An account of the particularities of the imployments of the English men left in Virginia by Richard Greeneuill vnder the charge of Master Ralph Lane Generall of the same, from the 17. of August 1585. vntil the 18. of Iune 1586. at which time they departed the Countrey; sent and directed to Sir Walter Ralegh.
2 parts of this discourse. That I may proceede with order in this discourse, I thinke it requisite to diuide it into two parts. The first shall declare the particularities of such partes of the Countrey within the maine, as our weake number, and supply of things necessarie did inable vs to enter into the discouery of.
The second part shall set downe the reasons generally mouing vs to resolue on our departure at the instant with the Generall Sir Francis Drake, and our common request for passage with him, when the barkes, pinnesses, and boates with the Masters and Mariners meant by him to bee left in the Countrey, for the supply of such, as for a further time meant to haue stayed there, were caryed away with tempest and foule weather: In the beginning whereof shall bee declared the conspiracie of Pemisapan, with the Sauages of the maine to have cut vs off, &c.
The first part declaring the particularities of the Countrey of Virginia.
First therefore touching the particularities of the Countrey, you shall vnderstand that our discouerie of the same hath beene extended from the Island of Roanoak, (the same hauing bene the place of our settlement or habitation) into the South, into the North, into the Northwest, and into the West.
The vttermost place to the Southward of any discouery was Secotan, being by estimation fourescore miles distant from Roanoak. The passage from thence was through a broad sound within the mayne, the same being without kenning of lande, and yet full of flats and shoalds:1 we had but one boate with four oares to passe through the same, which boate could not carry aboue fifteene men with their furniture, baggage, and victuall for seuen dayes at the most: and as for our pinesse, besides that she drew too deep water for that shallow sound, she would not stirre for an oare: for these and other reasons (winter also being at hand) we thought good wholly to leeue the discouery of those parts vntill our stronger supply.
To the Northward our furthest discouery was to the Chesepians2 distant from Roanoak about 130. miles, the passage to it was very shallow and most dangerous, by reason of the bredth of the sound, and the little succour that vpon any flawe was there to be had.
The excellencie of the seat of Chesepioock. But the Territorie and soyle of the Chesepians (being distant fifteene miles from the shore) was for pleasantnes of seat, for temperature of Climate, for fertilitie of soyle and for the commoditie of the Sea, besides multitude of Beares (being an excellent good victuall) with great woods of Sassafras, and Wallnut trees, is not to be excelled by any other whatsoeuer.
There be sundry Kings, whom they call Weroances, and Countreys of great fertility adioyning to the same, as the Mandoages, Tripanicks, and Opossians, which all came to visite the Colonie of the English, which I had for a time appointed to be resident there.
To the Northwest the farthest place of our discouery was to Chawanook distant from Roanoak about 130. miles. Our passage thither lyeth through a broad sound,3 but all fresh water, and the chanell of a great depth, nauigable for good shipping, but out of the chanell full of shoalds.
The Townes about the waters side situated by the way are these following: Passaquenoke, The womans Towne, Chepanoc, Weapomeiok, Muscamunge, and Metackwem: all these being vnder the iurisdiction of the king of Weopomeiok, called Okisco: From Muscamunge we enter into the Riuer,4 and iurisdiction of Chawanook: There the Riuer beginneth to straighten vntil it come to Chawanook, and then groweth to be as narrow as the Thames betweene Westminster and Lambeth.
Betwene Muscamunge and Chawanook vpon the left hand as wee passe thither, is a goodly high land, and there is a Towne which we called The blinde Towne, but the Sauages called it Ohanoak, and hath a very goodly corne field belonging vnto it: it is subiect to Chawanook.
The towne of Chawanook able to make 700. men of warre. Chawanook it selfe is the greatest Prouince and Seigniorie lying vpon that Riuer, and that the Towne it selfe is able to put 700. fighting men into the fielde, besides the force of the Prouince it selfe.
The king of the sayd Prouince is called Menatonon, a man impotent in his lims, but otherwise for a Sauage, a very graue and wise man, and of a very singular good discourse in matters concerning the state, not onely of his owne Countrey, and the disposition of his owne men, but also of his neighbours round about him as well farre as neere, and of the commodities that eache Countrey yeeldeth. When I had him prisoner with me, for two dayes that we were together, he gaue mee more vnderstanding and light of the Countrey then I had receiued by all the searches and Sauages that before I or any of my companie had had conference with: it was in March last past 1586. Amongst other things he tolde me, that going three dayes iourney in a Canoe vp his Riuer of Chawanook, and then descending to the land, you are within foure dayes iourney to passe ouer land Northeast to a certaine kings countrey, whose Prouince lyeth vpon the Sea, but his place of greatest strength is an Island situate, as he described vnto mee, in a Bay, the water round about the Island very deepe.
Pearles in exceeding quantitie. Out of this Bay hee signified vnto mee, that this King had so greate quantitie of Pearle, and doeth so ordinarily take the same, as that not onely his owne skinnes that hee weareth, and the better sort of his gentlemen and followers are full set with the sayd Pearle, but also his beds, and houses are garnished with them, and that hee hath such quantitie of them, that it is a wonder to see.
