State of Affairs Between Natives and Europeans- jamestown, Virginia

Download 48.75 Kb.
Size48.75 Kb.

State of Affairs Between Natives and Europeans- Jamestown, Virginia

Directions: Using primary sources to examine the past, analyze multiple resources to explain the contacts between the American Indians and the European settlers during the Age of Discovery. Perhaps you could include an interesting insight into the real relationship between Pocahontas and John Smith. Then create a photostory or powerpoint in groups of 3-4. How would you depict the past and the importance of the state of affairs between Native Americans and Europeans? DUE: Monday October 1st
Wiki for this assignment at password: native

If you can try to use this page to work with your group and if possible and link your work to this page!

John Smith Trading with Native Americans

Courtesy National Park Service, Colonial National Historical Park

  • Describe the landscape in the painting.

  • Describe the individuals and their clothing and materials they used.

  • Imagine you were the artist of this painting, what types of discussions may you hear?

  • Give three adjectives on how the artist portrayed the North American Indians in this painting?

  • Give three adjectives on how the artist portrayed the European settlers in this painting?

  • What do you think was the painter’s purpose for creating this painting? Why do you think this?

Using the above questions search through the paintings in the Sidney King Drawings in the Colonial National Historical Park Collections #1-24. Consider using some of these paintings for your photostory.

Perceptions --

Europeans of Native Americans -- Seventeenth Century
James Horn's Adapting to a New World: English Society in the Seventeenth-Century Chesapeake addresses the level to which Old World attitudes, values, and norms shaped the formation of society in Virginia and Maryland in the 1600s. Settlers in the Chesapeake, he argues, were quite successful in "transferring significant elements of Old World culture to America," and these beliefs and attitudes were "just as important in forging their adaptation to colonial society as the environment they encountered." (p.10)
The distinct environment of the Chesapeake-the climate, terrain, and, of course, the people were quite new and different in the eyes of the English newcomers-did play an important role in the formation of Virginia society. Following their ten- to thirteen- week voyage across the Atlantic, arrivals would have been initially impressed by the physical characteristics of the land: the vast expanse of the Chesapeake Bay, the massive rivers that dwarfed London's Thames, the immense stretch of the land available to be settled. If they arrived in summer, Horn notes, they would have been struck by the heat and humidity. The winters, on the other hand, were deemed short and no worse than English winters.
The native people of the region were also deemed to be an interesting but inferior race. The potential to form a biracial society where English and Indian could live together on mutually beneficial terms never existed. English stereotypes, plans for colonial expansion, and notions of cultural superiority all prohibited such a development. Colonists who arrived early in the seventeenth century, such as those settling in Jamestown, found themselves in the midst of some thirty tribes united under the leadership of Wahunsenacawh (Powhatan). He was initially willing to allow the Jamestown contingent to settle on the James River, but he and his successor, Opechancanough, soon found the settlers to be a threat and more trouble than they were worth. The first Anglo-Powhatan War, 1609-1614, was launched. Later, in both 1622 and 1644, attempts were made by the Indians to drive the English out of the land.
English impressions of the Indians, however, certainly varied depending on the arena of contact. Depending on whether they first met native Americans in war, disputes over land, or in trade would have made a great deal of difference in initial perceptions of the Indians. Over the span of numerous face-to-face encounters, English stereotypes could have been confirmed or challenged. It is clear that the colonists' perceptions of the Chesapeake region in the seventeenth century would have been varied and multilayered, but fascination was probably a common reaction. According to James Horn, the transferral of various aspects of English society was in part a means of coping with such a new and different environment.

Jamestown 1624/5 Muster Records, Virtual Jamestown, Virginia Center for Digital History, University of Virginia (


By SIR WILLIAM BERKELEY, Governor of Virginia



Sir William Berkeley, the author of the following "Discourse," by a Royal Commission of Charles I., assumed the Governorship of Virginia in 1642. His early life had been that of the young English noble of his time and he came to Virginia with all the instincts and the peculiar morality of his class; and with an intense love of England and loyalty to England's king.

