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Letters came now this March, 1648, relate further.
HAT Opachankenow the old Emperour being dead since he To taken prisoner by our Governour, there is chosen a new
one, called Nickotawances, who acknowledge to hold his Government under King Charles, and is become tributary to him, and this March 1648, ickotawance came to James town to our Noble Governour Sir William Bearkley with five more petty Kings attending him, and brought twenty Beavers-skinnes to be sent to King Charles as he said for Tribute; and after a long Oration, he concluded with this Protestation ; That the Sunne and Moon should first lose their glorious lights and shining, before He, or his People should evermore hereafter wrong }. English in any kind, but they would ever hold love and friendship together. And to give the English better assurance of their Faith, He had Decreed, That if any Indian be seen to come within the limits of the English Colony, (except they come with some Message from him, with such and such tokens) that it shall be lawfull to kill them presently; and the English shall be free to passe at all times when and where they please throughout His Dominions.
And the Indians have of late acquainted our Governour, that within five dayes journey to the Westward and by South, there is a great high mountaine, and at foot thereof, great Rivers that run into a great Sea; and that there are men that come hither in ships, (but not the same as ours be) they weare apparell and have reed Caps on their heads, and ride on Beasts like our Horses, but have much longer eares and other circumstances they declare for the certainty of these things.
That Sir William was here upon preparing fifty Horse and fifty Foot, to go and discover this thing himself in person, and take all needfull provision in that case requisite along with him; he was ready to go when these last ships set sail for England in April last: and we hope to give a good accompt of it by the next ships, God giving a blessing to the enterprize, which will mightily advance and enrich this Country; for it must needs prove a passage to the South Sea (as we call it) and also some part of China and the East Indies. The Governour Sir William, caused half a bushel of Rice (which he had procured) to be sowen, and it prospered gallantly, and he had fifteen bushels of it, excellent good Rice, so that all these fifteen bushels will be sowen again this yeer; and we doubt not in a short time to have Rice so plentiful as to afford it at 2d a pound if not cheaper, for we perceive the ground and Climate is very proper for it as our Negroes affirme, which in their Country is most of their food, and very healthful sor our bodies. We have many thousand of Acres of cleer Land, I mean here the wood is all off it (for you must know all Virginia is full of trees) and we have now going neer upon a hundred and fifty Plowers, with many brave yoak of Oxen, and we sowe excellent Wheat, Barley, Rye, Beans, Pease, Oates; and our increase is wonderful, and better Grain not in the world. One Captain Brocas, a Gentleman of the Counsel, a great Traveller, caused a Vineyard to be planted, and hath most excellent Wine made, and the Country, he saith, as proper for Vines as any in Chrissendome, Vines indeed naturally growing over all the Country in abundance: only skilful men wanting here. That at last Christmas we had trading here ten ships from London, two from Bristoll, twelve Hollanders, and seven from New-England. Mr. Richard Bennet had this yeer out of his Orchard as many Apples as he made 20 Butts of excellent Cider. And Mr. Richard Kinsman hath had for this three or four yeers, forty or fifty Butts of Perry made out of his Orchard, pure and good. So that you may perceive how proper our Country is for these fruits, and men begin now to plant great Orchards, and find the way of Grafting upon Crab-stocks, best for lasting, here being naturally in this Land store of wild Crab-trees. Mr. Hough at Nausamund, hath a curious Orchard also, with all kind and variety of several fruits; the Governour in his new Orchard hath 15 hundred fruit-trees, besides his Apricocks, Peaches, Mellicotons, Quinces, Wardens, and such like fruits. I mention these particular men, that all may know the truth of things. Worthy Captaine Matthews, an old Planter of above thirty yeers standing, one of the Counsell, and a most deserving Common-wealths-man, I may not omit to let you know this Gentlemans industry.
