A True relation of such occurrences and accidents of note, as hath hapned at Virginia, since the first planting of that Collony by John Smith (1608)


In A True relation of such occurrences and accidents of note, as hath hapned at Virginia, published in 1608, Captain John Smith tells of his experiences as one of the first English settlers of the colony at Jamestown. Smith originally wrote the account in 1607 as a letter to a friend; it was published the next year without his knowledge or permission.


A True Relation of Such Occurrences and Accidents of Note as Hath Hapned in Virginia, since the first planting of that Collony, which is now resident in the South part thereof, till the last returne. 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. 1608

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 vnderstand that after many crosses in the downes by tempests, wee arriued safely vppon the Southwest part of the great Canaries: within four or fiue daies after we set saile for Dominica, the 26. of Aprill: the first land we made, wee fell with Cape Henry, the verie mouth of the Bay of Chissiapiacke, which at that present we little expected, hauing by a cruell storme bene put to the Northward:

Anchoring in this Bay twentie or thirtie went a shore with the Captain, and in comming aboard [on land], 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 hauing spent their arrowes retyred without harme. And in that place was the Box opened, wherin the Counsell for Virginia was nominated: and arriuing at the place [James Town] where wee are now seated, the Counsell was sworne, and the President elected, which for that yeare was Maister Edm. Maria Wingfield , where was made choice for our situation, 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 [ or rather May 1607], Captain Newport and my selfe with diuers others, to the other number of twenty two persons, set forward to discouer the Riuer, some fiftie or sixtie miles, finding it in some places broader, and 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 vs, daunsing and feasting vs with strawberries, Mulberries, Bread, Fish, and other their Countrie prouisions wherof we had plenty: for which Captaine Newport kindely requited their least fauours with Bels, Pinnes, Needles, beades, or Glassas, which so contented them that his liberallitie made them follow vs from place to place, euer kindely to respect vs. In the midway staying to refresh our selues in a little Ile foure or fiue sauages came vnto vs which described vnto vs the course of the Riuer, and after in our iourney, they often met vs, trading with vs for such prouision as wee had, and ariuing at Arsatecke, hee whom we supposed to bee the chiefe King of all the rest, moste kindely entertained vs, giuing vs in a guide to go with vs vp the Riuer to Powhatan, of which place their great Emperor taketh his name, where he that they honored for King vsed vs kindely. But to finish this discouerie, we passed on further, where within an ile [a mile] we were intercepted with great craggy stones in the midst of the riuer, 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 fiue 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 haue left markes of the inundation 8. or 9. foote: The south side is plaine low ground, and the north side high mountaines, the rockes being of grauelly 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, leauing a mariner in pawn with the Indians for a guide of theirs, hee that they honoured for King followed vs by the riuer (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 obserue the height [latitude] therof, & so with many signes of loue we departed.

The next day the Queene of Agamatack kindely intreated vs, 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 vs the manner of their diuing for 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 vs, but as wee departed and lodged at the point of Weanocke, the people the next morning seemed kindely to content vs, yet we might perceiue many signes of a more Iealousie in them then before, and also the Hinde that the King of Arseteck had given vs, altered his resolution in going to our Fort, and with many kinde circumstances left vs there. This gaue vs some occasion to doubt some mischiefe at the Fort, yet Captaine Newport intended to haue visited Paspahegh and Tappahanocke, but the instant change of the winde being faire for our return we repaired to the fort with all speed [27 May], where the first we heard was that 400. Indians the day before [26 May] assalted the fort, and 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 and 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 fiue cruelly wounded by being abroad: the Indians losse wee know not, but as they report three were slain and diuers hurt.

Captaine Newport hauing set things in order, set saile for England the 22 of June [1607], leauing prouision for 13. or 14 weeks.

The day before the Ships departure, the king of Pamaunke [i.e., Opechancanough] sent the Indian that had met vs before in our discouerie, to assure vs peace; our fort being then palisadoed round, and all our men in good health and comfort, albeit, that thro[u]gh 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, whereby, and through the hard dealings of our President, the rest of the counsell being diuerslie affected through his audacious commuand; 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 vs) plagued vs with such famin and sicknes, that the liuing were scarce able to bury the dead: our want of sufficient and good victualls, with continuall watching foure or fiue 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 liues: the Sack, Aquauitie, and other preseruatives 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 hauing also tasted of the extremitie therof, but by Gods assistance being well recouered. Kendall about this time, for diuers reasens deposed from being of the Councell: and shortly after it pleased God (in our extremity) to moue the Indians to bring vs Corne, ere it was halfe ripe, to refresh vs, when we rather expected when they would destroy vs:

About the tenth of September there was about 46. of our men dead, at which time Captaine Wingfield hauing 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 prouision now being within twentie dayes spent, the Indians brought vs great store both of Corne and bread ready made: and also there came such aboundance of Fowles into the Riuers, as greatly refreshed our weake estates, wherevppon many of our weake men were presently able to goe abroad.

