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The first part of Merchantable commodities.

SILKE of grasse, or Grasse silke. There is a kind of grasse in the country, upon the blades whereof there groweth very good silke in forme of a thin glittering skin to be stript off. It groweth two foot & an halfe high or better: the blades are about two foot in length, and halfe an inch broad. The like groweth in Persia , which is in the selfe same climate as Virginia , of which very many of the Silke works that come from thence into Europe are made. Hereof if it be planted and ordered as in Persia , it cannot in reason be otherwise, but that there will rise in short time great profit to the dealers therein, seeing there is so great use and vent thereof aswel in our countrey as elsewhere. And by the meanes of sowing and planting it in good ground, it will be farre greater, better, and more plentifull then it is. Although notwithstanding there is great store thereof in many places of the countrey growing naturally and wild, which also by proofe here in England , in making a piece of Silke grogran, we found to be excellent good.

Worme silke. In many of our journeys we found Silke-wormes faire and great, as bigge as our ordinary Walnuts. Although it hath not bene our hap to have found such plenty, as elswhere to be in the countrey we have heard of, yet seeing that the countrey doth naturally breed and nourish them, there is no doubt but if arte be added in planting of Mulberie trees, and others, fit for them in commodious places, for their feeding & nourishing, and some of them carefully gathered & husbanded in that sort, as by men of skil is knowen to be necessary: there wil rise as great profit in time to the Virginians, as thereof doth now to the Persians, Turks, Italians and Spanyards.

Flaxe and Hempe. The trueth is, that of Hempe and Flaxe there is no great store in any one place together, by reason it is not planted but as the soile doth yeeld of it selfe: and howsoever the leafe and stemme or stalke do differ from ours, the stuffe by judgement of men of skill is altogether as good as ours: and if not, as further proofe should finde otherwise, we have that experience of the soile, as that there cannot be shewed any reason to the contrary, but that it will grow there excellent well, and by planting will be yeelded plentifully, seeing there is so much ground whereof some may well be applied to such purposes. What benefit heereof may grow in cordage and linnens who cannot easily understand?

Allum. There is a veine of earth along the sea coast for the space of forty or fifty miles, whereof by the judgement of some that have made triall here in England , is made good Allum, of that kind which is called Roch allum. The richnesse of such a commodity is so well knowen, that I need not to say any thing thereof. The same earth doth also yeeld White coprasse, Nitrum, and Alumen plumeum, but nothing so plentifully as the common Allum, which be also of price, and profitable.

Wapeih. A kind of earth so called by the naturall inhabitants, very like to Terra sigillata, and having bene refined, it hath bene found by some of our Physicians and Chyrurgians, to be of the same kind of vertue, and more effectuall. The inhabitants use it very much for the cure of sores and wounds: there is in divers places great plenty, and in some places of a blew sort.

Pitch, Tarre, Rozen and Turpentine. There are those kinds of trees which yeeld them abundantly and great store. In the very same Island where we were seated, being fifteene miles of length, and five or sixe miles in breadth, there are few trees els but of the same kinde, the whole Island being full.

Sassafras, called by the inhabitants Winauk, a kind of wood of most pleasant and sweet smell, and of most rare vertues in physicke for the cure of many diseases. It is found by experience to be far better and of more uses then the wood which is called Guaiacum, or Lignum vitae. For the description, the maner of using, and the manifold vertues therof, I refer you to the booke of Monardes, translated and entituled in English, The joyfull newes from the West Indies.

Cedar. A very sweet wood, and fine timber, whereof if nests of chests be there made, or timber thereof fitted for sweet and fine bedsteds, tables, desks, lutes, virginals, and many things els, (of which there hath bene proofe made already) to make up fraight with other principall commodities, will yeeld profit.

Wine. There are two kindes of grapes that the soile doth yeeld naturally, the one is small and sowre, of the ordinary bignesse as ours in England , the other farre greater and of himselfe lushious sweet. When they are planted and husbanded as they ought, a principall commodity of wines by them may be raised.

Oile. There are two sorts of Walnuts, both holding oile; but the one farre more plentifull then the other. When there are mils and other devices for the purpose, a commodity of them may be raised, because there are infinite store. There are also three severall kindes of berries in the forme of Oke-akornes, which also by the experience and use of the inhabitants, we find to yeeld very good and sweet oile. Furthermore, the beares of the countrey are commonly very fat, and in some places there are many. Their fatnesse, because it is so liquid, may well be termed oile, and hath many speciall uses.

Furres. All along the Sea coast there are great store of Otters, which being taken by weares and other engines made for the purpose, wil yeeld good profit. We hope also of Marterne furres, and make no doubt by the relation of the people, but that in some places of the countrey there are store, although there were but two skinnes that came to our hands. Luzernes also we have understanding of, although for the time we saw none.

