Book IX: the lost colonies of Virginia. (A. D. 1584-1590.) These extracts from the early Virginia narratives may be found in Hakluyt's Voyages (ed. 1801), vol. III. pp. 301-305, 323, 340-346, 354-355.
I—The first voyage to Virginia.The first voyage made to the coasts of America, with two barks, wherein were Captains M. Philip Amadas and M. Arthur Barlowe, who discovered part of the country now called Virginia, Anno 1584. Written by one of the said captains, and sent to Sir Walter Raleigh Knight, at whose charge and direction the said voyage was set forth. The twenty-seventh day of April, in the year of our redemption,1 1584, we departed [from] the west of England, with two barks well furnished with men and victuals, having received our last and perfect directions by your letters, confirming the former instructions and commandments, delivered by yourself at our leaving the River of Thames. . . . . The 2d of July we found shoal water, where we smelt so sweet and so strong a smell, as if we had been in the midst of some delicate garden abounding with all kind of odoriferous flowers, by which we were assured that the land could not be far distant. And  keeping good watch, and bearing but slack sail, the 4th of the same month we arrived upon the coast, which we supposed to be a continent and firm land; and we sailed along the same a hundred and twenty English miles before we could find any entrance or river issuing into the sea. The first that appeared unto us, we entered, though not without some difficulty, and cast anchor about three arquebuse-shot within the haven's mouth on the left-hand of the same. And, after thanks given to God for our safe arrival thither, we manned our boats, and went to view the land next adjoining, and ‘to take possession of the same in the right of the Queen's most excellent Majesty, as rightful queen and princess of the same,’ and after2 delivered the same over to your use, according to her Majesty's grant, and letters-patent, under her Highness' great seal. We passed from the seaside towards the tops of those hills next adjoining, being but of mean height; and from thence we beheld the sea on both sides to the north, and to the south, finding no end any of both ways. This land lay stretching itself to the west, which after we found to be but an island of twenty miles long, and not about six miles broad.3 Under the bank or hill whereon we stood, we beheld the valleys replenished with goodly cedar-trees; and, having discharged our arquebuse-shot, such a flock of cranes— the most part white-arose under us, with such a cry, redoubled by many echoes, as if an army of men had shouted all together.  We remained by the side of this island two whole days before we saw any people of the country. The third day we espied one small boat rowing towards us, having in it three persons. This boat came to the island side, four arquebuse-shot from our ships; and there, two of the people remaining, the third came along the shore-side toward us; and we, being then all within board,4 he walked up and down upon the point of land next unto us. Then the master and pilot of the admiral,5 Simon Ferdinando, and the captain, Philip Amadas, myself, and others, rowed to the land, whose coming this fellow attended, never making any show of fear or doubt. And, after he had spoken of many things not understood by us, we brought him, with his own good liking, aboard the ships, and gave him a shirt, a hat, and some other things, and made him taste of our wine and our meat, which he liked very well; and, after having viewed both barks, he departed, and went to his own boat again, which he had left in a little cove or creek adjoining. Soon as he was two bow-shot into the water, he fell to fishing; and in less than half an hour he had laden his boat as deep as it could swim, with which he came again to the point of the land; and there he divided his fish into two parts, pointing6 one part to the ship, and the other to the pinnace; which after he had, as much as he might, requited the former benefits received, departed out of our sight. The next day, there came unto us divers boats, and in one of them the king's brother, accompanied with forty or fifty men, very handsome and goodly people, and in their behavior as mannerly and civil as any of  Europe. His name was Granganimeo, and the king is called Wingina; the country, Wingandacoa; and now, by her Majesty, Virginia. The manner of his coming was in this sort: he left his boats all together, as the first man did, a little from the ships by the shore, and came along to the place over against the ships, followed with forty men. When he came to the place, his servants spread a long mat upon the ground, on which he sat down; and at the other end of the mat four others of his company did the like: the rest of his men stood round about him somewhat afar off. When we came to the shore to him with our weapons, he never moved from his place, nor any of the other four, nor never mistrusted any harm to be offered from us; but, sitting still, he beckoned us to come and sit by him, which we performed; and, being set, he made all signs of joy and welcome, striking on his head and his breast, and afterwards on ours, to show we all were one, smiling and making show, the best he could, of all love and familiarity. After he had