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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
(series title) Old South Leaflets (General Series) ; No. 119.
(caption title) Raleigh's First Roanoke Colony.
(caption title) The Account by Ralph Lane. An account of the particularities of the imployments of the English men left in Virginia by Richard Greenevill under the charge of Master Ralph Lane Generall of the same, from the 17. of August 1585. until the 18. of June 1586. at which time they departed the Countrey; sent and directed to Sir Walter Ralegh.
Lane, Ralph, Sir, 1530?-1603.
Directors of the Old South Work, Old South Meeting-House
Call number Cp970.1 L26r (North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
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THE ACCOUNT BY RALPH LANE.
SICUT PATRIBUS SIT DEUS NOBIS.
THat I may proceede with order in this discourse, I thinke it requisite to divide it into two parts. The first shall declare the particularities of such partes of the Countrey within the maine, as our weake number, and supply of things necessarie did inable us to enter into the discovery of.
The second part shall set downe the reasons generally moving us to resolve on our departure at the instant with the Generall Sir Francis Drake, and our common request for passage with him, when the barkes, pinnesses, and boates with the Masters and Mariners meant by him to bee left in the Countrey, for the supply of such, as for a further time meant to have stayed there, were caryed away with tempest and foule weather: In the beginning whereof shall bee declared the conspiracie of Pemisapan, with the Savages of the maine to have cut us off, &c.
FIrst therefore touching the particularities of the Countrey, you shall understand that our discoverie of the same hath beene
extended from the Island of Roanoak, (the same having bene the place of our settlement or habitation) into the South, into the North, into the Northwest, and into the West.
The uttermost place to the Southward of any discovery was Secotan, being by estimation fourescore miles distant from Roanoak. The passage from thence was through a broad sound within the mayne, the same being without kenning of lande, and yet full of flats and shoalds:*
* Pamlico Sound.
we had but one boate with four oares to passe through the same, which boate could not carry above fifteene men with their furniture, baggage, and victuall for seven dayes at the most: and as for our pinesse, besides that she drew too deep water for that shallow sound, she would not stirre for an oare: for these and other reasons (winter also being at hand) we thought good wholly to leeve the discovery of those parts untill our stronger supply.
* Pamlico Sound.
To the Northward our furthest discovery was to the Chesepians*
* Chesapeake Bay.
distant from Roanoak about 130. miles, the passage to it was very shallow and most dangerous, by reason of the bredth of the sound, and the little succour that upon any flawe was there to be had.
* Chesapeake Bay.
But the Territorie and soyle of the Chesepians (being distant fifteene miles from the shore) was for pleasantnes of seat, for temperature of Climate, for fertilitie of soyle and for the commoditie of the Sea, besides multitude of Beares (being an excellent good victuall) with great woods of Sassafras, and Wallnut trees, is not to be excelled by any other whatsoever.
There be sundry Kings, whom they call Weroances, and Countreys of great fertility adjoyning to the same, as the Mandoages, Tripanicks, and Opossians, which all came to visite the Colonie of the English, which I had for a time appointed to be resident there.
To the Northwest the farthest place of our discovery was to Chawanook distant from Roanoak about 130. miles. Our passage thither lyeth through a broad sound,*
The Townes about the waters side situated by the way are these following: Passaquenoke The womans Towne, Chepanoc, Weapomeiok, Muscamunge, and Metackwem: all these being under the jurisdiction of the king of Weopomeiok, called Okisco: From Muscamunge we enter into the River,*
of Chawanook: There the River beginneth to straighten until it come to Chawanook, and then groweth to be as narrow as the Thames betweene Westminster and Lambeth.
Betwene Muscamunge and Chawanook upon the left hand as wee passe, thither, is a goodly high land, and there is a Towne which we called The blinde Towne, but the Savages called it Ohanoak, and hath a very goodly corne field belonging unto it: it is subject to Chawanook.
Chawanook it selfe is the greatest Province and Seigniorie lying upon that River, and that the Towne it selfe is able to put 700. fighting men into the fielde, besides the force of the Province it selfe.
The king of the sayd Province is called Menatonon, a man impotent in his lims, but otherwise for a Savage, a very grave and wise man, and of a very singular good discourse in matters concerning the state, not onely of his owne Countrey, and the disposition of his owne men, but also of his neighbours round about him as well farre as neere, and of the commodities that eache Countrey yeeldeth. When I had him prisoner with me, for two dayes that we were together, he gave mee more understanding and light of the Countrey then I had received by all the searches and Savages that before I or any of my companie had had conference with: it was in March last past 1586. Amongst other things he tolde me, that going three dayes journey in a Canoe up his River of Chawanook, and then descending to the land, you are within foure dayes journey to passe over land Northeast to a certaine kings countrey, whose Province lyeth upon the Sea, but his place of greatest strength is an Island situate, as he described unto mee, in a Bay, the water round about the Island very deepe.
Out of this Bay hee signified unto mee, that this King had so greate quantitie of Pearle, and doeth so ordinarily take the same, as that not onely his owne skinnes that hee weareth, and the better sort of his gentlemen and followers are full set with the sayd Pearle, but also his beds, and houses are garnished with them, and that hee hath such quantitie of them, that it is a wonder to see.
He shewed me that the sayd King was with him at Chawanook two yeeres before, and brought him certaine Pearle, but the same of the worst sort, yet was he faine to buy them of him for copper at a deere rate, as he thought. Hee gave mee a rope of the same pearle, but they were blacke, and naught, yet
many of them were very great, and a few amongst a number very orient and round, all which I lost with other things of mine, comming aboord Sir Francis Drake his Fleete; yet he tolde me that the sayd King had great store of Pearle that were white, great, and round, and that his blacke Pearle his men did take out of shallow water, but the white Pearle his men fished for in very deepe water.
