Virginia Exploration and Early Settlement 1601-1612
Advice by the London Council for the intended Voyage to Virginia on what should be observed by those Captains and Company which are sent. Dated Between November 20th and December 19th, 1601. pp. 49-54 (in) The Jamestown Voyages Under the First Charter 1601-1609. Vol. 1. Edited by P.L. Barbour. The Hakluyt Society. Series Two, Number 136. Cambridge: University Press, 1969.
When it Shall please God to Send you on the Coast of Virginia you shall Do your best Endeavour to find out a Safe port in the Entrance of Some navigable River making Choise of Such a one as runneth furthest into the Land … be not hasty in Landing Your Victual and munitions but first Let Captain Newport Discover how far that River may be found navigable that you may make Election of the Strongest most Fertile and wholesome place … you must in no Case Suffer any of the natural people of the Country to inhabit between You and the Sea Coast … When You have Discovered as far up the River as you mean to plant Your Selves and Landed your victuals and munitions to the End that Every man may know his Charge … you … Shall … Divide your Six Score men [only 104 or 105 actually sailed] into three parts whereof one forty of them you may appoint to fortifie and build of which your first work must be your Storehouse for Victual 30 Others you may imploy in preparing your Ground and Sowing your Corn [wheat] and Roots the Other ten of these forty you must Leave as Centinel at the havens mouth. The Other forty you may imploy for two Months in Discovery of the River above you…You must Observe if you Can Whether the River on which you Plant Doth Spring out of Mountains or out of Lakes if it be out of any Lake the passage to the Other Sea will be the more Easy and it is Like Enough that Out of the same Lake you shall find Some Spring which run the Countrary way toward the East India Sea for the Great and famous River of Volga … In all Your Passages you must have Great Care not to Offend the naturals [Indians] if You Can Eschew it and imploy Some few of your Company to trade with them for Corn and all Other lasting Victuals if [they] have any and this you must Do before that they perceive you mean to plant among them for not being Sure how your own Seed Corn will prosper the first Year to avoid the Danger of famine use and Endeavour to Store yourselves of the Country Corn … And how Weary Soever your Soldiers be Let them never trust the Country people with the Carriage of their Weapons … Do not advertize the killing of any of your men that the Country people may know it if they Perceive they are but Common men [otherwise] they will make many Adventures upon You … Do well also not to Let them See or know of Your Sick men … Choose a Seat for habitation that Shall not be over burthened with Woods … that it may Serve for a Covert for Your Enemies round about You. You neither must You plant in a low and moist place because it will prove unhealthful … You shall Judge [qualities] of the Good [and bad] Air by [observing the Indians and any that might be] blear Eyed and with Swollen bellies and Legs but if the naturals be Strong and Clean made it is a true sign of a wholesome Soil … first build Your Storehouse and those Other Rooms of Public and necessary Use before any house be Set up for any private person … Set your houses Even and by a line that Your Streets may have a Good breadth and be carried Square about your market place and Every Streets End opening into it that from thence with a few feild peices you may Command Every street throughout which marketplace you may also fortify if you shall think it needful…You Shall do well to Send [back to England] a perfect relation [description] by Captain Newport of all that is Done … [of] what Comodities you find what Soil Woods and their Several Kinds … to advertise particularly and to Suffer no man to return but by pasport from the president and Councel nor to write any Letter of any thing that may Discourage others. Lastly and Cheifly the way to prosper and to Obtain Good Success is to makeyourselves all of one mind for the Good of your Country and your own and to Serve and fear God the Giver of all Goodness for every Plantation which our heavenly father hath not planted shall be rooted out (pp. 49-54).
Letter from Captain Christopher Newporte [Newport] to Lord Salisbury. Dated July 29th, 1607. pp. 76-77 (in) The Jamestown Voyages Under the First Charter 1601-1609. Vol. 1. Edited by P.L. Barbour. The Hakluyt Society. Series Two, Number 136. Cambridge: University Press, 1969.
I arriued here in the sound of Plimouth this daie from the discouery of that parte of Virginia imposed uppon me and the rest of the Colonie for the South parte, in which wee haue performed our duties to the uttermoste of our powers, And haue discouered into the countrie neere two hundred Miles, and a Riuer nauigable for greate shippes one hundred and Fifty miles. The Contrie is excellent and verie Riche in gould and Copper [NOTE: obviously not true: a fact that later led to serious complications], of the gould wee haue brought a Say, and hope to be with your Lordshipp shortlie to shewe it his Majesty and the rest of the Lords.
Letter from Pedro de Zuñiga to King Philip III. Dated August 22nd, 1607. pp. 77-78 (in) The Jamestown Voyages Under the First Charter 1601-1609. Vol. 1. Edited by P.L. Barbour. The Hakluyt Society. Series Two, Number 136. Cambridge: University Press, 1969.
Of the ships which went to Virginia, one has arrived at Plymouth, and has not yet entered this river, I have learned … they think that vineyards can be planted and that these will be very good, because there are many wild grapevines. They have not been able to find the 20 men they left there three years ago [there is no record of 20 men being left there] … I am still trying to learn if they want to keep sending people there (p. 77).
Letter from the Council in Virginia (in Virginia) to the Councell of Virginia (in England). Dated June 22nd 1607. pp. 78-80 (in) The Jamestown Voyages Under the First Charter 1601-1609. Vol. 1. Edited by P.L. Barbour. The Hakluyt Society. Series Two, Number 136. Cambridge: University Press, 1969.
Within less than seaven weekes, wee are fortified well against the Indians, we haue sowen good store of wheate … wee haue built some houses…Our easiest and richest comodity being Sasafrax rootes were gathered vpp by the Sailors with losse and spoile of manie of our tooles … I beleeue they haue thereof two tonnes at the leaste … The land would Flowe with milke and honey if so seconded by your carefull wisedomes and bountifull hands … Wee are sett downe 80 miles within a Riuer [NOTE: correct distqnce from Jamestown to Cape Henry is 57 miles], for breadth, sweetness of water, length navigable vpp into the country deepe and bold Channell so stored with Sturgion and other sweete Fishe as no mans fortune hath euer possessed the like … The soile is most fruictfull, laden with good Oake, Ashe, wallnutt tree … and others, yett without names that yeald gummes pleasant as Franckumcense, and experienced amongest vs for greate vertewe in healing greene woundes and Aches … Captaine Newporte hath seene all and knoweth all, he can fullie satisfie yur further expectations … wee moste humblie praie the heauenly Kings hand to bless our labours … James towne in Virginia … Your poore Friends …. Edward Maria Wingfeild, John Smith, John Martine, Bartholmew Gosnold, John Rattcliff, George Kendall.
Account by Gabriel Archer [?] Dated May 21st-June 21st, 1607. A Relatyon of the Discovery of Our River, From James Forte Into the Maine: Made by Captaina Christofer Newport: and Sincerely Written and Observed by a Gent of Ye Colony. pp. 80-98 (in) The Jamestown Voyages Under the First Charter 1601-1609. Vol. 1. Edited by P.L. Barbour. The Hakluyt Society. Series Two, Number 136. Cambridge: University Press, 1969.
From James Fort we tooke our leasue about noone, and by night we were vp the Ryver … This kyngdome Wynauk is full of pearle muskles … we passed vp some 16 myle further, where we founde an Ilet, on which were many Turkeys, and greate store of yonge byrds like Black birdes, whereof wee tooke Dyverse … Now spying 8 salvages in a Canoa, we haled them by our worde of kyndnes … and they came to vs. In conference by signes with them, one seemed to vnderstand our intention … This fellow parting from vs promised to procure vs wheate if we would stay a little before … He notwithstanding with two wemen and another fellow of his owne consort, followed vs some sixe mile with basketes full of Dryed oysters, and mett vs at a point, where calling to vs, we went ashore and bartered with them for most of their victuals … [we continued] … This fellow with the rest overtooke vs agayne vpon the doubling of another point: Now they had gotten mulberyes, little sweete nuttes like Acorns (a verye good fruite), wheate, beanes, and mulberyes sodd together and gaue vs. Some of them desired to be set over the Ryver, which we dyd, and they parted … [we continued] … We went a shore. Heere we found our kind Comrades againe, who had gyven notice all along as they came of vs: by which we were entertayned with much Courtesye in every place. We found here a Wiroans [Indian Chief] who satt vpon a matt of Reedes, with his people abot him: He caused one to be layd for Captain Newport, gaue vs a Deare roasted; which according to their Custome they seethed [boiled] againe: His peole gaue vs mullberyes, sodd wheate and beanes, and he caused his weomen to make Cakes for vs … he was willing to send guydes with vs. This we found to be a kyng subiect to Pawatah [first mention of Powhatan], the Cheif of all the kyngdomes … while we satt merye banquetting with them, seeing their Daunces, and taking Tobacco, Newes came that the greate kyng Powatah was come: at whose presence thye all rose of their mattes .. .and with a long shout they saluted him. Him wee saluted with silence sitting still on our mattes, our Captaine in the myddest; but presented [to Powhatan] gyftes of dyvers sortes, as penny knyves, sheeres, belles, beades, glass toyes, etc. … [we were assigned a guide to go up river to Powhatan’s village] … it is scituat vpon a highe Hill by the water syde, a playne betweene it and the water 12 score over, whereon he sowes his wheate, beane, peaze, tobacco, pompions, gowrdes, Hempe, flaxe etc. And were any Art vsed to the nsaturall state of this place, it would be a goodly habitation … He [king Powhatan] caused his weomen to bring vs vittailes, mulberyes, strawberryes etc. but our best entertaynment was frendly welcome … we certifyed him that we were frendes with all his people and kyngdomes … Herevpon he moved of his owne accord a leauge of fryndship with vs; which our Captain kyndly imbraced … Now the Day Drawing on, we made signe to be gone, wherewith he was contented; and [he] sent 6 men with vs; we also left a man with him, and departed (pp. 82-86).
Sonday, Whitsonday, our Captayne caused two peeces of porke to be sodd a shore with pease; to which he invyted King Pawatah … it being Dynner tymne, King Pawatah with some of his people satt with vs, brought of his Dyet, and we fedd familiarly, without sitting in his state as before; he eat very freshly of our meate, Dranck of our beere, Aquavite, and Sack. Dynner Done we entered into Discourse of the Ryver how far it might be to the head therof, where they gat their Copper, and their Iron … requesting himn to haue guydes with vs also in our intended march … but without gyving any answer to our Demaundes, he shewed [that] he would meete vs himselfe at the overfall and so we parted … [we met with Powhatan; he attempted to disuade us from further exploration and he departed; we went ahead] … Monday [day after the feast; king Powhatan] came to the Water syde, and we went a shore to him agayne. He told vs that our hott Drynckes he thought caused his greefe, but tht he was well agayne, and we were very wellcome. He sent for another Deere which was roasted and after sodd for vs Our Captayne caused his Dynner to be Dressed a shore also. Thus we satt banquetting all the forenoone. Some of his people led vs to their houses, shewed vs the growing of their Corne and the maner of setting it, gave vs Tobacco, wallnutes, mulberyes, strawberryes, and Respises. One shewed vs the herbe called in their tongue wisacan, which they say heales poysoned woundes, it is like lyverwort or bloudwort. One gaue me a Roote wherewith they poisen their Arrowes. They would shew vs any thing we Demaunded, and laboured very much by signes to make vs vnderstand their Languadg (pp. 86-90).
At Dynner our Captayne gaue the kyng a glasse and some Aquavitae therein, shewing him the benefytt of the Water, for which he thancket him kindlyh: and taking our Leaue of him, he promised to meet vs at a point not farr of: where he hath another house, which he performed, withall, sending men into the woodes to kill a Dere for vs if they could. This place I call mulbery shade. He caused heere to be prepared for vs pegatewk-Apoan which is bread of their wheat made in Rolles and Cakes; this the weomen make, and are very clenly about it; We had parched meale, excellent good, sodd beanes, which eate as sweete as filbert kernells in a manner, strawberryes and mulberyes new shaken of the tree dropping on our heades as we satt: He made ready a land turtle which we eate, and shewed that he ewas hartely reioyced in our Company … Captayne Newport bestowed on him a redd wastcote, which highly pleased him (pp. 90-91).
We went some [manuscript here is blank] mile, and ankored at a place I Call kynd womans care which is [manuscript here is blank] from Mulbery shade. Here we came within night, yet was there ready for vs of bread new made, sodden wheate and beanes, mullberyes, and some fishe vndressed more then all we could eate. Moreover thes people seemed not to craue any thing in requitall, Howbeit our Captain voluntarily distributed guiftes … [then to Queen Apumatecs bowre] … we went ashore … [and walked] through a plaine Lowe grownd prepared for seeds, part whereof had ben lately Cropt … we sawe the Queene of this Country comminge in selfe same fashion of state as Pawatah … yea rather with more maiesty … she is a fatt lustie manly woman: she had much Copper about her neck … she had long black haire, which hanged loose downe her back to her myddle … Here we had our accustomed Cates, Tobacco and wellcome. Our Captayne presented her with guyftes liberally … She had much Corne in the grownd … Now Leaving her … [we went 5 miles] to one of kyng Pamaunches howses … Here We were entertayned with greate ioye and gladnes, the people falling to Daunce, the weomen to preparing vitailes, some boyes were sent to Dive for muskles, they gaue vs Tobacco, and very kyndly saluted vs … [we left] … we followed a [manuscript here is blank] and coming vp to a gallant mulberry tree, we founde Diverse [people] preparing vittailes for vs…[this kingdom is] full of Deare … This place I call Pamaunches palace … The platt of grownd is bare without wood some 100 acres, where are set beranes, wheate, peaze, Tobacco, Gourdes, pompions, and other thinges vnknowne to vs in our tongue (p. 91-93).
Having left this kyng in kyndnes and frendship [we continued] crossed over the Water to a sharpe point which is parte of Winauk on Salisbury syde [NOTE: today this is called Jordan Point] … Here some of our men went a shore … mett 10 or 12 Salvages, who offering them neither victualls nor Tobacco, they … left … This night we came to point Winauk right against which we rested all night … [NOTE: seems to be a break in the narrative since next sentence appears out of place] … There was an olde man with King Pamaunche which I omitted in place to specify who wee vnderstood to be 110 yere olde … This was a lustye olde man, of a sterne Countenance, tall and straight, had a thinne white beard, his armes overgrowne with white haires, and he went as strongly as any of the rest (p. 94).
[Explorers ended their journey; returned to fortify their settlement; first Indian attack too place on May 27th]
[Indian attack] Fryday [May 28th] the Salvages gae on againe, but with more feare, not daring approche scarce within musket shott … finding one of our dogges they killed him … [Indians killed Eustace Clovell; period from June 1st-21st various Indian attacks] … Captain [John] Smyth was … sworne one of the Counsell, who was elected in England [on June 10th] … Mathew Fitch … shott … [on Sunday 21st] we had a Communyon: Captain Newport Dyned a shore with our Dyet, and invyted many of vs to Supper as a farewell [before he left for England] (pp. 95-98).
