List Of Contents | Contents of Captain John Smith by, Charles Dudley Warner
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starved and beaten nearly to death.  After amusing himself with them,
Kemps returned the fugitives, whom Smith punished until they were
content to labor at home, rather than adventure to live idly among
the savages, "of whom," says our shrewd chronicler, "there was more
hope to make better christians and good subjects than the one half of
them that counterfeited themselves both."  The Indians were in such
subjection that any who were punished at the fort would beg the
President not to tell their chief, for they would be again punished
at home and sent back for another round.

We hear now of the last efforts to find traces of the lost colony of
Sir Walter Raleigh.  Master Sicklemore returned from the Chawwonoke
(Chowan River) with no tidings of them; and Master Powell, and Anas
Todkill who had been conducted to the Mangoags, in the regions south
of the James, could learn nothing but that they were all dead.  The
king of this country was a very proper, devout, and friendly man; he
acknowledged that our God exceeded his as much as our guns did his
bows and arrows, and asked the President to pray his God for him, for
all the gods of the Mangoags were angry.

The Dutchmen and one Bentley, another fugitive, who were with
Powhatan, continued to plot against the colony, and the President
employed a Swiss, named William Volday, to go and regain them with
promises of pardon.  Volday turned out to be a hypocrite, and a
greater rascal than the others.  Many of the discontented in the fort
were brought into the scheme, which was, with Powhatan's aid, to
surprise and destroy Jamestown.  News of this getting about in the
fort, there was a demand that the President should cut off these
Dutchmen.  Percy and Cuderington, two gentlemen, volunteered to do
it; but Smith sent instead Master Wiffin and Jeffrey Abbot, to go and
stab them or shoot them.  But the Dutchmen were too shrewd to be
caught, and Powhatan sent a conciliatory message that he did not
detain the Dutchmen, nor hinder the slaying of them.

While this plot was simmering, and Smith was surrounded by treachery
inside the fort and outside, and the savages were being taught that
King James would kill Smith because he had used the Indians so
unkindly, Captain Argall and Master Thomas Sedan arrived out in a
well-furnished vessel, sent by Master Cornelius to trade and fish for
sturgeon.  The wine and other good provision of the ship were so
opportune to the necessities of the colony that the President seized
them.  Argall lost his voyage; his ship was revictualed and sent back
to England, but one may be sure that this event was so represented as
to increase the fostered dissatisfaction with Smith in London.  For
one reason or another, most of the persons who returned had probably
carried a bad report of him.  Argall brought to Jamestown from London
a report of great complaints of him for his dealings with the savages
and not returning ships freighted with the products of the country.
Misrepresented in London, and unsupported and conspired against in
Virginia, Smith felt his fall near at hand.  On the face of it he was
the victim of envy and the rascality of incompetent and bad men; but
whatever his capacity for dealing with savages, it must be confessed
that he lacked something which conciliates success with one's own
people.  A new commission was about to be issued, and a great supply
was in preparation under Lord De La Ware.



The London company were profoundly dissatisfied with the results of
the Virginia colony.  The South Sea was not discovered, no gold had
turned up, there were no valuable products from the new land, and the
promoters received no profits on their ventures.  With their
expectations, it is not to be wondered at that they were still
further annoyed by the quarreling amongst the colonists themselves,
and wished to begin over again.

A new charter, dated May 23, 1609, with enlarged powers, was got from
King James.  Hundreds of corporators were named, and even thousands
were included in the various London trades and guilds that were
joined in the enterprise.  Among the names we find that of Captain
John Smith.  But he was out of the Council, nor was he given then or
ever afterward any place or employment in Virginia, or in the
management of its affairs.  The grant included all the American coast
two hundred miles north and two hundred miles south of Point Comfort,
and all the territory from the coast up into the land throughout from
sea to sea, west and northwest.  A leading object of the project
still being (as we have seen it was with Smith's precious crew at
Jamestown) the conversion and reduction of the natives to the true
religion, no one was permitted in the colony who had not taken the
oath of supremacy.

Under this charter the Council gave a commission to Sir Thomas West,
Lord Delaware, Captain-General of Virginia; Sir Thomas Gates,
Lieutenant-General; Sir George Somers, Admiral; Captain Newport,
Vice-Admiral; Sir Thomas Dale, High Marshal; Sir Frederick Wainman,
General of the Horse, and many other officers for life.

