. It hath a good channel but many shoals about the entrance. By [the time] that we had sailed six or seven miles we saw two or three little garden plots with their houses, the shores overgrown with the greatest pine and fir trees we ever saw in the country. But not seeing nor hearing any people and the river very narrow, we returned to the great river to see if we could find any of them, coasting the shore towards Nansemond which is mostly oyster banks. At the mouth of that river we espied six or seven savages making their weirs, who presently fled. Ashore we went and where they wrought we threw diverse toys and so departed. Far we were not gone ere they came again and began to sing and dance and recall us. And thus we began our first acquaintance. At last one of them desired us to go to his house up that river. Into our boat voluntarily he came; the rest ran after us by the shore with all the show of love that could be. Seven or eight miles we sailed up this narrow river. At last on the western shore we saw large cornfields; in the midst [of the river] a little isle, and in it was an abundance of corn. The people, he told us, were all a hunting but in the isle was his house, to which he invited us with much kindness. To him, his wife, and children we gave such things as they seemed much contented them. The others being come, desired us also to go but a little higher to see their houses. Here our host left us, the rest rowed by us in a canoe till we were so far past the isle the river became very narrow.

Here we desired some of them to come aboard us, whereat pausing a little they told us they would but fetch their bows and arrows and go all with us. But being ashore and thus armed, they persuaded us to go forward, but we could neither persuade them into their canoe nor into our boat. This gave us cause to provide for the worst. Far we went not ere seven or eight canoes full of men armed appeared following us, staying to see the conclusion. Presently from each side the river came arrows so fast as two or three hundred could shoot them, whereat we returned to get the open. They in the canoes let fly also as fast, but amongst them we bestowed so many shot [that] the most of them leaped over board and swam ashore; but two or three escaped by rowing. Being against their plains [open, flat land], our muskets they found shot further than their bows, for we made not twenty shot ere they all retired behind the next trees. Being thus got out of their trap, we seized on all their canoes and moored them in the midst of the open. More than a hundred arrows stuck in our targets and about the boat. Yet none [was] hurt; only Anthony Bagnall was shot in his hat and another in his sleeve. But seeing their multitudes, and suspecting, as it was, that both the Nansemonds and the Chesapeakes were together, we thought it best to ride by their canoes a while to bethink if it were better to burn all in the isle or draw them to composition [peace] till we were provided to take all they had, which was sufficient to feed all our colony. But to burn the isle at night it was concluded.

In the interim we began to cut in pieces their canoes, and they presently lay down their bows, making signs of peace. Peace, we told them, we would accept it, would they bring us their king's bows and arrows with a chain of pearl, and when we came again give us four hundred baskets full of corn; otherwise we would break all their boats and burn their houses and corn and all they had. To perform all this they alleged only the want of a canoe. So we put one adrift and bade them swim to fetch her, and till they performed their promise we would but only break their canoes. They cried to us to do no more; all should be as we would, which presently they performed. Away went their bows and arrows and tag and rag came with their baskets. So much as we could carry we took, and so departing good friends we returned to Jamestown, where we safely arrived the 7th of September, 16o8.

There we found Master Scrivener and diverse others well recovered; many dead, some sick; the late President a prisoner for mutiny; by the most honest diligence of Master Scrivener the harvest gathered, but the provision in the store much spoiled with rain.

Thus was that summer (when little wanted) consumed and spent and nothing done (such was the government of Captain Ratcliffe) but only this discovery. Wherein to express all the dangers, accidents, and encounters this small number passed in that small barge, by the scale of proportion about three thousand miles with such watery diet in those great waters and barbarous countries (till then to any Christian utterly unknown) I rather their merit to the censure of the courteous and experienced reader than I would be tedious or partial, being a party.

No sooner were we landed but the President dispersed so many as were able, some for glass, others for tar, pitch, and soap-ashes, leaving them with the fort to the Council's oversight.