He shewed me that the sayd King was with him at Chawanook two yeeres before, and brought him certaine Pearle, but the same of the worst sort, yet was he faine to buy them of him for copper at a deere rate, as he thought. Hee gaue mee a rope of the same pearle, but they were blacke, and naught, yet many of them were very great, and a few amongst a number very orient and round, all which I lost with other things of mine, comming aboord Sir Francis Drake his Fleete; yet he tolde me that the sayd King had great store of Pearle that were white, great, and round, and that his blacke Pearle his men did take out of shallow water, but the white Pearle his men fished for in very deepe water.
It seemed to me by his speach, that the sayd King had traffique with white men that had clothes as we haue, for these white Pearle, and that was the reason that hee would not depart with other then with blacke Pearles, to those of the same countrey.
The king of Chawanook promised to giue me guids to go ouer land into that kings countrey whensoeuer I would: but he aduised me to take good store of men with me, and good store of victuall, for he said, that king would be loth to suffer any strangers to enter into his Countrey, and especially to meddle with the fishing for any Pearle there, and that hee was able to make a great many of men in to the field, which be sayd would fight very well.
An enterprise of speciall importance. Hereupon I resumed with my selfe, that if your supplie had come before the ende of Aprill, and that you had sent any store of boates or men, to haue had them made in any reasonable time, with a sufficient number of men and victuals to haue found vs vntill the newe corne were come in, I would haue sent a small barke with two pinnesses about by Sea to the Northward to haue found out the Bay he spake of, and to haue sounded the barre if there were any, which should haue ridden there in the sayd Bay about that Iland, while I with all the small boates I could make, and with two hundred men would haue gone vp to the head of the riuer of Chawanook with the guids that Menatonon would haue giuen me, which I would haue bene assured should haue beene of his best men, (for I had his best beloued sonne prisoner with me) who also should haue kept me companie in an handlocke with the rest, foote by foote, all the voyage ouer land.
My meaning was further at the head of the Riuer in the place of my descent where I would haue left my boates, to haue raised a sconse with a small trench, and a pallisado vpon the top of it, in the which, and in the guard of my boates I would haue left fiue and twentie, or thirtie men, with the rest would I have marched with as much victuall as euery man could haue caried, with their furniture, mattocks, spades and axes, two dayes iourney. In the ende of my march vpon some conuenient plot would I haue raised another sconse according to the former, where I would haue left fiftene or twentie. And if it would haue fallen out conueniently, in the way I would haue raised my saide sconse vpon some Corne fielde, that my company might haue liued vpon it.
Whither M. Ralfe Lane meant to remoue. And so I would haue holden this course of insconsing euery two dayes march, vntill I had bene arriued at the Bay or Port hee spake of: which finding to bee worth the possession, I would there haue raised a maine fort, both for the defence of the harborough, and our shipping also, and would haue reduced our whole habitation from Roanoak and from the harborough and port there (which by proofe is very naught) vnto this other before mentioned, from whence, in the foure dayes march before specified, could I at al times return with my company back vnto my boates riding vnder my sconse, very neere whereunto directly from the West runneth a most notable Riuer, and in all those parts most famous, called the Riuer of Moratoc.5 This Riuer openeth into the broad Sound of Weapomeiok.(94) And whereas the Riuer of Chawanook, and all the other Sounds, and Bayes, salt and fresh, shewe no current in the world in calme weather, but are mooued altogether with the winde: This Riuer of Moratoc hath so violent a current from the West and Southwest, that it made me almost of opinion that with oares it would scarse be nauigable: it passeth with many creekes and turnings, and for the space of thirtie miles rowing, and more, it is as broad as the Thames betwixt Green-wich and the Isle of dogges, in some places more, and in some lesse: the current runneth as strong, being entred so high into the Riuer, as at London bridge vpon a vale water.
And for that not onely Menatonon, but also the Sauages of Moratoc themselues doe report strange things of the head of that Riuer, it is thirtie dayes as some of them say, and some say fourtie dayes voyage to the head thereof, which head they say springeth out of a maine rocke in that abundance, that forthwith it maketh a most violent streame: and further, that this huge rock standeth so neere vnto a Sea, that many times in stormes (the winde comming outwardly from the sea) the waues thereof are beaten into the said fresh streame, so that the fresh water for a certaine space, groweth salt and brackish: I tooke a resolution with my selfe, hauing dismissed Menatonon vpon a ransome agreed for, and sent his sonne into the Pinnesse to Roanoak, to enter presently so farre into that Riuer with two double whirries, and fourtie persons one or other, as I could haue victuall to cary vs, vntil we could meete with more either of the Moraroks, or of the Mangoaks, which is another kinde of Sauages, dwelling more to the Westward of the said Riuer: but the hope of recovering more victuall from the Sauages made mee and my company as narrowly to escape starving in that discouerie before our returne, as euer men did, that missed the same.
Wingina changeth his name. Conspiracie of the Sauages against the English. For Pemisapan, who had changed his name of Wingina vpon the death of his brother Granganimo, had giuen both the Choanists, and Mangoaks worde of my purpose towarde them, I hauing bene inforced to make him priuie to the same, to bee serued by him of a guide to the Mangoaks, and yet hee did neuer rest to solicite continually my going vpon them, certifying mee of a generall assembly euen at that time made by Menatonon at Chawanook of all his Weroances, and allies to the number of three thousand bowes, preparing to come vpon vs at Roanoak, and that the Mangoaks also were ioyned in the same confederacie, who were able of themselues to bring as many more to the enterprise: And true it was that at that time the assembly was holden at Chawanook about vs, as I found at my comming thither, which being vnlooked for did so dismay them, as it made vs haue the better hand at them. But this confederacie against vs of the Choanists and Mangoaks was altogether and wholly procured by Pemisapan himselfe, as Menatonon confessed vnto me, who sent them continual word, that our purpose was fully bent to destroy them: on the other side he told me, that they had the like meaning towards vs.