Account by Gabriel Archer [?] Dated May 21st-June 21st, 1607. Description of the River and Country. pp. 98-102 (in) The Jamestown Voyages Under the First Charter 1601-1609. Vol. 1. Edited by P.L. Barbour. The Hakluyt Society. Series Two, Number 136. Cambridge: University Press, 1969.
This River we have named our kinges River extendes it self 160 myles into the mayne land betene two fertile and fragrant bankes … The mayne river aboundes with Sturgeon very large and excellent good: having also at the mouth of every brook and in every creek both store and exceeding good fish of divers kindes, and in ye large soundes neere the sea are multitudes of fish, bankes of oysters, and many great crabbs rather better in tast then ours, one able to suffice 4 men: And within sight of land into the sea we expect … to have a good fishing for codd … The soyle is more fertill then canbe wel exprest it is altogether Aromaticall giving a spicy tast to the rootes of all trees plantes and hearbs .. .it hath in diverse places fullers earth, and such as comes out of Turky called terra sigillata [NOTE: a type of medicinal clay]. It produceth of one corne of that Country wheate sometymes two or three stemmes or stalkes on which grow eares about a spann long. Besett with cornes at the least 300 vpon an eare for the most part 5, 6, and 700. The beanes and peaz of this Country have a great increase also: It yeelds two cropps a yeare. Being tempered and tyme taken I hould it natures nurse to all vegetables, for I assure myself no knowne continent brings forth any vendible necessaryes which this by planting will not afford … from the west Indies we brought a cereine delicious fruite called a pina, which the Spanyard by all art possible could never procure to grow in any place, but in this naturall site, this we rudely and carelessly sett in our mould, which fostereth it and keepes it greene, and to what Issue it may come I know not, our west Indy plantes of orenges and Cotten trees thrive well, likewise the potatoes pumpions and mellions: All our garden seedes, that were carefully sowne prosper well, yet we only digged the ground half a [foot?] deep, threw in the seedes at randome carelessly and scarce rakt it. It [the country] naturally yeelds mulberry trees, Cherry trees, vines aboundance, goosberyes, strawberyes, hurtleberryes, Respesses, ground nuttes, scarrettes [carrots is meant], the roote called sigilla Christi [Herb Paris or Sigillum Veneris et Crux Christi; similar to a species of Trillium], certaine sweet thynn shelled nuttes, certaine ground aples, a pleasant fruite, [and] many other[s] vnknowne. So the thing we crave is some skillfull man to husband sett plant and dresse vynes, suger canes, olives, rapes, hemp, flax, lycoris, pruyns, currantes, raysons, and all such thinges, as the North Tropick of the world affordes; also saffran woad hoppes and such like … The Comodityes of this Country [are] not much to be regarded, the inhabitantes having no comerce with any nation, no respect of profit … only the kinges know their owne territoryes, and the people their severall gardens yet this for the present by the consent of all our Seamen, meerly our fishing for Sturgeon cannot be less worth then 1000£ a yeare, leaving hering and codd as possibilityes … we can send [if we be frendes with the salvages or be able to force them] 2, 3, 4, or 5000£ a yeare of the earth called Terra Sigillata. Saxafrage [sassafras] what store we please. Tobacco after a yeare or two 5000£ a yeare … Apothecare drugges of diverse sortes, some knowne to be of good estimacion, some strange of whose vertue the salvages report wonders – we can by our industry and plantacion of comodious marchandize make oyles wynes soape ashes, wood ashes, extract from minerall earth Iron copper etc.: we have a good fishing for muskles, which resemble mother of pearle … To conclude I know not what can be expecged from a common wealth that either this land affordes not or may soone yeeld (p. 99-102).
Account by Gabriel Archer [?] Dated May 21st-June 21st, 1607. A Breif Discription of the People. pp. 102-104 (in) The Jamestown Voyages Under the First Charter 1601-1609. Vol. 1. Edited by P.L. Barbour. The Hakluyt Society. Series Two, Number 136. Cambridge: University Press, 1969.
There is a king in this land called great Pawatah … They goe all naked save their privityes, yet in coole weather they weare deare skinns, with the hayre on loose … I found not a grey eye among them all. Their skynn is tawny not so borne, but with dying and paynting them selues, in which they delight greatly. The wemen are like the men … [they] do all the labour and the men hunt aned goe at their pleasure … They live vpon sodden wheat, beans and peaze for the most part, also they kill deare take fish in their weares, and kill fowle aboundance, they eate often and that liberally; they are proper lusty streight men very strong runn[ers], exceedingly swiftly, their feight is always in the wood with bow and arrowes, and a short wodden sword … the king directes the batle and is alwayes in front … The people steale any thing comes neare them … They are naturally given to treachery … [but they are] a most kind and loving people … they strincle some [tobacco] into the water in the morning before they wash. They have many wives … These they abide not to be touched before their face. The grate diseaze reignes in the men generally, full fraught with noodes botches and pulpable apparances in their foreheades, we found aboue a hundred. The wemen are very cleanly in making their bread and prepareing meat … To conclude they are a very witty [clever] and ingenious people, apt both to vnderstand and speake our language, so that I hope in god as he hath miraculously presrved vs hither from all dangers both of sea and land and their fury so he will make vs authors of his holy will in converting them to our true Christian faith by his owne inspireing grace and knowledge of his deity (pp. 102-104).
Account by George Percy. Dated 1608[?]; before April 12th, 1612. Observations Gathered Out of a Discourse of the Plantation of the Southerne Colonie in Virginia by the English, 1606. pp. 129-146 (in) The Jamestown Voyages Under the First Charter 1601-1609. Vol. 1. Edited by P.L. Barbour. The Hakluyt Society. Series Two, Number 136. Cambridge: University Press, 1969.
On Saturday, the twentieth [19th?] of December in the yeere 1606 the fleet fell from London … The three and twentieth day we fell wiht the Iland of Mattanenio [Martinique] in the West Indies. The four and twentieth day we anchored at Dominico … a very faire Iland, the Trees full of sweet and good smels inhabited by many Sauage Indians … but when they knew what we were [English] there came many to our ships with their Canoas, bringing vs many kinds of sundry fruites, as Pines, Potatoes, Plantons, Tobacco, and other fruits …We gave them Kniues, Hatchets for exchange … also … Beades, Copper Iewels … their bodies are all painted red to keepe away the biting of Muscetos … they cut their skinnes in diuers workes, they are continually in warres, and will eate their enemies when they kill them, or any stranger if they take them. They will lap vp mans spittle, whilst one spits in their mouthes in a barbarous fashion like Dogges. These people … are called by the names of Canibals, that will eate mans flesh … they worship the Deuill for their God, and haue no other belief … [we sailed on to the island of Guadalupe; went ashore and found hot springs] … some places hot and some colder: and men may refresh themselues as tyhey please, finding this place to be to conuenient for our men to auoid diseases, which will breed in so long a Voyage, wee incamped our selues on this Ile sixe dayes, and spent none of our ships victuall, by reason our men some went a hunting, some a fouling, and some a fishing, where we got great store of Conies, sundry kinds of fowles, and grat plentie of fish (pp. 129-131).
Wee set saile from Meuis; trhe fourth day we sailed along by Castutia [St. Eustatius] and by Saba: This day we anchored at the Ile of Virgines … On this Iland wee caught great store of Fresh-fish, and abundance of Sea Tortoises, which serued all our Fleet three daies, which were in number eight score persons. We also killed great store of wilde Fowle, wee cut the Barkes of certaine Trees which tasted much like Cinamon, and very hot in the mouth … [we sailed past Becam, Saint Iohn, Mona and went ashore] … as wee marched we killed two wild Bores, and saw a huge wild Bull, his hornes was an ell betweene the two tops. Wee also killed Guanas, in fashion of a Serpent, and speckled like a Toade vnder the belly … many of our men fainted in the march,but by good fortune wee lost none but one Edward Brookes Gentlemen, whose fat melted within him by the great heate and drought of the Countrey: we were not able to relieue him nor our selues, so he died in that great extreamitie (p. 132).
The ninth day in the afternoone, we went off with our Boat to the Ile of Moneta [Isla del Monito], some three leagues from Mona … we found it to bee a fertill and a plaine ground, full of goodly grasse, and abundance of Fowles of all ,mindes, they flew oue our heads as thicke as drops of Hale … wee were not able to set our feet on the ground, but either on Fowles or Eggs which lay so thicke in the grasse: Wee laded two Boats full in the space of three houres, to our great refreshing (p. 133)
The tenth day we set saile, and disimboged out of the West Indies … The six and twentieth day of Aprill, about foure a clocke in the morning, wee descried the Land of Virginia: the same day wee entred into the Bay of Chesupioc directly … there wee landed and discouered a little way, but wee could find nothing worth the speaking of, but faire meddowes and goodly tall Trees, with such Fresh-waters running rhrough the woods, as I was almost rauished at the first sight thereof … At night, when wee were gong aboard, there came the Sauages creeping vpon all foure, from the Hills like Beares, with their Bowes in their mouthes, charged vs very desperately in the faces, hurt Captaine Gabrill Archer in both his hands, and a sayler in two places of the body very dangerous. After they had spent their Arrowes, and felt the sharpness of our shot, they retired into the Woods with a great noise, and so left vs (pp. 133-134).
The eighteenth day … wee went further into the Bay, and saw a plaine plot of ground where we went on Land … Vpon this plot of ground we got good store of Mussels and Oysters, which lay on the ground as thicke as stones: wee opened some, and found in many of them Pearles … Wee marched some three or foure miles further nto the Woods, where we saw great smoakes of fire. Wee marched to those smoakes and found that the Sauages had beene there burning downe the grasse … We past through excellent ground full of Flowers of diuers kinds and colours … going a little further we came into a little plat of ground full of fine and beautifull Strawberries, four times bigger and better [tasting] than ours in England … When it grew to be towards night we stood backe to our Ships … Wee rosed ouer to a point of Land, where wee found a channel … which put vs in good comfort. Therefore wee named that pint of Land, Cape Comfort (pp. 134-135).
The nine and twentieth day we set vp a Crosse at Chesupioc Bay, and named that place Cape Henry … [returned to Cape Comfort] … where we saw fiue Sauages running on the shoare … the Captaine called to them in signe of friendship, but they were at first very timbersome, vntil they saw the Captain lay his hand on his heart: vpon that they laid down their Bowes and Arrowes, and came very boldly to vs, making signes to come to a shoare to their Towne, which is called by the Sauages Kecoughtan … [ and we did so] … When we came first a Land they [the Indians] made a dolefull noise, laying their faces to the ground, scratching the erarth with their nailes … [then] they went into their houses and brought out mats and laid vpon the ground…the meanest sort [lowest rank] brought vs such dainties as they had, and of their bread which they make of their Maiz or Gennea wheat, they would not suffer vs to eat vnless we sate down, which we did … After we were well satisfied they gaue vs of their Tabacco … After they had feasted vs, they shewed vs, in welcome, their manner of dancing … When they had ended their dance, the Captaine gaue them Beades and other trifling Iewells. They hang through their eares Fowles legs (pp. 135-136).
The fourth day of May, we came to the King or Werowance of Paspihe: where they entertained vs with much welcome; an old Sauage made a long Oration, making a foule noise vttering his speech with a vehement action, but we knew little what they meant … Whilst we were in company with the Paspihes, the Werowance of Rapahanna came from the other side of the Riuer in his Cannoa: he seemed to take displeasure … The next day, being the fift of May, the Werowance of Rapahanna sent a Messenger to haue vs come to him … [he came to greet us] he caused his Mat to be spred on the ground where hee sate downe with a great Maiestie, taking a pipe of Tabacco … [he] made signes to vs to come to his Towne … Wee passed … through the goodliest Corne fieldes that euer was seene in anyh Countrey. When wee came to Rapahannos Towne, hee entertained vs in good humanitie (pp. 136-137).
The eight day of May we discouered [explored] vp the Riuer. We landed in the Countrey of Apamatica … there came many stout and able Sauages to resist vs with their Bowesand Arrowes … with the swords at their backes beset with sharpe stones, and pieces of yron … The twelfth day we went backe to our ships and discouered a point of Land, called Archers Hope … There are also great store of Vines in bigness of a mans thigh, running vp to the tops of the Trees in great abundance. We also did see many Squirels, Conies, Black Birds with crimson wings, and diuerse other Fowles and Birds of diuers and sundrie collours … We found store of Turkie nests and many Egges (pp. 137-138).
The fourteenth day we landed all our men which were set to worke about the fortification [foundation of Iames Towne] (p. 138).
The twentieth day the Werowance of Paspiha sent fortie of his men with a Deere, to our quarter: but they came more in villanie than any loue they bare vs … At Port Cotage in our Voyage vp the Riuer, we saw a Sauage Boy bout the age of ten yeeres, which had a head of haire of a perfest yellow [blond] and a reasonable white skinne, which is a Miracle amongst all Sauages (p. 140).
Wheresoeuer we landed vpon this Riuer, wee saw the goodliest Woods as Beech, Oke, Cedar, Cypresse, Wal-nuts, Sassafras and Vines in grat abundance, which hang in great clusters on many Trees, and other Trees vnknowne, and all the grounds bespred with many sweet and delicate flowres of duiers colours and kindes. There are also many fruites as Strawberries, Mulberries, Rasberries, and Fruits vnknowne; …in this Countrey I haue seene many great and large Meadowes [low marshes] hauing excellent good pasture for any Cattle. There is also great store of Deere both Red and Fallow. There are Beares, Foxes, Otters, Beuers, Muskats, and wild beasts vnknowne (p. 141).
But yet the Sauages murmured at our planting in the Countrie … I saw Bread made by their women which doe all their drugerie. The man takes their pleasure in hunting and their warres, which they are in continually one Kingdome against another. The manner of baking of bread is thus, after they pound their wheat into flowre with hote water, they make it into paste, and worke it into round balls and Cakes, then they put it into a pot of seething water, when it is sod throughly, they lay it on a smooth stone, there they harden it as well as in an Ouen (pp. 141-142).
[Tatooed women: animal designes used] The women kind in this Countrey doth pounce and race their bodies, legges, thighes, armes and faces with a sharp Iron, which makes a stampe in curious knots, and drawes the proportion of Fowles, Fish, or Beasts, then with paintings of sundry liuely colours, they rub it into their stampe which wil neuer be taken away, because it is dried into the flesh where it is sered (p. 142).
The Sauages beare their yeers well, for when wee were at Pamonkies, wee saw a Sauage by their report was aboue eight score yeeres of age. His eyes were sunke into his head, hauing neuer a tooth in his mouth, his haire all gray with a reasonable bigg beard, which was as white as any snow … This Sauage was as lustie and went as fast as any of vs, which was strange to behold (p. 142).
