The Birth of the Nation, Jamestown, 1607

The Birth of the Nation, Jamestown, 1607

Author:
Sara Agnes Rice Pryor
Author:
Sara Agnes Rice Pryor
Format:
epub
language:
English

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Author: Pryor, Sara Agnes Rice, 1830-1912
Virginia — History — Colonial period
ca. 1600-1775
The Birth of the Nation, Jamestown, 1607
Transcriber’s Note:
Obvious typographical errors have been corrected. Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation in the original document have been preserved.

THE BIRTH OF THE NATION

The First English Church in America.

‘Tis just three hundred years ago
We sailed through unknown Narrows
And landed on an unknown coast
Amid a flight of arrows.
We planted England’s standard there,
And taught the Western savage.
In its defence we lightly held
His tomahawk and ravage.
And there, between two forest trees,
We raised our first rude altar;
Roofed by a storm-rent sail we read
Old England’s Prayers and Psalter,
An echo in the strange, new land
Awoke to slumber never:
It caught old England’s battle-word—
“God and my Right” forever!

THE BIRTH OF THE NATION
JAMESTOWN, 1607
BY
MRS. ROGER A. PRYOR
AUTHOR OF “THE MOTHER OF WASHINGTON AND
HER TIMES,” “REMINISCENCES OF
PEACE AND WAR”
ILLUSTRATIONS
BY WILLIAM DE LEFTWICH DODGE
New York
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
LONDON: MACMILLAN & CO., Ltd.
1907
All rights reserved
Copyright, 1907,
By THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.


Set up and electrotyped. Published March, 1907.
Norwood Press
J. S. Cushing & Co.—Berwick & Smith Co.
Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.
To
M. GORDON PRYOR RICE
IN TOKEN OF
HER MOTHER’S LOVE
AND ADMIRATION