He was quick to perceive that the sentiments and opinions of Virginia, unlike those of Massachusetts, were largely a continuation of what he conceived to be the best of the sentiments and opinions of the mother country. This must have influenced him largely in his immediate confirmation of the planters in their possession of a considerable share of the legislative authority and enjoyment of the franchises with which they had become familiar. He convened the Colonial Legislature and the bitterness of factions soon was lost in the general harmony which prevailed. Thus Berkeley attained the utmost popularity and his courteous bearing and lavish generosity appealed at once to the loyalist Virginians. The virtues of the aristocrat had won the hearts of his Colonists as the vices of aristocracy were later to make the country run with blood.
Virginia remained prosperous and loyal throughout the reign of Charles the First and on his execution the Colonists, who now numbered over twenty thousand, unhesitatingly proclaimed his son King of Virginia. The hands of loyalist were strengthened by the arrival of many of the English nobles, who, horrified by the excesses of the "Rebels," made their way to the banks of the Chesapeake, where they were welcomed by the planters and found the mansion of the Governor with open doors to receive them. Here, amid the forests of the western world, they met and recounted their better days, still nourishing their loyalty and hoping for the restoration of their king. Charles Second, an exile in Flanders, transmitted to Berkeley a new commission, and still controlling the distribution of offices, did not forget his loyal Cavaliers in Virginia. "Virginia" we are told "was whole for the monarchy and the last country belonging to England, that submitted to obedience to the Commonwealth."
The fervor and enthusiasm of the English republicans, having conquered their European enemies, turned its attention to the Colonies; and Virginia, which refused to surrender to force, yielded voluntarily upon the agreement that they should have all the liberties of the free-born people of England and that the business of the Colony should be entrusted to their own grand assembly. Under this system Virginia was governed until 1660, when Berkeley was again elected Governor, acknowledging himself "but a servant of the Assembly."
At the time of the beginning of the Cavalier parliament in England, Virginia began to suffer from a cleavage at home. More distinctly was noted the existence of two parties, the Royalists and the People. The former party was somewhat divided: on the one hand their natural sympathies were allied with their monarch and also, on him they depended for favor and support. On the other hand, a community of interests and a national pride of Virginia bent them toward the people. Politically we have evidence of the temper of the Royalist assembly in one of its first acts - disfranchising Major John Bond, a magistrate, for "factious and schismatical demeanors" and the aristocrat in Berkeley is seen in this statement that "the ministers should pray oftener and preachless." It will be seen that sovereignty of Virginia over itself was visibly fading.
The fears of the Colonists were aroused at this time by the establishment of the Navigation Act and realizing its economy and that consequent upon its enforcement, the prices of their goods would be enhanced, they appointed Berkeley Colonial Agent to present their grievances at Court and to obtain some sort of redress. It must have been on this mission that the "Discourse" was written and we can see by it that the old Royalist master of considerable logic was by no means negligent of his Commission, although throughout is evident a certain over-deference to the well-being of his beloved England, almost to his own detriment. He was able, however, to sum up in a few vivid lines, the various aspects of his case. Explaining the need of the new Colonists he says, "When in the past ages to disburden the Kingdom of indigent younger brothers, whom the peculiar policy of this nation condemned to poverty of War, we were forced to undertake the assistance of rebels, which God of late has revenged on our own bowels; now there can be no necessity of that sin or misery, for a small sum of money will enable a younger brother to erect a flourishing family in a new world; and add more Strength, Wealth and Honor, to his Native Country, than thousands did before, that died forgotten and unrewarded in an unjust War." In another place he tells of the "good families" already in Virginia: "Percys, the Berkeleys, the Wests, the Gages, the Throgmortons, Wyats, Degges, Chickeleys, Moldsworths, Morrisons, Kemps, and hundered others, which I forbear to mention, lest I should misherald them in the catalogue." He was subjected to some criticism on the slow development of the Colony and this he explains as largely due to the extensive use "brings more money to the crown than all the Islands in America besides."
Despite his staunchness to the Colonists, Virginia might have chosen a less pliant advocate. He was entirely too strongly Royalist to make the most of his mission and probably this same devotion to the King was traded on as had before been used upon the restoration of the Stuarts. However that may be Berkeley returned from a fruitless voyage to find many more "schismatical persons" throughout the settlement and then began the long series of oppressions and the introduction of political trickery and corruption. This condition continued with no great diminution until the spread of Puritanism and clashes with the Indians brought matters to a head. John Washington, the great-grandfather of George Washington, headed a party of Virginians to the assistance of Maryland and the welfare on both sides was conducted with the utmost ferocity. When six of the Indians came to treat for peace, they were murdered by the Colonists and here again we see the spirit of the Cavalier in Berkeley's rebuke, "If they had killed by father and my mother and all my friends, yet if they had come to treat of peace, they ought to have gone in peace." When the Indians, mad for revenge, started their awful reprisals, Berkeley refused the Colonists the right to arm themselves for defence. Then it was that Nathaniel Bacon, disregarding orders, formed a "rebel army" which ultimately forced Berkeley to yield. The stories of cruelty are well known, for the first time troops landed in Virginia and were not disbanded for three years. At the end of that time, with the home-going squadron went Sir William Berkeley, his conduct censured with equal severity in both countries. There is no doubt that Berkeley's heart was broken by the final report of the Commissioners of Virginia and he died before he had his audience with the King.
Berkeley had many virtues. He was a man finely fitted to govern the Virginians, whose hearts were warm to the gallant courtier; but rooted near the source of his fitness for the task lay the seed of his failure. The Cavalier could bear no slight; and the affront to his pride ruled out all sentiment of clemency. Added to his difficulties was the avarice and weakness of the King, while the comparative ease attending the planters and the development of tobacco culture to the exclusion of other industry enfeebled their spirit of initiative and restrained any natural talent for invention. Below the surface but moving restlessly since the first English foot touched the soil of Virginia was the desire for self-expression, the hardly articulate desire for liberty and freedom, from which a century later, issued the Declaration of Independence.



