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The first part declaring the particularities of the Countrey of Virginia.

FIRST therefore touching the particularities of the Countrey, you shall understand that our discoverie of the same hath beene extended from the Iland of Roanoak, (the same having bene the place of our settlement or inhabitation) into the South, into the North, into the Northwest, and into the West.

The uttermost place to the Southward of any discovery was Secotan , being by estimation fourescore miles distant from Roanoak . The passage from thence was through a broad sound within the mayne, the same being without kenning of lande, and yet full of flats and shoalds: we had but one boate with foure oares to passe through the same, which boate could not carry above fifteene men with their furniture, baggage, and victuall for seven dayes at the most: and as for our pinnesse, besides that she drew too deep water for that shallow sound, she would not stirre for an oare: for these and other reasons (winter also being at hand) we thought good wholly to leave the discovery of those parts untill our stronger supply.

To the Northward our furthest discovery was to the Chesepians, distant from Roanoak about 130. miles, the passage to it was very shallow and most dangerous, by reason of the bredth of the sound, and the little succour that upon any flawe was there to be had.

But the Territorie and soyle of the Chesepians (being distant fifteene miles from the shoare) was for pleasantnes of seate, for temperature of Climate, for fertilitie of soyle, and for the commoditie of the Sea, besides multitude of Beares (being an excellent good victuall) with great woods of Sassafras, and Wallnut trees, is not to be excelled by any other whatsoever.

There be sundry Kings, whom they call Weroances, and Countreys of great fertility adjoyning to the same, as the Mandoages, Tripanicks, and Opossians, which all came to visite the Colonie of the English, which I had for a time appointed to be resident there.

To the Northwest the farthest place of our discovery was to Chawanook distant from Roanoak about 130. miles. Our passage thither lyeth through a broad sound, but all fresh water, and the chanell of a great depth, navigable for good shipping, but out of the chanell full of shoalds.

The Townes about the waters side situated by the way are these following: Passaquenoke The womans Towne, Chepanoc, Weapomeiok, Muscamunge, & Metackwem: all these being under the jurisdiction of the king of Weapomeiok, called Okisco: from Muscamunge we enter into the River, and jurisdiction of Chawanook: There the River beginneth to straighten untill it come to Chawanook, and then groweth to be as narrow as the Thames betewene Westminster , and Lambeth .

Betwene Muscamunge and Chawanook upon the left hand as wee passe thither, is a goodly high land, and there is a Towne which we called The blinde Towne, but the Savages called it Ohanoak, and hath a very goodly corne field belonging unto it: it is subject to Chawanook.

Chawanook it selfe is the greatest Province & Seigniorie lying upon that River, and the very Towne it selfe is able to put 700. fighting men into the fielde, besides the force of the Province it selfe.

The King of the sayd Province is called Menatonon, a man impotent in his lims, but otherwise for a Savage, a very grave and wise man, and of a very singular good discourse in matters concerning the state, not onely of his owne Countrey, and the disposition of his owne men, but also of his neighbours round about him as well farre as neere, and of the commodities that eache Countrey yeeldeth. When I had him prisoner with me, for two dayes that we were together, he gave mee more understanding and light of the Countrey then I had received by all the searches and Savages that before I or any of my companie had had conference with: it was in March last past 1586. Amongst other things he tolde me, that going three dayes journey in a Canoa, up his River of Chawanook, and then descending to the land, you are within foure dayes journey to passe over land Northeast to a certaine Kings countrey, whose Province lyeth upon the Sea, but his place of greatest strength is an Island situate, as hee described unto mee, in a Bay, the water round about the Island very deepe.

Out of this Bay hee signified unto mee, that this King had so great quantitie of Pearle, and doeth so ordinarily take the same, as that not onely his owne skinnes that hee weareth, and the better sort of his gentlemen and followers are full set with the sayd Pearle, but also his beds, and houses are garnished with them, and that hee hath such quantitie of them, that it is a wonder to see.

