Wednesday, November 18, 2015

1656 John Hammond;s Defense of Servitude for Women in Virginia


Genesis 29:17 Leah, as described in the Hebrew Bible, is the 1st of the 2 concurrent wives of the Hebrew patriarch Jacob & mother of 6 sons whose descendants became some of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.  She was the older sister of Rachel, whom Jacob originally wanted to marry.

Source: John Hammond. Leah and Rachel, or, The Two Fruitful Sisters Virginia and Maryland: Their Present Condition, Impartially Stated and Related (1656)


It is the glory of every Nation to enlarge themselves, to encourage their own foreign attempts, and to be able to be able to have their own, within their territories, as many several commodities as they can attain to, that so others may rather be beholding to them, than they to others...

But alas, we Englishmen...do not only fail in this, but vilify, scandalize and cry down such parts of the unknown world, as have been found out, settled and made flourishing, by the charge, hazard, and diligence of their own brethren, as if because removed from us, we either account them people of another world or enemies.

This is too truly made good in the odious and cruel slanders cast on those two famous Countries of Virginia and Mary-land, whereby those Countries, not only are many times at a stand, but are in danger to moulder away, and come in time to nothing...

The Country [Virginia] is reported to be an unhealthy place, a nest of Rogues, whores, dissolute and rooking persons; a place of intolerable labour, bad usage and hard Diet, &c. To Answer these several calumnies, I shall first shew what it was? Next, what it is?

At the first settling and many years after, it deserved most of those aspersions (nor were they aspersions but truths).... Then were Jails emptied, youth seduced, infamous women drilled in, the provisions all brought out of England, and that embezzled by the Trustees (for they durst neither hunt fowl, nor Fish, for fear of the Indian, which they stood in awe of) their labour was almost perpetual, their allowance of victual small, few or no cattle, no use of horses nor oxen to draw or carry, (which labours men supplied themselves) all of which caused a mortality; no civil courts of justice but under a martial law, no redress of grievances, complaints were repaid with stripes...in a word all and the worst that tyranny could inflict...

And having briefly laid down the former state of Virginia, in its Infancy, and filth, and the occasion of its scandalous aspersions: I come to my main subject, its present condition of Happiness (if anything can be called happy in this transitory life)...

The usual allowance for servants is (besides their charge of passage defrayed) at their expiration, a year's provision of corn, double apparel, tools necessary, and land according to the custom of the Country, which is an old delusion, for there is no land customarily due to the servant, but to the Master, and therefore that servant is unwise that will not dash out that custom in his covenant and make that due of land absolutely his own, which although at the present, not of so great consequences; yet in few years will be of much worth...

When ye go aboard, expect the Ship somewhat troubled and in a hurlyburly, until ye clear the lands end; and that the Ship is rummaged, and things put to rights, which many times discourages the Passengers, and makes them wish the Voyage unattempted: but this is but for a short season, and washes off when at Sea, where the time is pleasantly passed away, though not with such choice plenty as the shore affords.

But when ye arrive and are settled, ye will find a strange alteration, an abused Country giving the lie to your own approbations to those that have calumniated it....

The labour servants are put to, is not so hard nor of such continuance as Husbandmen, nor Handicraftmen are kept at in England, I said little or nothing is done in winter time, none ever work before sun rising nor after sun set, in the summer they rest, sleep or exercise themselves give hours in the heat of the day, Saturdays afternoon is always their own, the old Holidays are observed and the Sabbath spent in good exercises.

The women are not (as is reported) put into the ground to work, but occupy such domestic employments and housewifery as in England, that is dressing victuals, right up the house, milking, employed about dairies, washing, sewing, &c. and both men and women have times of recreations, as much or more than in any part of the world besides, yet some wenches that are nastily, beastly and not fit to be so employed are put into the ground, for reason tells us, they must not at charge be transported then maintained for nothing, but those that prove so awkward are rather burthensome than servants desirable or useful....

Those Servants that will be industrious may in their time of service gain a competent estate before their Freedoms, which is usually done by many, and they gain esteem and assistance that appear so industrious: There is no Master almost but will allow his Servant a parcel of clear ground to cut some Tobacco in for himself, which he may husband at those many idle times he hath allowed him and not prejudice, but rejoice his Master to see it, which in time of Shipping he may lay out for commodities, and in Summer sell them again with advantage and get a Pig or two, which any body almost will give him, and his Master suffer him to keep them with his own, which will be no charge to his Master, and with one years increase of them may purchase a Cow Calf or two, and by that time he is for himself; he may have Cattle, Hogs and Tobacco of his own, and come to live gallantly; but this must be gained (as I have said) by Industry and affability, not by sloth nor churlish behavior.

And whereas it is rumoured that Servants have no lodging other then on boards, or by the Fire side, it is contrary to reason to believe it: First, as we are Christians; next as people living under a law, which compels as well the Master as the Servant to perform his duty; nor can true labour be either expected or exacted without sufficient clothing, diet, and lodging; all which their Indentures (which must inviolably be observed) and the Justice of the Country requires.

But if any go thither, not in a condition of a Servant, but pay his or her passage, which is some six pounds: Let them not doubt but it is money well laid out...although they carry little else to take a Bed along with them, and then few Houses but will give them entertainment, either out of courtesy, or on reasonable terms; and I think it better for any that goes over free, and but in a mean condition, to hire himself for reasonable wages of Tobacco and Provision, the first year, provided he happen in an honest house, and where the Mistress is noted for a good Housewife, of which there are very many (notwithstanding the cry to the contrary) for by that means he will live free of disbursement, have something to help him the next year, and be carefully looked to in his sickness (if he chance to fall sick) and let him so covenant that exceptions may be made, that he work not much in the hot weather, a course we always take with our new hands (as they call them) the first year they come in.

If they are women that go after this manner, that is paying their own passages; I advise them to sojourn in a house of honest repute, for by their good carriage, they may advance themselves in marriage, by their ill, overthrow their fortunes; and although loose persons seldom live long unmarried if free; yet they match with as dissolute as themselves, and never live handsomely or are ever respected...

Be sure to have your contract in writing and under hand and seal, for if ye go over upon promise made to do this or that, or to be free, it signifies nothing.


1606 1st Charter of VA during the reign of Queen Anne, beleaguered wife of James I, "King of Great Brittaine, France, & Ireland"



1600 Anne of Denmark 1574-1619 queen of James I of England. by Isaac Oliver

Anne of Denmark (1574–1619) was queen consort of Scotland, England, & Ireland as the wife of James VI & I (1566-1625).


1578 Queen Anne's mother Sophie of Mecklenburg-Güstrow (1557-1631) was a German noble and Queen of Denmark and Norway.

The 2nd daughter of alcoholic King Frederick II of Denmark & his wife Sophia of Mecklenburg-Güstrow, a descendant of King Hans of Denmark, Anne married James in 1589 at the age of 14. Anne was immediately under pressure to provide James & Scotland with an heir, but with no sign of a pregnancy in 1590-93, Presbyterian antagonists felt free to talk of James’s "fondness for male company" & whispered against Anne "for that she proves not with child."