The fifteenth day of Iune, we had built and finished our Fort which was a triangle … we had also sowne most of our Corne on two Mountaines, it sprang a mans height from the ground, this Countrey is a fruitfull soile, bearing many goodly and fruitfull Trees, as Mulberries, Cherries, Walnuts, Ceders, Cypresse, Sassafras, and Vines in great abundance (p. 142).
[On] Munday the two and twentieth of Iune, in the morning Captaine Newport in the Admirall departed from Iames Port for England. Captaine Newport bieng gone for England, leauing vs (one hundred and foure persons) verie bare and scantie of victualls, furthermore in warres and in danger of the Sauages (pp. 143).
The sixt of August there died Iohn Asbie of the bloudie Flixe. The ninth day died George Flowre of the swelling. The tenth day died William Bruster Gentleman, of a wound giuen by the Sauages, and was buried the eleuenth day. The fourteenth day, Ierome Alikock Ancient, died of a wound, the same day Francis Midwinter, Edward Moris Corporall died suddenly. The fifteenth day, their died Edward Browne and Stephen Galthrope. The sisteenth day, their died Thomas Gower Gentleman. The seuenteenth day, their died Thomas Mounslic. The eighteenth day, their died Robert Pennington, and Iohn Martine Gentleman. The nineteenth day, died Drue Piggase Gentleman. The two and twentieth day of August, their died Captaine Bartholomew Gosnold one of our Councell, he was honourably buried … After Captaine Gosnols death, the Councell could hardly agree by the dissenytion of Captaine Kendall, which afterward was committed about hainous matters which was proued against him. The foure and twentieth day, died Edward Harington and George Walker, and were buried the same day. The sixe and twneieth day, died Kenelme Throgmortin. The seuen and twentieth day died William Roods. The eight and twentieth day died Thomas Stoodie, Cape Merchant. The fourth day of September died Thomas Iacob Sergeant. The fifth day, there died Beniamin Beast. Our men wer destroyed with cruell diseases as Swellings, Flixes, Burning Feuers, and by warres, and some departed suddenly, but for the most part they died of meere famine. There were neuer Englishmen left in a forreigne Countrey in such miserie as wee were in this new discouered Virginia … our food was but a small Can of Barlie sod in water to fiue men a day, our drinke cold water taken out of the Riuer, which was at a floud verie salt, at a low tide full of slime and filth, which was the destruction of many of our men. Thus we liued for the space of fiue moneths in this miserable distress, not hauing fiue able men to man our Bulwarkes vpon any occasion [NOTE: analysis of deaths by modern authorities: malaria discounted and the blame attached to some deficiency disease or typhoid, perhaps associated with beri-beri] … If it had not pleased God to haue put a terrour in the Sauages hearts, we had all perished by those vild and cruell Pagans, being in that weake estate as we were … in this sort did I see the mortalitie of diuers of our people (pp. 143-145).
It pleased God, after a while, to send those people which were our mortall enemies to releeue vs with victuals, as Bread, Corne, Fish, and Flesh in great plentie, which was the setting vp of our feeble men, otherwise wee had all perished. Also we were frequented by diuers Kings in the Countrie, bringing vs store of prouision to our great comfort (p. 145).
The eleuenth day [of?] there was certaine Articles laid against Master Wingfield which was then President, thereupn he was not only displaced out of his President ship, but also from being of the Councell. Afterwards Captain Iohn Ratcliffe was chosen President. The eighteenth day, died one Ellias Kinistone which was starued to death with cold. The same day at night, died one Richard Simmons. The nineteenth day, there died one Thomas Mouton (p. 145).
William White (hauing liued with the Natiues) reported to vs of their customs in the morning by breake of day, before they eate or drinke both men, women and children, that be aboue tenne yeeres of age runnes into the water, there washes themselues a good while till the Sunne riseth, then offer Sacrifice to it, strewing Tobacco on the water of Land, honouring the Sunne as their God [the account ends abruptly here] (pp. 145-146).
Account by William Strachey. Manuscript dated 1612. The Historie of Travell into Virginia Britania. Edited by L.B. Wright and V. Freund. The Hakluyt Society. Series 2, Number 103. London: Hakluyt Society, 1953.
Poketawes, which the West-Indians (our neighbours) call Maiz, their kynd of wheat, is here said to be in more plenty then below, and the Low-country fruictes grow here. It is supposed that the Low-Land, hath more Fish and Fowle, and the High-Land more number of Beastes; the people differ not much in nature, habit, or condicion, only they are more daring vpon vs, and before we erected our Forts amongst them, there was ever Emnity, and open warrs between the High-and Low Country, going by the names of Monacans [NOTE: these appear to be a Siouan-speaking people living west of the fall-line of the rivers to the Blue Ridge Mountains], and Powhatans [an Algonquian tribe] (pp. 34-35).
The temperature of this country doth well agree with the English constituitons … piercing heat of the Sun [creates] … Sommer Fevers amongest them [who] found never resistaunce … yet haue they recovered againe by very smale meanes, without helpe of fresh dyett, or comfort ofwholsome Phisique, there being at the first but fewe phisique Helpes, or skilfull sureons, who knew how to applie the right Medecyne in a new Country or to search the quality and constitution of the Patient and his distemper, or that knew how to counsell, when to lett blood or not, or in necessity to use a Launce in that office at all (pp. 37-38).
The wyndes here are variable … sometymes there are great Droughts, other tymes much rayne, yet we see not but that all the variety of needfull fruictes, and vegitables which we transport from hence, and plant there, thrive and prosper well, of which Husbandry and thrift we haue made many experymentes, and it stands vs now in no little vse, having plenty of our owne commodities, there is not that Seed, or Herb, which our Country here by manuring and Culture bringes forth, but doe likewise there growe quickly, and to no chaungeable tast from their nature, nay to better then in England, as Parsenips, Carretts, Turnips, Pumpeons, Mellos, Cowcumbers, etc., and many of our English garden-seedes, as Parsely, Endiff, Socorie, etc., there haue bene brought from the West-Indies, the Plants of Orange-trees, which put into the grownd carelesly and neglected have yet prospered, as also the Vynes of France, Tobacco-seed from Trinidado, Cotton-wooll and Potatoes, we haue committed to the tryall of our Soyle, and they yearely come to good passe, the Rootes of the delitious Indian-Pina, sett in a sandy place, thrived and contynued life, without respect had of yt, vntill the cold winter and the weeds choaked yt; yet is this Fruict said to be so daynty, nice, and of that nature, that no art or Industry hath bene found out hitherto, that could preserve yt in any Clymate, but in the West-Indie-Islands only; for the likelyhood of growing of Sugar-canes, we haue some probable hopes, by reason of the greatness, and sweetness, of the stalke of the Country wheat, and the Soyle being aromaticall as I may speak by the Saxafras, Galbanum, Mechoacon, otherwise called Rubarbum album, of which Doctor Bohun made triall in cold and moist bodies for the purging of fleame and superfluous matter, as also a white Bole, which Dr. Bohoune calles Terra alba Virginiensis, both aromaticall and cordiall, and diapharetick in pestilent and malignant Fevers, and some other Druggs yt can be but some little tyme industriously spent, to make triall of this so rich comodity (pp. 38-39),
From the north-side, is the River of Chickahamania [Chickahominy River], the back River of Iames-towne, another by the Caedar-Isle, wherein are great store of goodly Oysters (p. 42).
The great king Powhatan hath devided his Country nto many provinces, or Shiers … and for the grownd wherein each one soweth his corne, plants his Apoke, and gardeyn fruicts, he tythes to the great king of all the Commodityes growing in the same, or of what ells his shiere brings forth apperteyning to the Land or Rivers, Corne, beasts, Pearle, Fowle, Fish, Hides, Furrs, Copper, beades, by what meanes soever obteyned (p. 63).
Pochins, one of Powhatans sonnes at Kecoughtan … is an ample and faire Country indeed, and admirable portion of Land comparatively high, wholsome and fruictfull, the Seat sometymes of a thowsand Indians and 300 Indian howses, and those Indians, as yt may well appeare, better husbands [cultivators] then in any parte ells, that we haue observed, which iw the reson that so much grownd is there Cleered and open, ynough with little Labour alreddy prepared, to receave Corne or make Vyneyards of 2 or 3000 Acres, and where besyde we fynd many fruict-trees, a kynd of Goose-berry, Cherries, and other Plombes, the Mariock-apple [maracock; fruit of the passion flower], and many pretty Copsies, or Boskeys, as yt were, of Mulberry trees: and is indeed a delicate and necessary seat for a Citty, or Chief fortification … a fitt Seat for one of our Chief Comaunders (pp. 67-68).
[The people] They are generally of a Coulour browne, or rather tawnye … Captayn Smith (living sometyme amongest them) affirmeth, how they are from the woumb indifferent white, but as the men so doe the women, dye and disguise themselues, into this tawny coulour … for which they daylie annoynt both face and bodyes all over, with such a kynd of fucus [paint] or vnguent … Their hayre is black, grosse, longe and thick, the men haue no beardes … They are generally tall of stature, and streight, of comely proportion, and the women haue handsome lymbes, slender armes, and pretty handes (pp.70-71).
About their howses, they haue commonly square plotts of cleered grownd, which serve them for gardeins, some 100 some 200 foote square, wherein they sowe their Tobacco, pumpeons, and a fruit like unto a musk-million; but less and worse, which they call Maracocks [variety of squash; passion flower]: Gourds and such like, which fruicts encrease exceedingly and ripen in the begynning of Iuly, and contynue vntill September, they plant also the Feild-apple, the Maracock a wilde fruict like a Pomgranet, which encreaseth infinitely and ripens in August, Contynuing vntill the end of October, when all the other fruicts be geathered, but they sowe neigher herb, Flower, nor any other kynd of fruict (p. 79).
They neither doe empale [i.e. fence in] for deare, nor breed Cattell nor bring vp tame poultry, albeit they haue great store of Turkeys nor keepe byrds, squirrells, nor tame Partridges, Swan, duck, nor Geese. In March and April they live much vpon their Weeres, and feed on Fish, Turkeys, and Squirrells and then as also sometymes in May they plant their Feilds and sett their Corne, and live after those Monethes most of Acrons, Wallnuts, Chestnutts, Chechinquamyns [chinquapin: a nut similar to a small chestnut] and Fish, but to mend their dyett, some disperse themselues in smale Companies, and live vpon such beasts as they can kill, with their bowes and arrowes. Vpon Crabbs, Oysters, Land Tortoyses, Strawberries, Mulberries and such like; In Iune, Iuly, and August they feed vpon the rootes of Tockohowberryes [Note: Tuckahoe is the general term for the edible roots of various plants], Grownd-nuts [peanuts], Fish, and greene Wheat, and sometyme vpon a kynd of Serpent, or great snake of which our people [i.e. English settlers] likwise vse to eate (pp. 79-80).
It is straunge to see how their bodies alter with their dyett even as the deare and wylde beasts, they seeme fatt and leane, strong and weak, Powhatan and some others that are provident roast their flesh and flesh vpon hurdells and reserve of the same vntill the scarse tymes, Commonly their Fish and Flesh they boyle, either very tenderly, or broyle yt long on hurdells over the fire, or ells (after the Spanish Fashion) putting yt on a spitt, they turne first the one syde, then the other till yt be as dry as their Ierkyn-beef [NOTE: this is the origin of the term ‘beef jerkey’] in the West Indies, and so they may keepe yt a moneth or more, without putryfying. The broath of Fish or Flesh they sup vp as ordinarily, as they eate the meate (p. 80).
Their Corne they eate in the eares greene, roasted, and sometymes, brusing yt in a morter of wood with a like pestell they lappe yt in Rolls within the leaves of the Corne, and so boyle yt for a dayntie, they also reserve that Corne late planted that will not ripe, by rosting yt in hott ashes, the which in wynter (being boyled with beanes) they esteeme for a rare dish calling yt Pausarawmena. Their old wheat they first steepe a night in hott water, and in the Morning pownding yt in a Morter, they vse a smale baskett for the Boulter or Searser [NOTE: this is a sieve used to sift bran from flour], and when they haue sifted forth the fynest they pownd againe the great, and so separating yt by dashing their hand in the baskett, receaue the flower in a platter of wood, which blending with water, they make into flatt broad cakes … and these they call Apones, which Covering with Ashes till they be baked … and then washing them in faire water, they lett dry with their own heate, or ells boyle them with water, eating the broath with the bread which they call Ponepope, the growtes [grouts; grounds] and broken pieces of the Corne remayning, they likewise reserve, and by fannyng away the Brann, or huskes in a Platter or in the wynd, they lett boyle in an earthen pott three or fower howres, and thereof make a straunge thick pottage, which they call Vsketehamun and is the kynd of Frumentry [NOTE: British dish made by boiling wheat in milk], and indeed is like our Ptisane [NOTE: this is a British dish, a decoction of barley water] husked Barley, sodden in water … And some of them more thriftye then Cleanely, doe burne the Coare of the eare to poulder which they call Pungnough mingling that in their meale, but yt never tasted well in bread or broath (pp. 80-81).
Their drinck is (as the Turkes) cleere water; for, albeyt they haue Grapes, and those good store, yet they haue not falne vpon the vse of them, nor advised how to presse them into wyne. Peares and Apples they haue none to make Cider or Perry of, nor hony to make meath, nor Lycoris to seeth in their water, they call all things that haue a spicy tast Wassacan, which leaves a supposicion, that they may haue some kynd of spice trees, though not perhapps such as ellswhere (p. 81).
The men bestowe their tymes in fishing, hunting, wars, and such man-like exercises without the doores, scorning to be seen in any effemynate labour, which is the Cause that the women be very paynefull, and the men often idle (p. 81).
Their fishing is much in Boates, these they call Quintans, as the West-Indians call their Canoas … They have netts for fishing … these are made of brkes of certayne trees, deere synewes, for a kynd of grasse, which they call Pemmenaw, of which their women betweene their handes and thighes spin a threed very even and readely, and this threed serveth for many vses … Their Angells [i.e. fishing poles] are long smale rodds, at the end whereof they haue a Clift, to the which the lyne is fastened, and at the lyne they hang a hooke, made either of a boane grated … of the Splinter of a bone … [or] they shoote at fish in the Rivers, those of Accowmack use Staves like vnto Iauelyns headed with bone, with these they dart Fish, swymming in the water, they haue also many arteficiall weeres in which they take aboundaunce of Fish (pp. 81-82).
In the tyme of their huntings, they leave their habitations and gather themselues into Companies as doe the Tartars, and goe to the most desart places with their famelyes, where they passe the tyme with hunting and fowling vp towards the mountaynes by the heades of their Rivers, where indeed there is plenty of game … In the tyme of hunting every man will stryve to do his best to shew his fortune and esxterity, for by their excelling therein, they obteyne the favour of the women … [they] circle [game] with many fires, and betwixt the Fires they place themselues, and there take vp their Standes making the most terriblest noyse that they can. The deare being thus feared by the fires and their voyces, betake them to their heeles whome they chase so long within that Circle, that manie tymes they kill 6, 8, 10, or 15 in a morning, they vse also to drive them into some narrow point of Land, when they fynd that advantage, and so force them into the River, where with their boates they haue Ambuscadoes [NOTE: this is the origin of the English word, ambush] to kill them, when they haue shott a deare by Land, they follow him by the blood and strayne [i.e. animal track], and oftentymes so take him. Hares, Partridges, Turkeys, fatt or leane, young or old in eggs in breeding tyme, or however, they devowre, at no tyme sparing any that they can katch in their power (pp. 82-83).
