Though Several persons have asked me to relate my sad adventures in America, I should not have felt disposed to it,—had I not been very glad to Justify myself, as well towards my Society, as towards some other people, which could perhaps have had “sinister” thoughts about my behaviour, as if I had undertaken that colony with levity and imprudence, or as if I had spent my time in Carolina, in luxury and leisure, in what they would be greatly mistaken, and this relation will prove the contrary. There will be found in it some particulars which might
Of course some will be eager to know for what reasons I came to an undertaking so great and so far off from my native country; some know them, and for them it is unnecessary to point to them. The others will have to content themselves by knowing that, from the very time when I had the honor to be at the deceased duke of Albemarle's who was then established by the King Charles II as viceroy of Jamaica, by the relation which he made to me of the beauty, goodness, and riches of English America, I conceived thereof such a flattering idea, that on the urgent invitation of that lord, I should have gladly followed him in that travel, if I had not been dissuaded from it by the strong remonstrating of my parents, who wanted me to settle in my country. But notwithstanding all the pleasantness I could enjoy there, there was always, so to speak, some charm and attraction for me in the above mentioned countries. As fortune did not eye me as favorably as I could have wished, after I had ended my great and important lieutenantship (bailiwick) of Yverdon, to the satisfaction, thank God, of my lords,1 of the neighboring States, and of my dependants, with a good and clean conscience,—but having made no money, on account of several mishaps,—as I was not a man to enrich myself at the expense of my poor dependants, besides, on account of the troubles in Neuchatel, which were the occasion of much loss to me,—seeing that the new Reform deprived me from any chance of obtaining some new and profitable office for some length of time,—I conceived the hope of making a more considerable fortune in those far off countries of English America.
In order to care better for my numerous family, according to my character and rank, I took the strong resolution to undertake that important, dangerous, long, and toilsome voyage,—with all the more courage that I was solicited to it by letters, as well from the said countries, as from London.
I hesitated a long time, whether I should communicate my plans to my friends and relations, but, foreseeing that they would deter me from them, I said nothing, even to my next relatives, and started secretly. However,
When I arrived in Holland, certain persons of note would have nearly averted me from my purpose in making other propositions to me, but not finding them suitable to my taste, I pursued my way to England, where I at once met my friends. Some persons of high rank and distinction encouraged me much in my plans, and promised to help me as much as possible,—so that I could conclude a contract, on the proposition of the Lords Proprietors of Carolina, by which they granted to me very favorable conditions and privileges for the foundation of my colony.
At that very time, more than 20000 Souls came from Germany to England, under the name of “Palatines,” but intermingled with many Swiss and people of other German provinces,—a fact which gave much anxiety to the Court, as well as to the inhabitants of London and neighboring provinces, on account of the great trouble and enormous expense caused by these people. Therefore an edict was promulgated, on the Strength of which everyone was allowed to take Some of these people to take care of them,—and a great number of them had been sent into the three kingdoms, with less success, however, than was expected, partly on account of their idleness, partly on account of the jealousy of the poor subjects of the realm. And so it was resolved to send a great part of these people to America, to which purpose the queen contributed large sums.
In these circumstances, several distinguished persons which knew about my enterprise, advised me to avail myself of so favorable an occasion,—and gave me some hopes that if I took with me a considerable number of those people, the queen would not only assume the expense of their transportation, but also bestow upon them considerable assistance,—this really took place and this last sum amounted to 4000 lb. Sterling. The Queen or the Royal Council had promised to give lands on the River Potomac, as many as we should desire, with strong commendations to the
I accordingly took indescribable pains for the transportation and subsistence of that new colony: (1) I selected to that object young people, healthy and laborious, and of all kind of avocation and handicraft; (2) I laid up stores of all kinds of implements; (3) good provisions of victuals; (4) good ships, well equipped, also good stewards and overseers, to take care of everything and to maintain these people in good order and discipline; (5) and in order that no negligence or fault might be charged upon me, I did or undertook nothing without the knowing, advice and instruction of the royal committee. (6) I had appointed as first directors of that crowd three persons, notables from Carolina, who happened to be then in London, and who had lived already several years in Carolina. One was general-receiver, another general Surveyor, the third a justice of the peace; all of them appeared to that effect before the Royal Committee, where they received their instructions and were confirmed in their authority above these people on sea and on land, (in my absence); indeed, I could not depart then on account of a small colony from Bern, which was to follow shortly afterwards,—besides I had some other business, which I had to attend to; (7) I had selected from among that crowd twelve subdirectors, both sensible and able,—and gave them charge to take good care of the others.
After the Royal Committee had confirmed all the contracts passed between the Lords Proprietors, myself, and those people, and ratified the clauses on which we unanimously agreed, I requested the Lords of the said Royal Committee to kindly commit a few members to visit the transports, to see that everything was in order, as well concerning the provisions, as concerning the sailors, the ship itself and the space, and to warn the captain of the ship, that he should support and feed those people sufficiently and cleanly. Those measures were taken and recorded by the Royal Committee.
On the day before the departure of that Colony, I went with Mr Cesar, the German minister of the Reformed Church of London, to Gravesend,d Minister made a sermon full of feeling on the subject. As to me, I could not sail with them at the time, as I expected still another small colony from Bern, as stated above, and some members of my Society, with whom I was desirous to meet in order to discuss different particulars about that important enterprise, and to take afterwards the adopted measures. And so, after having commended them to the divine care and protection, I ordered their departure,—with many precautions however concerning the war. To that effect I had obtained from the Earl of Pembroke, great admiral of England, this signal favor,—that he ordered Knight Noris, rear-admiral, to escort both our vessels with his squadron as far as the latitude of Portugal.
Though in January (1710), the weather then was very mild, but when they had crossed the channel they were overtaken by such a terrible storm and by winds so contrary that it took them 13 weeks to cross the sea. For that reason, those poor people were much worried and all fell sick, to which state of things the salted food, to which they were not accustomed, and the lack of space,—both were much conducive. More than half of them died on the sea and many died for drinking too much water and eating raw fruit to excess after the landing. In that way, that colony was shattered before it had settled.
N. B. One of these vessels, loaded with the best goods and most well-to-do colonists had the misfortune to be assailed and plundered by a French captain, at the very mouth of James River, in sight of an English man of war, which, being anchored and partly dismasted, could not come to its help. This is the first storm of adversity.
After what was left of that colony had recruited and restored themselves a little in Virginia, where they had been welcomed, they started with their goods and chattels on their way to Carolina; they had 20 miles2 to go by land, what took much time and money,—indeed, they dared not
They arrived in the County of Albemale on the River Chowan, at the residence of a rich settler, Col Pollock, of the Council of North Carolina, he took care of them, supplied them with all necessaries, sed pro pecunia, for money, and put them into great boats to cross the Sound and enter the County of Bath, where they were located by the Surveyor-general on a tongue of land between the News' and Trent rivers, called Chattawka, where afterwards was founded the small city of New Bern,—and here begins the second cross accident.
Indeed, that Surveyor general, instead of settling these poor people, every one on his own plantation, in order to gain time and to enable them to clear and clean out their lands, located them, in his personal interest, on part of his own land on the southern bank of the river Trent, at the very hottest and most unhealthy place, instead of locating them at least northwards on News' River, where they would have found a cooler situation. What, furthermore, was very dishonest in that Surveyor, is the fact that we had paid him a heavy price for that piece of tongue of land, about one thousand “arpents,”3 not knowing that he had no title to that and that the place was still inhabited by Indians. He sold it to us as free of all incumbrance and attested that there were no Indians on it.
There those poor colonists were forced to stay until September in the greatest poverty, and to sell nearly all their clothes and movables to the neighboring inhabitants, in order to sustain their life.
I leave it to the reader to think how this sight impressed my little Bernese colony, which unto then was in want of nothing, had a happy voyage, from their departure to their arrival in Carolina, in a good season, well supplied with all kinds of provisions, well equipped, with plenty of room on the vessel,—when their eyes presently beheld such a sad state of things, sickness, want, and desperation having reached their very climax.
I could not enough insist on the wretched and sorrowful state in which I found these poor people on my arrival; nearly all sick and at the lastlabyrinth, even danger for my own life, I found myself then!
But before going on with my relation I will also mention my departure from London, and afterwards I shall continue the successive narration of events; it will not be out of purpose to speak also of my departure from London and then go on. As my Palatines departed in January 1710, I followed them and departed myself from Newcastle at the beginning of June, with my Swiss, who embarked in Holland, under care of two of my associates, in a ship from New England, having contracted with the owner, a merchant from Boston, the capital of that province, for their transportation, as the ship was about ready to sail.
I departed from London at the end of the month of May, and took for that a very convenient coach, which is most like to the “diligence” or stage-coach from Paris to Lyon. I cannot but speak of something which I remarked on that travel. As I had to stay, over Sunday, in a small town called Strafford, I was anxious to see the country-seat of the Earl of Essex, where I was most civilly received. After having seen all the apartments and curiosities which are found in that magnificent palace, I observed in a great cupola excellent pictures, and in the Earl's private room a great many curiosities, but in a fine hall I nearly caused the company to laugh, in the following way. I thought I saw on a marble table a lute, flutes, and other musical instruments, a few books of music, a pack of playing-cards carelessly thrown down, a small bag of game-counters and-fishes, and several other trifles. When I came nearer the table I saw that all that was only painting instead of the real things which I fancied. Assuredly I was most surprised to see the work of a second Apelles. What was most striking was, that the surface of the table was as well polished as if the whole had been naturally grown in the marble. After having been refreshed with a very good collation, I expressed my thanks and took leave to pursue my way.
After a few days' travelling, we arrived at York, where I had just time enough to view the structure of the cathedral, which is very beautiful, and from there I saw nothing very remarkable, until I came to New Castle.
The cause of all my misfortunes was the behavior and faithlessness of the superior and inferior Inspectors, but above all the temerity, faithlessness,Colonel Cary, from which causes proceeded not only the above stated misfortunes, but all other misadventures, and my own, as well as the colony's, total ruin. That colonel availed himself, at that time, of the Governor's death to meddle, (against every right and justice, and against the orders of the Lords Proprietors), with the government, yea, I know it from a certain source, he proposed to fill his pocket with the income of the Lords Proprietors and to sail for Madagascar, a favorite resort for all kinds of thieves and pirates.
This same Colonel Cary, when the new Governor, Mr Hyde, a near relation to Queen Ann, the three directors above mentioned, and I, pretended to exhibit before him and the Council our patents, orders and letters, impudently turned us away, in defiance of the injunctions of the Lords Proprietors, refused to hear us, and scorned all our protestations, so much so that all the fine promises of the LL. Props on which I relied and on which all that enterprise was founded were useless and came to nothing. This brought me with the whole colony in dreadful troubles and unutterable anxieties, and had an influence on all mishaps which took place since.
Finally, that C. Cary became an open and declared rebel and brought together a gang of tramps and rioters by means of promises and plenty of good drinks to which he treated them,—so much so that the new Governor, Mr Hyde, dared not to undertake it to put himself in possession of his Government by force,—all the less so that his letters patent were not yet ready, although orders had already been issued, on the strength of which Col. Trent, Governor of South Carolina was to install him, and had already written to that effect to the Council of North Carolina; unfortunately that same Governor Trent suddenly died, which fact was the cause of all these disturbances.
However, this interreign did not suit me, and in such pressing need and want (inasmuch as, on account of the troubles caused by that rebellion, everybody kept his little provisions for himself,) the question was whether I should risk my life, and leave all that colony to rack and ruin, and let them starve, or if I should run into debts to relieve these poor people. In such pressing need an honest man, a good christian could not hesitate. As luckily my name and character were good enough in America, where my plans were much talked of,—I first sent to Pennsylvania for provisions of flour; I had luckily already ordered some there
In the mean time I took steps to get the land surveyed in distributing to every family its own portion of it, so that they should not lose time, and in order that they could root up the trees, build their cabins, etc. At last the provisions in grain, salt, butter, salt pork, and several kinds of vegetables, were brought to me at heavy expense. As to cattle, it was supplied with difficulty, since our people would not go for it where it could be found, and I could not deliver it to them at their very doors. However, some expedients were found, and our colonists, within 18 months, managed to build homes and make themselves so comfortable, that they made more progress in that length of time, than the English inhabitants in several years.—For instance, there was, in the whole province, only one wretched water mill; the wealthiest people use handmills, and the poorer class are obliged to pound their grain in mortars made of oak, or rather tree-stocks which are dug out, and, instead of sifting it in a regular sieve, they shake it barely in a kind of basket, which operation, of course, occasions much loss of time. On the contrary, our people found out brooklets, convenient to build on them a kind of wheelworks connected with pestles which they put in motion, so by means of water power they pounded their grain, & had their time left for other work, what did them much good. I had myself already begun the construction of a very convenient water-mill. But, alas! as we already hoped to enjoy the fruits of our labors after much expense, trouble, and care,—notwithstanding such cross-accidents, mishaps and inconveniences,—when there was a fine appearance of a happy state of things, the fourth storm of infortune rushed upon us in the shape of the Indians, who plotted a black treachery, the which proceeded from the vengeance and jealousy of the rebel adherents of Col. Cary, the author of all our misfortunes.
Here follows my relation and tragic adventures on my travel to Catechna. I change the Governor's letter into a relation and keep for its time the particulars about the Indian war. This sad adventure is in a relation inserted at page , as it consists in a letter written to Govr Hyde, written before this narration.
As the said Col. Cary, by his unruly, “crabbed” and treacherous proceedings, was cause of the commotion and tumult of the whole province, it will not be out of place to mention here something more particular about these disturbances, and to continue the narration of what took place after Col. Trent's, the Govr of S. C's death.
As soon as we had arrived to a village on the frontier between Virginia & Carolina, called Somer Town, a small crowd of inhabitants of North Carolina came to greet me and offered the government to me; they insisted among other motives of persuasion, on the fact that it was due to me since, in an interreign, and in the Governor's absence, the landgrave occupied the first rank and held the “presidial.”4 Having already heard from the Govr of North Carolina's death, in London, I replied that though I was duly invested with that dignity of a Landgrave, I would not avail myself, at the moment, of that title. I thanked them for the honor which they did me, and in my turn pointed to the following considerations: “that the new governor, Mr Hyde, was already in Virginia, that I had been an ocular witness of his election as such by the LL. Props, and had congratulated him in the rooms of these distinguished gentlemen,—that, far more, he was a near relative to the Queen,—that he had been approvingly confirmed by her Majesty,— and that it would be ungracious in me to meddle with such kind of business,—that, though that lord had not yet received his letters patent, they could follow soon, and that, accordingly, the inhabitants of North Carolina ought to make no difficulty in receiving him as their governor,—the more so, that Govr Trent had already notified it to the Council of N. Carolina,”—but, as these persons did not like to have such a great tory for their governor, my answer did not please them,—so they partook of a collation with me, and returned home.
A few days afterwards, I advanced further in the Province with my people and stopped in the County of Albemarle, on the River Chowan, at the Coll Pollock's, a Member of the Council, and among the wealthiest of the Province. Immediately the council was assembled and they urged much upon me, in order that I should attend it, though I did not want to do it, in such delicate matters,—then, when we were in session, they explained the situation of affairs in the Province. It was not veryr, Mr Hyde, what, being done, would enable him to other measures. However, he gave me a very proud and impudent answer. Afterwards, having reflected upon his “sinister” proceeding, he repented a little, and we came at last to an understanding, which was subscribed and undersigned on both sides. The substance of it was, that Col. Cary with his followers should recognize Mr Hyde as president of the Council, until the coming of more precise orders from the LL. Proprietors. For the mean time I pursued my way to the quarters where I proposed to settle with my people, to New Bern, from where the Palatines had written to me, with earnest entreaties that I should make haste and bring them the necessary victuals, in the utmost distress in which they found themselves. I therefore got some provisions together, but I could not have enough of them for so many people. Meanwhile some one wrote to Govr Hyde not to fail to come immediately with his family, from Virginia to Carolina, on the River Chowan, to Col. Pollock's, and on a plantation belonging to a good old English nobleman, whose name was Duckenfield, where he found pretty good lodgings.
When Col. Cary saw that he could not play the trick which he intended as said above, he did his utmost to get artfully hold of the agreement made and contrived cunningly to tear from it his name and signature. He then begun his old course again, and by means of good liquor, rum, and brandy, to which he treated the rabble, he secured many adherents, and they finally came to an open rebellion against Mr Hyde. But, as that disturber of public peace was well aware that he would have in myself a powerful adversary to contend with, he had recourse to the following trick.