Portrait of James I by John de Critz, c. 1606  From 1604, James had called himself "King of Great Brittaine, France, & Ireland"

Anne finally produced an heir, Prince Henry Stuart, in early 1594. The royal couple eventually had 7 children, of whom 3 survived infancy.  Two sons, Henry & Charles (later Charles I), & a daughter, Elizabeth, survived into adult life.


1603 Queen Anne's daughter Princess Royal, daughter of James I & VI She married Frederik V, Elector Palatine at 16, having many children of which 7 reached adulthood. She was Queen consort of Bohemia only 1 winter. Some called her The Winter Queen.

A lady at court described Queen Anne, "Her features were not regular but her complexion was extremely fair & she had the finest neck that could be seen, which she took care it should be."


1605 Anne of Denmark 1574-1619 queen of James VI & I, by John de Critz

Fourteen-year-old Anne appears to have cared for James when they 1st married. On 28 July 1589, the English spy Thomas Fowler reported that Anne was "so far in love with the King's Majesty as it were death to her to have it broken off & hath made good proof divers ways of her affection which his Majestie is apt in no way to requite."

Anne was crowned queen in 1590. During the bazaar 7-hour ceremony, her gown was opened by the Countess of Mar for presiding minister Robert Bruce to pour "a bonny quantity of oil" on "parts of her breast and arm," so anointing her as queen. Ministers objected, but James insisted that the rite was from the Old Testament.


1607 Queen Anne, wife of James I & VI by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger (1561-1636)

Although James had a mistress in 1593-1595, (Anne Murray, later Lady Glamis); in Basilikon Doron, written 1597–1598, James described marriage as "the greatest earthly felicitie or miserie, that can come to a man."  Historians have noted, however, "All his life, except perhaps for 6 short months, King James disliked women, regarding them as inferior beings. All his interest was centered on the attractions of personable young men." The couple gradually came to live apart, though, apparently, some degree of mutual respect & affection survived.

Anne demonstrated an independent streak & was willing to use factional Scottish politics in her conflicts with James over the custody of Prince Henry. Anne would do whatever she had to in order to have a hand in the raising of her children.


1606 Queen Anne's daughter Princess Elizabeth (1596–1662), Later Queen of Bohemia by Robert Peake the Elder (1551-1619)

A year after the 1606 First Charter of Virginia in the New World, Anne & James began to live apart, she in London & he in the countryside at Royston. Anne's chaplain, Godfrey Goodman, summed up the royal relationship: "The King himself was a very chaste man, and there was little in the Queen to make him uxorious; yet they did love as well as man and wife could do, not conversing together."


1612 Anne of Denmark Anne of Denmark 1574-1619 queen of James VI & I attributed to Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger

In England, Anne shifted her energies from factional politics to parenting & to patronage of the arts. She constructed a magnificent court of her own, hosting one of the richest cultural salons in Europe. She was a considerable force as a patron of the arts during the Jacobean age.


1610 Queen Anne's daughter Elizabeth (1596–1662) Queen of Bohemia by Robert Peake the Elder (1551-1619)

After 1612, she suffered sustained bouts of ill health gradually withdrew from the center of court life. A bitter confrontation between James & Anne occurred in 1613, when Anne shot James's favorite dog dead during a hunting session. After his initial rage, James smoothed things over by giving her a £2,000 diamond in memory of the dog, whose name was Jewel.


1617 Anne of Denmark 1574-1619 queen of James VI & I. by Paul van Somer (c 1577-1621)

By late 1617, Anne's bouts of illness had become debilitating. John Chamberlain wrote, "The Queen continues still ill disposed and though she would fain lay all her infirmities upon the gout yet most of her physicians fear a further inconvenience of an ill habit or disposition through her whole body." Though she was reported to have been a Protestant at the time of her death, evidence suggests that she may have converted to Catholicism at some stage in her life.


1617 Anne of Denmark 1574-1619 queen of James VI & I. by Paul van Somer (c 1577-1621)

At her passing, James honored his late wife with verse:

"So did my Queen from hence her court remove
And left off earth to be enthroned above.
She's changed, not dead, for sure no good prince dies,
But, as the sun, sets, only for to rise."


The Church of England in early Virginia



Virginia was settled by businessmen--operating through a joint-stock company, the Virginia Company of London--who wanted to get rich.

They also wanted the Church to flourish in their colony and kept it well supplied with ministers. Some early governors sent by the Virginia Company acted in the spirit of crusaders. Sir Thomas Dale (d. 1619) considered himself engaged in "religious warfare" and expected no reward "but from him on whose vineyard I labor whose church with greedy appetite I desire to erect."

During Dale's tenure, religion was spread at the point of the sword. Everyone was required to attend church and be catechized by a minister. Those who refused could be executed or sent to the galleys.

Like the other seventeenth-century British colonies, Virginia aspired to convert the native populations. The Virginia Company's instructions to its governors required them to make conversion one of their objectives. The most famous early convert was Pocahontas, daughter of Powhatan, head of the Powhatan Confederacy. Pocahontas was baptized by the Reverend Alexander Whitaker before her marriage to John Rolfe in 1614.

When a popular assembly, the House of Burgesses, was established in 1619, it enacted religious laws that "were a match for anything to be found in the Puritan societies."

Unlike the colonies to the north, where the Church of England was regarded with suspicion throughout the colonial period, Virginia was a bastion of Anglicanism. Her House of Burgesses passed a law in 1632, requiring that there be a "uniformitie throughout this colony both in substance and circumstance to the cannons and constitution of the Church of England."

One of the handicaps faced by the Church of England in Virginia and the other American colonies was its lack of authority to ordain priests. To receive holy orders, candidates were obliged to travel to England. This was an obstacle some were unwilling to confront. As a result, the Church of England often experienced a shortage of priests in America.

The church in Virginia faced problems unlike those confronted in other colonies--such as enormous parishes, some sixty miles long, and the inability to ordain ministers locally--but it continued to command the loyalty and affection of the colonists.

In 1656, a prospective minister was advised that he "would find an assisting, an embracing, a comforting people" in the colony. At the end of the seventeenth century the church in Virginia, according to a recent authority, was prospering; it was "active and growing" and was "well attended by the young and old alike."

From The Library of Congress.