made a long speech unto us, we presented him with divers things, which he received very joyfully and thankfully. None of the company durst speak one word all the time: only the four which were at the other end spoke one in the other's ear very softly. A day or two after this, we fell to trading with them, exchanging some things that we had for chamois, buff, and deer skins. When we showed him7 all our packet of merchandise, of all things that he saw, a bright tin dish most pleased him, which he presently took up, and clapped it before his breast, and, after,  made a hole in the brim thereof, and hung it about his neck, making signs that it would defend him against his enemies' arrows; for these people maintain a deadly and terrible war with the people and king adjoining. We exchanged our tin dish for twenty skins, worth twenty crowns, or twenty nobles; and a copper kettle for fifty skins, worth fifty crowns. They offered us good exchange for our hatchets and axes and for knives, and would have given any thing for swords; but we would not depart8 with any. After two or three days, the king's brother came aboard the ships, and drank wine, and ate of our meat and our bread, and liked exceedingly thereof; and, after a few days overpassed, he brought his wife with him to the ships, his daughter, and two or three children. His wife was very well favored, of mean stature, and very bashful. She had on her back a long cloak of leather, with the fur side next to her body, and before her a piece of the same; about her forehead she had a band of white coral, and so had her husband many times; in her ears she had bracelets of pearl hanging down to her middle,—whereof we delivered your Worship a little bracelet,—and those were of the bigness of good peas. The rest of her women of the better sort had pendants of copper hanging in either ear; and some of the children of the king's brother, and other noblemen, have five or six in either ear. He himself had upon his head a broad plate of gold, or copper; for, being unpolished, we knew not what metal it should be; neither would he by any means suffer us to take it off his head; but feeling it, it would bow9 very easily.  His apparel was as his wife's; only the women wear their hair long on both sides, and the men but on one. They are of color yellowish, and their hair black, for the most part; and yet we saw children that had very fine auburn and chestnut colored hair. After that these women had been there, there came down from all parts great store of people, bringing with them leather, coral, divers kind of dyes, very excellent, and exchanged with us. But when Granganimeo, the king's brother, was present, none durst trade but himself, except such as wear red pieces of copper on their heads like himself; for that is the difference between the noblemen and the governors of countries, and the meaner sort. And we both noted there, and you have understood since by these men which we brought home, that no people in the world carry more respect to their king, nobility, and governors, than these do. The king's brother's wife, when she came to us,— as she did many times,—was followed with forty or fifty women always; and, when she came into the ship, she left them all on land, saving her two daughters, her nurse, and one or two more. The king's brother always kept this order: as many boats as he would come withal to the ships, so many fires would he make on the shore afar off, to the end we might understand with what strength and company he approached. Their boats are made of one tree, either of pine or of pitch trees, a wood not commonly known to our people, nor found growing in England. They have no edge-tools to make them withal: if they have any, they are very few, and those it seems they had twenty years since, which, as those two men declared, was out  of a wreck, which happened upon their coast, of some Christian ship, being beaten that way by some storm and outrageous weather, whereof none of the people were saved, but only the ship, or some part of her, being cast upon the sand, out of whose sides they drew the nails and the spikes, and with those they made their best instruments. The manner of making their boats is thus: they burn down some great tree, or take such as are windfallen, and, putting gum and resin upon one side thereof, they set fire into it, and, when it hath burned it hollow, they cut out the coal with their shells, and ever, where they would burn it deeper or wider, they lay on gums which burn away the timber; and by this means they fashion very fine boats, and such as will transport twenty men.10 Their oars are like scoops; and many times they set11 with long poles, as the depth serveth. The king's brother had great liking of our armor, a sword, and divers other things which we had, and offered to lay a great box of pearls in gage12 for them; but we refused it for this time, because we would not make them know that we esteemed thereof, until we had understood in what places of the country the pearl grew; which now your Worship doth very well understand. He was very just of his promise, for many times we delivered him merchandise upon his word; but ever he came within the day, and performed his promise. He sent us every day a brace or two of fat bucks, conies, hares, fish, the best in the world.