Under pretence of a visit he came to see me at Newbern, the place of my residence, where he dined with me. After the meal we drank a bottle of Madeira wine together and spoke seriously; as he was the one who (according to my letters-patent and to the orders of the LL. Proprietors) was to supply me with all necessaries, out of the revenue of the Province,in statu quo, and then departed, but I did not rely much on what he said, and told him, in his face, that I feared the acts would not answer the promises.
This trip of Cary had not been undertook without some bad intention, and he achieved what he had planned, then he did not fail to inculcate to all planters of the neighborhood that they should deter my colonists from siding with Govr Hyde, in what they well succeeded, and not one dared to walk out from the quarters, having been threatened that if they did not remain neutral, they would be destroyed by the Indians and Carolinian residents.
Some time later, Governor Hyde sent me by an express messenger a parcel of letters-patent, among which was one by which he had appointed me as a Colonel and Commander of the County of Bath; the names of the inferiors were left in albo; he left their nomination with me, and earnestly entreated me to assist him with all my might against the Rebels. Knowing well how cowardly was the disposition of my people, I replied to the Governor that my men were by no means disposed to take any part at all, but desired to keep a strict neutrality; this did not please the Governor and soon afterwards there came a more precise order with the express clause that, if nothing could be done, I at least should immediately go and attend the Parliament or General Assembly which was to be held. I could not decline, so much the less, that my titles and public character bound me to do it as a duty, and so I resolved to go, not without taking my precautions, inasmuch as I had been threatened, as well as my colonists, and the road was nothing but safe, and the distance a two days' march across big rivers and more or less dangerous woods.
Having arrived safely at the Governor's we discussed together, before appearing in Parliament, the measures to be taken in order to secure us against the insults of Col. Cary and his adherents.
Without delay we ordered for our guard a body of the most trustworthy people, in order to avoid a surprisal, and our greatest care was to win to our side the inhabitants of the Province. Unhappily, just at that time, there arrived from London a certain riotous and turbulent person, called Richard Roach. He was the cause of much trouble; he was the agent of one of the LL. Proprietors, but a merchant, and a member of the Sect of Shakers, and had come to that country for the purpose of trading. He was immediately won to the side of the Rebels, what much strengthened them, since he was abundantly provided with powder, lead, and firearms, what suited them very well. That impostor was very boisterous and of the utmost impudence. In order to excite Rebellion all the more, he presumed to spread atrocious lies and slanders against Govr Hyde, saying that he had other orders from the LL. Props, but not in favor of Edward Hyde; this made the disturbance greater, fostered Rebellion, and gave us much trouble. That same scoundrel did also injure me much privately; he played on me the trick of making unavailable a bill of exchange of 200lb. Sterlg. He pretended to have orders to protest or seize it, though his master from whom I had got the bill, was paid long ago in due form. This was a very great and unconceivable damage to me in a moment of greatest need.
These Rebel ringleaders, Col. Cary, Richard Roach, & Eman. Low (who, although a Shaker, erected himself into a Colonel), came during a certain night in a well equipped bigantine loaded with 60 or 80 men and a few cannons, in order to besiege us at Col. Pollock's, that is, at the Council member's in whose house the Council was always held, as well on account of his dwelling's situation, as on account of his means and credit. Towards morning these avowed Rebels and declared enemies fired, from their brigantine, two cannon shots against the house where we were, and only scratched the roof of the house; the report begun the alarm. Thereafter, our body of guards, about 63 men strong, took position and we shot also a couple of cannon balls in the direction of the brigantine, but without causing any damage.
Then these Rebels disembarked, out of their brigantine, on two boats, their best men, with the intention to set them on shore and take us by surprise, not suspecting that we had many people with us. When we saw their movements we took also our position, and went behind a row of bushes on the shore of the river, which is there about two good miles
We did not fail to pursue them at once and embarked our best men on a big boat, but they could not overtake them. The brigantine's crew, however, being struck with panic, found a place convenient for landing, went on shore, and the leaders fled through the woods. And so our people conquered the brigantine, and brought it back, together with its little crew and the ammunition, to the place where we were assembled. This event sowed division among the Rebels and other evil-disposed persons and strengthened our party. Having consulted among us, we found that we ought perhaps to publish an amnesty for all who had been maliciously enticed by the leaders, but the leaders themselves were denounced publicly. A list was made out of all who had submitted to the new Government, and given their written adhesion, and then we called together a Parliament, where all matters concerning these disturbances were discussed, the most turbulent were secured and imprisoned, and to those who confessed their faults, an amnesty was granted. During all that was going on, I was obliged to take the “presidial,” most unwillingly, then the matter was delicate and dangerous. My first aim was to work with all my might in order that the new Governor, Mr Edward Hyde, should be recognized, in which I was successful, and so got rid of a heavy burden. So every thing was quiet again and every one went home.
But that calm did not last long; the authors of the disturbance again gathered together and R. Roach, mentioned above, established himself on an island with ammunition and provisions, and made every effort to bring together, the dispersed and Runaway Rebels. The Governor himself, with his party, tried to dislodge him from his island, but he was so strongly entrenched that nothing was done and the government's force had to retire.
That seditious fire broke out again and was carried to such a pitch that the second outbreak was nearly more serious than the first; in this dangerousr Alexander Spotswood, Governor of Virginia, to ask him to assist us, and a letter was sent to him in advance, in order to impart to him our intentions. He very civilly appointed a place and day for us to meet him on the frontier between Virginia and North Carolina, as he had anyway the intention to drill his troops in that neighborhood.
I started for that appointment by water, on the same brigantine which we had taken from the Rebels, because it was not safe to travel by land, and besides, we were glad to take along some provisions in the neighborhood. But when we had sailed some small distance, such a terrible storm arose, that we were compelled to turn back. We therefore took a canoe (it is a long and narrow boat dug out of one solid piece of wood,—and daily used on those rivers) and we paddled up stream, after the wind had somewhat subsided, but though we made all possible haste, we could not arrive in time at the appointed place; but the Governor of Virginia had given orders so that he should be at once informed of my arrival, at Williamsburg, the place of his Residence. As soon as I had come, I wrote a letter with my compliments and apologies to that lord, who did not fail to come to the appointed place on the following day, with his Secretary and two other gentlemen. We consulted there together, and the Governor received us very civilly. The job was harder than I expected; after I had exhibited my credentials, I stated my request, but strong objections to it were made at once: “That the Virginians did not feel inclined to fight against their brothers and neighbors, inasmuch as they were all equally subjects of the Queen of Great Britain, that besides the case was somewhat embarrassing, the more so that Mr Hyde had not yet got his letters-patent.” Some other expedients, therefore, were to be found, and Govr Spotswood, to whom I had been recommended in the name of the Queen, and who, for the first time he saw me, was desirous to please me and not to send me away without granting me some favor, asked me if I had to propose some other means or expedients which would be of an easier achievement. I therefore, seeing that these Virginians were not disposed to help us, and that they perhaps somewhat partook of that free and democratic spirit, bethought myself that perhaps something might be obtained in the shape of regular troops. I accordingly
I took leave of that lord, and departed for home, and before my departure that lord showed me extraordinary favor, invited me to come to his home and offered me his services in whatever could be in his power. I arrived at the Government-house and reported what I had done, and my negotiation was approved and met with general applause, as well from the Governor and Council, as of all well-intentioned people, what fact did not little increase my credit.
After some time the captain of the ship arrived with his brave sailors, and after he had complimented us and handed the letter of Govr Spotswood in presence of the Council, we asked him to declare before the General Assembly and all the people, that if the rioters would not return to their duty, he had orders to deal with them with the greatest severity. That had indeed such good effect that no body dared to stir, and the authors of the disturbances took flight. At the same time, we received letters from London, stating that the LL. Proprietors had appointed Mr Edward Hyde as Governor of North Carolina, and that his letters-patent had been handed to a trustworthy person who was to bring them,—what calmed much the popular excitement, and the evil-intentioned came to confusion.
That Col. Cary, so often mentioned above, was arrested in Virginia with other persons concerned in his plot, and sent to London in a well equipped ship. He was prosecuted, what created much sensation. Happily for him, however, two lords took his part and saved his life; he was liberated on bail, and a judge was assigned to him in Carolina, in order that he could defend himself there,—where the case was delayed so long that to-day sentence is not passed,—but I believe that he is not very anxious to hasten the judgment of an affair so risky.
All these troubles had been not little conducive to the invasion of the Savages, in as much as some of the rioters had defamed Govr Hyde, in the opinion of the Indians, to such a degree, that they held him for their declared enemy. I could ascertain that fact myself, when I was made ar Hyde; I had then a rather better time.
After every thing was calmed down, I went back to Newbern, in order to see what my poor colonists were doing, but I could not stay there long. The Govr having at last received the letters-patent, called a General Assembly together, in order to present himself. I had, of course, to be there, and was very glad to improve that occasion, and to apply to that new Governor for what I could not obtain from Col. Cary. I found, indeed, the Governor very willing to do me justice, but when it came to measures of execution, he was himself so pinched and straitened, that he hardly had enough to supply his own wants. I was accordingly compelled to apply to the Parliament of the Province to ask for what I had not been as yet able to obtain in account with the LL. Proprietors,—what was, however, the very foundation of my enterprise. Disappointed as I was by the breaking of so many fine promises made formerly to me, I found myself in great perplexity, with all my people dependent on me and my expense, so that it was impossible to go on in the same way; to get new means of support from my own country would have taken much time; as we could, however, not live on air, I asked the Province to assist me on the same conditions to which the LL. Proprietors had agreed towards me, and to provide me with victuals and necessaries for two or three years on credit, which advance money I should pay back afterwards. I was not more successful with these; under pretence that the civil war had exhausted them, I was not complied with, and obliged to return home deprived of every thing. I nevertheless made still my efforts, and aided the colony the best I could, as it has been told above.
Hereafter the narration of the Indian war takes place.
What kindled that Indian or Savages' war were, above all, the slanders and insinuations of a few rioters against Govr Hyde and against me. They made the savages believe that I had come to expel them from their lands, and that they would be compelled to settle much further, towards, or even in, the mountains; I convinced them that such was not my intention, and they could ascertain it by the gentleness and civility of my
These poor Indians, insulted in many ways by a few rough Carolinians, more barbarous and inhuman than the Savages themselves, could not stand such treatment any longer, and began to think of their safety and of vengeance, what they did very secretly. Unfortunately, believing myself entirely at peace with them, I contemplated a pleasure trip up the river, and this was just the place where they had a general appointment to discuss the matter mentioned above. What made me feel all the safer, was that, some 10 or 14 days before, I had been lost in the woods, as I came from surveying some lands, and been overtaken by night; following a path, I suddenly met a party of Indians which had moved from Chattawka, the place Newbern actually stands. The reader may think whether I should have dared to present myself there, had I not really lived in peace with those Indians; I, however, could not help feeling some secret apprehension,—they would have had a good occasion to revenge themselves on me, if I had done them any harm,—but, happily, they received me very well. As I was very thirsty, having wandered all day through the woods,—fearing that drinking much water would hurt me,—they sent at a sick woman's house, for some cider which had been bought for her, and gave it to me, (a great kindness indeed, coming from heathen !). The King made me a present of a large piece of venison, they had bonfires through all the night, and danced and sung during I was alone with my footman in the small tent which I got pitched to lie down, but I could not sleep on account of that noise. Next morning, the King gave me an escort of two Indians who saw me home; after having given them plenty to eat, I made them a small present and sent to the King in return of his cider two bottles of rum, a kind of brandy made out of sugar-dregs, which were gladly received,
How I was made a prisoner by the Indians, sentenced to death and miraculously liberated. What took place among the Indians, and what I observed during my confinement. How at last I returned and arrived home at Newbern.5
(A copy of the relation written to Mr Edward Hyde, Govr of N. Carolina, on the 23d of October 1711, concerning my miraculous rescue from the Indians or Savages.)
My most noble and honored Lord:
I have at last escaped from the cruel hands of this barbarous nation, the Tuscaroras, by the providence and miraculous assistance of the Almighty, and have arrived at my small home in New Bern, but half dead. I have been, indeed, compelled to go on foot, quite alone, during two whole days, and with the greatest speed possible, through the woods of Catechna, and was obliged, as night overtook me, to halt near a horrible ditch, full of water and brushwood.
I leave you to think, sir, the pitiful way in which I spent this night, fearing to be overtaken by savage strangers, or torn to pieces by the many bears who growled all the night through around me and quite near to the place where I was. Besides, I was quite lame, for having walked so long and at such speed, and had no arms for my safety, not even a knife, nor anything to strike fire, I was nearly dead with cold, shivering under the north wind which blew during the whole night. At daybreak, when I attempted to rise from my damp and cold couch, my legs were so stiff and swollen that I could not take one step,—but, as I could not stay there, I had to walk at any cost, and I supported myself on two sticks to proceed on my way.
Arrival at Newbern.
I had much trouble in crossing that ditch, what I achieved by creeping along the long offshoot of a tree. At last, with much pains, I reached my quarters. As I drew near the house, and saw it fortified and full with people, I felt a little better at heart,—indeed, I was afraid to find
When my good people saw me coming from afar, tanned by exposure like an Indian, but on another hand considered my figure and my blue jerkin, they knew not what to think, but, in their firm belief that I was dead, they rather believed that I was an Indian spy dressed in my jerkin, coming to watch something; the men even took up their arms, but when I came nearer walking with two sticks, and quite lame, they well saw by my look and attitude that I was not an Indian or Savage. However, they did not know me at once, but a few came in my direction to reconnoitre me. When I saw them so puzzled, I began to speak to them from afar, with such a weak voice however, that, in their surprise they fell back a few steps, and hallooed to the others to come, that it was their lord, whom they thought to be dead. And so all came in crowds, men, women, and children, shouting and crying out, part of them weeping, others struck dumb with surprise. It was really a strange sight, and this medley of sadness and joy, of wailing and delight, moved myself to tears.
After having exchanged a few words with those people around me, exhausted as I felt, I at last came home, and after having closed the door of my private room, I made my ardent prayers, giving glory to the Good God for my miraculous and gracious rescue, which may well be held, in these times, for a miracle.
The following day I asked what had taken place in my absence, but I heard such sad news that I felt nearly broken-hearted. The worst was, that besides 60 or 70 Palatines and Swiss who were slaughtered, the others, who ran away, were robbed and plundered, and part of those who remained left my house and the townlet, where, however, was the stores of their own goods; they did that by the instigation of one certain William Brice, an ungrateful man, for whom I had done much good, and whom even the Palatines and myself had rescued from the greatest want. Without even thinking of our kind acts, and in order to secure the defence of his own house with the exclusion of others, he debauched and led away from me, by all kind of promises and artful tricks, my people, in order to turn them, with a few English residents, into a garrison. So I had to content myself with a crowd of women and children, having not
Therefore, my noble and most honored Lord, we earnestly entreat you to supply us with the necessary provisions and am̄unition,—and with well-armed troops, in order to drive back those barbarous ruffians; if not, the evil will grow more and more, and it is to be feared that the whole country might come to ruin.
It is surprising, yea, scandalous to see such coldness and such lack of sympathy in the inhabitants of Albemarle County, who can look on with folded arms, when a savage and barbarous nation slaughters their nearest brethren. They even ought not to expect a better fate, inasmuch as they draw upon themselves these same misfortunes by such profound lethargy, when they ought to take more to heart the ruin of their brethren and their own danger. It is not less surprising to see so little energy and good order among the office holders, your High Lordships being excepted in best form: I am, indeed, persuaded that your Lordship has not failed to give all necessary orders, but that they have not been executed, what is to be regretted.
My most honored Lord,—The above statement is only to explain how I came home, but, for my justification, I must show how I did fall in the hands of that barbarous nation.
One day, as the weather was very fine, and there was good appearance that it would last, Surveyor-general Lawson proposed to me to go up Neus' River, hinting that there were plenty of good wild grapes, which we could gather for refreshing ourselves. This statement was, however, not strong enough to prevail on me. A few days afterwards, he came back, giving better reasons. He remarked that we could see, in the meantime, whether the River may be navigated in its higher course, and that a new road to Virginia might be laid out there, the actual route being long and difficult,—and likewise visit the Upper country. I had, indeed, been anxious for a long time to know and see by myself how far it is from here to the mountains.