He shewed me that the sayd King was with him at Chawanook two yeeres before, & brought him certaine Pearle, but the same of the worst sort, yet was he faine to buy them of him for copper at a deere rate, as he thought. Hee gave mee a rope of the same pearle, but they were blacke, and naught, yet many of them were very great, and a few amongst a number very orient and round, all which I lost with other things of mine, comming aboord Sir Francis Drake his Fleete: yet he tolde me that the sayd King had great store of Pearle that were white, great, and round, and that his blacke Pearle his men did take out of shallow water, but the white Pearle his men fished for in very deepe water.

It seemed to me by his speach, that the sayd King had traffique with white men that had clothes as we have, for these white Pearle, and that was the reason that hee would not depart with other then with blacke Pearles, to those of the same countrey.

The king of Chawanook promised to give me guids to go over land into that kings countrey whensoever I would: but he advised me to take good store of men with me, and good store of victuall, for he said, that king would be loth to suffer any strangers to enter into his Countrey, and especially to meddle with the fishing for any Pearle there, and that hee was able to make a great many of men into the field, which he sayd would fight very well.

Hereupon I resolved with my selfe, that if your supplie had come before the ende of Aprill, and that you had sent any store of boates or men, to have had them made in any reasonable time, with a sufficient number of men and victuals to have found us untill the new corne were come in, I would have sent a small barke with two pinnesses about by Sea to the Northward to have found out the Bay he spake of, and to have sounded the barre if there were any, which should have ridden there in the sayd Bay about that Iland, while I with all the small boates I could make, and with two hundred men would have gone up to the head of the river of Chawanook with the guids that Menatonon would have given me, which I would have bene assured should have beene of his best men, (for I had his best beloved sonne prisoner with me) who also should have kept me companie in an handlocke with the rest, foote by foote, all the voyage over land.

My meaning was further at the head of the River in the place of my descent where I would have left my boates, to have raised a sconse with a small trench, and a pallisado upon the top of it, in the which, and in the guard of my boates I would have left five and twentie, or thirtie men, with the rest would I have marched with as much victuall as every man could have caried, with their furniture, mattocks, spades and axes, two dayes journey. In the ende of my march upon some convenient plot would I have raised another sconse according to the former, where I would have left fifteene or twentie. And if it would have fallen out conveniently, in the way I would have raised my saide sconse upon some Corne fielde, that my company might have lived upon it.

And so I would have holden this course of insconsing every two dayes march, untill I had bene arrived at the Bay or Port hee spake of: which finding to bee worth the possession, I would there have raised a maine fort, both for the defence of the harborough, and our shipping also, and would have reduced our whole habitation from Roanoak and from the harborough and port there (which by proofe is very naught) unto this other beforementioned, from whence, in the foure dayes march before specified, could I at al times returne with my company back unto my boates riding under my sconse, very neere whereunto directly from the West runneth a most notable River, and in all those parts most famous, called the River of Moratoc. This River openeth into the broad Sound of Weapomeiok. And whereas the River of Chawanook, and all the other Sounds, and Bayes, salt and fresh, shewe no current in the world in calme weather, but are mooved altogether with the winde: This River of Moratoc hath so violent a current from the West and Southwest, that it made me almost of opinion that with oares it would scarse be navigable: it passeth with many creekes and turnings, and for the space of thirtie miles rowing, and more, it is as broad as the Thames betwixt Green-wich and the Isle of dogges, in some place more, and in some lesse: the current runneth as strong, being entred so high into the River, as at London bridge upon a vale water.

