True Relation

An Electronic Edition ยท John Smith (1580-1631)

Original Source: John Smith, "A True Relation of Occurences and Accidents in Virginia, 1608." In Travels and Works of Captain John Smith, President of Virginia, and Admiral of New England, 1580-1631, Part I John Smith. Ed. Edward Arber. Edinburgh: John Grant, 1910.

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A True Relation of Such Occurrences and Accidents of Note as Hath Hapned in Virginia Since the First Planting of that Colony, which is now resident in the South part thereof, till the last returne from thence.

Written by Captaine Smith one of the said Collony, to a worshipfull friend of his in England

John Smith LONDON
Printed for John Tappe, and are to bee solde at the Greyhound in Paules-Church yard, by W.W.

To the Courteous Reader

Courteous, Kind & indifferent Readers, whose willingnesse to reade & heare this following discourse, doth explaine to the world your hearty affection, to the prosecuting and furtherance of so worthy an action: so as it is, that like to an unskilfull actor, who having by misconstruction of his right Cue, over-slipt himselfe, in beginning of a country part, and fearing the hatefull hisse of the captious multitude, with a modest blush retires himself in private; as doubting the reprehension of his whole audience in publicke, and yet again upon further deliberation, thinking it better to know their censures at the first, and upon submission to reape pardon, then by seeking to smother it, to incurre the danger of a secret scandall: Imboldening himselfe upon the curteous kindnesse of the best, and not greatly respecting the worst, comes fourth againe, makes an Apollogie for himselfe, shewes the cause of his error, craves pardon for his rashnes, and in fine, receives a generall applauditie of the whole assemblie: so I gentle Readers, happening upon this relation by chance (as I take it, at the second or third hand) induced thereunto by divers well willers of the action, and none wishing better towards it then my selfe, so farre foorth as my poore abilitie can or may stretch too, I thought good to publish it: but the Author being absent from the presse, it cannot be doubted but that some faults have escaped in the printing, especially in the names of Countries, Townes, and People, which are somewhat strange unto us: but most of all, and which is the chiefe error, (for want of knowledge of the Writer some of the bookes were printed under the name of Thomas Watson, by whose occasion I know not, unlesse it were the overe rashnesse, or mistaking of the workemen, but since having learned that the saide discourse was written by Captaine Smith, who is one of the Counsell there in Virginia: I thought good to make the Appologie, by shewing the true Author so farre as myselfe could learne, not doubting, but that the wise noting it as an error of ignorance, will passe it over with patience, and if worthy an applauditie, to reserve it to the Author, whose paines in my judgement deserveth commendations; som: what was more by him written, which being as I thought (fit to be private) I would not adventure to make it publicke what more may be expected concerning the scituation of the Country, the nature, of the clime, number of our people there resident, the manner of their government, and living, the commodities to be produced, & the end & effect it may come too, I can say nothing more then is here written, only what I have learned and gathered from the generall consent of all (that I have conversed withall) as-well marriners as others, which have had imployment that way; is that the Country is excellent & pleasant, the clime temperate and health full, the ground fertill and good, the commodities to be expected (if well followed) many, for our people, the worst being already past, these former having indured the heate of the day, whereby those that shall succeede, may at ease labour for their profit, in the most sweete, cool, and temperate shade: the action most honorable, and the end to the high glory of God, to the erecting of true religion among Infidells, to the overthrow of superstition and idolatrie, to the winning of many thousands of wandring sheepe, unto Christs fold, who now, and till now, have strayed in the unknowne paths of Paganisme, Idolatrie, and superstition: yea, I say the Action being well followed, as by the grave Senators, and worthy adventurors, it hath beene worthily begunne: will tend to the everlasting renowne of our Nation, and to the exceeding good and benefit of our Weale publicke in general; whose Counsells, labours, godly and industrious endevours, I beseech the mightie Jehovah to blesse, prosper, and further, with his heavenly ayde, and holy assistance.

Farewell, I.H.


Kinde Sir, commendations remembred &c You shall understand that after many crosses in the downes by tempests, wee arrived safely uppon the Southwest part of the great Canaries: within four or five daies after we set sail for Dominica, the 26. Of Aprill: the first land we made, wee fell with Cape Henry, the verie mouth of the Bay of Chissapiacke, which at that present we little expected, having by a cruell storme bene put to the Northward:

Anchoring in this Bay, twentie or thirtie went a shore with the Captain, and in coming aboard, they were assalted with certaine Indians, which charged them within Pistoll shot: in which conflict, Captaine Archer and Mathew Morton were shot: whereupon, Captaine Newport seconding them, made a shot at them, which the Indians little respected, but having spent their arrowes retyred without harme, and in that place was the Box opened, wherin the Counsell for Virginia was nominated: and arriving at the place where wee are now seated, the Counsell was sworne, the President elected, which for that yeare was Maister Edm. Maria Wingfield, where was made choice for our scituation a verie fit place for the erecting of a great cittie, about which some contention passed betwixt Capatain Wingfield and Captaine Gosnold, notwithstanding all our provision was brought a shore, and with as much speede as might bee wee went about our fortification.

The two and twenty day of Aprill, Captain Newport and my selfe with divers others, to the other number of twenty two persons, set forward to discover the River, some fiftie or sixtie miles, finding it in some places broader, & in some narrower, the Countrie (for the moste part) on each side plaine high ground, with many fresh Springes, the people in all places kindely intreating us, daunsing and feasting us with strawberries, Mulberries, Bread, Fish, and other their Countrie provisions wherof we had plenty: for which Captaine Newport kindely requited their least favours with Bels, Pinnes, Needles, beades, or Glassas, which so contented them that his liberallities made them follow us from place to place, ever kindely to respect us. In the midway staying to refresh our selves in little Ile foure or five savages came unto us which described unto us the course of the River, and after in our journey, they often met us, trading with us for such provision as wee had, and ariving at Arsatecke, hee whom we supposed to bee the chiefe King of all the rest, moste kindely entertained us, giving us in a guide to go with us up the River to Powhatan, of which place their great Emperor taketh his name, where he that they honored for King used us kindely. But to finish this discoverie, we passed on further, where within an ile we were intercepted with great craggy stones in the midst of the river, where the water falleth so rudely, and with such a violence, as not any boat can possibly passe, and so broad disperseth the streame, as there is not past five or sixe Foote at a low water, and to the shore scarce passage with a barge, the water floweth foure foote, and the freshes by reason of the Rockes have left markes of the inundation 8. or 9. foote: The south side high mountaines, the rockes being of gravelly nature, interlaced with many vains of glistrling spangles.

That night we returned to Powhatan: the next day (being Whitsunday after dinner) we returned to the fals, leaving a mariner in pawn with the Indians for a guide of theirs, hee that they honoured for King followe us by the river (further he would not goe) so there we erected a crosse, and that night taking our man at Powhatans, Captaine Newport congratulated his kindenes with a Gown and a Hatchet: returning to Arsetecke, and stayed there the next day to observe the height therof, & so with many signes of love we departed.

The next day the Queene of Agamatack kindely intreated us, her people being no lesse contented then the rest, and from thence we went to another place, (the name wherof I doe not remember) where the people shewed us the manner of their diving of Mussels, in which they finde Pearles.

That night passing by Weanock some twentie miles from our Fort, they according to their former churlish condition, seemed little to affect us, but as wee departed and lodged at the point of Weanocke, the people the next morning seemed kindely to content us, yet we might perceive many signs of a more Jealousie in them then before, and also the Hinde that the King of Arseteck had given us, altered his resolution in going to our Fort, and with many kinde circumstances left us there. This gave us some occasion to doubt some mischiefe at the Fort, yet Captaine Newport intended to have visited Paspahegh and Tappahanocke, but the instant change of the winde being faire for our return we repaired to the fort withall speed, where the first we heard was that 400. Indians the day before assalted the fort, & surprised it, had not God (beyond al their expectations) by meanes of the shippes at whom they shot with their Ordinances and Muskets), caused them to retire, they had entred the fort with our own men, which were then busied in setting Corne, their armes beeing then in driefats & few ready but certain Gentlemen of their own, in which conflict, most of the Counsel was hurt, a boy slaine in the Pinnas, and thirteene or fourteene more hurt[.] With all speede we pallisadoed our Fort: (each other day) for sixe or seaven daies we had alarums by ambuscadoes, and foure or five cruelly wounded by being abroad: the Indians losse wee know not, but as they report three were slain and divers hurt.

