List Of Contents | Contents of Captain John Smith by, Charles Dudley Warner
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were kindly entertained.  When they first came to land the savages
made a doleful noise, laying their paws to the ground and scratching
the earth with their nails.  This ceremony, which was taken to be a
kind of idolatry, ended, mats were brought from the houses, whereon
the guests were seated, and given to eat bread made of maize, and
tobacco to smoke.  The savages also entertained them with dancing and
singing and antic tricks and grimaces.  They were naked except a
covering of skins about the loins, and many were painted in black and
red, with artificial knots of lovely colors, beautiful and pleasing
to the eye.  The 4th of May they were entertained by the chief of
Paspika, who favored them with a long oration, making a foul noise
and vehement in action, the purport of which they did not catch.  The
savages were full of hospitality.  The next day the weroance, or
chief, of Rapahanna sent a messenger to invite them to his seat.  His
majesty received them in as modest a proud fashion as if he had been
a prince of a civil government.  His body was painted in crimson and
his face in blue, and he wore a chain of beads about his neck and in
his ears bracelets of pearls and a bird's claw.  The 8th of May they
went up the river to the country Apomatica, where the natives
received them in hostile array, the chief, with bow and arrows in one
hand, and a pipe of tobacco in the other, offering them war or peace.

These savages were as stout and able as any heathen or Christians in
the world.  Mr. Percy said they bore their years well.  He saw among
the Pamunkeys a savage reported to be 160, years old, whose eyes were
sunk in his head, his teeth gone his hair all gray, and quite a big
beard, white as snow; he was a lusty savage, and could travel as fast
as anybody.

The Indians soon began to be troublesome in their visits to the
plantations, skulking about all night, hanging around the fort by
day, bringing sometimes presents of deer, but given to theft of small
articles, and showing jealousy of the occupation.  They murmured,
says Percy, at our planting in their country.  But worse than the
disposition of the savages was the petty quarreling in the colony

In obedience to the orders to explore for the South Sea, on the 22d
of May, Newport, Percy, Smith, Archer, and twenty others were sent in
the shallop to explore the Powhatan, or James River.

Passing by divers small habitations, and through a land abounding in
trees, flowers, and small fruits, a river full of fish, and of
sturgeon such as the world beside has none, they came on the 24th,
having passed the town of Powhatan, to the head of the river, the
Falls, where they set up the cross and proclaimed King James of

Smith says in his "General Historie" they reached Powhatan on the
26th.  But Captain Newport's "Relatyon" agrees with Percy's, and
with, Smith's "True Relation."  Captain Newport, says Percy,
permitted no one to visit Powhatan except himself.

Captain Newport's narration of the exploration of the James is
interesting, being the first account we have of this historic river.
At the junction of the Appomattox and the James, at a place he calls
Wynauk, the natives welcomed them with rejoicing and entertained them
with dances.  The Kingdom of Wynauk was full of pearl-mussels.  The
king of this tribe was at war with the King of Paspahegh.  Sixteen
miles above this point, at an inlet, perhaps Turkey Point, they were
met by eight savages in a canoe, one of whom was intelligent enough
to lay out the whole course of the river, from Chesapeake Bay to its
source, with a pen and paper which they showed him how to use.  These
Indians kept them company for some time, meeting them here and there
with presents of strawberries, mulberries, bread, and fish, for which
they received pins, needles, and beads.  They spent one night at
Poore Cottage (the Port Cotage of Percy, where he saw the white boy),
probably now Haxall.  Five miles above they went ashore near the now
famous Dutch Gap, where King Arahatic gave them a roasted deer, and
caused his women to bake cakes for them.  This king gave Newport his
crown, which was of deer's hair dyed red.  He was a subject of the
great King Powhatan.  While they sat making merry with the savages,
feasting and taking tobacco and seeing the dances, Powhatan himself
appeared and was received with great show of honor, all rising from
their seats except King Arahatic, and shouting loudly.  To Powhatan
ample presents were made of penny-knives, shears, and toys, and he
invited them to visit him at one of his seats called Powhatan, which
was within a mile of the Falls, where now stands the city of
Richmond.  All along the shore the inhabitants stood in clusters,
offering food to the strangers.  The habitation of Powhatan was
situated on a high hill by the water side, with a meadow at its foot
where was grown wheat, beans, tobacco, peas, pompions, flax, and

Powhatan served the whites with the best he had, and best of all with
a friendly welcome and with interesting discourse of the country.
They made a league of friendship.  The next day he gave them six men
as guides to the falls above, and they left with him one man as a

On Sunday, the 24th of May, having returned to Powhatan's seat, they
made a feast for him of pork, cooked with peas, and the Captain and
King ate familiarly together; "he eat very freshly of our meats,
dranck of our beere, aquavite, and sack."  Under the influence of
this sack and aquavite the King was very communicative about the
interior of the country, and promised to guide them to the mines of
iron and copper; but the wary chief seems to have thought better of
it when he got sober, and put them off with the difficulties and
dangers of the way.