I accordingly resolved to take that trip, and we took provisions for 15 days; I, however, asked Mr Lawson whether there were any danger on account of the Indians, especially on account of those which we did
May your Lordship please to take notice that Surveyor-General Lawson required my horses, saying that we could go through the woods, to see where the road to Virginia might be begun most conveniently. At first I would not consent; at last, he asked only for one, which I granted. One of the Indians went on horseback by land, but he was compelled to cross the river at one place, what was our misfortune, for he came to the great village of Catechna (I do not know whether he lost his way, or if he did that by treachery). There he was at once asked what he was doing there with that horse, (they do not use horses in those parts); he answered that he was to bring it back to us, and that we were going up stream. This immediately alarmed the inhabitants of Catechna; they crowded together from the whole neighborhood, kept the horse, and told our Indian that he ought to warn us at once not to advance further in their country, that they would not allow it, and that we had to turn back, by the orders of the King who resided there. Our Indian accordingly gave us a signal in firing his gun, in order that we should stop. We stopped indeed, after having also let off our gun; it was already late when he brought this bad piece of news, we landed at the next spring to pass the night, but we already met Indians, armed as if they had come from hunting. I said, that I did not like the looks of things altogether, and that we ought to turn back at once; but the Surveyor-general laughed at me. We had hardly turned our backs, when things began to look serious, and laughter, in a twinkle, expired on his lips.
Such a number of Indians came out from the bushes, some even swimming across the river, and overtook us so suddenly, that it was impossible to defend ourselves, for fear of being killed on the spot, or cruelly mistreated. They, accordingly, took us prisoners, plundered our things, and led us away.
We had already made a good two day's journey, not far from another village called Coerntha. The river there is still pretty broad, but it is not deep over 2 or 3 feet, and this place is as yet very far from the mountains.
We had entreated the savages to leave us there, over night, with a few guards if they doubted us, remonstrating that we could any how not go very far on foot, and telling them that we should go the next day down the River, to see the King at Catechna and justify ourselves, but we could not succeed. Such a rare and considerable capture made them proud; indeed, they took me for the Governor of the Province himself; we were compelled to run with them all the night through the woods, across thickets and swamps, till we arrived at about 3 o'clock in the morning at Catechna or Hencocks-Towne, (that is to say: the village of Hencock), where the King, called Hencock, was sitting in state, with his Council, on a kind of scaffold,—though the Heathen or Savages usually sit on the ground. After an oration, apparently much exaggerated, made by the leader or captain of our escort, the King stood up with his Council, and came to us with the first captain-of-war, approaching us and speaking to us very civilly; but we did not understand their language, with exception of a very few words. Soon afterwards, the King went into his cabin or den, and we remained near the fire, guarded by 7 or 8 savages. Towards 10 o'clock, every savage came out of his den, one here, one there, and they discussed at length the question, whether we ought to be bound as criminals or not. They concluded negatively, inasmuch as we had not been heard as yet. Towards midday, the King himself brought us to eat a kind of bread made out of buck-wheat, called “Dumplins,” and some venison, in a disgusting “cap”; I eat some, indeed, though unwillingly, but I felt very hungry; we were at liberty to walk through the village. Towards evening, there was a great festival, or an assembly from all places of the neighborhood, to discuss two matters: (1) How they would avenge themselves for the rough dealings of a few wicked English Carolinians who lived near the Pamptego, News, & Trent Rivers; (2) to feel their way as to the help which they could expect from their Indian neighbors.
[N. B. It must be observed that it was neither I nor my colony, who were the cause of that terrible slaughter or Indian war, as it may be seen at page [44 MSS.].
In the evening, there came a great many Indians from every direction with the neighboring Kings. The “Assembly of the Great,” as they style it, (consisting of 40 elders siting on the ground around a fire according to their custom) took place at ten o'clock at night in a great and beautiful open ground (especially devoted to great festivals and executions). King Hencock presided. There was, in the circle, a place set apart for us, with two “mats” (a kind of mattresses made with rush), a mark of great deference and honor; we therefore sat on them, and on our left side our “speaker,” the Indian who had come with us and who knew English very well. The King beckoned to the Speaker of the Assembly, who made a long speech with great gravity, and it was ordered that the youngest of the Assembly should represent & defend the interest of the Council or Indian Nation, what he made indeed in best form, as I could observe it; he was seated nearest to our own speaker and interpreter,—the King putting always the questions, and then the pro and con were discussed, and they consulted over the matter of these questions. After that, they came to a conclusion.
The first question was: to what purpose we had undertaken that journey; our answer was that we had come up the river for our recreation and to gather grapes, to see whether the river would be fit for navigation, in order that goods could be brought to them by water and trade carried on with them, and that a friendly intercouse could be held with them. After that, the King asked us why we had not acquainted him with our plan. Then the question was of their general complaint, and of the fact that the Indians had been badly abused by the inhabitants of the rivers Pamptego, News, & Trent, what could not be suffered any more; they spoke the name of the offenders, and especially of Surveyor-general Lawson, who, being present, excused himself as well as he could After having discussed at length, and come at last to the votes, they concluded that we could be liberated and the following day was appointed for our return home.
The following day, it was some time before we could get our canoe or small boat; in the mean time some of the “Great” and two foreign Kings came and were curious to know which were our reasons of justification. They caused us to be examined a second time in the cabin ofr Lawson for something, and they begun to quarrel with some violence, what spoilt things entirely; though I made every effort to get Lawson to quit his quarreling, I could not succeed.
Our examination being ended at last, we all rose, and I walked about with Lawson, and upbraided him for his imprudence in such delicate conjuncture. All at once 3 or 4 of the “Great” pounced upon us, took us violently by our arms, and led us back to the place where we had been before. No mats were spread before us,—they took our hats and periwigs and threw them into the fire, after that, some young rascals plundered us anew, and searched our pockets, what had not arrived the first time, when they contented themselves with taking our heavier luggage.
After that, a council of war was held, and we were Sentenced to death, without being told what was the cause of such sudden change, though I could nearly guess at it. We sat on the ground through the whole night, until daybreak, in the same position. We were then were led to the great execution ground, a bad sign for us; I addressed Mr Lawson, reproached him bitterly, and told him that his imprudence was the cause of our misfortune, and that we had nothing better to do than to make peace with our God, what I did with great zeal.—When we arrived on the said spot, the Council was already assembled. Before we entered the circle, I happened to see a savage dressed like a Christian, who knew English, and asked him if he did not know the cause of our condemnation. He reluctantly answered me: “Why Lawson had quarreled with Cor Tom? That we had threatened that we would avenge ourselves on the Indians,”—upon which I took that Indian aside, and promised him all I could think of, if he would hear me and show my innocence to some of the “Great.”
It was hard to persuade him, but, at last, he listened to me, and I accordingly told him that I was very sorry that Mr Lawson had so imprudently quarreled with Cor Tom,6 that the Councillors had seen themselves how I had reproached Mr Lawson more than once, that I was not
In the centre of that great place, we were seated on the ground, the Surveyor-general and myself, bound and undressed, with bare heads; behind me, was the bigger one of my negroes, and in front of us, a great fire; near it, was the conjuror or High Priest (an old grizzled Indian; the priests are generally magicians,—and even conjure up the Devil); he made two white rounds,—whether of flour or white sand I do not know,—just in front of us, there was a wolf's skin, and a little further an Indian Savage standing, in the most dreadful and horrible position to be imagined; he did not move from the spot, with a knife in one hand, and an axe in the other,—it was apparently the executioner. Further still, on the other side of the fire, there was a great mob of Indian rabble, consisting of young men, women, and children, who danced with frightful contortions. In the centre of the circle was the Priest or Conjuror, who made his threatenings and exorcisms, when there was a pause in the dance; there were, at the four angles, officers armed with guns, who stimulated the dancers by stamping with their feet, and when a dance came to an end, they fired their guns.
In some part of the circle, two Indian savages were seated on the ground and beat a small drum; they sung a mournful tune, rather fit to provoke tears and anger than joy. After they were tired of dancing, they all ran into the woods with dreadful outcry and howling, and soon came back with their faces painted in black, red, and white. Some of them had their hair flying, greased all over and sprinkled with minute cotton and small white feathers, and some arrayed in all kinds of furs. In short, they were dressed in such frightful way, that they looked rather
Meanwhile, two lines of armed Indians stood behind us as guards, and never moved from their post, till everything was over. Behind this guard the Council of war sat on the ground in a circle, and were busy with consultation. Towards evening, the mob left off dancing, in order to bring wood from the forest, and to keep up the fires in different places;—especially, they made one far in the woods, which lasted all night, and so great that I thought the all forest to be in fire. I leave you to think, my most honored Lord, what a fearful and sad sight that was to me. I was wholly resolved to die, and accordingly I offered up my fervent prayers during the whole day & night. Alas! I had all kind of thoughts, all the circumstances of my whole life being called to my mind, in as far as I could remember them, even unto the least sins. I tried and recalled all what I had read in the Holy Scripture, the Psalms, and other good books,—in short, I prepared myself, the best I could, to a good and “salutary” death. Yes, the good God gave me such grace, as to await death with great firmness, though I foresaw a terrible execution. After having suffered dreadful anguish, harder to bear than the fear of death itself, I nevertheless kept I know not what a faint hope, though I could see no chance of liberation. As my past sins occurred to my mind, I found, in the meanwhile, a great consolation, in considering the miracles which the Lord Jesus had made, in his time, on the earth. This created in me such confidence that I addressed forthwith my ardent prayers to my Divine Saviour, not doubting that He would grant them, and perhaps change these savage and barbarous hearts, harder than rocks, to be more favorably inclined towards me, so that by my strong entreaties and solicitations, they might be moved to pity and compassion in my behalf, so that they would pardon me,—what, indeed, happened by God's miraculous Providence.
Really, the sun was nearly set, when the Council assembled once more, probably to make an end of that fatal, frightful, and mournful ceremony; I turned round some little, though I was bound, knowing that one of them knew English pretty well, and I made a short discourse showing my innocence and insinuating that, if they would not spare me,the villages of the Tuscaroros, and to a certain King Tom Blunt, in high repute among them.
The result was that I was to live, but that poor Surveyor-General Lawson was to be executed.
I spent that whole night in great anguish, awaiting my fate, (always bound in the same place), in continuous prayers and sighs. Meanwhile I also examined my poor negro, exhorting him in the best way I knew, and he gave me more satisfaction than I expected,—but I left Surveyor-General L. offer his own prayers, as being a man of understanding, and not overreligious. Towards 3 or 4 in the morning, the delegates came back from their mission and brought an answer, but very secretly. One of them came to me to unbind me; not knowing what this meant, I submitted to the will of the Allmighty, rose, and followed him as a poor lamb to the slaughter. Alas! I was much astonished when the Indians, a few steps from the former place, whispered into my ear, in a gibberish intermingled with English, that I had nothing to fear, that they would not kill me, but that Lawson would die, what affected me much. About twenty steps away from the place where I had been bound, the Indian led me to the cabins or dens, but I had no appetite. All at once, came quite a crowd of Indians around me, and did unanimously show much pleasure at my liberation. This very same man brought me back to the old place, but a little further, where the Council was assembled, and they congratulated me in their way, and smiled at me.
I was however forbidden to speak the least word to Mr Lawson, and to have any intercourse with him. They also liberated my negro, but I never saw him since then. Poor Lawson being always left in the same place, I could understand that all was over for him, and that he would
Some time afterwards, the man who had spoken in my favor to the Council, took me by the hand and led me to his cabin, where I was to keep quiet awaiting new orders.
In the meanwhile, they executed that unfortunate Lawson; as to his death, I know nothing certain; some Indians told me, that he was threatened to have his throat cut, with the razor which was found in his pocket,—what also acknowledged the small negro, who was not executed,—but some said he was hung, some said he was burnt. The Indians kept that execution very secret. God have mercy upon the poor soul!
The day after Surveyor-General Lawson's execution, the notables of the village came to me, making me acquainted with their design to make war in North Carolina, and that they were especially embittered against the people on the Rivers Pamptego, New, Trent, and Cor sound, and that they had accordingly good reasons not to let me go, till they would have ended their expeditions. What was I to do? I had to take patience, and reasoning was of no avail. It was a painful position, to hear such bad news and to see myself unable to help these poor people, or even to give them the least warning. True, they promised me that no harm would be done to Chattoocka (the old name of the town of Newbern), but that all people of the Colony ought to go into the town, if not, they could not answer for the evil which could happen,—good words enough,—but how was I to let it know to these poor people, since not one of the Indians was willing to carry them a message? Accordingly, I could but submit the whole to the Divine Will.
Those who began that robbery and plunder were 500 men strong, well armed. They consisted in gangs from different places, one part were Tuscoruros (however, the most important villages of that nation did not take part in the affair), the others were Marmusckits from the rivers
A few days afterwards, the robbers came back with their booty. Alas! What a sad sight for me, to see the women and children prisoners! It nearly rent my heart. I could well speak with them, but with much precaution; the first came from Pamptego, the others from News & Trent. The very Indian with whom I lodged happened to bring with him the young boy of one of my tenants, and much clothing and furniture which I well knew. Alas! What was not my apprehension, in seeing those spoils, that my whole colony was ruined,—especially when I privately asked that young boy about what had happened. He cried bitterly, and told me how that same Indian with whom we were lodging had killed his father, mother, and brother, yes, the whole family! Nevertheless, I did not dare to look as if it affected me. I had to remain, for six weeks, a prisoner in that hateful place, Catechna, always in fear of unutterable dangers and sorrows. Many events took place during that time; I was once much perplexed: all men had gone to that plundering-expedition, the women were all gone, also, out of the village, in order to gather wild cherries, others went to dig some kind of roots, called “Potatos”, which are yellow, very good and dainty. On that day, I was all alone by myself in that village. I struggled hard to decide whether I should take flight and return home, or not, I had a long struggle about it; in that doubt I thought it best to pray for my God's help, in order that He would impress upon my mind what I was to do in such delicate and dangerous conjuncture. I accordingly said my prayers, and then examined the pro & con, and found at last that the best I could do was to stay there,—confident as I was that He, who had drawn me out from the first danger would assist me further. Indeed, if only one Indian had met or see me, I should have been a dead man, and no mercy could have been expected; besides, they would have been so incensed that they would have gone to the town before my coming home, (as I did not know the way very well), and would have taken, plundered, burnt and killed everything and everybody. Experience, since, has shown that I made a wise choice.
After these heathen had done with the greatest part of their barbarous expedition, they came home and rested for some time. I looked for a favorable occasion, when I could meet the leading men of the village in good humour, to ask them whether I could not soon return home. In order to impress them favorably, I proposed we should conclude a private peace, and promised, at the same time, to every one of the “Greats”rum, which is a brandy distilled from sugar-dregs. The Indians wanted much more, as, for instance, some guns, more powder and lead or small shot, but I remonstrated to them that those things were contraband, and that it was forbidden, under pain of death, to sell or give such goods to the enemy,—that I was at least to remain neutral, and to assist neither one side nor the other; if not we could not conclude a serious peace. They finally yielded to these reasons and others, and we accordingly agreed, as may be seen by the treaty of peace concluded with those Indians.
Be it known to all men by these presents, that in the month of October, 1711, has been agreed between the Baron and Landgrave de Graffenriedt, Governor of the German Colony of North Carolina, and the Indians of the Nation of Tuscoruros with their neighbors from Core, Wilkinson's Point, King Taylor, those of Pamptego and others from that country, as follows:
(1) That both parties will let bygones be bygones and be good friends in the future;
(2) The undersigned, Governor of the German Colony, must be absolutely neutral in time of war between the English and the Indians.
Item: He will keep quiet in his house and town and let pass neither the English nor the Indians, and do no harm to the Indians, as well as these will not harm the others. In eventual misunderstanding between the ones and the others, they shall not avenge themselves, but complain reciprocally to the magistrates about that question.
(3) The said Governor of the German Colony promises to remain within his limits and to take no more lands from them without due warning to the King and his nation.
(4) Item. he promises to procure a cessation of hostilities for fifteen days, so that fit and able persons may be selected and appointed to propose good and reasonable terms of peace, which, if possible, be acceptable to both parties,—and in order that this negotiation be not interrupted.
(5) The Indians are allowed to hunt wherever they please, unmolested, except that they shall not enter our plantations, for fear they should scare away the cattle, and on account of the danger of fire.
(6) Merchandise and provisions have to be sold to the Indians at a reasonable price; besides, it is agreed that no harm will be done to our houses, which shall bear the sign below marked on their door.
The conditions and clauses above shall be exactly kept, to testify which both parties sign hereunto with their usual signatures.
Instead of seal,
the mark of News
De Graffenried. Governor of
the German Colony.
Instead of seal
their usual mark
Tuscoruros' Indians and
But after we had entirely agreed, however, these distrustful savages would not let me go home without having sure & certain securities. They wanted me to send my little negro to Newbern, in order that all I promised should be brought to Catechna; however, not one Indian was found to go with him, though I offered to draw up a pass. I told them that not one of my people who had remained would come up the river, frightened as they were by the recent murders, and that my negro could not pull a loaded boat up the river, all alone by himself. As we could not agree, I left it to decide to the Indian with whom I was lodged, and he settled the matter in a way which satisfied them as well as me.
