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[119] their hope of fortune in an expedition.1 For more
Chap IV.} 1606
than a year, this little company revolved the project of a plantation. At the same time, Sir Ferdinand Gorges was gathering information of the native Americans, whom he had received from Weymouth, and whose descriptions of the country, joined to the favorable views which he had already imbibed, filled him with the strongest desire of becoming a proprietary of domains beyond the Atlantic. Gorges was a man of wealth, of rank, and of influence; he readily persuaded Sir John Popham, lord chief justice of England, to share his intentions.2 Nor had the assigns of Raleigh become indifferent to ‘western planting;’ the most distinguished of them all, Richard Hakluyt, the historian of maritime enterprise, still favored the establishment of a colony by his personal exertions and the firm enthusiasm of his character. Possessed of whatever information could be derived from foreign sources and a correspondence with the eminent navigators of his times, and anxiously watching the progress of the attempts of Englishmen in the west, his extensive knowledge made him a counsellor in the enterprises which were attempted, and sustained in him and his associates the confidence which repeated disappointments did not exhaust.3 Thus the cause of colonization obtained in England zealous and able defenders, who, independent of any party in religion or politics, believed that a prosperous state could be established by Englishmen in the temperate regions of North America.

1 Smith, i. 149, or Purchas, IV. 1705. Stith, 35. Compare Hillard's Life of Smith, in Sparks's American Biography, II. 177—407; also Belknap, i. 239, 252.

2 Gorges, c. II—v.

3 Hakluyt, III. passim; v. Dedication of Virginia Valued. The first Virginia charter contains his name.

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