William Strachey's Eyewitness Account of the 1610 Wreck of The Sea Venture Heading to Jamestown



An excerpt from William Strachey's account - 

"True repertory of the wreck and redemption of Sir Thomas Gates, July 15, 1610” (pub. 1625, in Purchas His Pilgrimes, Part Four, Book Nine, Chapter Six) 

Excellent Lady,

Know that upon Friday late in the evening we brake groundout of the sound of Plymouth, our whole fleet then consisting of seven good ships and two pinnaces, all which from the said second of June unto the twenty-three of July kept in friendly consort together, not a whole watch at any time losing the sight each of other. . . . We had followed this course so long as now we were within seven or eight days at the most, by Captain Newport’s reckoning, of making Cape Henry upon the coast of Virginia, when on Saint James his day, July 24, being Monday, preparing for no less than all the black night before—theclouds gathering thick upon us, and the winds singing and whistling most unusuallyl, which made us to cast off our pinnace, towing the same until then astern—adreadful storm and hideous began to blow from out of the northeast, which swelling and roaring, as it were, by fits, some hours with more violence than others, at length did beat all light from heaven, which like an hell of darkness turned black upon us, so much the more fuller of horror, as in such cases horror and fear use to overrun the troubled and overmastered senses of all, which, taken up with amazement, the ears lay so sensible to the terrible cries and murmurs of the winds and distraction of our company, as who was most armed and best prepared was not a little shaken.  For surely (noble lady) as death comes not so sudden nor apparent, so he comes not so elvish and painful to men, especially even then in health and perfect habitudes of body, as at sea; who comes at no time so welcome but our frailty (so weak is the hold of hope in miserable demonstrations of danger) it makes guilty of many contrary changes and conflicts.  For indeed death is accompanied at no time nor place with circumstances every way so uncapable of particularities of goodness and inward comforts as at sea.  For it is most true there ariseth commonly no such unmerciful tempest, compound of so many contrary and diverse nations, but that it worketh upon the whole frame of the body, and most loathsomely affecteth all the powers thereof.  And the manner of the sickness it lays upon the body, being so unsufferable, gives not the mind any free and quiet time to use her judgment and empire.  Which makes the poet say,
            Hostiam uxores puerique caecos
            Sentient motus orientis  Haedi &
            Aequoris nigri fremitum & tremendtes
                        verbere ripas
            
For four and twenty hours the storm in a restless tumult had blown so exceedingly as we could not apprehend in our imaginations any possibility of greater violence. Yet did we still find it not only more terrible but more constant, fury added to fury, and one storm urging a second more outrageous than the former, whether it so wrought upon our fears or indeed met with new forces.

Sometimes strikes in our ship amongs women and passengers not used to such hurly and discomforts made us look one upon the other with troubled hearts and panting bosoms, our clamors drown’d in the winds, and the winds in thunder.  Prayers might well be in the heart and lips, but drowned in the outcries of the officers, nothing heard that could give comfort, nothing seen that might encourage hope.  It is impossible for me, had I the voice of Stentor, and expression of as many tongues as his throat of voices, to express the outcries and miseries, not languishing but wasting his spirits and art, constant to his own principles, but not prevailing.

Our sails, wound up, lay without their use.  And if any time we bore but a hillock, or half forecourse, to guide her before the sea, six and sometimes eight men were not enough to hold the whipstaff in the steerage and the tiller below in the gunner room, by which may be imagined the strength of the storm in which the sea swelled above the clouds and gave battle unto heaven.
            
It could not be said to rain. The waters like whole rivers did flood in the air.  And this I did still observe that whereas upon the land when a storm hath poured itself forth once in drifts of rain, the wind, as beaten down and vanquished therewith, not long after endureth.  Here the glut of water, as if throttling the wind erewhile, was no sooner a little emptied and qualified but instantly the winds, as having gotten their mouths now free and at liberty, spake more loud, and grew more tumultuous and malignant.  What shall I say?  Winds and seas were as mad as fury and rage could make them.  For mine own part, I had been in some storms before. . . Yet all that I had ever suffered gathered together might not hold comparison with this.  There was not a moment in which the sudden splitting or instant oversetting of the ship was not expected.

Howbeit this was not all.  It pleased God to bring a greater affliction yet upon us, for in the beginning of the storm we had received likewise a mighty leak, and the ship in every joint almost having spewed out her oakum before we were aware (a casualty more desperate than any other that a voyage by sea draweth with it) was grown five foot suddenly deep with water above her ballast, and we almost drowned within whilest we sat looking when to perish from above.  This imparting no less terror than danger ran through the whole ship with much fright and amazement, startled and turned the blood, and took down the braves of the most hardy mariner of them all, insomuch as he that before happily felt not the sorrow of others now began to sorrow for himself when he saw such a pont of water so suddenly broken in, and which he knew could not without present avoiding but instantly sink him, so as joining only for his own sake, not yet worth the saving in the public safety.

There might be seen master, master’s mate, boatswain, quartermaster, coopers, carpenters, and who not with candles in their hands, creeping along the ribs viewing the sides, searching every corner and listening in every place, if they could hear the water run.  Many a weeping leak was this way found and hastily stop”d, and at length one in the gunner room made up with I know not how many pieces of beef. But all was to no purpose:  The leak (if it were but one) which drunk in our greatest seas and took in our destruction fastest could not then be found, nor ever was, by any labor, counsel, or search.  The waters still increasing, and the pumps going, which at length choked with bringing up whole and continual biscuit—and indeed all we had, ten thousand weight—it was conceived as likely that the leak might be sprung in the bread room, whereupon the carpenter went down and rip”d up all the room, but could not find it so.

I am not able to give unto Your Ladyship every man’s thought in this perplexity to which we were now brought; but to me this leakage appeared as a wound given to men that were before dead.  The Lord knoweth I had as little hope as desire of life in the storm, and in this it went beyond my will because beyond my reason why we should labor to preserve life. Yet we did, either because so dear are a few ling’ring hours of life in all mankind or that our Christian knowledges taught us how much we owed to the rites of nature, as bound not to be false to ourselves, or to neglect the means of our own preservation, the most despairful things amongst men being matters of no wonder nor moment with Him who is the rich foundation and admirable essence of all mercy.
            
Our governor, upon the Tuesday morning (at what time by such who had been below in the hold the leak was first discovered) had caused the whole company—about one hundred and forty, besides women—to be equally divided into three partys, and opening the ship in three places:  under the forecastle, in the waist, and hard by the bittake—appointed each man where to attend; and thereunto every man came duly upon his watch, took the bucket or pump for one hour, and rested another.  Then men might be seen to labor (I may well say) for life, and the better sort, even our governor and and admiral themselves, not refusing their turn, and to spell each the other to give example to other.  The common sort stripped naked as men in galleys the easier both to hold out, and to shrink from under the salt water, which continually leapt in among them, kept their eyes waking and their hands working, with tired bodies and wasted spirits, three days and four nights destitute of outward comfort and desperate of any deliverance, testifying how mutually willing they were yet by labor to keep each other from drowning, albeit each one drowned whilest he labored.

Once, so huge a sea brake upon the poop and quarter upon us as it covered our ship from stern to stern.  Like a garment or a vast cloud, it filled her brim full for a while within from the hatches up to the spar deck.  This source or confluence of water was so violent as it rush’d and carried the helm-man from the helm, and wrested the whipstaff out of his hand, which so flew from side to side that when he would have seized the same again, it so tossed him from starboard to larboard as it was God’s mercy it had not split him.  It so beat him from his hold, and so bruised him, as a fresh man, hazarding in by chance, fell fair with it, and by main strength bearing somewhat up, made good his place, and with much clamor encouraged and called upon others, who gave her now up rent in pieces and absolutely lost.

