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[137] and the executive officer in its administration. Thus
Chap. IV.} 1609
the lives, liberty and fortune of the colonists were placed at the arbitrary will of a governor who was to be appointed by a commercial corporation. As yet not one valuable civil privilege was conceded to the emigrants.1

Splendid as were the auspices of the new charter, unlimited as were the powers of the patentees, the next events in the colony were still more disastrous. Lord De La Ware,2 distinguished for his virtues, as well as rank, received the appointment of governor and captain-general for life; an avarice which would listen to no possibility of defeat, and which already dreamed of a flourishing empire in America, surrounded him with stately officers, suited by their titles and nominal charges to the dignity of an opulent kingdom.3 The condition of the public mind favored colonization; swarms of people desired to be transported; and the adventurers, with cheerful alacrity, contributed free will offerings.4 The widely-diffused enthusiasm soon enabled the company to despatch a fleet of nine vessels, containing more than five hundred emigrants. The admiral of the fleet was Newport, who, with Sir Thomas Gates and Sir George Somers, was authorized to administer the affairs of the colony till the arrival of Lord Delaware.5

The three commissioners had embarked on board the same ship.6 When near the coast of Virginia, a hurricane7 separated the admiral from the rest of his fleet; and his vessel was stranded on the rocks of the Bermudas.

1 Chalmers, 25.

2 Walpole's Royal and Noble Authors, enlarged by Th. Park, II. 180—183.

3 Smith, in III. Mass. Hist. Coll. an. 11, and Smith, II. 106.

4 True Declaration of Virginia, published by the Council of Virginia, in 1610, p.59—a leading authority.

5 Smith, i. 233, 234; or Purchas, IV. 1729.

6 True Declaration, 19 and 21.

7 Archer's letter in Purchas IV. 1733, 1734. Secretary Strachy's account, in Purchas, IV. 1735—1738. True Declaration of Virginia 21—26.

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