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List Of Contents | Contents of Captain John Smith by, Charles Dudley Warner
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relatives to its care, and made no attempt to visit Croatan.

Stith says that Raleigh sent five several times to search for the
lost, but the searchers returned with only idle reports and frivolous
allegations.  Tradition, however, has been busy with the fate of
these deserted colonists.  One of the unsupported conjectures is that
the colonists amalgamated with the tribe of Hatteras Indians, and
Indian tradition and the physical characteristics of the tribe are
said to confirm this idea.  But the sporadic birth of children with
white skins (albinos) among black or copper-colored races that have
had no intercourse with white people, and the occurrence of light
hair and blue eyes among the native races of America and of New
Guinea, are facts so well attested that no theory of amalgamation can
be sustained by such rare physical manifestations.  According to
Captain John Smith, who wrote of Captain Newport's explorations in
1608, there were no tidings of the waifs, for, says Smith, Newport
returned "without a lump of gold, a certainty of the South Sea, or
one of the lost company sent out by Sir Walter Raleigh."

In his voyage of discovery up the Chickahominy, Smith seem; to have
inquired about this lost colony of King Paspahegh, for he says, "what
he knew of the dominions he spared not to acquaint me with, as of
certaine men cloathed at a place called Ocanahonan, cloathcd like

[Among these Hatteras Indians Captain Amadas, in 1584, saw children
with chestnut-colored hair.]

We come somewhat nearer to this matter in the Historie of Travaile
into Virginia Britannia," published from the manuscript by the
Hakluyt Society in 1849, in which it is intimated that seven of these
deserted colonists were afterwards rescued.  Strachey is a first-rate
authority for what he saw.  He arrived in Virginia in 1610 and
remained there two years, as secretary of the colony, and was a man
of importance.  His "Historie" was probably written between 1612 and
1616.  In the first portion of it, which is descriptive of the
territory of Virginia, is this important passage: "At Peccarecamek
and Ochanahoen, by the relation of Machumps, the people have houses
built with stone walls, and one story above another, so taught them
by those English who escaped the slaughter of Roanoke.  At what time
this our colony, under the conduct of Captain Newport, landed within
the Chesapeake Bay, where the people breed up tame turkies about
their houses, and take apes in the mountains, and where, at Ritanoe,
the Weroance Eyanaco, preserved seven of the English alive--four men,
two boys, and one young maid (who escaped [that is from Roanoke] and
fled up the river of Chanoke), to beat his copper, of which he hath
certain mines at the said Ritanoe, as also at Pamawauk are said to be
store of salt stones."

This, it will be observed, is on the testimony of Machumps.  This
pleasing story is not mentioned in Captain Newport's "Discoveries "
(May, 1607).  Machumps, who was the brother of Winganuske, one of the
many wives of Powhatan, had been in England.  He was evidently a
lively Indian.  Strachey had heard him repeat the "Indian grace," a
sort of incantation before meat, at the table of Sir Thomas Dale.  If
he did not differ from his red brothers he had a powerful
imagination, and was ready to please the whites with any sort of a
marvelous tale.  Newport himself does not appear to have seen any of
the "apes taken in the mountains."  If this story is to be accepted
as true we have to think of Virginia Dare as growing up to be a woman
of twenty years, perhaps as other white maidens have been, Indianized
and the wife of a native.  But the story rests only upon a romancing
Indian.  It is possible that Strachey knew more of the matter than he
relates, for in his history he speaks again of those betrayed people,
"of whose end you shall hereafter read in this decade."  But the
possessed information is lost, for it is not found in the remainder
of this "decade" of his writing, which is imperfect.  Another
reference in Strachey is more obscure than the first.  He is speaking
of the merciful intention of King James towards the Virginia savages,
and that he does not intend to root out the natives as the Spaniards
did in Hispaniola, but by degrees to change their barbarous nature,
and inform them of the true God and the way to Salvation, and that
his Majesty will even spare Powhatan himself.  But, he says, it is
the intention to make "the common people likewise to understand, how
that his Majesty has been acquainted that the men, women, and
children of the first plantation of Roanoke were by practice of
Powhatan (he himself persuaded thereunto by his priests) miserably
slaughtered, without any offense given him either by the first
planted (who twenty and odd years had peaceably lived intermixed with
those savages, and were out of his territory) or by those who are now
come to inhabit some parts of his distant lands," etc.

Strachey of course means the second plantation and not the first,
which, according to the weight of authority, consisted of only
fifteen men and no women.