Concerning a greene Wound [i.e. a wound that is infected], caused either by the stroak of an Axe, or Sword, or such sharpe thinge, they haue present remedy, for of the Iuyce of Certayne herbes howbeit, a compound wound, as the Surgeons call yt, where besyde the opening, and Cutting of the Flesh, any rupture is, or bone broken, such as our smale shott make amongest them, they know not easely how to cure, and therefore languish in the misery of the payne thereof: old Ulcers likewise and putrified hurts, are seldome seen cured amongest them: howbeit, to scarrefye a swelling or make incision, they haue a kynd of Instrument of some splinted stone. Every Spring they make themselues sick with drincking the Iuyce of a Roote, which they call Wighsacan [term means medicine, in general, not the name of a specific root] and water whereof they take so great a quantety, that yt purgeth them in a very violent manner, that in 3 or 4 daies after, they scarse recover their former health; sometymes they are sore troubled with dropseyes, Swellings, Aches, and such like diseases, by reson of their vncleannes and fowle feeding, for cure whereof they buyld a Stoue in the forme of a douehowse with matts to Close, that a few Coales therein Covered with a pott will make the patient sweat extreamely. For swellings also, they vse smale pieces of tutchwood in the forme of Cloues, which pricking on the grief, they burne Close to the flesh, and from thence drawe the Corruption with their Mouth: they haue manie professed Phisitians, who with their Charmes and Rattells, with an infernal rowt of wordes and accions, will seeme to suck their inward grief from their Navellds, or their affected places, but concerning our Surgeons, they are generally so conceyted of them, that they beleeve that their plaisters will heale any hurt (pp. 110-111).
The men Fish, hunt, fowle, goe to the warrs, make the weers, hotes, and such like manly exercises and all labours abroad, the women as the weaker sort be put to the easier workes, to sow their Corne to weed, and clense the same of the Orobauke Dodder [plant parasite of the family Cuscutaceae that smothers other plants], and Choak-weed and such like, which ells would wynd about the corne, and hinder the growth of yt: for by reason of the Rankeness and Lustines of the grownd such weedes spring vp very easily and thick, and yf hnot pluckt awaye, the Corne would prosper so much the worse, for which they keepe the hillocks of their Corne and the passadge betweene … as neat and cleane, as wee doe our gardein bedds, likewise the women plant and attend the gardeins, dresse the meat brought home, make their broathes and Pockerehicory drinckes, make matts and basketts, pownd their wheat, make their break, prepare their vessells, beare all kynds of burthens, and such like, and to which the Children sett their handes, healping their mothers (p. 114).
They are much desirous of our Commodityes … [they trade with us] … deare skyns, Furrs of the wyld Catt, black-Fox, Bever, Otter, Arrachoune, etc. Fowle, Fish, deare, or Beares Flesh, tryed deares suyt made vp handsomely in Cakes, their Country-Corn Pease Beanes and such like, and to saye triuth, their victuall is their chief riches (p. 115).
The natives haue here a kynd of wheat which they call Poketawes, as the West-Indies call the same Maiz the forme of yt is of a mans tooth somwhat thicker: for the preparing of the grownd for which they vse this manner they bruyse the barke of those Trees, which they will take away neere the roote, then doe they scorch the rootes with Fier that they growe no more, the next yeare with a crooked piece of wood, they beat vp those trees by the Rootes, and in their Mowldes they plant their Corne the manner is thus, they make a hole in the earth with a Stick, and into yt they put 3 or 5 graynes of wheat [maize is meant], and one or 3 of beanes: These holes they make 4 or 5 foote one from another, for the Corne being set close togither one Stalke would choak ells the growth of another, and so render both unprofitable [something missing in the printed text] their women and Children doe contynually keepe the grownd with weeding, and when the Corne is growne middle highe, they hill yt about like a Hoppeyard, and the Stalke wil grow a mans height or rather more from the grownd and every stalke commonly 2 eares some 3 many but one and some none; every yeare ordinarily hath betwixt 300 and 600 graynes, and the eare growes with a great hose or pill about yt and about yt; the Stalke being greene hath a sweet Iuyce in yt, somwhat like a Sugar-cane, which is the cause that when they geather their corne green they suck the Stalkes; for, as we geather green peas, so doe they their Corne being greene, which excelleth their old (pp. 118-119).
Pease they haue, which the Natiues call Assentemmens and are the same which in Italy they call Fagioli. Their Beanes are little like a French beane, and are the same which the Turks call Garnances [garbanzos; chick peas], and these kynd of Pulse they much esteeme for deinetyes (p. 119).
By their dwellings are some great Mulberry trees and these in some parte of the Country are found growing naturally in pretty groves … In come places we fynd Chestnutts, whose wyld fruict I may well saie equallize the best in Fraunce, Spayn, Germany, Italy or those so commended in the black-sea, by Constantinople of all which I haue eaten (p. 119).
They haue a smale Fruict, growing in little Trees, husked like a Chestnut, but the fruict most like a very smale Acron, this they call Chechinquamins and these with Chesnutts they boyle 4 or 5 howres, of which they make both broath and bread, for their chief men or at their greatest Feasts (p. 119).
They haue Cherryes much like a damozin, but for their tast and Cullour, we called them Cherryes, and a Plomb there is somwhat fairer then a Cherry of the same relish, then which are seldome a better eaten (p. 119).
They haue a berry, much like our Goose-berries in greatnes Cullour and tast, these they call Rawcomenes and they doe eate them raw or boyled [Perhaps these ‘gooseberries’ were unripe cranberries]. In the wsatry vallies groweth a Berry which they call Ocoughtanamins [unidentified] very much like vnto Capers, these they gather and drye in the heat of the Sun, and when they will eate them, they boyle them neere half a daye, for otherwise they differe not much from poison. Mattoume [grass: seeds used as food] groweth as our Bentes doe in Meadowes the Seed is not much unlike to Rye, though much smaller these they vse for a deinty bread buttred with deares suett (p. 120).
They haue a Plomb which they call Pessemmins [persimmon] like to a Meddeler in England, but of a deepe tawny cullour they grow on a most high tree, when they are not fully ripe, they are harsh and Choakye, and furre a Mans mouth like Allam, howbeit being taken fully ripe yt is a reasonable pleasant fruict, somwhat lushious, I haue seen our people put them into their baked and sodden puddings, there be whose tast allowes them to be as pretious as the English Apricock, I confesse yt is a good kynd of horse plomb (p. 120).
Here is a Cherry redd fruict both within and without … which we call the prickle-Peare [Opuntia cactus fruit: rare in Virginia], in the Indies they are well knowne to every common Marriner, they beare a broad thick spungeous leafe full of karnells, they be like the Pomegranet, the tast of this Peare is very pleasant, and the Iuyce cold and fresh like the water in the West-Indian nut called Cocus, the Iuyce is sharpe and penetrable like Deale-wyne [same as spruce beer] prescrybed powerfull against the stone (p. 120).
Here is a Fruict by the Naturalls called a Maracock this groweth generally lowe and creepeth in a manner amongest the Corne … kyt is of the bigness of a Queene-apple,m and hath many azurine or blew kernells, like as a Pomegranett, and yt bloometh a most sweet and delicate flower, and yt is a good Sommer Cooling fruict, and in every feild where the Indians plant their Corne be Cart-loades of them (pp. 120-121).
The Macokos [variety of squash] is of the forme of Pompeons I must Confesse nothing so good, t’is of a more waterish tast; the Inhabitants seeth a kynd of Million [dialect for melon], which they putt into their Walnut milke and so make a kynd of toothsome meat (p. 121).
In April Maie and Iune are grat store of Strawberryes, Raspices [raspberry], Hurts [huckleberry] etc., and many herbes in the Spring-tyme are Commonly dispersed throughout the woods good for broathes and salletts, as violetts, Purselin, Sorrell and Roses in their season etc., besydes many we vsed whose names we knowe not (p. 121).
Sir Tho. Dale hath writt sometymes vnto his Maiesties Concell here for Virginia to behold the goodly vynes, burtherning every neighbour-bush and clymbing the toppes of highest trees, and those ful of Clusters of grapes in their kynd how overdreeped and shadowed soever from the Sun and though never pruned or mannured … we haue eaten there as full and lusheous a Grape as in the villages between Paris and Amiens, and I haue drunck often of the rath wyne [early wine] which Doctor Bohoune and other of our people haue made full as good as your French-Brittish wyne, xx [twenty] gallons at a tyme haue bene sometymes made without any other helpe, then by Crushing the grape with the hand, which letting to settle 5 or 6 daies hath in the drawing forth proved strong and headdy vnto what perfeccion might not these be brought by the art and industry of many skylfull vineroones, being thus naturally good (pp. 121-122)?
Many Rootes the Indians haue here likewise for food the Chief they call Tockawhoughe [tuckahoe] and yt groweth like a Flag in low muddy Freshes, in one day a Slauadge will gather sufficient for a week, these rootes are much of the greatnes and tast of Potatoes, they vse to rake vp a great number of them in old leaves and ferne, and then Cover all with earth or sand in the manner of a Coalepitt, on each side they contynue a grat fier, a day and a night before they dare eate yt, raw yt is no better then poison, and being roasted … yt will prickle and torment the throat extreamely, and yet in Sommer they vse this ordinarily for bread (p. 122).
They haue another Root, which they call Vighsacan as the other feedeth the body so this Cureth their hurtes and diseases yt is a smale roote, which they bruise and applie to the wound (p. 122).
Pocones is a smale root that groweth in the Mountaynes, which being dryed, and beat into powlder turneth red, and this they vse for Swellings, aches, annoynting their Ioynts, paynting their heades and garmets with yt for which they accompt yt very pretious and of much worth (p. 122).
Musquaspenne [dye plant: blood root] is a roote of the bignes of a finger, and as redd as blood, in drying yt will wither almost to nothing weith this they vse to paint their Matts tagetts [targets?] and such like (p. 122).
There is here great store of Tobacco [Nicotiana rustica] which the Saluagesa call Apooke, howbeyt yt is not of the best kynd, yt is but poore and weake, and of a byting tast (pp. 122-123).
Here is also Pellitory [Anacyclus pyrethrum] of Spayne and diverse other Simpells, which our Appothecaries have gathered, and found to be good and medecinable (p. 123).
In the Low-Marrishes grow plotts of Onyons conteyning an Acre of grownd or more in many places but they are smale like Chyballs [chives] or Scallions, not past the bignes of the toppe of ones thumb, they eate well sodd or otherwise in Sallet, or in bak’t meates, our people fynd good and wholsome Relish in them:, howbeit the Inhabitans cannot abyde to eate of them: and these Onions they doe for the most parte appeare in the last seazon of the yeare, for yt is to be vnderstood how the Indians devide the year into 5 seasons the Winter which they call Popanow, the spring Cattapeuk, the sommer Cohattayough, the [period of the] Earing of their corne Nepenough, the Haruest and Fall of the Leaf Taquituck (pp. 123-124).
They haue diverse beasts fitt for provision, the Chief are deare, both redd and fallow, great store in the Country towards the heads of the Rivers, though not so many amongest the Rivers: in our Island about Iames-towne are some fewe, nothing differing from ours in England but that of some of them the Anteletts of their hornes are not so many, our people haue seene 200, 100, and 50 in a heard (p. 124).
There is a beast they call Aroughcoune, much like a Badger, tayled like a Foxe, and of a mingle black and grayish Coulour, and which vseth to live on trees as Squirrells doe, excellent meat, we kill often of them, the greatest nomber yet we obteyne by trade (p. 124).
Squirrells they haue and those in great plentie are very good meat, some are nere as great as our smallest sort of wyld rabbitts, some blackish or black and white like those which here called silver hayred, but the most are gray (p. 124).
A smaller beast they haue, which the Indians call Assapanick, not passing so bigg as a Ratt, but we call them flying Squirrells, because spreading their leggs from whence to either showlder runs a flappe or Fynne much like a Batts wing, and so stretching the largeness of their skyns, they haue bene seen to make a pretty flight from one tree to another sometymes 30 or 40 yardes (p. 124).
An Oppusum is a beast as big as a pretty Beagle of grey Cullor, yt hath a head like a swyne, eares, Feet, and Taile like a Ratt, she carryes her young ones vnder her belly in a piece of her owne Skynn, like as in a bagge, which she can open and shutt, to lett them out or take them in as she pleaseth, and doth therein lodge, carry, and succle her young, and eates in tast like a Pig (p. 124).
Muscascus [muskrat] is a beast black in cullour, proportion’d like a water-Rat, he hath a Cod [gland; organ] within him, which yeildeth a strong sent like vnto Musk, yt is good meat, if the Cod be taken out, otherwise the flesh will taste most strong and rank of the Musk, so will the broath wherein yt is sod (p. 124).
Hares they haue some few about Iames-towne, but both in the Islands, and Mayne, vp at the Falls and below about Fort Henry, and Charles Fort great stoare, howbeit they are no bigger then our Conies (pp. 124-125).
Beares there be many towardes the Sea-coasts which the Indians hunt most greedily, for indeed they loue them aboue all other their flesh, and therefore hardly sell any of them to vs, vnles vpon large proffers of Copper, beads and hatchetts, we haue eaten of them, and they are very toothsome, sweet, venison as good to be eaten as the flesh of a Calfe of twoo yeares old (p. 125).
The Bever there is as big as an ordinary water dog but his legges exceeding short, his forefeet like a doggs, his hinder like a Swanns, his tayle somewhat like the forme of a rackett, bare without hayre, which to eate the Saluages esteeme a great delicate (p. 125).
Otters there be many which as the Bevers, the Indians take with Gynns and Snares, and esteeme the skyns great Ornaments, and of all these beasts, they vse to feed when they catch them (p. 125).
[There are] Lyons a beast which the Indians call Vrtchumquoyes [lynx?] … Foxes … dogs … like their woulves … Martins, Polcatts, weesells, and Monkeys [NOTE: this last is a text error where mink possibly was the animal identified] (pp. 125-126).
Turkeys there be great store wyld in the woodes like Pheasants in England 40 in a Company, as big as our tame here, and yt is an excellent fowle, and so passinge good meat, as I maie well saie, yt is the best of any kynd of Flesh which I haue ever yet eaten there. Partridges there are, little bigger then our Quailes. I haue knowne of our men, to haue killed them with their smale shott sometyme from of a tree 5 or 6 at a shoot (p. 126).