Our governor was at this time below at the capstan, both by his speech and authority heartening every man unto his labor.  It struck him from the place where he sat and groveled him, and all us about him on our faces, beating together with our breaths all thought from our bosoms else than that we were now sinking.  For my part, I thought her already in the bottom of the sea, and I have heard him say, wading out of the flood thereof, all his ambition was but to climb up above hatches to die in aperto coelo, and in the company of his old friends.  It so stun’d the ship in her full pace that she stirred no more than if she had been caught in a net or than as if the fabulous remora had stuck to her forecastle.  Yet, without bearing one inch of sail, even then she was making her way nine or ten leagues in a watch.  One thing, it is not without his wonder whether it were the fear of death in so great a storm or that it pleased God to be gracious unto us:  There was not a passenger, gentleman or other, after he began to stir and labor but was able to relieve his fellow and make good his course.  And it is most true such as in all their lifetimes had never done hours’ work before (their minds now helping their bodies) were able twice forty-eight hours together to toil with the best.

 During all this time, the heavens look’d so black upon us that it was not possible the elevation of the Pole might be observed, not a star by night, not sunbeam by day was to be seen.  Only upon the Thursday night, Sir George Summers, being upon the watch, had an apparition of a little round light like a faint star, trembling and streaming along with a sparkling blaze half the height upon the mainmast, and shooting sometimes from shroud to shroud, tempting to settle as it were upon any of the four shrouds.  And for three or four hours together, or rather more, half the night it kept with us, running sometimes along the main yard to the very end, and then returning; at which Sir George Summers called divers about him and showed them the same, who observed it with much wonder and carefulness.  But upon a sudden, towards the morning watch, they lost the sight of it and knew not what way it made.
            
 The superstitious seamen make many constructions of this sea fire, which nevertheless is unusual in storms.  The same it may be which the Grecians were wont in the Mediterranean to call “Castor and Pollux,” of which, if only one appeared without the other, they took it for an evil sign of great tempest.  The Italians, and such who lie open to the Adriatic and Tyrrhene Sea, call it a “sacred body” (corpo sancto).  The Spaniards call it Saint Elmo, and have an authentic and miraculous legend for it.  Be it what it will, we laid other foundations of safety or ruin than in the rising or falling of it.  Could it have served us now miraculously to have taken our height by, it might have stricken amazement and a reverence in our devotions, according to the due of a miracle.  But it did not light us any whit the more to our known way, who ran now as do hoodwinked men at all adventures, sometimes north and northeast, then north and by west, and in an instant again varying two or three points, and sometimes half the compass.
            
 East and by south we steered away, as much as we could to bear upright, which was no small carefulness nor pain to do, albeit we much unrigged our ship, threw overboard much luggage, many a trunk and chest (in which I suffered no mean loss), and staved many a but of beer, hogsheads of oil, cider, wine, and vingegar, and heaved away all our ordnance on the starboard side, and had now purposed to have cut down the mainmast the more to lighten her, so we were much spent, and our men so weary as their strengths together failed them with their hearts, having travailed now from Tuesday til Friday morning, day and night, without either sleep or food.  For the leakage taking up all the hold, we could neither come by beer nor fresh water; fire we could keep none in the cookroom to dress any meat, and carefulness, grief, and our turn at the pump or bukcket were sufficient to hold sleep from our eyes.

 And surely, madam, it is most true there was not any hour (a matter of admiration) all these days in which we freed not twelve hundred barricoes of water, the least whereof contained six gallons, and some eight, besides three deep pumps continually going, two beneath at the capstan and the other above in the half deck, and at each pump four thousand strokes at the least in a watch, so as I may well say every four hours we quitted one hundred tons of water.  And from Tuesday noon till Friday noon, we bailed and pumped two thousand ton, and yet, do what we could, when our ship held least in her (After Tuesday night second watch) she bore ten foot deep, at which stay our extreme working kept her one [for] eight glasses, forbearance whereof had instantly sunk us.  And it being now Friday, the fourth morning, it wanted little but that there had been a general determination to have shut up hatches, and commending our sinful souls to God, committed the ship to the mercy of the sea. Surely that night we must have done it, and that night had we then perished. 
            
But see the goodness and sweet introduction of better hope by our merciful God given unto us:  Sir George Summers, when no man dreamed of such happiness, had discovered and cried LAND!  Indeed the morning, now three quarters spent, had won little clearness from the days before, and it being better surveyed, th very trees were seen to move with the wind upon the shore side.  Whereupon our governor commanded the helm-man to bear up.  The boatswain sounding at the first found it thirteen fathom, and when we stood a little in, seven fathom; and presently heaving his lead the third time had ground at four fathom.  And by this we had got her within a mile under the southeast point of the land, where we had somewhat smooth water.  But having no hope to save her by coming to an anchor in the same, we were enforced to run her ashore as near the land as we could, which brought us within three quarters of a mile offshore; and by the mercy of God unto us, making out our boats, we had ere night brought all our men, women, and children, about the number of one hundred and fifty, safety into the island.


1607 The Settlement of Jamestown as seen by Captain John Smith (Years later...)


The Settlement Of Jamestown - 1607 
by Captain John Smith



This narrative is taken from the 3rd book of the 5th volume "The Generall Historie of Virginia, New England & the Summer Isles: Together with The True Travels, Adventures and Observations, and a Sea Grammar" (London, 1624).



It might well be thought, a country so faire (as Virginia is) and a people so tractable, would long ere this have been quietly possessed, to the satisfaction of the adventurers, and the eternizing of the memory of those that effected it. But because all the world do see a failure; this following treatise shall give satisfaction to all indifferent readers, how the business has been carried: where no doubt they will easily understand and answer to their question, how it came to passe there was no better speed and success in those proceedings.

Captain Bartholomew Gosnold, one of the first movers of this plantation, having many years solicited many of his friends, but found small assistance; at last prevailed with some gentlemen, as Captain John Smith, Master Edward-maria Wingfield, Master Robert Hunt, and divers others, who depended a year upon his projects, but nothing could be effected, till by their great charge and industry, it came to be apprehended by certain of the nobility, gentry, and merchants, so that his Majesty by his letters patents, gave commission for establishing councils, to direct here; and to govern, and to execute there. To effect this, was spent another year, and by that, three ships were provided, one of 100 tons, another of 40 and a pinnace of 20. The transportation of the company was committed to Captain Christopher Newport, a mariner well practiced for the western parts of America. But their orders for government were put in a box, not to be opened, nor the governors known until they arrived in Virginia.

On the 19 of December, 1606, we set sail from Blackwall, but by unprosperous winds, were kept six weeks in the sight of England; all which time, Master Hunt our preacher, was so weak and sick, that few expected his recovery. Yet although he were but twenty miles from his habitation (the time we were in the Downes) and notwithstanding the stormy weather, nor the scandalous imputations (of some few, little better than atheists, of the greatest rank among us) suggested against him, all this could never force from him so much as a seeming desire to leave the business, but preferred the service of God, in so good a voyage, before any affection to contest with his godless foes whose disastrous designs (could they have prevailed) had even then overthrown the business, so many discontents did then arise, had he not with the water of patience, and his godly exhortations (but chiefly by his true devoted examples) quenched those flames of envy, and dissension...

