Page images
[graphic][ocr errors]


New-England, by Captaine
John Smith.

N the moneth of April!, 1614. with two Ships My sm nytgt from London, of a few Marchants, I chanced to ariue in New-England, a parte of Ameryca, at the lle of Monahiggan,- in 43j of Northerly latitude: our plot was there to take Whales and make try alls- of a Myne of Gold and Copper. If those failed, Fish and Furres was then our refuge, to make our selues sauers howsoeuer: we found this Whalefishing. a costly conclusion: we saw many, and spent much time in chasing them; but could not kill any: They beeing a kinde of Iubartes, and not the Whale that yeeldes Finnes and Oyle as wee expected. For our Golde, it was rather the Masters deuice to get a voyage that proiected it, then any knowledge hee had at all of any such matter. Fish and Furres was now our guard: and by our late arriual, and long Hngring about the Whale, the prime of both those seasons were past ere wee perceiued it; we thinking that their seasons serued at all times: but wee .found it otherwise; for by the midst of lune, the fishing failed. Yet in Iuly and August some was taken, but not sufficient to defray so great a charge as our stay required. Of dry fish we made about 40000. of Cor fish about 7000. Whilest the sailers fished, rny selfe with eight or nine others of them might best bee spared; Ranging the coast in a small boat, wee got for trifles neer 1100 Beuer skinnes, 100 Martins, and neer as many Otters; and the most of them within the distance of twenty leagues. We ranged the Coast both East and West much furder; but Eastwards our commodities were not esteemed, they were so neare the French who affords them better: and right against vs in the Main was a Ship of Sir Frances Popphames, that had there such acquaintance, hauing many yeares vsed onely that porte, that the most parte there was had by him. And 40 leagues westwards were two French Ships, that had made there a great voyage by trade, during the time wee tryed those conclusions, not knowing the Coast, nor Saluages habitation. With these Furres, the Traine, and Cor-fish I returned for England in the Bark: where within six monthes after our departure from the Dowries, we safe arriued back. The best of this fish was solde for flue pound the hundreth, the rest by ill vsage betwixt three pound and fifty shillings. The other Ship staied to fit herselfe for Spaine with the dry fish which was sould, by the Sailers reporte that returned, at forty ryallsthe quintall, each hundred weighing two quintalls and a halfe. circumference of Terra Incognita, whose large dominions may equalize the greatnesse and goodnes of America, for any thing yet known. It is strange with what small power hee hath raigned in the East Indies; and few will vnderstand the truth of his strength, in America: where he hauing so much to keepe with such a pampered force, they neede not greatly feare his furie, in the Bermudas, Virginia, New France, or New England ;: beyond whose bounds America doth stretch many thousand miles: into the frozen partes whereof one Master Hutson an English Mariner did make the greatest discouerie of any Christian I knowe of, where he vnfortunately died. For Affrica, had not the industrious Portugales ranged her vnknowne parts, who would haue sought for wealth among those fryed Regions of blacke brutish Negers, where notwithstanding all the wealth and admirable aduentures and endeauouTS more then 140 yeares, they knowe not one third of those blacke habitations. But it is not a worke for euery one, to manage such an affaire as makes a discouerie,- and plants a Colony: It requires all the best parts of Art, Iudgement, Courage, Honesty, Constancy, Dilligence and Industrie, to doe but neere well. Some are more proper for one thing then another; and therein are to be imployed: and nothing breedes more confusion then misplacing and misimploying men in their undertakings. Columbus, Cortex, Pitzara, Soto, Magcllanes, and the rest serued more then a prentiship to learne how to begin their most memorable attempts in the West Indes: which to the wonder of all ages succesfully they effected, when many hundreds of others farre aboue them in the worlds opinion, beeing instructed but by relation, came to shame and confusion in actions of small moment, who doubtlesse in other matters, were both wise, discreet, generous, and couragious. I say not this to detract any thing from their incomparable merits, but to answer those questionlesse questions that keep vs back from imitating the worthinesse of their braue spirits thataduanced themselues from poore Souldiers to great Captaines, their posterity to great Lords, their King to be one of the greatest Potentates on earth, and the fruites of their labours, his greatest glory, power and renowne.


New England is that part of America in the The situmion of Ocean Sea opposite to Nana Albvon in the South

New England, rr i 1 ci* 7-1

Sea; discouered by the most memorable Sir Francis Drdkc in his voyage about the worlde. In regarde' whereto this is stiled New England, beeing in the same latitude. New France, off it, is Northward: Southwardes is Virginia, and all the adiovning Continent, with New Granado, New Spain, New Andolosia and the West Indies. Now because I haue been so oft asked such strange questions, of the goodnesse and greatnesse of those spatious Tracts of land, how they can bee thus long vnknown, or not'possessed by the Spaniard, and many such like demands; I intreat your pardons, if I chance to be too plaine, or tedious in relating my knowledge for plaine mens satisfaction. Florida is the next adioyning to the Indies, which .oe>o orim. vnproSpei.0USiy was attempted to bee planted by the French. A Country farre bigger then England, Scotland, France and Ireland, yet little knowne to any Christian, but by the wonderful endeuours of Ferdinando de Soto a valiant Spaniard: whose writings in this age is the best guide knowne to search those parts.