As yet we had no houses to couer vs, our Tents were rotten, and our Cabbins worse than nought: our best commoditie was Yron which we made into little chissels.

The president[‘s], and Captaine Martins sicknes, constrayned 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 starue and rot with idlenes, then be perswaded 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 riuer to Kegquohtan an Indian Towne, to trade for Corne, and try the riuer for Fish, but our fishing we could not effect by reason of the stormy weather. The Indians thinking vs neare famished, with carelesse kindnes, offered vs little pieces of bread and small handfulls of beanes or wheat, for a hatchet or a piece of copper: In like man[n]er I entertained their kindnes, and in like scorne offered them like commodities, but the Children, or any that shewed extraordinary kindnes, I liberally contented with free gifte [of] 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: vnder colour to fetch fresh water, I sent a man to discouer the Towne, their Corne, and force, to trie their intent, in that they desired me vp to their houses: which well vnderstanding, with foure shot I visited them. With fish, oysters, bread, and deere, they kindly traded with me and my men, beeing no lesse in doubt of my intent, then I of theirs; for well I might with twentie men haue fraighted a Shippe with Corne: The Towne conteineth eighteene houses, pleasantly seated vpon three acres of ground, vppon a plaine, halfe inuironed with a great Bay of the great Riuer, the other parte with a Baye of the other Riuer falling into the great Baye, with a little Ile fit for a Castle in the mouth thereof, the Towne adioyning 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 riuer, which is in breadth 5. miles and 20 mile or neare from the mouth: With these I traded, who hauing but their hunting prouision, 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 gaue great comfort to our despa[i]ring company:

Time thus passing away, and hauing not aboue 14. daies victuals left, some motions were made about our presidents [Captain Ratcliffe’s] and Captaine Archers going for England, to procure a supply: in which meane time we had reasonably fitted vs 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 arriuing, 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 to [at] Paspahegh, I traded with that churlish and trecherous nation: hauing loaded 10 or 12 bushels of corne, they offred to take our pieces and swords, yet by stelth, but [we] seeming to dislike it, they were ready to assault vs: yet standing vpon our guard, in coasting the shore, diuers out of the woods would meet with vs with corn and trade. But least we should be constrained, either to indure ouermuch wrong or directly [to] fal to reuenge, seeing them dog vs 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 Martin after made 2 iournies to that nation of Paspahegh, but eache time returned with 8. or 10. bushells.

All things being now ready for my iourney to Powhatan, for the performance thereof, I had 8. men and my selfe for the barge, as well for discouerie as trading; [and in] the Pinnace, 5. Marriners, and 2. landmen to take in our landings at conuenient places.

The 9 of Nouember I set forward for the discouery of the country of Chik[a]hamania , leauing the pinnace the next tide to followe, and stay for my comming at Point weanock, 20 miles from our fort: the mouth of this riuer falleth into the great riuer at Paspahegh, 8 miles aboue our fort:

That afternoone I stayed the eb[b] in the bay of Paspahegh with the Indians: towards the euening certaine Indians ha[i]led 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 vs before his Towne, desiring one of our men to go vp with him, whom he kindely intertained, and returned back to the barge:

The next morning I went vp to the towne, and shewed them what copper and hatchets they sho[u]ld haue for corne, each family seeking to giue me most content: so long they caused me to stay that 100 at least was expecting my comming by the riuer, with corne. What I liked, I bought; and least they should perceiue my too great want, I went higher vp the riuer:

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

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

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

The next morning I vnladed seauen hogsheds into our store.

The next morning I returned againe: the second day I ariued at Mamanahunt, wher[e] the people hauing heard of my comming, were ready with 3 or 400. baskets litle and great, of which hauing 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 riuer; which in regard of the eccho seemed a peale of ordnance. Many birds and fowles they see vs dayly kil that much feared them. So desirous of trade wer[e] they, that they would follow me with their canowes; and for any thing, giue it me, rather then returne it back. So I vnladed again 7 or 8. hogsheads at our fort.

Hauing thus by Gods assistance gotten good store of corne, notwithstanding some bad spirits not content with Gods prouidence, still grew mutinous; in so much, that our president hauing occasion to chide the smith [James Read, the Blacksmith] for his misdemenour, he not only gaue him bad language, but also offred to strike him with some of his tooles. For which rebellious act, the smith was by a Iury condemned to be hanged, but being vppon the ladder, continuing very obstinate as hoping vpon 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 Iury condemned, and shot to death.

