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L true Relation of a Voyage, upon discovery of part of the Coast of FloriDa, from the Lat. of 3I Deg. to 33 Deg. 45 m. North Lat. in the Ship Adventure, William Hilton Commander, and Commissioner with Captain Anthony Long and Peter Fabian; set forth by several Gentlemen and Merchants of the Island of Barbadoes; sailed from Spikes Bay, dug. 10. 1663.
FTER Sixteen days of fair weather, and prosperous windes, Wednesday the 26 instant, four of the clock in the Afternoon, God be thanked, we espied Land on the Coast of Florida, in the lat. of 32 deg. 30. min. being four Leagues or thereabouts to the Northwards of Saint Ellens, having run five hundred and fifty Leagues; and to the Westward of the Meridian of Barbadoes, three hundred thirty and one Leagues. This Evening and the Night following we lay offand on: Thursday the 27th instant, in the morning, we stood in with the Land, and coasted the Shoar to the Southward, Ankering at Nights, and sending our Boat out a Mornings, till we came into the lat. of 31 deg. but found no good harbour that way. On Sunday the 30th instant, we tacked, and stood Northward: and on Wednesday the second of September, we came to an Anchor in five fathoms at the mouth of a very large opening of three Leagues wide, or thereabouts, in the lat. of 32 deg. 30 min. and sent our Boat to sound the Channel. On Thursday the third, we entered the Harbour, and found that it was the River Jordan, and was but four Leagues or thereabouts N. E. from Port Royal, which by the Spanyards is called St. Ellens: within Land, both Rivers meet in one. We spent some time to sound the Chanels both without and within, and to search
the Rivers in several branches, and to view the Land. On Saturday the fifth of September, two Indians came on Board us from the N. E. shoar, whom we entertained courteously, and afterwards set them on shoar. On Sunday the sixth, several Indians came on Board us, and said they were of St. Ellens; being very bold and familiar; speaking many Spanish words, as, Cappitan, Commarado, and Aduts. They know the use of Guns, and are as little startled at the firing of a Peece of Ordnance, as he that hath been used to them many years: they told us the nearest Spanyards were at St. Augustint, and several of them had been there, which as they said was but ten days journey; and that the Spanyards used to come to them at Saint Ellens, sometimes in Canoa's within Land, at other times in small Vessels by Sea, which the Indians describe to have but two Masts. They invited us to come to St. Ellens with our Ship, which they told us we might do within Land. Munday the 14 September, our Long-Boat went with twelve hands within Land to St. Ellens. On Wednesday the 16th, came five Indians on board us; one of them pointing to another, said, he was the Grandy Captain of Edistow: whereupon we took especial notice of him, and entertained him accordingly, giving him several Beads, & other trade that pleased him well: He invited us to bring up our Ship into a branch on the N. E. side, and told us of one Captain Francisco, and four more English that were in his custody on shoar; whereupon we shewed him store of all Trade, as Beads, Hoes, Hatchets and Bills, fyc. and said, he should have all those things if he would bring the English on board us; wck he promised should be done the next day. Hereupon we wrote a few lines to the said English, fearing it to be a Spanish delusion to entrap us. In the dark of the same Evening came a Canoa with nine or ten Indians in her with their Bowes and Arrowes, and were close on board before we did discern them: We haled them, but they made us no answer, which increased our jealousie: So we commanded them on board, and disarmed them, detaining two of them prisoners, and sending away the rest to fetch the English; which if they brought, they should have theirs again. At length they delivered us a Note written with a coal, which seemed the more to continue our jealousie, because in all this time we had no news of our long-boat from St. Ellens, which we feared was surprized by the Indians and Spanyards. But to satisfie us that there were English on shoar, they sent us one man on board about twelve of the clock in the Night who related to us the truth of the matter, and told