And View of VIRGINIA

By SIR WILLIAM BERKELEY, Governor of Virginia

Before I enter into the consideration of the advantages this Kingdom of England has by the Plantation in Virginia, I think it necessary to make a short description of the Situation of it, as to the Climate; and then tell what natural helps it has to make it a glorious and flourishing Country: And when this Discourse shall produce a concession of the natural advantages it has above all other His Majesties Plantations, I shall lay down the Causes, both intrinsic and accidental, why it has not in all this supposed long tract of time produced those rich and staple Commodities, which I shall in this Discourse affirm it is capable of.

And, First, for the Climate: It lies within the Degrees of 37. And 42. (Maryland included) which by all is confessed to be a situation capable of the diversities of all Northern and Southern commodities, some Drugs and Spices excepted, which Florida, on whose borders we are newly seated, may also probably produce.
Into the Bay of Virginia, formerly called Chesapeake Bay, runs six eminent Rivers, none twenty miles distant from another; three of which exceed the Thames , both in extent and progression of the Tides; these cause and continue the admired fertility of the Country , and by their greatness and contiguity temper those heats, which the dryer places of Africa are subject to, in the same degrees of latitude.
Up these Rivers Ships of three hundred tons fail near two hundred miles, and anchor in the fresh waters; and by this means are not troubled with those Worms which damage ships, both in the Western Islands of America, and in the Mediterranean sea. And to avoid a larger discourse of it, I will here note it, that our ships once past the Lands end, are in no danger of Pirates, Rocks, or Lee-shores, till they come to their Port, and fewer ships miscarry going to Virginia, then to any Port at that distance in the world.
Now for those things, which are naturally in it, they are these, Iron, Lead, Pitch, Tar, Masts, Timber for Ships of the greatest magnitude, and Wood for Pot-ashes.
Those other Commodities, which are produced by industry, are Flax, Hemp, Silk, Wheat, Barley, Oats, Rice, Cotton, all sorts of Pulse and Fruits, the last of which in that perfection, that if the taste were the only judge, we would not think they were of the same species with those from which they are derived to us from England. The vicious ruinous plant of Tobacco I would not name, but that it brings more money to the Crown, then all the Islands in America besides.
Now this is ascertained and confessed, that such staple commodities, as Iron, Silk, Flax, Hemp, and Pot-ashes, may be easily raised in Virginia, an high imputation will lie upon us, why we have not all this time endeavored to evidence the truth and certainty of it, to our own and the public advantage.
To this I will answer, that the long time of seating of Virginia is a general and popular error: For though the first ships arrived in Virginia in 1606. Yet by reason of many almost insuparable difficulties, the increase of the number of Planters was hardly perceptible: For, first, that, as all uncleared Plantations, was unwholesome ; then all they eat came from England, and provided for those they never saw nor cared for, was not likely to be very good. Then the Indians quickly grew jealous of them, and forced them to fight for every foot of ground they held, and in the year 1622. in one night murdered all but four or five hundred. So that from that time we must begin the account of the Plantation: nor is this all, for many years after this, the danger and scarcity of the Inhabitants was for famed through England, that none but such as were forced could be induced to plant or defend the place; and of those that came, there was not one woman to thirty men, and populus virorum is of no long duration any where. But since the year 1630. the place began to be of more plenty and security, for the Indians, though not subdued, were terrified to a suspension of arms, the Planters then first began to fence their grounds and plant Corn; the few Cattle they had, increased to such numbers, that they were able to help their neighbor Plantations. And now I believe, that there is no Plantation of the English would more abound in Cattle, Hogs, and all sorts of Fruit, than Virginia, if they had but a mean price to quicken their industry, and make their providence vigilant.