Hee in like sort having sent worde to the Mangoaks of mine intention to passe vp into their Riuer, and to kill them (as he saide) both they and the Moratoks, with whom before wee were entred into a league, and they had euer dealt kindly with vs, abandoned their Townes along the Riuer, and retired themselues with their CreneposTheir women., and their Corne within the maine: insomuch as hauing passed three dayes voyage vp the River, wee could not meete a man, nor finde a graine of Corne in any of their Townes: whereupon considering with my selfe that wee had but two dayes victuall left, and that wee were then 160. miles from home, besides casualtie of contrarie windes or stormes, and suspecting treason of our owne Sauages in the discouerie of our voyage intended, though wee had no intention to bee hurtfull to any of them, otherwise then for our copper to haue had corne of them: I at night vpon the Corps of guard, before the putting foorth of Centinels, aduertised the whole company of the case wee stoode in for victuall, and of mine opinion that we were betrayed by our owne Sauages, and of purpose drawen foorth by them vpon vaine hope to be in the ende starued, seeing all the Countrey fled betore vs, and therefore while wee had those two dayes victual left, I thought it good for vs to make our returne homeward, and that it were necessary for vs to get the other side of the Sound of Weopomeiok in time, where wee might be relieued vpon the weares of Chypanum, and the womens Towne, although the people were fled.
Thus much I signified vnto them, as the safest way: neuerthelesse I did referre it to the greatest number of voyces, whether wee should aduenture the spending of our whole victuall in some further viewe of that most goodly Riuer in hope to meete with some better happe, or otherwise to retire our selues backe againe. And for that they might be the better advised, I willed them to deliberate all night vpon the matter, and in the morning at our going aborde to set our course according to the desires of the greatest part. Their resolution fully and wholy was (and not three founde to bee of the contrary opinion) that whiles there was lefte but one halfe pinte of Corne for a man, wee should not leaue the search of that Riuer, and that there were in the companie two Mastiues vpon the pottage of which, with Sassafras leaues (if the worst fell out) the company would make shift to liue two dayes, which time would bring them downe the current to the mouth of the Riuer, and to the entrie of the Sound, and in two dayes more at the farthest they hoped to crosse the Sound and to bee relieued by the weares, which two dayes they would fast rather then be drawen backe a foote till they had seene the Mangoaks, either as friendes or foes. This resolution of theirs did not a little please mee, since it came of themselues, although for mistrust of that which afterwards did happen, I pretended to haue bene rather of the contrary opinion.
And that which made me most desirous to haue some doings with the Mangoaks either in friendship or otherwise to haue had one or two of them prisoners, was, for that it is a thing most notorious to all the countrey, that there is a Prouince to the which the said Mangoaks haue recourse and trafique vp that A marueilous Mineral in the countrey of Caunis Temoatan. Riuer of Moratoc, which hath a marueilous and most strange Minerall. This Mine is so notorious amongst them, as not onely to the Sauages dwelling vp the said riuer, and also to the Sauages of Chawanook, and all them to the Westward, but also to all them of the maine: the Countreis name is of fame, and is called Chaunis Temoatan.
The Minerall they say is Wassador, which is copper, but they call by the name of Wassador euery mettall whatsoeuer: they say it is of the colour of our copper, but our copper is better then theirs: and the reason is for that it is redder and harder, whereas that of Chaunis Temoatan is very soft, and pale: they say that they take the saide mettall out of a riuer that falleth very swift from the rockes and hils, and they take it in shallow water: the maner is this. They take a great bowle by their description as great as one of our targets, and wrappe a skinne ouer the hollow parte thereof, leauing one part open to receiue in the minerall: that done, they watch the comming downe of the current, and the change of the colour of the water, and then suddenly chop downe the said bowle with the skinne, and receiue into the same as much oare as will come in, which is euer as much as their bowle will holde, which presently they cast into a fire, and foorthwith it melteth, and doeth yeeld in fiue parts at the first melting, two parts of mettall for three partes of oare. Of this mettall the Mangoaks haue so great store, by report of all the Sauages adioyning, that they beautify their houses with greate plates of the same: and this to be true, I receiued by report of all the countrey, and particularly by yong Skiko, the King of Chawanooks sonne of my prisoner, who also him selfe had bene prisoner with the Mangoaks, and set downe all the particularities to me before mentioned: but he had not bene at Chaunis Temoatan himselfe: for hee said it was twentie dayes iourney ouerland from the Mangoaks, to the said Minerall Countrey, and that they passed through certaine other territories betweene them and the Mangoaks, before they came to the said Countrey.