us us they were cast away some four or five leagues to the Northward of the place we then rode, on the 24th of July past, being thirteen persons that came on shoar, whereof three of them were kill'd by the Indians. On Thursday the 17th of September the Long-boat returned from St. Ellens, which presently we sent on shoar to fetch the other English, the Indians delivering us three more; and coming aboard themselves, we delivered them their two men. Then we demanded of the chief Commander where the rest of our English were: he answered, Five were carried to St. Ellens, three were killed by the Stonohs, and the other man we should have within two dayes. We replyed to him again, That we would keep hiin and two more of his chief men, till we had our English that were yet living; and promised them their liberty, with satisfaction for bringing us the English. Now to return to the businesse of our Design; the entertainment we had at S. Ellens put us in great fear of the Indians treachery; for we observed their continual gathering together, and at last began with stern-look'd countenances to speak roughly to us, and came to search our mens Bandileers and Pockets; yet inviting us to stay that night with them: but we made a sudden retreat to our Boat, which caused the Indian King to be in a great rage, speaking loud and angry to his men; the drift of which discourse we understood not. That which we noted there, was a fair house builded in the shape of a Dove-house, round, two hundred foot at least, compleatly covered with Pa/mefa-leaves, the wal-plate being twelve foot high, or thereabouts, &. within lodging Rooms and Forms; two pillars at the entrance of a high Seat above all the rest: Also another house like a Sentinel-house, floored ten foot high with planks, fastned with Spikes and Nayls, standing upon substantial Posts, with several other small houses round about. Also we saw many planks, to the quantity of three thousand foot or thereabouts, with other Timber squared, and a Cross before the great house. Likewise we saw the Ruines of an old Fort, compassing more than half an acre of land within the Trenches, which we supposed to be Charls's Fort, built, and so called by the French in 1562, fyc. On Monday, September 21. one English youth was brought from St. Ellens aboard us by an Indian, who informed us that there were four more of their company at St. Ellens, but he could not tell whether the Indians would let them come to us: For saith he, Our Men told me, that they had lately seen a Frier and two Spanyards more at St. Ellens, who told them they would send Soldiers suddenly to fetch them away. This day we sayled up
the the River with our Ship to go through to St. Ellens. On Tuesday the 22 instant, three Indians came on board; one of them we sent with a Letter to the English Prisoners there. On Wednesday the 23H. we sent out Boat and Men to sound the Chanel, and finde out the most likely way to St. Ellens with our Ship by Combeheh. In the mean time came many Canoa's aboard us with Corn, Pumpions, and Venison, Deer-skins, and a sort of sweet-wood. One of our men looking into an Indian basket, found a piece of Spanish Rusk: it being new, we demanded of the Indian where he had it; who said, of the Spaniards. In the interim, while we were talking, came a Canoa with four Indians from St. Ellens, on standing up, and holding a paper in a cleft stick; they told us they had brought it from the Spanish Captain at St. Ellens. We demanded how many Spaniards were come thither; who said, Seven, and one English-man: We received their Letter writ in Spanish, but none of us could read it: We detained two of the chiefest Indians, one of them being the Kings Son of S. Ellens, and that kept one of the English prisoners; the other two we sent away with a Letter to the Spaniard, wherein we gave him to understand, that we understood not his letter; and told the Indians, when they brought the English, they should have their men again, with satisfaction for their pains. On Thursday, 24 instant, we sayling further up the River to go through, at last came to a place of fresh water, and Anchored there, sending our Boat ashoar with a Guard to get water. Towards night came the first Indian that we sent to St. Ellens with a letter to the English, who brought us another letter from the Spaniards, and an Answer of ours from the English, writ in the Spaniards letter. The Spaniard sent us a quarter of Venison, and a quarter of Pork, with a Complement, That he was sorry he had no more for us at that time. We returned him thanks, and sent him a Jug of Brandy; and withal, that we were sorry we understood not his letter. This night about twelve of the Clock we had a most violent gust of winde, but of no long continuance. On Friday 25 September, we weighed, and returned down the River six leagues, or thereabouts, because we perceived the Indians had gathered themselves in a Body from all parts thereabouts, and moved as the Ship did: and being informed by an Indian that the Spaniards would be there the next day; we took in Fire-wood, and continued there that night, at which time one of our Indian Prisoners made his escape by leaping over-board in the dark. On Saturday the 26. we weighed, and stood down to the Harbours mouth, and