It seemed to me by his speach, that the sayd King had traffique with white men that had clothes as we have, for these white Pearle, and that was the reason that hee would not depart with other then with blacke Pearles, to those of the same countrey.
The king of Chawanook promised to give me guids to go over land into that kings countrey whensoever I would: but he advised me to take good store of men with me, and good store of victuall, for he said, that king would be loth to suffer any strangers to enter into his Countrey, and especially to meddle with the fishing for any Pearle there, and that hee was able to make a great many of men in to the field, which he sayd would fight very well.
Hereupon I resolved with my selfe, that if your supplie had come before the ende of Aprill, and that you had sent any store of boates or men, to have had them made in any reasonable time, with a sufficient number of men and victuals to have found us untill the newe corne were come in, I would have sent a small barke with two pinnesses about by Sea to the Northward to have found out the Bay he spake of, and to have sounded the barre if there were any, which should have ridden there in the sayd Bay about that Iland, while I with all the small boates I could make, and with two hundred men would have gone up to the head of the river of Chawanook with the guids that Menatonon would have given me, which I would have bene assured should have beene of his best men, (for I had his best beloved sonne prisoner with me) who also should have kept me companie in an handlocke with the rest, foote by foote, all the voyage over land.
My meaning was further at the head of the River in the place of my descent where I would have left my boates, to have raised a sconse with a small trench, and a pallisado upon the top of it, in the which, and in the guard of my boates I would have left five and twentie, or thirtie men, with the rest would I have marched with as much victuall as every man could have
caried, with their furniture, mattocks, spades and axes, two dayes journey. In the ende of my march upon some convenient plot would I have raised another sconse according to the former, where I would have left fiftene or twentie. And if it would have fallen out conveniently, in the way I would have raised my saide sconse upon some Corne fielde, that my company might have lived upon it.
And so I would have holden this course of insconsing every two dayes march, untill I had bene arrived at the Bay or Port hee spake of: which finding to bee worth the possession, I would there have raised a maine fort, both for the defence of the harborough, and our shipping also, and would have reduced our whole habitation from Roanoak and from the harborough and port there (which by proofe is very naught) unto this other before mentioned, from whence, in the foure dayes march before specified, could I at al times returne with my company back unto my boates riding under my sconse, very neere whereunto directly from the West runneth a most notable River, and in all those parts most famous, called the River of Moratoc.*
* River Appomatox?
This River openeth into the broad Sound of Weapomeiok.*
* River Appomatox?
* James River?
And whereas the River of Chawanook, and all the other Sounds, and Bayes, salt and fresh, shewe no current in the world in calme weather, but are mooved altogether with the winde: This River of Moratoc hath so violent a current from the West and Southwest, that it made me almost of opinion that with oares it would scarse be navigable: it passeth with many creekes and turnings, and for the space of thirtie miles rowing, and more, it is as broad as the Thames betwixt Greenwich and the Isle of dogges, in some places more, and in some lesse: the current runneth as strong, being entred so high into the River, as at London bridge upon a vale water.
* James River?
And for that not onely Menatonon, but also the Savages of Moratoc themselves doe report strange things of the head of that River, it is thirtie dayes as some of them say, and some say fourtie dayes voyage to the head thereof, which head they say springeth out of a maine rocke in that abundance, that forthwith it maketh a most violent streame: and further, that this huge rock standeth so neere unto a Sea, that many times in stormes (the winde comming outwardly from the sea) the waves thereof are beaten into the said fresh streame, so that the fresh water for a certaine space, groweth salt and brackish: I tooke a
resolution with my selfe, having dismissed Menatonon upon a ransome agreed for, and sent his sonne into the pinnesse to Roanoak, to enter presently so farre into that River with two double whirries, and fourtie persons one or other, as I could have victuall to cary us, until we could meete with more either of the Moraroks, or of the Mangoaks, which is another kinde of Savages, dwelling more to the Westward of the said River: but the hope of recovering more victuall from the Savages made mee and my company as narrowly to escape starving in that discoverie before our returne, as ever men did, that missed the same.
For Pemisapan, who had changed his name of Wingina upon the death of his brother Granganimo, had given both the Choanists, and Mangoaks worde of my purpose towarde them, I having bene inforced to make him privie to the same, to bee served by him of a guide to the Mangoaks, and yet hee did never rest to solicite continually my going upon them, certifying mee of a generall assembly even at that time made by Menatonon at Chawanook of all his Weroances, and allies to the number of three thousand bowes, preparing to come upon us at Roanoak, and that the Mangoaks also were joyned in the same confederacie, who were able of themselves to bring as many more to the enterprise: And true it was that at that time the assembly was holden at Chawanook about us, as I found at my comming thither, which being unlooked for dido dismay them, as it made us have the better hand at them. But this confederacie against us of the Choanists and Mangoaks was altogether and wholly procured by Pemisapan himselfe, as Menatonon confessed unto me, who sent them continual word, that our purpose was fully bent to destroy them: on the other side he told me, that they had the like meaning towards us.
Hee in like sort having sent worde to the Mangoaks of mine intention to passe up into their River, and to kill them (as he saide) both they and the Moratoks, with whom before wee were entred into a league, and they had ever dealt kindly with us, abandoned their Townes along the River, and retired themselves with their Crenepos,*
* Their women.
and their Corne within the maine: insomuch as having passed three dayes voyage up the River, wee could not meete a man, nor finde a graine of Corne in any of their Townes: whereupon considering with my selfe that wee had but two dayes victuall left, and that wee were
* Their women.
then 160. miles from home, besides casualtie of contrarie windes or stormes, and suspecting treason of our owne Savages in the discoverie of our voyage intended, though wee had no intention to bee hurtfull to any of them, otherwise then for our copper to have had corne of them: I at night upon the Corps of guard, before the putting foorth of Centinels, advertised the whole company of the case wee stoode in for victuall, and of mine opinion that we were betrayed by our owne Savages, and of purpose drawen foorth by them upon vaine hope to be in the ende starved, seeing all the Countrey fled before us, and therefore while wee had those two dayes victual left, I thought it good for us to make our returne homeward, and that it were necessary for us to get the other side of the Sound of Weopomeiok in time, where wee might be relieved upon the weares of Chypanum, and the womens Towne, although the people were fled.