On the very day on which I intended to send my negro to Newbern with a letter directed to the person to whom I had entrusted the care of my house, in order that he should bring half way the said ransom, for every party's security, some strange Indians came, with a horse, sent by the Governor of Virginia, and bringing a letter or injunction, the copy of which follows:
Injunction of the Govr of Virginia, translated from the English original:
We, Alexander Spotswood, Lieutenant Governor Commanding the Colonies & Province of Virginia as in the name of Her Britanic Majesty.
To the Indian Nation who hold the Baron de Graffenried prisoner.
Having been informed that the Baron de Graffenried Governor & head of the German Colonies in North Carolina is a prisoner among you, We intimate and command you in the name of the Queen of Great Britain, whose subject he is, that at sight of this order you liberate him and send him to our Government. And we let you know by these presents that if you kill him or do him any violence or harm whatever, We shall avenge his blood, and spare neither men, nor women or children
Given under our great seal, October 8, 1711.Given under our great seal, October 8, 1711.A. SPOTSWOOD.
Nobody but I could read that letter; it was rather stiff, and I did not know what countenance I had to assume. At last, I thought that the messengers knew anyway its substance, so I read it to the notables of the village. After I was through, I observed something in their mien that did not please me. I told them the substance of it. They then held a Council, and it was resolved to let me go to that village of the Tuscororos, where was the Indian trader from Virginia, who had been in the village some time before when Mr Lawson was executed, then went back and related our sad adventure to the Governor, when that generous Lord, Mr Spotswood, immediately sent back that Virginia trader (who traded with the Indians, understood and spoke their language well) with the letter above, to the Tuscaroroes.
The Governor himself went to the first Indian village, called Ratoway, and stayed there with a strong escort, giving orders to the neighboring militia to hold themselves ready for immediate action in case that no good answer would be received. Accordingly, early in the morning, I started on horseback with the Indian messengers and 4 of the notables of Catechna, who accompanied me to the most important village, called Paski; they walked as quick as I rode on my horse, and we arrived in the evening at twilight. There was found a trader from Virginia. That village was fortified with palisades, and the houses or cabins were neatly made out of tree bark, they stood in a circle, and in the midst of them was a beautiful round place, in its centre a big fire, and around it the Council sitting on the ground, that is the leaders of the Tuscoruros' nation. Places were left for the merchant already mentioned, for me and for the Indians who came with me; after I had greeted that Gentleman, we seated ourselves.
Meanwhile, I already secretly rejoiced, in the hope of being able to go to Ratoway (where the Govr of Virginia expected me) and to be at last free to get away from the savages, but, alas! I was not yet to succeed.
The speaker of the Assembly began a great oration, and asked the 4 Indians who had come with me what was the cause of my detention and my crime. After the Indian delegates had been heard, and I was recognizedr of Virginia was to be complied with and that satisfaction should be given him, and it was set forth what dangers could ensue in case of a refusal.
The merchant of Virginia, as being our interpreter, spoke for me the best he could, but the 7 Indian delegates from Catechna would not yield to this.7
They feared to lose their ransom, though the merchant from Virginia offered security for it; their pretext was that they dared to do nothing without the consent of the others and of the King. They promised, however, to let me go as soon as the King & Council would have assembled, but they insisted upon keeping my negro as a security, until the ransom would be paid. On the following day, quite disappointed, and in terrible perplexity, I took leave from the Virginian merchant, who felt very sorry about the harsh behaviour of these Savages, and I returned in a very sad mood. When we drew near to Hencock Towne or Catechna, at a distance of about 3 or 4 miles from it, we heard much shouting, and I saw some Indians coming forth, here and there, from out the bushes, what seemed to me a bad foreboding and frightened me, not without reason, the more so that they ran to me, quite out of breath and dismayed, saying that the English and Palatines were quite near; they mimicked the Palatines in their gestures, with an angry countenance, uttering the words: “Ta, Ta,”8 and giving me thereby to understand that my people appeared to be also against them, among their enemies. They led me, through a roundabout way, across an ugly ditch, from where I saw a fire from afar. I was much frightened, and did not doubt but that I was going to be burnt on that inflamed wood-pile, or to be secretly slaughtered in that terrible desert. After I had said my prayers I studied how I could make them believe that the Palatines had not joined with the English; I explained to them that these words: “ja, ja,” were not German, but that it was a corrupt English: “aye, aye,” which means in English: “yes” and in French: “oui.” I kept them in that belief
Though in the midst of a dreadful desert, surrounded with thickets, thorns, and swamps, there was a fine wheat-field, with an Indian cabin, and the place was surrounded with a deep river, which made a small island of the whole, so that nature had built there a small fort well nigh impregnable. All that populace mentioned above consisted in infirm old men, women, children, and other young people unable to bear arms. Being myself in great fear, I did not fail to comfort them the best I could in order to be welcome and to keep them on my side, assuring them that nothing would happen to them as long as I should be with them. I also told the warriors who had come to cheer them, that they ought to let me go with them, that I should do my best to persuade the English to conclude peace, but they would not consent.
On the next day, the neighboring Indians, numbering 300 armed rogues, came and gathered together and went for the Christians who were only 60 in number, and not further from our village than 4 miles, (a distance of 1 lieue and ¼). The Palatines, who had no experience in Indian warfare, were nearly all wounded and an Englishman killed. Seeing that the Indians were too strong, they took flight and went home; the Indians went after them, but without doing them much harm; they only caught some little booty. The savages returned to Catechna with some horses, victuals, hats, boots, and a few jerkins. When I saw all that, especially a pair of very nice half-boots lined with silver, knowing that no one else had such ones, I knew them at once to be mine, and was surprised and frightened, thinking that they had plundered my house and the store,—but there was no harm done,—the reason why there were some of my things among that booty, was: that my people used them for that expedition.
So, these savage soldiers, or rather robbers, returned home in great glory & triumph, and we all came out from that secluded place, and went back to our old quarters, viz. to Catechna.
During a certain time, they burnt bonfires in the night,—especially, they built a big one in the great place of executions, where they raised three wolf's hides, figuring as many Protectors or Gods, and the women brought offerings, consisting in their jewels, for instance necklaces of wampon, which are a kind of coral, made out of white, violet, and golden colored shells, previously burnt. There was, in the midst of that circle, the Conjuror, I mean their priest, who made all kind of contortions, conjurations, and threatenings, and all the remaining populace danced in a circle around the hides.
After that Indian festival was over, I began to become impatient, and asked some of the “great,” if they would not let me go home, since they had won the victory. One of them smiled and answered me, that they would see what they would do, that they would call together the King and his Council. Two days later, they brought me a horse, early in the morning, two notables escorted me for a distance of two leagues from Catechna, gave me there a piece of Indian bread, and left me. When I saw that I had a long way to make, I begged them to leave me the horse, that I should certainly send it back, or that they would come somewhat further with me, and nearer to my quarters, but I could not obtain either from them.
They remained at the place where I left them, and built a big fire, and warned me that there were some foreign Indians in the forest, that I should hasten and go very speedily, that I should even run as fast as I could for a couple of hours. Indeed, I did so until night overtook me, and I came to that dreadful desert through which I could not go in the darkness, and which is mentioned at the beginning of this relation or letter.
I have already related the remainder of my voyage to the Governor; it is time to finish.
1st How this Indian war began and how it ended; 2d Which were the motives that moved me and compelled me to leave my colony and to go to Europe and to Bern.
What happened to me, on my return, among Christians, was well as dangerous and vexatious as what I experienced among the Indians or
A gang of rioters, jealous louts, and turbulent knaves, Carolinian residents, because I would not at once espouse their hasty and cruel feelings (as they pretended that I was to deliver up at their discretion, or kill an Indian who came, according to the agreement made with the Tuscoruros Ind., to ask from me the promised ransom, and to whom I had promised a safe-conduct,) made unjust and serious imputations against me, after a secret information made against me, which created much sensation, speaking no less than to have me hung,—though I had strong reasons not to side with them and make war so inconsiderately against the Indians; this was all the more the case, that we had neither provisions in food nor ammunition, nor enough men either,—and that half the Palatines had deserted during my absence,—and that, most important of all, 15 palatine prisoners were to be handed over to me after my ransom would be paid. Was I not right to think of the liberation of these poor people? and I was, of course, to beware: (1) of breaking my promise and agreement, as made to and with the Indians, and (2) to risk those poor prisoners, in order to comply with giddy-heads who did not know what they were about.
I had accordingly, in order to justify myself, to appear again before a Tribunal, a Christian one, but which would have been worse than heathenish, if things had gone according to the wishes and conspiration of these enraged and seditious knaves. All that was plotted against me with the very blackest perfidy by the agency of a Palatine, a wicked man and a blacksmith by trade, who betrayed me as is stated below, to avenge himself of a punishment inflicted, and a very moderate one it was, for having made dreadful imprecations, committed thefts, been insubordinate, and spoken horrid threatenings, even of murder.
That man, immediately after he had gone through his penalty, which, far from equal to his crime, consisted only in sawing logs for public service, during one day,—crossed the river and met Indians, whose suspicions
As I had discovered that treachery and intended to arrest secretly the fellow to punish him as he deserved it, but he had some inkling of it and
As that traitor, the blacksmith, known as a criminal by me and my colony, owed much to me, I had an inventory drawn up of what few things he had, and had these safely put in hands of a third person; the aforesaid Brice, who would have liked much to have his tools, especially the ones which could be used to repair guns, (for the rascal was pretty smart, and knew some more than only shoeing horses and making rough work), tried to get possession of these tools by an artful trick, and if he could not in this way, then by force. In the meanwhile Brice would have been glad to take me by surprise and to arrest me, in order to bring me as a criminal, charged with high treason, to Govr Hyde. In order to execute such a cowardly, black, and seditious plan, Brice concerted with his light-headed gang, how they would undertake their wicked design, and the conclusion was that if I would not surrender the tools, under their pretence that they were needed for the defence and service of the Province, they would get violently possession of them, and that, as probably I should turn fierce about it, then they would arrest me as a prisoner to bring me to the Governor.
Most luckily, a little Palatine boy was in the room when they laid that black plot against me; they paid no attention to him, believing that he did not understand English. But he, having overheard all about their pernicious scheme, made his best to slip out of the room without them minding him, and told everything to his mother; she at once crossed the river in a boat, and warned me about what had been plotted against me. I immediately ordered the drums to beat to arms, the gates to be shut, and my men to take defensive positions.
I had scarcely posted them when Brice appeared with 30 or 40 armed adherents, among which that rascally blacksmith aforesaid, and about 15 or 20 palatine deserters. Knowing not that their scheme was found out, they thought to take me easily by surprise, and pretended to enter my small fort without difficulty, but they found the gates shut. Not expecting to meet with such reception, they asked the sentries what that meant and why the gates were shut? It was answered, that those precautions were taken against Indians and Christian savages. They then inquired if we took them to be enemies. They were answered that theirs was no manner to visit friends, and that we had good reasons to be on our guard, especially as we saw rascally traitors and deserters among them, as we effectually did see, right before us,—but that, if their Captain Brice, with one of the least suspicious, desire to come in, that I should be told about it, and that I would undoubtedly allow them to come in and speak out what they wanted. When I was informed of it, I ordered them to be introduced under good escort, and the gate to be shut on their heels. As that Captn Brice desired to know why I treated him as a stranger and enemy, I answered that I had reasons enough for that,—that his criminal and reckless design was only too much known to me, but that I should, in due time and place, complain and require justice about these so rash, seditious, and unjust proceedings, such as his and his riotous prowlers.
I asked moreover if this was his way to deal with his superiors? I said that it would be my own capacity and attribution, as Deputy of the Duke of Beaufort, Lieutenant Governor, Landgrave of Carolina and Com̄ander of this District, to arrest him as my prisoner, and to send him, bound, to the Governor, as a turbulent, restless, seditious and foolhardy man,—in order that he be punished according to his merits and as an example to other rioters. That would, indeed, have been done, if I had had sufficient witnesses against him; accordingly, I contented myself by sending them home with a good censure and summoned them to appear before the next Parliament.
If I felt disposed to mention here all the troubles which that Captn Brice gave me, and the insolent things he said & did, against me and what remained of my colony,—as well himself as his adherents and Palatine deserters,—it would take a whole volume; I shall only say a few words about it.
It must be noticed here that the contract made with the Indians, of which a copy has been given at the end of my relation or letter, writtenr Hyde,—had been consented by me, a prisoner, in order to save my life,—so that I should not have been bound to hold and fulfil it, had I not been willing to do so, since I was, at the time, constrained and in danger of life. However, being not of the opinion quod hereticis non habenda fides, I had resolved to abide by it, within the dictates of my conscience, in all that was not contrary to the duties by which I was bound to the English Crown. I had managed things in such way, that, if they had let me do what I thought good, great benefit would have resulted for the Province, and many evils and murders could have been avoided. But that Brice, with his enraged crowd, was so much incensed against those Indians, that, without heeding the voice of reason, without considering how little their own number was, how scanty their victuals and ammunition,—without thinking of so many poor prisoners detained by the Indians or Savages,—without taking any measure whatever,—but blindly, brutally and in a fit of enraged passion, they rejected the suspension of arms, or truce, which I was to propose, and had had much trouble in obtaining,—and dealt at once with the utmost hostility and cruelty against the Indians. True, one had reasons enough to be alarmed and indignant about their invasion and the murders they had committed, but however just be one's cause, prudence and caution are always required.
If I had had my own way: (1) by the proposed truce, time would have been gained, and the whole Province, as well as we, could have made sufficient preparations for offensive and defensive action, and been provided with enough victuals, arms, ammunition, and men. (2) I was already at work to save and get back these poor women & children prisoners, and that was indeed the reason that had prevented me as yet to deliver up my ransom: I wanted first to draw these poor people out of the claws of those Savages,—what was granted, with much trouble and danger, in the first interview with the Indians.
N. B. The importance of that fact can be seen in the relation of the Indian war—(vide supra). There may be seen how cautiously the Savages had to be handled on account of these poor prisoners; if these poor people had first been recovered, as I had proposed and as it had been admitted by both parties, then, one could have dealt with the Indians more fearlessly and successfully, and perhaps stop that cruel war at its very beginning.
(3) When I was engaged in the most important part of my negotiation concerning these poor people still detained by the Indians, and as I had already gained time, by means of my neutrality and truce, in order to recover what the Savages had taken and robbed from Carolinian Planters, as well as from Palatines & Swiss, and to try to get back as much big & small cattle as possible,—there comes Brice and his gang, more foolish and cruel than the Savages, and, by an inconsiderate attack, which very poorly succeeded, spoils my game to such degree that my whole negotiation becomes fruitless! The black treachery of the blacksmith, and this inconsiderate attack, destroyed all confidence of the Indians towards me, and after that they made acts of hostility also against my colony, whereas up to that time it had been spared (I say: after the agreement made); but after that premature and preposterous deed of the Carolinians, the Savages began again to destroy whatever they could, and the houses of my colonists, however they were excepted and marked with the sign N (which meant News) were burnt,—the movables, tools and other hidden things, dug up and carried away or spoiled, and the cattle killed. And afterwards the plantations or dwellings on News, Trent, and Pamptego Rivers, etc., were entirely destroyed, everything was plundered, robbed, burnt, and the people killed.
What moved the Savages to deal the more cruelly with Christians, was the cruel and more than barbarous proceeding of Brice. He got hold of a few Indians of Bay River, and their chief or King was most barbarously dealt with; he was nearly roasted alive near a fire, so much so that he died. This more than barbarous deed incensed the Indians against the Christians to such degree, that it is not astonishing if they, after that, proceeded also with more cruelty. What angered me not a little, was that one of my Palatine deserters, T. M., had a hand in such an atrocious action, and even declared to find pleasure in it; it was the same who caused the desertion of half my Palatine colonists.
There were, among Brice's gang, daring fellows and men of courage, but unprincipled and brutal. If a part of the Planters or residents of other places in Carolina had behaved better and been less cowardly, the Indians could have been mastered sooner, and less evil would have happened.