Vpon report of the premisses, which I was very inquisitive in all places where I came to take very particular information of by all the Sauages that dwelt towardes these parts, and especially of Menatonon himselfe, who in euery thing did very particularly informe mee, and promised me guides of his owne men, who should passe ouer with me, euen to the said Country of Chaunis Temoatan (for ouerland from Chawanook to the Mangoaks is but one dayes iourney from Sunne rising to Sunne setting, whereas by water it is seuen dayes with the soonest): These things, I say, made me very desirous by all meanes possible to recouer the Mangoaks, and to get some of that their copper for an assay, and therefore I willingly yeelded to their resolution: But it fell out very contrary to all expectation, and likelyhood: for after two dayes trauell, and our whole victuall spent, lying on shoare all night, wee could neuer see man, onely fires we might perceiue made alongst the shoare where we were to passe, and vp into the Country, vntill the very last day. In the euening whereof, about three of the clocke wee heard certaine Sauages call as we thought, Manteo, who was also at that time with me in the boat, whereof we all being very glad, hoping of some friendly conference with them, and making him to answere them, they presently began a song, as we thought, in token of our welcome to them: but Manteo presently betooke him to his piece, and tolde mee that they meant to fight with vs: which word was not so soon spoken by him, and the light horseman ready to put to shoare, but there lighted a vollie of their arrowes amongst them in the boat, but did no hurt (God be thanked) to any man. Immediatly, the other boate lying ready with their shot to skoure the place for our hand weapons to lande vpon, which was presently done, although the land was very high and steepe, the Sauages forthwith quitted the shoare, and betooke themselues to flight: wee landed, and hauing faire and easily followed for a smal time after them, who had wooded themselues we know not where: the Sunne drawing then towards the setting, and being then assured that the next day if wee would pursue them, though we might happen to meete with them, yet wee should be assured to meete with none of their victuall, which we then had good cause to thinke of: therefore choosing for the company a conuenient ground in safetie to lodge in for the night, making a strong Corps of guard, and putting out good Centinels, I determined the next morning before the rising of the Sunne to be going back againe, if possibly we might recouer the mouth of the riuer, into the broad sound, which at my firste motion I found my whole company ready to assent vnto: for they were nowe come to their Dogges porredge, that they had bespoken for themselues if that befell them which did, and I before did mistrust we should hardly escape. The ende was, we came the next day by night to the Riuers mouth within foure or fiue miles of the same, hauing rowed in one day downe the current, much as in foure dayes wee had done against the same: we lodged vpon an Iland, where wee had nothing in the world to eate but pottage of Sassafras leaues, the like whereof for a meate was neuer used before as I thinke. The broad sound wee had to passe the next day all fresh and fasting: that day the winde blew so strongly, and the billow so great, that there was no possibilitie of passage without sinking of our boates. This was vpon Easter eue, which was fasted very truely. Vpon Easter day in the morning the winde comming very calme, we entred the sound, and by foure of the clocke we were at Chipanum, whence all the Sauages that we had left there were left, but their weares did yeeld vs some fish, as God was pleased not vtterly to suffer vs to be lost: for some of our company of the light horsemen were farre spent. The next morning wee arriued at our home Roanoak.
I haue set downe this Voyage somewhat particularly, to the ende it may appeare vnto you, (as true it is) that there wanted no great good will from the most to the least amongst vs, to haue perfited this discouerie of the Mine: for that the discouery of a good Mine, by the goodnesse of God, or a passage to the South-sea, or some way to it, and nothing els can bring this Countrey in request to be inhabited by our nation. And with the discouery of either of the two aboue shewed, it will bee the most sweet and healthfullest climate, and therewithall the most fertile soyle (being manured) in the world: and then will Sassafras, and many other rootes and gummes there found make good marchandise and lading for shipping, which otherwise of themselues will not be worth fetching.
Prouided also, that there be found out a better harborough then yet there is, which must be to the Northward, if any there bee, which was mine intention to haue spent this Summer in the search of, and of the Mine of Chawnis Temoatan: the one I would haue done, if the barkes that I should haue had of Sir Francis Drake, by his honourable courtesie, had not bene driuen away by storme: the other if your supply of more men, and some other necessaries had come to vs in any conuenient sufficiencie. For this riuer of Moratico promiseth great things, and by the opinion of M. Hariots the head of it by the description of the Countrey, either riseth from the Bay of Mexico, or els from very neere vnto the same, that openeth out into the South sea.
And touching the Minerall, thus doeth M. Youghan affirme, that though it be but copper, seeing the Sauages are able to melt it, it is one of the richest Minerals in the world.
Wherefore a good harborough found to the Northward, as before is saide, and from thence foure dayes ouerland, to the Riuer of Choannak sconses being raised, from whence againe ouerland through the prouince of Choanoak one dayes voyage to the first towne of the Mangoaks vp the riuer of Moratico by the way, as also vpon the said Riuer for the defence of our boats like sconses being set, in this course of proceeding you shall cleare your selfe from al those dangers and broad shallow sounds before mentioned, and gaine within foure dayes trauell into the heart of the maine 200. miles at the least, and so passe your discouery into that most notable countrey, and to the likeliest parts of the maine, with farre greater felicitie then otherwise can bee performed.