The first land they made they called Cape Henry; where thirty of them recreating themselves on shore, were assaulted by five savages, who hurt two of the English very dangerously.

That night was the box opened, and the orders read, in which Bartholomew Gosnol, John Smith, Edward Wingfield, Christopher Newport, John Ratliff, John Martin, and George Kendall, were named to be the council, and to choose a president among them for a year, who with the council should govern. Matters of moment were to be examined by a jury, but determined by the major part of the council, in which the president had two voices.

Until the 13 of May they sought a place to plant in; then the council was sworn, Master Wingfield was chosen president, and an oration made, why Captain Smith was not admitted of the council as the rest.

Now falleth every man to work, the council contrive the fort, the rest cut down trees to make place to pitch their tents; some provide clapboard to relade the ships, some make gardens, some nets, etc. The savages often visited us kindly. The president's overweening jealousy would admit no exercise at arms, or fortification but the boughs of trees cast together in the form of a half moon by the extraordinary pains and diligence of Captain Kendall.

Newport, Smith, and twenty others, were sent to discover the head of the river: by divers small habitations they passed, in six days they arrived at a town called Powhatan, consisting of some twelve houses, pleasantly seated on a hill; before it three fertile isles, about it many of their cornfields, the place is very pleasant, and strong by nature, of this place the Prince is called Powhatan, and his people Powhatans. To this place the river is navigable: but higher within a mile, by reason of the rocks and isles, there is not passage for a small boat, this they call the falls. The people in all parts kindly entreated them, till being returned within twenty miles of Jamestown, they gave just cause of jealousy: but had God not blessed the discoverers otherwise than those at the fort, there had then been an end of that plantation; for at the fort, where they arrived the next day, they found 17 men hurt, and a boy slain by the savages, and had it not chanced a cross bar shot from the ships struck down a bough from a tree among them, that caused them to retire, our men had all been slain, being securely all at work, and their arms in dry fats.

Hereupon the president was contented the fort should be pallisaded, the ordnance mounted, his men armed and exercised: for many were the assaults, and ambuscades of the savages, and our men by their disorderly straggling were often hurt, when the savages by the nimbleness of their heels well escaped.

What toil we had, with so small a power to guard our workmen by day, watch all night, resist our enemies, and effect our business, to relade the ships, cut down trees, and prepare the ground to plant our corn, etc., I refer to the reader's consideration.

Six weeks being spent in this manner, Captain Newport (who was hired only for our transportation) was to return with the ships.

Now Captain Smith, who all this time from their departure from the Canaries was restrained as a prisoner upon the scandalous suggestions of some of the chiefs (envying his repute) who fained he intended to usurp the government, murder the council, and make himself king, that his confederates were dispersed in all the three ships, and that divers of his confederates that revealed it, would affirm it; for this he was committed as a prisoner.

Thirteen weeks he remained thus suspected, and by that time the ships should return they pretended out of their commiserations, to refer him to the council in England to receive a check, rather than by particulating his designs make him so odious to the world, as to touch his life, or utterly overthrow his reputation. But he so much scorned their charity, and publicly defied the uttermost of their cruelty; he wisely prevented their policies, though he could not suppress their envy; yet so well he demeaned himself in this business, as all the company did see his innocency, and his adversaries' malice, and those suborned to accuse him, accused his accusers of subornation; many untruths were alleged against him; but being so apparently disproved, begat a general hatred in the hearts of the company against such unjust commanders, that the president was adjudged to give him 2001; so that all he had was seized upon, in part of satisfaction, which Smith presently returned to the store for the general use of the colony.

Many were the mischiefs that daily sprung from their ignorant (yet ambitious) spirits; but the good doctrine and exhortation of our preacher Master Hunt reconciled them, and caused Captain Smith to be admitted of the council.

The next day all received the communion, the day following the savages voluntarily desired peace, and Captain Newport returned for England with news; leaving in Virginia 100 the 15 of June 1607.

Being thus left to our fortunes, it fortuned that within ten days scarce ten among us could either go, or well stand, such extreme weakness and sickness oppressed us. And thereat none need marvel, if they consider the cause and reason, which was this.

While the ships stayed, our allowance was somewhat bettered, by a daily proportion of biscuit, which the sailors would pilfer to sell, give, or exchange with us, for money, sassafras, furs, or love. But when they departed, there remained neither tavern, beer house, nor place of relief, but the common kettle. Had we been as free from all sins as gluttony, and drunkenness, we might have been canonized for Saints; but our president would never have been admitted, for ingrossing to his private, oatmeal, sack, oil, aquavitse, beef, eggs, or what not, but the kettle; that indeed he allowed equally to be distributed, and that was half a pint of wheat, and as much barley boiled with water for a man a day, and this having fried some 26 weeks in the ship's hold, contained as many worms as grains; so that we might truly call it rather so much bran than corn, our drink was water, our lodgings castles in the air.

With this lodging and diet, our extreme toil in bearing and planting pallisades, so strained and bruised us, and our continual labor in the extremity of the heat had so weakened us, as were cause sufficient to have made us as miserable in our native country, or any other place in the world.

From May, to September, those that escaped, lived upon sturgeon, and sea-crabs, fifty in this time we buried, the rest seeing the president's projects to escape these miseries in our pinnace by flight (who all this time had neither felt want nor sickness) so moved our dead spirits, as we deposed him; and established Ratcliff in his place, (Gosnol being dead) Kendall deposed. Smith newly recovered, Martin and Ratcliff was by his care preserved and relieved, and the most of the soldiers recovered with the skillful diligence of Master Thomas Wotton our surgeon general.

But now was all our provision spent, the sturgeon gone, all helps abandoned, each hour expecting the fury of the savages; when God the patron of all good endeavors, in that desperate extremity so changed the hearts of the savages, that they brought such plenty of their fruits, and provision, as no man wanted...

But our comedies never endured long without a tragedy; some idle exceptions being muttered against Captain Smith, for not discovering the head of Chickahamania river, and taxed by the council, to be too slow in so worthy an attempt. The next voyage he proceeded so far that with much labor by cutting of trees insunder he made his passage; but when his barge could pass no farther, he left her in a broad bay out of danger of shot, commanding none should go ashore till his return: himself with two English and two savages went up higher in a canoe; but he was not long absent, but his men went ashore, whose want of government gave both occasion and opportunity to the savages to surprise one George Cassen, whom they slew, and much failed not to have cut off the boat and all the rest.

Smith little dreaming of that accident, being got to the marshes at the river's head, twenty miles in the desert, had his two men slain (as is supposed) sleeping by the canoe, while himself by fowling sought them victual: who finding he was beset with 200 savages, two of them he slew, still defending himself with the aid of a savage his guide whom he bound to his arm with his garters, and used him as a buckler, yet he was shot in his thigh a little, and had many arrows that stuck in his clothes but no great hurt, till at last they took him prisoner.

When this news came to Jamestown, much was their sorrow for his loss, few expecting what ensued.