[There are] cranes white and grey, Herons…grey and white…woosells or blac-Birds with red showlders, Thrushes and divers sorts of smale byrds…In wynter there are great plenty of Swanns, Geese, Brants, duck, widgion, dottrell, Oxeyes, Mallard, Teale, Sheldrakes, and divers dyving Fowles … Parakitoes [Carolina parakeet: now extinct ]… a kynd of wood-pidgion [passenger pigeon] … of … such numbers … I should expresse what extended flockes and how many Thowsandes in one Flock I haue seene in one day wondring at their flight, when like so many thickened Clowdes (pp. 126-127).
We may also ad the no meane Commodity of Fish: of which in March and Aprill are great Shoells of Herrings. Sturgeon great store, commonly in Maie … Shadds great store of a Yard long, and for sweetnes and fatnes a reasonable good fish … Grampus, Porpoys, Seales, Stingrayes, Bretts, Mulletts, white Salmons, Trowtes, Soles, Playse, Conifish, Rock-Fish, Eeles, Lamprayes, Cat-fish, Perch of three sortes, Shrimpes, Creyfishes, Cockles, Mushells, and more such like, needles to name, all good fishe. There is the Gar-fish, some of which are a yard long … Oysters there be in whole banckes and bedds and those of the best, I haue seen some 13 Inches long, the Saluages vse to boyle Oysters and Mushells togither, and with the broath they make a good spoon-meat, thickened with the flower of their wheat, and yt is a great thrift and husbandry with them to hang the Oysters vpon strings in the smoake, thereby to preserve them all the yeare. Thered be twoo sorts of Sea-Crabbes, and the one our people call a king Crabb, and they are taken in Shoall waters from of the Shoare a dozen at a tyme hanging one vpon anothers tayle, they are of a Foot in length and half a foote in breadth, having many leggs and a long tayle, the Indians seldome eate of this kynd. There is a kynd of Shell-fish of the proportion of a Cockell, but farr greater, yt hath a smooth shell, not ragged as our Cockles, ’tis good meat though somwhat tough (pp. 127-128).
Tortoyses here … I haue seen about the entraunce of our Bay … land tortoises we take and eat daylie … But the most straunge fish is a smale one so like the Picture of St. Georges dragon [sea-horse] as possebly can be except the leggs and wings: and the Toad-fish which will swell till yt be like to burst when yt cometh into the ayre (p. 128).
Thus yt appeareth that this Country affordeth many excellent vegitablells and living Creatures, yet I must say truek of grasse for the present, there is little or none but what groweth in low Marrishes, for all the country is overshadowed with Trees, whose dropping contynually turneth grasse to weedes, by reason of the ranckness of the grownd, which would soone be amended by good husbandry (pp. 128-129).
Of walnutts there be three kynds, the black walnut … the fruict of this is little, yt is thin shelled, and the karnell bitter, another kynd there is which beares a great fruict with a hard shell and the meat very sweet, and of these the Indians make oyle to drappe their ioynts and smeere their bodies with, which doe make them supple and nymble, the third sort is as this last exceeding hard shelled, and hath a passing sweet karnell this last kynd the Indians beat into Powder with stones and putting them shells and all into Morters mingling water with them with long woodden pestells pownd them so long togither, vntill they make a kynd of milke or oylie liquor which they call Powcohicora (p. 129).
Of Saxafras [sassafras] there is plenty enough, the rootes whereof not many yeares since were sold ro 20s a pound and better and if order may yet be taken … Crab-trees there be, but the fruict smale and bitter howbedit being graffed vpon, soone might we haue of our owne appells, of any kynd, Peares and what ells … There groweth in the Island of Iames-towne a smale tree of leaves, armes and fruict, like the Myrtle-tree, the fruict thereof hath a tast with the Mirtle, but much more bynding … [and] is of so great force against inveterate dissentericall Fluxes of which Doctor Bohoune made open experiment in many of our men labouring with such diseases and therefore wisheth all such Phisitians as shall goe thither to make vse thereof (pp. 130-131).
Account by William White. Dated 1608 [?] but before 1614. pp. 147-150 (in) The Jamestown Voyages Under the First Charter 1601-1609. Vol. 1. Edited by P.L. Barbour. The Hakluyt Society. Series Two, Number 136. Cambridge: University Press, 1969.
[Description of child sacrifice] The Werowance [king] being demanded [by Captaine John Smith] the meaning of this sacrifice, answered, that the children were not all dead, but that the Oke or Deiuel did sucke the bloud from their left brest, who chanced to be his by lot, till they were dead, but the rest were kept in the wildernesse by the yong men, till nine Mones were expired … This sacrifice they held to be so necessarie that if they should omit it, their Oke or Diuell, and their other Quiyoughcosughes, or gods, would let them haue no Deere, Turkies, Corne, or Fish; and would besides make a great slaughter amongst them (p. 149).
William White reporteth … by breake of day, before they ete or drinke, the men, women, and children aboue ten yeares old, runne into the water, and there wash a good space, till the Sunne arise, and then they offer sacrifice to it, strewing Tobacco on the land or water: the like they doe at Sunneset. The also relateth that one George Casson … [was captured by Indians and] sacrificed, as they thought, to the Diuell, being stripped naked, and bound to two stakes, with his backe against a great fire: then did they rippe him and burne his bowels, and dried his flesh to the bones, which they kept aboue ground in a by-roome … Powhatan … inuited Captaine Ratliffe and thirtie others to trade for corne, and hauing brought them within his ambush, murthered them (p. 150).
Account by Francis Mangnel. Dated July 1st, 1610. Relation of What Francis Magnel, an Irishman, Learned in the Land of Virginia During the Eight Months He Was There. Of the Voyage He Made and the Route the English Took at First for the Discovery of Virginia. pp. 151-157 (in) The Jamestown Voyages Under the First Charter 1601-1609. Vol. 1. Edited by P.L. Barbour. The Hakluyt Society. Series Two, Number 136. Cambridge: University Press, 1969.
Cape Comfort is an island which is at the entrance of a big river where the English live … The English have decided to build a fortress on this island to defend the entrance of the river, but the relator does not know if it is yet finished … In this region there are many iron, copper and othe mines … The English make a great deal of soap there … In the rivers there are a grat may salmon, sole and other fish, and as great and good a quantity of cod as in Newfoundland. There is an infinite number of deer in the land, turkeys, swans, and all kinds of fowl. Many wild grapes are natural to the land, from which the English make a wine very similar to that of Alicante, in the opinion of the relator, who has tried one or two. Also there is a great quantity of beans, pease, corn, almonds [NOTE: this is an identification error as almonds did not grow in this region], walnuts and chestnuts, and above all a lot of flax, which grows wild, without anuy cultivation. They have a grat abundance of skins for very rich furs, especially sable martens, and the [native] King has jhouses full of them, and they are his wealth. The English take from [Virginia] many drugs and other necessities for apothecary shops. The land is very pleasant and level, and very fertile, with many big rivers; the air is healthy, and the climate like here in Spain, although a little colder in winter (pp. 151-153).
[Describing journy of Captain Gosnoll to New England] This headland therefore they called Cape-Cod [because there were Mackarells, Herrings, Cod, and other Fish, which they dailie saw] … [then to] Marthaes-Vineyard being stoared with such an incredible nomber of vynes…[the second island] full of Deare and Fowle and glistering minerall stones, he called by his owne name Gosnols-Island. The third island] he called Elizabeths Island: vpon this island they did sowe for a triall in sondry places wheat, barlye, oates, and pease, which in 14 daies were sprung vp nyne inches and more: on the norwest side of this Island [they found] Tortoyses and … Fowle…diverse sortes of shelfish, as Scalloppes, Muscles, Cockells, Lobsters, Crabbs, oysters, and wilkes (pp. 153-154).
[Mangnel affirms that he returned form Virginia to England in 21 days] … because the return voyage is much shorter than the outbound one. And in proof that all that is contained herein is true the said relator promises and commits himself to go personally at His Catholic Majesty’s command to bear visible testimony of everything he says, if His Majesty be pleased to employ him in this service. I Don Fray Florencio Conry, Archbishop of Tuasm, attest that the said relator Francis Magnel, Irishman, has sworn in my presence that everything herein contained he has either seen or heard say … when he was in Virginia, and that everything which he said in his language is here faithfull translated into Castilian … July 1st, 1610, Madrid (p. 157).
Account of Francis Perkins. Dated March 28th, 1608. [Letter from] Francis Perkin in Jamestown to a Friend in England. pp. 158-164 (in) The Jamestown Voyages Under the First Charter 1601-1609. Vol. 1. Edited by P.L. Barbour. The Hakluyt Society. Series Two, Number 136. Cambridge: University Press, 1969.
[NOTE: the letter was intercepted by the Spanish, forwarded for translation, then sent to the King of Spain].
We arrived at the island of Santo Domingo [November 29th, 1607] which is in the West Indies, and we spent the whole day there trading with the savages, who came on board naked bringing us potatoes, bananas, pineapples (which are a very delicious fruit), bread they call casadra [i.e. cassava] made of certian rootes, parrots, cocks and hens, linen, and other things which they give us in exchange for iron hatchets, saws, knives, rosaries, little bells, and other similar triflesk which they esteem very highly and are of grat worth to those who take them along on similar voyages … we came near the island of San Juan [Puerto Rico] and on Sunday, two weeks later [December 20th], we sighted America … The ship called the John and Francis, with Captain Christopher Newport, arrived at Jamestown on the second of January … The river is very fair and wide, but full of shoals and oyster-banks … A month after this, we went to a region where there was a great deal of frost and snow. The neighbouring region has a great abundance of wild swans, herons, and cranes, geese, wild ducks, mallards, and many other birds, as long as winter lasts, with the prettiest parrots there are. The cold was so intense that one night the river at our fort froze almost all the way across … The ice in the river froze some fish which, when we took them out after the ice was melted, were very good, and so plump that they coud be fried in their own fat, without anything added … [January 7th] there was a fire that spread so that all the houses in the fort were burned down, including the storehouse for munition and supplies, leaving only three [unburned] … Everything my son and I had was burned, except a mattress which had not yet been taken off the ship. Thanks to God, we are at peace with all the inhbitants of the surrounding country, trading for corn and supplies. Their grat Emperor, or Werowance … has sent some of his people to show us how to plant the native wheat [maize], and to make some gear such as they use to go fishing, and surely for all we can guess it is very probable that the land will prove very fertile and good, and extensive enough to accomodate a million people. What we are doing most just now is clearing the forests, for the wheat [maize] sprouts in great quantity [without being tended] … There are many little animals here with skins of fine fur … There is an abundance of [fresh] fodder for any kind of live stock, especially pigs and goats, even if there were a million of them. There is also around the fort, where we have cleared away the trees [NOTE: this passage confirms that the settlers did not occupy any recently held Indian site], a very great quantity of strawberries and other tasty herbs (pp. 159-161).
I am sending to my Lady Catherine and to my Lady your wife, to each of them six punds of sassafras to use in medicines, or between linens (p. 162).
[Enclosed in the same letter was another from Don Pedro de Zuñiga Dated June 26th, 1608, addressed to the Spanish king]
I have already informed Your Majesty about what is going on in Virginia. Captain Newport returned and brought a few things of little importance [back to Jamestown], so that it becomes more eivdent that the main [thing] they [do] in that place is fortify themselves and carry on piracy from there … [Captain Newport] has chosen the most suitable people available here, and since they are called to plunder, they all go very gladly (p. 163).
Account by Captain John Smith. Date uncertain. Written before June 2nd, 1608. A Trve Relation of Such Occurrences and Accidents of Noateas Hath Hapned in Virginia Fince the First Planting of That Collony, Which is Now Resident in the South Part Thereof, Till the Last Returne from Thence. London: Iohn Tappe, 1608. pp. 165-208 (in) The Jamestown Voyages Under the First Charter 1601-1609. Vol. 1. Edited by P.L. Barbour. The Hakluyt Society. Series Two, Number 136. Cambridge: University Press, 1969.
The Country is excellent and pleasant, the clime temperate and health full, the ground fertill and good, the commodities to be expected … many, for our people, the worst being already past, these former hauing indured the heate of the day…mnay at ease labour for their profit, in the most sweete, coole, and temperate shade (p. 167).
[May 21st] Captain Newport and my selfe with diuerse others, to the number of twenty two persons, set forward to discouer the Riuer … [and found] many frsh Springes, the people in all places kindely intreating vs, daunsing and feasting vs with strawberries, Mulberies, Bread, Fish, and other their Countrie prouisions whereof we had plenty; for which Captaine Newport kindely requited their least fauours with Bels, Pinnes, Needles, breades or Glasses, which so contented them … [and] made them follow vs from place to place, and euer kindely to respect us (p. 170).
Captaine Newport hauing set things in order, set saile for England the 22[th] of June, leauing prouision for 13 or 14 weeks … [we were then plagued] with such famin and sickness, that the liuing were scarce able to bury the dead: our wsant of sufficient and good victualls, with continuall watching, foure or fiue each night at three Bulwarkes, being the chiefe cause: onely of Sturgion wee had great store, whereon our men would so greedily surfet, as it cost many their liues: the Sack, Aquauitie, and other preseruatiues for our health, being kept onely in the Presidents hands, for his owne diet, and his few associates: shortly after Captaine Gosnold fell sicke, and within three weekes died, Captaine Ratcliffe being then also verie sicke and weake, and my selfe hauing also tasted of the extremitie thereof, but by Gods assistance being well recouered. Kendall about this time, for diuers reasens deposed from being of the Councell: and shortly after it pleased God … to moue the Indians to bring vs Corne, ere it was halfe ripe, to refresh vs, when we rather expectged when they would destroy vs: about the tenth of September there wasabout 46 of our men dead, at which time Captaine Wingefield hauing ordered the affaires in such sort that he was generally hated of all, in which respect with one consent he was deposed from his presidencie, and Captaine Ratcliffe according to his course was elected (pp. 172-174).