This conspiracy appeased, I set forward for the discouery of the Riuer [of] Checka Hamania. This third time I discouered the Townes of Matapamient, Morinogh, Ascacap, moysenock, Righkahauck, Nechanichock, Mattalunt, Attamuspincke, and diuers others: their plenty of corne I found decreased, yet lading the barge, I returned to our fort.

Our store being now indifferently wel prouided with corne, there was much adoe for to haue 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 resolued to stay a further resolution:

This matter also quieted, I set forward to finish this discouery, which as yet I had neglected in regard of the necessitie we had to take in prouision whilst it was to be had. 40. miles I passed vp the riuer, which for the most part is a quarter of a mile broad, and 3. fatham and a half deep, exceedy o[o]sey, many great low marshes, and many high lands, especially about the midst at a place called Moysonicke, a Peninsule of 4. miles ci[r]cuit, betwixt two riuers ioyned to the main by the neck of 40. or 50. Yards, and 40. or 50. years from the high water marke: On both sides in 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 diuers 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 vnder, red and white clay; fish [in] 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 riuer inuironeth many low Ilands at each high water drowned, for a mile, where it vniteth it selfe at a place called Apokant, the highest Towne inhabited.

10. miles higher, I discouered with the barge: in the mid way, a greate tree hindered my pasage, which I cut in two. Heere the riuer 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 rather then I would endanger the barge [i.e., by going up with it further]. Yet to haue beene able to resolue this doubt, and to discharge the imputation[s] of malicious tung[e]s, that halfe suspected I durst not, for so long delaying: some of the company as desirous as myself, we resolued to hier a Canow, and returne with the barge to Apocant, there to leaue the barge secure, and put our selues upon the aduenture: the country onely a vast and wilde wildernes, and but onely that Towne:

Within three or foure mile, we hired a Canow, and 2. Indians to row vs the next day a fowling. Hauing made such prouision for the barge as was needfull, I left her there [at Apocant] to ride, with expresse charge not any [one] 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 [i.e., lake], and the malicious iudges of my actions at home [i.e., James Town], as also to haue some matters of worth to incourage our aduenturers in england, [these] might well haue caused any honest minde to haue 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, leauing 7 in the barge:

Having discouered 20 miles further in the desart, the riuer stil kept his depth and bredth, but [was] much more combred with trees:

Here we went ashore (being some 12 miles higher then the barge had bene) to refresh our selues, during the boyling of our vi[c]tuals: One of the Indians I tooke with me, to see the nature of the soile, and to cross the boughts [windings] of the riuer: the other Indian I left with Maister Robbinson and Thomas Emry, with their matches light[ed], 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 betray[e]d vs, presently I seazed him and bound his arme fast to my hand in a garter, with my pistoll ready bent to be reuenged on him: he aduised 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: vpon this occasion I espied 2. Indians drawing their bowes, which I preuented 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 [Indian] I made my barricado, who offered not to striue. 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 Opeckenkenough with 200 men inuironed me, eache drawing their bowe: which done they laid them [themselves] vpon the ground, yet without shot [shooting]:

My hinde treated betwixt them and me of conditions of peace; he discouered 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 reserue:

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 resolued 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 vse therof: whereat he so amazedly admired, as he suffered me to proceed in a discourse of the roundnes 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 Iohn Robbinson slaine, with 20 or 30. arrowes in him. Emry I saw not.

I perceiued by the aboundance of fires all ouer the woods [the sense requires here, that they were a party hunting deer]. At each place I expected when they would execute me, yet they vsed me with what kindnes they could:

Approaching their Towne [Rasawrack], which was within 6 miles where I was taken, onely made as arbours and couered with mats, which they remoue as occasion requires: all the women and children, being aduertised of this accident, came foorth to meet them, the King [Opechanacanough] 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 quiuer 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 themselues in a ring with a daunce, 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 reserued 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 deuour I had: my gowne, points and garters, my compass and my tablet they gaue me again. Though 8 ordinarily guarded me, I wanted not what they could deuise to content me: and still our longer acquaintance increased our better affection:

Much they threatned to assault our forte, as they were solicited by the King of Paspahegh who shewed at our fort great signes of sorrow for this mischance [i.e., Smith’s capture]. The King [Opechanacanough] tooke great delight in vnderstanding the manner of our ships, and 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 riuer, and that within 4 or 5 daies iourney 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 vnderstand how kindly they vsed me, and that I was well, least they should reuenge my death. This he granted and sent three men, in such weather as in reason were vnpossible by any naked to be indured. Their cruell mindes towards the fort I had deuerted, in describing the ordinance and the mines in the fields, as also the reuenge Captain Newport and would take of them at his returne. Their intent, I incerted the fort, [as also of] the people of Ocanahonum and the back sea: this report they after found diuers Indians that confirmed:

The next day after my letter, came a saluage to my lodging [still at Rasawrack], with his sword, to haue slaine me: but being by my guard intercepted, with a bowe and arrow he offred to haue effected his purpose: the cause I knew not, till the King vnderstanding 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 preuent, the King presently conducted me to another Kingdome, vpon the top of the next northerly riuer, called Youghtanan.