And for that not onely Menatonon, but also the Savages of Moratoc themselves doe report strange things of the head of that River, and that from Moratoc it selfe, which is a principall Towne upon that River, it is thirtie dayes as some of them say, and some say fourtie dayes voyage to the head thereof, which head they say springeth out of a maine rocke in that abundance, that forthwith it maketh a most violent streame: and further, that this huge rock standeth so neere unto a Sea, that many times in stormes (the winde comming outwardly from the sea) the waves thereof are beaten into the said fresh streame, so that the fresh water for a certaine space, groweth salt and brackish: I tooke a resolution with my selfe, having dismissed Menatonon upon a ransome agreed for, and sent his sonne into the Pinnesse to Roanoak , to enter presently so farre into that River with two double whirries, and fourtie persons one or other, as I could have victuall to cary us, until we could meete with more either of the Moratoks, or of the Mangoaks, which is another kinde of Savages, dwelling more to the Westward of the said River: but the hope of recovering more victuall from the Savages made mee and my company as narrowly to escape starving in that discoverie before our returne, as ever men did, that missed the same.

For Pemisapan, who had changed his name of Wingina upon the death of his brother Granganimo, had given both the Choanists, and Mangoaks worde of my purpose touching them, I having bene inforced to make him privie to the same, to bee served by him of a guide to the Mangoaks, and yet hee did never rest to solicite continually my going upon them, certifying mee of a generall assembly even at that time made by Menatonon at Chawanook of all his Weroances, and allies to the number of three thousand bowes, preparing to come upon us at Roanoak , and that the Mangoaks also were joyned in the same confederacie, who were able of themselves to bring as many more to the enterprise: And true it was that at that time the assembly was holden at Chawanook about us, as I found at my comming thither, which being unlooked for did so dismay them, as it made us have the better hand at them. But this confederacie against us of the Choanists and Mangoaks was altogether and wholly procured by Pemisapan himselfe, as Menatonon confessed unto me, who sent them continual word, that our purpose was fully bent to destroy them: on the other side he told me, that they had the like meaning towards us.

Hee in like sort having sent worde to the Mangoaks of mine intention to passe up into their River, and to kill them (as he saide) both they and the Moratoks, with whom before wee were entred into a league, and they had ever dealt kindly with us, abandoned their Townes along the River, and retired themselves with their Crenepos, and their Corne within the maine: insomuch as having passed three dayes voyage up the River, wee could not meete a man, nor finde a graine of Corne in any their Townes: whereupon considering with my selfe that wee had but two dayes victuall left, and that wee were then 160. miles from home, besides casualtie of contrary windes or stormes, and suspecting treason of our owne Savages in the discoverie of our voyage intended, though wee had no intention to bee hurtfull to any of them, otherwise then for our copper to have had corne of them: I at night upon the Corps of guard, before the putting foorth of Centinels, advertised the whole company of the case wee stoode in for victuall, and of mine opinion that we were betrayed by our owne Savages, and of purpose drawen foorth by them upon vaine hope to be in the ende starved, seeing all the Countrey fled before us, and therefore while wee had those two dayes victuall left, I thought it good for us to make our returne homeward, and that it were necessary for us to get the other side of the Sound of Weopomeiok in time, where wee might be relieved upon the weares of Chypanum, and the womens Towne, although the people were fled.

Thus much I signified unto them, as the safest way: neverthelesse I did referre it to the greatest number of voyces, whether wee should adventure the spending of our whole victuall in some further viewe of that most goodly River in hope to meete with some better happe, or otherwise to retire our selves backe againe. And for that they might be the better advised, I willed them to deliberate all night upon the matter, and in the morning at our going aborde to set our course according to the desires of the greatest part. Their resolution fully and wholy was (and not three founde to bee of the contrary opinion) that whiles there was left but one halfe pinte of Corne for a man, wee should not leave the search of that River, and that there were in the companie two Mastives, upon the pottage of which with Sassafras leaves (if the worst fell out) the company would make shift to live two dayes, which time would bring them downe the current to the mouth of the River, and to the entrie of the Sound, and in two dayes more at the farthest they hoped to crosse the Sound and to bee relieved by the weares, which two dayes they would fast rather then be drawen backe a foote till they had seen the Mangoaks, either as friendes or foes. This resolution of theirs did not a little please mee, since it came of themselves, although for mistrust of that which afterwards did happen, I pretended to have bene rather of the contrary opinion.