But thirty of us he conducted down the river some five miles from Jamestown to learn to make Clapboard, cut down trees, and lay in woods. Amongst the rest he had chosen Gabriel Beadle and John Russell, the only two gallants of this last Supply, and both proper gentlemen. Strange were these pleasures to their conditions; yet lodging, eating and drinking, working or playing, they [were] but doing as the President did himself. All these things were carried so pleasantly as within a week they became masters making it their delight to hear the trees thunder as they fell. But the axes so oft blistered their tender fingers that many times every third blow had a loud oath to drown the echo. For remedy of which sin, the President devised how to have every man's oaths numbered,. and at night for every oath to have a can of water poured down his sleeve, with which every offender was so wash (himself and all) that a man should scarce hear an oath in a week

By this let no man think that the President and these gentlemen spent their times as common wood-haggers at felling of trees or such like labors; or that they were pressed to it as hirelings or common slaves. For what they did, after they were but once a little inured, it seemed, and some conceited it, only as a pleasure and recreation, yet 30 or 40of such voluntary gentlemen would do more in a day than one hundred of the rest that must be pressed to it by compulsion. But twenty good workmen had been better than them all.

Master Scrivener, Captain Waldo, and Captain Winne at the fort, every one in like manner carefully regarded their charge. The President returning from amongst the woods, seeing the time consumed and no provision gotten (and the ship lay idle at a great charge and did nothing) presently embarked himself in the discovery barge, giving order to the Council to send Lieutenant Percy after him with the next barge that arrived at the fort. Two barges he had himself and eighteen men. But arriving at Chickahominy, that dogged nation was too well acquainted with our wants, refusing to trade with as much scorn and insolence as they could express. The President perceiving it was Powhatan's policy to starve us, told them he came not so much for their corn as to revenge his imprisonment and the death of his men murdered by them. And so landing his men, and ready to charge them, they immediately fled; and presently after sent their ambassadors with corn, fish, fowl, and what they had to make their peace. Their corn being that year but bad, they complained extremely of their own wants, yet freighted our boats with a hundred bushels of corn and in like manner Lieutenant Percy's that not long after arrived. And having done the best they could to content us, we parted good friends and returned to Jamestown. . . .

All this time our old tavern made as much of all them that had either money or ware as could be desired. This time they were become so perfect on all sides (I mean the soldiers, sailors, and savages) as there was ten times more car to maintain their damnable and private trade than to provide for the colony things that were necessary. Neither was it a small policy in Newport and the mariners to report in England we ha such plenty and bring us so many men without victuals when they had so many private factors in the fort that within six or seven weeks [out] of two or three hundred axes, chisels, hoes, and pickaxes scarce twenty could be found. And for pike-heads, shot,, powder, or anything they could steal from their fellows [that] was vendible, they knew as well (and as secretly) how to convey them to trade with the savages for furs, baskets, mussanecks, young beasts, or such like commodities, as exchange them with the sailors for butter, cheese, beef, pork, aqua vitae, beer, biscuit, oatmeal, and oil; and then feign all was sent them from their friends. And though Virginia afforded no furs for the store, yet one master in one voyage hath got so many by this indirect means as he confessed to have sold in England for £30.

Those are the saint-seeming worthies of Virginia (that have notwithstanding all this meat, drink, and wages): but now they begin to grow weary, their trade being both perceived and prevented. None hath been in Virginia that hath observed anything which knows not this to be true. And yet the loss, the scorn, the misery, and shame was the poor officers, gentlemen, and careless governors who were all thus bought and sold, the Adventurers couzened, and the action overthrown by their false excuses, informations, and directions. By this let all men judge how this business could prosper, being thus abused by such pilfering occasions. And had not Captain Newport cried Peccavi, the President would have discharged the ship and caused him to have stayed one year in Virginia to learn to speak of his own experience.

Master Scrivener was sent with the barges and pinnace to Werowocomoco, where he found the savages more ready to fight than trade. But his vigilancy was such as prevented their projects, and by the means of Namontack [he] got three or four hogsheads of corn; and as much puccoon, which is a red root which then was esteemed an excellent dye. Captain Newport, being dispatched with the trials of pitch, tar, glass, frankincense, soap-ashes, [along] with that clapboard and wainscot that could be provided, met with Master Scrivener at point Comfort, and so returned for England. We remaining were about two hundred.


Right Honorable, etc.
I received your letter wherein you write that our minds are so set upon faction and idle conceits in dividing the country without your consents and that we feed you but with ifs and ands, hopes, and some few proofs, as if we would keep the mystery of the business to ourselves. And that we must expressly follow your instructions sent by Captain Newport, the charge of whose voyage amounts to near two thousand pounds, the which if we cannot defray by the ship's return we are like to remain as banished men. To these particulars I humbly entreat your pardons if I offend you with my rude answer.