Thus much I signified unto them, as the safest way: neverthelesse I did referre it to the greatest number of voyces, whether wee should adventure the spending of our whole victuall in some further viewe of that most goodly River in hope to meete with some better happe, or otherwise to retire our selves backe againe. And for that they might be the better advised, I willed them to deliberate all night upon the matter, and in the morning at our going aborde to set our course according to the desires of the greatest part. Their resolution fully and wholy was (and not three founde to bee of the contrary opinion) that whiles there was lefte but one halfe pinte of Corne for a man, wee should not leave the search of that River, and that there were in the companie two Mastives upon the pottage of which with Sassafras leaves (if the worst fell out) the company would make shift to live two dayes, which time would bring them downe the current to the mouth of the River, and to the entire of the Sound, and in two dayes more at the farthest they hoped to crosse the Sound and to bee relieved by the weares, which two dayes they would fast rather then be drawen backe a foote till they had seene the Mangoaks, either as friendes or foes. This resolution of theirs did not a little please mee, since it came of themselves, although for mistrust of that which afterwards did happen, I pretended to have bene rather of the contrary opinion.
And that which made me most desirous to have some doings with the Mangoaks either in friendship or otherwise to have
had one or two of them prisoners, was, for that it is a thing most notorious to all the countrey, that there is a Province to the which the said Mangoaks have recourse and trafique up that River of Moratoc, which hath a marveilous and most strange Minerall. This Mine is so notorious amongst them, as not onely to the Savages dwelling up the said river, and also to the Savages of Chawanook, and all them to the Westward, but also to all them of the maine: the Countreis name is of fame, and is called Chaunis Temoatan.
The Minerall they say is Wassador, which is copper, but they call by the name of Wassador every mettall whatsoever: they say it is of the colour of our copper, but our copper is better then theirs: and the reason is for that it is redder and harder, whereas that of Chaunis Temoatan is very soft, and pale: they say that they take the saide mettall out of a river that falleth very swift from hie rockes and hils, and they take it in shallow water: the maner is this. They take a great bowle by their description as great as one of our targets, and wrappe a skinne over the hollow parte thereof, leaving one part open to receive in the minerall: that done, they watch the comming downe of the current, and the change of the colour of the water, and then suddenly chop downe the said bowle with the skinne, and receive into the same as much oare as will come in, which is ever as much as their bowle will holde, which presently they cast into a fire, and foorthwith it melteth, and doeth yeeld in five parts at the first melting, two parts of mettall for three partes of oare. Of this mettall the Mangoaks have so great store, by report of all the Savages adjoyning, that they beautify their houses with greate plates of the same: and this to be true, I received by report of all the countrey, and particularly by yong Skiko, the King of Chawanooks sonne of my prisoner, who also him selfe had bene prisoner with the Mangoaks, and set downe all the particularities to me before mentioned: but he had not bene at Chaunis Temoatan himselfe: for hee said it was twentie dayes journey overland from the Mangoaks, to the said Minerall Countrey, and that they passed through certaine other territories betweene them and the Mangoaks, before they came to the said Countrey.
Upon report of the premisses, which I was very inquisitive in all places where I came to take very particular information of by all the Savages that dwelt towardes these parts, and especially of Menatonon himselfe, who in every thing did very
particularly informe mee, and promised me guides of his owne men, who should passe over with me, even to the said Country of Chaunis Temoatan (for overland from Chawanook to the Mangoaks is but one dayes journey from Sunne rising to Sunne setting, whereas by water it is seven dayes with the soonest: These things, I say, made me very desirous by all meanes possible to recover the Mangoaks, and to get some of that their copper for an assay, and therefore I willingly yeelded to their resolution: But it fell out very contrary to all expectation, and likelyhood: for after two dayes travell, and our whole victuall spent, lying on shoare all night, wee could never see man, onely fires we might perceive made alongst the shoare where we were to passe, and up into the Country, untill the very last day. In the evening whereof, about three of the clocke wee heard certaine Savages call as we thought, Manteo, who was also at that time with me in the boat, whereof we all being very glad, hoping of some friendly conference with them, and making him to answere them, they presently began a song, as we thought, in token of our welcome to them: but Manteo presently betooke him to his piece, and tolde mee that they meant to fight with us: which word was not so soon spoken by him, and the light horseman ready to put to shoare, but there lighted a vollie of their arrowes amongst them in the boat, but did no hurt (God be thanked) to any man. Immediatly, the other boate lying ready with their shot to skoure the place for our hand weapons to lande upon, which was presently done, although the land was very high and steepe, the Savages forthwith quitted the shoare, and betooke themselves to flight: wee landed, and having faire and easily followed for a smal time after them, who had wooded themselves we know not where: the Sunne drawing then towards the setting, and being then assured that the next day if wee would pursue them, though we might happen to meete with them, yet wee should be assured to meete with none of their victuall, which we then had good cause to thinke of: therefore choosing for the company a convenient ground in safetie to lodge in for the night, making a strong Corps of guard, and putting out good Centinels, I determined the next morning before the rising of the Sunne to be going back againe, if possibly we might recover the mouth of the river, into the broad sound, which at my firste motion I found my whole company ready to assent unto: for they were nowe come to their Dogges porredge, that they had bespoken
for themselves if that befell them which did, and I before did mistrust we should hardly escape. The ende was, we came the next day by night to the Rivers mouth within foure or five miles of the same, having rowed in one day downe the current, much as in foure dayes wee had done against the same: we lodged upon an Iland, where wee had nothing in the world to eate but pottage of Sassafras leaves, the like whereof for a meate was never used before as I thinke. The broad sound wee had to passe the next day all fresh and fasting: that day the winde blew so strongly and the billow so great, that there was no possibilitie of passage without sinking of our boates. This was upon Easter eve, which was fasted very truely. Upon Easter day in the morning the winde comming very calme, we entred the sound, and by foure of the clocke we were at Chipanum, whence all the Savages that we had left there were left, but their weares did yeeld us some fish, as God was pleased not utterly to suffer us to be lost: for some of our company of the light horsemen were farre spent. The next morning wee arrived at our home Roanoak.