CONTENTS

CHAPTER I
PAGES
Jamestown Celebration. Legends of the Discovery of America. Columbus. The Cabots. Pope Alexander VI. Amerigo Vespucci. The Power of Spain. Queen Elizabeth’s Patent. Sir Humphrey Gilbert. Our Shores only sighted by the English before 1600 1-7
CHAPTER II
Sir Walter Raleigh. Expedition to Islands near North Carolina. Glowing Reports. Failure of First Colony. Enmity of Indians. Second Colony to Roanoke Island. Virginia Dare. Expedition for Relief of Colony. Colonists had Disappeared. Fate never Known 8-15
CHAPTER III
Death of Queen Elizabeth. James I., Appearance and Character. Corrupt Court. Poverty of Common People. Highway Robbers. London Company undertakes Virginia Colony. The Necessities of a Countess. Extravagance. Political, Religious, and Literary Aspects of the Time. Royal Charter obtained for New Colony 16-33
CHAPTER IV
England’s First Colony. Emigrants Subject to Commercial Corporation, to Domestic Council, to Superior Council, to Arbitrary Rule of King. The Three Ships. Christopher Newport. Allowance for Each Man. Cargo of Ships. Sealed Orders. Robert Hunt. Books Brought. Character of Colonists. Names of Most Prominent. Captain John Smith. Motives of Adventurers. Attitude toward Indians. Little Interest in England. Drayton’s Poem 34-44
CHAPTER V
Story of Voyage by Thomas Studley. George Percy. Dissensions among Voyagers. Career of John Smith. Ships enter Chesapeake Bay. A Virginia Welcome. Council as appointed by Sealed Orders. Wingfield elected President, April 26, 1607. Indians. Colonists land at Jamestown, May 13. Smith excluded from Council. Appearance of Forest. Religious Service. First Night in the New Land 45-55
CHAPTER VI
Appearance of New Country. Percy’s Description. Flora. Fruits. Fauna. Condition and Customs of Indians. Their Implements 56-63
CHAPTER VII
Religion of Powhatan’s Tribe. Kiwassa. Okeus. Sacrifice of Children. Conversion of Indians almost Impossible. Temple at Uttamussac. Dress and Chants of Priests. Immortality. Fables taught by Priests. Enmity of Powhatan to English. Suspected of Massacre of Roanoke Colonies. Prophecies of Priests. No Written Language of Indians. The Will of the King Law. Law of Succession. Cruelty of Powhatan. Indian Habitations. No Furniture. Fire. Light. Occupations and Games of Men. Work done by Women and Children. Henry Spelman’s Story. Indians’ Provision for the Future. Maidens and Young Braves. Music and Dancing. Traits of Indian Women. Tenderness toward Children. Powhatan’s Unconquerable Hatred. Fate of Indian settled by Massacre of 1622 64-84
CHAPTER VIII
Chief of Paspahegh Tribe welcomes Newport. His Appearance. His Behaviour. Work of Colonists. Interviews with Indians. Wochinchopunck. Indians’ Skill in Archery. Expedition up the River. Town of Powhatan. Percy’s Description. Site of Richmond. Cross Erected. Indians’ Assault upon Jamestown. Fort put in Fighting Order. John Smith under Suspicion. First Trial by Jury. Smith Acquitted. Reconciliation through Hunt. Smith admitted to Council. The Eucharist. Savages desire Peace. Newport leaves for England 85-95
CHAPTER IX
The First Mail to England. Enthusiastic Praise of New Country. Policy of Colonists to encourage Immigration. Sir Walter Cope’s Letters. Council discuss Abandonment of Colony. Zuñiga and Newport. Council decides to send Colonists and Provisions. Letters from Zuñiga to Philip III. of Spain. Letter from Dudley Carleton. Affairs at the Colony. First Church. Illness. Percy’s Narrative. First Graves in Virginia. England’s Selfishness. John Smith’s Narrative. Diverse Elements in Colony. Character of Wingfield. Deposed, and Ratcliffe put in his Place. Wingfield’s Defence. Indians bring Food. No True Friendship. Smith seizes Image of Okeus. Savages ransom it with Provisions. Game of Southern Virginia. Smith takes the Helm. Log Cabins and Church Built 96-115
CHAPTER X
Winter of Unusual Severity. Starvation Threatened. Idleness and Waste. Corn procured from Indians. Plans made and Abandoned. Newport Long Overdue. John Smith explores the Chickahominy. Important Voyage. Spends a Month with the Powhatans. Description of Region. Murder of Two of Smith’s Men by Indians. Smith’s Adventures. Captured by the Savages. March to Powhatan. Incident told by William Symondes. Smith’s Life in Danger. Opechancanough tempts Him. Message sent Jamestown. Indian Orgies. Banquets for Prisoner. Conducted to Powhatan’s Residence on York River 116-132
CHAPTER XI
Werowocomoco. Powhatan’s Absolute Power. His Cruelty. Indian Cookery. Bathing. Worship. Powhatan’s Wives and Children. His Affection for his Children. Pocahontas. The Dress of Indian Women. The Mirror in the Woods. Smith received by Powhatan. Powhatan’s Costume. A Feast. Pocahontas saves Smith. He is assigned to her Service. Powhatan asks the Cause of the Coming of the English. Smith’s Reply. Flatters Powhatan. Powhatan’s Attempt to terrify Smith. Professes Friendship. The Truth of the Pocahontas Incident Discussed. Her Kindness to the English 133-155
CHAPTER XII
Indians conduct Smith to Jamestown. His Enemies There. He is sentenced to be Hanged. Newport arrives and releases Smith and Wingfield. Smith sends Gifts to Powhatan. The Character of the New Colonists. “Newport’s News.” The King and Carr. Contrast between Elizabeth and James. Newport’s Visit to Powhatan. The Feast. Finger-bowls and Napkins. Exchange of a Christian for a Savage. Ill-advised Gifts to Powhatan. Newport Outwitted. A Disaster from Fire. The Gold Fever. Wingfield and Archer return to England. Twenty Swords for Twenty Turkeys 156-176