As it was very important to me to justify the course I had taken in an affair of such nature, where a whole Province was in danger to be ruined and destroyed,—in order not to be charged with it, and that I could publicly expose the enormity of Brice's and his turbulent gang's proceedings,—when the General Assembly was convocated, I did not fail to attend it. First I appeared before the higher house, consisting of the Governor, the representatives of the Lords Proprietors, the Councillors, and . . . . . . . . . ,9 or provincial nobility; after I had lodged my complaint and justified my line of conduct, I went to the lower house, consisting of the Delegates of Commons. After a short speech on the subject mentioned, I asked who was the slanderer who had secretly informed against me without any official capacity; I asked for his name, and for the production, either in the original or in a copy, of the 20 or 23 articles drawn up against me; I insisted that my accusator should be brought forth in my presence, that I might convict him of falsehood, justify myself and be discharged in due form,—but nobody dared to come forward, or even open his mouth about these accusations. Undoubtedly these false accusers and slanderers had some inkling, or somehow heard how fully I had justified myself to the Governors of Virginia and Carolina, at the start, and seeing that the course I had taken met with their high approbation, they dared not pursue their accusations, for fear of having the worst of it. Among all these circumstances, however, my honor and reputation had much to suffer, and my life was even in danger; among the very Palatines had been found false witnesses; what had I to do in such a wretched state of things? Seeing that nobody would speak, I began to name my accusators myself, fulminating against them and demanding justice, but, alas!—in such a confused Government, where the first fire of sedition was not entirely extinguished, a good part of the members of that Parliament still kept some secret spite, and were good friends with that Brice, who was also a member, and would have been very glad that I should receive some affront, as I had, in their view, sided too much with the Governor; besides they were much perplexed about that Indian war, and I could have no other satisfaction than to see my discourse and defencesince at the present hour (Ano 1716) the Indian War is not yet finished!
I had sent many letters and memorials to the Govr on this matter, with ample deductions and historical particulars about all what had come to pass in this sorry plight. Any one would pity me, who would know all the cross-accidents which befell me.
Since at page [44 of MS.], I mentioned but a few motives or causes of that Indian war, I will add that the negligence and carelessness of the Carolinians were not little conducive to it;—they trusted the savages too much, did not build even the poorest fort, for safety's sake, in the Province, in order to withdraw thither in case of need;—they did not prescribe the least dispositions to be taken in case of sudden irruption—nor had they stored up the necessary war-provisions and victuals. Far from keeping good accumulations of grain and other eatables, they sold, in the very midst of dangers and troubles, whole shiploads of wheat, meat, beans, etc.—for things much less necessary to life, as sugar, molasses, brandy or (“brandevin”) etc.,—in short, every thing was disorderly and in the worst state of preparation. Instead of assembling one or two small bodies of troops to operate against the savages, and drive them out of the frontier, and from their dwellings or Plantations, every one pretended to keep and defend his own house,—and, of course, the savages had a good opportunity to destroy one plantation after the other; indeed, if the good God had not taken better care of them, than they did themselves, the whole Province would have gone to ruin.
My plan was, in case the savages would not stand by the agreement made, and it would have been impossible to induce them to some good adjustment, to mislead them with my truce, as has already been said [v. pages 96, 97, 98 of MS.], so as to gain time to gather men in sufficient number, & necessary stores as well in ammunitions as in victuals, in order, not only to be on a good foot of defence, but even to drive them away from the territory, far more, to render them powerless for harm in the future, so as to have nothing more to fear from them. But it was useless to try to bring those Carolinians to their senses. Those who were less cowardly than the others, went to work in such heedless and thoughtless way, and fell upon the savages with a mere handful of people,—so thatv. supra).
N. B. In that relation, consisting in a letter written to Govr Hyde, I did not mention and could not yet know how this little body of troops consisted only of about 150 men, who were stationed at Bath Town, a small village near Pamptego River. These men had sent word to ours, that at the first signal given, they would come to their help,—and ours likewise at their signal,—but these cowards had never the heart of crossing the River, and left their poor neighbors in the trouble and danger, and after having eaten the bread and meat of the poor residents of that District of Bath County, returned home.
How I fortified and intrenched myself at Newbern, how I supported my whole garrison or colony, with women and children, at my own expense, during 22 weeks, how at last, destitute of victuals, ammunition, without help, I have been obliged to leave my post in order to go where the Government was,—all that may partly be found in the letter written by me to Govr Hyde.
However, the least I can do is to relate also something about that trip I took to the County of Albemarle where the Governor and his Council resided.
After having thoroughly considered the wretched condition of the Province, of myself, and of my colony,—the absence of any assistance from the Province,—the impossibility of supporting us at length in that way,—(being even reduced to the last extremity,)—the manner in which all the colony had been destroyed and ruined by the invasion of the Savages, in which circumstance 70 persons were miserably murdered or carried away prisoners, as stated above, their houses, movables, and tools burnt and stolen, the greatest part of the large cattle killed,—the remainder being consumed for our subsistence;—the delay and refusal of any help from our country, its distance,—the little hope there was of ever recruiting from such considerable loss, and of founding again a convenient settlement,—again, the poor Government and the unhappy situation of the Province and of its inhabitants,—after considering, I said, all that and other good reasons,—I saw myself compelled to think more about my interests, and to take other measures. I opened my mind to several persons of distinction, my protectors and friends from Virginia and Maryland,—and they unanimously advised me to take other measures, and made mer Hyde and from the Parliament or General Assembly, to proceed further to Virginia and Maryland.
After I had called together my poor colonists and spoken to them of the necessity of changing our plans and quarters, if the Province would not assist us better than it had done in the past, that poor people, who only knew too well, and by their sad experience, in what distress we were,—readily assented to my proposals.—I however comforted them the best I could, and asked them to have a little patience and hold out some little longer, telling them I should travel with all possible haste, and make all the efforts which might be conceived, in order to get them some help in victuals, as well as in men and necessary ammunition. I therefore went on my voyage and started by a fine weather and a most favorable wind. But, alas! it did not last long, and that voyage was not very happy; for already in the evening, when we were nearly at the outlet of the River, and at the point of entering the sound, something remarkable happened. After sunset, at the top of the mast, suddenly appeared a little fire, about the size of a big candle's flame, which made about the same noise as an ascending rocket; it lasted for about one good quarter of an hour, and we were looking on with great attention and surprise. We asked the patron of the vessel what it meant; he answered that it did not mean anything good, and that, before night, we should have a great and dangerous storm, that, accordingly we ought to sail towards land, in order to find some shelter,—but, not paying attention to his warnings, I told him, with a smile, to go on. He had hardly gone for a league, when suddenly the wind changed and became so violent, that, night being near, we were glad to see some land in view, in order to draw nearer and cast anchor. We had hardly been able to land, when
We remained over night at the home of an English planter, who lived thereabouts, received us very well, and had for us all kind of attentions. He was a “Shaker”—though an honest man,—and at my first arrival in the country had been of great help to me, supplying me with victuals and cattle at a reasonable price. On the next day, after having thanked our benefactor, we started again, the wind having fallen, but, in the evening, as we were in the midst of the Sound, which is a little sea between the land and the downs of the Ocean, we struck a sand bank and the ship made such a crash, that we believed she had split in two, and were greatly frightened; however, she did not go under, we accordingly took courage and made great efforts to get away from that bank, but our greatest fear was that when at last we should get off, then we should feel the effects of that bad collision, and that, the ship being free, the crack would gape asunder, and we should certainly go under; but, by a special grace of the Allmighty, there was no such accident, and when the tide came in, and the wind was somewhat more favorable, we crowded all sail, got loose with some trouble, and thanked our good God to have delivered us from such great danger.
On the third day, we again had a violent and contrary wind, and were obliged to cast anchor on a reed-covered bank, where we remained in safety for several days; at last, by a 4 of wind we crossed a channel through those reeds, and were again unlucky enough, to strike a rock or big oyster-bed, where we had half a day's hard work to get away, and were obliged to await high tide to get rid of that place. We went on with a favorable wind, and came at last to the appointed place; it was high time for it, we had nothing more aboard to eat or to drink, as we had thought to accomplish our voyage in twice 24 hours, and it took us 10 days. This was the consequence, foretold by the patron of the ship, of that sign which we noticed on the top of the mast.
Having been obliged to stay more than 6 weeks about Govr Hyde, as well to attend Council and to apply myself to the public business of the Province, as to get together the necessary eatables and war ammunition
But alas! what a misfortune happened! My poor people were waiting in vain for the promised help: when the sloop had nearly crossed the Sound and got to the outlet of News' River,—the 3 sailors, thinking themselves out of danger, drank too much rum or brandy, and fell asleep, without extinguishing the fire on the hearth. Sparks from the still burning wood flew among the tobacco-leaves which were not far from there, they took fire, and the smoke woke up the sleepers. They were much surprised and frightened, so much so that, for fear the powder-barrel would burst,—without taking any pains to put out the fire, though they had plenty of water so near at hand, they only thought of their own safety, went into the small boat, and left the ship. Indeed, before they reached the shore, the fire caught the keg of powder, which instantly did burst and blow up the whole ship in a blaze.
I leave it to think to the reader what very sad news these were for my poor people of Newbern, who, nearly at the point of dying out of mere starvation, sighed with “gaping mouths” for that long desired help, and what a heart-sore for me to see my poor dependents deprived of that assistance. I well understood, however, that even that small help would not be sufficient, and would just give them some little respite, and I made all efforts to load my heavier brigantine with the same kind of goods as the other, but I was so much delayed and things went on so very slowly that I became quite down-hearted, and well foresaw that such tergiversations, in such circumstances, would bring us to a wretched state of affairs, and that it would be a mere impossibility to subsist in that way, in the long run.—I therefore disposed affairs in such a way that my colonists could use those same provisions which I got together for them, to come on that same ship “with M. M.” to Virginia, but, as stated above, the whole business was dragged on to such length of time, that I began to grow tired to stay at the Government's seat,—where every thing was going on so badly that it was a real pity!
Before, however, I come to relate my voyage to Virginia, it will be well to mention what we made, in the long time we spent at the government's seat, for the Province's good and safety.
After I had, therefore, remonstrated to Govr Hyde & the Council that we had to take better measures than in the past and to introduce a better order in public affairs,—that, if we did not, we should very likely perish, all of us, by the hand of the Savages, we began to examine and consider things somewhat nearer, so as to meet the most pressing emergencies,—but I must say I was astonished to find so many ignorants and cowards.
(1) Above all, a sufficient quantity of victuals had to be stored up; if not, it is and was impossible to make war, especially against savages. However, those Carolinians have been so light-headed, that, far from accumulating the necessary provisions, they have sold grain and salt-meat outside of the Province; Therefore urged instantly the Governor to publish a severe interdiction, in order that nobody should, under heavy fines and pains, export or sell any eatables whatever outside of the province.
(2) That we should get exact information as to this question whether the Province could produce grain in sufficient quantity for such a long war? We found, indeed, that this was not the case, by far, so that it was necessary to get some from the neighboring provinces.
(3) Since neither the Province in general, nor the people themselves were sufficiently provided with powder, lead, and arms, some were to be ordered from elsewhere; but they did not know where to find the money for that purpose, and the Carolinians were so poorly considered, that they would have found none on credit. I accordingly was compelled to see if the Governor of Virginia would not give us a lift.
(4) Supposing that we should have met all the exigencies above stated, what was to be done with so few people? We could hardly gather 300 arms-bearing men in the whole province, and part of them was neither well clothed nor well armed, had no ammunition, and felt not at all inclined to go to battle. Thereupon, I was commissioned to speak to the Govr of Virginia, and to prevail on him, in order that he would be so kind as to give us men and sufficient provisions,—what he really offered to do in the name of the Queen of Great Britian, provided a settled salary would be paid to the soldiers and the eatables and war provisions returned. This did not please the Carolinians; they objected they were not able to return such sums of money,—that the Governor ought to do it at her Majesty's expense, what was found ridiculous: “why should, indeed, the Queen contribute to such an extent for a Province from which she drew no income?” The Lords Proprietors draw it, and they should also pay the expense and charges. This was the cause that somer of Virginia, to feel their way with him, if he would perhaps take under his protection the Province of Carolina, what he refused by good considerations.
(5) It was also proposed that some place in the Province should be fortified, as well to be able to retire there in case of need, as to keep there in safety, but nothing was done.
What was to be done in such a wretched state of affairs? During all these tergiversations, the savages became fierce, on account of such poor resistance, broke forth, attacked and pillaged one Plantation after another.
The last resource was to send at once delegates to South Carolina to ask for help, which was obtained, and without which the whole Province would have been lost.
The Government of South Carolina sent 800 tributary savages, with 50 Carolinian Englishmen, under the command of Coll Barnwell,—all provided with arms, powder and lead. The seat of that Indian war was near my quarters of Newbern. As this body of troops had arrived, the war broke out in due form, and those tributary savages, at the start, pounced with such fury upon part of the Tuscoruro nation, that they were appalled, and the savages of North Carolina were obliged to intrench themselves in a fort which they built. Thereupon the relieftroops from South Carolina, after having received orders at Newbern, marched against a great Indian Village, called Core, about thirty miles distant from Newbern, drove out the King and his forces, and carried the day with such fury, that, after they had killed a great many, in order to stimulate themselves still more, they cooked the flesh of an Indian “in good condition” and ate it. As this help came from S. Carolina, we levied 200 Englishmen from N. Carolina under the com̄and of Cap. Boyd with a few friendly Indians,—and 50 men from my colony, commanded by Mr Michel.
This expedition, a body of troops consisting partly of Christians and partly of savages, went into the woods, and took position before a great
When these sad news were brought to the Council,—as we then were assembled,—we set our wits to work, in order to find some means of holding our own better against our enemies. My eyes accidentally fell upon some 6 or 8 cast-iron-guns which were laying in the yard, removed from their carriage, rusty, and full with sand, and proposed to repair two of the smaller ones, the best one could; and to send them to our people, in order to use them on the second attack to be made, but my proposal was at first considered as ridiculous. They objected to me that it was impossible to carry them across the swamps, the ditches and woods. I answered readily, as I well remembered what an officer dependent of the bailiwick Yverdon, Captn Taccard from Saint-Croix, had related to me, of the stratagem he used at the siege of an important fortress in Flanders, (and which indeed made his fortune). I proposed that every cannon would be brought on some kind of shafts, with one horse in front, and another behind, what was done; the other necessaries were supplied, and it all did splendidly succeed. Indeed, the first approaches being duly made, two balls had hardly been shot into the fort, with a few grenades, when the Indians, who knew nothing of such inventions and who never had heard such loud reports, were so much frightened, that they begged for a truce; a council of war was held, and it was concluded that it should be granted, with the purpose of an advantageous peace. What induced our staff to that was the presence of the poor christian prisoners, who were confined already since the first slaughter; they called out from the Fort that if we should take it by storm and take no heed of
Thereafter, our troops returned to Newbern to refresh themselves somewhat, for they were badly provided with victuals. As the Province had not fulfilled the expectations of Col. Barnwell, who had hoped for greater honors and gifts from the Carolinians,—as even his men had not received the necessary provisions, and were dissatisfied as he himself was, he thought of some device to return home with his forces in a profitable way: under pretence of a good peace, he lured a great part of the enemies to the surroundings of Cor-village, where he took them all prisoners. This suited the tributary Savages very well, because they got so much a head in goods,—and they returned joyfully to South Carolina with their savage prisoners, but that Col. Barnwell blotted out, by such a black deed, all the praiseworthy things he had done before.
This breach of truce and most detestable deed of a Christian did not fail to greatly incense the other Tuscaruros and Carolinian Indians, and justly too, since they evidently could have no more confidence to the Christians. They accordingly fortified themselves still better, and made terrible raids along both rivers, News and Pamptego, and the last troubles were worse than the first.
This compelled us to bring a serious complaint against that Col. B. and to solicit new help from South Carolina, which we obtained, though not so strong as the first, under command of Capt Moore, who behaved better than the first.
After calling together as many men as possible, they began anew the attack of the Indian Fort near Catechna, the other name of which is Hencock's Village. This siege was more successful than the first, and
In that action, it was estimated, that there were about 900 killed, as well as prisoners, men, women, and children. Of our men and the Indian tributaries, many were wounded and several killed.—After that, we had a little rest, though some of them, who were scattered about, would now and then assail a few plantations.
The question was, how to protect us, for the future, against the remaining savages and their neighbors. We called the neighboring Kings together. (N. B.—These petty kings are properly only the chiefs over a certain number of Indians; however, the title is hereditary and goes over to their posterity). Six or seven of those kinglings complied with the summons, and after several successive conferences, we made a peace such as we desired,—so that there is nothing more to fear,—the Indians located in Virginia, tributaries of this last Province, are answerable for that peace, and the remaining Carolinian Indians have presently become tributaries of the Province of North Carolina, or rather of the Lords Proprietors.
In the meanwhile, notwithstanding that peace, our poor colonists were not in the best plight, but scattered here and there among the English & Carolinian Planters; some returned to Newbern where they could farm some little, Besides, I had allowed all to leave their Plantations for a couple of years and to go out to service at the wealthiest Planters', in order to spare some little means besides their living, and afterwards to go back to their Plantations, discharging them, for those two years, of their standing rents. To Mr M. and the Bernese I let know that, according to what had been agreed upon, I went to Virginia and was going to take the necessary steps to secure there some safer establishment,—it being impossible to me reëstablish with my own strength and means a Colony in such a wrecked State,—the more so that there was very little prospect and hope of any more assistance from my home.