For our factions: Unless you would have me run away and leave the country I cannot prevent them, because I do make many stay that would else fly any whether. For the idle letter sent to my Lord of Salisbury by the President [Ratcliffe] and his confederates for dividing the country, etc.: What it was I know not, for you saw no hand of mine to it, nor ever dreamt I of any such matter. That we feed you with hopes, etc.: Though I be no scholar I am past a schoolboy, and I desire but to know what either you and these here do know but that I have learned to tell you by the continual hazard of my life. I have not concealed from you anything I know, but I fear some cause you to believe much more than is true.

Expressly to follow your directions by Captain Newport, though they be performed I was directly against it; but according to our commission, I was content to be overruled by the major part of the Council. I fear to the hazard of us all, which now is generally confessed when it is too late. Only Captain Winne and Captain Waldo I have sworn of the Council and crowned Powhatan according to your instructions.

For the charge of this voyage of two or three thousand pounds: We have not received the value of a hundred pounds. And for the quartered boat to be borne by the soldiers over the falls: Newport had one hundred twenty of the best men he could chose. If he had burnt her to ashes one might have carried her in a bag, but as she is five hundred cannot to a navigable place above the falls. And for him at that time to find in the South Sea a mine of gold or any of them sent by Sir Walter Raleigh: at our consultation I told them was as likely as the rest. But during this great discovery thirty miles (which might as well have been done by one man and much more for the value of a pound of copper at a seasonable time) they had the pinnace and all the boats with them but one that remained with me to serve the fort.

In their absence I followed the new begun works of pitch and tar, glass, soap-ashes, and clapboard; whereof some small quantities we have sent you. But if you rightly consider what an infinite toil it is in Russia and Swethland [Sweden] where the woods are proper for naught else, and though there be the help both of man and beast in those ancient commonwealths, which many a hundred years have used it; yet thousands of those poor people can scarce get necessaries to live but from hand to mouth. And though your factors there can buy as much in a week as will fraught you a ship or as much as you please, you must not expect from us any such matter, which are but a many of ignorant, miserable souls that are scarce able to get wherewith to live and defend ourselves against the inconstant savages; finding but here and there a tree fit for the purpose, and want all things else the Russians have.

For the coronation of Powhatan: By whose advice you sent him such presents I know not, but this give me leave to tell you: I fear they will be the confusion of us all ere we hear from you again. At your ship's arrival the savages' harvest was newly gathered, and we going to buy it, our own not being half sufficient for so great a number. As for the two ships' loading of corn Newport promised to provide us from Powhatan, he brought us but four teen bushels, and from the Monacans nothing, but the most of the men sick and near famished. From your ship we had not pro vision in victuals worthy twenty pounds, and we are more than two hundred to live upon this: the one half sick, the other little better. For the sailors: I confess they daily make good cheer, but our diet is a little meal and water and not sufficient of that. Though there be fish in the sea, fowls in the air, and beasts in the woods, their bounds are so large, they so wild, and we so weak and ignorant we cannot much trouble them. Captain Newport we much suspect to be the author of those inventions.

Now, that you should know I have made you as great a discovery as he for less charge than he spendeth you every meal, I have sent you this map of the Bay and rivers, with an annexed relation of the countries and nations that inhabit them, as you may see at large. Also two barrels of stones and such as I take to be good iron ore at the least, so divided as by their notes you may see in what places I found them.

The soldiers say many of your officers maintain their families out of that you send us, and that Newport hath a hundred pounds a year for carrying news. For every master you have yet sent can find the way as well as he, so that a hundred pounds might be spared, which is more than we have all that helps to pay him wages.

Captain Ratcliffe is now called Sicklemore, a poor counterfeited imposture.* I have sent you him home, lest the company should cut his throat. What he is now everyone can tell you. If he and Archer return again, they are sufficient to keep us always in factions.

When you send again I entreat you rather send but thirty carpenters, husbandmen, gardeners, fishermen, blacksmiths, masons, and diggers up of trees, roots, well provided, than a thousand of such as we have. For except we be able both to lodge them and feed them, the most will consume with want of necessaries before hey can be made good for anything.

Thus if you please to consider this account and of the unnecessary wages to Captain Newport or his ships so long lingering and staying here (for notwithstanding his boasting to leave us victuals for twelve months, though we had eighty-nine by this discovery lame and sick and but a pint of corn a day for a man, we were constrained to give him three hogsheads of that to victual him homeward) or yet [not] to send into Germany or Poland for glassmen and the rest till we be able to sustain ourselves and relieve them

When they come. It were better to give five hundred pounds a ton -for those gross commodities in Denmark than send for them hither till more necessary things be provided. For in over-toiling our weak and unskillful bodies to satisfy this desire of present profit we can scarce ever recover ourselves from one Supply to another.

