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EARLY VOYAGES TO NEW-ENGLAND.
conforming its ecclesiastical discipline to the princi- CHAP. ples of republican simplicity, established a party, of which Englishmen became members, and NewEngland the asylum. The enfranchisement of the mind from religious despotism led directly to inquiries into the nature of civil government; and the doctrines of popular liberty, which sheltered their infancy in the wildernesses of the newly discovered continent, within the short space of two centuries have infused themselves into the life-blood of every rising state from Labrador to Chili, established outposts at the mouth of the Oregon and in Liberia, and, making a proselyte of enlightened France, have disturbed all the ancient governments of Europe, and awakened the public mind to resistless action from the shores of Portugal to the palaces of the Czars.
The trading company of the west of England, 1606. incorporated in the same patent' with Virginia, possessed too narrow resources or too little enterprize for success in establishing colonies. The Spaniards, affecting an exclusive right of navigation in the seas of the new hemisphere, captured and confiscated a Nov. vessel,” which Popham, the chief justice of England, and Gorges, the governor of Plymouth, had, with some others, equipped for discovery. But a second and almost simultaneous expedition from Bristol encountered no disasters; and the voyagers, on their return, increased public confidence, by re
1 See above, p. 137 ; Chalmers, ration, c. iv. p. 4–6; Prince's N.
E. Chronology, p. 113, 114; ii. 2 Purchas, v. iv. p. 1827 and Mass. Historical Collections, v. ix. 1832, and ff.; Gorges' Briefe Nar- p.3, 4.
CHAP. newing the favorable reports of the country, which
they had visited. The spirit of adventure was not suffered to slumber; the lord chief justice displayed persevering vigor ; for his honor was interested in the success of the company, which his influence had contributed to establish; Gorges, the companion and friend of Raleigh, was still reluctant to surrender his
sanguine hopes of fortune and domains in America ; 1607. and, in the next year, two ships were despatched to
Northern Virginia, commanded by Raleigh Gilbert, and bearing emigrants for a plantation under the
presidency of George Popham. After a tedious Aug. voyage, the adventurers reached the coast of Ameri
ca near the mouth of the Kennebec; and, offering public thanks to God for their safety, began their settlement under the auspices of religion, with a government, framed, as if for a permanent colony.
Rude cabins, a storehouse, and some slight fortificaDec. tions were rapidly prepared, and the ships sailed for
England, leaving forty-five emigrants in the plantation, which was named St. George. But the winter was intensely cold; the natives, at first friendly, became restless; the storehouse caught fire and part of the provisions was consumed ; the emigrants grew weary of their solitude; they lost Popham, their president, “the only one of the company that died
1 Gorges, c. v. p. 6.
v. ii. p. 173—175; Belknap's Biog. 2 The name of Gorges occurs v. i. p. 350—354; i. Mass. Hist. in Hume, c. xliv.; Lingard, v. viii. Coll. v. i. p. 251, 252; Williamp. 449. Compare Belknap's Biog- son's History of Maine, v. i. p. 197 raphy, v. i. p. 347–354. Gorges —203; Prince, p. 116, 117, 118, was ever a sincere royalist. 119; Hubbard's N. E. p. 36, 37.
3 Gorges, c. vii. viii. ix. p. 84 4 Chalmers, p. 79, writes: “ they 11; Purchas, v. iv. p. 1828 ; Smith, looked at the numerous graves of
COLONY AT SAGADAHOC.
there ;" the ships, which revisited the settlement CHAP. with supplies, brought news of the death of the chief justice, the most vigorous friend of the settlement in 1608. England; and Gilbert, the sole in command at St. George, had, by the decease of his brother, become heir to an estate, which invited his presence. So the plantation was abandoned; and the colonists, returning to England, “ did coyne many excuses,” and sought to conceal their own deficiency of spirit by spreading exaggerated accounts of the rugged poverty of the soil, and the inhospitable severity of the climate. But the Plymouth company was dissatisfied with their pusillanimity; Gorges esteemed it a weakness to be frightened at a blast. The idea of a settlement in these northern latitudes was no longer terriffic. The American fisheries also constituted a prosperous and well established business. Three years had elapsed, since the French had been settled in their huts at Port Royal; and the ships, which carried the English from the Kennebec, were on the ocean at the same time with the little squadron of the French, who succeeded in building Quebec, the very summer in which Maine was deserted. Indeed, but a few seasons passed away, before the 1612. crew of a British vessel had the hardihood to defy an American winter at Port Nelson, in Hudson's Bay.
