Page images
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

ENTERED, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1847,


In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, in and for the Eastern

District of Virginia.

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]



Early voyages of Discovery; Madoc; The Northmen ; Columbus; John Cabot; Sebastian Cabot; Sir Humphrey Gilbert; Walter Raleigh; Expedition of Amidas and Barlow; They land on Wococon Island; They return to England; The new country named Virginia; Grenville's Expedition; Colony of Roanoke; Lane Governor ; The Colony abandoned; Tobacco; Grenville returns to Virginia; Leaves a small Colony at Roanoke; Sir Walter Raleigh sends out another Expedition; City of Raleigh Chartered; White Governor; Roanoke found deserted ; Virginia Dare, first child born in the Colony; White returns for supplies; The Armada; Raleigh assigns the Colony to a Company; White returns to Virginia; Finds the Colony extinct; Death of Sir Richard Grenville.

The discoveries attributed to Madoc, the Welsh prince, have afforded a theme for the creations of poetry; those of the Northmen of Iceland, better authenticated, still engage the dim researches of antiquarian curiosity. The glory of having made the first certain discovery of the New World, belongs to Columbus. It was, however, the good fortune of the Cabots, to be the first who actually reached the main land. It was in 1492, that the Genoese navigator first landed on the shores of St. Salvador. [1497.] Giovanni Gaboto, in English, John Cabot, a Venetian merchant, resident at Bristol, with his son, Sebastian, a native of that city, having obtained a patent from Henry VII., sailed under his flag and discovered the main continent of America, amid the inhospitable rigors of the wintry North. It was more than a year subsequent, that Columbus, in his third voyage, set his foot on the main land of the South. [1498.] Sebastian Cabot again crossed the Atlantic and coasted from the 58th degree of North latitude, along the shores of the United States, perhaps as far as to the Southern boundary of Maryland.

Portuguese, French and Spanish navigators now visited North America, with what motives, adventures and success, it is not necessary to relate here. [1583.] Sir Humphrey Gilbert, commissioned by Queen Elizabeth and assisted by his half-brother, Walter Raleigh, fitted out a small fleet and made a voyage to Newfoundland, where he landed and took formal possession of the country. This intrepid navigator embarking to return in the Squirrel, a vessel of only ten tons, was lost in a storm. When last seen by the company of the Hind, Sir Humphrey, although surrounded by imminent perils, was seated calmly on deck, with a book in his hand, and was heard to exclaim, "Be of good cheer, my friends, it is as near to Heaven by sea as by land."

Not daunted by the fate of his heroic kinsman, Raleigh persisted in the design of effecting a settlement in America, and being now high in the Queen's favor, obtained letters patent for that purpose, dated March 25th, 1584. Aided by some gentlemen and merchants, particularly by his gallant kinsmen, Sir Richard Grenville, and Mr. William Sanderson who had married his niece, Raleigh succeeded in providing two small vessels. These were put under command of Captains Philip Amidas and Arthur Barlow. Barlow had already served with distinction under Raleigh in Ireland. The two vessels left the Thames on the 27th of April, 1584. Pursuing the old circuitous route by the Canaries, they reached the West Indies. After a short stay there, they sailed North, and early in July, as they approached the coast of Florida, the mariners were regaled with the odors of a thousand flowers wafted from the fragrant shore. Amidas and Barlow, passing one hundred and twenty miles farther, landed on the island of Wococon, * in the stormy re

* See in "Memorials of North Carolina," by J. Seawell Jones, a graphic description of this island, and of the circumstances of the landing there. This writer, who evinces

« PreviousContinue »