Virginia is no He (as many doe imagine) but irgmia. ^ ^. ^^ Continent adioyning to Florida; whose bounds may be streched to the magnitude thereof without offence to any Christian inhabitant. For from the degrees of 30. to 45. his Maiestie hath granted his Letters patents, the Coast extending South-west and North-east aboute 1500 miles ; but to follow it aboard, the shore may well be 2000. at the least: of which, 20. miles is the most giues entrance into the Bay of Chisapeak, where is the London plantation: within which is a Country (as you may perceiue by the description in a> Booke and Map printed in my name of that little I there discouered) may well suffice 300000 people to inhabit. And Southward adioyneth that part discouered at the charge of Sir Walter Rawley, by Sir Ralph Lane, and that learned Mathematician Mr. Thomas Heryot. Northward six or seauen degrees is the Riuer Sagadahock, where was planted the Westerne Colony, by that Honourable Patrone of vertue Sir lohn Poppham Lord chief Iustice

[merged small][ocr errors]
[graphic][subsumed][ocr errors]

That part wee call New England is betwixt the rfxewE^mir. degrees of 41. and 45; but that parte this discourse speaketh of, stretcheth but from Pennobscot to Cape Cod, some 75 leagues by a right line distant each from other: within which bounds I haue seene at least 40. seuerall habitations vpon the Sea Coast, and sounded about 25 excellent good Harbours; In many whereof there is ancorage for 500. sayle of ships of any burthen; in some of them for 5000': And more

[graphic][ocr errors]

than 200 lles ouergrowne with good timber, of diners sorts of wood, which doe make so many harbours as requireth a longer time then I had, to be well discouered.

The principall habitation Northward we were at, The panicuiar was Fennobscot: Southward along the Coast and vp Se^ST G<* the Riuers we found Mecadacut, Segocket, Pcmmaquid, Nusconcus, Kenebeck, Sagadahock, and Aumoughcawgen; And to those Countries belong the people of Segotago, Paghhuntanuck, Focopasswm, Taughtanakagnet, Warbigganus, JVassaque, Masherosqueck, Wawrigweck, Moshoquen, Wakcogo, Pasharanack, tyr. To these are allied the Countries of Aucocisco, Accominticus, F'assataquack, Aggawom, and Naemkeck: all these, I could perceiue, differ little in language, fashion, or gouernment: though most be Lords of themselues, yet they hold the Bashabes of Fennobscot, the chiefe and greatest amongst them.

The next I can remember by name are Mattahunts; two pleasant lles of groues, gardens and come fields a league in the Sea from the Mayne. Then Totant, Massachuset, Focapawmet, tyuonnhassit, Sagoquas, Nahapassumkeck, Topeent, Seccasaw, Totheet, JSasnocomacak, Accomack, Chawum; Then Cape Cod. by which is Pawmct and the lie Nawset of the language, and alliance of them of Chawum: The others are called Massachusets; of another language, humor and condition: For their trade and marchandize; to each of their habitations they haue diuerse Townes and people belonging; and by their relafions'and descriptions, more then 20 seuerall Habitations and Riuers that stretch themselues farre vp into the Countrey, euen to the borders of diuerse great Lakes, where they kill arjd take most of their Beuers and Otters. From Fennobscot to Sagadahock this Coast is all Mountainous and lles of huge Rocks, but ouergrowen with all sorts of excellent good woodes for building houses, boats, barks or shippes; with an incredible abundance of most sorts of fish, much fowle, and sundry sorts of good fruites for mans vse.

Betwixt Sagadahock and Sowocatuck there is but The mature tf

*-^ tin exct'lldit

two or three sandy Bayes, but betwixt that and »yie.
Cape Cod very many: especialy the Coast of the
Massachusets is so indifferently mixed with high clayie or sandy
cliffes in one place, and then tracts of large long ledges of diuers
sorts, and quarries of stones in other places so strangely diuided
with trinctured veines of diuers colours: as, Free stone for
building, Slate for tiling, smooth stone to make Fornaces and
Forges for glasse or iron, and iron ore sufficient, conueniently to
melt in them: but the most part so resembleth the Coast of
Dcuonshire, I thinke most of the cliffes would make such lime-


« PreviousContinue »