CHAPTER XIII
The Church Rebuilt. The Arrival of the Phœnix. Smith’s “True Relation of Virginia.” Powhatan’s Plot. Indian Thieves Captured. Released at the Prayer of Pocahontas. Age of Pocahontas. Her Visits to the Fort. Her Attire and “Wheels.” Chanco. A Comparison and a Contrast 177-186
CHAPTER XIV
Exploration. Greed of the London Company. Dread of Banishment to Virginia. A Voyage of Adventure. Smith’s Map of Virginia. Golden Dreams Dispelled. Mutineers. Smith made President of Virginia. A New Ship and an English Maid. Orders from England. A Violent Quarrel. Foolish Gifts from James I. to Powhatan. Indian Ceremonies. Nymphs. Diplomacy. The Coronation of Powhatan. The Departure of Newport. Illicit Traffic. Flying Squirrels. “A Rude Answer” 187-205
CHAPTER XV
Famine Threatened. “Gentlemen” and Hard Work. A Remedy for Profanity. “Noblesse Oblige.” Indian Summer. Soap and the Plague. The First Marriage. A Fortunate Family. Powhatan Hostile. Indians refuse Supplies. Smith secures Food. Heavy Snow. The Colonists in Terror of Starvation. Smith’s Daring Plan. Powhatan’s Cunning. A Friendly Chief. Smith’s Interview with Powhatan. The Long Harangues and an Apologia. Powhatan’s Scheme foiled by Pocahontas. A Savage Lear. Smith wrests Supplies from Opechancanough. The Perfidy of Two Dutchmen. Ten Colonists Drowned. Pocahontas again to the Rescue. Smith returns to Jamestown 206-227
CHAPTER XVI
Smith’s Enemies in England. A New Charter. Its Most Significant Article. Limits of the Colony Defined. New Rulers for Virginia. The Governor’s Arbitrary Power. This Nation’s Real Founders. The King’s Position. His Poverty. Interest of the Clergy in Virginia. Strachey’s Description. Zuñiga’s Anger. Nine Vessels sail to Virginia. John Rolfe and his First Wife. A Hurricane and the Plague. Many of the New Settlers Worthless and Profligate. The Sea Venture. Sir George Somers. The Bermudas. The Scene of Shakespeare’s “Tempest.” Andrew Marvel’s Poem. Prayer, Marriage, and Birth. Ambergris. New Ships Built 228-242
CHAPTER XVII
Smith Hard at Work. The Traitor Dutchmen. Wochinchopunck captured and Escapes. Smith’s Retaliation for Indian Outrage. An Indian’s Eloquence. Smith gains Influence over Indians. Search for Raleigh’s Lost Colony. Silk Grass. Smith’s Energy. Rats. Argall’s News. Seven Vessels reach Jamestown. Ratcliffe claims Authority. Resistance and Chaos. New Colonies Planted. Smith buys Place near Present Site of Richmond. Mutineers. Relations with Indian Emperor Closed. Career in Virginia Ended. Percy made President pro tem. Character of Smith. Visits and names New England and Boston. Extracts from Writings. Diverse Opinions of Smith. Thomas Fuller’s View. Smith’s Closing Years in London. His Poverty. Grave and Epitaph in St. Sepulchre. Attitude toward Pocahontas. English Unwilling to marry Indians. Indian Resentment. Smith’s Offer to subdue Indians after Massacre of 1622 Declined. America’s Debt of Gratitude to Smith 243-271
CHAPTER XVIII
Unruly Youths returned to England. Mischievous Letter from Ratcliffe. Ratcliffe’s Death. Percy’s Administration. “Beggar’s Bush.” Loss of Smith Disastrous. Indian Risings. Disease. Famine. “The Starving Time.” Coming of the Deliverance and the Patience. Condition of Jamestown. The New Governor. Machumps and Namontack. All the Colonists embark for England. Turned back by Lord Delaware. A New Order of Things. The Church repaired and Adorned. Services Frequent. Mortality of Early Settlers 272-293
CHAPTER XIX
Delaware’s Wise Rule. A Nemesis for Traitors. Delaware’s return to England. Strachey’s Manuscripts. Friendly Indians. The Marriage of Pocahontas to Kocoun. Indian Marriage Customs. The Costume of an Indian Princess. Human Sacrifices to Okeus. Pocahontas held for Ransom. John Rolfe’s Letter to Governor Dale. The Baptism of Pocahontas. Her Marriage to John Rolfe. “The Lady Rebekah” 294-313
CHAPTER XX
Governor Dale asks in Marriage Powhatan’s Youngest Daughter. Powhatan’s Reception of the Messenger. The Alliance Politely Declined. The Last Years of the Old Emperor. His Successor. The Great Massacre. Jamestown saved by Chanco. The capture and Death of Opechancanough 314-321
CHAPTER XXI
Pocahontas at Court. Smith writes the Queen of her Goodness to the Colony. Her Dignified Deportment. King James’s Jealousy. Pocahontas reproaches John Smith. Her Death and Burial. Her Son and his Descendants. John Randolph of Roanoke 322-331
CHAPTER XXII
The Patriots of Jamestown. Their Services as Founders of the Freedom of America. Address of Hon. Roger A. Pryor. The Town after Seat of Government was removed to Williamsburg. The Old Graveyard. The Lone Cypress. The Gift of Jamestown, by Mr. and Mrs. Barney, to the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities. Gift of the Government to Women of the Association. Restoration by Them. The Old Town Exhumed. Relics found beneath the Mould of More than Two Centuries 332-339
CHAPTER XXIII
Legends of the Old Stone House: Pocahontas; Smith; Blackbeard and his Hidden Treasure; Nathaniel Bacon. Conclusion 340-352