Six or seven weeks those Barbarians kept him prisoner, many strange triumphs and conjurations they made of him, yet he so demeaned himself among them, as he not only diverted them from surprising the fort, but procured his own liberty, and got himself and his company such estimation among them, that those savages admired him more than their own Quiyouckosucks...

At last they brought him to Meronocomoco, where was Powhatan their emperor. Here more than two hundred of those grim courtiers stood wondering at him, as he had been a monster; till Powhatan and his train had put themselves in their greatest braveries. Before a fire upon a seat like a bedstead, he sat covered with a great robe, made of Rarowcun (raccoon?) skins, and all the tails hanging by. On either hand did sit a young wench of 16 or 18 years, and along on each side the house, two rows of men, and behind them as many women, with all their heads and shoulders painted red: many of their heads bedecked with the white down of birds; but every one with something: and a great chain of white beads about their necks.

At his entrance before the king, all the people gave a great shout. The queen of Appamatuck was appointed to bring him water to wash his hands, and another brought him a bunch of feathers, instead of a towel to dry them: having feasted him after their best barbarous manner they could, a long consultation was held, but the conclusion was, two great stones were brought before Powhatan: then as many as could laid hands on him, dragged him to them, and thereon laid his head, and being ready with their clubs, to beat out his brains, Pocahontas the king's dearest daughter, when no entreaty could prevail, got his head in her arms, and laid her own upon his to save him from death: whereat the Emperor was contented he should live to make him hatchets, and her bells, beads, and copper; for they thought him as well of all occupations as themselves. For the king himself will make his own robes, shoes, bowes, arrows, pots; plant, hunt, or do anything so well as the rest.

They say he bore a pleasant show,
But sure his heart was sad.
For who can pleasant be, and rest,
That lives in fear and dread:
And having life suspected, doth
It still suspected lead.

Two days after, Powhatan having disguised himself in the most fearful manner he could, caused Captain Smith to be brought forth to a great house in the woods, and thereupon a mat by the fire to be left alone. Not long after from behind a mat that divided the house, was made the most doleful noise he ever heard; then Powhatan more like a devil than a man, with some two hundred more as black as himself, came unto him and told him now they were friends, and presently he should go to Jamestown, to send him two great guns, and a grindstone, for which he would give him the country of Capahowosick, and forever esteem him as his son Nantaquoud.

So to Jamestown with 12 guides Powhatan sent him. That night they quartered in the woods, he still expecting (as he had done all this long time of his imprisonment) every hour to be put to one death or other: for all their feasting. But almighty God (by his divine providence) had mollified the hearts of those stern barbarians with compassion. The next morning betimes they came to the fort, where Smith having used the savages with what kindness he could, he showed Rawhunt, Powhatan's trusty servant, two demi-culverins and a millstone to carry Powhatan: they found them somewhat too heavy; but when they did see him discharge them, being loaded with stones, among the boughs of a great tree loaded with icicles the ice and branches came so tumbling down, that the poor savages ran away half dead with fear. But at last we regained some conference with them, and gave them such toys; and sent to Powhatan, his women, and children such presents, as gave them in general full content.

Now in Jamestown they were all in combustion, the strongest preparing once more to run away with the pinnace; which with the hazard of his life, with Sakre falcon and musket shot, Smith forced now the third time to stay or sink.

Some no better than they should be, had plotted with the president, the next day to have put him to death by the Levitical law, for the lives of Robinson and Emry; pretending the fault was his that had led them to their ends: but he quickly took such order with such lawyers, that he laid them by the heels till he sent some of them prisoners for England.

Now every once in four or five days, Pocahontas with her attendants, brought him so much provision, that saved many of their lives, that else for all this had starved with hunger.

Thus from numb death our good God sent relief,

The sweet assuager of all other grief.

His relation of the plenty he had seen, especially at Werawocomoco, and of the state and bounty of Powhatan, (which till that time was unknown) so revived their dead spirits (especially the love of Pocahontas) as all men's fear was abandoned.

Thus you may see what difficulties still crossed any good endeavor; and the good success of the business being thus often brought to the very period of destruction; yet you see by what strange means God has still delivered it.

As for the insufficiency of them admitted in commission, that error could not be prevented by the electors; there being no other choice, and all strangers to each other's education, qualities, or disposition.

And if any deem it a shame to our Nation to have any mention made of those enormities, let him peruse the Histories of the Spaniard's Discoveries and Plantations, where they may see how many mutinies, disorders, and dissensions have accompanied them, and crossed their attempts: which being known to be particular men's offenses; does take away the general scorn and contempt, which malice, presumption, coveteousness, or ignorance might produce; to the scandal and reproach of those, whose actions and valiant resolutions deserve a more worthy respect.

Now whether it had been better for Captain Smith, to have concluded with any of those several projects, to have abandoned the country, with some ten or twelve of them, who were called the better sort, and have left Master Hunt our preacher, Master Anthony Gosnol, a most honest, worthy, and industrious gentleman, Master Thomas Wotton, and some 27 others of his countrymen to the fury of the savages, famine, and all manner of mischiefs, and inconveniences, (for they were but forty in all to keep possession of this large country;) or starve himself with them for company, for want of lodging: or but adventuring abroad to make them provision, or by his opposition to preserve the action, and save all their lives; I leave to the censure of all honest men to consider....


John Smith's 1616 Letter about Pocahontas from Virginia to Queen Anne of Great Brittaine



1616 Pocahontas

John Smith's 1616 Letter to Queen Anne of Great Brittaine:
 

Most admired Queen,

The love I bear my God, my King and country, hath so oft emboldened me in the worst of extreme dangers, that now honesty doth constrain me to presume thus far beyond myself, to present your Majesty this short discourse: if ingratitude be a deadly poison to all honest virtues, I must be guilty of that crime if I should omit any means to be thankful.

So it is, that some ten years ago being in Virginia, and taken prisoner by the power of Powhatan their chief King, I received from this great Salvage exceeding great courtesy, especially from his son Nantaquaus, the most manliest, comeliest, boldest spirit, I ever saw in a Salvage, and his sister Pocahontas, the Kings most dear and well-beloved daughter, being but a child of twelve or thirteen years of age, whose compassionate pitiful heart, of my desperate estate, gave me much cause to respect her: I being the first Christian this proud King and his grim attendants ever saw: and thus enthralled in their barbarous power, I cannot say I felt the least occasion of want that was in the power of those my mortal foes to prevent, notwithstanding all their threats. After some six weeks fatting amongst those Salvage courtiers, at the minute of my execution, she hazarded the beating out of her own brains to save mine; and not only that, but so prevailed with her father, that I was safely conducted to Jamestown: where I found about eight and thirty miserable poor and sick creatures, to keep possession of all those large territories of Virginia; such was the weakness of this poor commonwealth, as had the salvages not fed us, we directly had starved. And this relief, most gracious Queen, was commonly brought us by this Lady Pocahontas.

