Book X: unsuccessful settlements in New England. (A. D. 1602-1607.)
The narrative of Captain Gosnold's adventures is taken from John Brereton's ‘Brief and True Relation of the Discovery of the North Part of Virginia: being a most pleasant, fruitful, and commodious soil.’ Reprinted in the Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 3d series, vol. VIII. pp. 85-93. Waymouth's narrative is taken from ‘A True Relation of the most Prosperous Voyage made this Present Year, 1605, by Captain George Waymouth, in the discovery of the land of Virginia, where he discovered, sixty miles up, a most excellent river, together with a most fertile land. Written by James Rosier, a gentleman employed in the voyage.’ Reprinted in the same volume of the Massachusetts Historical Collections, pp. 135-156. The other two narratives are from Strachey's ‘Historie of Travaile into Virginia’ (reprinted by the Hakluyt Society, 1849), pp. 171-173, 176-180.
I.—Gosnold's fort at Cuttyhunk.[Gosnold was the first Englishman who attempted to found a colony in New England; and this account of his attempt is by his companion, John Brereton.]
Ii.—Captain Waymooth captures Indians, and explores the Penobscot River.[Captain George Waymouth, or Weymouth, sailed from England in 1605.]
Wednesday the twenty-ninth day [of May], our shallop being now finished, and our captain and men furnished to depart with her from the ship, we set up a cross on the shore-side upon the rocks. Thursday, the 30th of May, about ten o'clock before noon, our captain, with thirteen men more, in the name of God, and with all our prayers for our prosperous discovery and safe return, departed in the shallop; leaving the ship in a good harbor, which before I mentioned, well moored, and manned with fourteen men. This day, about five o'clock in the afternoon, we in the ship espied three canoes coming towards us, which went to the island adjoining, where they went ashore, and very quickly had made a fire, about which they stood beholding our ship, to whom we made signs with our hands and hats, waving unto them to come unto us, because we had not seen any of the people yet. They sent one canoe with three men, one of which, when they came near unto us, spake in his language very loud and very boldly, seeming as though he would know why we were there; and by pointing with  his oar towards the sea, we conjectured he meant we should be gone. But when we showed them knives and their use, by cutting of sticks; and other trifles, as combs and glasses, they came close aboard our ship, as desirous to entertain our friendship. To these we gave such things as we perceived they liked, when we showed them the use,—bracelets, rings, peacock-feathers, which they stuck in their hair, and tobacco-pipes. After their departure to their company on the shore, presently came four others in another canoe; to whom we gave as to the former, using them with as much kindness as we could. The shape of their body is very proportionable. They are well countenanced, not very tall nor big, but in stature like to us. They paint their bodies with black; their faces, some with red, some with black, and some with blue. Their clothing is beaver-skins or deer-skins cast over them like a mantle, and hanging down to their knees, made fast together upon the shoulder with leather: some of them had sleeves, most had none; some had buskins of such leather sewed. . . . The next morning, very early, came one canoe aboard us again, with three savages, whom we easily then enticed into our ship, and under the deck, where we gave them pork, fish, bread, and peas, all which—they did eat; and this I noted, they would eat nothing raw, either fish or flesh. They marvelled much, and much looked upon the making of our can and kettle, so they did at a head-piece,19 and at our guns, of which they are most fearful, and would fall flat down at the report  of them. At their departure, I signed unto them, that, if they would bring me back such skins as they wear, I would give them knives, and such things as I saw they most liked, which the chief of them promised to do by that time the sun should be beyond the midst of the firmament.20 This I did to bring them to an understanding of exchange, and that they might conceive the intent of our coming to them to be for no other end. . . . I return now to our savages, who, according to their appointment, about one o'clock, came with four canoes to the shore of the island right over against us, where they had lodged the last night, and sent one canoe to us with two of those savages who had been aboard, and another who then seemed to have command of them; for though we perceived their willingness, yet he would not permit them to come aboard; but he, having viewed us and our ship, signed that he would go to the rest of the company, and return again. Presently after their departure, it began to rain, and continued all that afternoon, so as they could not come to us with their skins and furs, nor we go to them. But, after an hour or thereabout, the three which