The fisheries and the fur-trade were not relinquished ; vessels were annually employed in traffic
the dead;" drawing on his imagi- those who died, “Gilbert, their
CHAP. with the Indians; and once,' at least, perhaps oftener,
a part of a ship's company remained during a winter
on the American coast. But new hopes were awaApril
kened, when Smith, who had already obtained distinction in Virginia, and who had, with rare sagacity, discovered, and, with unceasing firmness, asserted, that colonization was the true policy of England, with two ships, set sail for the coast, north of the lands granted by the Virginia patent. The expedition was a private adventure of “four merchants of London and himself;" and was very successful. The freights were profitable; the health of the mariners did not suffer; and the whole voyage was accomplished in less than seven months. While the sailors were busy with their hooks and lines, Smith examined the shores from the Penobscot to Cape Cod, prepared a map of the coast," and named the country New-England, a title which Prince Charles confirmed. The French could boast with truth, that New-France had been colonized, before NewEngland obtained a name; Port Royal was older than Plymouth, Quebec than Boston. Yet the voyage was not free from crime. After Smith had departed for England, Thomas Hunt, the master of the second ship, kidnapped a large party of Indians, and, sailing for Spain, sold " the poor innocents” into slavery. It is singular, how good is educed from evil ; one of the number, escaping from captivity,
1 Gorges, c. x. p. 12; Prince, in ji. Mass. Hist. Coll. v. iii. p. 19;
and in his Historie, v. ii. p. 175, 2 Chalmers, p. 80, erroneously 176; Purchas, v. iv. 1828. attributes the expedition to the 3 May, in iii. Mass. Historical Plymouth company. See Smith, Collections, v. iii.
JOHN SMITH IN NEW-ENGLAND.
made his way to London, and, in 1619, was restored CHAP. to his own country, where he subsequently became an interpreter for English emigrants.?
Encouraged by commercial success, Smith next 1615. endeavored, in the employment of Sir Ferdinando Gorges, and of friends in London, members of the Plymouth company, to establish a colony. Sixteen meno were all, whom the adventurers destined for the occupation of New-England. The attempt was unsuccessful. Smith was forced by extreme tempests to return. Again renewing his enterprize, he suffered from the treachery of his companions, and was, at last, intercepted by French pirates. His ship was taken away; he himself escaped alone, in an open boat, from the harbor of Rochelle. The severest privations in a new settlement would have been less wearisome, than the labors, which his enthusiasm now prompted him to undertake. Having published a map and a description of New-England, he
spent many months* in visiting the merchants and 1617. gentry of the west of England to excite their zeal for enterpize in America; he proposed to the cities, mercantile profits, to be realized in short and safe voyages; to the noblemen, vast dominions; from men of small means, his earnestness concealed the hard
1 Smith's Description of New- 2 Williamson's Maine, v. i. p. England, p. 47; Smith's Generall 212. The learned and very valuHistorie, v. ii. p. 176; Morton's able historian of Maine coufounds Memorial, p. 55, and Davis on this design of Smith to found a Morton ; Prince, p. 132; Mourt's colony with his previous voyage Relation, in i. M. H. Coll. v. viii. for trade avd discovery. p. 238; Plantation of N. England, 3 Smith, v. ii. p. 205–215; and in ii. Mass. Historical Collections, in iii. M. Hist. Coll. v. iii. p. 20, 21. v. ix. p. 6 and 7.
4 Smith, v. ü. p. 218.