Thus Sir, I haue though simply, yet truely set downe vnto you, what my labour with the rest of the gentlemen, and poore men of our company (not without both paine and perill, which the Lord in his mercy many wayes deliuered vs from) could yeeld vnto you, which might haue bene performed in some more perfection, if the Lord had bene pleased that onely that which you had prouided for vs had at the first bene left with vs, or that hee had not in his eternall providence now at the last set some other course in these things, than the wisedome of man coulde looke into, which truely the carying away by a most strange and vnlooked for storme of all our prouision, with Barks, Master, Mariners, and sundry also of mine owne company, al hauing bene so courteously supplied by the generall Sir Francis Drake, the same hauing bene most sufficient to haue performed the greatest part of the premisses, must euer make me to thinke the hand of God onely (for some his good purpose to my selfe yet vnknowen) to haue bene in the matter.
The second part touching the conspiracie of Pemisapan, the discouery of the same, and at the last, of our request to depart with Sir Francis Drake for England.
Ensenore a Sauage father to Pemisapan being the onely friend to our nation that we had amongest them, and about the King, died the 20. of April 1586. He alone had before opposed himselfe in their consultations against all matters proposed against vs, which both the King and all the rest of them after Grangemoes death, were very willing to haue preferred. And he was not onely by the meere prouidence of God during his life, a meane to saue vs from hurt, as poysonings and such like, but also to doe vs very great good, and singularly in this.
The King was advised and of himselfe disposed, as a ready meane to haue assuredly brought vs to ruine in the moneth of March 1586. himselfe also with all his Sauages to haue runne away from vs, and to haue left his ground in the Iland vnsowed: which if hee had done, there had bene no possibilitie in common reason, (but by the immediate hande of God) that wee could haue bene preserued from staruing out of hande. This skill of making weares would be learned. For at that time wee had no weares for fish, neither coulde our men skill of the making of them, neither had wee one graine of Corne for seede to put into the ground.
In mine absence on my voyage that I had made against the Chaonists, and Mangoaks, they had raised a brute among themselues, that I and my company were part slaine, and part starued by the Chaonists, and Mangoaks. One part of this tale was too true, that I and mine were like to be starued, but the other false.
Neuerthelesse vntill my returne it tooke such effect in Pemisapans breast, and in those against vs, that they grew not onely into contempt of vs, but also (contrary to their former reuerend opinion in shew, of the Almightie God of heauen, and Iesus Christ whom wee serue and worship, whom before they would acknowledge and confesse the onely God) now they began to blaspheme, and flatly to say, that our Lorde God was not God, since hee suffered vs to sustaine much hunger, and also to be killed of the Renapoaks, for so they call by that generall name all the inhabitants of the whole maine, of what prouince soeuer. Insomuch as olde Ensenore, neither any of his fellowes, could for his sake haue no more credite for vs: and it came so farre that the king was resolued to haue presently gone away as is aforesaid.
But euen in the beginning of this bruite I returned, which when hee sawe contrary to his expectation, and the aduertisement that hee had receiued: that not onely my selfe, and my company were all safe, but also by report of his owne 3. Sauages which had bene with mee besides Manteo in that voyage, that is to say, Tetepano, his sisters husband Eracano, and Cossine, that the Chanoists and Mangoaks (whose name and multitude besides their valour is terrible to all the rest of the prouinces) durst not for the most part of them abide vs, and that those that did abide vs were killed, and that we had taken Menatonon prisoner, and brought his sonne that he best loued to Roanoak with mee, it did not a little asswage all deuises against vs: on the other side, it made Ensenores opinions to be receiued againe with greater respects. For he had often before tolde them, and then renewed those his former speeches, both to the King and the rest, that wee were the seruants of God, and that wee were not subiect to bee destroyed by them: but contrariwise, that they amongst them that sought our destruction, shoulde finde their owne, and not bee able to worke ours, and that we being dead men were able to doe them more hurt, then now we could do being aliue: an opinion very confidently at this day holden by the wisest amongst them, and of their old men, as also, that they haue bene in the night, being 100. miles from any of vs, in the aire shot at, and stroken by some men of ours, that by sicknesse had died among them: and many of them holde opinion, that we be dead men returned into the world againe, and that wee doe not remaine dead but for a certaine time, and that then we returne againe.
All these speeches then againe grewe in ful credite with them, the King, and all, touching vs, when hee sawe the small troupe returned againe, and in that sort from those whose very names were terrible vnto them: But that which made vp the matter on our side for that time was an accident, yea rather (as all the rest was) the good prouidence of the Almightie for the sauing of vs, which was this.
Within certaine dayes after my returne from the sayd iourney, Menatonon sent a messenger to visite his sonne the prisoner with me, and sent me certaine pearle for a present, or rather, as Pemisapan tolde mee, for the ransome of his sonne, and therefore I refused them: but the greatest cause of his sending then, was to signifie vnto mee, that hee had commaunded Okisko King of Weopomiok, to yeelde himselfe seruant, and homager, to the great Weroanza of England, and after her to Sir Walter Raleigh: to perfourme which commandement receiued from Menatonon, the sayde Okiosko ioyntly with this Menatonons messenger sent foure and twentie of his principallest men to Roanoak to Pemisapan, to signifie that they were ready to perfourme the same, and so had sent those his men to let mee knowe that from that time forwarde, hee, and his successours were to acknowledge her Maiestie their onely Soueraigne, and next vnto her, as is aforesayd.