Our prouision being now within twentie dayes spent, the Indians brought vs great store both of Corne and bread ready made: and also there came such aboundance of Fowles into the Riuers, as greatly refreshed our weake estates, where vppon many of our weake men were presently able to goe abroad [outside] … As yet we had no houses to couer vs, our Tents were rotten…As at this time were most of our chiefest men either sicke or discontented, the rest being in such dispaire, as they would rather starue and rot with idlenes, then be perswaded to do anything for their owne reliefe without constraint: our victualles bieng now within eighteene dayes spent, and the Indians trade decreasing, I was sent to the mouth of ye riuer, to Kegquouhtan an Indian Towne, to trade for Corne, and try the riuer for Fish, but our fishing we could not effect by reason of the stormy weather. The Indians thinking vs neare famished, with carelesse kindnes, offred vs little pieces of bread and small handfulls of beanes or wheat, for a hatchet or a piece of copper: In the like manner I entertained their kindnes, and in the scorne offered them like commodities, but the Children, or any that shewed extraordinary kindenes, I liberally contented with free gifte[s], such trifles as well contented them … I sent a man to doscouer [i.e. reconnoitre] the Towne, their Corne, and force, to trie their intent, in that they desired me vp to their houses: which well vnderstanding, with foure shot I visited them, with fish, oysters, bread and deere, they kindly traded with me and my men, beeing no lesse in doubt of my intent, then I of theirs, for well I might with twentie men haue fraighted a Shippe with Corne … With sixteene bushells of Corne I returned towards our Forte … I returned to the fort, the very name whereof gaue grat comfort to our desparing company: time thus passing away, and hauing not aboue 14 daies vituals left, some motions were made about our presidents and Capt[ain] Archers going for England, to procure a suply, in which meane time we had reasonably fitted vs with houses, and our President and Capt[ain] Martin being able to walk abroad, with much ado it was concluded, that the pinnace and barge should goe towards Powhatan, to trade for corne: Lotts were case who should go in her, the chance was mine … [and while the ships were being outfitted] I made a voiage to Topohanak [where people fled] … In my return to Paspahegh, I traded with that churlish and trecherous nation: hauing loaded 10 or 12 bushels of corne…we tooke occasion to returne with 10 bushells of corne (pp. 174-176).
[Near mutuny at Jamestown: Captaine Kendall was tried, comdemned and shot to death]
[Description of Indian ritual] three or foure dayes after my taking, seuen of them in the house where I lay, each with a rattle began at ten a clock in the morning to sing about the fire, wshich they inuironed with a Circle of meale, and after a foote or two from that, at the end of each song, layde downe two or three graines of wheate, continuing this order until they haue included sixe or seuen hundred in a half Circle, and after that two or three more Circles in like manner, a hand bredth from other: that done, at each song, they put betwixt eueire three, two or fiue graines, a little sticke, so counting as an old woman her Pater noster … Great cakes of Deere suiet, Deare and Tobacco he casteth n the fire…so fat they fed mee, that I much doubted they intended to haue sacrificed mee to the Quiyoughquosicke, with is a superiour power they worship (p. 188).
To cure the sick, a man with a Rattle, and extreame howling, showting, singing, and such violent gestures, and Anticke actions ouer the patient will sucke out blood and flegme from the patient out of their vnable stomacke, or any diseased place, as no labour will more tire them, Tobacco they offer the wter in passing in fowle weather. The death of any they lament with grat sorrow and weeping (pp. 188-189).
The Empereur Powhatan each weeke once or twice sent me many presents of Deare, bread [and] Ragroughcuns [raccoons], halfe always for my father [NOTE: is the king of England meant?], whome he much desired to see, and halfe for me: and so continually importuned by messengers and presents, that I would come to fetch the corne (p. 190).
He commaunded the Queene of Apamatuc, a comely yong Saluage, to giue me water, a Turkie-cocke and breade to eate: being thus feasted, hee began his discourse to this purpose … This done, I asked him for the corne and ground he promised me (p. 192).
The King rising from his seat, conducted me foorth, and caused each of my men to haue as much more bread as hee could beare: giuing me some in a basket, and as much he sent a board for a present to my Father: victuals lyou must know is all their wealth, and the greatest kindnes they could shew vs … The Indians vsed all diligence to make vs fires, and giue vs content… Presently after he sent me a quarter of Venizon to stay my stomachke … To my supper he set before me meate for twenty men, and seeing I could not eate, hee caused it to be giuen to my men: for this is a general custome, that what they giue, not to take again, but you must either eate it, giue it away, or carry it with you (p. 193).
Captaine Nuport arriued towards euening, whom the King presented with sixe grat platters of fine bread, and Pansarowmana [green maize boiled with beans: sweet and wholesome], the next day till noone wee traded: the King feasted all the company, and the afternoone was spent in playing, dauncing, and delight, by no meanes hee would haue vs depart till the next day, he had feasted vs with venizon (p. 198).
At Captaine Nuports arriuall, wee were victualled for twelue weekes, and hauing furnished him of what hee thought good, hee set saile for England the tenth of Aprill … Powhatan hauing for a farrewell, sent him fiue or sixe means loadings, with Turkeyes for swords, which hee sent him in our return to ye fort (p. 199).
[We had to admit the worst about our food supply] 16 daies prouision we had of Cheese, Oatmeale, and bisket … leauing the rest to defend the Fort, and plant our Corne … [there was serious discontent] … our [alternative] was to turne husbandmen to fell Trees and set Corne. Fiftie of our men, we imployed n this seruice, the rest kept the Fort (p. 203).
Powhatan vnderstanding [that] we detained certaine Saluages, sent his Daughter [Pokahuntas; Pocahontas], a child of tenne yeares old, which not only for feature, countenance and proportion, much exceedeth any of the rest of his people, but for wit, and spirit, the only Nonpariel of his Country … [Rawhunt, Powhatan’s messenger] told me, how well Powhatan, loued and respected mee, and in that I should not doubt any way of his kindnesse, he had sent his child, which he most esteemed, to see me, a Deere, and bread, besides for a present (p. 206).
Account by Captain John Smith to the Treasurer and Councell of Virginia. Dated between September 10th and early December, 1608. pp. 214-245 (in) The Jamestown Voyages Under the First Charter 1601-1609. Vol. 1. Edited by P.L. Barbour. The Hakluyt Society. Series Two, Number 136. Cambridge: University Press, 1969.
Here followeth what happined in James Towne in Virginia after Captayne Newports departure for England … The 3[rd] of Iuly 7 or 8 Indians presented the President a Dear from Pamaonke, a wyroaunce [king] desiring our friendship … A litle after this Came a Dear to the President from the grat Powatan … The President likewise bought diuers tymes Dear of the Indyans, beavars and other flesh, which he alwayes caused to be equally deuided amongst the Collonye … About this tyme diuers of our men fell sick, wee myssed aboue Forty before September did see vs, amongst whome was the Worthy and Religious gent Captayn Bartholmew Gosnold … In his sicknes tyme the president did easily foretell his owne deposing from his Comaund, so much differed the president and the other Councellors on mannaging the government of the Collonye … Sicknes had not now left vs vn able men in our Towne, gods onely mercy did now watch and Warde for vs, but the President hidd this our weakenes carefully from the salvages … The Councell demaunded some larger allowaunce for themselues, and for some sick their fauorites, which the President would not yhield vnto without their Warrantes … This matter was before propounded by Captayn Martyn, but so nakedly as that he neyther knew the quantity of the stoare to be but for xxii weekes and a half … he prayed them further to Consider the long tyme before wee expected Captayn Newportes retorne, the incertainty of his retorne, if god did not fauour his voyage, the long tyme before our haruest would be ripe, and the doubtfull peace that wee had with the Indyans … It was then therefore ordered, that euery meale of fish or fleshe should excuse the allowance for poridge, both against the sick and hole. The Counsell therefore sitting againe vpon this proposition instructed in the former reasons and order, did not thinke it fit to breake the former order by enlarging their allowance, as will appeere by the most voyces reddy to be shewed vnder their hands … Now was the Comon store of oyle, vinigar, sack, and Aquavite all spent sauceing twoe Gallons of each; the sack reserued for the Comunion table, the rest for such extreamityes as might fall vpon vs, which the President had onely made knowne toa Captayn Gosnold, of which course he liked well, the vessells wear therefore boonged vpp: When Master Gosnold was dead the President did acquaint the rest of the Councell with the said Remnant: but lord how they then longed for to supp vp that litle remnant for they had now emptied all their owne bottles, and all other that they could smell out … A litle wile after this the Councell did againe fall vpon the President for some better allaowance for themselues and some few [of] the sick their privates: The President protested he would not be partiall, but if one had any thing of him, euery man should haue his portion according to their places, Nevertheles that vpon their Warrantes he would deliuer that pleased them to demaund (pp. 214-217).
In this meane tyme the Indians did daily relieue vs with Corne and fleshe, that in three weekes the Presidant had reared vpp XX [twenty] men able to worke, for as his stoare increased he mended the Comon pott; hee had laid vp besides prouision for 3 weekes, wheate beforehand. By this tyme the Councell had fully plotted to depose Wingfeild the then President, and had drawne certeyne Artycles in Wrighting … To depose the then President … To make Master Ratcliffe the next President … Not to depose the one th’ other … Thus had they forsaken his Maiesties government sett vs downe in the instruccions, and made it a Triumvirat (pp. 217-218).
First Master President said that I had denyed himn a penny whitle, a Chickyn, a spoonfull of beere, and served him with foule Corne, and with that pulled some graine out of a bagg shewing it to the Company … Master Martyn followed with, he reporteth that I doe slack the service in the Collonye, and doe nothing but tend my pott, spitt, and oven, but he hath starued my sonne, and denyed him a spoonefull of beere … they then comytted me prisoner againe to the master of ye Pynnasse with theis words: look to him well he is now the kinges prisoner … Then Master Archer pulled out of his bosome an other paper booke full of Artycles against me … All this while the Salvages brought to the Towne such Corne and flesh as they could spare … Master Smyth especially traded vp and downe the River with the Indyans for Corn, which releued the Collony well … As I vnderstand by report I ame much charged with staruing the Collony; I did allways giue euery man his allowance faithfully, both of Corne, oyle, aquivite and as was by the Counsell proportioned, neyther was it bettered after my tyme, vntill towards th’end of March , a Bisket was allowed to euery workeing man for his breake-fast, by meanes of the prouision brought vs by Captayn Newport, as will appeere here after: It is further said I did much banquit, and Ryot: I neuer had but one Squirell roasted, whereof I gaue part to Master Ratcliff then sick; yet was that Squirell given me; I did never heate a flesh pott, but when the Common pot was so vsed likewise; Yet how often Master Presidentes and the Councellors spittes haue night and daie bene endaungered to break their backes so laden with swanns, geese, duckes, etc, how many tymes their flesh pottes haue swelled, many hungry eies did behold to their grat longing: and what great Theeues, and theeving thear hath bene in the Comon stoare since my tyme (pp. 219-223).
The 10th of December Master Smyth went vp the Ryuer of the Chechohomynaies to trade for Corne … and hee himself [was] taken prysoner and by the meanes of his guide his lief was saued … the great Powaton … whoe sent him home to owr Towne the viijth of Ianuary (p. 227).
The 7[th] of Ianuary, our Towne was almost quite burnt, with all our apparell and prouision … Master Smyth and Master Scrivener went to discouer the Ruyver Pamaonche on the further side, whereof dwelleth the great Powaton, and to trade with him for Corne … the 9th of Marche he retorned to Iames Towne, with his Pynnasse well loaden with Corne, Wheat, beanes, and Pease, to our great Comfort and his worthi Comendacions (p. 228).
[It has been said that] I Combyned with the Spanniards to the distruccion of the Collony: That I ame an Athiest because I Carryed not a Bible, with me, and because I did forbid the preacher to preache, that I affected a Kingdome … I Confesse I haue alwayes admyred any noble vertue and prowess as well in the Spanniards as in other Nations, but naturally I haue alwayes distrusted, and disliked their neighborhoode. I sorted many bookes in my house to be sent vp to me at my goeing to Virginia, a mongst them a bible; They were sent me vp in a Trunk to London, with diuers fruite, conserues, and preserues … In my beeing at Virginia I did vnderstand my trunck was thear broken vp [in Ratcliff], much of my sweete meates eaten as his Table, and some of my bookes which I missid to be seene in his handes; and whether a mongst them my Bible was so ymbeasiled, or mislayed, by my servauntes; and not sent me I knowe not as yet … Twoe or three sundayes mnorninges the Indians gaue vs allarums at our Towne, by that tymes they wear answered, the place aboute vs well discouered [reconnoitred], and our devyne service ended, the daie was farr spent: The preacher did aske me if it weare my pleasure to haue a sermon, hee said hee was prepared for it: I made answere that our men weare weary, and hungry, and that hee did see the tyme of the daie farr past … and that if it pleased him wee would spare him, till some other tyme…As truly as god liueth I gaue an ould lman then the keeper of the private stoure, 2 glssses with sallet oyle which I brought with me out of England for my private stoare, and willed him to bury it in the ground, for that I feared the great heate would spoile it, whatsoeuer was more I did never Consent vnto, or knew of it: And as truly was it protested vnto me, that all the remaynder before mencioned of the oyle, wyne etc. which the President receyued of me, when I was deposed, theye themselues poored into their owne bellyes … of Chickins, I never did eat but one, and that in my sicknes; Master Ratcliff had before that tyme tasted of 4 or 5: I had by my owne huswiferie bred about 37 and the most part of them of my owne Poultrye, of all which at my Comyng awaye I did not see three liueing: I never denyed him (or any other) beare [beer] when I had it, the Corne was of the same which wee all liued vpon … Master Smyth in the tyme of our hungar had spred a Rumor in the Coloony that I did feast my self and my servauntes, out of the Comon stoare, with entent (as I gathered) to haue stirred the discontented Company against me, I tould him privately in Master Gosnolds Tent, that indeede I had caused half a pinte of pease to be sodden, with a peese of porke of muy owne prouision for a poore old man, which in a sicknes (whereof he died) he much desired, and said that if out of his malice he had giuen it out otherwise, that hee did tell a lye … Master Martins … I never defrauded his sonne of anything of his owne allowance … Master Archers quarrell to me was, because hee had not the choise of the place for our plantation, because I misliked his leying out of our Towne (pp. 229-232).
At your Ships arrivall, the Salvages harvest was newly gathered, and we going to buy it, our owne not being half sufficient for so great a number … From your Ship [that you sent us] we had not provision in victuals worth twenty pound, and we are more then two hundred to liue vpon this: the one half sicke, the other little better. For the Saylers (I confesse) they daily make good cheare, but our dyet is a little meale and water, and not sufficient of that. Though there be fish in the Sea, foules in the ayre, and Beasts in the woods, their bounds are so large, they so wilde, and we so weake and ignorant, we cannot much trouble them. Captaine Newport we much suspect to be the Authour of those inventions [that Virginia is a land of limitless food and opportunity]. Now that you should know … Cap[tain] Ratliffe … I haue sent you him home, least the company should cut his throat … When you send [supplies to us again] I intreat you rather send but thirty Carpenters, husbandmen, gardiners, fisher men, blacksmiths, masons, and diggers vp of trees, roots, well provided; then a thousand [sturdy hard-working men] of such as we haue; for except wee be able both to lodge them, and feed them, the most will consume with want of necessaries before they can be made good for any thing … For in over-toyling our weake and vnskilfull bodies, to satisfie this desire of present profit, we can scarce ever recover our selues from one Supply [ship] to another (pp. 243-244).