He hath a fine house, and all things answerable to it; he sowes yeerly store of Hempe and Flax, and causes it to be spun; he keeps Weavers, and hath a Tan-house, causes Leather to be dressed, hath eight Shoemakers employed in their trade, hath forty Negroe servants, brings them up to Trades in his house: He yeerly sowes abundance of Wheat, Barley, &c. The Wheat he selleth at four shillings the bushell; kills store of Beeves, and sells then to vietuall the ships when they come thither: hath abundance of Kine, a brave Dairy, Swine great store, and Poltery; he married the Daughter of Sir Tho. Hinton, and in a word, keeps a good house, lives bravely, and a true lover of Virginia; he is worthy of much honour. Our Spring begins the tenth of February, the trees bud, the grasse springs, and our Autume and fall of Lease is in November, our Winter short, and most yeers very gentle, Snow lies but little, yet Yee some yeers. I may not forget to tell you we have a Free-Schoole, with two hundred Acres of Land, a fine house upon it, forty milch Kine, and other accommodations to it: the Benefactor deserves perpetuall memory; his name Mr. Benjamin Symes, worthy to be Chronicled; other petty Schools also we have. We have most rare coloured Parraketoes, and one Bird we call the Mock-bird; for he will imitate all other Birds notes, and cries both day and night-birds, yea, the Owels and Nightingalls. For Bees there is in the Country which thrive and prosper very well there: one Mr. George Pelton, alias, Strayton, a ancient planter of twenty five yeers standing that had store of them, he made thirty pounds a yeer profit of them ; but by misfortune his house was burnt down, and many of his Hives perished, he makes excellent good Matheglin, a pleasant and strong drink, and it serves him and his family for good liquor: If men would endeavour to increase this kind of creature, there would be here in a short time abundance of Wax and Honey, for there is all the Country over delicate food for Bees, and there is also Bees naturally in the Land, through we accompt not of them.
59 Now these are the several sorts and kinds of Beasts, Birds, Fish, in Virginia.
Beasts great and small as followeth : above 20 severall kinds.
But all these soure sorts are up in the higher parts
1 Lyons, of the Countrey, on the hills and mountaines, 2 Beares, few to be seene in the lower parts where the 3 Leopard, English are; the Elkes are as great as Oxen, 4 Elkes. their horns six foot wide, and have two Calves
at a time; the skins make good Buffe, and the flesh as good as Beefe. 5 Deere. 6 Fores. 7 Wilde Cats. 8 Raconnes, as good meat as Lambe. This beast hath a bagge under her belly into 9 Passonnes which she takes her young ones, if at any time affrighted, and carries them away. One called a flying one, for that she spreads like a Batt a certaine loose skin she hath and so flyes a good way. 13 A Muske Rat, So called for his great sweetnesse and shape. 14 Hares. 15 Beavers. 16 Otters.
10 Two sorts of Squirrels,
But barke not, after the shape of a Wolfe, and 17 Doggs, Foxes smell not; Wolves but little, neither not fierce. 18 Wolves. 19 Martins, Poule Cats, Weesels, Minks: but these Vermine hurt not Hens, Chickins or Eggs, at any time. 20 A little beast like a Conny, the Fores kill many of them.
Birds are these, viz. above 25 severall kindes.
1 Eagles. 2 Hawkes of six or severall kinds.
* . . . .
3 Parteridges many.
7 Blue Birds, smaller then a Wren.
8 Blacke birds. 13 Hermes. 18 Dottrells. 9 Thrushes. 14 Geese. | 19 Oveyes. 10 Heath Cocks. 15 Brants. 20 Parrots. 11 Swannes. 16 Ducks. 21 Pidgeons. 12 Cranes. 17 Widgeons. 22 Owles.
. more that have no English Names; for one called the Mock-bird, that counterfeits all other severall Birds cryes and tuneS. - .
Fish are in these in their kind above Thirty sorts. . .
1 Codde. 2 Basse. 3 Drummes six foot long. 4 Sheepshead, this Fish makes broath so like Mutton-broath, that the difference is hardly known. 5 Conger. 14 Stingraes. 24 Perch. 6 Eeles. 15 Brets. 25 Crabbs. 7 Trouts. 16 White Salmon. 26 Shrimps. 8 Mullets. 17 Soles. 27 Crecy-Fish. 9 Plaice. 18 Herring. 28 Oysters. 10 Grampus. 19 Conny-fish. 29 Cockles. 11 Porpus. 20 Rocke-fish. 30 Mussels. 12 Scales. 21 Lampres. 31 St. George 13 Sturgeons, of 22 Cray-fish. - Fish. 10 foot long. 23 Shads. 32 Toad-Fish.
Trees above 20 kinds, and many no English names.
1 Okes red and white Wood. 8 Chesnut Trees.
2 Ashe. 9 Plum Trees of many kinds 3 Wallnut, two kinds. 10 The Puchamine Tree. 4 Elmes. | 11 The Laurell. 5 Ceader. 12 Cherries.
6 Cypres three fathomes about. 13 Crahes.