« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
It had been enjoined upon them, by the London company, to explore some stream running from the north-west, in hopes of finding a passage to the Pacific Ocean ; and Smith, with probably very little expectation of making such a discovery, obeyed this injunction by sailing up the Chickahominy as far as he could in boats; and then, to gratify his own fondness for adventure and research, he landed and proceeded into the interior. The party was surprised by the Indians, and all but Smith were put to death.
In this emergency, the self-possession and courage of this remarkable man preserved his life. Taking out a pocket compass, he showed it to the Indians, explained to them its wonderful properties, and amused and as. tonished them by such ideas as he was able to convey of the system of the universe. They already believed him a superior being, and granted him the permission which he desired, to send a letter to his friends at Jamestown. The effect of this letter made him a still greater object of wonder. He was conducted through their villages, and finally brought to the king, Powhatan; who, after detaining him some time, would have put him to death, if his daughter, Pocahontas, a child of twelve years old, had not rushed between him and the executioner, and begged her father to spare his life. At her intercession he was saved.
What discovery was attempted ?-What befell the party ?-How dia Smith escape?-Whither was he conducted ?-What prevented the Indians from murdering him?
The Indians now sought to attach him to themselves, and gain his assistance in destroying the colony; but he had sufficient address to induce them to abandon this hostile design, and permit his return. This event was followed by a better understanding, and a more frequent intercourse between the Indians and his countrymen.
On his return to Jamestown, Smith found but forty of the colonists alive, and a part of these were preparing to desert with the pinnace. This he prevented at the peril of his life. Soon after, Newport arrived with a supply of provisions and instruments of husbandbry, and a reinforcement of one hundred persons, composed of many gentlemen, several refiners, goldsmiths and jewellers, and a few labourers. The hopes of the colonists were revived by this seasonable relief.
Not long after their arrival, there was unfortunately discovered, in a small stream of water near Jamestown, some shining earth, which was easily mistaken for gold dust. . This was a signal for abandoning all the profitable pursuits of industry, in the search for gold. • There was no thought,' says Stith, in his history, no discourse, no hope, and no work, but to dig gold, wash gold, refine gold, and load gold.. And, notwithstanding Captain Smith's warm and judicious representations, how absurd it was to neglect other things of immediate use and necessity, to load such a drunken ship with gilded dust, yet was he overruled, and her returns were made in a parcel of glittering dirt, which is to be found in various parts of the country, and which they very sanguinely concluded to be gold dust.'
Finding himself unable to prevent this folly, Smith employed himself in surveying the Chesapeake Bay and its tributary rivers. The two voyages which he made in an open boat, for this purpose, lasted three months, and embraced a navigation of nearly three thousand miles. The map which he delineated and sent to the London company still exists, and presents correctly the great natural features of the country which he explored.
On his return, (September 10, 1608,) Smith was made president of the council, and was performing the duties of that office with his usual energy and good judgment,
What events followed ?-What was the condition of the colony on Smith's return to Jamestown ?-What did he prevent !-What relief arrived ?-What diverted the colonists from profitable industry?-How did Smith employ himself ?—What did he effect? To what office war le lected ?
SECOND CHARTER OF VIRGINIA.
when Newport returned with seventy emigrants, two of whom were females. The men were not the description of persons required in a new country; and Smith entreated the company to send him rather, but thirty carpenters, husbandmen, gardeners, fishermen, blacksmiths, masons and diggers up of trees' roots, than a thousand such as they had.'
After the departure of the ships, Smith exerted himself to bring the people into industrious habits; requiring them to work six hours in the day; but they were still so unskilful in agriculture, that the principal dependence of the colony for provisions was on the Indians." The number of deaths during the season was only seven, out of a population of two hundred.
The company in England, in order to increase their funds, their numbers, and their privileges, petitioned for a new charter, which was granted on the 23d of May, 1609. It was not more favourable to civil liberty than that which it superseded.
Lord Delaware was constituted governor and captaingeneral for life, with a retinue of officers and attendants, which would have been more suitable for a viceroy of Mexico, at a much later period of history.
Nine ships and five hundred emigrants were soon ready for departure; and the expedition was placed under the direction of Captain Newpori, who, with Sir Thomas Gates and Sir George Somers, was empowered to supersede the existing administration, and govern the colony till the arrival of Lord Delaware.
These three gentlemen embarked in the same vessel, which was parted from the rest of the fleet, and driven on Bermudas in a storm; having on board not only the appointed directors of the colony, but one hundred and fifty men, a great portion of the provisions, and the new commission and instructions of the council. The rest of the fleet arrived safely in Virginia.