Account by Captain John Smith and Others. Dated between March 25th and late autumn, 1612. A Map of Virginia. With a Description of the Covntrey, the Commodities, People, Government and Religion. Written by Captaine Smith, Sometimes Governour of the Countrey. Wherevnto is Annexed the proceedings of those Colonies, since their first departure from England, with the discourses, orations, and relations of the Salvages, and the accidents that befell them in all their Iournies and discoveries. Taken Faithevlly as they were written out of the writings of Doctor Russell, Tho. Studley, Anas Todkill, Ieffra Abot, Richard Wiefin, Will. Phettiplace, Nathaniel Povvell, Richard Pots. And the Relations of Diverse other diligent observers there present then, and now many of them in England. Oxford: Joseph Barnes, 1612. pp. 327-464 (in)
[Virginia] is a Country in America that lyeth betweene the degrees of 34 and 44 of the north latitude … The temperature of this countrie doth agree well with English constituions being once seasoned to the country. Which appeared by this, that though by many occasions our people fell sicke; yet did they recover by very small meanes and continued in health, though there were other great causes, not only to haue made them sicke but even to end their daies, etc. … Some times there are grat droughts other timeks much raine … we see … all the variety of needfull fruits in Europe may be there in great plenty by the industry of men, as appeareth by those we there planted. There is but on entraunce by sea into this country … along the shores grat plentie of Pines and Firres (pp. 334-335).
In somer no place affordth more plentie of Sturgeon, nor in winter more agundance of fowle, especially in the time of frost … In the small rivers all the yeare there is good plentie of small fish (p. 340).
Virginia doth afford many excellent vegitables and liuing Creatures, yet grasse there is little or none, but what groweth in lowe Marishes … The wood that is most common is Oke and Walnut … The Acornes of one kind, whose barke is more white, then the other, is somewhat sweetish, which being boyled halfe a day in severall waters, at last afford a sweete oyle, which [the Indians] keep in goards to annoint their heads and ioints. The fruit [acorns] they eate made in bread or otherwise. There is also … some black walnut tree … By the dwelling of hte Savages are some great Mulbery trees, and in some parts of the Countrey, they are found growing naturally in prettie groues. There was an assay made to make silke, and surely the wormes propspered excellent well, till the master workeman fell sicke. During which time they were eaten with rats (p. 345).
In some parts were found some Chestnuts whose wild fruit equalize the best in France, Spaine, Germany, or Italy … Plumbs there are of 3 sorts. The red and white are like our hedge plumbs, but the other which they call Putchamins, grow as high as a Palmeta: the fruit is like a medler; it is first greene then yellow, and red when it is ripe; if it be not ripe it wil drawe a mans mouth awrie, with much torment, but when it is ripe, it is as delicious as an Apricock (pp. 345-346).
They haue Cherries and those are much like a Damsen, but for their tastes and colour we called them Cherries. We see some few Crabs, but very small and bitter. Of vines great abundance in manyparts that climbe the toppes of the highest trees in some places, but these beare but fewe grapes. But by the riuers and Savage habitations where they are not overshadowed from the sunne, they are covered with fruit, though never pruined nor manured. Of those hedge grapes wee made neere 20 gallons of wine, which waws neare as good as your French Brittish wine, bujt certainly they would proue good were they well manured. There is another sort of grape neere as great as a Cherry, this they call Messaminnes, they bee fatte, and the iuyce thicke. Neither dotha the taste so well please when they are made in wine. They haue a small fruit growing on little trees, husked like a Chestnut, but the fruit most like a very small acorne. This they call Chechinquamins which they esteeme a greate daintie. They haue a berry much like our gooseberry, in greatness, colour, and tast, those they call Rawcomenes, and doe eat them raw or boyled. Of these naturall fruits they liue a great part of the yeare, which they vse in this manner. The walnuts [including pecans], Chestnuts, Acornes, and Chechinquamens are dryed to keepe. When they need them they breake them between two stones, yet some part of the walnut shels will cleaue to the fruit. Then doe they dry them againe vpon a mat oue a hurdle. After they put it into a morter of wood, and beat it very small: that done they mix it with water, that the shels may sinke to the bottome. This water will be coloured as milke, which they cal Pawcohiscora, and keepe it for their vse. The fruit like medlers they call Putchamins [persimmons], they cast vppon hurdles on a mat and preserue them as Pruines. Of their Chestnuts and Chechinquamens boyled 4 houres, they make both broath and bread for their chiefe men, or [eat them] at their greatest feasts … There are also Saxafras trees (pp. 346-347).
In the watry valleys groweth a berry which they call Ocoughtanamnis very much like vnto Capers. These they dry in sommer. When they will eat them they boile them neare halfe a day; for otherwise they differ not much from poyson. Mattoume groweth as our bents do in meddows. The seede is not much vnlike to rie, though much smaller. This they vse for a dainty bread buttered with deare suet (p. 347).
During Somer there are either strawberries which ripen in April; or mulberries wich ripen in May and Iune. Raspises hurtes; or a fruit that the Inhabitants call Maracocks, which is a pleasant wholsome fruit much like a lemond. Many hearbes in the spring time there are commonly dispersed throughout the woods, good for brothes and sallets, as Violets, Purslin, Sorrell, etc. Besides many we vsed whose names we know not (p. 347).
The chiefe roote they haue for foode is called Tockawhoughe [tuckahoe], It groweth like a flagge in low muddy freshes. In one day a Savage will gather sufficient for a weeke. These rootes are much of the greatness and taste of Potatoes. They vse to couer a great many of them with oke leaues and ferne, and then couer all with earth in the manner of a colepit; over it, on each side, they continue a great fire 24 houres before they dare eat it. Raw it is no better then poison, and being roasted, except it be tender and the heat abated, or sliced and dried in the sun, mixed with sorrell and meale or such like, it will prickle and torment the throat extreamely, and yet in sommer they vse this ordinarily for bread (pp. 347-348).
They haue an other roote which they call wighsacan: as thother feedeth the body, so this curreth their hurts and diseases. It is a small root which they bruise and apply to the wound. Pocones, is a small roote that groweth in the mountaines, which being dryed and beate in powder turneth red. And this they vse for swellings, aches, annointing their ioints, painting their heads and garments … There is also Pellitory of Spaine, Sasafrage, and diuers other simples, which the Apothecaries gathered, and commended to be good and medicinable. In the low Marishes growe plots of Onyons containing an acre of ground or more in many places; but they are small not past the bigness of the Toppe of ones Thumbe (p. 348).
If beastes the chiefe are Deare, nothing differing from ours. In the deserts towards the heads of the riuers, ther are many, but amongst the riuers few. There is a beast they call Aroughcun, much like a badger, but vseth to liue on trees as Squirrels doe. Their Squirrels some are neare as greate as our smallest sort of wilde rabbits, some blackish or blacke and white, but the most are gray (p. 348).
A small beast they haue, they call Asapanik but we call them flying squirrels … An Opassom hath a head like a Swine, and a taile like a Rat, and is of the bignes of a Cat … Mussascus, is a beast of the forme and nature of our water Rats, but many of them smell exceedingly strongly of muske. Their Hares no bigger then our Conies, and few of them to be found … Their Beares are very little in comparison of those of Muscovia and Tartaria. The Beaver is as bigge as an ordinary water dogge … His taile somewhat like the forme of a Racket bare without haire, which to eate the Savages esteeme a great delicate. They haue many Otters which as the Beavers they take with snares … and of all those beasts they vse to feede when they catch them (pp. 348-349).
We could never perceiue their vermine [wild cats, foxes, dogs, wolves, etc.] destroy our hennes, Egges nor Chickens … nor their flyes nor serpents anie waie pernitious, where in the South parts of America they are alwaies dangerous and often deadly (p. 349).
Partridges there are little bigger than our Quailes, wilde Turkies are as bigge as our tame … In winter there are great plenty of … Ducke … Pigeons (p. 349).
Of fish we were best acquainted with Sturgeon, Grampus, Porpus, Seales, Stingraies, whose tailes are very dangerous. Brettes, mullets, white Salmonds, Trowts, Soles, Plaice, Herrings, Conyfish, Rockfish, Eeles, Lampreyes, Catfish, Shades, Pearch of 3 sorts, Crabs, Shrimps, Creuises, Oysters, Cocles and Muscles (p. 350).
[The Indians] divide the yeare into 5 seasons. Their winter some call Popanow, the spring Cattapeuk, the sommer Cohattayough, the earing of their Corne Nepinough, the haruest and fall of leafe Taquitock. From September vntill the midst of Nouember are the chief Feasts and sacrifice. Then haue they plenty of fruits as well planted as naturall, as corne [maize], greene and ripe, fish, fowle, and wilde beastes exceeding fat (p. 350).
They make a hole in the earth with a sticke, and into it they put 4 graines of wheate [maize], and 2 of beanes. These holes they make 4 foote one from another; Their women and children do continually keepe it with weeding, and when it is growne midle high, they hill it about like a hop-yard (p. 351).
Every stalke of their corne [maize] commonly beareth two eares, some 3, seldome any 4, many but one and some none. Every eare ordinarily hath betwixt 200 and 500 graines. The stalke being green hath a sweet iuice in it, somewhat like a suger Cane, which is the cause that when they gather their corne greene, they sucke the stalkes: for as wee gather greene pease, so doe they their corne being greene, which excelleth their old. They plant also pease they cal Assentamens, which are the same they cal in Italy, Fragioli. Their Beanes are the same the Turkes cal Garnanses, but these they much esteeme for dainties (p. 351).
Their corne they rost in the eare greene, and bruising it in a morter of wood with a Polt, it in rowles in the leaues of their corne, and so boyle it for a daintie. They also reserve [i.e. save or preserve] that corne late planted that will not ripe, by roasting it in hot ashes, the heat thereof drying it. In winter they esteeme it being boyled with beans for a rare dish, they call Pausarowmena. Their old wheat [maize] they first steep a night in hot water, in the morning pounding it in a morter (p. 351).
[Maize flour mixed with water] them make it either in cake couering them with ashes til they bee baked, and then washing them in faire water they drie presently with their owne heat: or else boyle them in water eating the broth with ther bread which they call Ponap [NOTE: the word ponap is a printers’ error for the Indian term appon or apone; the printing error became pone and survives today as ‘corn pone’]. The grouts and peeces of the cornes remaining, by fanning in a Platter or in the wind, away, the branne they boile 3 or 4 houres with water, which is an ordinary food they call Vstatahamen. But some more thrifty [of the Indians] burne the core of the eare [corn cob] to powder which they call Pungnough, mingling that in their meale, but it never tasted well in bread, nor broth (p. 352).
Their fish and flesh they boyle either very tenderly, or broyle it so long on hurdles over the fire, or else after the Spanish fashion, putting it on a spit, they turne first the one side, then the other, til it be as drie as their ierkin beefe [NOTE: jerkin or jerked beef is a term derived from Quechua in Peru ccharqui which became jerky; this is the first account of use of the term ierkin beefe in English texts] in the west Indies, that they may keepe it a month or more without putrifying. The broth of fish or flesh they eate as commonly as the meat (p. 352).
In May also amongst their corne [maize] they plant Pumpeons, and a fruit likevnto a muske millen, but lesse and worse, which they call Macocks. These increase exceedingly, and ripen in the beginning of Iuly, and continue vntil September. They plant also Maracocks a wild fruit like a lemmon, which also increase infinitely … When all their fruits be gathered, little els they plant, and this is done by their women and children; neither doth this long suffice them, for neere 3 parts of the yeare, they only obserue times and seasons, and liue of what the Country naturally affordeth from hand to mouth, etc. (pp. 352-353).
The commodities in Virginia or that may be had by industrie … Vnder that latitude or climat, here will liue any beasts, as horses, goats, sheep, asses, hens, etc. as appeared by them that were carried thether … The Bay and riuers haue much marchandable fish and places fit for Salt (p. 353).
Of the naturall Inhabitants of Virginia … They are very strong, of an able body and full of agility … We haue seen sme vse mantels made of Turky feathers … Each houshold knoweth their owne lands and gardens …. Others wear a dead Rat tied by the tail. .. Their houses are in the midst of their fields or gardens which are smal plots of ground … Neare their habitations is little small wood or old trees on the ground by reason of their burning of them for fire … To make [their children] hardy, in the coldest mornings they wash them in the riuers and by painting and ointments so tanne their skins, that after a year or two, no weather will hurt them … The men bestowe their times in fishing, huntings, wars, and such manlike exercises, scorning to be seen in any woman like exercise, which is the cause that the women be verie painefull and the men often idle. The women and children do the rest of the worke. They make mats, baskets, pots, morters, pound their corne, make their bread, prepare their victuals, plant their corne, gather their corne (pp. 354-357).
In March and Aprill they liue much vpon their fishing, weares, and feed on fish, Turkies and squirrels. In May and Iune they plant their fieldes and liue most of Acornes, walnuts, and fish. But to mend their diet, some disperse themselues in small companies and liue vpon fish, breasts, crabvs, oysters, land Torteyses, strawberries, mulberries, and such like. In Iune, Iulie, and August they feed vpon the rootes of Tochwough berries, fish and greene wheat [maize]. It is strange to see how their bodies alter with their diet, euen as the deare and wilde beastes they seeme fat and leane, strong and weake, Powhatan their great king kand some others that are provident, rost their fish and flesh vpon hurdles as before is expressed, and keepe it til scarce times [i.e. making jerky]. For fishing and hunting and warres they vse much their bow and arrowes…These they vse to shoot at squirrels on trees (p. 357).
Their fishing is much in Boats … Their hookes are either a bone grated as they nock their arrows in the forme of a crooked pinne or fishhook … They vse also long arrowes tyed in a line wherewith they shoote at fish in the rivers … They haue also many artificiall weares in which they get abundance of fish … by their continuall ranging, and travel, they know all the advantages and places most frequented with Deare, Beasts, Fish, Foule, Rootes, and Berries … Their hunting houses are like vnto Arbours couered with mats. These their women beare after them, with Corne [maize], Acornes, Morters, and all bag and baggage they vse. When they come to the place of exercise [i.e. where they plan to hunt], euery man doth his best to shew his dexteritie, for by their excelling in those quallities, they get their wiues. Forty yards will they shoot leuell, or very neare the mark, and 120 [yards] is their best at Random … Hauing found the Deare, they enuiron them with many fires [i.e. set a ring of fire around the zone where deer are located], and betwist the fires they place themselues … The Deare being thus feared by the fires and their voices [of the Indians] they chace them so long within that circle [bounded by the fire ring] that many times they kill 6,8,10, or 15 at a hunting. They vse also to driue them into some narrowe point of land … [or] force them into the riuer, where with their boats they haue Ambuscadoes [Note: this is the origin of the term ambush] to kill them (pp. 358-359).
When they haue shot a Deare by land, they follow him like blood hounds by the blood and straine and oftentimes so take them. Hares, Partridges, Turkies, or Egges, fat or leane, young or old, they devoure all they can catch in their power. In one of these huntings they found Captaine Smith [the author of this report] in the discoverie of the head of the river of Chickahamania, where they slew his men, and took him prisoner in a Bogmire, where he saw those exercises, and gathered these observations (pp. 359-360).
