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COLONY OP THE LORD BARON OF BALTIMORE,
MARYLAND, NEAR VIRGINIA;
VOYAGE TO MARYLAND,
BY FATHER ANDREW WHITE;
AND SUNDRY REPoRTS,
FROM FATHERS ANDREW WHITE, JOHN ALTHAM, JOHN BROCK,
AND OTHER JESUIT FATHERS OF THE COLONY,
TO THE SUPERIOR GENERAL AT ROME.
Copied from the archives of the Jesuits' College at Rome, by the late Rev. Wm. McSherry, of Georgetown College; and translated for Force's Historical Tracts, by N. C. Brooks, A. M., Member of the Maryland Historical Society.
A Report of the Colony of the Lord Baron of Baltimore, in Maryland, near Virginia, in which the quality, nature, and condition of the region and its manifold advantages and riches are described.
The province is near the English colony in Virginia, which, in honor of his wife Maria, his most serene majesty of England wished to be called Maryland, or the Land of Maria. This province, his most serene majesty, in his munificence, lately, in the month of June, 1632, gave to the Lord Baron of Baltimore and his heirs forever; which donation he secured, and has confirmed by the public seal of the whole realm: Therefore the most illustrious Baron has resolved immediately to lead a colony into that region; first, and especially, that into the same and the neighboring places he may carry the light of the gospel and of truth where it has been found out that hitherto no knowledge of the true God has shone; then, furthermore, with this design, that all the companions of his voyage and labors may be admitted to a participation of the profits and honor, and that the empire of the realm may be more widely extended.
For this enterprise, with all haste and diligence, he seeks companions of his voyage—as well those of fortune who may be about to experience a different condition with him, as others also. For the whole affair being carefully considered, and the counsel of men eminent for experience and prudence being called in, he has now weighed carefully and studiously all the advantages and disadvantages which hitherto advanced or impeded other colonies, and found nothing which did not greatly approve his design and promise the most happy success.
For both the writings which his most noble father left behind him, an eye witness and most veracious—and worthy of credit, the things which those constantly report who daily come and go to us from thence or not far from thence, as well as the things which Captain Smith, who first discovered that country, most veritably wrote and published, contain statements truly wonderful and almost unheard of, in relation to the fertility and excellence lence of its soil. There is added to this also, the common consent and testimony of innumerable men who are here from London, and who are about to return to the regions from which they had formerly come, who with one accord verify and confirm what Smith has committed to writing.
Wherefore the most noble Baron, about the middle of September next succeeding, is about to make sail, God helping, into these parts; and to those whom he shall obtain as companions and followers in an undertaking so illustrious he makes the most ample and liberal promises, of which this is first and especial, (to omit the titles of honor and rank which are granted to fidelity, virtue, bravery, and illustrious services,) that whoever shall pay down one hundred pounds English to convey five men, (which sum shall be sufficient for arms and implements, for clothes and other necessary articles.) whether it shall please them to join themselves to us, or their men and money, to those to whom this gift may be transferred, or to another whom he may commission to have the care of them, and receive a division of the land—to thein and to their heirs forever, shall be assigned a possession of two thousand acres of good land; and besides, if in the first expedition they shall join themselves as companions, and exert their labors, they shall obtain their share, by no means small, in a profitable trade, (of which more hereafter,) with other privileges:—concerning all which things, when they come to the aforesaid Baron, they shall be made acquainted. But what has been before said of the one hundred pounds English, this also may be understood of a smaller or greater sum of money in proportion, whether from one person separately, or collected together and contributed by many.
The first and chief object of the most illustrious Baron (which also ought to be the object of others who may be in the same ship) is, that in a land so fruitful shall be sown not so much the seeds of grain and fruit trees as of religion and piety; a design truly worthy of christians, worthy of angels, worthy of the Angles,* than which England, renowned for so many ancient victories, has undertaken nothing more noble or more glorious. Behold the regions are white unto the harvest, prepared to receive in its fruitful bosom the seed of the Gospel. From thence they are sending, on all sides, messengers to seek for suitable men who may instruct the inhabitants in the doctrine of salvation and regenerate them in the sacred font.
There are present at this very time in the city, those who
• "They ought not to bo called Angles, but Angels."—Pope Gregory.
state that they have seen at Jamestown, in Virginia, messengers sent from their kings for this purpose, and infants carried to New England, that they might be washed in the waters of salvation. Who then can have a doubt, but that by this one work so glorious, many thousand souls may be led to Christ? I call the rescue and salvation of souls a glorious work, for it is a work to the glory of Christ our King. But since there are not to all the same ardor of mind and elevation of soul, so as to regard nothing but divine things, esteem nothing but heavenly things—inasmuch as most men regard rather pleasures, honors, and wealth, as if in love with them—it has happened by some unseen power, or rather by the manifest remarkable wisdom of the Deity, that this one undertaking should embrace all inducements that affect men—emoluments of every kind.
It is admitted that the situation of the region is the best and most advantageous; for it extends towards the north to the thirty-eighth or fortieth degree of latitude, in the same position of place with Saville, Sicily, and Jerusalem, and not unlike the best portions and climate of Arabia Felix. The air is serene and mild, neither exposed to the burning heat of Florida or ancient Virginia, nor withered by the cold of New England, but has a medium temperature between the two—enjoys the advantages of each, and is free from their inconveniences. On the east it is washed by the ocean; on the west it adjoins an almost boundless continent, which extends to the China sea.
There are two arms of the sea on each side—bays most abundant in fish. The one whose name is Chesapeake, is twelve miles broad, and flowing between two regions, rolls from south to north one hundred and sixty miles, is able to contain great navies, and is marked by various large islands fit for grazing, where they fish actively for shad. * They call the other the Delaware, where, the entire year, there is the fishing for codfish,t but not so profitable, except only in the cold months, as those which are rather warm prevent their being cured with salt. And indeed this great plenty of fishing arises from this: the wind which sets continually from the Canaries, between the north and east, rolls the ocean and the fish with it to the Gulf of Mexico, where, since it can neither return again to the east nor the south, it is driven towards the north, and bears with it along the coasts of Florida, Virginia, Maryland, and Newfoundland a great multitude of fish, which, as they
* Lagoii. t Ascllus.