Another great imputation lies on the Country that none but those of the meanest quality and corruptest lives go thither. This to our Maligners we would easily grant, if they would consent to the omen of it; for was not Rome thus begun and composed? And the greatest honor that was given to Romulus and his City was this, that his feverity and discipline in his time, made them formidable to their neighbors , and his posterity masters of the world. But this is not all truth, for men of as good Families as any Subjects in England have resided there, as the Percys, the Barkleys, the Wests, the Gages, the Throgmortons, Wyats, Degges, Chickeleys, Moldsworths, Morrisons, Kemps, and hundred others, which I forbear to name, left I should misherald them in the Catalogue. But grant it were thus, is this any imputation to the place, that those that come from hence with those ungoverned manners and affections, change them there for sober and thrifty passions and desires, which is evident in most that are there; and those that will either experimentally or morally weigh the nature and conditions of men, shall find, that naturally this change will follow the alteration of our conditions: For who experimentally in England are more prodigal and riotous then the younger brothers of it, who have least Fond to maintain and continue either of them? Who less careful to there Estates then those, whose early negligence hath engaged them to the Usurer? And the natural reason is evident, for it is hope and a proposed end that quickens our industry, and bridles our intemperance; but when Cuibono shall be objected, wretchlessness and a desire of present pleasures will invade us: But this is not so in our Plantations; for we find there that if we will be provident and industrious for a year or two, we may provide for our Posterity of many Ages; the manifest knowledge of this makes men industrious and vigilant with us, who here having no Vineyards to dress stood idle in the Market-place till the eleventh hour.
But we will confess , that there is with us a great scarcity of good men; that is, of able Workmen, at whose doors ought this defect to lie? not at ours, who would procure them could they be persuaded at high prices; but indeed our liberty to do good only to ourselves , is the main obstacle of our progress to staple commodities in our Plantations, for only such servants as have been brought up to no Art or Trade, hunger and fear of prisons bring to us, which we must entertain or have none: And I think that Lawyer had reason, who being chid by the Judge for often bringing scandalous causes before him; told him, they were the best he could get to be brought to him.
Had the Dutch Virginia, they would make it the Fortress ; Mart and Magazin of all the West Indies, for (as I at first intimated) the Rivers will securely harbour twenty thousand Ships at once; the Country produced all things necessary for those Ships and the men that sail in them, nothing wanting for the supplies of war or peace, but it was ever our misery not to take our aims the distance of an Age.
But half that time to the making us, and enriching this Kingdom by our labours, will not be required; for I can with assurance affirm, that if we have from hence resolute instructions and indulgent encouragements, within seven years we shall not need the Northern nor Southern East Countries, to supply us with Silk, Flax, Hemp, Pitch, Tar, Iron, Masts, Timber, and Pot-ashes; for all of these, but Iron, we want only skillful men to teach us to produce them the cheapest and readiest way; but the making of Iron will require abler purses then we are yet masters of.
Yet in another Paragraph I shall propose that, which if granted to us, will enable us of ourselves to accomplish this and other great concernments.
It must be confessed, that Barbados fends a better commodity into England, then Virginia yet does; but with all it must be acknowledged, that one Ship from Virginia brings more Money to the Crown, then five Ships of the same burthern do from the Barbados . But had we ability or skill to set forward those staple commodities I mentioned, of Silk, Flax, Hemp, Pitch, Pot-ashes, and Iron, a few years would make us able to send more Ships laden with these, then now the Barbados do with Sugar.
Amongst many other weighty Reasons, why Virginia has not all this while made any progression into staple Commodities, this is the chief. That our Governours by reason of the corruption of those times they lived in, laid the Foundation of our wealth and industry on the vices of men; for about the time of our first seating of the Country, did this vicious habit of taking Tobacco possess the English Nation, and from them has diffused itself into most parts of the World; this I say being brought to us from Spain at great prices, made our Governour suppose great wealth might be raised to particulars by this universal vice, and indeed for many years they were not deceived, till that increasing in numbers, and many other Plantations following the same design, at last brought it as now it is to that lowness of price, that the Customs doubles the first purchase; that is, the Merchant buys it for one penny the pound, and we pay two pence for the Custom of that which they are not pleased to take from us.
This was the first and fundamental hinderance that made the Planters neglect all other accessions to wealth and hap- pinefs, and fix their hopes only on this vicious weed of Tobacco, which at length has brought them to that extremity that they can neither handsomely subsist with it, nor without it.