In George Percy's Discourse concerning Captain Newport's exploration
of the River James in 1607 (printed in Purchas's " Pilgrims ") is
this sentence: "At Port Cotage, in our voyage up the river, we saw a
savage boy, about the age of ten years, which had a head of hair of a
perfect yellow, and reasonably white skin, which is a miracle amongst
all savages."  Mr. Neill, in his "History of the Virginia Company,"
says that this boy" was no doubt the offspring of the colonists left
at Roanoke by White, of whom four men, two boys, and one young maid
had been preserved from slaughter by an Indian Chief."  Under the
circumstances, "no doubt" is a very strong expression for a historian
to use.

This belief in the sometime survival of the Roanoke colonists, and
their amalgamation with the Indians, lingered long in colonial
gossip.  Lawson, in his History, published in London in 1718,
mentions a tradition among the Hatteras Indians, "that several of
their ancestors were white people and could talk from a book; the
truth of which is confirmed by gray eyes being among these Indians
and no others."

But the myth of Virginia Dare stands no chance beside that of



The way was now prepared for the advent of Captain John Smith in
Virginia.  It is true that we cannot give him his own title of its
discoverer, but the plantation had been practically abandoned, all
the colonies had ended in disaster, all the governors and captains
had lacked the gift of perseverance or had been early drawn into
other adventures, wholly disposed, in the language of Captain John
White, "to seek after purchase and spoils," and but for the energy
and persistence of Captain Smith the expedition of 1606 might have
had no better fate.  It needed a man of tenacious will to hold a
colony together in one spot long enough to give it root.  Captain
Smith was that man, and if we find him glorying in his exploits, and
repeating upon single big Indians the personal prowess that
distinguished him in Transylvania and in the mythical Nalbrits, we
have only to transfer our sympathy from the Turks to the
Sasquesahanocks if the sense of his heroism becomes oppressive.

Upon the return of Samuel Mace, mariner, who was sent out in 1602 to
search for White's lost colony, all Raleigh's interest in the
Virginia colony had, by his attainder, escheated to the crown.  But
he never gave up his faith in Virginia: neither the failure of nine
several expeditions nor twelve years imprisonment shook it.  On the
eve of his fall he had written, "I shall yet live to see it an
English nation:" and he lived to see his prediction come true.

The first or Virginian colony, chartered with the Plymouth colony in
April, 1606, was at last organized by the appointment of Sir Thomas
Smith, the 'Chief of Raleigh's assignees, a wealthy London merchant,
who had been ambassador to Persia, and was then, or shortly after,
governor of the East India Company, treasurer and president of the
meetings of the council in London; and by the assignment of the
transportation of the colony to Captain Christopher Newport, a
mariner of experience in voyages to the West Indies and in plundering
the Spaniards, who had the power to appoint different captains and
mariners, and the sole charge of the voyage.  No local councilors
were named for Virginia, but to Captain Newport, Captain Bartholomew
Gosnold, and Captain John Ratcliffe were delivered sealed
instructions, to be opened within twenty-four hours after their
arrival in Virginia, wherein would be found the names of the persons
designated for the Council.

This colony, which was accompanied by the prayers and hopes of
London, left the Thames December 19, 1606, in three vessels--the
Susan Constant, one hundred tons, Captain Newport, with seventy-one
persons; the God-Speed, forty tons, Captain Gosnold, with fifty-two
persons; and a pinnace of twenty tons, the Discovery, Captain
Ratcliffe, with twenty persons.  The Mercure Francais, Paris, 1619,
says some of the passengers were women and children, but there is
no other mention of women.  Of the persons embarked, one hundred and
five were planters, the rest crews.  Among the planters were Edward
Maria Wingfield, Captain John Smith, Captain John Martin, Captain
Gabriel Archer, Captain George Kendall, Mr. Robert Hunt, preacher,
and Mr. George Percie, brother of the Earl of Northumberland,
subsequently governor for a brief period, and one of the writers from
whom Purchas compiled.  Most of the planters were shipped as
gentlemen, but there were four carpenters, twelve laborers, a
blacksmith, a sailor, a barber, a bricklayer, a mason, a tailor, a
drummer, and a chirurgeon.

The composition of the colony shows a serious purpose of settlement,
since the trades were mostly represented, but there were too many
gentlemen to make it a working colony.  And, indeed, the gentlemen,
like the promoters of the enterprise in London, were probably more

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