I accordingly took leave of the Governor & Council of Carolina, and went to the Govr of Virginia, who received me very favorably, and who, at my request, granted me the escort of a well-equipped man-of-war, on account of the privateers, which was indeed a great favor to a private individual. Thereafter I sent word to Mr M. who was to take the lead of my people, and which was present at a conference on the boundary of Virginia & Carolina, where the Lords Governors Hyde & Spotswood conferred together. The day was, accordingly, appointed, and the place where the man-of-war had to be passed was Coratuck Island (North Carolina); with the conviction that all that would succeed perfectly, I went on my way further into Virginia, along the big river Potomack, and to Maryland, in order to secure quarters and the necessary provisions in victuals and cattle.
The place where we were to meet was at a very gentlemanlike man's, “Mr Rosier,” near the Potomack-falls, where a few gentlemen from Pennsylvania, who had some interests common with us, had come to meet me, in hopes of seeing at last how things stood about this beautiful and rich silver-mine, about which Mr M. had talked so much and for the search of which they had already supplied so much money.
We remained at that place for some time, without hearing from Mr M. nor from that small colony which we awaited impatiently from one day to the other,—the queer behaviour of that fellow made us nearly doubt, and not without reason, the reality of his assertions. We therefore resolved to go ourselves and visit the site of the mines, of which he had given us a map; we accordingly took due preparations for that trip, though a dangerous one,—and, as I had planned it some time ago, and before having any clue to that meeting, I took every precaution, and gave advice of my intentions to the Governor of Virginia, who gave me letters-patent, and even issued injunctions to the guardsmen on the boundary (“frontier-guardsmen,”) to follow and escort me at my first research and at any request of mine. When we came to Canawest, an enchanting place, about 40 miles above the falls, we found settled there, a crowd of savages, and especially a Frenchman from Canada, called Martin, a carter, who had married an Indian or Savage woman, and was highly10 of Mr M., he had settled there, having left Pennsylvania. This same carter Martin had also made the voyage to S. for the search of the Mines, with that Mr M. and spent a heavy sum of money for it. That man warned us that the Indians which were in the vicinity of that S. mountain, where the mines were supposed to be, were much alarmed on account of the war which we had with the Tuscoruros, and that we ought not to risk so dangerous a trip without necessity. We took his words into consideration and postponed that trip to a more favorable time and occasion. We, however, made an alliance with the Canavest11 Indians, which was most necessary, as well on account of the mines which we hoped to find thereabouts, as for the settlement, which we had resolved to make in that region, of our little Bernese colony, which we expected. After that, we visited those beautiful sites, those enchanted islands on the River Potomack above the falls.
From there, on our way back, we went on one high mountain only, called, on account of its form, Sugarloaf mountain.12 We took with us a surveyor, the carter Martin above mentioned and a few Indians. From that mountain we saw a great expanse of land, part of Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania & Carolina. Using the compass, we made a map, and specially noticed the S. mountain, where the silver mines were to be. We found that that mountain was situated in Virginia, and not in Pennsylvania, as according to the map given us; two of these Indians happened to know that mountain's situation, and told us that they had roamed thereabouts and had been in nearly all the nooks of that mountain, but had found no minerals, and that the map given to us was not correct, what greatly surprised us. We discovered, from that summit, three mountain-ranges, one higher than the other, and beautiful valleys. After we had gone down from the mountain, we spent the night at that man, Martin's, the carter's, and, the day after, we went back to Mr Rosier and stayed with him, below the falls of that great river Potomack, where I remained some time, waiting for my people. The remnant of the company
It is to be noticed here, that Mr M., whom I do not name here,13 out of regard for his family and relations at Bern, (who are distinguished people), has fooled many people by his tales about these rich silver mines,—and if I was duped myself, it is no wonder, being a stranger in these countries. My motives were the following: (1) I thought a man of his family was wholly incapable of such a trick, especially towards a fellowcountryman; (2) the ore which he had exhibited had been tested and found rich; (3) So many people from Pennsylvania & other neighbouring provinces had openly made the trip, with permission of the competent Governors, for the discovery of these mines, there really appeared to be some facts at the foundation of the whole matter; (4) Among others, a merchant from Pensylvania was interested in it, a very able man,—a skillful goldsmith, and other persons who were supposed to know the region well. Seeing that these clever people, raised from childhood in these countries, some even born there, risked important sums in that business, I could not imagine that they had not taken every kind of precautions and sureties. About this humbug, an elaborate history could be written, and funny enough would it be, but I go on with my narrative.
As to me, I should console myself of my loss in this matter, however important, for my whole enterprise was based on that supposed foundation,—but I pity the poor miners, who left what certainly they had in Germany, for uncertainty in America. They had a good handicraft, and now they have nothing but what they can get from some cleared land, where they have to live in the scantiest way.
This be said, on the way, to show that I was not alone to be caught. What is more surprising, is the fact that Mr M. had made a contract in due form with the miners, and made a voyage to Holland in order to meet the head-miner, who had to get together all necessary tools and things for this enterprise, at an expense of nearly 1000 Lb. Strlg.
In short, all circumstances seemed to be real & solid. Mr Penn,14 Proprietor of Pennsylvania, was thoroughly acquainted with all theser M. as Director-General of all minerals in his Province, and things went accordingly, as far as a very important contract. 15 Who could, amidst such proceedings and among such circumstances, doubt the reality of facts?
I believe there are hardly any finer and better situated sites, in the whole world, than that of the Potomack and Canawest, a region which we thought of dividing between two small colonies. The first was to be just below the Falls, where are found a very pretty island, very good lands, and, on the opposite side, a place, between the great river Potomack, and another small river called Gold Creek, (which means in French, “Riviére doreé”: [gilded stream.]), very convenient to receive whatever comes from the upper River, as well as what comes down from ABOVE (below?—Translator) the falls and surroundings;—the biggest merchant ships may sail there. 16
The other colony was to be located near Canavest, as may be seen by the map.17 Having received in two months, not the slightest news from Carolina, I at last got very bad ones by a special messenger. Mr M. informed me in a few words: “That the bearer of the note wished to get the command of our Brigantine, and that I was to agree with him. That, as my brigantine had brought to News the long wished for wheat, it had run aground on its return, on a sand-bank, that it was in poor condition, and had been worm-eaten in hot weather, wanted new sail ropes and other implements, that it was sunk deeply into the sand and could not be got off from there,—that I was to go to Carolina as soon as possible,” He made no mention whatever of the man-of-war sent from Virginia to meet it, and of what other had happened during such a long space of time. This so disgusted me, that I was for dying of grief and
After so much pains taken, all orders given, and the necessary provisions made,—and all that for nothing!—I sent the Captn back not much pleased, with orders, however, to repair the ship as well as possible, and most quickly, since she had only a little way to go, along the seashore.
I wrote also to Coll Pollock, as being better supplied than any one else: “Since the vessel was in the Province's service, every thing of absolute necessity was to be provided;” I added, that I should look to the other things wanted at Virginia's expense. But everything was put off in such way, that, if I wanted it to be done, I had to go myself.
When, being on my way, I went to the Govr of Virginia, I found him looking cold and indifferent, and quite changed towards me, and I could not imagine why; at last, that lord himself explained his attitude, but with heavy reproaches, asking what consideration we had for him,—that he would have hoped to see his attentions better recognized, as well as his services, which were so considerable, and which he would certainly not have rendered to any individual whatever,—that instead of showing him due thankfulness, we treated him most flippantly, and so on. Abashed at what I heard, I excused myself, without knowing well what he was aiming at; I asked for an explanation, though, and the Govr went on: “Yes, yes, your fine fellow M. has played me a foul trick,”—and proceeded to tell me, how according to our agreement, he sent a well-equipped man-of-war to fetch the Brigantine & my people, to escort them,—how the Captn of the ship, after waiting nearly for six days before Coratuck Island, became impatient, as nobody came near him,—how he had sent his Lieutenant in the yawl, in order to inquire for news of my Brigantine and people, which nobody knew anything about it,—how, drawing near to a small village called Little River he ascertained, at last, that Mr M. was at New Bern, and the Brigantine stranded on a sand bank, in poor condition, and that it could not be tugged away,—how the Lieutenant having heard of that, brought the news quick to the Captain, who was indignant, after having made a useless and dangerous voyage, not to have been told what had happened,—inasmuch as, if a storm had risen at the time, he would have been obliged to take to high waters,—or
This unpleasant narration being over, I thought of fainting right away, overwhelmed by surprise, grief, and shame, at the idea that a lord of his character, to whom I had such obligations, who had done me so much good, and had such attentions for me,—to whom, after God, I very nearly owed my own life,—had been trifled with in such a way. I offered him the best excuses I knew, and told how strangely I had been deceived myself, when I was already quite ready to settle near the Potomack falls, and how I was sadly puzzled how I should get out from such a labyrinth.
The Governor then presented me with a glass of wine to refresh myself, and began to say he was sorry for me, that I had to deal with such a queer-headed fellow,—advised me to part with him, etc.
Having spent the night at the Governor's and received many attentions, I set out in great haste for Carolina, in order to take the necessary measures. As, formerly, I had also ordered sails & ropes to repair the Brigantine as wanted, at my arrival at Mr Hyde's, (the Govr of Carolina), I heard thoroughly of what all had happened, and I do not know of what more! I first wrote to Mr M. to get a thorough information about every thing, but he gave me no satisfaction, and I had to summon him to come to me, in order to take the needed measures about one thing and the other, but I was not obeyed. I accordingly tried to advance matters in some other way, and asked the Governor and council that, since the Brigantine had been thus spoiled in the Province's service, it was only just that it should be repaired at public expense,—and my request was granted. An able man was accordingly sent to that purpose to examine and repair the Brigantine, but I was so badly provided with eatables and other means, that he even returned very sick, the great heat having injured him. He informed me that the Brigantine could not hold out much longer, as it had been exposed to heat through all summer, worm-eaten, and that it ought to be rebuilt all over, but was not worth
N. B.—From this point of the narration, to the following N. B., I could well suppress the facts about Mr. M. as doing me not much honor;—I however have recorded them, in order to justify myself before the Society,—as well as before the miners.
Where, meanwhile, had I to go with my people?! I wrote again, with the most strong expressions, to M., requiring a conference, in such delicate conjunctures, considering moreover that the creditors began to stir, and wanted to be paid. I got no answer, but I heard that M. was packing up every thing, under pretence of putting my movables in safety, with the intention of going to S. Carolina,—that he had already induced a few Palatines to go with him. Such a fraudulent trick obliged me to take other measures,—and I was warned to put my property in better hands,—but too late. As Col. Pollock, to whom I owed an important sum for provisions lent to the Colony, began to become suspicious, what may be easily understood in the circumstances, I requested him to have a legal inventory taken, by sworn commissioners, of all things belonging as well to the Colony, as to myself, but my best things were already gone.
When I thought of the whole behavior of M.,—how he had disposed things in such a strange way,—and misled all interested people,—I could not but suspect evil, and wrote to him, for the last time, remonstrating, historically, about all facts that had come to my knowledge from different sides,—not reproaching him as yet,—but showing that “should he be suspected, he had given himself many reasons for it, by behaviour & tergiversations, what would be easier to say than to write. Things being carried so far, we had to take strong resolutions,—and it was absolutely necessary, that we should speak over these matters thoroughly, and adopt the last possible measures,—that there was periculum in mora;” but, instead of a conference, I got nothing out of him but an ambiguous and unsatisfactory letter. I believe he was glad to find a pretext for giving a specious appearance to his tricks, and to getrid of what he could not accomplish according to his designs. 18 I should have ample reasons, not only to complain of his inexcusable proceeding, but to resent it keenly; however, in order to spare his respectable relations, I do not mention many things about him, and there would be, for me, no glory in revenging myself on a wretch of his sort.
There were such extravagant things in that letter, that it did really show that not only I had been duped, but many others;—especially did M. mention a new enterprise, which he thought a great deal of, viz: to settle a colony along the Mesesipy River—to which 3 crowns pretend to have claims: Spain, France, and England,—he expressed the opinion, that the State of Bern, being neutral, could obtain at once this region from those three crowns! But it has to be considered: (1) That these powerful States are jealous among themselves, and none of them would yield to the other; (2) that the State of Bern is absolutely unable to assist and maintain such a far-off country, as it has no maritime forces. It may be easily seen, therefore, that M. was most hazardous in his calculations, and that such freaks, from Pennsylvania to Maryland, from there to Virginia, then again to North Carolina, afterwards to South Carolina, and at last on the Mesesipy,—will not do, by any means!
The conclusion, concerning the silver-mine of Virginia,—or Maryland,—is soon drawn from what has just been said: if there was anything in it, why should he leave it then and there to stray towards the Gulf of Mexico!
N. B. My hair stands on end, when I consider how many families have been endangered and ruined, for having too easily believed in that alleged Silver-mine. I especially pity so many miner-families who left their country, on the faith of a formal contract, came at great cost to America, and there, found neither Mr M. nor nobody to show them where the mine was to be. I must make an end of this grievous matter; if not I should go too far into it, and there would remain no space for other topics; indeed, this was not my intention as I began.
I come back to my narration about Carolina: having thought about all those matters, and considering what little help I could hope to getr Hyde detained me so long, (peace being not yet fully ratified with the Indians, he insisted upon securing my presence at its conclusion), that one of my creditors contrived to cunningly watch my negroes, in order that they could not escape. Meanwhile, we all became sick in Mr Hyde's house, in consequence of the great heat, and also, probably, of eating too many peaches and apples, so much so, that at last the Governor died [Sept. 1712] in a few days, what also did me much damage,—for he was my good friend. This death nearly drove his wife, Mrs Hyde, to despair, and she instantly begged of me, with tears in her eyes, not to leave her in such sad circumstances, but to remain with her until everything would be settled, as well in reference to the Government affairs, as on account of her claims and of her husband's inheritance. She further argued, that according to the law and to my rank, the “Presidial”19 belonged to me, as being Landgrave of the Province, adding that she had lately perceived, at London, from the Lords Proprietors that, if there was to be a vacancy, they would entrust me with the Government. But I civilly thanked her, and pointed to other motives which prevented me from accepting it. I however promised to stay a couple of weeks, in order to help her as well as I could to despatch her business,—though mine was certainly quite as pressing.
After the burial, Col. Pollock, the oldest in the Council, came to me, with the other members, and asked me to accept the “Presidial,” what I refused for good reasons, pointing to the fact that Col. Pollock, as the oldest member, as well in years as in the Council itself, ought to accept that office,—that he knew better than me about the affairs of the Province, as I was an unexperienced stranger, and he accepted at last, with many compliments.
The Lords Proprietors, however, were told about all these proceedings,—and it was suggested to them, that if the Government was given to me, I should not refuse it, but that I would not ask for it, what also met with their approval, “without further consideration, as formerly.” But, as it was known, that I was heavily in debt in Carolina, and that already a few bills of exchange of mine had been protested, the question was delayed, until some notice could come from Bern, where I had written, to know for certain whether payment would follow or not. It is also customary that the claimants appear themselves for application in such circumstances; accordingly, six months passed away without any election of a Governor, although several persons had applied in London,—and the actual Governor, Mr Eden, became justly impatient, the more so that for such a long time no notice came neither from Bern, nor from myself. The LL. Proprietors at last elected and instated the said Mr Eden,—whom I still met in London, had a conference with him, and recom̄ended to him, at my best, my interest and those of the colony, which he promised to look after,—and offered me in all sincerity his aid,—which to give me he was also commanded by the LL. Proprietors.
When I lately passed through London, I stayed, after my arrival, seven days at the country house of Sir Colleton, knight and baronet, also a Lord Proprietor, and my good personal friend,—his residence being 6 miles distant from London.
He was delighted to see me, and also very sorry that I came too late, saying that, if I had arrived only one month sooner, I should be at this hour Governor of Carolina; I was not very sorry for it myself, as I was unfortunately well aware, that they did not feel disposed, in Bern, to pay my debts, my relations as little as the Society, which feels discouraged by so many annoyances.
I have nearly lost my way, and, instead of going to Virginia, I have come to London! . . . . . . To take up my narration where I left it, a few days before I took leave of Mrs Hyde, the Governor's widow, I sent secretly word to the negroes, by my footman, to cross the river by night, without noise and secretly, and to wait there for me to go with me tor Rossier's, near the great falls, and to take with him the last measures. But, when I thought of crossing the River with my horses near the pointed foreland of Maryland, a great wind arose and prevented me. As soon as it fell, I went on, crossed, and went towards the Fall.