Another hinderance has been, that there was never yet any public encouragement to assist the Planters in those more chargeable undertakings, as Iron-Mines and Shipping.
Another impediment, and an important one too has been the dismembering- of the Colonies, but giving away and erecting diverse Principalities out of it, as Maryland to my Lord Baltimore, and part of Florida to my Lord of Arundell, these Grants will in the next Age be found more disadvantageous to the Crown then is perceptible in this; and therefore I shall not touch it (uncommanded) as to the politic part of it, but as to the Oeconomick. I shall affirm that we can never make Laws for the erecting Staple Commodities, and setting a stop to our unlimited planting of Tobacco, whilst these Governments are distinct and independent, for on frequent trials when we begin to make provisions for these, our people fly to Maryland, and by this means heighten our public charges, and weaken our defences against our perpetual enemies the Indians. Nor is this all, for by reason of these interposing Grants, we have suffered the Dutch to enrich themselves on our discoveries, who have in our precincts settled a Trade of Beaver with the Indians, amounting to two hundred thousand skins a year, and supply our enemies with Ammunition and Guns in greater proportion then we have them ourselves , but God be thanked as yet, they, their Towns and Trade are in the Kings power, when ever he shall command them either to quit the Usurpations, or to acknowledge their Subjection to him in those parts.
Another great impediment has been, the confining the Planter to Trade only with the English, this no good Subject or Englishman will oppose, if it be found either beneficial to the Crown or our Mother-Nation; but if it shall appear that neither of these are advantaged by it, then we cannot but resent, that forth thousand people should be impoverished to enrich little more then forty Merchants, who being the only buyers of our Tobacco give us what they please for it, and after it is here, fell it how they please; and indeed have forth thousand servants in us at cheaper rates, then any other men have slaves, for they find them Meat, Drink, and Clothes, we furnish ourselves and their Sea-men with Meat and Drink, and all our sweat and labour, as they order us, will hardly procure us course clothes to keep us from the extremities of heat and cold: yet if these pressures of us did advance the Customs, or benefit the Nation, we should not repine; but that it does the contrary to both, I shall easily evidence when commanded.
Another hindrance has been, the want of a public Stock to enable us to procure able men for the finding all forts of Mines, making Iron of those Mines that are found, Ship-Carpenters, men skilful in Hemp, Flax, and Silk, for the last of which no Country in the world is more naturally provided that Virginia is; and as by the feet we guess at the proportions of men, so we can experimentally say, that within seven years, if we are assisted and commanded, we shall bring in yearly as much Silk into England, as now costs the Nation two hundred thousand pounds of sterling at least. Flax, Hemp, and Pitch would always be according to the numbers and possibility of the labors of the Planters.
On the whole matter, let it be considered, whether or no the English Plantations are not proportioned in a short time to supply us with all those Commodities, which now we have at great charge and hazard from Turkey , Persia, Germany, Poland, and Russia: the Wines, Oils , and Fruits of France and Spain, our distance will ever hinder us from introducing at the same rates we have it now from them.
It has, as I intimated, been highly imputed to us by diverse wise men, who only contemplate the natural richness of our Soil, and by that weigh and measure our faults and neglects, that we have not employed our cares and industry, in producing more staple commodities then hitherto we have attempted. This none can more severely resent then the poor Planter himself in frequent consultations has done, who by many trials have found their case to be like those Architects, who can design excellent Buildings, but have not skill to square their Timber, or lay their Bricks, and for want of money to procure men for these labors, their models remain only in their imaginations or papers; This is our case, who without a public assistance can neither survive our property, or the remedies of it, without an universal present pressure, as to the Inhabitants of the Colony; for men of manufacture will not be procured, but on great wages, to leave their Country , and hazard (as they style it) their lives: this the poor Planter cannot do, whose sweat and labors amount to no more, then to clothe and provide for the ordinary necessities of his indigent Family.
