Page images



risited Port Royal entrance, near Beaufort, and having left a colony of 26 persons at a fort which he named Carolina in honour of Charles IX, he returned to France The civil wars in that kingdom being revived, no reinforcements were sent out to the colony, and it was speed lly abandoned.

On the return of peace (1564) Coligny was enabled to send out a new expedition under Laudonniere, an able and intelligent commander, who arrived on the coast of Florida in June, began a settlement on the river May, and erected a new Fort Carolina, many leagues to the south of its predecessor. Here they had to encounter the usual hardships and privations of settlers in a new country, till December of the same year, when a part of the colonists, ander pretence of escaping from famine, obtained permission from Laudonniere to equip two vessels and sail for Mexico. But instead of doing so, they began to capture Spanish vessels. They were taken and punished, as pirates.

When the colony was nearly exhausted by the scarcity of food, relief was brought by the fleet of Sir John Hawkins, who furnished a supply of provisions, and made the offer of one of his vessels to convey the French to their own country. Just as they were preparing to embark, Ribault arrived with a reinforcement and ample supplies af every kind.

The colony had now a fair prospect of ultimate success. But it had been planted in a territory to which the Spanish had a prior claim, which, although dormant, was by no means extinct. An expedition was soon fitted out for the occupation of Florida ; and its departure from Spain was hastened by the report, that the country was already in possession of a company of settlers doubly obnoxious to the Spaniards on account of their nation and their religion. They were not only Frenchmen, but Protestants.

This expedition, commanded by Pedro Melendez, came in sight of the Florida shore in August, 1565. A few days afterwards Melendez discovered and named the harbour of St. Augustine, and learned the position of the French. Before attacking them, he landed at St. Augus tine and took possession of the continent in the name of

Where did Admiral Coligny plant a colony ?—When ?-What occa soned its failure ?-Where did Laudonniere make a settlement ?What was done by a part of the settlers ?-Who relieved the cotony ?'What did he offer to the French ?-Who threatened its extinction

When did Melendez arrive – What town did he found


the King of Spain, and laid the foundation of the town This interesting event took place on the 8th of September, 1565; more than forty years before the settlement of Jamestown in Virginia. St. Augustine can, therefore, boast a higher antiquity than the Ancient Dominion.

Meanwhile the French, having learned the arrival of the enemies, nearly all abandoned the settlement on the river May, embarked in their fleet, and were shipwrecked on the coast. The remnant were attacked and massacred by the Spaniards, who, in honour of the saint on whose festival the victory had been obtained, gave the river May che name of St. Matheo, or St. Matthew. Those French men who had survived the shipwreck of the fleet, surrendered to Melendez on a promise of safety ; but they were nearly all put to death, many of them were hung on gib bets with the inscription over their heads, Not as French men, but as Protestants. A few Catholics were saved from the massacre. After thus extirpating the French colony, the Spaniards sailed for their native country, leaving a force in possession of the settlement. As the French government took no measures

for punishing this aggression, Dominic de Gourgues, a French officer of some distinction, fitted out an expedition of three ships and one hundred and fifty men at his own cost, (1568,) for the express purpose of avenging his murdered countrymen. He surprised the forts on the river St. Matheo, and captured a considerable number of prisoners, who were forthwith hanged upon trees with the inscription over their heads, I do not this as unto Spaniards or mariners, but as unto traitors, robbers, and murderers.' He then embarked without attempting to keep possession of his conquest. His acts were disavowed by the French government, and the Spaniards continued to hold the colony.

Thus it appears, that up to the year 1568, the Spaniards were the only nation holding possessions within the territory at present belonging to the United States. It was nearly forty years after this that England began the settlement of Virginia.

What is said of it ?-How were the French colonists treated by Melen Jez?-How was this revenged ?-By whom ?





The fisheries of Newfoundland appear to have been visited frequently, if not annually, by the English as well as the French navigators, during the early part of the sixteenth century; and both nations cherished the design of founding colonies in North America. We have already shown that Nova Scotia was settled by the French in 1605, and Canada in 1608.

Previous to these settlements the English were by no means inactive in the career of western adventure. The discovery of a north-west passage to India was a favourite project with them, notwithstanding the failure of the Cabots in attempting it. An expedition for this purpose was fitted out by Martin Frobisher, under the patronage of Dudley, Earl of Warwick, in 1576. It consisted of two small barks, of twenty and twenty-five tons burden, one of which was lost on the outward passage. With the remaining vessel Frobisher pursued his voyage ; landed on the coast of Labrador, and brought away some of the mineral productions of the country. On his return one of the stones he had found was thought, by the English refiners, to contain gold. This circumstance gave a new direction to British enterprise, and gold became now the grand object of discovery. Queen Elizabeth contributed to the fitting out of a new expedition, which returned laden with what was supposed to be gold ore, but was soon discovered to be worthless earth. (1577.), A subsequent voyage was attended with a simi lar result.

