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[106] from the place of its birth. The colony, now com-
Chap. III.} 1587.
posed of eighty-nine men, seventeen women, and two children, whose names are all preserved, might reasonably hope for the speedy return of the governor, who, as he sailed for England, left with them, as hostages,
Aug. 27.
his daughter and his grandchild, Virginia Dare.

And yet even those ties were insufficient. The colony received no seasonable relief; and the further history of this neglected plantation is involved in gloomy uncertainty. The inhabitants of ‘the city of Raleigh,’ the emigrants from England and the firstborn of America, failed, like their predecessors, in establishing an enduring settlement; but, unlike their predecessors, they awaited death in the land of their adoption. If America had no English town, it soon had English graves.1

For when White reached England, he found its whole attention absorbed by the threats of an invasion from Spain; and Grenville, Raleigh, and Lane, not less than Frobisher, Drake, and Hawkins, were engaged in planning measures of resistance. Yet Raleigh, whose patriotism did not diminish his generosity, found means to despatch White with supplies

1588. April 22.
in two vessels. But the company, desiring a gainful voyage rather than a safe one, ran in chase of prizes; till, at last, one of them fell in with men-of-war from Rochelle, and, after a bloody fight, was boarded and rifled. Both ships were compelled to return immediately to England, to the ruin of the colony and the displeasure of its author.2 The delay was fatal; the independence of the English kingdom, and the security

1 The original account of White, in Hakluyt, III. 340—348. The story is repeated by Smith, Stith, Keith, Burk, Belknap, Williamson, Martin, Thomson, Tytler, and others.

2 Hakluyt, edition 1589, 771 quoted in Oldys, 98, 99.

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