I have set downe this Voyage somewhat particularly, to the ende it may appeare unto you, (as true it is) that there wanted no great good will from the most to the least amongst us, to have perfited this discoverie of the Mine: for that the discovery of a good Mine, by the goodnesse of God, or a passage to the South-sea, or some way to it, and nothing els can bring this Countrey in request to be inhabited by our nation. And with the discovery of either of the two above shewed, it will bee the most sweet and healthfullest climate, and there withall the most fertile soyle (being manured) in the world: and then will Sassafras, and many other rootes and gummes there found make good marchandise and lading for shipping, which otherwise of themselves will not be worth fetching.
Provided also, that there be found out a better harborough then yet there is, which must be to the Northward, if any there bee, which was mine intention to have spent this Summer in the search of, and of the Mine of Chawnis Temoatan: the one I would have done, if the barkes that I should have had of Sir Francis Drake, by his honourable courtesie, had not bene driven away by storme: the other if your supply of more men, and some other necessaries had come to us in any convenient sufficiencie. For this river of Moratico promiseth great things, and by the opinion of M. Hariots the head of it by the description
of the Countrey, either riseth from the Bay of Mexico, or els from very neere unto the same, that openeth out into the South sea.
And touching the Minerall, thus doeth M. Youghan affirme, that though it be but copper, seeing the Savages are able to melt it, it is one of the richest Minerals in the world.
Wherefore a good harborough found to the Northward, as before is saide, and from thence foure dayes overland, to the River of Choanoak sconses being raised, from whence againe overland through the province of Choanoak one dayes voyage to the first towne of the Mangoaks up the river of Moratico by the way, as also upon the said River for the defence of our boats like sconses being set, in this course of proceeding you shall cleare your selfe from al those dangers and broad shallow sounds before mentioned, and gaine within foure dayes travell into the heart of the maine 200. miles at the least, and so passe your discovery into that most notable countrey, and to the likeliest parts of the maine, with farre greater felicitie then otherwise can bee performed.
Thus Sir, I have though simply, yet truely set downe unto you, what my labour with the rest of the gentlemen, and poore men of our company (not without both paine and perill, which the Lord in his mercy many wayes delivered us from) could yeeld unto you, which might have bene performed in some more perfection, if the Lord had bene pleased that onely that which you had provided for us had at the first bene left with us, or that hee had not in his eternall providence now at the last set some other course in these things, than the wisedome of man coulde looke into, which truely the carying away by a most strange and unlooked for storme of all our provision, with Barks, Master, Mariners, and sundry also of mine owne company, al having bene so courteously supplied by the generall Sir Francis Drake, the same having bene most sufficient to have performed the greatest part of the premisses, must ever make me to thinke the hand of God onely (for some his good purpose to my selfe yet unknowen) to have bene in the matter.
ENsenore a Savage father to Pemisapan being the onely friend to our nation that we had amongst them, and about the King, died the 20. of April 1586. He alone had before opposed himselfe in their consultations against all matters proposed against us, which both the King and all the rest of them after Grangemoes death, were very willing to have preferred. And he was not onely by the meere providence of God during his life, a meane to save us from hurt, as poysonings and such like, but also to doe us very great good, and singularly in this.
The King was advised and of himselfe disposed, as a ready meane to have assuredly brought us to ruine in the moneth of March 1586. himselfe also with all his Savages to have runne away from us, and to have left his ground in the Iland unsowed: which if hee had done, there had bene no possibilitie in common reason, (but by the immediate hande of God) that wee could have bene preserved from starving out of hande. For at that time wee had no weares for fish, neither coulde our men skill of the making of them, neither had wee one graine of Corne for seede to put into the ground.
In mine absence on my voyage that I had made against the Chaonists, and Mangoaks, they had raised a brute among themselves, that I and my company were part slaine, and part starved by the Chaonists, and Mangoaks. One part of this tale was too true, that I and mine were like to be starved, but the other false.
Neverthelesse untill my returne it tooke such effect in Pemisapans breast, and in those against us, that they grew not onely into contempt of us, but also (contrary to their former reverend opinion in shew, of the Almightie God of heaven, and Iesus Christ whom wee serve and worship, whom before they would acknowledge and confesse the onely God) now they began to blaspheme, and flatly to say, that our Lorde God was not God, since hee suffered us to sustaine much hunger, and also to be killed of the Renapoaks, for so they call by that generall name all the inhabitants of the whole maine, of what province soever. Insomuch as olde Ensenore, neither any of his fellowes, could for his sake have no more credite for us:
and it came so farre that the king was resolved to have presently gone away as is aforesaid.