All which being done, and acknowledged by them all, in the presence of Pemisapan his father, and all his Sauages in counsell then with him, it did for the time thorowly (as it seemed) change him in disposition toward vs: Insomuch as forthwith Ensenore wanne this resolution of him, that out of hand he should goe about, and withall, to cause his men to set vp weares foorthwith for vs: both which he at that present went in hande withall, and did so labour the expedition of it, that in the end of April he had sowed a good quantitie of ground, so much as had bene sufficient, to haue fed our whole company (God blessing the grouth) and that by the belly, for a whole yere: besides that he gaue vs a certaine plot of ground for our selues to sowe. The beginning of their haruest in Iuly. All which put vs in marueilous comfort, if we could passe from Aprill vntill the beginning of Iuly, (which was to haue bene the beginning of their haruest,) that then a newe supply out of England or else our owne store would well ynough maintaine vs: All our feare was of the two moneths betwixt, in which meane space if the Sauages should not helpe vs with Chassaui, and Chyna, and that our weares should faile vs, (as often they did) we might very well starue, notwithstanding the growing corne, like the staruing horse in the stable, with the growing grasse, as the prouerbe is: which wee very hardly had escaped, but onely by the hand of God, as it pleased him to try vs. For within few dayes after, as before is saide, Ensenore our friend died, who was no sooner dead, but certaine of our great enemies about Pemisapan, as Osacan a Weroance, Tanaquiny and Wanchese most principally, were in hand againe to put their old practises in vse against vs, which were readily imbraced, and all their former deuises against vs, reneued, and new brought in question. But that of staruing vs, by their forbearing to sow, was broken by Ensenore in his life, by hauing made the King all at one instant to sow his ground, not onely in the Iland, but also at Dasamonquepeio in the maine, within two leagues ouer against vs. Neuenhelesse there wanted no store of mischieuous practises among them, and of all they resolued principally of this following.
The conspiracie of Pemisapan. First that Okisko king of Weopomeiok with the Mandoage should bee mooued, and with great quantitie of copper intertained to the number of 7. or 8. hundreth bowes, to enterprise the matter thus to be ordered. They of Weopomeiok should be inuited to a certaine kind of moneths minde which they doe vse to solemnise in their Sauage maner for any great personage dead, and should haue bene for Ensenore. At this instant also should the Mandoaks, who were a great people, with the Chesepians and their friends to the number of 700. of them, be armed at a day appointed to the maine of Dasamonquepeio, and there lying close at the signe of fires, which should interchangeably be made on both sides, when Pemisapan with his troupe aboue named should haue executed me, and some of our Weroances (as they called all our principall officers,) the maine forces of the rest should haue come ouer into the Island, where they went to haue dispatched the rest of the company, whom they did imagine to finde both dismayed and dispersed abroad in the Island, seeking of crabs and fish to liue withall. The maner of their enterprise was this.
Tarraquine and Andacon two principall men about Pemisapan, and very lustie fellowes, with twentie more appointed to them had the charge of my person to see an order taken for the same, which they ment should in this sort haue bene executed. The forme of the treason. In the dead time of the night they would haue beset my house, and put fire in the reedes that the same was couered with: meaning (as it was likely) that my selfe would haue come running out of a sudden amazed in my shirt without armes, vpon the instant whereof they would haue knocked out my braines.
The same order was giuen to certaine of his fellowes, for M. Heriots: so for all the rest of our better sort, all our houses at one instant being set on fire as afore is saide, and that as well for them of the fort, as for vs at the towne. The sufficiencie of our men to deal against the Sauages. 10 to an hundred. Now to the ende that we might be the fewer in number together, and so bee the more easily dealt withall (for in deed tenne of vs with our armes prepared, were a terrour to a hundred of the best sort of them,) they agreed and did immediatly put it in practise, that they should not for any copper sell vs any victuals whatsoeuer: besides that in the night they should sende to haue our weares robbed, and also to cause them to bee broken, and once being broken neuer to bee repaired againe by them. By this meanes the King stood assured, that I must bee enforced for lacke of sustenance there, to disband my company into sundry places to liue vpon shell fish, for so the Sauages themselues doe, going to Hatorask, Croatoan, and other places, fishing and hunting, while their grounds be in sowing, and their corne growing: which failed not his expectation. For the famine grew so extreeme among vs, our weares failing vs of fish, that I was enforced to sende Captaine Stafford with 20. with him to Croatoan my Lord Admirals Iland to serue two turnes in one, that is to say, to feede himselfe and his company, and also to keepe watch if any shipping came vpon the coast to warne vs of the same. I sent M. Pridiox with the pinnesse to Hatorask, and ten with him, with the Prouost Marshal to liue there, and also to wait for shipping: also I sent every weeke 16. or 20. of the rest of the company to the maine ouer against vs, to liue of Casada and oysters.
In the meane while Pemisapan, went of purpose to Dasamonquepeio for three causes: The one to see his grounds there broken vp, and sowed for a second crop: the other to withdrawe himselfe from my dayly sending to him for supply of victuall for my company, for he was afraid to deny me any thing, neither durst hee in my presence but by colour and with excuses, which I was content to accept for the time, meaning in the ende as I had reason to giue him the iumpe once for all: but in the meane whiles, as I had euer done before, I and mine bare all wrongs, and accepted of all excuses.