Hauing feasted me, he further led me to another branch of the riuer, 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 Fal[l]s; to him I tolde him I must goe, and so returne to Paspahegh.

After this foure of fiue days marsh [march], we returned to Rasawrack, the first towne they brought me too: where binding the Mats in bundels, they marched two dayes iourney, and crossed the Riuer 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, hauing received some kindnes of me at the Fort, kindly inuited me to 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 fiue houses, each containing fourescore or an hundred foote in length, pleasantly seated vpon an high sandy hill, from whence you may see westerly a goodly low Country, the riuer 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 [yards] 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 vpon another Riuer northward: The cause of this was, that the yeare before, a shippe had beene in the Riuer of Pamaunke, who hauing beene kindly entertained by Powhatan their Empourer, they returned thence, and discouered the Riuer of Topahanocke: where being receiued with like kindnesse, yet he slue the King, and tooke of his people, and they supposed I were hee. But the people reported him [to be] a great [tall] man that was [the] Captaine, and vsing me kindly, the next day we departed.

This River of Topahanock seemeth in breadth no much lesse then that we dwell vpon. At the mouth of the Riuer is a Countrey called Cuttata women: vpwards 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 arriued at Waranacomoco vpon the riuer of Pamauncke, where the great king is resident. By the way we passed by the top of another little riuer, which is betwixt the two, called Payankatank. The most of this Country [is] th[r]ough Desert, yet exceeding fertil; good timber, most[ly] hils and dales, in each valley a cristall spring.

Arriving at Weramocomoco [? on or about 5 January 1608], their Emperour proudly lying vppon a Bedstead a foote high, vpon tenne or twelue Mattes, richly hung with manie Chaynes of great Pearles about his necke, and couered with a great Couering of Rahaughcums. At [his] 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 the fire, tenne in a ranke, and behinde them as many yong women, each [with] a great Chaine of white Beades ouer their shoulders, their heades painted in redde: and [Powhatan] with such a graue and Maiesticall countenance, as draue me into admiration to see such state in a naked Saluage.

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 vpon the same.

Hee asked mee the cause of our comming.

I tolde him being in fight with Spaniards our enemie, being ouerpow[e]red, neare put to retreat, and by extreame weather put to this shore: where landing at Chesipiack, the people shot [at] us, but Kequoughtan they kindly vsed vs: we by signes demaunded fresh water, they described vs vp the Riuer was all fresh water: at Paspahegh also they kindly vsed vs: our Pinn[a]sse being leak[i]e, we were inforced to stay to mend her, till Captaine Newport my father came to conduct vs away.

He demaunded why we went further with our Boate. I tolde him, in that I would haue occasion to talke of the backe Sea, that on the other side the maine, where was salt water. My father [i.e., Newport] had a childe slaine, whiche wee supposed Monocan his enemie [had done]: whose death we intended to reuenge.

After good deliberation, hee began to describe [to] 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 fiue 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 Riuer to bee brackish:

Anchanachuck he described to bee the people that had slaine my brother: whose death hee would reuenge. Hee described also vpon 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 vpon the toppe of the heade of the Bay, vnder his territories: where the yeare before they had slain an hundred. He signified their crownes were shauen, long haire in the necke, tied on a knot, Swords like Pollaxes.

Beyond them, he described people with short Coates, and Sleeues to the Elbowes, that passed that way in Shippes like ours. Many Kingdomes hee described [to] mee, to the heade of the Bay, which seemed to bee a mightie Riuer 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 vs 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 haue 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 vnder his Territories) in describing to him, the territories of Europe, which was subiect to our great King whose subject I was, the innumerable multitude of his ships, I gaue him to vnderstand the noyse of Trumpets, and terrible manner of fighting [that] were vnder 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 [i.e., the English] to forsake Paspahegh [i.e., James Town], and to liue with him vpon his Riuer, a Countrie called Capa Howasicke. Hee promised to giue me Corne, Venison, or what I wanted to feede vs: Hatchets and Copper wee should make him, and none should disturbe vs.

