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[268] sanguine hopes of fortune and domains in America,
Chap VIII.} 1607.
and, in the next year, two ships were despatched to Northern Virginia, commanded by Raleigh Gilbert, and bearing emigrants for a plantation under the presidency of George Popham.1 After a tedious voyage, the adventurers reached the coast of America near the
Aug. 8.
mouth of the Kennebec, and, offering public thanks to God for their safety, began their settlement under the auspices of religion, with a government framed as if for a permanent colony. Rude cabins, a storehouse, and some slight fortifications, were rapidly prepared, and the ships sailed for England, leaving forty-five
Dec. 5.
emigrants in the plantation, which was named St. George. But the winter was intensely cold; the natives, at first friendly, became restless; the storehouse caught fire, and part of the provisions was consumed; the emigrants grew weary of their solitude; they lost Popham, their president, “the only one2 of the company that died there; ‘the ships which revisited the settlement with supplies, brought news of
the death of the chief justice, the most vigorous friend of the settlement in England; and Gilbert, the sole in command at St. George, had, by the decease of his brother, become heir to an estate which invited his presence. So the plantation was abandoned; and the colonists, returning to England,’ did coyne many excuses,” and sought to conceal their own deficiency of spirit by spreading exaggerated accounts of the rugged poverty of the soil, and the inhospitable severity

1 Gorges, c. VI. VIII. IX. Purchas, IV. 1828. Smith, II. 173—175. Belknap, i. 350—354. i. Mass. Hist. Coll. i. 251, 252. Williamson's History of Maine, i. 197—203. Prince, 116, 117, 118, 119. Hubbard's N. E. 36, 37.

2 Chalmers, 79, writes, ‘They looked at the numerous graves of the dead;’ drawing on his imagination for embellishments. Compare II. Mass. Hist. Coll. IX. 4. Chalmers, 79, names among those who died, ‘Gilbert, their chief’—an error.

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