Notwithstanding all these passages, when inconstant fortune turned our peace to war, this tender virgin would still not spare to dare to visit us, and by her our jars have been oft appeased, and our wants still supplied; were it the policy of her father thus to employ her, or the ordinance of God thus to make her his instrument, or her extraordinary affection to our nation, I know not: but of this I am sure; when her father with the utmost of his policy and power, sought to surprise me, having but eighteen with me, the dark night could not affright her from coming through the irksome woods, and with watered eyes gave me intelligence, with her best advice to escape his fury; which had he known, he had surely slain her.

Jamestown with her wild train she as freely frequented, as her fathers habitation; and during the time of two or three years, she next under God, was still the instrument to preserve this colony from death, famine and utter confusion; which if in those times, had once been dissolved, Virginia might have lain as it was at our first arrival to this day.

Since then, this business having been turned and varied by many accidents from that I left it at: it is most certain, after a long and troublesome war after my departure, betwixt her father and our colony; all which time she was not heard of.

About two years after she herself was taken prisoner, being so detained near two years longer, the colony by that means was relieved, peace concluded; and at last rejecting her barbarous condition, she was married to an English Gentleman, with whom at this present she is in England; the first Christian ever of that Nation, the first Virginian ever spoke English, or had a child in marriage by an Englishman: a matter surely, if my meaning be truly considered and well understood, worthy a Princes understanding.

Thus, most gracious Lady, I have related to your Majesty, what at your best leisure our approved Histories will account you at large, and done in the time of your Majesty's life; and however this might be presented you from a more worthy pen, it cannot from a more honest heart, as yet I never begged anything of the state, or any: and it is my want of ability and her exceeding desert; your birth, means, and authority; her birth, virtue, want and simplicity, doth make me thus bold, humbly to beseech your Majesty to take this knowledge of her, though it be from one so unworthy to be the reporter, as myself, her husbands estate not being able to make her fit to attend your Majesty. The most and least I can do, is to tell you this, because none so oft hath tried it as myself, and the rather being of so great a spirit, however her stature: if she should not be well received, seeing this Kingdom may rightly have a Kingdom by her means; her present love to us and Christianity might turn to such scorn and fury, as to divert all this good to the worst of evil; whereas finding so great a Queen should do her some honor more than she can imagine, for being so kind to your servants and subjects, would so ravish her with content, as endear her dearest blood to effect that, your Majesty and all the Kings honest subjects most earnestly desire.

And so I humbly kiss your gracious hands,  Captain John Smith, 1616



1606 Instructions for the Virginia Colony

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Captain Smith and his adventurers

In the 1st decade of the 17C England began a second round of colonizing attempts. This time jointstock companies were used as the vehicle to plant settlements rather than giving extensive grants to a landed proprietor such as Gilbert or Raleigh, whose attempts at colonization in the 1570s & 1580s had failed.

The founding of Virginia marked the beginning of a 25 year period in which every colony in the New World was established by means of a joint-stock company. A variety of motives intensified the colonizing impulse - international rivalry, propagation of religion, enlarged opportunity for individual men - but none exceeded that of trade & profit. The companies were created to make a profit; their in vestments in the colonies were based on this assumption. Early in the 1630's, merchants & investors discovered that they could employ their money in other more rewarding enterprises. After 1631, no colony was founded by mercantile enterprise, but by that date the investors had left a legacy of colonization that was to endure.

In these instructions for the Virginia Company, the power of Spain and the fear derived from past failures invade every line. The detail of the instructions reflect the work of experienced men; Richard Hakluyt, the younger, for example, probably had a hand in writing them.  Hakluyt wrote The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation between 1598 and 1600. Hakluyt was an unashamed propagandist for England's maritime expansion. He detailed shipwrecks, privations, discoveries, encounters with different peoples across the globe, imprisonments, escapes.

1606 Instructions

As we doubt not but you will have especial care to observe the ordinances set down by the King's Majesty and delivered unto you under the Privy Seal; so for your better directions upon your first landing we have thought good to recommend unto your care these instructions and articles following.

When it shall please God to send you on the coast of Virginia, you shall do your best endeavour to find out a safe port in the entrance of some navigable river, making choice of such a one as runneth farthest into the land, and if you happen to discover divers portable rivers, and amongst them any one that hath two main branches, if the difference be not great, make choice of that which bendeth most toward the North-West for that way you shall soonest find the other sea.

When you have made choice of the river on which you mean to settle, be not hasty in landing your victuals and munitions; but first let Captain Newport discover how far that river may be found navigable, that you make election of the strongest, most wholesome and fertile place; for if you make many removes, besides the loss of time, you shall greatly spoil your victuals and your caske, and with great pain transport it in small boats.
But if you choose your place so far up as a bark of fifty tuns will float, then you may lay all your provisions ashore with ease, and the better receive the trade of all the countries about you in the land; and such a place you may perchance find a hundred miles from the river's mouth, and the further up the better. For if you sit down near the entrance, except it be in some island that is strong by nature, an enemy that may approach you on even ground, may easily pull you out; and if he be driven to seek you a hundred miles [in] the land in boats, you shall from both sides of the river where it is narrowest, so beat them with your muskets as they shall never be able to prevail against you.

And to the end that you be not surprised as the French were in Florida by Melindus, and the Spaniard in the same place by the French, you shall do well to make this double provision. First, erect a little stoure at the mouth of the river that may lodge some ten men; with whom you shall leave a light boat, that when any fleet shall be in sight, they may come with speed to give you warning. Secondly, you must in no case suffer any of the native people of the country to inhabit between you and the sea coast; for you cannot carry yourselves so towards them, but they will grow discontented with your habitation, and be ready to guide and assist any nation that shall come to invade you; and if you neglect this, you neglect your safety.

When you have discovered as far up the river as you mean to plant yourselves, and landed your victuals and munitions; to the end that every man may know his charge, you shall do well to divide your six score men into three parts; whereof one party of them you may appoint to fortifie and build, of which your first work must be your storehouse for victuals; the other you may imploy in preparing your ground and sowing your corn and roots; the other ten of these forty you must leave as centinel at the haven's mouth. The other forty you may imploy for two months in discovery of the river above you, and on the country about you; which charge Captain Newport and Captain Gosnold may undertake of these forty discoverers. When they do espie any high lands or hills, Captain Gosnold may take twenty of the company to cross over the lands, and carrying a half dozen pickaxes to try if they can find any minerals. The other twenty may go on by river, and pitch up boughs upon the bank's side, by which the other boats shall follow them by the same turnings. You may also take with them a wherry, such as is used here in the Thames; by which you may send back to the President for supply of munition or any other want, that you may not be driven to return for every small defect.

You must observe if you can, whether the river on which you plant doth spring out of mountains or out of lakes. If it be out of any lake, the passage to the other sea will be more easy, and [it] is like enough, that out of the same lake you shall find some spring which run[s] the contrary way towards the East India Sea; for the great and famous rivers of Volga, Tan[a]is and Dwina have three heads near joynd; and yet the one falleth into the Caspian Sea, the other into the Euxine Sea, and the third into the Paelonian Sea.