II.—Visit to an Indian princess.The evening following, we came to an island, which they call Roanoke, distant from the harbor by which we entered seven leagues; and at the north end thereof was a village of nine houses built of cedar, and fortified round about with sharp trees, to keep out their enemies, and the entrance into it make like turnpike very artificially. When we came towards it, standing near unto the water's side, the wife of Granganimeo, the king's brother, came running out to meet us, very cheerfully and friendly: her husband was not then in the village. Some of her people she commanded to draw our boat on shore, for the beating of the billow: others she appointed to carry us on their backs to the dry ground; and others to bring our oars into the house, for fear of stealing. When we were come into the outer
|Indian village in Virginia.|
Iii.—Adventures of the first Virginia colony.In the year of our Lord 1586, Sir Walter Raleigh, at his own charge, prepared a ship of an hundred tons, freighted with all manner of things in most plentiful  manner, for the supply and relief of his colony then remaining in Virginia. But, before they set sail from England, it was after Easter; so that our colony half despaired of the coming of any supply; wherefore every man prepared for himself, determining resolutely to spend the residue of their life .in that country. And, for the better performance of this their determination, they sowed, planted, and set such things as were necessary for their relief in so plentiful a manner as might have sufficed them two years, without any further labor. Thus, trusting to their own harvest, they passed the summer till the 10th of June, at which time their corn which they had sowed was within one fortnight of reaping; but then it happened that Sir Francis Drake, in his prosperous return from the sacking of Saint Domingo, Cartagena, and Saint Augustine, determined, in his way homeward, to visit his countrymen, the English colony then remaining in Virginia. So, passing along the coasts of Florida, he fell with17 the parts where our English colony inhabited; and, having espied some of that company, there he anchored, and went a-land,18 where he conferred with them of their state and welfare, and how things had passed with them. They answered him that they lived all, but hitherto in some scarcity, and as yet could hear of no supply out of England: therefore they requested him that he would leave with them some two or three ships, that, if in some reasonable time they heard not out of England, they might then return themselves. Which he agreed to. Whilst some were then writing their letters to send into England, and some others making reports of the  accidents of their travels each to other,—some on land, some on board,—a great storm arose, and drove most of their fleet from their anchors to sea; in which ships at that instant were the chiefest of the English colony. The rest on land, perceiving this, hasted to those three sails19 which were appointed to be left there; and, for fear they should be left behind, they left all things confusedly, as if they had been chased from thence by a mighty army. And no doubt so they were; for the hand of God came upon them for the cruelty and outrages committed by some of them against the native inhabitants of that country. Immediately after the departing of our English colony out of this paradise of the world, the ship above mentioned, sent and set forth at the charges of Sir Walter Raleigh, and his direction, arrived at Hatorask;20 who, after some time spent in seeking our colony up in the country, and not finding them, returned with all the aforesaid provision into England. About fourteen or fifteen days after the departure of the aforesaid ship, Sir Richard Grenville, general of Virginia, accompanied with three ships well appointed for the same voyage, arrived there; who, not finding the aforesaid ship, according to his expectation, nor hearing any news of our English colony there seated and left by him Anno21 1585, himself travelling up into divers places of the country, as well to see if he could hear any news of the colony left there by him the year  before, under the charge of Master Lane, his deputy, as also to discover some places of the country. But after some time spent therein, not hearing any news of them, and finding the places which they inhabited desolate, yet unwilling to lose the possession of the country which Englishmen had so long held, after good deliberation he determined to leave some men behind to retain possession of the country. Whereupon he landed fifteen men in the Isle of Roanoke, furnished plentifully with all manner of provision for two years, and so departed for England.