Captaine Newport having set things in order, set saile for England the 22 of June, leaving provision for 13. or 14 weeks. The day before the Ships departure, the king of Pamaunke [i.e., Opechancanough] sent the Indian that had met us before in our discoverie, to assure us peace, our fort being then pallisadoed round, and all our men in good health and comfort, albeit, that throgh some discontented humors, it did not so long continue, for the President and Captaine Gosnold, with the rest of the Counsell being for the moste part discontented with one another, in so much, that things were neither carried with that discretion nor any busines effected in such good sort as wisdome would, nor our owne good and safetie required thereby, and through the hard dealings of our President, the rest of the counsell being diverslie affected through his audacious commaund, and for Captaine Martin, (albeit verie honest) and wishing the best good, yet so sicke and weake, and my selfe disgrac’d through others mallice, through which disorder God (being angrie with us) plagued us with such famin and sicknes, that the living were scarce able to bury the dead: our want of sufficiene and good victualls, with continuall watching foure or five each night at three Bulwarkes, being the chiefe cause: onely of Sturgion wee had great store, whereon our men would so greedily surfet, as it cost manye their lives: the Sack, Aquatie, and other preservatives for our health, being kept onely in the Presidents hands, for his owne diet, and his few associates.

Shortly after Captaine Gosnold fell sicke, and within three weeks died, Captaine Ratcliffe being then also verie sicke and weake, and my selfe having also tasted of the extremitie therof, but by Gods assistance being well recovered. Kendall about this time, for divers reasens deposed from being of the Councell: and shortly after it pleased God (in our extremity) to move the Indians to bring us Corne, ere it was halfe ripe, to refresh us, when we rather expected when they would destroy us:

About the tenth of September there was about 46. of our men dead, at which time Captaine Wingefield having ordred the affaires in such sort that he was generally hated of all, in which respect with one consent he was deposed from his presidencie, and Captaine Ratcliffe according to his course was elected.

Our provision now being within twentie dayes spent, the Indians brought us great store both of Corne and bread ready made: and also there came such aboundance of Fowles into the Rivers, as greatly refreshed our weake estates, where uppon many of our weake men were presently able to goe abroad.

As yet we had no houses to cover us, our tents were rotten and our Cabbins worse than nought: our best commodities was Yron which we made into little chissels.

The president, and Captaine Martins sicknes, me to be Cape Marchant, and yet to spare no paines in making houses for the company, who notwithstanding our misery, little ceased their mallice, grudging and muttering.

As at this time were most of our chiefest men either sicke or discontented, the rest being in such dispaire, as they would rather starve and rot with idleness, then be persuaded to do any thing for their owne reliefe without constraint: our victualles being now within eighteene dayes spent, and the Indians trade decreasing, I was sent to the mouth of the river to Kegquohtan an Indian Towne, to trade for Corne, and try the river for Fish, but our fishing we could not effect by reason of the stormy weather. The Indians thinking us neare famished, with carelesse kindnes, offered us little pieces of bread and small handfulls of beanes or wheat, for a hatchet or a piece of copper: In like maner I entertained their kindnes, and in like scorne offered them like commodities, but the Children, or any that shewe extraordinary kundnes, I liberally confronted with free gifte such trifles as wel contented them.

Finding this colde comfort, I anchored before the Town, and the next day returned to trade, but God (the absolute disposer of all heartes) altered their conceits, for now they were no lesse desirous of our commodities then we of their Corne, and force, to houses: which weell understanding with foure shot I visited them. With fish, oysters, bread, and deere, they kindly traded with me and my men, being no lesse in doubt of my intent, then I of theirs; for well I might with twentie man have fraighted a Shippe with Corne: The Towne conteineth eighteene houses, pleasantly seated upon three acres of ground, uppon a plaine, halfe invironed with a great Bay of the great River, the other parte with a Baye of the other River falling into the great Baye, with a little Ile fit for a Castle in the mouth thereof, the Towne adjoyning to the maine by a necke of Land of sixtie yardes.

With sixteene bushells of Corne I returned towards our Forte: by the way I encountred with two Canowes of Indians, who came aboord me, being the inhabitants of waroskoyack, a kingdome on the south side of the river, which is in breadth 5 miles and 20 mile or neare from the mouth: With these I traded, who having but their hunting provision, requested me to returne to their Towne, where I should load my boat with corne: and with near thirtie bushells I returned to the fort, the very name wherof gave great comfort to our desparing company: 16.

Time thus passing away, and having not aboue 14 daies victuals left, some motions were made about our presidents and Captaine Archers going for England, to procure a supply: in which meane time we had reasonably fitted us with houses. And our President and Captaine Martin being able to walk abroad, with much adoe it was concluded, that the pinnace and barge should goe towards Powhatan, to trade for corne:

Lotts were cast who should go in her, the chance was mine; and while she was a rigging, I made a voiage to Topohanack, where arriving, there was but certain women and children who fled from their houses, yet at last I drew them to draw neere; truck they durst not, corne they had plenty, and to spoile I had no commission:

In my returne Paspahegh, I traded with that churlish and trecherous nation: having loaded 10 or 12 bushels of corne, they offred to take our pieces and swords, yet by stelth, but seeming to dislike it, they were ready to assault us: yet standing upon our guard, in coasting the shore divers out of the woods would meet with us with corn and trade. But least we should be constrained, either to indure overmuch wrong or directly fal to revenge, seeing them dog us from place to place, it being night, and our necessitie not fit for warres, we tooke occasion to returne with 10 bushells of corne:

Captaine Martinafter made 2 journies to that nation of Paspahegh, but eache time returned with 8 or 10 bushells.

All things being now ready for my journey to Powhatan, for the performance thereof, I had 8 men and my selfe for the barge, as well for discoverie as trading; the Pinnac, 5 Marriners, and 2 landmen to take in our landings at convenient places.

The 9 of November I set forward for the discovery of the country of Chikhamania, leaving the pinnace the next tid to followe, and stay for my coming at Point weanock 20 miles from our fort: the mouth of this river falleth into the great river at Paspahegh, 8 miles above our fort:

That afternoone I stayed the eb in the bay of Paspahegh with the Indians: towards the evening certaine Indians haled me, one of them being of Chikahamania, offred to conduct me to his country, the Paspahegheans grudged therat: along we went by moonelight; at midnight he brought us before his Towne, desiring one of our men to go up with him, whom he kindely intertained, and returned back to the barge:

The next morning I went up to the towne, and shewed them what copper and hatchets they shold have for corne, each family seeking to give me most content: so long they caused me to stay that 100 at least was expecting my homecoming by the river, with corne. What I liked, I bought; and least they should perceive my too great want, I went higher up the river:

This place is called Manosquosick, a quarter of a mile from the river, conteining thirtie or fortie houses, uppon an exceeding high land: at the foote of the hill towards the river, is a plaine wood, watered with many springes, which fall twentie yards right downe into the river. Right against the same is a great marsh, of 4 or 5 miles circuit devided in 2 Ilands, by the parting of the river, abounding with fish and foule of all sorts:

A mile from thence is a Towne called Oraniocke. I further discovered the Townes of Mansa, Apanaock, Werawahone, and Mamanahunt, at eche place kindely used: especially at the last, being the hart of the Country; where were assembled 200 people with such aboundance of corne, as having laded our barge, as also I might have landed a ship.

I returned to Paspahegh, and considering the want of Corne at our Fort, it being night, with the ebb, by midnight I arived at our fort, where I found Pinn is run aground:

The next morning I unladed seaven hogsheads into our store.

The next morning I returned againe: the second day I arived at Mamanahunt, wher the people having heard of my coming, were ready with 3 or 400 baskets litle and great, of which having laded my barge, with many signes of great kindnes I returned:

At my departure they requested me to hear our pieces, being in the midst of the river; which in regard of the eccho seemed a peale of ordnance. Many birds and fowles they see us dayly kil that much feared them. So desirous of trade wer they, that they would follow me with their canowes; and for any thing, give it me, rather then returne it back. So I unladed again 7 or 8 hogsheads at our fort.