On one of the islets below the Falls, Captain Newport set up a cross
with the inscription "Jacobus, Rex, 1607," and his own name beneath,
and James was proclaimed King with a great shout.  Powhatan was
displeased with their importunity to go further up the river, and
departed with all the Indians, except the friendly Navirans, who had
accompanied them from Arahatic.  Navirans greatly admired the cross,
but Newport hit upon an explanation of its meaning that should dispel
the suspicions of Powhatan.  He told him that the two arms of the
cross signified King Powhatan and himself, the fastening of it in the
middle was their united league, and the shout was the reverence he
did to Powhatan.  This explanation being made to Powhatan greatly
contented him, and he came on board and gave them the kindest
farewell when they dropped down the river.  At Arahatic they found
the King had provided victuals for them, but, says Newport, "the King
told us that he was very sick and not able to sit up long with us."
The inability of the noble red man to sit up was no doubt due to too
much Christian sack and aquavite, for on "Monday he came to the water
side, and we went ashore with him again.  He told us that our hot
drinks, he thought, caused him grief, but that he was well again, and
we were very welcome."

It seems, therefore, that to Captain Newport, who was a good sailor
in his day, and has left his name in Virginia in Newport News, must
be given the distinction of first planting the cross in Virginia,
with a lie, and watering it, with aquavite.

They dropped down the river to a place called Mulberry Shade, where
the King killed a deer and prepared for them another feast, at which
they had rolls and cakes made of wheat.  "This the women make and are
very cleanly about it.  We had parched meal, excellent good, sodd
[cooked] beans, which eat as sweet as filbert kernels, in a manner,
strawberries; and mulberries were shaken off the tree, dropping on
our heads as we sat.  He made ready a land turtle, which we ate; and
showed that he was heartily rejoiced in our company."  Such was the
amiable disposition of the natives before they discovered the purpose
of the whites to dispossess them of their territory.  That night they
stayed at a place called "Kynd Woman's Care," where the people
offered them abundant victual and craved nothing in return.

Next day they went ashore at a place Newport calls Queen Apumatuc's
Bower.  This Queen, who owed allegiance to Powhatan, had much land
under cultivation, and dwelt in state on a pretty hill.  This ancient
representative of woman's rights in Virginia did honor to her sex.
She came to meet the strangers in a show as majestical as that of
Powhatan himself: "She had an usher before her, who brought her to
the matt prepared under a faire mulberry-tree; where she sat down by
herself, with a stayed countenance.  She would permitt none to stand
or sitt neare her.  She is a fatt, lustie, manly woman.  She had much
copper about her neck, a coronet of copper upon her hed.  She had
long, black haire, which hanged loose down her back to her myddle;
which only part was covered with a deare's skyn, and ells all naked.
She had her women attending her, adorned much like herself (except
they wanted the copper).  Here we had our accustomed eates, tobacco,
and welcome.  Our Captaine presented her with guyfts liberally,
whereupon shee cheered somewhat her countenance, and requested him to
shoote off a piece; whereat (we noted) she showed not near the like
feare as Arahatic, though he be a goodly man."

The company was received with the same hospitality by King Pamunkey,
whose land was believed to be rich in copper and pearls.  The copper
was so flexible that Captain Newport bent a piece of it the thickness
of his finger as if it had been lead.  The natives were unwilling to
part with it.  The King had about his neck a string of pearls as big
as peas, which would have been worth three or four hundred pounds, if
the pearls had been taken from the mussels as they should have been.

Arriving on their route at Weanock, some twenty miles above the fort,
they were minded to visit Paspahegh and another chief Jamestown lay
in the territory of Paspahegh--but suspicious signs among the natives
made them apprehend trouble at the fort, and they hastened thither to

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