In all your passages you must have great care not to offend the naturals [natives], if you can eschew it; and imploy some few of your company to trade with them for corn and all other . . . victuals if you have any; and this you must do before that they perceive you mean to plant among them; for not being sure how your own seed corn will prosper the first year, to avoid the danger of famine, use and endeavour to store yourselves of the country corn.

Your discoverers that pass over land with hired guides, must look well to them that they slip not from them: and for more assurance, let them take a compass with them, and write down how far they go upon every point of the compass; for that country having no way nor path, if that your guides run from you in the great woods or desert, you shall hardly ever find a passage back.

And how weary soever your soldiers be, let them never trust the country people with the carriage of their weapons; for if they run from you with your shott, which they only fear, they will easily kill them all with their arrows. And whensoever any of yours shoots before them, be sure they may be chosen out of your best marksmen; for if they see your learners miss what they aim at, they will think the weapon not so terrible, and thereby will be bould to assault you.

Above all things, do not advertize the killing of any of your men, that the country people may know it; if they perceive that they are but common men, and that with the loss of many of theirs they diminish any part of yours, they will make many adventures upon you. If the country be populous, you shall do well also, not to let them see or know of your sick men, if you have any; which may also encourage them to many enterprizes.

You must take especial care that you choose a seat for habitation that shall not be over burthened with woods near your town; for all the men you have, shall not be able to cleanse twenty acres a year; besides that it may serve for a covert for your enemies round about.

Neither must you plant in a low or moist place, because it will prove unhealthfull. You shall judge of the good air by the people; for some part of that coast where the lands are low, have their people blear eyed, and with swollen bellies and legs; but if the naturals be strong and clean made, it is a true sign of a wholesome soil.

You must take order to draw up the pinnace that is left with you, under the fort: and take her sails and anchors ashore, all but a small kedge to ride by; least some ill-dispositioned persons slip away with her.

You must take care that your marriners that go for wages, do not mar your trade; for those that mind not to inhabite, for a little gain will debase the estimation of exchange, and hinder the trade for ever after; and therefore you shall not admit or suffer any person whatsoever, other than such as shall be appointed by the President and Counsel there, to buy any merchandizes or other things whatsoever.

It were necessary that all your carpenters and other such like workmen about building do first build your storehouse and those other rooms of publick and necessary use before any house be set up for any private person: and though the workman may belong to any private persons yet let them all work together first for the company and then for private men.

And seeing order is at the same price with confusion, it shall be adviseably done to set your houses even and by a line, that your street may have a good breadth, and be carried square about your market place and every street's end opening into it; that from thence, with a few field pieces, you may command every street throughout; which market place you may also fortify if you think it needfull.

You shall do well to send a perfect relation by Captaine Newport of all that is done, what height you are seated, how far into the land, what commodities you find, what soil, woods and their several kinds, and so of all other things else to advertise particularly; and to suffer no man to return but by pasport from the President and Counsel, nor to write any letter of anything that may discourage others.

Lastly and chiefly the way to prosper and achieve good success is to make yourselves all of one mind for the good of your country and your own, and to serve and fear God the Giver of all Goodness, for every plantation which our Heavenly Father hath not planted shall be rooted out.


New England - Puritan Women in 17C


During the religious upheavals of the 16th century, a body of men & women called Puritans sought to reform the Established Church of England from within. Essentially, they demanded that the rituals & structures associated with Roman Catholicism be replaced by simpler Protestant forms of faith & worship. Their reformist ideas, by destroying the unity of the state church, threatened to divide the people & to undermine royal authority.

In 1607 a small group of Separatists -- a radical sect of Puritans who did not believe the Established Church could ever be reformed -- departed for Leyden, Holland, where the Dutch granted them asylum. However, the Calvinist Dutch restricted them mainly to low-paid laboring jobs. Some members of the congregation grew dissatisfied with this discrimination & resolved to emigrate to the New World.





In 1620, a group of Leyden Puritans secured a land patent from the Virginia Company, & a group of 101 men, women & children set out for Virginia on board the Mayflower. A storm sent them far north & they landed in New England on Cape Cod. Believing themselves outside the jurisdiction of any organized government, the men drafted a formal agreement to abide by "just & equal laws" drafted by leaders of their own choosing. This was the Mayflower Compact.

In December the Mayflower reached Plymouth harbor; the Pilgrims began to build their settlement during the winter. Nearly half the colonists died of exposure & disease, but neighboring Wampanoag Indians provided agricultural information that would sustain them: how to grow maize. By the next fall, the Pilgrims had a plentiful crop of corn, & a growing trade based on furs & lumber.

A new wave of immigrants arrived on the shores of Massachusetts Bay in 1630 bearing a grant from King Charles I to establish a colony. Many of them were Puritans whose religious practices were increasingly prohibited in England. Their leader, John Winthrop, openly set out to create a "city upon a hill" in the New World. By this he meant a place where Puritans would live in strict accordance with their religious beliefs.

In 17C New England, Puritan women usually arrived with family members to band together in cooperative religious communities organized for the collective good which included shared economic goals. Almost immediately, their healthier living conditions allowed for reproduction by natural increase.

Intact family units let New England families adapt to their new world more easily. The New England family often planted just enough to sustain themselves within their community, unlike the profit driven Chesapeake family desperately trying to produce as much as possible.

The average colonial man in New England viewed himself as a member of a family group in which he had rights as well as obligations. Usually husbands & wives worked together for the good of their immediate & extended family & for the good of their community. Men spent most of their time working within with an extended family which sought interdependence with their wider community.

In early New England, both men & women believed that individuals & family should be subordinated to the demands of the greater community. 


Generally women, even if they were not Puritan, throughout the emerging New England colonies lived under similar conditions. The Massachusetts Bay Colony was to play a significant role in the development of the entire New England region, in part because Winthrop & his Puritan colleagues were able to bring their charter with them. Thus the authority for the colony's government resided in Massachusetts, not in England.

Under the charter's provisions, power rested with the General Court, which was made up of "freemen" required to be members of the Puritan Church. This guaranteed that the Puritans would be the dominant political as well as religious force in the colony. It was the General Court which elected the governor. For most of the next generation, this would be John Winthrop.

The rigid orthodoxy of the Puritan rule was not to everyone's liking. One of the first to challenge the General Court openly was a young clergyman named Roger Williams, who objected to the colony's seizure of Indian lands & its relations with the Church of England.

Banished from Massachusetts Bay, he purchased land from the Narragansett Indians in what is now Providence, Rhode Island, in 1636. There he set up the 1st American colony where complete separation of church & state as well as freedom of religion was practiced.

So-called heretics like Williams were not the only ones who left Massachusetts. Orthodox Puritans, seeking better lands & opportunities, soon began leaving Massachusetts Bay Colony. News of the fertility of the Connecticut River Valley, for instance, attracted the interest of farmers having a difficult time with poor land. By the early 1630s, many were ready to brave the danger of Indian attack to obtain level ground & deep, rich soil. These new communities often eliminated church membership as a prerequisite for voting, thereby extending the franchise to ever larger numbers of men.

At the same time, other settlements began cropping up along the New Hampshire & Maine coasts, as more & more immigrants sought the land & liberty the New World seemed to offer.