Having thus by Gods assistance gotten good store of corne, notwithstanding some bad spirits not content with Gods providence, still grew mutinous; in so much, that our president having occasion to chide the smith for his misdemeanour, he not only gave him bad language, but also offred to strike him with some of his tooles. For which rebellious act, the smith was by a Jury condemned to be hanged, but being uppon the ladder, continuing very obstinate as hoping upon a rescue, when he saw no other way but death with him, he became penitent, and declared a dangerous conspiracy: for which, Captaine Kendall, as principal, was by a Jury condemned, and shot to death.

This conspiracy appeased, I set forward for the discovery of the River Checka Hamania. This third time I discovered the Townes of Matapamient, Morinogh, Asacap, moysenock, Righkahauck, Nechanichock, Mattalunt, Attamuspincke, and divers others: their plenty of corne I found decreased, yet lading the barge, I returned to our fort.

Our store being now indifferently wel provided with corne, there was much adoe for to have the pinace goe for England, against which Captain Martin and my selfe stood chiefly against it: and in fine after many debatings pro et contra, it was resolved to stay a further resolution:

This matter also quieted, I set forward to finish this discovery, which as yet I had neglected in regard of the necessitie we had to take in provision whilst it was to be had. 40 miles I passed up the river, which for the most part is a quarter of a mile broad, and 3 fatham and a half deep, exceedy osey, many great low marshes, and many high lands, especially about the midst at a place called Moysonicke, a Peninsule of 4 miles cicuit, betwixt two rivers joined to the main by the neck of 40 or 50 yards from the high water marke: On both sides on the very necke of the maine, are high hills and dales, yet much inhabited, the Ile declining in a plaine fertile corne field, the lower end a lowe marsh. More plentie of swannes, cranes, geese, duckes, and mallards, and divers sorts of fowles, none would desire: more plaine fertile planted ground, in such great proportions as there, I had not seene; of a light blacke sandy mould, the cliffes commonly red, white, and yellowe coloured sand, and under, red and white clay; fish great plenty, and people in aboundance: the most of their inhabitants, in view of the neck of Land, where a better seat for a towne cannot be desired:

At the end of forty miles, this river invironeth many low Ilands at each high water drowned, for a mile, where it uniteth it selfe at a place called Apokant, the highest Towne inhabited.

10 miles higher, I discovered with the barge: in the mid way, a greate tree hindered my pasage, which I cut in two. Heere the river became narrower, 8 9 or 10 foote at a high water, and 6 or 7 at a lowe: the streame exceeding swift, and the bottom hard channell: the ground, most part a low plaine, sandy soyle. This occasioned me to suppose it might issue from some lake or some broad ford, for it could not be far to the head, but rathere then I would endanger the barge. Yet to have beene able to resolve this doubt, and to discharge the imputation of malicious tungs, that halfe suspected I durst not, for so long delaying: some of the company as desirous as myself, we resolved to hier a Canow, and returne with the barge to Apocant, there to leave the barge secure, and put our selves upon the adventure: the country onely a vast and wilde wilderness, and but onely that Towne:

Within three or foure mile, we hired a Canow, and 2 Indians to row us the next day a fowling. Having made such provision for the barge as was needfull, I left her there to ride, with expresse charge not any to go ashore til my returne.

Though some wise men may condemn this too bould attempt of too much indiscretion, yet if they well consider the friendship of the Indians in conducting me, the desolateness of the country, the probabilitie of some lacke , and the malicious judges of my actions at home, as also to have some matters of worth to incourage our adventurers in england, might well have caused any honest minde to have done the like, as well for his own discharge as for the publike good:

Having 2 Indians for my guide and 2 of our own company, I set forward, leaving 7 in the barge:

Having discovered 20 miles further in the desart, the river still kept his depth and bredth, but much more combred with trees:

Here we went ashore (being some 12 miles higher then the barge had bene) to refresh our selves, during the boyling of our vituals: One of the Indians I tooke with me, to see the nature of the soile, and to cross the boughts of the river: the other Indian I left with Maister Robbinson and Thomas Emry, with their matches light. And order to discharge a peece, for my retreat, at the first sight of any Indian.

But within a quarter of an houre I heard a loud cry, and a hollowing of Indians, but no warning peece. Supposing them surprised, and that the Indians had betraid us, presently I seazed him and bound his arme fast to my hand in a garter, with my pistoll ready bent to be revenged on him: he advised me to fly, and seemed ignorant of what was done.

But as we went discoursing, I was struck with an arrow on the right thigh, but without harme: upon this occasion I espied 2 Indians drawing their bowes, which I prevented in discharging a french pistoll:

By that I had charged againe, 3 or 4 more did the like: for the first fell downe and fled: At my discharge, they did the like. My hinde I made my barricado, who offered not to strive. 20 or 30 arrowes were shot at me but short. 3 or 4 times I had discharged my pistoll ere the king of Pamaunck called Opekenkenough with 200 men invironed me, eache drawing their bowe: which done they laid them upon the ground, yet without shot:

My hinde teated betwixt them and me of conditions of peace; he discovered me to be the Captaine: my request was to retire to the boate: they demaunded my armes, the rest they saide were slaine, onely me they would reserve:

The Indian importuned me not to shoot. In retiring being in the midst of a low quagmire, and minding them more then my steps, I stept fast into the quagmire, and also the Indian in drawing me forth:

Thus surprised, I resolved to trie their mercies: my armes I caste from me, till which none durst approach me.

Being ceazed on me, they drew me out and led me to the King. I presented him with a compasse diall, describing by my best meanes the use therof: whereat he so amazedly admired, as he suffered me to proceed in a discourse of the roundness of the earth, the course of the sunne, moone, starres and plannets.

With kinde speeches and bread he requited me, conducting me where the Canow lay and John Robbinson slaine, with 20 or 30 arrowes in him. Emry I saw not.

I perceived by the aboundance of fires all over the woods. At each place I expected when they would execute me, yet they used me with what kindness they could:

Approaching their Towne , which was within 6 miles where I was taken, onely made as arbours and covered with mats, which they remove as occasion requires: all the women and children, being advertised of this accident, came foorth to meet them, the King well guarded with 20 bowmen 5 flanck and rear, and each flanck before him a sword and a peece, and after him the like, then a bowman, then I on each hand a boweman, the rest in file in the reare, which reare led foorth amongst the trees in a bishion, eache his bowe and a handfull of arrowes, a quiver at his back grimly painted: on eache flanck a sargeant, the one running alwaies towards the front, the other towards the reare, each a true pace and in exceeding good order.

This being a good time continued they caste themselves in a ring with a dance, and so eache man departed to his lodging.

The Captain conducting me to his lodging, a quarter of Venison and some ten pound of bread I had for supper: what I left was reserved for me, and sent with me to my lodging:

Each morning 3 women presented me three great platters of fine bread, more venison then ten men could devour I had: my gowne, points and garters, my compass and my tablet they gave me again. Though 8 ordinarily guarded me, I wanted not what they could devise to content me: and still our longer acquaintance increased our better affection.

Much they threatened to assault our forte, as they were solicited by the King of Paspahegh who shewed at our fort great signs of sorrow for this mischance. The King tooke great delight in understanding the manner of our ships, sayling the seas, the earth and skies, and of our God: what he knew of the dominions he spared not to acquaint me with, as of certaine men cloathed at a place called Ocanahonan, cloathed like me: the course of our river, and that within 4 or 5 daies journey of the falles, was a great turning of salt water:

I desired he would send a messenger to Paspahegh [the district in which James Town was situated], with a letter I would write, by which they shold understand how kindly they used me, and that I was well, least they should revenge my death. This he granted and sent three men, in such weather as in reason were unpossible by any naked to be indured. Their cruell mindes towards the fort I had deserted, in describing the ordinance and the mines in the fields, as also the revenge Captain Newport and would take of them at his returne. Their intent, I incerted the fort, the people of Ocanahonum and the back sea: this report they after found divers Indians that confirmed:

The next day after my letter, came a salvage to my lodging. With his sword, to have slaine me: but being by my guard intercepted, with a bowe and arrow he offred to have effected his purpose: the cause I knew not, till the King understanding thereof came and told me of a man a dying, wounded with my pistoll: he tould me also of another I had slayne, yet the most concealed they had any hurte: This was the father of him I had slayne, whose fury to prevent, the King presently conducted me to another Kingdome, upon the top of the next northerly river called Youghtanan.