To remedy this, and to procure us able men to set us in a way of staple commodities, at my departure from Virginia I was desired by the Assembly to make this Proposal to His Sacred Majesty and his Council, to add one penny more to the Customs of our Tobacco, and give it to the Country ; which, if granted, will pay all the public charges of the Country , furnish us with Magazines to resist the Indians, build Mills for Iron and Planks, procure us on good Salaries able men for Silk, Cordage, Mines, and Flax; and all this will be done at the expense only of an indulgent Grant: for who pays this but the poor Planter, whose Tobacco must fell for less , the more is imposed on it? But a nearer way to a public unquarrelled contribution they cannot find, having this Axiom firmly fixed in them, That never any Community of people had good done to them, but against their wills.
In order to this we shall here declare what we have been necessitated to do these last two years, when war and other emergencies had involved the Plantation into debts inextricable in an ordinary levy; which was to lay a Tax of two shillings the Hogshead on every one exported. This though the Merchant made us pay, yet we found it an easier and readier way to defray the public charges: this (if the propositions of the Customs be not granted) we desire His Majesties Council will advance to three or four shilling the Hogshead, which will pay all public Officers, and enable us to begin the making Iron, and other necessary works, for the enriching our native Kingdom and ourselves.
And another Proposal they desired me to make, which is this, That such Ships as were built in the Country , might carry their goods to what Port they pleased. This they hoped would be easily granted, because by this means the Excellency of their Timber and Masts (of both which there is now a visible scarcity in England) would be known, and when known the Timber of England might be spared for many years, and Ships of the greatest magnitude built there cheaper then possibly they can be in England; but if the first be granted, we shall leave this to the wisdom, exigency and care of those His Majesty employs in those affairs.
To conclude and animate the care, providence and indulgence the Nation ought to have of foreign Plantations, let these few confederations be duly poised.
First, it is not yet forty years when there was not one Englishman in any Plantation of America, save only four or five hundred left in 1622. After the Massacre in Virginia; and now there is in the West Indies at least three hundred thousand English, and of English extraction.
Secondly, if we examine the Customs, we shall find the fourth part of them arise from the Plantations in America. This is a wealth our fathers never knew, and in humane probability will increase on us every year.
Thirdly, those commodities we were wont to purchase at great rates and hazards, we now purchase at half the usual prices. Nor is this all, but we buy them with our own Manufactures, which here at home employ thousands of poor people.
Fourthly, when in the past Ages to disburden the Kingdom of indigent younger Brothers, whom the peculiar policy of this Nation condemned to poverty or War, we were forced to undertake the assistance of Rebels, which God of late has revenged on our own bowels; now there can be no necessity of that sin or misery, for a small sum of money will enable a younger Brother to erect a flourishing Family in a new World; and add more Strength, Wealth, and Honour, to his Native Country, then thousands did before, that died forgotten and unrewarded in an unjust War. I should now have ended, but that I think it is expected from me, who have lived twenty years in America, that I should declare the power, interest, and wealth we have by our Plantations in the West Indies.
To do this, I shall first propose to the consideration of the Reader, the few years we have had any footing in America, the eldest Plantation, Virginia excepted, not exceeding forty years, and yet so many difficulties happily overcome. Our numbers there are now at least two hundred thousand English, and if (as in humane probability they will) our numbers double but every twenty years , in one Age more how great will our power, strength, and reputation be in this new Western World?
Secondly, let it be considered what summers of Money was in the last Age exhausted from us for Sugar, Cotton, Drugs , Dyings, and Tobacco, and how easily now we supply ourselves with these, and also bring home enough to balance many other [unclear: foreign] necessities.
Thirdly, let us contemplate the respect we have from most of the Princes and States of Europe, but our power and strength in America; the Dutch I know would not willingly quit their interest in the Indies for ten Millions of Money; yet all they have there is in the Kings power, when any just occasion shall provoke his displeasure.