But even in the beginning of this bruite I returned, which when hee sawe contrary to his expectation, and the advertisement that hee had received: that not onely my selfe, and my company were all safe, but also by report of his owne 3. Savages which had bene with mee besides Manteo in that voyage, that is to say, Tetepano, his sisters husband Eracano, and Cossine, that the Chanoists and Mangoaks (whose name and multitude besides their valour is terrible to all the rest of the provinces) durst not for the most part of them abide us, and that those that did abide us were killed, and that we had taken Menatonon prisoner, and brought his sonne that he best loved to Roanoak with mee, it did not a little asswage all devises against us: on the other side, it made Ensenores opinions to be received againe with greater respects. For he had often before tolde them, and then renewed those his former speeches, both to the King and the rest, that wee were the servants of God, and that wee were not subject to bee destroyed by them: but contrarywise, that they amongst them that sought our destruction, shoulde finde their owne, and not bee able to worke ours, and that we being dead men were able to doe them more hurt, then now we could do being alive: an opinion very confidently at this day holden by the wisest amongst them, and of their old men, as also, that they have bene in the night, being 100. miles from any of us, in the aire shot at, and stroken by some men of ours, that by sicknesse had died among them: and many of them holde opinion, that we be dead men returned into the world againe, and that wee doe not remaine dead but for a certaine time, and that then we returne againe.
All these speeches then againe grewe in ful credite with them, the King, and all, touching us, when hee sawe the small troupe returned againe, and in that sort from those whose very names were terrible unto them: But that which made up the matter on our side for that time was an accident, yea rather (as all the rest was) the good providence of the Almightie for the saving of us, which was this.
Within certaine dayes after my returne from the sayd journey, Menatonon sent a messenger to visite his sonne the prisoner with me, and sent me certaine pearle for a present, or rather, as Pemisapan tolde mee, for the ransome of his sonne, and therefore
I refused them: but the greatest cause of his sending then, was to signifie unto mee, that hee had commaunded Okisko King of Weopomiok, to yeelde himselfe servant, and homager, to the great Weroanza of England, and after her to Sir Walter Raleigh: to perfourme which commandement received from Menatonon, the sayde Okiosko joyntly with this Menatonons messenger sent foure and twentie of his principallest men to Roanoak to Pemisapan, to signifie that they were ready to perfourme the same, and so had sent those his men to let mee knowe that from that time forwarde, hee, and his successours were to acknowledge her Maiestie their onely Soveraigne, and next unto her, as is aforesayd.
All which being done, and acknowledged by them all, in the presence of Pemisapan his father, and all his Savages in counsell then with him, it did for the time thorowly (as it seemed) change him in disposition toward us: Insomuch as forthwith Ensenore wanne this resolution of him, that out of hand he should goe about, and withall, to cause his men to set up weares foorthwith for us: both which he at that present went in hande withall, and did so labour the expedition of it, that in the end of April he had sowed a good quantitie of ground, so much as had bene sufficient, to have fed our whole company (God blessing the grouth) and that by the belly, for a whole yere: besides that he gave us a certaine plot of ground for our selves to sowe. All which put us in marveilous comfort, if we could passe from Aprill untill the beginning of July, (which was to have bene the beginning of their harvest,) that then a newe supply out of England or else our owne store would well ynough maintaine us: All our feare was of the two moneths betwixt, in which meane space if the Savages should not helpe us with Chassaui, and Chyna, and that our weares should faile us, (as often they did) we might very well starve, notwithstanding the growing corne, like the starving horse in the stable, with the growing grasse, as the prover be is: which wee very hardly had escaped, but onely by the hand of God, as it pleased him to try us. For within few dayes after, as before is saide, Ensenore our friend died, who was no sooner dead, but certaine of our great enemies about Pemisapan, as Osacan a Weroance, Tanaquiny and Wanchese most principally, were in hand againe to put their old practises in use against us, which were readily imbraced, and all their former devises against us, reneued, and new brought in question. But that of starving us, by their forbearing
to sow, was broken by Ensenore in his life, by having made the King all at one instant to sow his ground, not onely in the Hand, but also at Dasamonquepeio in the maine, within two leagues over against us. Neverthelesse there wanted no store of mischievous practises among them, and of all they resolved principally of this following.
First that Okisko king of Weopomeiok with the Mandoages should bee mooved, and with great quantitie of copper intertained to the number of 7. or 8. hundreth bowes, to enterprise the matter thus to be ordered. They of Weopomeiok should be invited to a certaine kind of moneths minde which they doe use to solemnise in their Savage maner for any great personage dead, and should have bene for Ensenore. At this instant also should the Mandoaks, who were a great people, with the Chesepians and their friends to the number of 700. of them, be armed at a day appointed to the maine of Dasamonquepeio, and there lying close at the signe of fires, which should interchangeably be made on both sides, when Pemisapan with his troupe above named should have executed me, and some of our Weroances (as they called all our principall officers,) the maine forces of the rest should have come over into the Island, where they went to have dispatched the rest of the company, whom they did imagine to finde both dismayed and dispersed abroad in the Island, seeking of crabs and fish to live withall. The maner of their enterprise was this.
Tarraquine and Andacon two principall men about Pemisapan, and very lustie fellowes, with twentie more appointed to them had the charge of my person to see an order taken for the same, which they ment should in this sort have bene executed. In the dead time of the night they would have beset my house, and put fire in the reedes that the same was covered with: meaning (as it was likely) that my selfe would have come running out of a sudden amazed in my shirt without armes, upon the instant whereof they would have knocked out my braines.
The same order was given to certaine of his fellowes, for M. Heriots: so for all the rest of our better sort, all our houses at one instant being set on fire as afore is saide, and that as well for them of the fort, as for us at the towne. Now to the ende that we might be the fewer in number together, and so bee the more easily dealt withall (for in deed tenne of us with our armes prepared, were a terrour to a hundred of the best sort of
them,) they agreed and did immediatly put it in practise, that they should not for any copper sell us any victuals whatsoever: besides that in the night they should sende to have our weares robbed, and also to cause them to bee broken, and once being broken never to bee repaired againe by them. By this meanes the King stood assured, that I must bee enforced for lacke of sustenance there, to disband my company into sundry places to live upon shell fish, for so the Savages themselves doe, going to Hatorask, Croatoan, and other places, fishing and hunting, while their grounds be in sowing, and their corne growing: which failed not his expectation. For the famine grew so extreeme among us, our weares failing us of fish, that I was enforced to sende Captaine Stafford with 20. with him to Croatoan my Lord Admirals Iland to serve two turnes in one, that is to say, to feede himselfe and his company, and also to keepe watch if any shipping came upon the coast to warne us of the same. I sent M. Pridiox with the pinnesse to Hatorask, and ten with him, with the Provost Marshal to live there, and also to wait for shipping: also I sent every weeke 16. or 20. of the rest of the company to the maine over against us, to live of Casada and oysters.