Having feasted me, he further led me to another branch of the river, called Mattapament; to two other hunting townes they led me: and to each of these Countries, a house of the great Emperour of Pewhakan, whom as yet I supposed to bee at the Fals; to him I tolde him I must goe, and so returne to Paspahegh.

After this foure of five days marsh , we returned to Rasawrack, the first towne they brought me too: where binding the Mats in bundels, they marched two dayes journey, and crossed the River of Youghtanan, where it was as broad as Thames: so conducting me to a place called Menapacuts in Pamaunke, where the King inhabited.

The next day another King of that nation called Kekataugh, having received some kindnes of me at the Fort, kindly invited me to a feast at his house, the people from all places flocked to see me, each shewing to content me.

By this, the great King hath foure or five houses, each containing fourescore or an hundred foote in length, pleasantly seated upon an high sandy hill, from whence you may see westerly a goodly low Country, the river before the which his crooked course causeth many great Marshes of exceeding good ground. An hundred houses, and many large plaines are here togither inhabited. More abundance of fish and fowle, and a pleasanter seat cannot be imagined. The King with fortie Bowmen to guard me, intreated me to discharge my Pistoll, which they there presented me, with a mark at six score to strike therwith: but to spoil the practise, I broke the cocke, whereat they were much discontented, though a chaunce supposed.

From hence, this kind king conducted mee to a place called Topahanocke, a kingdome upon another River northward: The cause of this was, that the yeare before, a shippe had beene in the River of Pamaunke, who having beene kindly entertained by Powhatan their Empourer, they returned thence, and discovered the River of Topahanocke: where being received with like kindnesse, yet he slue the King, and tooke of his people, and they supposed I were hee. But the people reported him a great man that was Captaine, and using me kindly, the next day we departed.

This River of Topahanock seemeth in breadth no much lesse then that we dwell upon. At the mouth of the River is a Countrey called Cuttata women: upwards is Marraugh tacum, Tapohanock, Appamatuck, and Nantaugs tacum: at Topmanahocks, the head issuing from many Mountaines.

The next night I lodged at a hunting town of Powhatams, and the next day arrived at Waranacomoco upon the river of Pamauncke, where the great king is resident. By the way we passed by the top of another little river, which is betwixt the two, called Payankatank. The most of this Country though Desert, yet exceeding fertil; good timber, most hils and dales, in each valley a cristall spring.

Arriving at Weramocomoco [? On or about 5 January 1608], their Emperour proudly lying uppon a Bedstead a foote high, upon tenne or twelves Mattes, richly hung with Manie Chaynes of great Pearles about his necke, and covered with a great Covering of Rahaughcums. At heade sat a woman, at his feete another; on each side sitting uppon a Matte uppon the ground, were raunged his chiefe men on each side of the fire, tenne in a ranke, and behinde them as many young women, each a great Chaine of white Beaddes over their shoulders, their heades painted in redde: and with such a grave and Majesticall countenance, as draue me into admiration to see such state in a naked Salvage.

Hee kindly welcomed me with such good wordes, and great Platters of sundrie Victuals, assuring mee his friendship, and my libertie within foure days. Hee much delighted in Opechan Comoughs relation of what I had described to him, and oft examined me upon the same.

Hee asked me the cause of our coming.

I tolde him being in fight with Spaniards our enemie, being overpowred, neare put to retreat, and by extreame weather put to this shore: where landing at Chesipiack, the people shot us, but Kequoughtan they kindly used us: we by signes demaunded fresh water, they described us up the River was all fresh water: at Paspahegh also they kindly used us: our Pinnsse being leake, we were inforced to stay to mend her, till Captaine Newport my father came to conduct us away.

He demaunde why we went further with our Boate. I tolde him, in that I would have occasion to talke of the backe Sea, that on the other side the maine, where was salt water. My father had a childe slaine, whiche we supposed Monocan his enemie : whose death we intended to revenge.

After good deliberation, hee began to describe mee the Countreys beyonde the Falles, with many of the rest; confirming what not onely Opechancanoyes, and an Indian which had beene prisoner to Pewhatan had before tolde mee: but some called it five dayes, some sixe, some eight, where the sayde water dashed amongst many stones and rockes, each storm; which caused oft tymes the heade of the River to bee brackish:

Anchanachuck he described to bee the people that had slaine my brother: whose death hee would revenge. Hee described also upon the same Sea, a mighty Nation called Pocoughtronack, a fierce Nation that did eate men, and warred with the people of Moyaoncer and Pataromerke, Nations upon the toppe of the heade of the Bay, under his territories: where the yeare before they had slain an hundred. He signified their crownes were shaven, long haire in the necke, tied on a knot, Swords like Pollaxes.

Beyond them, he described people with short Coates, and Sleeves to the Elbowes, that passed that way in Shippes like ours. Many Kingdomes hee described mee, to the heade of the Bay, which seemed to bee a mightie River issuing from mightie Mountaines betwixt the two Seas: The people cloathed at Ocamahowan, he also confirmed; and the Southerly Countries also, as the rest that reported us to be within a day and a halfe of Mangoge, two dayes of Chawwonock, 6 from Roonock, to the south part of the backe sea: He described a countrie called Anone, where they have abundance of Brasse, and houses walled as ours.

I requited his discourse (seeing what pride hee had in his great and spacious Dominions, seeing that all hee knewe were under his Territories) in describing to him, the territories of Europe, which was subject to our great King whose subject I was, the innumerable multitude of his ships, I gave him to understand the noyse of Trumpets, and terrible manner of fighting were under captain Newport my father: whom I intituled the Meworames, which they call the King of all the waters. At his greatnesse, he admired: and not a little feared. He desired mee to forsake Paspahegh, and to live with him upon his River, a Countrie called Capa Howasicke. Hee promised to give me Corne, Venison, or what I wanted to feede us: Hatchets and Copper wee should make him, and none should disturbe us.

This request I promised to performe: and thus, having with all the kindnes hee could devise, sought to content me, hee sent me home, with 4 men: one that usually carried my Gowne and Knapsacke after me, two other loded with bread, and one to accompanie me.

This River of Pamaunke is not past twelve mile from that we dwell on, his course northwest and westerly as the other. Weraocomoco is upon salt water in bredth two myles, and so keepeth his course without any tarrying some twenty miles; where at the parting of the fresh water and the salt, it divideth it selfe into two partes, the one part to Goughland, as broad as Thames, and navigable with a Boate threescore or fourscore miles, and with a Shippe fiftie: exceeding crooked, and manie low grounds and marishes, but inhabited with aboundance of warlike and tall people. The Countrey of Youghtoman, of no lesse worth, onely it is lower; but all the soyle, a fatte, fertill, sandie ground. Above Manapacumter, many high sandie mountaines. By the River is many Rockes, seeming, if not, of severall Mines.

The other branch a little lesse in breadth, yet extendeth not neare so farre, nor so well inhabited, somewhat lower, and a white sandie, and a white clay soyle: here is their best Terra Sigillata. The mouth of the River, as I see in the discoverie therof with captain Newport, is halfe a mile broad, and within foure miles not above a Musket shot: the channell exceeding good and deepe, the River straight to the devisions. Kiskirk the nearest Nation to the entrances.

Their religion and ceremony I observed was thus: Three or foure dayes after my taking, seven of them in the house where I lay, each with a rattle, began at ten a clocke in the morning to sing about the fire, which they invironed with a Circle of meale, and after a foote or two from that, at the end of each song, layde downe two or three more Circles in like manner, a hand bredth from other. That done, at each song, they put betwixt everie three, two, or five graines, a little sticke; so counting as an old woman her Pater noster.

One disguised with a great Skinne, his head hung round with little Skinnes of Weasels and other vermine, with a Crownet of feathers on his head, painted as ugly as the divell, at the end of each song will make many signes and demonstrations with strange and vehement actions. Great cakes of Deere suet, Deare, and Tobacco he casteth in the fire: till sixe a clocke in the Evening, their howling would continue ere they would depart.

Each morning in the coldest frost, the principall, to the number of twentie or thirtie, assembled themselves in a round circle, a good distance from the towne: where they told me they there consulted where to hunt the next day:

So fat they fed mee, that I much doubted they intended to have sacrificed mee to the Quiyoughquosicke, which is a superiour power they worship: a more uglier thing cannot be described. One they have for chief sacrifices, which is a superiour power they worship: a more uglier thing cannot be described. One they have for chief sacrifices, which also they call Quiyoughquiosick. To cure the sick, a man, with a Rattle, and extreame howling, showting, singing, and such violent gestures and Anticke actions over the patient, will sucke out blood and flegme from the patient, out of their unable stomacke, or any diseased place, as no labour will more tire them.

Tobacco, they offer the water in passing in fowle weather. The death of any they lament with great sorrow and weeping. Their Kings they burie betwixt two mattes within their houses, with all his beads, jewels, hatchets, and copper: the other in graves like ours. They acknowledge no resurrection.

Powhatan hath three brethren, and two sisters, each of his brethren succeeded other. For the Crowne, their heyres inherite not, but the first heyres of the Sisters, and so successively the weomens heires. For the Kings have as many weomen as they will, his Subjects two, and most but one.

From Weramocomoco is but 12 miles, yet the Indians trifled away that day, and would not goe to our Forte by any persuasions: but in certaine olde hunting houses of Paspahegh we lodged all night.

The next morning ere Sunne rise, we set forward to our Fort, where we arrived within an houre: where each man with the truest signes of joy they could expresse welcommed me, except Maister Archer, and some 2 or 3 of his, who was then in my absence sworne Counsellor, though not with the consent of Captaine Martin:

Great blame and imputation was laide upon mee by them, for the losse of our two men which the Indians slew: insomuch that they purposed to depose me. But in the midst of my miseries, it pleased God to send Captaine Nuport: who arriving there the same night, so tripled our joy as for a while these plots against me were deferred; though with much malice against me, which captain Newport in short time did plainly see. Now was maister Scrivener, captaine Martin, and my selfe, called Counsellers.

Within five or sixe days after the arrivall of the Ship, by a mischaunce our Fort was burned, and the most of our apparell, lodging and private provision. Many of our old men diseased, and of our new for want of lodging perished.

The Empereur Powhatan, each weeke once or twice, sent me many presents of Deare, bread Raugroughcuns; halfe alwayes for my father whom he much desired to see, and halfe for me: and so continually importuned by messengers and presents, that I would come to fetch the corne, and take the Countrie their King had given me, as at last Captaine Newport resolved to go see him.

Such acquaintance I had amongst the Indians, and such confidence they had in me, as neare the Fort they would not come till I came to them; every of them calling me by my name, would not sell any thing till I had first received their presents, and what they had that I liked, they deferred to my discretion: but after acquaintance, they usually came into the Fort at their pleasure: The President and the rest of the Councell, they knewe not; But Captaine Newports greatnesse I had so described, as they conceyved him the chiefe, the rest his children, Officers, and servants.

We had agreed with the king of Paspahegh, to conduct two of our men to a place called Panawicke beyond Roonok, where he reported many men to be apparelled. Wee landed him at Warraskoyack, where playing the villaine, and deluding us for rewards, returned within three or foure dayes after, without going further.

Captaine Newport, maister Scrivener, and my selfe, found the mouth of Pamauncks river, some 25 or 30 miles north ward from Cape Henrick, the channell good as before expressed.

Arriving at Weramocomoca being jealous of the intent of this politick salvage; to discover his intent the better, I with 20 shot armed in Jacks, went a shore. The Bay where he dwelleth hath in it 3 cricks, and a mile and a halfe from the chanel all os. Being conducted to the towne, I found my selfe mistaken in the creeke, for they al there were within lesse then a mile: the Emperors sonne called Naukaquawis, the captaine that tooke me, and diverse others of his chiefe men, conducted me to their kings habitation. But in the mid way I was intercepted by a great creek over which they had made a bridge of grained stakes and railes. The king of Kiskieck, and Namontack, who all the journey, the king had sent to guide us, had conducted us this passage, which caused me to suspect some mischiefe: the barge I had sent to meet me at the right landing, when I found my selfe first deceyved. And knowing by experience the most of their courages to proceede from others feare, though fewe lyked the pasage, I intermingled the Kings sonne, our conductors, and his chiefe men amongst ours, and led forward, leaving halfe at the one ende to make a guard for the passage of the Front. The Indians seeing the weakenesse of the Bridge, came with a Canow, and tooke me in of the middest, with foure or five more: being landed, wee made a guard for the rest till all were passed.

Two in a ranke we marched to the Emperors house. Before his house stood fortie or fiftie great Platters of fine bread. Being entred the house, with loude tunes they all made signes of great joy. This proud salvage, having his finest women, and the principall of his chiefe men assembled, sate in rankes as before is expressed: himself as upon a Throne at the upper ende of the house, with such a Majestie as I cannot expresse, nor yet have often seene, either in Pagan or Christian. With a kinde countenance hee bad mee welcome, and caused a place to bee made by himselfe to sit.

I presented him a sute of red cloath , a white Greyhound, and a Hatte: as Jewels he esteemed them, and with a great Oration made by three of his Nobles, if there be any amongst Salvages, kindly accepted them, with a publicke confirmation of a perpetuall league and friendship.

After that, he commanded the Queene of Apamatuc, a comely yong Salvage, to give me water, a Turkie cocke, and breade to eate:

Being thus feasted, hee began his discourse to this purpose. Your kinde visitation doth much content mee, but where is your father whom I much desire to see, is he not with you.

I told him, he remained aboord, but the next day he would come unto him.

With a merrie countenance he asked me for certaine peeces which I promise him, when I went to Paspahegh.

I told, according to my promise, that I proferred the man that went with me foure Demy Culverings, in that he so desired a great Gunne: but they refused to take them.

Whereat with a lowde laughter, he desired to give him some of lesse burden: as for the other I gave him them, being sure that none could carrie them. But where are these men you promised to come with you.

I told him, without. Who thereupon gave order to have them brought in, two after two, ever maintaining the guard without. And as they presented themselves, ever with thankes he would salute me: and caused each of them to have foure or five pound of bread given them.

This done, I asked him for the corne and ground he promised me.

He told me I should have I: but he expected to have all these men lay their armes at his feet, as did his subjects.

I tolde him that was a ceremonie our enemies desired, but never our Friends, as we presented ourselves unto him; yet that he should not doubt of our friendship. The next day my father would give him a child of his, in full assurance of our loves, and not only that, but when he should thinke it convenient, wee would deliver under his subjection in the Country of Manacam and Pocoughtaonack his enemies.

This so contented him, as immediately with attentive silence, with a lowd oration he proclaimed me Awerowanes of Powhaton, and that all his subjects should so esteeme us, and no man account us strangers nor Paspahegans, but Powhatans, and that the Corne, weomen and Country, should be to us as to his owne people. This proffered kindnes for many reasons we contemned not, but with the best Languages and signes of thankes I could expresse, I tooke my leave.

The King rising from his seat, conducted me foorth, and caused each of my men to have as much more bread as hee could beare: giving me come in a basket, and as much he sent a board for a present to my Father. Victuals you must know is all there wealth, and the greatest kindnes they could shew us.

Arriving at the River, the Barge was fallen so low with the ebbe, though I had given order and oft sent to prevent the same, yet the messengers deceived me. The Skies being very thicke and rainie, the King understanding this mischance, sent his Sonne and Mamontacke, to conduct mee to a great house sufficient to lodge mee: where entring I saw it hung round with bowes and arrowes.

The Indians used all diligence to make us fires, and give us content: the kings Orators presently entertained us with a kinde oration, with expresse charge that not any ahould steale, or take our bowes or arrowes, or offer any injury.

Presently after he sent me a quarter of Venizon to stay my stomacke:

In the evening hee sent for me to come onely with two shot with me. The company I gave order to stand upon their guard, and to maintaine two sentries at the ports all night.