My purpose was to haue relied my selfe with Menatonon, and the Chaonists, who in trueth as they are more valiant people and in greater number then the rest, so are they more faithfull in their promises, and since my late being there had giuen many tokens of earnest desire they had to ioyne in perfect league with vs, and therefore were greatly offended with Pemisapan and Weopomeiok for making him beleeue such tales of vs.
The third cause of his going to Dasamonquepeio was to dispatch his messengers to Weopomeiok, and to the Mandoages, as aforesaid, all which he did with great imprest of copper in hand, making large promises to them of greater spoile.
The answere within few dayes after came from Weopomeiok, which was deuided into two parts. First for the King Okisko, who denied to be of the partie for himselfe, or any of his especiall followers, and therefore did immediatly retire himselfe with his force into the maine: the other was concerning the rest of the prouince who accepted of it: and in like sort the Mandoags receiued the imprest.
The day of their assembly aforesaid at Roanoak was appointed the 10. of June: all which the premises were discouered by Skyco, the King Menatonon his sonne my prisoner, who hauing once attempted to run away, I laid him in the bylboes, threatening to cut off his head, whom I remitted at Pemisapans request: whereupon hee being perswaded that hee was our enemie to the death, he did not onely feed him with himselfe, but also made him acquainted with all his practises. On the other side, the yong man finding himselfe as well vsed at my hande, as I had meanes to shew, and that all my company made much of him, he flatly discouered al vnto me, which also afterwards was reueiled vnto me by one of Pemisapans owne men, that night before he was slaine.
These mischiefes being all instantly vpon me and my company to be put in execution, it stood mee in hand to study howe to prevent them, and also to saue all others, which were at that time as aforesaid so farre from me: whereupon I sent to Pemisapan to put suspition out of his head, that I meant presently to go to Croatoan, for that I had heard of the arriual of our fleete, (though I in trueth had neither heard nor hoped for so good adventure,) and that I meant to come by him, to borrow of his men to fish for my company, and to hunt for me at Croatoan, as also to buy some foure dayes prouision to serue for my voyage.
He sent me word that he would himselfe come ouer to Roanoak, but from day to day he deferred, onely to bring the Weopomeioks with him and the Mandoags, whose time appointed was within eight dayes after. It was the last of May 1586 when all his owne Sauages began to make their assembly at Roanoak, at his commandement sent abroad vnto them, and I resolued not to stay longer vpon his comming ouer, since he meant to come with so good company, but thought good to go and visit him with such as I had, which I resolued to do the next day: but that night I meant to giue them in the Iland a camisado,6 and at the instant to seize vpon all the canoas about the Island, to keepe him from aduertisements.
But the towne tooke the alarme before I meant it to them: the occasion was this, I had sent the Master of the light horsemen, with a fewe with him, to gather vp all the canoas in the setting of the Sun, and to take as many as were going from vs to Dasamonquepeio, but to suffer any that came from thence, to land. The slaughter and surprise of the Sauages. He met with a canoa, going from the shore, and ouerthrew the canoa, and cut off two Sauages heads: this was not done so secretly but he was discovered from the shore; whereupon the cry arose: for in trueth they, priuy to their owne villanous purposes against vs, held as good espial vpon vs, both day and night, as we did vpon them.
The alarme giuen, they tooke themselues to their bowes, and we to our armes: some three or foure of them at the first were slaine with our shot; the rest fled into the woods. The next morning with the light horsemen and one Canoa taking 25 with the Colonel of the Chesepians, and the Sergeant maior, I went to Dasamonquepeio: and being landed, sent Pemisapan word by one of his owne Sauages that met me at the shore, that I was going to Croatoan, and meant to take him in the way to complaine vnto him of Osocon, who the night past was conueying away my prisoner, whom I had there present tied in an hand-locke. Heereupon the king did abide my comming to him, and finding myselfe amidst seuen or eight of his principall Weroances and followers, (not regarding any of the common sort) I gaue the watch-word agreed vpon, (which was, Christ our victory) and immediatly those his chiefe men and himselfe had by the mercy of God for our deliuerance, that which they had purposed for vs. The king himselfe being shot thorow by the Colonell with a pistoll, lying on the ground for dead, and I looking as watchfully for the sauing of Manteos friends, as others were busie that none of the rest should escape, suddenly he started vp, and ran away as though he had not bene touched, insomuch as he ouerran all the company, being by the way shot thwart the buttocks by mine Irish boy with my petronell. Pemisapan slaine. In the end an Irish man seruing me, one Nugent, and the deputy prouost, vndertooke him; and following him in the woods, ouertooke him; and I in some doubt least we had lost both the king and my man by our owne negligence to haue beene intercepted by the Sauages, wee met him returning out of the woods with Pemisapans head in his hand.
This fell out the first of Iune 1586, and the eight of the same came aduertisement to me from captaine Stafford, lying at my lord Admirals Island, that he had discouered a great fleet of three and twentie sailes: but whether they were friends or foes, he could not yet discerne. He aduised me to stand vpon as good guard as I could.
The ninth of the sayd moneth he himselfe came vnto me, hauing that night before, and that same day trauelled by land twenty miles: and I most truely report of him from the first to the last, hee was the gentleman that neuer spared labour or perill either by land or water, faire weather or foule, to performe any seruice committed vnto him.