Every spring they make themselues sicke withg drinking the iuice of a root they call wighsacan [Local native American term for bitter], and water, whereof they powre so great a quantity, that it purgeth them in a very violent maner; so that in 3 or 4 daies after they scarce recover their former health. Sometimes they are troubled with dropsies, swellings, aches, and such like diseases; for cure whereof they build a stoue in the form of a douehouse with mats, so close that a fewe coales therein covered wityh a pot, wil make the pacient sweate extreamely. Forswellings also they vse smal peeces of touchwood, in the forme of cloues, which pricking on the griefe they burne close to the flesh, and from thence draw the corruption with their mouth. With this root wighsacan they ordinarily heal greene wounds. But to scarrifie a swelling or make incision their best instruments are some splinted stone. Old vlcers or putrified hurtes are seldome seene cured amongst them. They haue many professed Phisitions, who with their charmes and Rattels with an infernall rowt [loud noise] of words and actions will seeme to sucke their inwarde griefe from their navels or their grieved places; but of our Chirurgians they were so conceipted, that they beleeued any Plaister would heale any hurt (pp. 363-364).
[December 19th, 1606] we set saile [from England] … Wee watred at the Canaries, wee traded with the Salvages at Dominica … in Gwardalupa we found a bath so hot, as in it we boiled orck as well as over the fire. And at a little Ile called Monica, we tooke from the bushes with our hands, neare 2 hogshheads full of birds in 3 or 4 houres. In Mevis, Mona, and the Virgin Iles, we spent some time, where with a lothsome beast like a Crocadile, called a Gwayn [Iguana], Tortoses, Pellicans, Parrots, and fishes, we daily feasted … [we sailed for Virginia] … The first land they made they called Cape Henry (pp. 378-379).
Within tenne daies [after Captain Newport left Virginia and sailed for England: 10 days after June 15th, 1607] … scarse ten amongst vs coulde either goe, or well stand, such extreame weaknes and sicknes opressed vs … whilest the ships staied, our allowance was … a daily proportion of bisket which the sailers would pilfer to sell, giue or exchange with vs, for mony, saxefras, furres, or loue. but when they departed, there remained neither taverne, beere-house nor place of relief but the common kettell … our President [kept for himselrf] Otemeale, sacke, oile, aquavite, beefe egs, or what not, but the kettle [i.e. the President did not hoard from the common kettle]; that indeede he allowed equally to be distributed, and that was halfe a pinte of wheat and as much barly boyled with water for a man a day, and this having fryed some 26 weeks in the ships hold, contained as many wormes as graines; so that we might truely call it rather so much bran then corne, our drinke was water … with this … diet, our extreame toile and our continuall labour in the extremity of the heate had in bearingk and planting pallisadoes, so strained and bruised vs, so weakened vs, as were cause sufficient to haue made vs as miserable in our natiue country, or any other place in the world. From May to September, those that escaped; lived vpon Sturgion, and sea-Crabs, 50 in this time we buried. The rest seeing the Presidents proiects to escape these miseries … we deposed him; and established Ratcliffe in his place (Gosnoll being dead) Kendall deposed, Smith newly recovered, Martin and Ratliffe [sic] was by his care preserved and relieued, but now was all our provision spent, the Sturgeon gone, all helps abandoned each houre expecting the fury of the Salvages; when God the patron of all good indeavours in that desperate extreamity so changed the harts of the Salvages, that they brought such plenty of their fruits, and provision as no man wanted (pp. 384-385).
The fault of our going [to Virginia] was our owne …w e were all ignorant … we weare at sea 5 monthes where we both spent our victuall and lost the opportunity of the time, and season to plant (p. 385).
The winter approaching, the rivers became so covered with swans, geese, duckes, and cranes, that we daily feasted with good bread, Virginia pease, pumpions, and putchamins, fish, fowle, and diverse sorts of wild beasts as fat as we could eat them … [John Smith was captured while exploring the Chickahamine river] … finding he was beset with 200 Salvages, 2 of them hee slew, stil defending himselfe with the aid of a Salvage his guide, whome hee bound to his arme and vsed as his buckler [i.e. he tied his Indian guide to himself and used him as a human shield!] … they tooke him prisoner … A month those Barbarians kept him prisoner … [but he] procured his owne liberty … [and] … return[ed] safe to the Fort (pp. 387-388).
Captain Newport got in, and arived at Iames towne, not long after the redemption of Captaine Smith, to whome the Salvages every other day brought such plentie of bread, fish, turkies, squirrels, deare, and other wild beasts (p. 389).
[During winter of 1607] Now though we had victuall sufficient, I meane only of Oatemeale, meale, and corne yet the ship staying there 14 weeks when shee might as well haue been gone in 14 daies, spent the beefe, porke, oile, aquavite, fish, butter, and cheese, beere and such like; as was provided to be landed vs. When they departed, what their discretion could spare vs, to make a feast or two with bisket, porke, beefe, fish, and oile, to relish our mouthes, of each somwhat they left vs, yet I must confess those that had either mony, spare clothes, credit to giue bils of payment, gold rings, furres, or any such commodities were ever welcome to this removing taverne, such was our patience to obay such vile commanders, and buy our owne provision at 15 times the valew … For all this plentie our ordinarie [food] was but meale and water, so that this great charge little relieved our wants, whereby with the extreamity of the bitter cold aire more than halfe of vs died, and tooke our deathes, in that piercing winter I cannot deny (p. 393).
Neither better fish more plenty or variety had any of vs ever seene, in any place swimming in the water, then in the bay of Chesapeack … we spied many fishes lurkikng amongst the weedes on the sands, our captaine sporting himselfe to catch them by nailing them to the ground with his sword, set vs all a fishing in that manner, by this devis;e, we tooke more in an houre then we all could eat (p. 404).
[Searching for the Monacan people] Two townes wee discovered of the Monacans, the people neither vsing vs well nor ill, yet for our securitie wee tooke one of their pettie Werowances, and lead him bound, to conduct vs the way … Comming to the Falles, the Salvages fained there were diverse ships come into the Bay to kill them at Iames Towne. Trade they would not, and find their corn we could not, for they had hid it in the woods, and being thus deluded we arrived at Iames Towne, halfe sicke, all complaining, and tired with toile, famine, and discontent (p. 415).
The President [Captain John Smith] perceiving it was Powhatans policy to starue vs, told them he came not so much for their corne, as to revenge his imprisonment, and the death of his men murdered by them … they they sent their imbassadours, with corne, fish, fowl, or what they had to make their peace (p. 416).
All this time our old tavern … [was able to] maintaine their damnable and private trade, then to provide for the Colony things that were necessary … [the mariners reported] in England wee had such plenty and [therefore] bring vs so many men without victual … [and they stocked the fort with trade items] … to trade with the Salvages, for furres, baskets, mussaneekes, young beastes or such like commodieties, as exchange them with the sailers, for butter, cheese, biefe, porke, aquavite, beere, bisket, and oatmeal (p. 417).
Those poore conclusions … affrightened vs all with famine … [we expldored] till we discovered the river and people of Appametuck (p. 420).
[We went to see Powhatan and were told by an Indian] Captaine Smith, you shall finde Powhatan to vse you kindly, but truwst himn not, and bee sure hee haue no opportunitie to seaze on your armes, for hee hath sent for you only to cut your throats … [we] lodged at Kecoughtan 6 or 7 daies, the extreame wind, raine, frost, and snowe, caused vs to keepe Christmas amongst the Salvages, where wee were never more merrie, nor fedde on more plentie of good oysters, fish, flesh, wildfoule, and good bread, nor never had better fires in England then in the drie warme smokie houses of Kecoughtan … departing thence … 148 fowles the President [plus others] did kill at 3 shoots (p. 423).
We sent to Powhatan for provision, who sent vs plentie of bread, Turkies, and Venison. The next day hauing feasted vs after his ordinariek manner, he began to aske, when we would bee gon … Captaine Smith … began to deale with him … [and Powhatan said] … your comming is not for trade, but to invade my people and possesse my Country … Captaine Smith you may vnderstand, that I, hauing seene the death of all my people thrice, and not one living of those 3 generations, but my selfe, I knowe the difference of peace and warre, bretter then any in my Countrie … What can you get [Captain Smith] by war, when we can hide our provision and flie to the woodes, whereby you must famish by wronging vs your friends … Think you I am so simple not to knowe, it is better to eate good meate, lie well, and sleepe quietly with my women and children, laugh and be merrie with you … then bee forced to flie from al, to lie cold in the woods, feed vpon acorns roots, and such trash, and be so hunted by you, that I can neither rest, eat, nor sleepe; but my tired men must watch, and if a twig but breake, everie one crie there comes Captain Smith … Let this therefore assure you of our loues and everie yeare our friendly trade shall furnish you with corne, and now also if you would come in friendly manner to see vs, and not thuws with your gunnes and swords, as to invade your foes (pp. 424-427).
[Later] … The Salvages hearing our barge depart … were … terriblie affraide, that we sent for more men … that … the king, sent our Captain a chaine of pearle to alter his purpose … [and] 5 or 6 daies after, from al parts of the countrie within 10 or 12 miles in the extreame cold frost, and snow [the Indians] brought vs provision on their naked backes. Yet notwithstanding this kindness and trade [they attempted to poison Captain Smith and Mr. West and the others: the food] made them sicke, but [it] expelled it self [i.e. they vomited and experienced diarrhea (p. 436).
We having in this Iornie [irony — by trading with the Indians] kept 40 men 6 weeks, and dailie feasted with bread, corne, flesh, fish, and fowle, everie man having for his reward … a months provision … and we delivered at Iames Towne to the Cape-Marchant 279 bushels of corne [maize]. [NOTE: Smith realized that trade or barter with the Indians was the best means of survival. Therefore, he concluded that they must neither be exterminated nor driven away] (pp. 437-438).
When the shippes departed [after Captain Newport left Virginia], al the provision of the store … was so rotten with the last somers rain, and eaten with rats, and wormes, as the hogs would scarcely eat it, yet it was the souldiers diet, till our returnes … [President John Smith then spoke to the settlers] … he [i.e. those] that will not worke shall not eate (except by sickness he be disabled) for the labours of 30 or 40 honest and industrious men, shall not bee consumed to maintaine 150 idle varlets (pp. 440-441).
[A pistol was stolen] to regaind this pistoll, [we captured two Indians], the one we imprisone, the other was sent to return again within 12 houres, or his brother to be hanged … [Captain John Smith] pittying the poore naked Salvage in the dungeon, sent him victuall and some charcole for fire; ere midnight his brother returned with the pistoll, but the poore Salvage in the dungeon was so smothered with the smoke he had made, and so pittiously burnt, that wee found him dead, the other most lamentably bewailed his death, and broke forth in such bitter agonies, that the President (to quite him) told him that if hereafter they would not steal, he wold make him aliue againe … yet (we doing our best with aquavitae and vinegar) it pleased God to restore him againe to life, but so drunke and affrightened that he seemed lunaticke, not vnderstanding any thing he spoke or heard … The President promised to recover him nd so caused him to be laid by a fire to sleepe, who in the morning (hauing well slept) had recovered his perfect senses; and then beinhg dressed of his burning, and each a peece of copper given tmen, they went away so well contented, that this was spread amongst all the Salvages for a miracle, that Captaine Smith could make a man aliue that is dead (pp. 444-445).
The Presidents order, 30 or 40 acres of ground we digged, and planted; of 3 sowes in one yeare increased 60 and od pigges, and neere 500 chickens brought vp themselues (without hauing any meate giuen them) but the hogges were transported to hog Ile, where also we built a blocke house with a garrison … in searching our casked corne, wee found it halfe rotten, the rest so consumed with the many thousand rats … that we knewe not how to keepe that little wee had. This did driue vs all to our wits ende, for there was nothing in the countrie but what nature afforded … [a hunting party went out] for 16 daies continuance, the Countrie brought vs … 100 a daie of squirrils, Turkies, Deare, and other wild beastes; but this want of corne occasioned the end of all our works … 60 or 80 [men] with Ensigne Laxon were sent downe the river to liue vpon oysters, and 20 with leiftenant Pericie to trie for fishing at point-comfort, but in 6 weekes, they would not agree once to cast out their net. Mr.West with as many [men] went vp to the falles, but nothing could bee found but a fewe berries and acornes; of that in the store every one had their equall proportion … Wee had more Sturgeon then could be devoured by dogge and man; of which the industrious, by drying and pownding, mingled with caviare, sorrel, and other wholsome hearbs, would make bread and good meate; others would gather as much Tochwough roots in a day, as would make them bread a weeke, so that of those wilde fruites, fish and berries, these lived very well … but such was the most strange condition of some 150, that had they not beene forced nolens volens [i.e. like it or not] perforce to gather and prepare their victuall they would all haue starved, and haue eaten one another: of those wild fruites the Salvages often brought vs (pp. 445-447).
[Smith then addresses the issue of the lazy settlers not out gathering food] Since necessitie hath not power to force you to gather for your selus those fruits the earth doth yeeld, you shall not only gather foryour selues, but for those that are sicke: as yet I never had more from the store then the worst of you; and all my English extraordinarie provision that I haue, you shall see mee devide among the sick. And this Salvage trash [edible wild plants], you so scornfully repine at, being put in your mouthes your stomacks can digest it, and therefore I will take a course you shall provide it. The sicke shal not starue, but equally share of all our labours, and every one that gathereth not every day as much as I doe, the next daie shall be set beyond the river, and for ever bee banished from the fort, and liue there or starue (pp. 447-448).
[Upon hearing] this order many murmured, was very cruell, but it caused the most part so well bestir themselues, that of 200 men (except they were drowned) there died not past 7 or 8. Many were billitted [i.e. had stayed] among the Salvages, whereby we knewe all their passages, fieldes, and habitations, howe to gather and vse their fruits, as well as themselues (p. 448).
[Complaints against Smith] Now alls those, Smith had either whipped, punished, or any way disgraced, had free pwer and liberty to say or sweare any thing … [some] complained hee would not let them rest in the fort (to starue) but forced them to the oyster bankes, to liue or starue, as he liued himselfe. For though hee had of his owne private provisions sent from England, sufficient; yet hee gaue it all away to the weake and sicke, causing the most vntoward (by doing as he did) to gather their food from the vnknowne parts of the rivers and woods, that they lived … that otherwaies would haue starved, ere they would haue left their beds, or at most the sight of Iames Towne to haue got their own victuall. Some [said] hee would haue made himselfe a king, by marrying Pocahontas, Powhatans daughter. It is true she was the very nomparell of his kingdome, and at most not past 13 or 14 yeares of age. Very oft shee came to our fort, with what shee could get for Captaine Smith … but her especially he ever much respected: and she so well requited [returned respect] it, that when her father intended to haue surprized him, shee by stealth in the darke night came through the wild woods and told him of it. But her marriage could no way haue intitled him by any right to the kingdome, nor was it ever suspected hee had ever such a thought (pp. 458-459).