The French, it is true, have not many considerable places there: But yet the Indies, as they term it, are of so Friand agust, that they would not willingly quit their holds in it, not their pretensions to it.
But the Spaniards, whose interest is greatest, is most jealous of our power there, and we most formidable to him by it.
I will not presume to Counsel, but to give a Memorial I will; that if now we vigorously and prudently manage our late acquired possessions in the Heart and Navel of His Dominions, he will with great caution and respect exasperate our King and Nation: And when our power is increased, and settled, then evidently to one of these two conditions we shall bring him; either to admit of a Trade with us, or have his Bullion come home in our Ships which of these will be most advantagious I cannot readily tell; but both, or either will be of high concernment to His Majesty and people.
To do this with most ease and less charge, I think the best expedient is to encourage and admonish the lesser Islands (all but the Barbados) to remove thither, as they are, they are neither of any mutual strength to themselves, nor contribute any honour or emolument to the Nation, but when once they are incorporated into one body, how secure will they be amongst themselves, how terrible to their opposes? And in case a good temperament does produce a peace, how little will the charge be of assuring it to be lasting; for the more men, the less need of Soldiers , and by consequence the diffused charge of keeping them less burthensome then when it is devolved on a few persons. To conclude, the King of Spain’s wealth is greater in the Indies, then the King of England; but our Kings subjects swords are more sharper then the Spaniards, which we had lately evidenced, but that God would not suffer the worst of men, Cromwell, to glory in the bravest of achievements.
To make a Parallel betwixt Virginia and our other Island Plantations in America, we will take the Mistress of them all, Barbados , for the other Islands, if now they were to be seated, would not be suffered uselessly to exhaust to many men our of our Nation as now they do; who being thinly planted and defenseless , and exposed not only to the designs, but as I may truly speak it to the divertisement of their Enemies, who only passing by have taken the best of them without losing two days of their intended Voyage; this Saint Christophers and the Tartugos have experimented, and their weak resistance have made the Spainard have false apprehensions of our Courages and Conduct: These then I will not particularly mention, but the Paragon shall be betwixt Virginia and the Barbados , which does produce all those Commodities in perfection, which the other Islands do but attempt to do this, I will impartially mention their industrious virtues and our negligent defects; and first, I will say that the bringing of Sugar and Cotton to be a Commo- dity of English growth, was a work worthy of a public mark of Honour and Reward; for by it the Nation saves yearly a Million pounds sterling. Cottons, Indicos, and Ginger were likewise noble undertakings; and to admiration perfected, and God forbid, that emulation should make us forbear to speak or lessen the designs and industry of the first promoters of these noble Commodities. But we shall say, that it is pity those men had not a larger field to exercise their virtues in, for like flowers they were quickly at their full growth and perfection, and a Nil ultra is fixed on them, But that our desires to honour them may not tacitly fix an accusation on us, I must here say, they had the happiness to have no Enemy to encounter, whose swords were continually in our bowels or apprehensions; that they lay more in the way of Merchants and men of War, by whom they got persons skilled in the Engines that made Sugar; that their security from Enemies made Merchants, and other rich men, willingly venture their Estates thither, and therefore the comparison being as I suppose to be made between the places, and not the happy Conjuncture of the men that possess them, I shall boldly and truly affirm, that there can be no comparison between the places relative to the future advantage of our Nation: For though Virginia yet only produceth Tobacco, as to the main of her Traffic , yet it has produced Silk, Flax, Hemp, Iron, Rice, Pitch, Tar, which are Commodities more lasting and necessary then Sugar or Indico can be: and as our Numbers increase, so will our Wealth, when our industry and assistance shall equal theirs, which is clean contrary with them, who are already forced to expend one fifth part of their Merchandise to provide Victuals for themselves and Servants. But the best resolution of this, will be, that being both of one Nation, we bless God that has made us so instrumental to the Wealth and Glory of it.
Download 48.75 Kb.

Share with your friends:

The database is protected by copyright © 2023
send message

    Main page