When I arrived at Mr Rossier's house, I found neither him nor his wife, nor the person above mentioned; the first had gone visiting at some relation's at the distance of one day's travel, and the other gentleman had just gone away the day before, thinking to meet me in Virginia. Though very much tired by such a long voyage, I just stopped to take a little food, and went the same way back, so fast that my horses were overrun, and that we were compelled to walk one day on foot, before arriving at Williamsburg.
Immediately after my arrival, I asked whether Mr M. was there, but I heard that he was at Hampton or Guiguetan, the first seaport of Virginia; I sent immediately my footman there, with a hired horse, but he did not find him, because that gentleman was glad to avail himself of a favorable opportunity for returning home, as he happened to find there a man-of-war, whose captain was his good friend, ready to sail for “the new York.” After having inquired about me and the colony, heard of Gov. Hyde's death, and ascertained that my affairs all went the wrong way, he left for me a letter, which I never received, and left for New-York, which is not far from Burlington, a very nice borough, built in Dutch fashion, on the limit between New-York and Pennsylvania, where I most of the time resided. This important appointment having again failed, I felt much desponded, then he was my last resource, being a man of sense, honest and upright; and a skilfull merchant. What surprised me was that an intelligent man as he was had so much trusted M. and had advanced him so much money, and that same fact made me believe that there was still some reality in the mines.
What was I to do in such unhappy a conjuncture? If I had had any means to settle at Canawest, I would have returned there. Instead of going to Govr Spotswood, I went to a private friend, intending to try one thing more. I sent my footman to Carolina, partly to ascertain if Mr M. had left no answer for me,—believing he might have resolved some new scheme,—partly to know which way he had gone; Item: if he had left nothing of my clothes and house-linen; Item: to know if perhaps the negroes had escaped, because, in case I could catch them, I would have been able to do something in Canawest, where they could have planted grain and taken care of the cattle. But my footman came back without having done anything,—he was told, however, that if I could send a brigantine or big barge full of provisions to the Bernese colonists and a few honest Palatines, they would come to me, trusting still to retrieve my losses with the mines which I had with Govr Spotswood.
Upon this notice, I wrote to a distinguished person, a rich man, member of the Queen's Council, and my intimate friend, who could have gone into copartnership with me for this new colony, with a request to provide us with all necessaries. Being deeply engaged in that matter, and believing that I had found some means to get out of trouble, I got notice, that a merchant who had against me a protested bill of exchauge intended to arrest me, the writ having already been served at the house where I lived, as I took good care not to show myself. I then consulted with my good friends, asking if I could live in safety at Canavest, or in some other place in America. But they answered me: “Nowhere,”—for, even if I had been among the Indians, I should have been detected by the Indian traders, what made me very anxious, as I saw that there were no more resources for me in America,—unless I could hope to draw enormous sums from my original home, or should find some new partners, which would have been possible, but, when found, they would of course have nothing to do with the old debts.
I pondered over some letters which I had received, and which did not much satisfy me, and went in great grief to Gov. Spotswood's residence, Williamsburg, to explain to him my deplorable condition and to tell him: “Governor, I am in such straits that I do not know any more which way to turn; be kind enough to a poor unfortunate, to give him some prudent
After I had told him all my mishaps and wretched adventures, and added that it had come so far, that I was threatened to be arrested, the Governor answered, that he took great parts in my misfortune, that he was surprised that I should be abandoned in such a manner, especially by the Society,—and that he knew of no better advice for me than to return to Europe. He offered to me his recommendation to a good friend of his, who was to obtain that a distinguished lord, his protector, should kindly present a petition to the Queen in my behalf. I was, afterwards, to go to Bern, to expound matters thoroughly to the Society, and solicit from them the payment of the bills of exchange. I imparted this advice to several among my best friends, who all were of the same opinion. But, winter being near, as in such season no ships are found to sail to Europe, I remained, through the winter, which is not very long in those quarters, at a good friend's, and, as I did not like at all the idea of returning to Europe, far less to my native country, I did not fail to make ardent and repeated prayers to the Almighty, that He might put me in mind what I was to do in such a delicate conjuncture, and guide me according to His holy will, in order to get more blessing in my designs, and to take a resolution favourable for my soul. Indeed, if I had had no other aim than to spend the balance of my existence in making some kind of a living (in keeping body and soul together), I could have find still some kind of device. But I felt grievous to leave the Colony,—and again, when I took into consideration what I had to thank God for, especially my miraculous rescue,—and how everything went wrong for me in this country,—it brought me nearly to believe that it was not God's will, that I should stay longer in that country,—that there was no favorable star for me,—and I accordingly formed the unshaken resolution to depart.
I comforted myself in thinking that perhaps these colonists could better subsist among these Carolinians, who in that time were as able to assist them as I. I felt, accordingly, less responsibility, and besides, I did not do what I did with the intention of abandoning them entirely, though many of them had given me good motives of doing so.
But, in case I should obtain a favorable hearing from Her Britanic Majesty, and more assistance from Bern, I thought I could return more gladly & more profitably,—and that, if I should unluckily not succeeds & to the creditors, and to remain quiet in my native country, and to spend the remainder of my days “with the repentance” of so much time lost, in a true humiliation and sincere moral improvement, not doubting that the sins of my youth have called upon me such dispensation. However hard the latter may seem, it was not so much so as I had undoubtedly deserved it.
I must accordingly give up every superfluous & worldly care, and all the more, look after my poor soul, with God's grace.
N. B.—I stated above, about that colony, that, although I should leave and abandon them, and that so many misfortunes could happen to them, that they had certainly drawn them upon themselves: (1) They were, I mean most of them, unfaithful to, and deserters from, their true sovereign, and they actually did act in the same way towards me, having left me in the greatest straits. (2) They were such a criminal and ungodly set of people, that it is no wonder if the Almighty has punished them by means of the heathen,—for they were worse than these,—and if I had known them, as well as I do now, the Bernese as well as the Palatines, I should certainly not have concerned myself about them.
As to the Palatines, I thought of picking my choice among the better, according to their appearance; for those who died on the sea and before my arrival, I have nothing to say, but for those that I joined there, I found most of them to be ungodly and rebellious people, among whom there were burglars, thieves, lewd fellows, profane swearers, slanderers, etc. No pains, no cares, on my part, could keep them in their duty. No admonitions, no threatenings, no punishments, proved to be of any use. God knows what I have endured; among the Bernese were two families which might justly be called the “excrement” of the country, and, with them, the proverb proved true: “Ill weeds never die out.”
I was more sorry to leave such a beautiful and good country than such wicked people. There were, however, some little good grain, I mean a few persons fearing God, who loved me and whom I also loved; I wish them all kind of prosperity. God may convert the balance!
The question was, how to undertake the voyage, by sea or by land. It could not be done by sea, as the captains of the ships are not allowed
Meanwhile, I wrote letters to the colony, pointing to the necessity of my voyage on account of their deplorable condition, as well as my own; I sent, at the same time, letters to the President and to the Council, telling them also my motives and recommending to them, the best I could, this forsaken and shattered colony.
After I had taken leave of Govr Spotswood, who entertained me splendidly for this last time, I began my voyage by land just at Eastern 1713. I went through nearly all Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Jersey, and at last happily arrived, thank God, at New-York, a fine city, very well built after Dutch fashion, on an island, on the side of which is a fine and convenient harbour, situated between two navigable rivers, with a fortress; the surroundings are charming,—there are 3 churches in the city, an English one, a French one, and a Dutch one, in which a German service is also held. There is plenty of everything, and one can have anything which one wishes, the best fishes, good meat, all kind of grains, fruits, & vegetables, very good beer, and all sorts of exquisite wines, etc.
I stayed 10 or twelve days in that nice place,—and then sailed for England in a little Brigantine. I own that, at first, I was afraid to cross that big Ocean in such a small ship, but I was told and convinced that there was not so much danger as in a large one, and for different reasons:
(1) The sails are more easily mastered in great storms, as there are much less to manage;
(2) The small ship cuts better the water, and goes quicker;
(3) A small ship does not swing as much as a big one;
(4) It is more handy to load and unload, and is very useful to trade; such a ship makes two trips during a big one makes only one.
Though the wind was nearly always contrary, and we had several very rough storms, we arrived, however, thank God, happily at Bristol after
I took a few days' rest, and rode on horseback, in good company, to London, because the voyage by stage was dangerous. 
I spent there several months, in hopes of presenting my petition to Queen Ann, by the hands of the Duke of Beaufort, my protector, who was first Lord Proprietor, and Palatine of Carolina, but, a short time before the date at which he was to hand my petition to the Queen, he died suddenly, another blow of my usual bad luck. The Queen herself died soon after him.
After that, there were so many changes at the Court of England, that my petition was not presented, and I well saw there was no hope of any favour in this new Court, for a long time, though it might be supposed that, after a while, this new King, being a German by birth, would feel inclined favourably for that affair. Winter being inconvenient for travels, as I could do nothing under such circumstances, I began my voyage to Bern.
I cannot, however, but mention that when I arrived at London, I was surprised to hear that the head-miner, T. Tusties Albrecht, had arrived with 70 other miners, what gave me much pains, cares, grief, and expense. Indeed these men came most inconsiderately and without orders, thinking all necessaries for their living and for the mining-works ready for them; but there was no such thing, and my purse was so empty that I had hardly enough for my most pressing needs. I had spent all my ready money in America, and found no bill of exchange for me in London, and it was impossible for me to assist such a crowd of people. It is easily understood what a burden that was for me, as they believed that, according to the written contract which they held, I was bound to assist them, what would indeed have been the case, if I had given them orders to come. I had however written to them, from America, several letters, of which they had received more than one, by which I gave them advice, that the head-miner T. T. Albrecht was not to come until further orders, telling them that there was nothing to do in the mines, on account of the troubles, and of the Indian war, which took place in Carolina,—Ir M. had not yet disclosed the place,—but that, if the head-miner was willing to come nevertheless with one or two of them besides for the sake of prospecting only, he might do it of his own accord. But he, nevertheless, without further consideration, proceeded, and took no notice of these tidings.
What was I to do? I could give them no better advice than to return home, which they did not like, and even preferred to become servants in America, for 4 years. Meanwhile, there were, as yet, no ships bound for America; they had, in consequence, to stay through the whole winter in London; but how were they to live? I really felt sorry for them. However, I was in a hurry to get home; I at last found two rich & noted Virginian merchants, to whom I proposed and recom̄ended that business at my best; besides, I took counsel from a high standing lord, to whom I had been recommended by the Governor of Virginia, precisely touching the mines, in order that he might support me at Court.
We concluded that these people had to put their money together, and keep a proportional account of it, and that one of the merchants above mentioned should pay the balance, to supply the transportation and living of these people, that the Govr of Virginia was to receive them, & take care of them at their arrival, and to pay the capt of the ship, who had to give back the money advanced by them to the London merchants.
For that object, I wrote an extensive letter to Gov. Spotswood, laying before him the situation, and telling him, that, in case the mines should not fully succeed, these good people could form a small colony on the lands which we held together in Virginia, a little further than the place where were found supposed minerals, the presence of which made a silver vein presumable,—where they could settle by the orders and good care of the Govr, or somewhere else, if there was no satisfactory prospect of silver mines.
And as, in Virginia, there were no iron nor copper works, though a plenty of such ores were found there, we might begin by these, for which we needed no royal patent, as was wanted for silver mines, etc.
Hoping that my scheme could succeed, I recommended these good miners to the Allmighty, and they started at the beginning of the year 1714.
A whole year has elapsed without my receiving any news from the Govr or from them, and I feel very anxious.
My American mishaps seem now to be at an end, but the same ill luck which pursued me out of my native country still followed me home.
For fear that my American creditors, of which the most interested happened to be at that very time in London, could give orders to the seaports, to inquire after me, and arrest me, I resolved to go aboard a little ship bound for St Valeries, instead of taking the common route by Dover or Harwich, and of going home by the shortest. The day was appointed, and, as I dared not to take a passport, for fear of being detected, the captain of the ship (to whom I had to trust the matter, though under a false name), advised me to go in a little boat to Gravesend, and prepared himself to start.
When I was nearly half way, such a strong contrary wind arose, that I was compelled to land, and to go on foot to Gravesend, where I slept and remained a whole day; but, finding the living dear there, and not knowing whether that contrary wind would still last long, considering besides that this also was a seaport, I went on my way back to London, where my ship captain, not yet ready, was waiting for a better wind. However, I remained at Southwick, beyond the Thames, till further orders. When he had unloaded, I was told to follow him, and, at Greenwich I went aboard the ship, and outside of the town of Gravesend, the Captn sent me away, telling me to wait until he would have declared everything on board, and the inspection would be past. Although he told to the searching officers that my trunk belonged to a nobleman from St Valeries, and that he could declare that it contained only clothes, they would not be so easily satisfied. He accordingly sent quickly a boy to tell me that I had to open my trunk, what made me anxious; however I kept a careless countenance, and spoke French: I at once took my key with half a crown, and gave it to the clerk, asking him not to ruffle my clothes, which were so tightly packed. This luckily succeeded; if they had examined my writings and papers, I should have been detected and in danger.
After that, we sailed on. When we were nearly at the mouth of the river, near a seaport called Marget, there arose such a terrible storm, with thunder and lightning, that we were in great danger, and were scarcely able to keep the anchor fastened over night. The following day, when the wind had fallen somewhat, we sailed further on, and when we were on high sea, a strong contrary wind drove us to a place full of sandbanks, so that we were obliged to return and to land in another port called Ramsey; if the people of that townlet and a great number of sailors had not come to our rescue, we should undoubtedly have perished. We had to stay there 8 days, on account of the contrary wind, and in order to mend our torn sails, and to fix different things. That was hard for me, as I had hardly enough money for my voyage through Paris. When the wind had abated some, we went out, but were repelled a second time. This voyage gave me more trouble than when I crossed twice the ocean. Instead of 3 days, it took us 3 weeks to go to St. Valeries, where there is so dangerous an entrance, that we should never have been able to get into the harbour if pilots had not come out to meet and help us. I came very near to be arrested by the Governor as I had no passport, but a bill of exchange, by which he could ascertain that I was a Swiss, got me out of trouble. From there I went up the river to Abbeville, where I took the stage to Paris, and from there to Lyons, and from there to the Fort de la Cluse,20 where the Governor or Commander arrested me, as being without a passport, although I had not been required to exhibit one all through France. If I had not been in possession of my brief as lieutent govr (bailli) of Yverdon, which I exhibited, telling how I had lived in good neighborly intercourse with Mr de Bearnez,21 Govr of Pontarlier, and giving sufficient evidence of the fact, I should have been compelled to stay till a satisfactory attestation had come from Bern. So I went on my wayLavaux,22 where I thought to meet my family, according to the news received. I even thought to stay there for some time, but I found the house shut: everybody had gone to Bern a week before. So I had to follow, though unwillingly, and I arrived at Bern on the day of St. Martin 1713, in good health, thank God, and found everything and everybody at home in good condition.
Alas! What changes I found in the town! Old friends grown cold towards me,—many people bloated up with pride and arrogance! My experiences would be too tedious to relate in their minute particulars.
The worst was, that those among whom I thought to find some help to rebuild my shattered colony, some refused to hearken to me, and the others I could not well convince, and so, I was compelled to abandon that colony, for want of aid, especially from my Society (or Company) which abandons me! It is a pity, because others will be able to fish in troubled waters, and to take advantage and benefit of what I founded with much danger, pains, care, grief, and expense.
Indeed, affairs stand well now in Carolina; the Government is better established, the wild Indians destroyed, a good peace concluded, the main difficulties surmounted, the most convenient lands, for the colony, cleared and cleaned out. The air there, accordingly, is more healthy, the population more dense,—and those who will succeed us in that region will be much better off than we were, for the trials of the beginning are over. My heart aches to leave such a beautiful and good country, where there are so fine prospects of future prosperity, and such hopes of a flourishing colony.
Since fate will not favour me any more in this world, there is no better remedy than to leave it and to seek the treasures from above, where moth and rust doth not consume, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.
I could have added here an account of the English Provinces of the American Continent which I have seen, but, several authors having written on these matters, I refer the reader to them.
He may consult P. Henepin, Bloom's English America, Baron de la Hontan, Visher's Great Britain, and on Carolina especially: Mr. Ochs' more recent Essay, the Diary and Description of Carolina, by Lawson, the same man who was sentenced to death by the savages, as I have related it above.
Hereafter follow a few annotations about what I noticed during my voyage to the Tuscoruros' region and during my captivity among the Indians; only, I just write them, without order, in the very succession in which they struck my mind, and under letters, a, b, c, d, etc.