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

This Riuer of Pamaunke is not past twelue mile from that we dwell on, his course northwest and westerly as the other. Weraocomoco is vpon salt water in bredth two myles, and so [the river] keepeth his course without any tarrying some twenty miles; where at the parting of the fresh water and the salt, it diuideth it selfe into two partes, the one part to Goughland, as broad as Thames, and nauigable with a Boate threescore or fourscore miles, and with a Shippe fiftie: exceeding[ly] crooked, and manie low grounds and marishes, but inhabited with aboundance of warlike and tall people. The Countrey of Youghtomam, 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 Riuer is many Rockes, seeming, if not, of seuerall 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 Riuer, as I see [? saw] in the discouerie therof with captain Newport, is halfe a mile broad, and within foure miles not aboue a Musket shot: the channell exceeding good and deepe, the Riuer straight to the deuisions. Kiskirk [is] the nearest Nation to the entrances.

Their religion and ceremony I obserued was thus: Three or foure dayes [which would be at Rasawrack; but stated to have been at Pamaunkey] after my taking, seuen 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 inuironed with a Circle of meale, and after a foote or two from that, at the end of each song, layde downe two or three grains of wheate: continuing this order till they haue included six or seuen hundred in a halfe Circle; and after that, two or three more Circles in like maner, a hand bredth from other. That done, at each song, they put betwixt euerie three, two, or fiue 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 vgly as the diuell, 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 Euening, their howling would continue ere they would depart.

Each morning in the coldest frost, the principall, to the number of twentie or thirtie, assembled themselues 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 haue sacrificed mee to the Quiyoughquosicke, which is a superiour power they worship: a more uglier thing cannot be described. One they haue 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 ouer the patient, will sucke out blood and flegme from the patient, out of their vnable 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, iewels, hatchets, and copper: the other in graues like ours. They acknowledge no resurrection.

Powhatan hath three brethren, and two sisters, each of his brethren succeeded [succeedeth or will succeed] other. For the Crowne, their heyres inherite not, but the first heyres of the Sisters, and so successiuely the weomens heires. For the Kings haue as many weomen as they will, his Subiects two, and most but one.

From Weramocomoco is but 12. miles, yet the Indians trifled away that day [7 Jan. 1608], and would not goe to our Forte by any perswasions: but in certaine olde hunting houses of Paspahegh we lodged all night.

The next morning [8 Jan. 1608] ere Sunne rise, we set forward to our Fort, where we arriued within an houre: where each man with the truest signes of ioy 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 vpon mee by them [Archer, &c.], 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 arriuing there the same night [8 Jan. 1608], 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 Scriuener, captaine Martin, and my selfe, called Counsellers [i.e., to the exclusion of Archer].

Within fiue or sixe days after the arriuall of the Ship [13 or 14 January 1608], by a mischaunce our Fort was burned, and the most of our apparell, lodging and priuate prouision. Many of our old men [became] diseased, and [many] 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 [Captaine Newport] 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 giuen me, as at last Captaine Newport resolved to go [to] 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; euery of them calling me by my name, would not sell any thing till I had first receiued their presents, and what they had that I liked, they deferred to my discretion: but after acquaintance, they vsually 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 conceyued him the chiefe, the rest his children, Officers, and seruants.

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 [he] playing the villaine, and deluding vs for rewards, returned within three or foure dayes after, without going further.

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

Arriuing at Weramocomoca being iealous of the intent of this politick saluage; to discouer 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 [oose]. 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 diuerse others of his chiefe men, conducted me to their kings habitation. But in the mid way I was intercepted by a great creek ouer which they had made a bridge of grained stakes and railes. The king of Kiskieck, and Namontack, who all the iourney, the king had sent to guide vs, had conducted vs [to] 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 deceyued. 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, leauing 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 [out] of the middest, with foure or fiue 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 ioy. This proud saluage, hauing his finest women, and the principall of his chiefe men assembled, sate in rankes as before is expressed: himself as vpon a Throne at the vpper ende of the house, with such a Maiestie as I cannot expresse, nor yet haue often seene, either in Pagan or Christian. With a kinde countenance hee bad mee welcome, and caused a place to bee made by himselfe [for me] to sit.

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

After that, he commanded the Queene of Apamatuc, a comely yong Saluage, to giue 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 vnto him.

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

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

Whereat with a lowde laughter, he desired to giue him some of lesse burden: as for the other I gaue 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 therevpon gaue order to haue them brought in, two after two, euer maintaining the guard without. And as they presented themselues, euer with thankes he would salute me: and caused each of them to have foure or fiue pound of bread giuen them.

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

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

I tolde him that was a ceremonie our enemies desired, but neuer our Friends, as we presented ourselues vnto him; yet that he should not doubt of our friendship. The next day my father would giue him a child of his, in full assurance of our loues, and not only that, but when he should thinke it conuenient, wee would deliuer vnder his subiection in the Country of Manacam and Pocoughtaonack his enemies.

