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Ajacan, The Spanish Jesuit Mission

Roanoke Colony

Jamestown Colony

St. Mary's City

The French

Exploration of the Chesapeake Bay

Gabriel Archer

John Smith, A Map of Virginia, 1612

The accidents that happened in the Discoverie of the bay

What happened the second voyage to discover the Bay

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The Accidents that Happened in the Discovery of the Bay

(from Chapter 5,'A Map of Virginia')

  The second of Iune 1608. Smith left the fort to performe his diescoverie, with this company.
Walter Russell Doctour of Physicke.

  Ralph Morton.
Thomas Momford.
William Cantrill.
Richard Fetherstone.
Iames Bourne.
Michael Sicklemore.

  Anas Todkill.
Robert Small.
Iames Watkins.
Iohn Powell.
Iames Read blacke smith.
Richard Keale fishmonger.
Ionas Profit fisher.

These being in an open barge of two tunnes burthen leaving the Phenix at Cape-Henry we crossed the bay to the Easterne shore & fell with the Iles called Smiths, Iles the first people we saw were 2. grimme and stout Salvages vpon Cape-Charles with long poles like iavelings, headed with bone, they boldly demanded what we were, and what we would, but after many circumstances, they in time seemed very kinde, and directed vs to Acawmacke the habitation of the Werowans where we were kindly intreated; this king was the comliest proper civill Salvage wee incountred: his country is a pleasant fertill clay-soile. . .

Passing / along the coast, searching every inlet, and bay fit for harbours & habitations seeing many Iles in the midst of the bay, we bore vp for them, but ere wee could attaine them, such an extreame gust of wind, raine, thunder, and lightning happened, that with great daunger we escaped the vnmercifull raging of that ocean-like water. The next day searching those inhabitable Iles (which we called Russels Iles) to provide fresh water, the defect whereof forced vs to follow the next Easterne channell, which brought vs to the river Wighcocomoco, the people at first with great furie, seemed to assault vs, yet at last with songs, daunces, and much mirth, bevame very tractable, but searching their habitations for water, wee could fill but 3, and that such puddle, that never til then, wee ever knew the want of good water, we digged and searched many places but ere the end of tw daies wee would haue refused two barricoes of gold for one of that puddle water of Wighcocomoco. Being past these Iles falling with a high land vpon the maine wee found a great pond of fresh water, but so exceeding hot, that we supposed it some bath: that place we called Point ployer, being thus refreshed in crossing over from the maine to other Iles, the wind and waters so much increased with thunder, lightning, and raine that our fore-mast blew overbord and such mightie waues overwrought vs in that smal barge, that with great labour wee kept her from sinking by freeing out the water, 2 daies we were inforced to inhabit these vnihatited Iles, which (for the extremitie of gusts, thunder, raine, stormes, and il weather) we called Limbo. Repairing our fore saile with / our shirts, we set saile for the maine & fel with a faire river on the East called Kuskarawaocke, by it inhabit the people of Soraphanigh, Nause, Arsek, and Nautaquake that much wxtolled a great nation called Massawomekes, in search of whome wee returned by Limbo, but finding this easterne shore shallow broken Iles, & the maine for the most part without fresh water, we passed by the straights of Limbo for the weasterne shore. So broad is the bay here, that we could scarse perceiue the great high Cliffes on the othr side; by them wee ancored that night, and called them Richards Cliffes. 30 leagues we sailed more Northwards, not finding any inhabitants, yet the coast well watred, the mountaines very barren, the vallies very fertil, but the woods extreame thicke, full of Woolues, Beares, Deare, and other wild beasts. The first inlet we found, wee called Bolus, for that the clay (in many places) was like (if not) Bole-Armoniacke: when we first set saile, some of our gallants doubted nothing, but that our Captaine would make too much hast homel but hauing lien not aboue 12 daies in this smal Barge, oft tired at their oares, their bread spoiled with wet, so much that it was rotten (yet so good were their stomacks that they could digest it) did with continuall complaints so importune him now to returne...3 or 4 daies wee expected wind and weather, whose adverse extreamities added such discouragements to our discontents as 3 or 4 fel extreame sicke, whose pittiful complaints caused vs to returne, leauing the bay some 10 miles broad at 9 or 10 fadome water.

The 16 of Iune we fel with the river of Patawomeck: feare being gone, and our men recovered, wee were all contented to take some paines to knowe the name of this 9 mile broad river, we could see no inhabitants for 30 myles saile; then we were conducted by 2 Salvages vp a little bayed creeke toward Onawmament where all the woods were laid with Ambuscadoes to the number of 3 or 400 Salvages. . . to appease / their furie, our Captaine prepared with a seeming willingnesse (as they) to encountr them, the grazing of the bullets vpon the river, with the ecco of the woods so amazed them, as down went their bowes & arrowes; (and exchanging hostage) Iames Watkins was sent 6 myles vp the woods to their kings habitation: wee were kindly vsed by these Salvages, of whome we understood, they were commaunded to betray vs, by Powhatans direction, and hee so directed from the ciscontents of Iames towne. The like incounters we found at Patawomeck Cecocawone & divers other places, but at Moyaones Nacothtant and Taux, the people did their best to content vs. The cause of this discovery, was to search a glistering mettal, the Salvages told vs they had from Patawomeck...also to search what furres, metals, riuers, Rockes, nations, woods, fishings, fruits, victuals and other commodities the land afforded, and whether the bay were endless, or how farre it extended. The mine we found 9 or 10 myles vp in the country from the river, but it proved or no value: Some Otters, Beavers, Martins, Luswarts [lynx], and sables we found, and in diverse places that abundance of fish lying so thicke with their heads aboue the water, as for want of nets (our barge driving amongst them) we attempted to catch them with a frying pan, but we found it a bad instrument to catch fish with. Neithr better fish more plenty or variety had any of vs ever seene, in any place swimming in the water, then in the bay of Chesapeack, but there not to be caught with frying-pans.

Near the Tappahannock
... Our boate (by reason of the ebbe) chansing to ground vpon a many shoules lying in the entrance, we spied many fishes lurking amongst the weedes on the sands, our captaine sporting himselfe to catch them by nailing them to the ground with his sword, set vs all a fishing in that manner, by this devise, we tooke more in an houre then we all could eat; but it chanced, the captaine taking a fish from his sword (not knowing her condition) being much of the fashion of a Thornebacke with a longer taile, whereon is a most poysoned sting of 2. or 3 inches long, which shee strooke an inch and halfe into the wrist of his arme the which in 4. houres had so extreamly swolne his hand, arme, shoulder, and part of his body, as we al with much sorrow concluded his funerall, and prepared his gaue in an Ile hard by (as himselfe appointed) which then wee called stingeray Ile after the name of the fish. Yet by the helpe of a precious oile Doctour Russel applied, ere night his tormenting paine was so wel asswaged that he eate the fish to his supper, which / gaue no less ioy and content to vs, then ease to himselfe. Having neither Surgeon nor surgerie but that preservatiue oile, we presently set saile for Iames Towne; passing the mouth of pyankatanck, & Pamavnke rivers, the next day we safely arrived at Kecoughtan.

...Our barge...arrived at weraskoyack the 20. of Iulie, where trimming her with painted streamers, and such devises we made the fort Iealious of a Spanish frigot; where we all safely arrived the 21. of Iuly...



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