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FIRST SETTLEMENT OF ROANOKE.
examine the country; and in revenge for some petty theft, Sir Richard Grenville ordered an Indian town to be burnt. He 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 productions of the soil. Among these were tobacco, maize or Indian corn, and potatoes, which, till then unknown to the 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 formi 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 thousand 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 their permanent residence. They were directed to settle on Chesapeake bay, but the governor, White, was compelled by he
Vho was left in command of the colony?
What caused the abandonment of the colony? When?
What important productions, of the Who arrived soon afterwards?
soil were discovered?
What is said of the Indians?
What did they attempt?
What befell the colonists left by him
the next colony permanent?
GOSNOLL IN NEW ENGLAND.
Commander of the fleet to remain on Roanoke. The emigrants net with the usual hardships, and many of them only remained ll the close of the summer. During their stay, Virginia Dare, the grand-daughter of the governor, was born, the firs descendant of English parents in our country.
She remained with her parents after the governor had returned to England, and with them she perished in the land of her birth. The threatened invasion of England by the Spanish armada, prevented Raleigh from sending out reinforcements; and when, in 1590, governor White returned to search for his daughter and grand-child, Roanoke, the place of their settlement, was deserted. The fate of the colony was never precisely ascertained.
When the English had succeeded in defeating the Spanish fleet, Sir Walter Raleigh, finding his fortune too much dimiished to continue the project of colonising Virginia, made use of the privilege granted in his patent to form a company of merchants and adventurers, for the purpose of effecting his original design. Among the members of the new company was Richard Hakluyt, prebendary of Westminster, a man of distinguished learning and intelligence, and the author of an extensive collection of voyages. He contributed more than any other individual to awaken among his countrymen that spirit of foreign enterprise, for which they have ever since been distinguished. Although the design of the new company was not immediately executed, yet to them we are chiefly indebted for the expedition which finally effected a permanent settlement, as we shall hereafter relate.
While their operations were suspended, a voyage took place, which had nearly given to New England a priority over Virginia in the period of its settlement. This voyage was undertaken in 1603, by Bartholomew Gosnold, who, abandoning the usual route to America by the Canaries and West Indies, sailed directly across the Atlantic and landed in Massachusetts Bay, discovered and named Cape Cod, the Clizabeth Islands, and Buzzard's Bay, which he called Gosold's Hope. On the westernmost of the Elizabeth Islands, ɔ which he gave the name now applied to the whole group, Le landed some men with a design of settling. A fort and store house were built; and preparations were made for a
Did he succeed?
Who was the first Anglo-American ?
What discoveries were made by Gosnold in New England?
Did he make a permanent settlement in New England?
VOYAGES OF PRING AND WEYMOUTH.
permanent residence on the spot. But the courage of the colonists failed, and the whole company returned to England after a short voyage of four months.
In 1603, and 1606, Martin Pring made two voyages to the American coast, which he explored from Martha's Vineyard to the north-eastern part of Maine. His object was to traffic with the natives, and in this he was successful.
Nearly the same ground was passed over in 1605, by George Weymouth, who discovered and ascended the Penobscot river; and on his return brought away five of the natives, whom he had decoyed on board his ship.
Thus far the attempts of the English to form permanent settlements on our shores were unsuccessful. Still these expeditions served to keep alive the claims which were founded on the discovery of the Cabots; and the extent of the explorations made by English voyagers on the coast, was subsequently considered a sufficient ground for expelling, or incorporating with their own establishments, the colonies which were planted by other nations on the soil of the United States.
COLONISATION OF VIRGINIA.
ALTHOUGH the attempts to form a permanent colony in Virginia had not hitherto succeeded, many persons of distinction in England still entertained sanguine hopes of ultimately effecting this grand object. Gosnold, whose voyage to New England we have already noticed, succeeded in forming a company consisting of himself, Wingfield, a merchant, Hunt, a clergyman, and the celebrated Captain John Smith; and they were, for more than a year, engaged in considering the project of a plantation. At the same time Sir Ferdinand Gorges was forming a similar design, in which he was joined by Sir John Popham, lord chief justice of England.
Hakluyt, who was a participator in the privileges of Raleigh's patent, was desirous of proceeding with his plan of
What is said of Pring expedition?
What is said of all these unsuccessful
FIRST CHARTER OF VIRGINIA.
colonisation; and the King of England, James I, was favourably disposed towards the design of enlarging his dominions. A company was formed by Gates, Somers, Gosnold, Smith, Hakluyt, Gorges, and Popham; application was made to the king for a charter; and one was readily obtained which secured ample privileges to the colonists.
On the 10th of April, 1606, the charter was issued under the great seal of England, to the petitioners, Sir Thomas Gates and his associates, granting to them those territories in America, lying on the sea coast between the 34th and 45th degrees of north latitude, (that is, from Cape Fear to Halifax,) and which either belonged to James I, or were not then sessed by any other Christian prince or people; and also the islands adjacent to, or within one hundred miles of the coast. The French settlement already noticed in Nova Scotia, then called Acadia, was of course excepted by these terms.
The petitioners were divided by their own desire into two companies; one consisting of certain knights, gentlemen, merchants and other adventurers of the city of London, and elsewhere, was called the first colony, and was required to settle between the 34th and 41st degrees of north latitude; the other consisting of certain knights, gentlemen, merchants and other adventurers of Bristol, Exeter, and other places in the west of England, and called the second colony, was ordered to settle between the 38th and 45th degrees of north latitude.
The intermediate region from 38 to 41 degrees was open to both companies, and to prevent collision, each was to possess the soil extending fifty miles north and south of its first settlement. Thus, neither company could plant within one hundred miles of a colony of its rival.
The patent also empowered the companies to transport to the colonies as many English subjects as should be willing to accompany them, who with their descendants were to retain the same liberties, within any other dominions of the crown of England, as if they had remained or were born within the realm. The land of the colonies was to be held on the condition of homage to the crown, and a rent consisting of onefifth of the net produce of gold and silver, and one-fifth of the copper which might be taken from the mines to be discovered.
Who obtained the first charter ?
What territories did it grant?
What was required of the first coinpany?
Who composed it?
What was required of the second?
What privileges were granted to the
GOVERNMENT UNDER THE FIRST CHARTER.
The right of coining money was also conferred on the colonies.
The government of the colony, the king retained as much as was possible in his own hands; for it was one of his foibles, to imagine that he possessed the most consummate skill, not only in the construction of laws, but in the policy of government.
Accordingly the superintendence of the whole colonial system was placed in the hands of a council in England; and the administration of affairs in cach colony was confided to a council residing within its limits. The king reserved to him self and his successors the right of appointing the members of the superior council, and of causing those of the colonial councils to be ordained or removed according to his own instructions. He also took upon himself the task, so agreeable to his vanity, of framing a code of laws both general and particular.
Thus the legislative and executive powers were all virtually reserved to the crown of England. At this time,' says a late writer,* 'the English were accustomed to the arbitrary rule of their monarchs, and the limits of the royal prerogative were unknown. It was either not perceived, or not attended to, that by placing the legislative and executive powers in a council nominated by the king, every settler in America was deprived of the chief privilege of a freeman-that of giving his voice in the election of those who frame the laws which he is to observe, and impose the taxes which he is to pay.'
By the code of laws, which the king prepared, it was provided that the superior council in England might name the colonial council, with power to elect its own officers and fill its own vacancies. The religion of the church of England was established for the colony. Lands were to descend by the common law. Murder, sedition, and some other crimes were punishable by death after trial by jury. But civil causes, requiring corporeal punishment, were decided by the council, which was also empowered to enact such additional laws as the condition of the colony might require. `Commerce with foreign nations was not restrained either by the terms of the patent or the laws.
What is said of the king?
What remarks on this subject are quoted?
What were the provisions of the laws made by King James for Vir ginia?