This so contented him, as immediately with attentiue silence, with a lowd oration he proclaimed me Awerowanes [i.e., a Werowance, or subordinate Chief] of Powhaton, and that all his subjects should so esteeme vs, and no man account vs strangers nor Paspahegans, but Powhatans, and that the Corne, weomen and Country, should be to vs 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 leaue.

The King rising from his seat, conducted me foorth, and caused each of my men to haue as much more bread as hee could beare: giuing me some in a basket, and as much he sent a board for a present to my Father. Victuals you must know is all the[i]re wealth, and the greatest kindnes they could shew vs.

Arruing at the Riuer, the Barge was fallen so low [i.e., down the river] with the ebbe, though I had giuen order and oft sent to preuent the same, yet the messengers deceiued me. The Skies being very thicke and rainie, the King vnderstanding 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 vsed all diligence to make vs fires, and giue vs content: the kings Orators presently entertained vs 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 euening hee sent for me to come onely with two shot with me. The company I gaue order to stand vpon 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 giuen to my men: for this is a generall custome, that what they giue, 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 aun[ci]ent discourses; which done, I was with a fire stick lighted to my lodging.

The next day the King conducting mee to the Riuer, shewed me his Canowes, and described vnto me how hee sent them ouer 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 [Newport]. With a trumpet before him, wee marched to the King: who after his old manner kindly receiued him, especially a Boy of thirteen yeares old, called Thomas Saluage, whom he gaue him as his Sonne. He requited this kindnes with each of vs 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 comming a shore in like order, the King hauing kindly entertained vs with a breakfast, questioned vs 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 preuent the worst, Maister Scriuener or I were either the one or other by the Barge: experience had well taught me to beleeue his friendship till conuenient opportunity suffred him to betray vs. But quickly this polititian had perceiued my absence, and cunningly sent for me; I sent for Maister Scriuener to supply my place: the King would demand for him, I would againe releeue 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 giue vs corne. With that auncient tricke the Chickahamaniens had oft acquainted me: his offer I refused, offering first to see what hee would giue for one piece. Hee seeming to despise the nature of a Merchant, did scorne to sell: but we freely should giue him, and he liberally would requite vs.

Captain Nuport would not with lesse then twelue 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 haue 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 [he] seemed contented and desired more. I agreed with him, the next day, for two bushells: for the ebbe now constrained vs to returne to our Boate, although he earnestly desired vs to stay dinner which was a prouiding; and [which] being ready he sent aboard after vs, 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 haue satisfied that request. Yet twentie or twentie fiue short we got a shore: the King importuning mee to leaue 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 perswaded me, and being vnarmed shot at vs, and so betraide vs.

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

This day we spent in trading for blew Beads: and hauing neare fraighted our Barge, Captaine Nuport returned with them that came abord, leauing me and Maister Scriuener a shore, to follow in Canowes. Into one I got with sixe of our men, which beeing la[u]nched, a stones cast from the shore stuck fast in the O[o]se.

Master Scriuener seeing this example, with seuen or eight more passed the dreadfull bridge, thinking to haue found deeper water on the other creeke: but they were inforced to stay, with such entertainment as a saluage [could afford; who] being forced ashore with wind and raine, hauing in his Canow, as commonly they haue, his house and houshold, instantly set vp a house of mats, which succoured them from the storme.

The Indians seeing me pestred in the O[o]se, called to me: six or seuen of the Kings chiefe men threw off their skins, and to the middle in O[o]se, 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 O[o]se: desiring them to bring me some wood, fire, and mats to couer me, and I would content them. Each presently gaue his helpe to satisfie my request, which paines a horse would scarce haue indured: yet a couple of bells richly contented them.

The Emperor sent his Seaman Mantiuas in the euening 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 haue 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 vs aboard [i.e., the Barge].

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

When as hee perceiued that we had a desire to inuade Monacum, against whom he was no professed enemy: yet thus farre he would assist vs in his enterprise.

First hee would send his spies, perfectly to vnderstand their strength and ability to fight, with which he would acquaint vs himselfe. Captaine Nuport would not be seene in it himselfe, being great Werowances. They [Powhatan and Newport] would stay at home: but I, Maister Scriuener, and two of his [Powhatan’s] Sonnes, and Opechankanough the King of Pamaunke should haue 100. of his men to goe before as though they were hunting; they giuing us notise where was the aduantage, we should kill them: the weomen and young children he wished we should 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 conuey, each man a piece, till we were past the stones; and there joyne them to passe our men by [over the] 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 meanes to discouer the South sea: which will not be without trecherie, if wee ground our intent vpon his constancie.

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

Opechankenoughs messenger returned [answer], that wee would not come.