The new emigrants were of so dissolute a character, that they soon introduced anarchy and distraction into the colony:
These diso.de.s trere speedily repressed by the energy What kind of smigrants now arrived ?-What is observed of their habits ?-.What is laid of the Virginia company in England ?-When did they owain a new charter ?-Who was governor ?-Who were to govern la his absence ?-How many emigrants came over ?-What befell dy deputy governors ?- Who arrived safely?--What was the charac ir of the new emigrants :—What was their behaviour ?
and decision of Captain Smith. He declared very justly that his own authority could only terminate with the arrival of the new commission; and he therefore resolved to continue its exercise. He imprisoned the most active of the seditious leaders, and, to rid Jamestown of the turbulent rabble with which it was crowded, he detached one hundred men to the falls of James river, under the command of West, and as many more to Nansemond, under that of Martin. These settlers soon incurred the hostility of the Indians, and were obliged to apply to Smith for assistance. Of course it was promptly rendered. On his return from one of his visits to the settlement at the falls, he was so severely wounded by an explosion of gunpowder, as to render it necessary for him to proceed to England for surgical aid.
At his departure, the colony consisted of about five hundred people. They possessed three ships and seven boats, commodities suitable for the Indian trade, provisions for several weeks, an abundance of domestie animals, farming utensils, and fishing nets, one hundred disciplined soldiers, and twenty-four pieces of ordnance, with small arms and ammunition.
This provision was every way adequate for support and defence, had the prudent administration of Captain Smith continued ; but with him departed the fair prospects of the colony. The licentious spirits, who had only been restrained by his energy, now rioted without controul. Captain Percy, who succeeded him, was by no means equal to the task of governing so turbulent a community; and anarchy soon prevailed.
The Indians, no longer restrained by the presence of Smith, became hostile. They attacked the settlements of West and Martin, and compelled them, after losing their boats and half their men, to take refuge in Jamestown. The provisions of the colony were exhausted; and famine ensued, with its attendant horrors and crimes. This was the most trying period in the history of the colony, and was for many years after distinguished by the name of The Starving Time.
In six months after the departure of Smith, the colony was reduce: by various distresses to sixty persons, who would soon have perished but for the arrival of Sir
How did Captain Smith repress disorders ?- What befell him ?Whither did he retire ?--In what state did he leave the colony ? - What onsned on Sinith's departure ?--What misfortunes were the conse. muence of this bad conduct ?- To what number was the cclony reduced i
ARRIVAL OF LORD DELAWARE.
Thomas Gates, Sir George Somers, and Captain New port, from Bermuda, (May 24, 1610.) All determined to abandon the country; and they accordingly embarked on board the vessels, and sailed for England. As they drew near the mouth of the river, they were met by the long-boat of Lord Delaware, who had arrived on the coast with a reinforcement of emigrants and abundant supplies of provisions. They immediately returned to Jamestown, and were prevailed on by Lord Delaware to remain.
This noblenian was well qualified for his station. His mildness, dignity, and diligent attention to business, soon restored order and inspired confidence. The colonists were regular and industrious; and the Indians were taught once more to respect the English character.
His wise administration was of short continuance. Ill health compelled him to relinquish the government; and having resigned his authority to Mr. Percy, he sailed for the West Indies. Although he left the colony in a flourish ing state, yet, on the 10th of May, 1611, when Sir Thomas Dale, the new governor, arrived with a fresh supply of men and provisions, he found it relapsing into its former state of idleness, disorder, and want. He was obliged to resort to the declaration of martial law, in order to save the settlement from utter anarchy and ruin.
In the month of August, 1611, Sir Thomas Gates, who had been appointed the successor of Sir Thomas Dale, arrrived with six ships, three hundred emigrants, and a plentiful supply of provisions. On receiving this reinforcement, which increased the numbers of the colony 10 seven hundred, detachments were again sent up the James river, and several new settlements were made.
A more important change took place in the new arrangements with respect to property. Hitherto the land had been possessed by all the colonists in common. Every inan was required to work a certain number of hours in the day, and all shared equally the produce. Now a few acres of ground were assigned to each man, as his private property, to plant as an orchard or garden for his ow! use, though some labour was still devoted to fill the
What did they resolve to do ?--How was this prevented ?-- What, was Lord Delaware's character ?-How did he govern ?--Who succeede him ?-Who superseded Percy ?- What obliged him to declare martial law)-Who succeeded Dale ?--When did Gates arrive? --What reini forcement did he bring ?-What new regulation of properiy was made'
What was its effect ?