had been with us before came again, whom we had to our fire, and covered them with our gowns. Our captain bestowed a shirt upon him, whom we thought to be their chief, who seemed never to have seen any before. We gave him a brooch to hang about his neck, a great knife, and lesser knives to the two other; and to every one of them a comb and glass, the use whereof we showed them; whereat they laughed and took these  presents gladly. We victualled21 them, and gave them aqua vittae,22 which they tasted, but would by no means drink. Our beverage they liked well. We gave them sugar-candy, which after they had tasted they liked, and desired more, and raisins which were given them; and some of every thing they would reserve to carry to their company. Wherefore we, pitying their being in the rain, and therefore not able to get themselves victual, as we thought, we gave them bread and fish. Thus, because we found the land a place answerable to the intent of our discovery, namely, fit for any nation to inhabit, we used the people with as great kindness as we could devise, or found them capable of. The next day being Saturday, and the 1st of June, I traded with the savages all the forenoon upon the shore, where were eight and twenty of them; and, because our ship rode nigh, we were but five or six; where, for knives, glasses, combs, and other trifles, to the value of four or five shillings, we had forty good beavers' skins, otters' skins, sables, and other small skins which we knew not how to call. Our trade being ended, many of them came aboard us, and did eat by our fire, and would be very merry and bold in regard of our kind usage of them. Towards night, our captain went on shore to have a draught with the seine, or net. And we carried two of them with us, who marvelled to see us catch fish with a net. Most of that we caught we gave them and their company. Then on the shore I learned the names of divers things of them; and, when they perceived me to note them down, they  would of themselves fetch fish and fruit-bushes, and stand by me to see me write their names. Our captain showed them a strange thing, which they wondered at. His sword and mine, having been touched with the loadstone, took up a knife, and held it fast when they plucked it away, made the knife turn,—being laid on a block,—and, touching it with his sword, made that take up a needle, whereat they much marvelled. This we did to cause them to imagine some great power in us, and for that to love and fear us. . . . Our captain had two of them at supper with us in his cabin, to see their demeanor, and had them in presence at service,23 who behaved themselves very civilly, neither laughing nor talking all the time, and at supper fed not like men of rude education; neither would they eat or drink more than seemed to content nature. They desired peas to carry ashore to their women, which we gave them, with fish and bread, and lent them pewter dishes, which they carefully brought again . . . . This day, about five o'clock, afternoon, came three other canoes from the main, of which some had been with us before: and they came aboard us, and brought us tobacco, which we took with them in their pipes, which were made of earth, very strong, black, and short, containing a great quantity. Some tobacco they gave unto our captain, and some to me, in very civil, kind manner: we requited them with bread and peas, which they carried to their company on shore, seeming very thankful. After supper they returned with their canoe, to fetch us ashore, to take tobacco with them there, with whom six or seven of us went, and carried some  trifles, if peradventure they had any truck,24 among which I carried some few biscuits, to try if they would exchange for them, seeing they so well liked to eat them. When we came at shore, they most kindly entertained us, taking us by the hands, as they observed we did to them aboard, in token of welcome, and brought us to sit down by their fire, where sat together thirteen of them. They filled their tobacco-pipe, which was then the short claw of a lobster, which will hold ten of our pipes full, and we drank25 of their excellent tobacco as much as we would with them. But we saw not any great quantity to truck26 for; and it seemed they had not much left of old, for they spend a great quantity yearly by their continual drinking. And they would sign unto us that it was grown yet but a foot above ground, and would be above a yard high, with a leaf as broad as both their hands . . . . About eight o'clock this day, we went on shore with our boats, to fetch aboard water and wood; our captain leaving word with the gunner in the ship, by discharging a musket, to give notice, if they espied any canoe coming; which they did about ten o'clock. He, therefore, being careful they should be kindly treated, requested me to go aboard, intending with despatch to make what haste after he possibly could. When I came to the ship, there were two canoes, and in either of them three savages, of whom two were below at the fire: the others staid in their canoes about the ship, and, because we could not entice them aboard, we gave them a can of  peas and bread, which they carried to the shore to eat. But one of them brought back our can presently, and staid aboard with the other two; for he, being young, of a ready capacity, and one we most desired to bring with us into England, had received exceeding kind usage at our hands, and was therefore much delighted in our company. When our captain was come, we consulted how to catch the other three at shore, which we performed thus:— We manned the light horseman27 with seven or eight men. One standing before carried our box of merchandise, as we were wont when I went to traffic with them, and a platter of peas, which meat28 they loved. But, before we were landed, one of them (being so suspiciously fearful of his own good) withdrew himself into the wood. The other two met us on the shore-side, to receive the peas, with whom we went up the cliff to their fire, and sat down with them; and while we were discussing how to catch the third man, who was gone, I opened the box, and showed them trifles to exchange, thinking thereby to have banished fear from the other, and drawn him to return. But, when we could not, we used little delay, but suddenly laid hands upon them. And it was as much as five or six of us could do to get them into the light horseman; for they were strong, and so naked as29 by far our best hold was by the long hair on their heads. And we would have been very loath to have done them any hurt, which of necessity we had been constrained to have done if we had attempted them in a multitude, which we must and would, rather  than have wanted them, being a matter of great importance for the full accomplishment of our voyage. Thus we shipped five savages, two canoes, with all their bows and arrows. .. Tuesday, the 11th of June, we passed up into the river30 with our ship about six and twenty miles, of which I had rather not write than by my relation to detract from the worthiness thereof. . . . As we passed with a gentle wind up with our ship in this river, any man may conceive with what admiration we all consented31 in joy. Many of our company who had been travellers in sundry countries, and in the most famous rivers, yet affirmed them not comparable to this they now beheld. Some that were with Sir Walter Raleigh in his voyage to Guiana, in the discovery of the River Orenoque,32 which echoed fame to the world's ears, gave reasons why it was not to be compared with this, which wanteth the danger of many shoals and broken ground, wherewith that was encumbered. Others before that notable river in the West Indies called Rio Grande; some before the River of Loire, the River Seine, and of Bourdeaux, in France, which, although they be great and goodly rivers, yet it is no detraction from them to be accounted inferior to this, which not only yieldeth all the aforesaid pleasant profits, but also appeareth infallibly to us free from all inconveniences. I will not prefer it before our River of Thames, because it is England's richest treasure; but we all did wish those excellent harbors, good deeps in a continual convenient breadth, and small tide-gates, to be as well therein for our country's good as we found them here  —beyond our hopes—in certain, for those to whom it shall please God to grant this land for habitation; which if it had, with the other inseparable adherent commodities here to be found, then I would boldly affirm it to be the most rich, beautiful, large, and secure harboring river that the world affordeth. . . . Further, I have thought fit to add some things worthy to be regarded, which we have observed from the savages since we took them. First, although at the time we surprised them, they made their best resistance, not knowing our purpose, nor what we were, not how we meant to use them; yet, after perceiving by their kind usage we intended them no harm, they have never since seemed discontented with us, but very tractable, loving, and willing by their best means to satisfy us in any thing we demand of them, by words or signs for their understanding. Neither have they at any time been at the least discord among themselves, insomuch as we have not seen them angry, but merry, and so kind, as, if you give any thing to one of them, he will distribute part to every one of the rest. We have brought them to understand some English, and we understand much of their language, so as we are able to ask them many things.
[The Indians thus carried to England were the objects of great wonder, and crowds of people followed them in the streets. It is thought that Shakspeare may have referred to them in the Tempest, written a few years later, about 1610. Trinculo there wishes to take the monster Caliban to England, and says, ‘Not a holiday fool there but would give a piece of silver; there would this monster make a man; any strange beast there makes a man. When they will not give a doit to relieve a lame beggar, they will lay out ten to see a dead Indian.’]