In the meane while Pemisapan, went of purpose to Dasamonquepeio for three causes: The one to see his grounds there broken up, and sowed for a second crop: the other to withdrawe himselfe from my dayly sending to him for supply of victuall for my company, for hee was afraid to deny me any thing, neither durst hee in my presence but by colour and with excuses, which I was content to accept for the time, meaning in the ende as I had reason to give him the iumpe once for all: but in the meane whiles, as I had ever done before, I and mine bare all wrongs, and accepted of all excuses.
My purpose was to have relied my selfe with Menatonon, and the Chaonists, who in trueth as they are more valiant people and in greater number then the rest, so are they more faithfull in their promises, and since my late being there had given many tokens of earnest desire they had to joyne in perfect league with us, and therefore were greatly offended with Pemisapan and Weopomeiok for making him beleeve such tales of us.
The third cause of his going to Dasamonquepeio was to dispatch his messengers to Weopomeiok, and to the Mandoages, as aforesaid: all which he did with great imprest of
copper in hand, making large promises to them of greater spoile.
The answere within few dayes after came from Weopomeiok, which was devided into two parts. First for the King Okisko, who denied to be of the partie for himselfe, or any of his especiall followers, and therefore did immediatly retire himselfe with his force into the maine: the other was concerning the rest of the province who accepted of it: and in like sort the Mandoags received the imprest.
The day of their assembly aforesaid at Roanoak was appointed the 10. of June: all which the premises were discovered by Skyco, the King Menatonon his sonne my prisoner, who having once attempted to run away, I laid him in the bylboes, threatening to cut off his head, whom I remitted at Pemisapans request: whereupon hee being perswaded that hee was our enemie to the death, he did not onely feed him with himselfe, but also made him acquainted with all his practises. On the other side, the yong man finding himselfe as well used at my hande, as I had meanes to shew, and that all my company made much of him, he flatly discovered al unto me, which also afterwards was reveiled unto me by one of Pemisapans owne men, that night before he was slaine.
These mischiefes being all instantly upon me and my company to be put in execution, it stood mee in hand to study howe to prevent them, and also to save all others, which were at that time as aforesaid so farre from me: whereupon I sent to Pemisapan to put suspition out of his head, that I meant presently to go to Croatoan, for that I had heard of the arrival of our fleete, (though I in trueth had neither heard nor hoped for so good adventure,) and that I meant to come by him, to borrow of his men to fish for my company, and to hunt for me at Croatoan, as also to buy some foure dayes provision to serve for my vogaye.
He sent me word that he would himselfe come over to Roanoak, but from day to day he deferred, onely to bring the Weopomeioks with him and the Mandoags, whose time appointed was within eight dayes after. It was the last of May 1586 when all his owne Savages began to make their assembly at Roanoak, at his commandement sent abroad unto them, and I resolved not to stay longer upon his comming over, since he meant to come with so good company, but thought good to go and visit him with such as I had, which I resolved to do the
next day: but that night I meant to give them in the Iland a camisado,*
* Night surprise. So called from having been made by horsemen with white shirts over their armour so as to recognize each other in the darkness.
and at the instant to seize upon all the canoas about the Island, to keepe him from advertisements.
* Night surprise. So called from having been made by horsemen with white shirts over their armour so as to recognize each other in the darkness.
But the towne tooke the alarme before I meant it to them: the occasion was this, I had sent the Master of the light horsemen, with a fewe with him, to gather up all the canoas in the setting of the Sun, and to take as many as were going from us to Dasamonquepeio, but to suffer any that came from thence, to land. He met with a canoa, going from the shore, and overthrew the canoa, and cut off two Savages heads: this was not done so secretly but he was discovered from the shore; whereupon the cry arose: for in trueth they, privy to their owne villanous purposes against us, held as good espial upon us, both day and night, as we did upon them.
The alarme given, they tooke themselves to their bowes, and we to our armes: some three or foure of them at the first were slaine with our shot; the rest fled into the woods. The next morning with the light horsemen and one Canoa taking 25 with the Colonel of the Chesepians, and the Sergeant maior, I went to Dasamonquepeio: and being landed, sent Pemisapan word by one of his owne Savages that met me at the shore, that I was going to Croatoan, and meant to take him in the way to complaine unto him of Osocon, who the night past was conveying away my prisoner, whom I had there present tied in an handlocke. Heereupon the king did abide my comming to him, and finding myselfe amidst seven or eight of his principall Weroances and followers, (not regarding any of the common sort) I gave the watch-word agreed upon, (which was, Christ our victory) and immediatly those his chiefe men and himselfe had by the mercy of God for our deliverance, that which they had purposed for us. The king himselfe being shot thorow by the Colonell with a pistoll, lying on the ground for dead, and I looking as watchfully for the saving of Manteos friends, as others were busie that none of the rest should escape, suddenly he started up, and ran away as though he had not bene touched, insomuch as he overran all the company, being by the way shot thwart the buttocks by mine Irish boy with my petronell. In the end an Irish man serving me, one Nugent, and the deputy provost, undertooke him; and following him in the woods, overtooke him: and I in some doubt
least we had lost both the king and my man by our owne negligence to have beene intercepted by the Savages, wee met him returning out of the woods with Pemisapans head in his hand.