And I humbly entreat you hereafter let us know what we should receive and not stand to the sailors' courtesy to leave us what they please, else you may charge us with what you will but we not you with anything.

These are the causes that have kept us in Virginia from laying such a foundation that ere this might have given much better content and satisfaction, but as profitable returns. So I humbly rest.

Source: John Smith, The Generall Historie of Virginia, New England & the Summer Isles . . . [1624]

Saturday, August 24, 2019

1682 Pennsylvania Laws Against Adultery, Incest, Rape, & Polygamy

1682 Pennsylvania Laws

Chapter 7. And be it &c: That whosoever defileth the marriage bed, by Lying with another Women or Man, than their own wife or husband, being Legally convicted thereof, Shall for the first offence be publickly whipt, & Suffer one whole year’s imprisonment in the house of correction at hard Labour, to the behoof of the publick & Longer if the chief Magistrate See meet And both hee & the Woman Shall be Liable to a Bill of Divorcement, if required by the greived husband or wife, within the said term of one whole year after Conviction. And for the Second Offence Imprisonment in Manner aforesaid, during Life. And if the party with whom the husband or wife Shall defile their beds be Unmarryed, for the first offence they Shall Suffer half a year’s imprisonment in the manner aforesaid. And for the Second offence, Imprisonment for Life.

Chapter 8. And be it &c: That if any person Shall be Legally convicted of Incest, which is uncleanness betwixt near relations in blood, Such Shall forfeit one half of his Estate, and both Suffer imprisonment a whole year in the house of Correction at hard Labour, And for the Second offence imprisonment in Manner aforesaid during Life.

Chapter 10. And be it &c: That whosoever Shall be Convicted of Rape or Ravishment, that is, forcing a Maid, Widow or Wife, Shall forfeit One third part of his Estate to the parent of the said Maid & for want of a parent to the said Maid, And if a Widow to the said Widow, And if a Wife to the husband of the said wife &the Said party be whipt, & Suffer a year’s imprisonment in the house of Correction at hard Labour, And for the second offence imprisonment in Manner aforesaid during Life.

Chapter 11. And be it &c: That whosoever Shall be Convicted of having two Wives or two husbands att one and the Same time Shall be imprisoned all their Life-time in the house of Correction at hard Labour, to the behoof of the former wife & children or the former husband & children And if a Man or Women being Unmarried do knowingly Marry the husband or wife of another person, hee or shee Shall be punished after the same Manner aforesaid.

Friday, August 23, 2019

1681 Virginia Anglican Priest Proposes Teaching Slaves Christianity

1681 Morgan Goodwyn, Proposes Teaching the Slaves Christianity

Goodwyn (1640-1685) was a Church of England (Anglican) minister who served in both Virginia and Barbadoes. He was one of the rare voices of ministers calling for the religious education of African slaves. Goodwyn's sentiments would be repeated 20 years later, when the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts began to send missionaries to the colonies and encourage the conversion or religious training of slaves.
Before we enter upon this Debate, to prevent all troublesome Clamors and Objections against it, upon the score of lnterest, this Position should first be laid down, and as a Principle fixt and Eternal, and from which a true Christian cannot recede, be resolved on, (viz.) That no Interest how great or (otherwise) just soever, may be admitted to stand in Competition with Christianity. .

And here also in this Consideration, we are especially to avoid Splitting upon this Solecism, both in Policy and Discretion, and against which, Ecclus hath so wisely cautioned us, ch. 37, v.11. [Not to ask Counsel for Religion of one that hath no Religion, nor of Justice of him that hath no Justice] nor of a Coward about Matters of War, nor of a Merchant concerning Exchange, nor of a Buyer concerning selling &c. for such will counsel for themselves, ver. 8. So likewise for a Christian not to be guided or led by Self-ended Men, Enemies to his Profession, in these Debates and Proposals made for the Advancement of it. Such being only like to raise Obstructions, as hitherto they have always done; and (as lately) to render that for impossible, which has not the least difficulty in it, where a right Method is used for effecting it.

No more are we to proceed herein, by the sole Advice of Persons unacquainted with the true State and Condition of the places where this Settlement or Conversion is to be wrought. . . .