III.—The Popham colony on the Kennebec.[so much interest was excited by the voyages of Gosnold and Waymouth, that two companies were formed in England for the settlement of America,—the London company and the Plymouth company. Each company sent out a colony in 1606; but the ship sent by the Plymouth company was taken by a Spanish fleet, while the other colony reached Virginia. Then in June, 1607, the Plymouth company sent another colony, under command of Captain George Popham, he being in a vessel called ‘the gift of God,’ accompanied by ‘the Mary and John,’ Captain Raleigh Gilbert. They reached the mouth of the River Sachadehoc, or Kennebec, in August; and the narrative proceeds as follows, as told by Strachey, secretary of the Virginia Colony.]
Captain Popham, in his pinnace, with thirty persons, and Captain Gilbert in his long-boat, with eighteen persons more, went early in the morning from their ship into the River Sachadehoc, to view the river, and to search where they might find a fit place for their plantation. They sailed up into the river near forty leagues, and found it to be a very gallant river, very deep, and seldom less water than three fathom,. . . whereupon they proceeded no farther, but, in their return homewards, observed many goodly islands therein, and many branches of other small rivers falling into it. They all went ashore, and there made choice of a
Iv.—Captain Gilbert's adventure with the Indians.[Captain Gilbert, the companion of Captain Popham, went up the River Kennebec, or Sachadehoc, in a shallop with nineteen men, and had this adventure with Indians.]
In the morning there came a canoe unto them, and in her a sagamo39 and four savages,—some of those which spoke to them the night before. The sagamo called his name Lebenoa, and told us how he was lord of the River Sachadehoc. They entertained him friendly, and took him into their boat, and presented him with  some trifling things, which he accepted. Howbeit, he desired some one of our men to be put in his canoe as a pawn of his safety, whereupon Captain Gilbert sent in a man of his, when presently the canoe rowed away from them, with all the speed they could make, up the river. They followed with the shallop, having great care that the sagamo should not leap overboard. The canoe quickly rowed from them, and landed; and the men made to their houses, being near a league on the land from the river's side, and carried our man with them. The shallop, making good way, at length came to another downfall,40 which was so shallow and so swift that by no means they could pass any farther, for which Captain Gilbert, with nine others, landed, and took their fare,41 the savage sagamo, with them, and went in search after those other savages, whose houses, the sagamo told Captain Gilbert, were not far off. And, after a good tedious march, they came indeed at length unto those savages' houses, where [they] found near fifty able men, very strong and tall, such as their like before they had not seen, all newly painted, and armed with their bows and arrows. Howbeit, after that the sagamo had talked with them, they delivered back again the man, and used all the rest very friendly, as did ours the like by them, who showed them their commodities of beads, knives, and some copper, of which they seemed very fond, and, by way of trade, made show that they would come down to the boat, and there bring such things as they had, to exchange them for ours. So Captain Gilbert departed from them; and, within half an hour after he had gotten to his boat, there came three canoes down  unto them, and in them some sixteen savages, and brought with them some tobacco, and certain small skins, which were of no value; which Captain Gilbert perceiving, and that they had nothing else wherewith to trade, he caused all his men to come aboard. And, as he would have put from the shore, the savages perceiving so much, subtly devised how they might put out the fire in the shallop, by which means they saw they should be free from the danger of our men's pieces;42 and, to perform the same, one of the savages came into the shallop, and taking the firebrand which one of our company held in his hand thereby to light the matches, as if he would light a pipe of tobacco, as soon as he had gotten it into his hand he presently threw it into the water, and leaped out of the shallop. Captain Gilbert, seeing that, suddenly commanded his men to betake them to their muskets, and the targetiers too, from the head of the boat; and had one of the men before, with his target on his arm, to step on the shore for more fire. The savages resisted him, and would not suffer him to take any, and some others holding fast the boat-rope, that the shallop could not put off. Captain Gilbert caused the musketeers to present their pieces, the which the savages seeing, presently let go the boat-rope, and betook them to their bows and arrows, and ran into the bushes, nocking43 their arrows, but did not shoot, neither did ours at them. So the shallop departed from them to the farther side of the river, where one of the canoes came unto them, and would have excused the fault of the others. Captain  Gilbert made show as if he were still friends, and entertained them kindly, and so left them, returning to the place where he had lodged the night before, and there came to an anchor for that night.