This fell out the first of June 1586, and the eight of the same came advertisement to me from captaine Stafford, lying at my lord Admirals Island, that he had discovered a great fleet of three and twentie sailes: but whether they were friends or foes, he could not yet discerne. He advised me to stand upon as good guard as I could.
The ninth of the sayd moneth he himselfe came unto me, having that night before, and that same day travelled by land twenty miles: and I must truely report of him from the first to the last; hee was the gentleman that never spared labour or perill either by land or water, faire weather or foule, to performe any service committed unto him.
He brought me a letter from the Generall Sir Francis Drake, with a most bountifull and honourable offer for the supply of our necessities to the performance of the action wee were entred into; and that not only of victuals, munition, and clothing, but also of barks, pinnesses, and boats; they also by him to be victualled, manned and furnished to my contentation.
The tenth day he arrived in the road of our bad harborow: and comming there to an anker, the eleventh day I came to him, whom I found in deeds most honourably to performe that which in writing and message he had most curteously offered, he having aforehand propounded the matter to all the captaines of his fleet, and got their liking and consent thereto.
With such thanks unto him and his captaines for his care both of us and of our action, not as the matter deserved, but as I could both for my company and myselfe, I (being aforehand prepared what I would desire) craved at his hands that it would please him to take with him into England a number of weake and unfit men for any good action, which I would deliver to him; and in place of them to supply me of his company with oare-men, artificers, and others.
That he would leave us so much shipping and victuall, as about August then next following would cary me and all my company into England, when we had discovered somewhat, that for lacke of needfull provision in time left with us as yet remained undone.
That it woulde please him withall to leave some sufficient
Masters not onely to cary us into England, when time should be, but also to search the coast for some better harborow, if there were any, and especially to helpe us to some small boats and oare-men.
Also for a supply of calievers, hand weapons, match and lead, tooles, apparell, and such like.
He having received these my requests, according to his usuall commendable maner of government (as it was told me) calling his captaines to counsell; the resolution was that I should send such of my officers of my company as I used in such matters, with their notes, to goe aboord with him; which were the Master of the victuals, the Keeper of the store, and the Vicetreasurer: to whom he appointed forthwith for me The Francis, being a very proper barke of 70 tun, and tooke present order for bringing of victual aboord her for 100 men for foure moneths, with all my other demands whatsoever, to the uttermost.
And further, he appointed for me two pinnesses, and foure small boats: and that which was to performe all his former liberality towards us, was that he had gotten the full assents of two of as sufficient experimented Masters as were any in his fleet, by judgment of them that knew them, with very sufficient gings to tary with me, and to employ themselves most earnestly in the action, as I should appoint them, untill the terme which I promised of our returne into England againe. The names of one of those Masters was Abraham Kendall, the other Griffith Herne.
While these things were in hand, the provision aforesaid being brought, and in bringing aboord, my sayd Masters being also gone aboord, my sayd barks having accepted of their charge, and mine owne officers, with others in like sort of my company with them (all which was dispatched by the sayd Generall the 12 of the sayde moneth) the 13 of the same there arose such an unwoonted storme, and continued foure dayes, that had like to have driven all on shore, if the Lord had not held his holy hand over them, and the Generall very providently foreseene the woorst himselfe, then about my dispatch putting himselfe aboord: but in the end having driven sundry of the fleet to put to Sea the Francis also with all my provisions, my two Masters, and my company aboord, she was seene to be free from the same, and to put cleere to Sea.
This storme having continued from the 13 to the 16 of the
moneth, and thus my barke put away as aforesayd, the Generall comming ashore made a new proffer unto me; which was a ship of 170 tunne, called The barke Bonner, with a sufficient Master and guide to tary with me the time appointed, and victualled sufficiently to cary me and my company into England, with all provisions as before: but he tolde me that he would not for any thing undertake to have her brought into our harbour, and therefore he was to leave her in the road, and to leave the care of the rest unto my selfe, and advised me to consider with my company of our case, and to deliver presently unto him in writing what I would require him to doe for us; which being within his power, he did assure me aswell for his Captaines as for himselfe, shoulde be most willingly performed.
Heereupon calling such Captaines and gentlemen of my company as then were at hand, who were all as privy as my selfe to the Generals offer; their whole request was to me, that considering the case that we stood in, the weaknesse of our company, the small number of the same, the carying away of our first appointed barke, with those two speciall Masters, with our principall provisions in the same, by the very hand of God as it seemed, stretched out to take us from thence; considering also, that his second offer, though most honourable of his part, yet of ours not to be taken, insomuch as there was no possibility for her with any safety to be brought into the harbour: seeing furthermore, our hope for supply with Sir Richard Greenvill, so undoubtedly promised us before Easter, not yet come, neither then likely to come this yeere, considering the doings in England for Flanders, and also for America, that therefore I would resolve my selfe with my company to goe into England in that fleet, and accordingly to make request to the Generall in all our names, that he would be pleased to give us present passage with him. Which request of ours by my selfe delivered unto him, hee most readily assented unto: and so he sending immediatly his pinnesses unto our Island for the fetching away of a few that there were left with our baggage, the weather was so boisterous, and the pinnesses so often on ground, that the most of all we had, with all our Cards, Books and writings were by the Sailers cast overboard, the greater number of the fleet being much agrieved with their long and dangerous abode in that miserable road.
From whence the Generall in the name of the Almighty,
weying his ankers (having bestowed us among his fleet) for the reliefe of whom hee had in that storme susteined more perill of wracke then in all his former most honourable actions against the Spanyards, with praises unto God for all, set saile the nineteenth of June 1596, and arrived in Portsmouth the seven and twentieth of Iuly the same yeere.