The plan of colonisation was, meanwhile, revived by Sir Humphrey Gilbert, a man of intelligence and singular intrepidity, who, having obtained a charter from Queen Elizabeth, sailed from England with a small fleet in 1579, in hopes of establishing a permanent colony; but the loss

What part of North America was visited by the French and Englisb in the early part of the 16th century ?-What was the object of Froba her's expedition ?-Where did he land ?-What did he bring away ?What occasioned a new expedition ?- What was the result ?-Wha yas the result of the third expedition ?-When did Gilbert's first expe lition take place?



of one of his ships and other disasters compelled him to return. A new squadron was fitted out by the joint exertions of Gilbert and his step-brother, Walter Raleigh, in 1583. Nothing of importance was accomplished by this expedition. On the passage home, the small vessel in which the unfortunate Gilbert sailed was foundered. Her companion reached England in safety.

Not disheartened by the sad fate of his step-brother, Raleigh determined to found a colony farther to the south For this purpose, having obtained a patent from the queen, he despatched two vessels under the command of Amidas and Barlow, who arrived on the shores of Carolina in July, 1584, and after sailing along the coast for a distance of one hundred miles, landed on the island Wococken, the southernmost of the islands forming Ocracock inlet They were delighted with the rich and verdant appearance of the country, and the mild and gentle manners of the natives; and having explored Albemarle and Pamlico sounds and Roanoke island, and induced two of the na tives to accompany them, they returned to England.

The accounts, which they gave of the beauty and tertility of the country, were so flattering, that Queen Elizabeth considered it an important addition to her do minions, and gave it the name of Virginia, in reference to her own unmarried state. Raleigh, who had now received the honour of knighthood, soon fitted out a new expedition of seven vessels, carrying one hundred and eight settlers under the direction of Ralph Lane, who was appointed governor of the colony. Sir Richard Grenville, Hariot, Cavendish, and other distinguished men accompanied him. Arriving on the coast, the fleet was in some danger of shipwreck near a headland, to which they gave the name of Cape Fear. It escaped, however, and arrived at Roanoke. . After landing, the men of science, attached to the expedition, made an excursion, to examine the country; and in revenge for some petty theft, Sir Richard Grenville ordered an Indian town to be burnt. Hle soon after sailed for England, leaving Lane and his company behind. Hariot, who was an accurate observer of nature, paid considerable attention to the native produc

What was the result ?- What was accomplished by Gilbert anu Raleigh's expedition ?-What was Gilbert's fate ?-Who were sent ou gy Raleigt in 1584 ?-Where did they land ?-What followed ?-What name did the queen give the country ?--Who commanded the next expedition ?-What distinguished persons ni companiei it?- Who was eit in cominand of the colony ?



sions of the soil. Among these were tobacco, maize or Ind an corn, and potatoes, which, till then unknown to th,'English, have since become important sources of subsistence and wealth in every part of the country.

The Indians were at first considered by no means for m.dable to the colonists. Their weapons were bows and arrows, and wooden swords. They were divided into numerous small tribes, independent of each other. The largest of these tribes could scarcely muster a thousard warriors. Their terror at the effects of the English fire arms was only equalled by the superstitious reverence which they professed for beings who were so much their superiors in knowledge and arts.

Their fears, however, did not restrain them from attempts to destroy the intruders, as soon as they began to suspect them of a design to supplant themselves in the possession of the soil. They formed a conspiracy to massacre the English, and even thought of abandoning their fields in order to drive them away by famine. When the situation of the colony had become critical, and the people were beginning to despond, Sir Francis Drake, with a fleet of twenty-three vessels, on his way from the West Indies to England, paid them a visit; and the whole colony abandoned the soil, and returned to their native country. (1586.)

A few days afterwards, a ship, which had been sent out by Raleigh, arrived with supplies for the colony, and soon after, Sir Richard Grenville, with three more ships, sought in vain for those whom he had so recently left full of hope and resolution, to hold permanent possession of the land. He left fifteen men on the island of Roanoke, who were afterwards ascertained to have been murdered by the Indians.

Next year (1587) Raleigh sent out a colony of emigrants with their wives and families, hoping thus to ensure

heir permanent residence. They were directed to settle on Chesapeake Bay, but the governor, White, was compelled by the commander of the fleet to remain on Roanoke. The emigrants met with the usual hardships, and marty of them only remained till the close of the summer. During their stay Virginia Dare, the grand-daughter of

What important productions of the soil were discovered ?-What is said of the Indians ?-What did they attempt ?-What caused the aban. donment of the colony ?--When ?-Who arrived soon after wards ?What besell the colonists left by him ?-How did Raleigh endeavou to render the next colony permanent ?-Did he succeed ?

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »