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Jan. 6, 1549.] This year king Henry VII. granted a penfion for life to Sebastian Cabot, in consideration of the important services he had rendered to the kingdom by his discoveries in America.
1562.] The admiral of France, Chatillon, early in this year, sent out a fleet under the command of John Ribalt. He arrived at Cape Francis on the coast of Florida, near which, on the first of May, he discovered and entered a river which he called May river. It is more than probable that this river is the same which we now call St. Mary's, which forms a part of the southern boundary of the United States. As he coasted northward he discovered eight other rivers, one of which he called Port Royal, and failed up it several leagues. On one of the rivers he built a fort and called it Charles, in which he left a colony under the direction of
Captain Albert. The severity of Albert's measures excited a 1564 mutiny, in which, to the ruin of the colony, he was slain. Two
years after, Chatillon sent Rene Laudonier, with three ships, to Florida. In June he arrived at the river May, on which he built a fort, and, in honour to his king, Charles IX. he called it CAROLINA.
In August, this year, Capt. Ribalt arrived at Florida the second time, with a fleet of feven vessels to recruit the colony, which, two years before, he had left under the direction of the unfortunate Capt. Albert,
The September following, Pedro Melandes, with fix Spanish ships, pursued Ribalt up the river on which he had settled, and overpowering him in numbers, cruelly massacred him and his whole company. Melendes, having in this way taken poffeffion of the country, built three forts, and left them garrisoned with 1200 foldiers. Laudonier and his colony on May River, receiving information of the fate of Ribalt, took the alarm and escaped to France.
1567.] A fleet of three ships was this year fent from France to Florida, under the command of Dominique de Gourges. The object of this expedition was to dispoffess the Spaniards of that part of Florida which
they had cruelly and unjustifiably seized three years before. He 1568 arrived on the coast of Florida, April 1568, and soon after made
a successful attack upon the forts. The recent cruelty Melendes and his company excited
revenge in the breast of Gourges, and roused the unjustifiable principle of retaliation. He took the forts; put most of the Spaniards to the sword; and having burned and demolished all their fortresses, returned to France. During the fifty years next after this event, the French enterprized no settlements in America.
1576.] Capt. Frobither was sent this year to find out a north west passage to the East-Indies. The first land which he made on the coast was a Cape, which, in honour to the queen, he called Queen Elizabeth's Foreland. In coafting northerly he discovered the straits which bear his name. He prosecuted his search for a passage into the western ocean till he was prevented by the ice, and then returned to England.
1579.] In 1579, Sir Humphrey Gilbert obtained a patent from queen Elizabeth, for lands not yet poffeffed by any Chriftian prince, provided
he would take poffeffion within six years. With this encourage1583 ment he failed for America, and on the ist of August, 1583, an
chored in Conception Bay. Afterwards he discovered and took poffe Gion of St. John's Harbour, and the country south. In pursuing hia
discoveries he loft one of his ships on the shoals of Sablon, and on his return home, a storm overtook him, in which he was unfortunately lost, and the intended settlement was prevented.
1584 ] This year two patents were granted by queen Elizabeth, one to Adrian Gilbert, (Feb. 6.) the other to Sir Walter Raleigh, for lands not possessed by any Christian prince. By the direction of Sir Walter, two ships were fitted and sent out, under the command of Philip Amidas, and Arthur Barlow. In July they arrived on the coast, and anchored in a harbour feven leagues west of the Roanoke. On the 13th of July, they, in a formal manner, took poffeffion of the country, and, in honour of their virgin queen Elizabeth, they called it Virginia. Till this time the country was known by the general name of Florida. After this VIRGINIA became the common name for all North America.
1585.) The next year, Sir Walter Raleigh sent Sir Richard Greenville to America, with seven ships. He arrived at Wococon Harbour in June. Having stationed a colony of more than an hundred people at Roanoke, under the direction of Capt. Ralph Lane, he coasted north-easterly as far as Chesapeek Bay, and returned to England.
The colony under Capt. Lane endured extreme hardships, and muft have perisked, had not Sir Francis Drake fortunately returned to Virginia, and carried them to England, after baring made several conquests for the queen in the Weft Indies and other places.
A fortnight after, Sir Richard Greenville arrived with new recruits ; and, although he did not find the colony which he had before left, and knew not but they had perished, he had the rashness to leave so men at the same place.
1587.] The year following, Sir Walter fent another company to Virginia, under Governor White, with a charter and twelve affiftants. In July he arrived at Roanoke. Not one of the second company remained. He determined, however, to risque a third colony. Accordingly he left 115 people at the old settlement, and returned to England.
This year (Aug. 13) Manteo was baptized-in Virginia. He was the firft native Indian who recieved that ordinance in that part of America. Op the 18th of August, Mrs. Dare was delivered of a daughter, whom she called VIRGINIA. She was the first English child that was born in North America.
1590.] In the year 1590, Governor White came over to Virginia with supplies and recruits for his colony; but, to his great grief, not a man was to be found. They had all miserably famished with hunger, or were massacreed by the Indians.
1602.] In the spring of this year, Bartholomew Gosnold, with 32 perfons, made a voyage to North Virginia, and discovered and gave names to Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Elizabeth Iftands, and to Dover Cliff. Elizabeth Island was the place which they fixed for their settlement. But the courage of those who were to have tarried, failing, they all went on board and returned to England All the attempts to settle this continent which were made by the Dutch, French, and English, from its discovery to the present time, a period of 110 years, proved ineffectual. The Spaniards only, of all the European nations, had been successful. There is no account of there having been one European
family, at this time, in all the vast extent of coast from Florida to Greenland.
1603.] Martin Pring and William Brown were this year sent by Sir Walter Raleigh, with two small vessels, to make discoveries in North Vir. ginia. They came upon the coast which was broken with a multitude of islands, in latitude 43° 30' north. They coasted southward to Cape Cod Bay; thence round the Cape into a commodious harbour in latitude 41° 25, where they went alhore and tarried seven weeks, during which time they loaded one of their vessels with fassafras, and returned to England.
Bartholomew Gilbert, in a voyage to South Virginia, in search of the third colony which had been left there by Governor White in 1587, have ing touched at several of the West-India Inands, landed near Chesapeek Bay, where, in a skirmish with the Indians, he and four of his men were unfortunately slain. The reft, without any further search for the colony, Teturned to England.
France, being at this time in a state of tranquility in consequence of the edia of Nantz in favour of the Protestants, passed by Henry IV.
April 1598) and of the peace with Philip king of Spain and Portuga was induced to pursue her discoveries in America. Accordingly the king figned a patent in favor of De Mons, (1603) of all the country
from the 40th to the 46th degrees of north latitude under the vame 2004 of Acadia.& The next year De Mons ranged the coalt from St.
Lawrence to Cape Sable, and so round to Cape Cod. 1605.] In May 1605, George's Ifland and Pentecoft Harbour were discovered by Capt. Ceorge Weymouth. In May he entered a large river in latitude 43° 20', variation yio 15 weft,) which Mr. Prince, in his Chronology, supposes must have been Sagadahok; but from the latitude, it was more probably the Piscataqua. Čapt. Weymouth carried with him to England five of the natives.
1606.] In the Spring of this year, James I. by patent, divided Virginia into two colonies. The southern included all lands between the 34th and 41st degrees of north latitude. This was styled the first colony, under the name of South Virginia, and was granted to the London Company. The nortbern, called the second colony, and known by the general name of North Virginia, included all lands between the 38th and 45th degrees north latitude, and was granted to the Plymouth Company. Each of these colonies had a council of thirteen men to govern them. To prevent dis. putes about territory, the colonies were prohibited to plant within an hundred miles of each other. There appears to be an inconsistency in these grants, as the lands lying between the 38th and 4ift degrees, are covered by both patents.
Both the London and Plymouth companies enterprized settlements within the limits of their respective grants. With what success will now be mentioned.
Mr. Piercy, brother of the Earl of Northumberland, in the service of the London Company, went
over with a colony to Virginia, and disco. vered Powhatan, now James River. In the mean time the Plymouth Com. pany sent Capt. Henry Challons in a vessel of fifty.five tons to plant a colony in North-Virginia , but in his voyage he was taken by a Spanish Aect and carried to Spain.
1607.] The London company this spring, sent Capt. Christopher NewApril 26.] port with three vessels to South Virginia. On the 26th of April he entered Chesapeek Bay, and landed, and soon after gave to the most
southern point, the name of Cape Henry, which it still retains. May 13.] Having elected Mr. Edward Wingfield president for the year,
they next day landed all their men, and began a settlement on
James river, at a place which they called James-Town. This is June 22.] the first town that was settled by the English in North Amę.
rica. The June following Capt. Newport failed for England, leaving with the president one hundred and four persons.
August 22.] In August died Capt. Bartholomew Gosnold, the first projector of this settlement, and one of the council. The following winter James-Town was burnt.
During this time the Plymouth company fitted out two ships under the command of Admiral Rawley Gilbert. They failed for North Virginia on the 3ift of May, with one hundred planters, and Capt. George Popham for their president. They arrived in August, and settled about nine or ten leagues to the southward of the mouth of Sagadahok river. A great part of the colony, however, disheartened by the severity of the winter, returned to England in December, leaving their president, Capt. Popham, with only forty-five men.
It was in the fall of this year that the famous Mr. Robinson, with part of his congregation, who afterwards settled at Plymouth in New-England, removed from the North of England to Holland, to avoid the cruelties of persecution, and for the sake of enjoying “ purity of worship and liberty of conscience.”
This year a small company of merchants at Dieppe and St. Malo's founded Quebec, or rather the colony which they sent, built a few huts there, which did not take the form of a town until the reign of Lewis XIV.
1608.] The Sagadahok colony suffered incredible hardships after the departure of their friends in December. In the depth of winter, which was extremly cold, their store house caught fire and was consumed, with most of their provisions and lodgings. Their misfortunes were increased, foon after, by the death of their prefident. Rawley Gilbert was appointed to succeed him.
Lord Chief Justice Popham made every exertion to keep this colony alive by repeatedly sending them supplies. But the circumstance of his death, which happened this year, together with that of president Gilbert's being called to England to settle his affairs, broke up the colony, and they all returned with him to England.
The unfavourable reports which these first unfortunate adventurers propagated respecting the country, prevented any further attempts to settle North Virginia for several years after.
1609.] The London company, last year, fent Capt. Nelson, with two fhips and one hundred and twenty perfons, to James-Town; and this year Capt. John Smith, afterwards president, arrived on the coast of South Virginia, and by failing up a number of the rivers, discovered the interior country. In September, Capt. Newport arrived with seventy perforis, which increased the colony to two hundred fouls.
Mr. Robinson and his congregation, who had settled at Amsterdam, removed this year to Leyden, where they remained more than eleven years, till a part of them came over to New England.
The council for South Virginia having resigned their old commission, requested and obtained a new one; in consequence of which they appoint ed Sir Thomas Weit, Lord De la War, general of the colony, Sir Thomas Gates, his lieutenant; Sir George Somers, Admiral; Sir Thomas Dale, high marshal; Sir Ferdinand Wainham, general of the horse, and Capt. Newport, vice-admiral.
June 8.] In June, Sir T. Gates, admiral Newport, and Sir George Somers, with seven ships and a ketch and pinnace, having five hundred souls
on board, men, women, and children, failed from Falmouth for July 24.] South Virginia. In crossing the Bahama Gulf, on the 24th
July, the fleet was overtaken by a violent storm, and separated. Four days after, Sir George Somers ran his vessel ashore on one of the Bermudas Illands, which, from this circumstance, have been called the Somer Islands. The people on board, one hundred and fifty in number, all got safe on fhore, and there remained until the following May. The remainder of the ficet arrived at Virginia in August. The colony was now increased to five hundred men. Capt. Smith, then president, á little before the arrival of the fleet, had been very badly burnt by means of some powder which had accidentally caught tíre. This unfortunate circumstance, together with the opposition he met with from those who had lately arrived, induced him to leave the colony and return to England, which he accordingly did the last of September. Francis Welt, his fucceffor in office, foon followed him, and George Piercy was elected prefident.
1610.] The year following, the South Virginia or London company, fealed a patent to Lord De la War, constituting him Governor and Captain-General of South-Virginia. He soon after embarked for America with Capt. Argal and one hundred and fifty men, in three ships.
The unfortunate people, who, the year before, had been shipwrecked on the Bermudas Islands, had employed themselves during the winter and spring, under the direction of Sir l'homas Gates, Sir George Somers, and admiral Newport, in building a floop to transport themselves to the continent. They embarked for Virginia on the roth of May, with about one hundred and fifty persons board, leaving two of their men behind, who chose to kay, and landed at James-Town on the 23d of the same month, Finding the colony, which at the time of Capt. Smith's departure, confifted of five hundred fouls, now reduced to fixty, and those few in a diftressed and wretched situation, they with one voice resolved to return to England; and for this purpose, on the 7th of June, the whole colony repaired on board their veffels, broke up the settlement, and failed down the river on their way to their native country.
Fortunately, Lord De la War, who had embarked for James-Town the March before, met them the day after they failed, and persuaded them to return with him to James-Town, where they arrived and landed the 10th of June. The government of the colony of right devolved upon Lord De la War. From this time we may date the effectual settlement of Virginia. Its history, from this period, will be given in its proper place.