In the meane while you shall understand, that since Sir Richard Greenvils departure from us, as also before, we have discovered the maine to be the goodliest soyle under the cope of heaven, so abounding with sweete trees, that bring such sundry rich and pleasant gummes, grapes of such greatnesse, yet wilde, as France, Spaine nor Italie have no greater, so many sorts of Apothecarie drugs, such severall kindes of flaxe, & one kind like silke, the same gathered of a grasse, as common there, as grasse is here. And now within these few dayes we have found here Maiz or Guinie wheate, whose eare yeeldeth corne for bread 400. upon one eare, and the Cane maketh very good and perfect sugar, also Terra Samia, otherwise Terra sigillata. Besides that, it is the goodliest and most pleasing Territorie of the world: for the continent is of an huge and unknowen greatnesse, and very well peopled and towned, though savagely, and the climate so wholesome, that wee had not one sicke since we touched the land here. To conclude, if Virginia had but horses and kine in some reasonable proportion, I dare assure my selfe being inhabited with English, no realme in Christendome were comparable to it. For this already we finde, that what commodities soever Spaine, France, Italy, or the East partes doe yeeld unto us, in wines of all sortes, in oyles, in flaxe, in rosens, pitch, frankensence, corrans, sugars, and such like, these parts doe abound with the growth of them all, but being Savages that possesse the land, they know no use of the same. And sundry other rich commodities, that no parts of the world, be they the West or East Indies, have, here wee finde great abundance of. The people naturally are most courteous and very desirous to have clothes, but especially of course cloth rather then silke, course canvas they
also like well of, but copper caryeth the price of all, so it be made red. Thus good M. Hakluyt and M. H. I have joyned you both in one letter of remembrance, as two that I love dearely well, and commending me most heartily to you both, I commit you to the tuition of the Almightie. From the new Fort in Virginia, this third of September, 1585.
Your most assured friend
"The name and fame of Sir Walter Raleigh are perpetuated in the name of the capital of one of our States,--a State which I wish bore the name of Roanoke instead of North Carolina, that a double historical lesson might be taught. I wish that there might stand in the centre of the city of Raleigh, which perpetuates this historic name, a worthy monument to the great movement for the English colonization of America. The central figure of that monument should be Sir Walter Raleigh. At Worms, on the banks of the Rhine, where Luther made his memorable protest against the Empire and the Church, is that noblest and most impressive of all monuments, in which the figure of the great reformer is surrounded by the forms of Wyclif, Savonarola, Huss, Melanchthon, the Elector, and the various men who, in the political and intellectual advances of the time and the preceding time, were co-operators with him in that many-sided movement which we call the Reformation. I wish that the movement for the colonization of the New World by our English race, one of the most momentous chapters in history, might have a similar commemoration. Surrounding the central figure of Sir Walter Raleigh should be Drake, Hawkins, Frobisher, Davis, Captain John Smith, Bartholomew Gosnold, zealous Richard Hakluyt, and the others. In that notable time there is no figure so romantic as Raleigh's. There was no other mind so generous and so capable, none of so great comprehension and scope as his, concerning the opening of this New World. He it was who, in the pressure and the dangers of that time, most clearly discerned that it was from America that Spain derived so much of her wealth and power. He was inspired by the desire that England should have a foothold here, and that she should supplant Spain in the New World; and at last, after the failure of all the colonies which he sent out, one following another, to occupy new ground here,--at the last, toward the close of his life, the great prophet and believer said, 'America will yet become an English nation.' Let America honor the prophet!"--
Edwin D. Mead.
Old South Leaflet No. 92 contains the account of the First Voyage to Roanoke, that made in 1584, under the auspices of Sir Walter Raleigh, by Captains Amadas and Barlowe. This expedition sailed in April, 1584, and arrived back in England the middle of September. The enthusiastic account given by the adventurers delighted Elizabeth as much as it did Raleigh;
and she named the new country Virginia. In April, 1585, Raleigh despatched seven ships from Plymouth under the command of his cousin, Sir Richard Grenville, with one hundred householders, to plant a colony at Roanoke. Grenville landed the colony at Roanoke, and left it in charge of Ralph Lane, while he himself returned to England for supplies. Captain Philip Amadas, who had been one of the commanders of the first expedition, remained with Lane; also, Thomas Hariot, whose subsequent account of the country is so interesting and important.
Grenville's return was delayed; and the sufferings of the colonists were so severe that when, in 1586, Sir Francis Drake put in at Roanoke with his fleet, after the sacking of St. Augustine, the whole company returned with him to England. A ship with supplies sent by Raleigh soon arrived, and immediately afterwards Grenville came; but both, finding no one on the island, returned to England. Grenville left fifteen men; but when John White, sent by Raleigh, came the next year, he found that these men had been massacred by the natives. The mysterious disappearance of White's own colony has been the subject of much speculation. It practically ended the attempt to establish a colony at Roanoke, although there were other expeditions.
There are original accounts of all these Roanoke expeditions sent out by Raleigh. These are all found together in Hakluyt, and (in best form) in the fine volume on "Sir Walter Raleigh and his Colony in America," edited by Rev. Increase N. Tarbox, published by the Prince Society. The account of the Grenville expedition is by two hands;--the narrative of the vovage and of proceedings up to Grenville's departure by one person, possibly Grenville himself, and the account of the subsequent fortunes of the colony, that given in the present leaflet, by Lane. A letter from Lane to Hakluyt is prefixed to this account as it appears in Hakluyt's volume; and that letter is given also in this leaflet.
The valuable chapter upon Raleigh in the Narrative and Critical History of America is by William Wirt Henry; and this is followed by a critical essay on the sources of information. A good bibliography also accompanies the article on Raleigh, written by Prof. J. K. Laughton and Sidney Lee in the Dictionary of National Biography. Perhaps the most critical and scholarly of the many biographies of Raleigh is that by Edwards.PUBLISHED BY