To my supper he set before me meate for twenty men, and seeing I could not eate, hee caused it to be given to my men: for this is a generall custome, that what they give, not to take againe, but you must either eate it, give it away, or carry it with you. Two or three houres we spent in our aunent discourses; which done, I was with a fire stick lighted to my lodging.

The next day the King conducted mee to the River, shewwe me his Canowes, and described unto me how hee sent them over the Baye, for tribute Beades: and also what Countries paid him Beads, Copper, or Skins.

But seeing Captaine Nuport, and Maister Scrivener, comming a shore , the King returned to his house, and I went to meete him. With a trumpet before him, wee marched to the King: who after his old manner kindly received him, especially a Boy of thirteen yeares old, called Thomas Salvage, whom he gave him as his Sonne. He requited this kindnes with each of us a great basket of Beanes. And entertaining him with the former discourse, we passed away that day, and agreed to bargaine the next day, and so returned to our Pinnis.

The next day coming a shore in like order, the King having kindly entertained us with a breakfast, questioned us in this manner: Why we came armed in that sort, seeing hee was our friend, and had neither bowes nor arrowes; what did wee doubt?

I told him it was the custome of our Country, not doubting of his kindnes any waies: wherewith though hee seemed satisfied, yet Captaine Nuport caused all our men to retire to the water side, which was some thirtie score [yards] from thence.

But to prevent the worst, Maister Scrivener or I were either the one or the other by the Barge: experience had well taught me to beleeve his friendship till convenient opportunity suffred him to betray us. But quickly this polititian had perceived my absence, and cunningly sent for me; I sent for Maister Scrivener to supply my place: the King would demand for him, I would againe releeve him. And they sought to satisfie our suspition with kind Language: and not being agreed to trade for corne, hee desired to see all our Hatchets and Copper together, for which he would give us corne. With that auncient tricke the Chickahamaniens had oft acquainted me: his offer I refused, offering first to see what hee would give for one piece. Hee seeming to despise the nature of a Merchant, did scorne to sell: but we freely should give him, and he liberally would requite us.

Captain Nuport would not with lesse then twelve great Coppers try his kindnes, which he liberally requited with as much corne as at Chickahamania, I had for one of lesse proportion. Our Hatchets hee would also have at his owne rate: for which kindnes hee much seemed to affect Captaine Nuport. Some few bunches of blew Beades I had, which he much desired, and seeing so few, he offred me a basket of two pecks, and that I drew to be three pecks at the least, and yet seemed contented and desired more. I agreed with him, the next day, for two bushells: for the ebbe now constrained us to returne to our Boate, although he earnestly desired us to stay dinner which was a providing; and being ready he sent aboard after us, which was bread and venizon sufficient for fiftie or sixtie persons.

The next day hee sent his Sonne in the morning, not to bring a shore with us any pieces, least his weomen and children should feare. Captaine Nuports good beliefe would have satisfied that request. Yet twentie or twentie five short we got a shore: the King importuning mee to leave my armes a board, much misliking my sword pistol and target. I told him the men that slew my Brother with the like tearmes had persuaded me, and being unarmed shot at us, and so betraide us.

He oft entreated Captaine Nuport that his men might leave their armes: which still hee commanded to the water side.

This day we spent in trading for blew Beads: and having neare fraighted our Barge, Captaine Nuport returned with them that came abord, leaving me and Maister Scrivener a shore, to follow in Canowes. Into one I got with sixe of our men, which beeing lanched, a stones cast from the shore stuck fast in the Ose.

Master Scrivener seeing this example, with seven or eight more passed the dreadfull bridge, thinking to have found deeper water on the other creeke: but they were inforced to stay, with such entertainment as a salvage being forced ashore with wind and raine, having in his Canow, as commonly they have, his house and houshold, instantly set up a house of mats, which succoured them from the storme.

The Indians seeing me pestred in the Ose, called to me: six or seven of the Kings chiefe men threw off their skins, and to the middle in Ose, came to bear me out on their heads. Their importunacie caused me better to like the Canow than their curtesie, excusing my deniall for feare to fall into the Ose: desiring them to bring me some wood, fire, and mats to cover me, and I would content them. Each presently gave his helpe to satisfie my request, which paines a horse would scarce have indured: yet a couple of bells richly contented them.

The Emperor sent his Seaman Mantiuas in the evening with bread and victuall for me and my men: he no more scrupulous then the rest seemed to take a pride in shewing how little he regarded that miserable cold and durty passage, though a dogge would scarce have indured it. This kindnes I found, when I litle expected lesse then a mischiefe: but the blacke night parting our companies, ere midnight the flood served to carry us aboard.

The next day we came ashore, the King with a solemne discourse, causing all to depart but his principall men: and this was the effect.

When as hee perceived that we had a desire to invade Monacum, against whom he was no professed enemmy: yet thus farre he would assist us in his enterprise.

First hee would send his spies, perfectly to understand their strength and abilitie to fight, with which he would acquaint us himselfe. Captaine Nuport would not be seene in it himselfe, being great Werowances. They would stay at home: but I, Maister Scrivener, and two of his Sonnes, and Opechankanough the King of Pamaunke should have 100 of his men to goe before as though they were hunting; they giving us notise where was the advantage, we should kill them: the weomen and young children he wished we would spare, and bring them to him. Only 100 or 150 of our men he held sufficient for this exploit. Our boats should stay at the falls, where we might hew timber, which we might convey, each man a piece, till we were past the stones; and there joyne them to passe our men by water. If any were shot, his men should bring them backe to our boats.

This faire tale had almost made Captaine Nuport undertake by this meanses to discover the South sea: which will not be without trecherie, if wee ground our intent upon his constancie.

This day we spent in trading, dancing, and much mirth. The King of Pamaunke sent his messenger (as yet not knowing Captaine Nuport) to come unto him: who had long expected mee, desiring also my Father to visite him. The messenger stayed to conduct us: but Powhatan understanding that we had Hatchets lately come from Paspahegh,desired the next day to trade with us, and not to go further. This new tricke he cunningly put upon him, but onely to have what he listed, and not to try whether we would go or stay.

Opechankenoughs messenger returned, that wee would not come.

The next day his Daughter came to entreat me, shewing her Father had hurt his legge, and much sorrowed he could not see me.

Captaine Nuport being not to bee persuaded to goe, in that Powhatan had desired us to stay: sent her away with the like answer.

Yet the next day, upon better consideration, inteatie prevailed; and wee anchored at Cinquoateck, the first twaine above the parting of the river, where dwelled two Kings of Pamaunke, Brothers to Powhatan; the one called Opichtapam the other Katatough. To these I went a shore, who kindly intreated mee and Maister Scrivener, sending some presents aboard to Captaine Nuport whilst we were trucking with these Kings.

Opechankanough his wife, weomen, and children came to meete me: with a naturall kind affection hee seemed to rejoyce to see me.

Captaine Nuport came a shore, with many kind discourses wee passed that forenoone: and after dinner, Captaine Nuport went about with the Pinnis to Menapacant, which is twenty miles by water, and not one by land. Opechankanough conducted me and Maister Scrivener by land: where having built a feasting house a purpose to entertaine us, with a kind Oration, after their manner, and his best provision, kindly welcomed us. That day he would not trucke, but did his best to delight us with content:

Captaine Nuport arrived towards evening; whom the King presented with sixe great platters of fine bread, and Pansarowmana.

The next day till noone wee traded: the King feasted all the company; and the afternoone was spent in playing, dauncing and delight. By no meanes hee would have us depart till, the next day, he had feasted us with venizon; for which he had sent, having spent his first and second provision in expecting our coming:

The next day, he performed his promise, giving more to us three, then would have sufficed 30 and in that we carried not away what we left, hee sent it after us to the Pinnis. With what words or signes of love he could expresse we departed.

Captaine Nuport in the Pinnis, leaving mee in the Barge to digge a rocke, where wee supposed a Mine, at Cinquaoteck: which done, ere midnight, I arrived at Weracomoco, where our Pinnis anchored, being 20 miles from Cinquaotecke.

The next day, we tooke leave of Powhatan: who , in regard of his kindness, gave him an Indian. He well affected to goe with him for England in steed of his Sonne : the cause, I assure me, was to know our strength and Countries condition.

The next day we arrived at Kiskiack. The people so scornefully entertained us, as with what signes of scorne and discontent we could, we departed: and returned to our Fort with 250 bushells of Corne .

Our president, being not wholly recovered of his sicknes, in discharging his Piece, brake and split his hand off, which he is not yet well recovered.

At Captaine Nuports arrival, wee were victualled for twelve weeks: and having furnishe him of what hee thought good, hee set saile for England the tenth of April. Master Scrivener and my selfe, with our shallop, accompanied him to Cape Hendrick: Powhatan having for a farrewell, sent him five or six mens loadings, with Turkeys for swords which hee sent him in our return to the fort:

We discovered the river of Nausam, a proud warlike Nation, as well we may testifie, at our first arrivall at Chesiapiack: but that injury Captaine Nuport well revenged at his returne. Where some of them intising him to their Ambuscadoes by a daunce, hee perceiving their intent, with a volly of musket, shot, slew one, and shot one or two more, as themselves confesse.

The King at our arivall sent for me to come unto him. I sent him word what commodities I had to exchange for wheat, and if he would, as had the rest of his Neighbours, conclude a Peace, we were contented.

At last he came downe before the Boate which rid at anchor some fortie yards from the shore. He signified to me to come a shore, and sent a Canow with foure or five of his men: two whereof I desired to come aboard and to stay, and I would send two to talke with their King a shore. To this hee agreed. The King wee presented with a piece of Copper, which he kindly excepted, and sent for victualls to entertaine the messengers.

Maister Scrivener and my selfe also, after that, went a shore. The King kindly feasted us, requesting us to stay to trade till the next day. Which having done, we returned to the Fort.

This river is a musket shot broad, each side being should bayes; a narrow channell, but three fadom: his course for eighteene miles, almost directly South, and by West where beginneth the first inhabitants: for a mile it turneth directly East, towards the West, a great bay, and a white chaukie Iland convenient for a Fort: his next course South, where within a quarter of a mile, the river divideth in two, the neck a plaine high Corne field, the wester brought a highe plaine likewise, the Northeast answerable in all respects. In these plaines are planted aboundance of houses and people; they may containe 1000 Acres of most excellent fertill ground: so sweete, so pleasant, so beautifull, and so strong a prospect, for an invincible strong City, with so many commodities, that I know as yet I have not seene.

This is within on daies journey of Chawwonocke, the river falleth into the Kings river, within twelve miles of Cape-hendicke.

At our Fort, the tooles we had, were so ordinarily stolen by the Indians, as necessity inforced us to correct their braving the everie: for he that stole to day, durst come againe the next day. One amongst the rest, having stolen two swords, I got the Counsels consent to set in the bilboes. The next day, with three more, he came, with their woodden swordes, in the midst of our men to steale. Their custome is to take and thing they can ceaze off: onely the people of Pamaunke wee have not found stealing, but what others can steale, their King receiveth. I bad them depart, but flourishing their swords, they seemed to defend what they could catch but one of our hands: his pride urged me to turne him from amongst us, whereat he offred to strike me with his sword; which I prevented, striking him first. The rest offring to revenge the blow, received such an incounter, and fled. The better to afright them, I pursued them with five or sixe shot, and so chased them out of the Iland.

The beginner of this broyle, litle expecting by his carriage, we durst have resisted, having, even till that present, not beene contradicted, especially them of Paspahegh: these Indians within one houre, having by other Salvages then in the Fort, understood that I threatened to be revenged, came presently of themselves, and fell to working upon our wears which were then in hand by other Salvages: who seeing their pride so incountred, were so submissive, and willing to doe any thing as might be. And with trembling feare desired to be friends, within three daies after.

From Nawsamond, which is 30 miles from us, the King sent us a Hatchet which they had stollen from us at our being there: the messenger, as is the custome, alse wee well rewarded and contented.

The twenty of Aprill. Being at worke, in hewing downe Trees, and setting Corne, an alarum caused us with all speede to take our armes, each expecting a new assault of the Salvages: but understanding it a Boate under saile, our doubts were presently satisfied with the happy sight of Maister Nelson, his many perrills of extreame stormes and tempests, his ship well as his company could testifie, his care in sparing our provision was well: but the providence thereof, as also of our stones, Hatchets and other tooles (onely ours excepted) which of all the rest was most necessary: which might inforce us to thinke either a seditious traitor to our action, or a most unconscionable deceiver of our treasures.

This happy arrivall of Maister Nelson in the Phenix, having beene then about three monethes missing after Captaine Nuports arrivall, being to all our expectations lost: albeit that now at the last, having beene long crossed with tempestuous weather and contrary winds, his so unexpected coming did so ravish us with exceeding joy, that now we thought our selves as well fitted as our harts could wish, both with a competent number of men, as also for all other needfull provisions, till a further supply should come unto us.

Whereupon the first thing that was concluded was that my selfe and Maister Scrivener, should with 70 men goe with the best meanes we could provide, to discover beyond the Falls, as in our judgements conveniently we might. Six or seaven daies we spent only in trayning our men to march, fight, and scirmish in the woods. Their willing minds to this action so quickned their understanding in this exercise as, in all judgements, wee were better able to fight with Powhatans whole force, in our order of battle amongst the Trees (for Thicks there is few) then the Fort was to repulse 400 at the first assault, with some tenne or twenty shot not knowing what to doe, nor how to use a Piece.

Our warrant being sealed, Maister Nelson refused to assiste us with the voluntary Marriners and himself, as he promised, unlesse we would stand bound to pay the hire for shippe and Marriners, for the time they stayed. And further there was some controversie, through the diversitie of Contrary opinions: some alleadging that how profitable, and to what good purpose soever our journey should portend, yet our commission commanding no certaine designe, we should be taxed for the most indiscreete men in the world, besides the wrong we should doe to Captaine Nuport, to whom only all discoveries did belong, and to no other:

The meanes for guides, besides the uncertaine courses of the river from which we could not erre much, each night would fortifie us in two houres better then that they first called the Fort, their Townes upon the river each within one dayes journey of other, besides our ordinary provision might well be supposed to adde reliefe: for truck and dealing only, but in love and peace, as with the rest. If they assalted us, their Townes they cannot defend, nor their luggage so convey that we should not share: but admit the worst, 16 daies provision we had of Cheese Oatmeale and bisket; besides our randevous we could, and might, have hid in the ground. With sixe men, Captaine Martin would have undertaken it himselfe, leaving the rest to defend the Fort and plant our Corne.

Yet no reason could be reason to proceede forward, though we were going aboard to set saile. These discontents caused so many doubts to some, and discouragement to others, as our journey ended. Yet some of us procured petitions to set us forward, only with hope of our owne confusion.

Our next course was to turne husbandmen, to fell Trees and set Corne. Fiftie of our men we imployed in this service; the rest kept the Fort, to doe the command of the president and Captaine Martin.

30 dayes the ship lay expecting the triall of certain matters which for some cause I keep private.

The next exploit was an Indian having stolen an Axe, was so pursued by Maister Scrivener and them next him, as he threw it downe: and flying, drew his bow at any that durst incounter him.

Within foure or five dayes after, Maister Scrivener and I, being a litle from the Fort, among the Corne, two Indians, each with a cudgell, and all newly painted with Terrasigillata, came circling about me as though they would have clubed me like a hare. I knew their faining love is towards me not without a deadly hatred: but to prevent the worst, I calling maister Scrivener retired to the Fort.

The Indians seeing me suspect them, with good tearmes, asked me for some of their men whom they would beate; and went with me into our Fort. Finding one that lay ordinarily with us, only for a spie; they offered to beat him. I in perswading them to forbeare, they offered to beginne with me; being now foure: for two other arrayed in like manner, came in on the other side of the Fort.

Whereupon I caused to shut the Ports, and apprehend them.

The president and Counsell, being presently acquainted, remembring at the first assault, they came in like manner, and never else but against some villainie, concluded to commit them to prison, and expect the event. Eight more we ceazed at that present.