Iv.—The second English colony in Virginia.In the year of our Lord 1587, Sir Walter Raleigh, intending to persevere in the planting of his country of Virginia, prepared a new colony of one hundred and fifty men to be sent thither, under the charge of John White, whom he appointed governor; and also appointed under him twelve assistants, unto whom he gave a charter, and incorporated them by the name of Governor and Assistants of the City of Raleigh in Virginia. Our fleet-being in number three sail, viz., the admiral,22 a ship of one hundred and twenty tons, a flyboat,23 and a pinnace—departed the six and twentieth of April from Portsmouth, and the same day came to an anchor at the Cowes, in the Isle of Wight, where we staid eight days. . . . . .  The two and twentieth of July, we arrived safe at Hatorask, where our ship and pinnace anchored.—The governor went aboard the pinnace, accompanied with forty of his best men, intending to pass up to Roanoke forthwith, hoping there to find those fifteen Englishmen which Sir Richard Grenville had left there the year before, with whom he meant to have conference concerning the state of the country and savages; meaning, after he had so done, to return again to the fleet, and pass along the coast to the Bay of Chesapeake, where we intended to make our seat and fort, according to the charge given us among other directions in writing, under the hands of Sir Walter Raleigh. But, as soon as we were put with our pinnace from the ship, a gentleman by the name of Ferdinando, who was appointed to return for England, called to the sailors in the pinnace, charging them not to bring any of the planters back again, but to leave them in the island, except the governor, and two or three such as he approved, saying that the summer was far spent, whereupon he would land all the planters in no other place. Unto this were all the sailors, both in the pinnace and ship, persuaded by the master; wherefore it booted not24 the governor to contend with them, but [we] passed to Roanoke; and the same night at sunset went a-land25 on the island, in the place where our fifteen men were left: but we found none of them, nor any sign that they had been there, saving only we found the bones of one of those fifteen which the savages had slain long before. The three and twentieth of July, the governor, with divers of his company, walked to the north end of the  island, where Master Ralph Lane had his fort, with sundry necessary and decent dwelling-houses, made by his men about it the year before, where we hoped to find some signs or certain knowledge of our fifteen men. When we came thither, we found the fort razed down, but all the houses standing unhurt, saving that the nether rooms of them, and also of the fort, were overgrown with melons of divers sorts, and deer within them feeding on those melons: so we returned to our company, without hope of ever seeing any of the fifteen men living. The same day, order was given that every man should be employed for the repairing of those houses which we found standing, and also to make other new cottages for such as should need. The 25th, our flyboat and the rest of our planters arrived all safe at Hatorask, to the great joy and comfort of the whole company. But the master of our admiral,26 Ferdinando, grieved greatly at their safe coming; for he purposely left them in the Bay of Portugal, and stole away from them in the night, hoping that the master thereof, whose name was Edward Spicer,—for that he never had been in Virginia,—would hardly find the place, or else, being left in so dangerous place as that was, by means of so many men-of-war as at that time were abroad, they should surely be taken, or slain. But God disappointed his wicked pretences. The 28th, George Howe, one of our twelve assistants, was slain by divers savages which were come over to Roanoke, either of purpose to espy our company, and what number we were, or else to hunt deer, whereof  were many in the island. These savages—being secretly hidden among high reeds, where oftentimes they find the deer asleep, and so kill them—espied our man wading in the water alone, almost naked, without any weapon save only a small forked stick, catching crabs therewithal, and also being strayed two miles from his company; and shot at him in the water, where they gave him sixteen wounds with their arrows; and, after they had slain him with their wooden swords, they beat his head in pieces, and fled over the water to the main. On the 30th of July, Master Stafford and twenty of our men passed by water to the Island of Croatoan,27 with Manteo, who had his mother and many of his kindred dwelling in that island; of whom we hoped to understand some news of our fifteen men, but especially to learn the disposition of the people of the country towards us, and to renew our old friendship with them. At our first landing, they seemed as though they would fight with us; but, perceiving us to begin to march with our shot28 towards them, they turned their backs, and fled. Then Manteo their countryman called to them in their own language, whom as soon as they heard, they returned, and threw away their bows and arrows; and some of them came unto us, embracing and entertaining us friendly, desiring us not to gather or spill any of their corn, for they had but little. We answered them that neither their corn, nor any thing of theirs, should be diminished by any of us; and that our coming was only to renew the old love that was between us and them at the first, and to live with