The next day his [Opechancanough’s] 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 perswaded to goe, in that Powhatan had desired vs to stay: sent her away with the like answer.

Yet the next day, vpon better consideration, inteatie preuailed; and wee anchored at Cinquoateck, the first twaine [town] aboue the parting of the riuer, where dwelled two Kings of Pamaunke, Brothers to Powhatan; the one called Opitchapam the other Katatough. To these I went a shore, who kindly intreated mee and Maister Scriuener, 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 reioyce 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 Scriuener by land: where hauing built a feasting house a purpose to entertaine vs, with a kind Oration, after their manner, and his best prouision, [he] kindly welcomed vs. That day he would not trucke, but did his best to delight vs with content:

Captaine Nuport arriued 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 vs depart till, the next day, he had feasted vs with venizon; for which he had sent, hauing spent his first and second prouision in expecting our comming:

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

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

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

The next day we arrived at Kiskiack. The people [there] so scornefully entertained vs, 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 wholy recouered of his sicknes, in discharging his Piece, brake and split his hand off, [of] which he is not yet well recovered.

At Captaine Nuports arriuall, wee were victualled for twelue weeks: and hauing furnished him of what hee thought good, hee set saile for England the tenth of April. Master Scriuener and my selfe, with our shallop, accompanied him to Cape Hendrick [i.e., Henry]: Powhatan hauing for a farrewell, sent him fiue or six mens loadings, with Turkeys for [the] swords which hee sent him in [on] our return to the fort:

We discouered the riuer of Nausam[on]d, a proud warlike Nation, as well we may testifie, [from] at our first arriuall at Chesiapiack: but that iniury Captaine Nuport well reuenged at his returne. Where some of them intising him to their Ambuscadoes by a daunce, hee perceiuing their intent, with a volly of musket, shot, slew one, and shot one or two more, as themselues confesse.

The King at our ariuall sent for me to come vnto 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 fiue 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 [accepted], and sent for victualls to entertaine the messengers.

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

This riuer is a musket shot broad, each side being should bayes; a narrow channell, but three fadom [deep]: 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 conuenient for a Fort: his next course South, where within a quarter of a mile, the riuer diuideth 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 inuincible strong City, with so many commodities, that I know as yet I haue not seene.

This is within on daies iourney of Chawwonocke, the riuer falleth into the Kings [i.e., Powhatan’s] riuer, within twelue miles of Cape-hendicke [i.e., Cape Henry].

At our Fort, the tooles we had, were so ordinarily stolen by the Indians, as necessity inforced vs to correct their brauing theeuerie: for he that stole to day, durst come againe the next day. One amongst the rest, hauing 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 any thing they can ceaze off: onely the people of Pamaunke wee haue not found stealing, but what others can steale, their King receiueth. I bad them depart, but flourishing their swords, they seemed to defend what they could catch but out of our hands: his pride vrged me to turne him from amongst vs, whereat he offred to strike me with his sword; which I preuented, striking him first. The rest off[e]ring to reuenge the blow, receiued such an incounter, and fled. The better to afright them, I pursued them with fiue or sixe shot, and so chased them out of the Iland [, or rather, the Peninsula on which James Town stood].

The beginner of this broyle, litle expecting by his carriage, [that] we durst haue resisted, hauing, euen till that present, not beene contradicted, especially them of Paspahegh: these Indians within one houre, hauing by other Saluages then in the Fort, vnderstood that I threatened to be reuenged, came presently of themselues, and fell to working vpon our wears which were then in hand by other Saluages: who seeing their pride so incountred, were so submissiue, 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 vs a Hatchet which they had stollen from vs at our being there: the messenger, as is the custome, alse wee well rewarded and contented.

The twenty of Aprill [1608], being at worke, in hewing downe Trees, and setting Corne, an alarum caused vs with all speede to take our armes, each expecting a new assault of the Saluages: but vnderstanding it [to be] a Boate vnder saile, our doubts were presently satisfied with the happy sight of Maister Nelson, his many perrills of extreame stormes and tempests [passed], his ship well as his company could testifie, his care in sparing our prouision was well: but the providence [provider] thereof, as also of our stones, Hatchets and other tooles (onely ours excepted) which of all the rest was most necessary: which might inforce vs to thinke [him] either a seditious traitor to our action, or a most vnconscionable deceiuer of our treasures.

This happy arriuall of Maister Nelson in the Phenix, hauing beene then about three monethes missing after Captaine Nuports arriuall, being to all our expectations lost: albeit that now at the last, hauing beene long crossed with tempestuous weather and contrary winds, his so vnexpected comming did so rauish vs with exceeding joy, that now we thought our selues as well fitted as our harts could wish, both with a competent number of men, as also for all other needfull prouisions, till a further supply should come vnto vs.