And that which made me most desirous to have some doings with the Mangoaks either in friendship or otherwise to have had one or two of them prisoners, was, for that it is a thing most notorious to all the countrey, that there is a Province to the which the said Mangoaks have recourse and trafique up that River of Moratoc, which hath a marvellous and most strange Minerall. This Mine is so notorious amongst them, as not onely to the Savages dwelling up the said river, and also to the Savages of Chawanook, and all them to the Westward, but also to all them of the maine: the Countreis name is of fame, and is called Chaunis Temoatan.

The Minerall they say is Wassador, which is copper, but they call by the name of Wassador every mettall whatsoever: they say it is of the colour of our copper, but our copper is better then theirs: and the reason is for that it is redder and harder, whereas that of Chaunis Temoatan is very soft, and pale: they say that they take the saide mettall out of a river that falleth very swift from hie rockes and hils, and they take it in shallow water: the maner is this. They take a great bowle by their description as great as one of our targets, and wrappe a skinne over the hollow part thereof, leaving one part open to receive in the minerall: that done, they watch the comming downe of the current, and the change of the colour of the water, and then suddenly chop downe the said bowle with the skinne, and receive into the same as much oare as will come in, which is ever as much as their bowle will holde, which presently they cast into a fire, and foorthwith it melteth, and doeth yeelde in five parts, at the first melting, two parts of metall for three parts of oare. Of this metall the Mangoaks have so great store, by report of all the Savages adjoyning, that they beautifie their houses with great plates of the same: and this to be true, I received by report of all the countrey, and particularly by yong Skiko, the King of Chawanooks sonne my prisoner, who also himselfe had bene prisoner with the Mangoaks, and set downe all the particularities to me before mentioned: but hee had not bene at Chawnis Temoatan himselfe: for hee said, it was twentie dayes journey overland from the Mangoaks, to the said Mineral Countrey, and that they passed through certaine other territories betweene them and the Mangoaks, before they came to the said Countrey.

Upon report of the premisses, which I was very inquisitive in all places where I came to take very particular information of, by all the Savages that dwelt towards those parts, and especially of Menatonon himselfe, who in every thing did very particularly informe mee, and promised me guides of his owne men, who should passe over with me, even to the said Country of Chaunis Temoatan (for overland from Chawanook to the Mangoaks is but one dayes journey from Sunne rising to Sunne setting, whereas by water it is seven dayes with the soonest:) These things, I say, made me very desirous by all meanes possible to recover the Mangoaks, and to get some of that their copper for an assay, and therefore I willingly yeelded to their resolution: But it fell out very contrary to all expectation, and likelyhood: for after two dayes travell, and our whole victuall spent, lying on shoare all night, wee could never see man, onely fires we might perceive made alongst the shoare where we were to passe, and up into the Countrey, untill the very last day. In the evening whereof, about three of the clocke wee heard certaine Savages call as we thought, Manteo, who was also at that time with me in the boat, whereof we all being very glad, hoping of some friendly conference with them, and making him to answere them, they presently began a song, as we thought, in token of our welcome to them: but Manteo presently betooke him to his piece, and tolde mee that they meant to fight with us: which worde was not so soone spoken by him, and the light horseman ready to put to shoare, but there lighted a vollie of their arrowes amongst them in the boat, but did no hurt (God be thanked) to any man. Immediatly, the other boate lying ready with their shot to skoure the place for our hand weapons to lande upon, which was presently done, although the land was very high and steepe, the Savages forthwith quitted the shoare, and betooke themselves to flight: wee landed, and having faire and easily followed for a smal time after them, who had wooded themselves we know not where: the Sunne drawing then towards the setting, and being then assured that the next day if wee would pursue them, though we might happen to meete with them, yet wee should be assured to meete with none of their victuall, which we then had good cause to thinke of: therefore choosing for the company a convenient ground in safetie to lodge in for the night, making a strong Corps of guard, and putting out good Centinels, I determined the next morning before the rising of the Sunne to be going backe againe, if possibly we might recover the mouth of the river, into the broad sound, which at my first motion I found my whole company ready to assent unto: for they were nowe come to their Dogges porredge, that they had bespoken for themselves if that befell them which did, and I before did mistrust we should hardly escape. The ende was, we came the next day by night to the Rivers mouth within foure or five miles of the same, having rowed in one day downe the current, as much as in foure dayes wee had done against the same: we lodged upon an Iland, where we had nothing in the world to eate but pottage of Sassafras leaves, the like whereof for a meate was never used before as I thinke. The broad sound wee had to passe the next day all fresh and fasting: that day the winde blew so strongly, and the billow so great, that there was no possibilitie of passage without sinking of our boates. This was upon Easter eve, which was fasted very truely. Upon Easter day in the morning the winde comming very calme, we entred the sound, and by foure of the clocke we were at Chipanum, whence all the Savages that we had left there were fled, but their weares did yeelde us some fish, as God was pleased not utterly to suffer us to be lost: for some of our company of the light horsemen were farre spent. The next morning wee arrived at our home Roanoak .