An hour after came three or foure other strangers extraordinarily fitted with arrowes, skinnes, and shooting gloves: their jealousie and feare bewrayed their bad intent, as also their suspitious departure.

The next day, came first an Indian, then another, as Embassadors for their men. They desired to speake with me. Our discourse was, that what Spades, Shovells, swords, or tooles they had stolne to bring home: if not, the next day, they should hang.

The next newes was, they had taken two of our men ranging in the woods (which mischiefe no punishment will prevent but hanging): and these they would, should redeeme their own 16 or 18; thus braving us to our doores.

We desired the president, and Captaine Martin, that afternoone to sally upon them, that they might but know what we durst do: and at night, mand our Barge, and burnt their townes, and spoiled and destroyed what we could.

But they brought our men, and freely delivered them. The president released one. The rest we brought well guarded, to Morning and Evening prayers. Our men all in armes, their trembling feare then caused them to much sorrow, which till then scoffed and scornes at what we durst doe.

The Counsell concluded, that I should terrifie them with some torture, to know if I could know their intent.

The next day, I bound one in hold to the maine Mast: and presenting sixe Muskets with match in the cockes, forced him to desire life. To answere me demaunds he could not: but one of his Comouodos was of the counsell of Paspahegh, that could satisfie me:

I releasing him out of sight, I affrighted the other, first with the rack, then with Muskets; which seeing, he desired me to stay, and hee would confesse to this execution.

Maister Scrivener came, his discourse was to this effect.

That Paspahegh, the Chickahamaniar, Youghtanum, Pamaunka, Mattapanient, and Kiskiack: these Nations were al together a hunting that tooke me. Paspahegh and Chicahamanya had entended to surprise us at worke, to have had our tools. Powhatan and al his would seeme friends, till Captaine Nuports returne, that he had againe his man, which he called Namontack: where, with a great feast, hee would so enamor Captain Nuport and his men, as they should ceaze on him. And the like traps would be laied for the rest.

This trap for our tooles, we suspected the chiefe occasion that foure daies before Powhatan had sent the boy, he had to us, with many Turkies to Maister Scrivener and me: understanding I would go up unto his Countries to destroy them; and he doubted it the more, in that I so oft practised my men, whose shooting he heard to his owne lodging, that much feared his wives and children.

We sent him word, we entended no such thing, but only to goe to Powhatan, to seeke stones to make Hatchets; except his men shot at us, as Paspahegh had told us they would: which if they did shoote but one arrowe, we would destroy them. And, least this mischiefe might happen, sent the boy to acquaint him this much; and request him to send us Weanock, one of his subjects for a guide.

The boy he returned backe with his Chest and apparell, which then we had given him: desiring another for him. The cause was, he was practising with the Chikahamanias, as the boy suspected some villanie, by their extraordinary resort and secret conference, from whence they would send him. The boy we keepe. Now we would send him many messengers and presents, the guide we desired he sent us: and withall requested us to returne him, either the boy or some other. But none he could have. And that day these Indians were apprehended, his sonne with others that had loaded at our Fort, returned, and being out of the Fort, rayled on me, to divers of our men, to be enemies to him, and to the Chika[ha]manias.

Not long after, Weanock that had bin with us for our guide, whom wee kept to have conducte us in another journy, wih a false excuse returned: and secretly after him, Amocis the Paspaheyan, who alwaies they kept amongst us for a spie, whom, the better to avoide suspition, presently after they came to beate away:

These presumptions induced me to take any occasion, not onely to try the honesty of Amocis the spie, but also the meaning of these cunning trickes of their Emperour of Powhatan; whose true meaning Captaine Martin most confidently pleaded.

The confession of Macanoe, which was the counseller of Paspahegh: first I, then Maister Scrivener, upon their severall examinations, found by them all confirmed, that Paspahegh: first I, then Maister Scrivener, upon their severall examinations, found by them all confirmed, found by them all confirmed, that Paspahegh and Chickahammania did hate us, and intended some mischiefe: and who they were that tooke me; the names of them that stole our tooles and swords, and that Powhatan received them they all agreed. Certaine vollies of shot we caused to be discharged, which caused wach other to think that their fellowes had beene slaine.

Powhatan understanding we detaine certaine Salvages, sent his Daughter, a child of tenne years old: which, not only for feature, countenance, and proportion, much exceedeth any of the rest of his people: but for wit and spirit, the only Nonpareil of his Country. This hee sent by his most trustie messenger, called Rawhunt, as much exceeding in deformitie of person; but of a subtill wit and crafty understanding.

He, with a long circumstance, told mee, how well Powhatan loved and respected mee; and in that I should not doubt any way of his kindnesse, he had sent his child, which he most esteemed, to see me; a Deare and bread besides, for a present: desiring me that the Boy might come againe, which he loved exceedingly. His litle Daughter hee had taught this lesson also, not taking notice at all of the Indeans that had beene prisoners three daies, till that morning that she saw their fathers and friends come quietly, and in good tearmes to entreate their libertie.

Opechankanough sent also unto us, that for his sake, we would release two that were his friends: and for a token, sent me his shooting Glove and Bracer, which the day our men was taken upon; separating himselfe from the rest a long time, intreated to speake with me, where in token of peace, he had preferred me the same. Now all of them having found their peremptorie conditions but to increase our malice; which they seeing us begin to threaten to destroy them, as familiarly as before, without suspition or feare, came amongst us, to begge libertie for their men.

In the afternoone, they being gone, we guarded them as before to the Church; and after prayer, gave them to Pocahantas, the Kings Daughter, in regard of her fathers kindnesse in sending her. After having well fed them, as all the time of their imprisonment, we gave them their bowes, arrowes, or what else they had; and with much content, sent them packing. Pocahuntas also we requited with such trifles as contented her, to tel that we had used the Paspaheyans very kindly in so releasing them.

The next day, we had a suspition of some other practise for an Ambuscado; but perfectly wee could not discover it.

Two daies after, a Paspaheyan came to shew us a glistering Minerall stone, and with signes demonstrating it to be in great aboundance like unto Rockes: with some dozen more, I was sent to seeke to digge some quantitie, and the Indean to conduct me. But suspecting this some trick to delude us, for to get some Copper of us; or with some ambuscado to betray us, seeing him falter in his tale, being two miles on our way, led him ashore: where abusing us from place to place, and so seeking either to have drawne us with him into the woods, or to have given us the slippe; I shewed him Copper, which I promised to have given him, if he had performed his promise. But for his scoffing and abusing us, I gave him twentie lashes with a Rope; and his bowes and arrowes, bidding him shoote if he durst: and so let him goe.

In all this time, our men being all or the most part well recovered, and not willing to trifle away more time then necessitie enforced us into: we thought good, for the better content of the adventurers, in some reasonable sort of fraight home Maister Nelson, with Cedar wood. About which, our men going with willing minds, was in very good time effected, and the ship sent for England. Wee now remaining being in good health, all our men wel contented, free from mutinies, in love one with another, and as we hope in a continuall peace with the Indians: where we doubt not but by Gods gracious assistance, and the adventurers willing minds and speedie furtherance to so honorable an action, in after times to see our Nation to enjoy a Country, not onely exceeding pleasant habitation, but also very profitable for comerce in generall; no doubt pleasing to almightie God, honourable to our gracious Soveraigne, and commodious generally to the whole Kingdome.


Full Colophon Information

Genre: Prose
Subjects: Discovery and exploration of America
Period: 1600-1650
Location: British America
Format: Account/Relation

The text of this document was originally published in London in 1608.

This text was prepared from and proofed against John Smith, "A True Relation of Occurences and Accidents in Virginia, 1608," in Travels and Works of Captain John Smith, President of Virginia, and Admiral of New England, 1580-1631, Part I, ed. Edward Arber (Edinburgh: John Grant, 1910). All preliminaries and notes have been omitted except those for which the author is responsible. All editorial notes have been omitted except those that indicate significant textual variations. Line and paragraph numbers contained in the source text have been retained. In cases where the source text displays no numbers, numbers are automatically generated. In the header, personal names have been regularized according to the Library of Congress authority files as "Last Name, First Name" for the REG attribute and "First Name Last Name" for the element value. Names have not been regularized in the body of the text.