The letter to Govr Hyde would have been too extensive, had I written all these particulars into it. Some inhabitants of Carolina, moved by jealousy and indiscretion, accused me and my people as having given occasion to the Indian war and slaughter. I could quote many reasons for my justification, but my innocence being notorious, I will not trouble myself much about it. I will, however, state here: [These reasons and others have already been stated above.] (1) If I had been answerable for these events, why did the Indians not kill & execute me as well as they did Surveyor-General Lawson? (2) I paid for the lands called by the Indians Chattauqua (written in the MS. Chatoueka.—Translator) three times: once to the LL. Props, once to the Surveyor-General, a third time to the Indian King, called Taylor. (That Indian King lived with his people at the very place where my house and the started town, New-Bern, now stand.) With these Indians, I and my people lived very friendly, and I should as well have paid the balance of the land, if they had required it from me. (3) There was not a single complaint against me, as was evident by the great Assembly of the Tuscoruros where everything was discussed over again in the presence of the Virginian merchant. The real authors of the troubles were denounced by their names; by charity, I will not recall the latter here; the two Lord Governors of Virginia & N. Carolina have seen to it.
I have seen many considerable and important assemblies, and I have even taken part in some, but I have been surprised at the gravity & fine order of these heathen, at their silence, obedience, regard for their superiors; nobody speaks but in his turn, only once, with great decency & modesty. No passion made itself conspicuous, and sufficient time was
Seven villages, of the Tuscaruros' nation, pretended to be entirely innocent of the Indian war & slaughter. They argued, that they had no understanding with the other Indians,—the latter being more distant & nearer to Virginia, on which they depend for the trade. These 7 townships or villages, however, have some power over the small neighbouring groups, & hold them, to a certain extent, under some degree of bondage. That Tom Blount is King & Chief over a considerable number of Indians, full of sense, and much inclined towards the English nation. He contributed much towards a good peace, and even when the question was only about me, he spoke much in my favor.
I cannot but state here the great generosity and pity shown by a good widow, who gave me from the very beginning, during my imprisonment, always to eat, so that at least food did not fail me.
But what is most remarkable, as soon as she saw me bound by young rogues who plundered me, and took from me, among other things, my silver shoe-buckles, fastened only by a small string, she took her beautiful brass-buckles, (with which she fastened her head-band,) and put them on my shoes. More than that, she was not satisfied till she had found out which Indian had taken my buckles, she bought them, and came in high glee, running to me and put them back on my shoes. Must it not be conceded that it was a great kindness from a savage woman, for the confusion of many christians? I must state here, to the shame of the latter, that the Indians are generally much more generous and charitable; I have observed many good traits in them: for example, they do not swear,—hold exactly what they promise,—do not quarrel in gambling, are not so greedy, have not so much pride. I have heard nothing unbecoming among their young men; although almost naked, they nevertheless behave more decently than Christians, etc. What I observed worst in them, is their strong anger, which generally becomes wrath.
I must state here that when those barbarous burglars returned home, their wives, informed by messengers, prepared themselves for a great
The women all took their jewels and ornaments, consisting in Wampon necklaces, glass-coral, and burnt shells,—and then took some small sticks or rather thick twigs, and stuck them in the centre of the ground, vertically, as a sacrifice. They had also raised there 3 deer hides, as their Idols, which they do not worship, but respect.
The Queen, or, in her absence, the first in rank after her began first, the others followed, always singing; when the circle was completed, they danced around the fire and the three hides untill they were tired.
After that, every one went to her small scaffold to eat with her husband; when they had done, they took sticks wrapped in black, made the same ceremony as before, taking back the sticks adorned with coral, and putting the black ones in their place, and returned to their stands. Meanwhile, the priest was engaged in his duties, threatening the enemies, in most strange attitudes, and praising the soldiers, and exalting and exciting their courage for the future. After that, the young men went and brought green limbs of trees, painted their faces with black, white, and red, letting their hair fly loose, and sticking into it small feathers and white cotton; and so, looking more like horrid devils than like men, they all ran to the big ground with dreadful yells and howls and danced as was said above.
I observed that, when the Indian soldiers, or rather burglars, above mentioned, returned with their booty & prisoners, the priest and the tallest woman of rank23 took the poor prisoners and compelled them to dance; when they refused to do it, they took them under the arms, lifted them, and let them down alternatively, as a sign that these christians had now to dance after their music, and had become their subjects.
These pagan ceremonies may be considered as their religious worship and idolatrous devotion. I sometimes noticed, in the morning, that they sang a little serious sounding song instead of praying,—what they also do in great dangers.
I also noticed among the Indians who dwell at the place where I settled and started the building of New-Bern, another kind of rites which come nearer to the christian divine worship. They had there a kind of altar, cunningly interwoven with small sticks, and vaulted like a dome. In one place was an opening, like a small door or wicket, through which they put their offerings. In the midst of this heathenish chapel was a concavity where they sacrificed beans, corals, and also Wampons. Facing the rising sun, was planted in the ground a wooden post, with a carved head, painted half red and half white. In front of it stood a big stick with a small crown at its end, wrapped up in red and white; on the other side, which looks towards the setting sun, was another image, with a horrid face painted in black and red. By the first, they mean some god, and by the other the Demon, which they know far better.
I cannot but relate here, to amuse the reader, what happened to one of my tenants, a tall, strong, well-built fellow: passing near by these idols, he examined them, and knew at once the difference between the good god, and the one which represented the devil. The latter being painted in red and black, which happen precisely to be the colours of the Bernese flag and arms,24 he became so angry about it, that he split in two, with his axe, the Devil's statue. When he came home, he boasted about it, as if it had been an heroic feat, saying that he had split the devil in two with one stroke. Though I could not help smiling, I could not approve his action. Soon after, the Indian King came, exasperated at this sacrilege, and complained loudly. I first told him, in a jocose way, that it was only the wicked Idol, that there was not much harm done, but that if he had cut the good Idol to pieces, I should have rigorously chastised him, and that, in the future, orders would be given in order that no such thing could happen any more.
Although the Indian King saw well that I spoke of the all thing as a joke, he did not like it much, but looked very serious. I accordingly told him, quite as seriously, that that man's action did not please me at all,—and that, if he could show me the one who had committed such a scandalous offence, he should be rigorously punished. To appease a little those Indians, I treated the King and his retinue to some rum, a liquor distillated from sugar-dregs, and a very healthy beverage, when taken moderately.
They have more ceremonies for the burials than for the weddings and marriages, and I noticed something very peculiar at the burial of a widow. Before telling that event, I shall say, only in passing, what the priests sometimes do in case of sickness. After they have given the needed remedies, if these do not operate, they make grimaces, faces, and contortions, blowing at last their breath in the patient's mouth, with a loud noise and snoring, and I do not know what other incantations. If the sick person gets better, the joy is unutterable,—if he dies, they howl in the most dismal and frightful way.
The sepulchres or tombs of these Indians are very dexterously made, out of the bark of trees, vaulted. When the dead is being carried to his sepulchre, the priests stand near by, make great lamentations, and give a funeral oration. In their usual way, if there is some benefit to expect, they give great praises to the behaviour of the dead or of his relations, comfort them, and make I do not know what for horrible exorcisms. They take much pains, in gestures and in speech, so much so that they perspire abundantly. After the ceremony, the heirs or nearest relations give to the priests Wampon-necklaces, I mean corals made out of calcinated oyster-shells, purple-coloured, & yellow, which is the costliest reward they could give.
N. B. The Indians make, with those corals, garters, necklaces, girdles, so well interwoven that they really surprised me. After the tomb was covered, I noticed something which passes imagination, and which I should not believe, had I not seen it with my own eyes. From the tomb arose a little flaming fire, like a big candle-light, which went up straight in the air, and noiselessly,—went straight over the cabin of the deceased widow, and thence further across a big swamp above 1½ mile broad, until it finally vanished from sight in the woods. At that sight, I gave way to my surprise, and asked what it meant, but the Indians laughed at me, as if I ought to have known that this was no rarity among them, they refused, however, to tell me what it was. All what I could ascertain, was that they thought a great deal of it,—that this light is a favourable omen, which makes them think the deceased a happy soul,—during they deem it a most unpropitious sign when a black smoke ascends from the tomb. This flying flame, yet, could not be artificial, on account of the great distance; it could be some physical phenomenon, like sulphurous vapors,—but this great uniformity in its appearance surpasses nature.
As I was on another occasion busy, in Govr Hyde's house, with the Council, to conclude a good peace with the Indians, six or eight of those Kinglets being present as representatives of their nation, with a retinue of other Indians, I noticed among them a priest whom I asked what was the meaning of what I related above. There were more than twenty Indians, but among them I found only that priest and another, an ancient, or old man, who were able to give me an explanation; and this did not satisfy me, and seems to me a fable, and a tale so ridiculous that it presented not even the shadow of a truth.
They told me that only old priests of great experienee could cause such visions to appear. When I asked what was this flying flame issuing from the tomb, they told me it was the soul of the deceased, which went into another good creature, if the person had lived well & well behaved. But if she had led a bad life, the soul went into an ugly, wicked, and unhappy creature. They further told me that these priests attained to such science or magic, in the following way:
Sometimes a small, subtle fire, also like a kind of flying flame,—flickers from one tree to another,—what very seldom happens. When an Indian sees it, he must run with all his might to catch it, and in the moment when the hand covering the fire, extinguishes it, is born a kind of small spider which runs hither and thither, very quickly, in the hand, so that it is nearly impossible to keep quite close over it the other hand,—but that if one succeeds in keeping it tight,—it grows to the size of a mouse;—in that way the man who captured this wonderful thing becomes the best master & magician and can achieve all kinds of surprising feats. [N. B. These “conjurors,” as they are called in English, have also the power to evoke the Devil and to send him away.]
My pilot attested to me that, as he was once crossing the sound (a great sea bay in N. Carolina), in a boat, there was such a dead calm that they could not move. An Indian, who happened to be there told him that, if he wanted him to do it, he could in a short time raise a good wind. The pilot, who wished for nothing better, since he had none too much provisions, allowed him to act as he pleased, and all at once arose such a strong wind, and they sailed at such a rate, that they were frightened, but had to go, as there was no means of stopping. And so, they arrived, nearly in a little while, at the place for which they were bound,
The reader may believe what he pleases of this and the things stated above, but one thing is certain: Satan wantons a great deal with those poor creatures, and there may be many delusions; if these fabulous tales had not been told to me in such a considerable Assembly, I should not have dared to quote them in this my account.
I have noticed and heard many other things among the Indians, but so many authors have written about them, that I would not enlarge any more upon this subject, for fear that I should only repeat their statements.
As to the barbarous and stern ways of the heathenish Indians (which I already mentioned above), I own that they are enraged when angry, but, left to themselves in peace and quietness, they are benevolent and obliging, after their own way. They seldom offend the Christians without having some motive for it, and, the greatest part of the time, the abuse comes from the Christians, who deal roughly with them. I spoke with several Indians about their cruelty, but an Indian King, a man of good sense, answered me in comparing the Indian with a snake: “Leave it alone, coiled up as it is, do not hurt it, and it will hurt no living creature,—but disturb its rest and it strikes and bites.” That the Christians have been worse and more cruel, especially the Spaniards who had so inhumanly dealt with their ancestors. As to their manner of warfare, which seemed to the Christian to be a brigandage, because the contest is not led boldly and openly, they had, of course, to avail themselves of some advantages; if not, they could not subsist and would always have the worst of it; that they were not many, and were not provided with cannons, guns, swords, powder, balls & other war inventions, far more treacherous and destructive than their own ways, which were more natural and far less pernicious; that the arms and war-ammunition which they had came from the Christians, and were, as said, inventions much more injurious, fraudulent, and wicked than theirs, and that the Christians dealt, not only with heathen or strangers, but with Christians, their own brethren, most cruelly,—and that amongst us we committed the most tyrannical acts, etc., (what I have experienced myself as may be seen above, in the narration of the plot laid against me by a rascally gang.)
I, the undersigned Silvius Roulier, Notary Public at Yverdon, District of the same name, Canton de Vaud, Switzerland, certify and attest that the preceding narrative, containing sixty-nine pages,25 as well as a small notice annexed to it, and written on thirty centimes' stamped paper, after having them duly collated, are conformable to the originals, exhibited, and that due credit must be given to them.
Declared and attested in the presence of Louis Frankhauser, of Trab, Canton of Bern, merchant, and of Marius Brun, of Coinsino, policeman, both living in Yverdon, also undersigned, requested as witnesses.
Given at Yverdon, Saturday, July twenty-fifth, eighteen hundred and eighty-five.
The undersigned, members of The Commission of the Public Library of Yverdon, certify that the above narration is the authentical copy, verified by them, of the manuscript which exists in the said Library under the following title:
Number 3110. Account of a voyage to America in the year 1710, by a former lieutenant-governor (bailli, old french: baillif) of Yverdon, manuscript of 105 pages fo.
No 431. Seen and vised for attestation of the signatures of Chs Meylan, attorney-at-law, & John Landry, Secretary, the 1t vice-president, the 2d secretary of the public library at Yverdon, signatures which are affixed to the above declaration.
I, the undersigned, Alfred DuFour, a resident of Mill River (Henderson Co.), N. C., state, attest, and declare that the preceding 191 pages, have been translated by me, word by word, to the best of my knowledge and abilities, from the authenticated copy of Baron de Graffenried's Manuscript, as taken by Sylvius Roulier, notary-public at Yverdon, Switzerland.
1 The Senate of Bern, (Translator) which he represented as a bailli.
2 The MS. has it, textually, 20 miles (written in figures). It probably stands for more. (Translator.)
3 “Arpents” an old French measure varying in different provinces from 3 roods to 2 acres English. (Translator.)
4 Unless this word “presidial” is meant for presidence, what would be one of de Graffenried's minor errors of expression, it properly means: “inferior court of judicature.” Translator.
5 De Graffenried's orthography for Newbern, most of the time, is the German form, New Bern. (Translator).
6 The MS. has it “Cortom”, in this passage. (Translator)
7 It may be observed that the number of delegates is given now as 4, now as 7, and in the first instance (page 79 MSS.) as 4. It was thought best, for fear of incorrectness, to follow exactly the version given by the copy of the MSS., whenever such differences exist. In the same way, the village where the events above took place, is called Pasqui in the main text, but Tasqui in the margin,—and the Tuscaroras, nearly always Tuscoruros. (Translator.)
8 German “jor, jor”: yes, yes. (Translator.)
9 The French copy of the MS. has here the word caciques which is spelled the same in English, and seemed too much startling to the translator to be written here without a protest.
10 Promises,—I suppose. (Translator.)
11 Spelled sometimes Canawest, sometimes Canavest, by De Graffenried. (Translator.)
12 De Graffenrd spells it Sugar love (!) but there is no doubt as to his real intention, as he gives the French meaning of sugarloaf (pain de sucre). The Germans are prone to change v into f, and reciprocally. Hence his error. (Translator.)
13 The man is evidently Mr. Michel, named at page 120 of MS., as will be tested by comparing my annotation (page 115 of MS.), the statements of page 115 and those of pages 126 & 127 of MS., (Michel being the leader of the colonists). (Translator).
14 De Graffenreid spells Penn: “Penne” (French e mute). (Translator).
15 I give, above, the only plausible translation of an otherwise incomprehensible sentence.
16 I acknowledge that the whole underlined sentence shows very little sense,—but it is a faithful translation, absolutely literal. Evidently, the word “above” (dessus) seems to be there for below (dessous). (Translator.)
17 The authenticated copy of the MS. says nothing of that map, probably lost. (Translator.)
18 I acknowledge that this passage (underlined) is obscure, but it is literal. (Translator.)
19 I suppose that, all through this page, by “Presidial,” is meant for Presidency. (Translator.)
20 A French fortress near the limit between France & Switzerland (Geneva). (Translator.)
21 Pontarlier is a French Town, situated at a distance of about 18 miles from Yverdon. M. de Bearnez ruled at Pontarlier, for the French government, in about the same capacity as de Graffenried at Yverdon, for the Bernese Government. (Translator.)
22 Lavaux is a region on the northern side of the lake of Geneva, where fine vineyards are found. Most of the aristocratic families of Bern generally owned a wine farm there, in the time when the Canton de Vaud was under Bernese rule. (Translator.)
23 The sense may be also, though awkwardly, expressed in the MS.: The woman of highest rank. (Translator.)
24 The coat of arms of the Canton Bern bears a “Black (Sable) Bear on Red (Gules) Ground.” (Translator.)
25 One hundred and eighty-nine in the translation. (Translator).