America and West Indies: August 1611

Pages 11-12

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 1, 1574-1660. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1860.

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August 1611

Aug. 17.
James Town, Virginia.
26. Sir Thomas Dale to [Salisbury]. Enlarges on the pious and heroic enterprise to which he has observed Salisbury lends no busy thought so much welcome and grace. Testifies to the salubrity of the air, and the good soil of the country, and its numerous commodities which he describes. Appeals to him, as a true lover of God and his country, to advance this work to it's proper height, and to send such labourers "as may take off the film of ignorance and simplicity which veil the eyes of these poor wretches from looking upon their own beauty." Confesses it is an enterprise of charge, but boldly affirms that if furnished with 2,000 men by April next, he would, in two years, settle a colony ready to answer all ends and expec-tations. Would by such means overmaster the subtle, mischievous, Great Powhatan, and through him the neighbouring savages. Description of the several places where he would settle plantations. The first should be at Point Comfort, the second 15 miles from thence, at a place called Diskaick, the third at James Town, the fourth at Arsahattacks, 80 miles up the river from James Town; would advise that the fifth be 10 miles above, to command the head of the river. Necessity of making good these several seats, without which it will be in vain to strive any longer to settle a handful of wretched people, and to look for great expectations from their labours. Present impossibility of benefit to the company. Instances the prolific nature of the soil, and the coldness of men to this great work. Great advantages of the two plantations he proposes at Arsahattacks, and at the head of the falls; if the 2,000 men were sent with six months' provisions, he would never after charge the company with any supplies for them. On account of the difficulty of procuring men in so short a time, all offenders out of the common gaols condemned to die should be sent for three years to the colony; so do the Spaniards people the Indies. Their little colony murmurs at their present state for want of English provisions. The 300 disorderly persons he took with him are so profane, so riotous, and so full of mutiny, that not many are Christians but in name. Their bodies are so diseased and crazed that not sixty of them may be employed upon labour. Has thus appealed to him, and shown how the colony may become prosperous. A Spanish carvall, fitted with a shallop for discovery, lately came into their river, anchored at Point Comfort, and sent, in search of a pilot, three Spaniards ashore, who he has detained prisoners. Leaves to his Lordship the consideration of the danger likely to befall them from their weak and unfortified state.