With so many wealthy corporators money flowed into the treasury, and
a great expedition was readily fitted out.  Towards the end of May,
1609, there sailed from England nine ships and five hundred people,
under the command of Sir Thomas Gates, Sir George Somers, and Captain
Newport.  Each of these commanders had a commission, and the one who
arrived first was to call in the old commission; as they could not
agree, they all sailed in one ship, the Sea Venture.

This brave expedition was involved in a contest with a hurricane; one
vessel was sunk, and the Sea Venture, with the three commanders, one
hundred and fifty men, the new commissioners, bills of lading, all
sorts of instructions, and much provision, was wrecked on the
Bermudas.  With this company was William Strachey, of whom we shall
hear more hereafter.  Seven vessels reached Jamestown, and brought,
among other annoyances, Smith's old enemy, Captain Ratcliffe, alias
Sicklemore, in command of a ship.  Among the company were also
Captains Martin, Archer, Wood, Webbe, Moore, King, Davis, and several
gentlemen of good means, and a crowd of the riff-raff of London.
Some of these Captains whom Smith had sent home, now returned with
new pretensions, and had on the voyage prejudiced the company against
him.  When the fleet was first espied, the President thought it was
Spaniards, and prepared to defend himself, the Indians promptly
coming to his assistance.

This hurricane tossed about another expedition still more famous,
that of Henry Hudson, who had sailed from England on his third voyage
toward Nova Zembla March 25th, and in July and August was beating
down the Atlantic coast.  On the 18th of August he entered the Capes
of Virginia, and sailed a little way up the Bay.  He knew he was at
the mouth of the James River, "where our Englishmen are," as he says.
The next day a gale from the northeast made him fear being driven
aground in the shallows, and he put to sea.  The storm continued for
several days.  On the 21st "a sea broke over the fore-course and
split it;" and that night something more ominous occurred: "that
night [the chronicle records] our cat ran crying from one side of the
ship to the other, looking overboard, which made us to wonder, but we
saw nothing."  On the 26th they were again off the bank of Virginia,
and in the very bay and in sight of the islands they had seen on the
18th.  It appeared to Hudson "a great bay with rivers," but too
shallow to explore without a small boat.  After lingering till the
29th, without any suggestion of ascending the James, he sailed
northward and made the lucky stroke of river exploration which
immortalized him.

It seems strange that he did not search for the English colony, but
the adventurers of that day were independent actors, and did not care
to share with each other the glories of discovery.

The first of the scattered fleet of Gates and Somers came in on the
11th, and the rest straggled along during the three or four days
following.  It was a narrow chance that Hudson missed them all, and
one may imagine that the fate of the Virginia colony and of the New
York settlement would have been different if the explorer of the
Hudson had gone up the James.

No sooner had the newcomers landed than trouble began.  They would
have deposed Smith on report of the new commission, but they could
show no warrant.  Smith professed himself willing to retire to
England, but, seeing the new commission did not arrive, held on to
his authority, and began to enforce it to save the whole colony from
anarchy.  He depicts the situation in a paragraph: "To a thousand
mischiefs these lewd Captains led this lewd company, wherein were
many unruly gallants, packed thither by their friends to escape ill
destinies, and those would dispose and determine of the government,
sometimes to one, the next day to another; today the old commission
must rule, tomorrow the new, the next day neither; in fine, they
would rule all or ruin all; yet in charity we must endure them thus
to destroy us, or by correcting their follies, have brought the
world's censure upon us to be guilty of their blouds.  Happie had we
beene had they never arrived, and we forever abandoned, as we were
left to our fortunes; for on earth for their number was never more
confusion or misery than their factions occasioned."  In this company
came a boy, named Henry Spelman, whose subsequent career possesses
considerable interest.

The President proceeded with his usual vigor: he "laid by the heels"
the chief mischief-makers till he should get leisure to punish them;
sent Mr. West with one hundred and twenty good men to the Falls to
make a settlement; and despatched Martin with near as many and their
proportion of provisions to Nansemond, on the river of that name
emptying into the James, obliquely opposite Point Comfort.

Lieutenant Percy was sick and had leave to depart for England when he
chose.  The President's year being about expired, in accordance with

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