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RALEIGH THE FRIEND OF MARITIME ENTERPRISE.
chap. In the career of discovery, his perseverance was
never baffled by losses. He joined in the risks of Gilbert's expedition ; contributed to the discoveries of Davis in the north-west; and himself personally explored “ the insular regions and broken world” of Guiana. The sincerity of his belief in the wealth of the latter country has been unreasonably questioned. If Elizabeth had hoped for a hyperborean Peru in the arctic seas of America, why might not Raleigh expect to find the city of gold on the banks of the Oronoco? His lavish efforts in colonizing the soil of our republic, his sagacity which enjoined a settlement within the Chesapeake Bay, the publications of Hariot and Hakluyt which he countenanced, if followed by losses to himself, diffused over England a knowledge of America, as well as an interest in its destinies, and sowed the seeds, of which the fruits were to ripen during his lifetime, though not for him.
Raleigh had suffered from palsy before his last expedition. He returned broken-hearted by the defeat of his hopes, by the decay of his health, and by the death of his eldest son. What shall be said of King James, who would open to an aged paralytic no other hope of liberty but through success in the discovery of mines in Guiana ? What shall be said of a monarch who could, at that time, under a sentence which was originally unjust, and which had slumbered for fifteen years, order the execution of the decrepit man, whose genius and valor shone brilliantly through the ravages
i Thomson, Appendix, note U. historians, the trial, and the biogThe original document.
raphies of Raleigh, proves him to 2 Hume, Rapin, Lingard, are less have been, on his trial, a victim of favorable to Raleigh. Even Hal- jealousy, and entirely innocent of lam, i. 482_484, vindicates him crime. No doubt he despised King with wavering boldness. A careful James. See Tytler, 285-290. comparison of the accounts of these
GOSNOLD'S VOYAGE TO NEW ENGLAND.
N. Carolina, for
of physical decay, and whose English heart, within a CHAP. palsied frame, still beat with an undying love for his m country?
The judgments of the tribunals of the Old World are often reversed by public opinion in the New. The family of the chief author of early colonization in the United States was reduced to beggary by the government of England, and he himself was beheaded. After a lapse of nearly two centuries, the state of North 1792. Carolina, by a solemn act of legislation, revived in its capital “ THE CITY of Raleigh ;” thus expressing its Laws of grateful respect for the memory of the extraordinary linaz.com man, who united in himself as many kinds of glory as c. xiv. were ever combined in an individual.
The enthusiasm of Raleigh pervaded his countrymen. Imagination already saw beyond the Atlantic a people whose mother idiom should be the language of England. “Who knows,” exclaimed Daniel, the poet laureate of that kingdom
“Who in time knows whither we may vent
May 'come refined with th’ accents that are ours ?" Already the fishing of Newfoundland was vaunted 1593. as the stay of the west countries. Some traffic may Do have continued with Virginia. Thus were men trained for the career of discovery; and in 1602, Bartholomew Gosnold, who, perhaps, had already sailed to Virginia, in the usual route, by the Canaries and West Indies, conceiving the idea of a direct voyage to America, with the concurrence of Raleigh, had well nigh secured to New England the honor of the first permanent
1602. English colony. Steering, in a small bark, directly "Mar. across the Atlantic, in seven weeks he reached the 20.
Daniel, in Musophilus.
GOSNOLD PLANS A SETTLEMENT IN NEW ENGLAND.
CIIAP. continent of America in the Bay of Massachusetts, not
a far to the north of Nahant. He failed to observe a 1602. good harbor, and, standing for the south, discovered May 14. the promontory which he called Cape Cod-a name
which would not yield to that of the next monarch of England. Here he and four of his men landed ; Cape Cod was the first spot in New England ever trod by Eng
lishmen. Doubling the cape, and passing Nantucket, May they again landed on a little island, now called No
Man's land, and afterwards passed round the promontory of Gay Head, naming it Dover Cliff. At length they entered Buzzard's Bay—a stately sound, which they called Gosnold's Hope. The westernmost of the islands was named Elizabeth, from the queen-a name which has been transferred to the whole group. Here they beheld the rank vegetation of a virgin soil; the noble forests ; the wild fruits and the flowers, bursting from the earth; the eglantine, the thorn, and the honeysuckle, the wild pea, the tansy, and young sassafras; strawberries, raspberries, grape-vines, all in profusion. There is on the island a pond, and within it lies a rocky islet; this was the position which the adventurers selected for their residence. Here they built their storehouse and their fort; and here the foundations of the first New England colony were to be laid. The natural features remain unchanged; the island, the pond, the islet, are all yet visible; the forests are gone; the shrubs are as luxuriant as of old; but the ruins of the fort can no longer be discerned.
A traffic with the natives on the main land, soon enabled Gosnold to complete his freight, which consisted chiefly of sassafras root, then greatly esteemed in pharmacy as a sovereign panacea. The little
i Belknap’s Biog. ii. 103. Williamson's Maine, i. 184, 185.
VOYAGES OF MARTIN PRING TO NEW ENGLAND.
band, which was to have nestled on the Elizabeth CHAP. Islands, finding their friends about to embark for Europe, despaired of obtaining seasonable supplies of 1602. food, and determined not to remain Fear of an assault from the Indians, who had ceased to be friendly, the want of provisions, and jealousy respecting the distribution of the risks and profits, defeated the design. The whole party soon set sail and bore for England. The return voyage lasted but five weeks; June
18. and the expedition was completed in less than four months, during which entire health had prevailed.
Gosnold and his companions spread the most favorable reports of the regions which he had visited. Could it be that the voyage was so safe, the climate so pleasant, the country so inviting ? The merchants of Bristol, with the ready assent of Raleigh, and at the instance of Richard Hakluyt, the enlightened friend and able documentary historian of these commercial enterprises, a man whose fame should be vindicated and asserted in the land which he helped to colonize, determined to pursue the career of investigation. The Speedwell, a small ship of fifty tons and thirty men, the Discoverer, a bark of twenty-six tons and thirteen men, under the command of Martin
1603. Pring, set sail for America a few days after the death April of the queen. It was a private undertaking, and
ind 10. therefore not retarded by that event. The ship was well provided with trinkets and merchandise, suited to a traffic with the natives; and this voyage also was successful. It reached the American coast among the
i Gosnold to his father, in Pur- 108. Compare, particularly, Belchas, iv. 1646. Archer's Relation, knap's Life of Gosnold, in Am. ibid. iv. 1647-1651. Rosier's Biog. ii. 100—123. Notes, ibid. iv. 1651-1653. Brier 2 Purchas, iv. 1614. ton's Relation, in Smith, i. 105– VOL. 1.
VOYAGE OF WEYMOUTH TO NEW ENGLAND.
CHAP. islands which skirt the harbors of Maine. The mouth an of the Penobscot offered good anchorage and fishing.
Pring made a discovery of the eastern rivers and harbors—the Saco, the Kennebunk, and the York; and the channel of the Piscataqua was examined for three or four leagues. Meeting no sassafras, he steered for the south ; doubled Cape Ann; and went on shore in Massachusetts; but, being still unsuccessful, he again pursued a southerly track, and finally anchored in Old Town harbor, on Martha's Vineyard. The whole absence lasted about six months, and was completed without disaster or danger.' Pring, a few years later, repeated his voyage, and made a more accurate survey of Maine.
Enterprises for discovery were now continuous. Bartholomew Gilbert, returning from the West Indies, made an unavailing search for the colony of Raleigh. It was the last attempt to trace the remains of those unfortunate men. But as the testimony of Pring had
confirmed the reports of Gosnold, the career of navi1605. gation was vigorously pursued. An expedition, pro
moted by the Earl of Southampton and Lord Arundel, of Wardour, and commanded by George Weymouth, who, in attempting a north-west passage, had already explored the coast of Labrador, now discovered the Penobscot River. Weymouth left England in March, and, in about six weeks, came in sight of the American continent near Cape Cod. Turning to the north, he approached the coast of Maine, and ascended the western branch of the Penobscot beyond Belfast Bay; where the deep channel of the broad stream, the abundance of its spacious harbors, the neighboring
1 Purchas, iv. 1654—1656. Com- liamson's Maine, i. p. 185—187 pare Belknap, ii. 123–133; Wil- 2 Purchas, iv. 1656-1658.