These things being agreed on, we must then fall to consider of the People amongst whom we are to take our lot, and thereto to have an especial regard: As, whether they be Slaves, subject to the English, such as most of the Negro's there are; or free People living of themselves, either amongst, or distant from the English; such as most of the Indians on the Continent (in Virginia, &c.) are. Or lastly, whether this is to be performed by way of further Settling and Establishment, even amongst the English themselves, which also is no less necessary. . . .

Now concerning the Negro's, whom I should think fit to be first taken in hand (as being the easiest Task, would their Owners be perswaded to consent thereto; & the most absolutely necessary, this neglect being the most scandalous, and withal, the most impossible to be defended or excused:) The first and great step will be to procure (what I but just mentioned) their Owners consent, as being to be supposed averse thereto: not altogether, as is here believed, out of Interest (it being already secured to them by Laws of their own but by reason of the trouble, and the fancied needlessness of the Work and to prevent all danger from their Slaves being furnisht with knowledge, consequent, they conceive thereto. However, because they pretend the other (and something there may be in that too,) to take off that pretence, it will be requisite,

I. That a Law be enacted to confirm such Laws of theirs, as are or shall be hereafter made to secure their just Interest in their Slaves; That they may thereby be continued in their present State of Servitude notwithstanding their being afterward baptised.

2. That all unjust Interests, and ungodly Advantages arising from their Slaves Sunday-labour and Polygamie (neither of them sufferable among Christians) be upon severest Penalties prohibited; and this as well to the unbaptised, as to the rest. . . .

These pretences being thus fairly removed, if any Aversion still remains (as 'tis feared there will, and that for the truest Reasons above mentioned,) they must afterwards be invited thereto by good Sermons & Books, Preacht and Writ upon this Subject, and by discoursing with them in private. As also by the Example of the Ministers themselves in their Families. And lastly, (and which will do more then all the rest) by Encouragments from the Government.

Another way, and which 'tis possible might prove most effectual, would be to get this impiety decryed here in England, where our Planters have an extraordinary Ambition to be thought well of, and thereby to shame them into better Principles. . . .

Now for the Planter's late Objections against this Work, as I have heard them represented (and I believe they are the best they had), . . .

I. They object their Negro's want of English; Whereas 'tis certain that there are some thousands of them, who understand English, no worse than our own People. Let them begin with those.

2. That it would make them less governable; the contrary to which is experimentally known amongst their Neighbours, both French & Spaniards in those parts. Now 'twould be too great a blemish to the Reformation, to suppose that Popery only makes its Converts better, but Protestancy worse; as this Allegation being admitted, it must be granted. And to prevent any fond conceit in them of Libertie, (an especial Branch of the same Article,) if there be any such danger, let two or three of each great Family be first baptised; whereby the rest seeing them continued as they were, that Opinion would soon vanish: . . .

3. As for their pretended Aversion to Christianity, the contrary thereto is known of most of them. And tho it is to be confessed that some are more careless and indifferent (having bin taught by the English to be needless for them) yet for the general they are observed to be rather ambitious of it. Nor, I dare affirm, can any single Instance of such aversion in any one of them, be produced.

4. As to their (alike pretended) Stupidity, there is as little truth therein: divers of them being known and confessed by their Owners, to be extraordinary Ingenious, and even to exceed many of the English. And for the rest, they are much the same with other People, destitute of the means of knowledge, and wanting Education.

5. One thing more there remains to be added, of which, tho they may be most afraid, yet they carefully keep it to themselves, and that is the possibility of their Slaves Expectation, not of Freedom, but of more merciful Usage from them. . . .

Yet now after this, if difficulties shall still be urged, (as no doubt but there will) and this Work upon that stale pretence must be further neglected and deferred; I shall in opposition thereto, be bold to make some few demands: As, what those difficulties should be, which are so much greater, it seems, than those our Ancestors encountered with, even in Pagan Regions, and happily overcame? Whether we ever tryed how difficult the Work was, thereby to satisfie our selves, whether (indeed) it be such as it is apprehended (or, at least, pretended?) And whether such a trial would not justify us more, than thus, without trying, to conclude it Impossible ? . . .

In short, there is nothing upon Earth more feasible than this Design, were it but heartily undertaken, and, as I have said, a right Method used for the effecting of it. . . .

Source: M. G. [Morgan Godwyn], A Supplement to the Negro's & Indian's Advocate (London, 1681), reprinted in Albert Bushnell Hart, ed., American History Told by Contemporaries (New York, 1898), volume 1, 299-301.