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

The First English Church in America Frontispiece
FACING PAGE
Queen Elizabeth 8
King James I. 20
Old London—1607 44
Memorial erected by Clergy of the Episcopal Church at Jamestown Island 52
The trembling Indian in his canoe hurried past it with bated breath 68
Smith’s Island, where John Smith was captured by the Indians 124
The Mirror in the Woods 138
She rushed forward, and laid her own head upon his 144
King James and a Petitioner 162
Powhatan Oak, over Three Hundred Years Old 166
Old Fort—Jamestown Island 180
The newly crowned potentate started with terror 200
“‘Powhatan comes to kill you all‘” 222
Captain George Percy 258
St. Luke’s, near Smithfield, built in 1623. The Oldest Protestant Church in America 266
Captain John Smith. From the Bust by Baden-Powell 270
Lord Delaware 286
Pocahontas Memorial Window 290
Marriage of Pocahontas 312
Powhatan Rock, under which the Indian Chief is said to be Buried 320
Pocahontas at Court 322
Royal Palace, Whitehall 328
Jamestown Church Tower 336

THE BIRTH OF THE NATION

INTRODUCTORY
CHAPTER I

We are about to commemorate the settlement of the English at Jamestown three hundred years ago. Under God’s blessing, we are not only at peace with all the world, but are bound by ties of close friendship to the great kingdoms and republics on earth. Therefore, we may confidently expect to welcome numbers of their representatives to our three hundredth birthday celebration. Many will be the banners unfurled in waters which ebbed and flowed in awful silence but three hundred years ago, or were stirred only by the paddle of the Indian canoe; and loud the thunders of welcome and greeting from shores which echoed then with the scream of the eagle and the war-whoop of the savage.
The story of a world emerging from the darkness in which it had been hidden for countless ages will always thrill the imagination. Phantom ships loom dimly out of the mists of a far-off time. Strange names are whispered in vague traditions, which are found in no written record—names of mighty mariners, who were blown by tempests upon a strange coast,—Arthur; Malgro; Brandon; a “Fryer of Lynn,” who by reason of his “black art” reached the North Pole in 1360; Madock, “sonne of Quinneth, Prince of Wales,” a man of peace, who sought refuge in a wilderness because of strife among his brethren; Leif, the Norwegian; Nicolo Zeno, the Venetian; Hanno, the Carthaginian! Colossal figures tremble for a moment on the horizon, and are lost in fog and doubt.
At last the great Genoese sails forth, and becomes a tangible figure in history. Often as his story may be told, familiar as it is to every schoolboy in the land, we can never hear it without a keen realization of its personal relations to ourselves. “It would be impossible,” said Daniel Webster, “for us to read the discovery of our continent without being reminded how much it has affected our own fortunes and our own existence. It would be unnatural for us to contemplate with unaffected minds that most touching and pathetic scene when the great discoverer of America stood on the deck of his shattered bark, the shades of night falling on the sea, yet no man sleeping; tossed on the billows of an unknown ocean, yet the stronger billows of alternate hope and despair tossing his own troubled thoughts; extending forward his harassed frame, straining westward his anxious and eager eyes, till Heaven at last granted him a moment of rapture and ecstasy, in blessing his vision with the sight of an unknown world.”
Intensely interesting are the narratives of t

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