I have set downe this Voyage somewhat particularly, to the ende it may appeare unto you (as true it is) that there wanted no great good will from the most to the least amongst us, to have perfited this discoverie of the Mine: for that the discovery of a good Mine, by the goodnesse of God, or a passage to the South-sea, or some way to it, and nothing els can bring this Countrey in request to be inhabited by our nation. And with the discovery of either of the two above shewed, it will bee the most sweete and healthfullest climate, and therewithall the most fertile soyle (being manured) in the world: and then will Sassafras, and many other rootes and gummes there found make good marchandise and lading for shipping, which otherwise of themselves will not be worth the fetching.

Provided also, that there be found out a better harborough then yet there is, which must be to the Northward, if any there bee, which was mine intention to have spent this Summer in the search of, and of the Mine of Chawnis Temoatan: the one I would have done, if the barkes that I should have had of Sir Francis Drake, by his honourable courtesie, had not bene driven away by storme: the other if your supply of more men, and some other necessaries had come to us in any convenient sufficiencie. For this river of Moratico promiseth great things, and by the opinion of M. Hariots the head of it by the description of the Countrey, either riseth from the bay of Mexico , or els from very neere unto the same, that openeth out into the South sea.

And touching the Minerall, thus doeth M. Youghan affirme, that though it be but copper, seeing the Savages are able to melt it, it is one of the richest Minerals in the world.

Wherefore a good harborough found to the Northward, as before is saide, and from thence foure dayes overland, to the River of Choanoak sconses being raised, from whence againe overland through the province of Choanoak one dayes voyage to the first towne of the Mangoaks up the river of Moratico by the way, as also upon the said River for the defence of our boats like sconses being set, in this course of proceeding you shall cleare your selfe from al those dangers and broad shallow sounds before mentioned, and gaine within foure dayes travell into the heart of the maine 200. miles at the least, and so passe your discovery into that most notable countrey, and to the likeliest parts of the maine, with farre greater felicitie then otherwise can bee performed.

Thus Sir, I have though simply, yet truely set downe unto you, what my labour with the rest of the gentlemen, and poore men of our company (not without both paine and perill, which the Lord in his mercy many wayes delivered us from) could yeeld unto you, which might have bene performed in some more perfection, if the Lord had bene pleased that onely that which you had provided for us had at the first bene left with us, or that hee had not in his eternall providence now at the last set some other course in these things, than the wisedome of man coulde looke into, which truely the carying away by a most strange & unlooked for storme of all our provision, with Barks, Master, Mariners, and sundry also of mine owne company, al having bene so courteously supplied by the generall Sir Francis Drake, the same having bene most sufficient to have performed the greatest part of the premisses, must ever make me to thinke the hand of God onely (for some his good purpose to my selfe yet unknowen) to have bene in the matter.

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1586 AD (3)
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