Deers skinnes dressed after the maner of Chamoes, or undressed, are to be had of the naturall inhabitants thousands yerely by way of traffike for trifles, and no more waste or spoile of Deere then is and hath bene ordinarily in time before.

Civet-cats. In our travels there was found one to have bin killed by a Savage or inhabitant, & in another place the smel where one or more had lately bene before, whereby we gather, besides then by the relation of the people, that there are some in the country: good profit will rise by them.

Iron. In two places of the countrey specially, one about fourescore, & the other six score miles from the fort or place where we dwelt, we found nere the water side the ground to be rocky, which by the triall of a Minerall man was found to holde iron richly. It is found in many places of the country els: I know nothing to the contrary, but that it may be allowed for a good merchantable commodity, considering there the small charge for the labour & feeding of men, the infinite store of wood, the want of wood & deerenesse thereof in England , and the necessity of ballasting of ships.

Copper. An hundred and fifty miles into the maine in two townes we found with the inhabitants divers small plates of Copper, that had bene made as we understood by the inhabitants that dwell further into the country, where as they say are mountaines and rivers that yeeld also white graines of mettall, which is to be deemed Silver. For confirmation whereof, at the time of our first arrivall in the countrey, I saw, with some others with me, two small pieces of Silver grosly beaten, about the weight of a testron, hanging in the eares of a Wiroans or chiefe lord that dwelt about fourescore miles from us: of whom through inquiry, by the number of dayes and the way, I learned that it had come to his hands from the same place or neere, where I after understood the Copper was made, and the white graines of metall found. The aforesayd Copper we also found by triall to holde Silver.

Pearle. Sometimes in feeding on Muscles we found some Pearle: but it was our happe to meet with ragges, or of a pide colour: not having yet discovered those places where we heard of better and more plenty. One of our company, a man of skill in such matters, had gathered together from among the Savage people about five thousand: of which number he chose so many as made a faire chaine, which for their likenesse and uniformity in roundnesse, orientnesse, and pidenesse of many excellent colours, with equality in greatnesse, were very faire and rare: and had therefore beene presented to her Majesty, had we not by casualty, and through extremity of a storme lost them, with many things els in comming away from the countrey.

Sweet gummes of divers kinds, and many other Apothecary drugges, of which we will make speciall mention, when we shall receive it from such men of skill in that kinde, that in taking reasonable paines shal discover them more particularly then we have done, and then now I can make relation of, for want of the examples I had provided and gathered, and are now lost, with other things by casualty before mentioned.

Dies of divers kinds: There is Shoemake well knowen, and used in England for blacke: the seed of an herbe called Wasebur, little small roots called Chappacor, and the barke of the tree called by the inhabitants Tangomockonomindge: which dies are for divers sorts of red: their goodnesse for our English clothes remaine yet to be prooved. The inhabitants use them only for the dying of haire, and colouring of their faces, and mantles made of Deere skinnes: and also for the dying of rushes to make artificiall works withall in their mats and baskets: having no other thing besides that they account of, apt to use them for. If they will not proove merchantable, there is no doubt but the planters there shall finde apt uses for them, as also for other colours which we know to be there.

Woad: a thing of so great vent and uses amongst English Diers, which can not be yeelded sufficiently in our owne countrey for spare of ground, may be planted in Virginia , there being ground enough. The growth thereof need not to be doubted, when as in the Islands of the Acores it groweth plentifully, which are in the same climate. So likewise of Madder.

We caried thither Suger-canes to plant, which being not so well preserved as was requisite, and besides the time of the yeere being past for their setting when we arrived, we could not make that proofe of them as we desired. Notwithstanding, seeing that they grow in the same climate, in the South part of Spaine, and in Barbary, our hope in reason may yet continue. So likewise for Orenges and Limmons. There may be planted also Quinses. Whereby may grow in reasonable time, if the action be diligently prosecuted, no small commodities in Sugars, Suckets, and Marmelades.

Many other commodities by planting may there also be raised, which I leave to your discreet and gentle considerations: and many also may be there, which yet we have not discovered. Two more commodities of great value, one of certeinty, and the other in hope, not to be planted, but there to be raised and in short time to be provided, and prepared, I might have specified. So likewise of those commodities already set downe I might have sayd more: as of the particular places where they are found, and best to be planted and prepared: by what meanes, and in what reasonable space of time they might be raised to profit, and in what proportion: but because others then welwillers might be there withall acquainted, not to the good of the action, I have wittingly omitted them: knowing that to those that are well disposed, I have uttered, according to my promise and purpose, for this part sufficient.

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