A letter from Sir Francis Drake. He brought me a letter from the Generall Sir Francis Drake, with a most bountifull and honourable offer for the supply of our necessities to the performance of the action wee were entred into; and that not only of victuals, munition, and clothing, but also of barks, pinnesses, and boats; they also by him to be victualled, manned and furnished to my contentation.
The tenth day he arriued in the road of our bad harborow: and comming there to an anker, the eleuenth day I came to him, whom I found in deeds most honourably to performe that which in writing and message he had most curteously offered, he hauing aforehand propounded the matter to all the captaines of his fleet, and got their liking and consent thereto.
With such thanks vnto him and his captaines for his care both of vs and of our action, not as the matter deserued, but as I could both for my company and myselfe, I (being aforehand prepared what I would desire) craued at his hands that it would please him to take with him into England a number of weake and vnfit men for any good action, which I would deliuer to him; and in place of them to supply me of his company with oare-men, artificers, and others.
That he would leaue vs so much shipping and victuall, as about August then next following would cary me and all my company into England, when we had discouered somewhat, that for lacke of needfull prouision in time left with vs as yet remained vndone.
That it woulde please him withall to leaue some sufficient Masters not onely to cary vs into England, when time should be, but also to search the coast for some better harborow, if there were any, and especially to helpe vs to some small boats and oare-men.
Also for a supply of calieuers, hand weapons, match and lead, tooles, apparell, and such like.
He hauing receiued these my requests, according to his vsuall commendable maner of gouernment (as it was told me) calling his captaines to counsell; the resolution was that I should send such of my officers of my company as I vsed in such matters, with their notes, to goe aboord with him; which were the Master of the victuals, the Keeper of the store, and the Vicetreasurer: to whom he appointed forthwith for me The Francis, being a very proper barke of 70 tun, and tooke present order for bringing of victual aboord her for 100 men for foure moneths, with all my other demands whatsoeuer, to the vttermost.
And further, he appointed for me two pinnesses, and foure small boats: and that which was to performe all his former liberality towards vs, was that he had gotten the full assents of two of as sufficient experimented Masters as were any in his fleet, by iudgment of them that knew them, with very sufficient guide to tary with me, and to employ themselues most earnestly in the action, as I should appoint them, vntill the terme which I promised of our returne into England againe. The names of one of those Masters was Abraham Kendall, the other Griffith Herne.
While these things were in hand, the prouision aforesaid being brought, and in bringing aboord, my sayd Masters being also gone aboord, my sayd barks hauing accepted of their charge, and mine owne officers, with others in like sort of my company with them (all which was dispatched by the sayd Generall the 12 of the sayde moneth) the 13 of the same there arose such an vnwoonted storme, and continued foure dayes, that had like to haue driuen all on shore, if the Lord had not held his holy hand ouer them, and the Generall very prouidently foreseene the woorst himselfe, then about my dispatch putting himselfe aboord: but in the end hauing driuen sundry of the fleet to put to Sea the Francis also with all my provisions, my two Masters, and my company aboord, she was seene to be free from the same, and to put cleere to Sea.
This storme hauing continued from the 13 to the 16 of the moneth, and thus my barke put away as aforesayd, the Generall comming ashore made a new proffer vnto me; which was a ship of 170 tunne, called The barke Bonner, with a sufficient Master and guide to tary with me the time appointed, and victualled sufficiently to cary me and my company into England, with all prouisions as before: but he tolde me that he would not for any thing vndertake to haue her brought into our harbour, and therefore he was to leaue her in the road, and to leaue the care of the rest vnto my selfe, and aduised me to consider with my company of our case, and to deliuer presently vnto him in writing what I would require him to doe for vs; which being within his power, he did assure me aswell for his Captaines as for himselfe, shoulde be most willingly performed.
Heereupon calling such Captaines and gentlemen of my company as then were at hand, who were all as priuy as my selfe to the Generals offer; their whole request was to me, that considering the case that we stood in, the weaknesse of our company, the small number of the same, the carying away of our first appointed barke, with those two especiall Masters, with our principall provisions in the same, by the very hand of God as it seemed, stretched out to take vs from thence; considering also, that his second offer, though most honourable of his part, yet of ours not to be taken, insomuch as there was no possibility for her with any safety to be brought into the harbour: seeing furthermore, our hope for supply with Sir Richard Greenuill, so vndoubtedly promised vs before Easter, not yet come, neither then likely to come this yeere, considering the doings in England for Flanders, and also for America, that therefore I would resolue my selfe with my company to goe into England in that fleet, and accordingly to make request to the Generall in all our names, that he would be pleased to giue vs present passage with him. Which request of ours by my selfe deliuered vnto him, hee most readily assented vnto: and so he sending immediatly his pinnesses vnto our Island for the fetching away of a few that there were left with our baggage, the weather was so boisterous, and the pinnesses so often on ground, that the most of all we had, with all our Cards, Books and writings were by the Sailers cast ouerboard, the greater number of the fleet being much agrieued with their long and dangerous abode in that miserable road.
From whence the Generall in the name of the Almighty, weying his ankers (hauing bestowed vs among his fleet) for the reliefe of whom hee had in that storme sustained more perill of wracke then in all his former most honourable actions against the Spanyards, with praises vnto God for all, set saile the nineteenth of Iune 1596, and arriued in Portsmouth the seuen and twentieth of Iuly the same yeere.
Last updated Friday, October 31, 2014 at 19:58