them  as brethren and friends: which answer seemed to please them well. Wherefore they requested us to walk up to their town, who there feasted us after their manner, and desired us earnestly that there might be some token or badges given them of us, whereby we might know them to be our friends when we met them anywhere out of the town or island . . . . . We understood by them of Croatoan, how that the fifteen Englishmen left at Roanoke the year before by Sir Richard Grenville were suddenly set upon by thirty of the men of Secota, Aquascogoc, and Dasamonguepeuk in manner following. They conveyed themselves secretly behind the trees, near the houses where our men carelessly lived. And, having perceived that of those fifteen they could see but eleven only, two of those savages appeared to the eleven Englishmen, calling to them by friendly signs, that but two of their chiefest men should come unarmed to speak with those two savages, who seemed also to be unarmed. Wherefore two of the chiefest of our Englishmen went gladly to them; but, whilst one of those savages traitorously embraced one of our men, the other with his sword of wood, which he had secretly hidden under his mantle, struck him on the head, and slew him; and presently the other eight and twenty savages showed themselves. The other Englishman, perceiving this, fled to his company, whom the savages pursued with their bows and arrows so fast, that the Englishmen were forced to take the house, wherein all their victuals and weapons were; but the savages forthwith set the same on fire, by means whereof our men were forced to take up  such weapons as came first to hand, and without order to run forth among the savages, with whom they skirmished above an hour. In this skirmish, another of our men was shot into the mouth with an arrow, where29 he died; and also one of the savages was shot into the side by one of our men, with a wildfire arrow,30 whereof he died presently. The place where they fought was of great advantage to the savages, by means of the thick trees, behind which the savages, through their nimbleness, defended themselves, and so offended our men with their arrows, that our men, being some of them hurt, retired fighting to the water-side, where their boat lay, with which they fled towards Hatorask. By that time they had rowed but a quarter of a mile, they espied their four fellows coming from a creek thereby, where they had been to fetch oysters. These four they received into their boat, leaving Roanoke, and landed on a little island on the right hand of our entrance into the harbor of Hatorask, where they remained a while, but afterward departed, whither as yet we know not. Having now sufficiently despatched our business at Croatoan, the same day departed friendly, taking our leave, and came aboard the fleet at Hatorask. . . . . The 18th, Eleanor, daughter to the governor, and wife to Ananias Dare, one of the assistants, was delivered of a daughter in Roanoke, and the same was christened there the Sunday following; and, because this child was the first Christian born in Virginia, she was named Virginia. By this time, our ships had unladen the  goods and victuals of the planters, and began to take in wood and fresh water, and to new calk and trim them for England: the planters, also, prepared their letters and tokens to send back into England. . . . . The next day, the 22d of August, the whole company, both of the assistants and planters, came to the governor, and with one voice requested him to return
|Baptism of first child in Virginia|
V.—Search for the lost colony.[it was three years before governor white returned to the colony which he had left. He reached the coast of Virginia in August, 1590, and thus describes what followed.]
Our boats and all things fitted again, we put off from Hatorask, being the number of nineteen persons in both boats. But, before we could get to the place where our planters were left, it was so exceeding dark, that we overshot the place a quarter of a mile: there we espied, towards the north end of the island, the light of a great fire through the woods, to the which we presently rowed: when we came right over against it, we let fall our grapnel near the shore, and sounded with a trumpet a call, and afterward many English tunes of songs, and called to them friendly, but we had no answer. We therefore landed at daybreak, and, coming to the fire, we found the grass and sundry rotten trees burning — about the place. From hence we went through the woods to that part of the island directly over against Dasamonguepeuk; and from thence we returned by the water-side round about the north point of the island, until we came to the place where I left our colony in the year 1586.31  In all this way we saw in the sand the print of the savages' feet, of two or three sorts, trodden [in] the night; and as we entered up the sandy bank, upon a tree, in the very brow thereof, were curiously carved these fair Roman letters, C R 0: which letters presently we knew to signify the place where I should find the planters
|The explorers looking at the tree.|
[No trace of this lost colony has ever been discovered; and we can only guess at the fate of the first white child born in America, Virginia Dare. Strachey, the secretary of the Jamestown (Virginia) colony, twenty years after, was told by the Indians that seven of the English, ‘who escaped the slaughter at Roanoke,’ were preserved alive by a certain chief; but neither he nor Captain John Smith has left on record any thing more.]