Whereupon the first thing that was concluded was that my selfe and Maister Scriuener, should with 70. men goe with the best meanes we could prouide, to discouer beyond the Falls, as in our iudgements conueniently we might. Six or seauen 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 vnderstanding in this exercise as, in all iudgements, 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 vse a Piece.

Our warrant being sealed, Maister Nelson refused to assiste vs with the voluntary Marriners and himself, as he promised, vnlesse we would stand bound to pay the hire for shippe and Marriners, for the time they stayed. And further there was some controuersie, through the diuersitie of Contrary opinions: some alleadging that how profitable, and to what good purpose soeuer our iourney 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 discoueries did belong, and to no other:

The meanes for guides, besides the vncertaine courses of the riuer from which we could not erre much, each night would fortifie vs in two houres better then that they first called the Fort, their Townes vpon the riuer each within one dayes iourney of other, besides our ordinary prouision, might well be supposed to adde reliefe: for truck and dealing only, but in loue and peace, as with the rest. If they assalted vs, their Townes they cannot defend, nor their luggage so conuey that we should not share: but admit the worst, 16. daies prouision 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 haue vndertaken 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 iourney ended. Yet some of vs procured petitions to set vs forward, only with hope of our owne confusions [disasters in the expedition].

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

30. dayes [? from 4 May to 2 June 1608] the ship [the Phænix] lay expecting the triall of certain matters which for some cause I keep priuate.

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

Within foure or fiue dayes after, Maister Scriuener 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 haue clubed me like a hare. I knew their faining loue is towards me not without a deadly hatred: but to preuent the worst, I calling maister Scriuener 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 vs, 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.

Wherevpon I caused to shut the Ports, and apprehend[ed] them.

The president and Counsell, being presently acquainted, remembring at the first assault, they came in like manner, and neuer else but against [for] some villainie, concluded to commit them to prison, and expect the euent. Eight more we ceazed at that present.

An houre after came three or foure other strangers extraordinarily fitted with arrowes, skinnes, and shooting gloues: their iealousie 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, Shouells, 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 preuent but hanging): and these they would, should redeeme their own 16. or 18.; thus brauing vs to our doores.

We desired the president, and Captaine Martin, that afternoone to sally vpon 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 deliuered them. The president released one. The rest we brought well guarded, to Morning and Euening prayers. Our men all in armes, their trembling feare then caused them to[o] 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 [confinement] to the maine Mast [i.e., of the Phænix]: and presenting sixe Muskets with match in the cockes, forced him to desire life. To answere my 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 Scriuener came, his discourse was to this effect.

That Paspahegh, the Chickahamaniar, Youghtanum, Pamaunka, Mattapanient , and Kiskiack: these Nations were al[l] together a hunting that tooke me. Paspahegh and Chicahamanya had entended to surprise vs at worke, to haue 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 [to be] the chiefe occasion that foure daies before Powhatan had sent the boy [Thomas Salvage], he had to vs, with many Turkies to Maister Scriuener and me: vnderstanding I would go vp vnto his Countries to destroy them; and he doubted [feared] it the more, in that I so oft practised my men, whose shooting he heard to his owne lodging, that much feared his wiues 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 vs, as Paspahegh had told vs they would: which if they did shoote but one arrowe, we would destroy them. And, least this mischiefe might happen, sent the boy [Thomas Salvage] to acquaint him this much; and request[ed] him to send us Weanock, one of his subiects for a guide.

The boy he returned backe with his Chest and apparell, which then we had giuen 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 vs: and withall requested vs to returne him, either the boy or some other. But none he could haue. 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 diuers 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 haue conducted vs in another iourny, wih a false excuse returned: and secretly after him, Amocis the Paspaheyan, who alwaies they kept amongst vs for a spie, whom, the better to auoide 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 Scriuener, vpon their seuerall examinations, found by them all confirmed, that Paspahegh and Chickahammania did hate vs, and intended some mischiefe: and who they were that tooke me; the names of them that stole our tooles and swords, and that Powhatan receiued them they all agreed. Certaine vollies of shot we caused to be discharged, which caused each other to think that their fellowes had beene slaine.

Powhatan vnderstanding we detained certaine Saluages, sent [i.e., in May 1608] 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, [is] the only Nonpariel 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 vnderstanding.

He, with a long circumstance, told mee, how well Powhatan loued 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 [Thomas Salvage] might come againe, which he loued 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 vnto vs, that for his sake, we would release two that were his friends: and for a token, sent me his shooting Gloue and Bracer, which the day our men was taken vpon; 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 hauing found their peremptorie conditions but to increase our malice; which they seeing vs begin to threaten to destroy them, as familiarly as before, without suspition or feare, came amongst vs, to begge libertie for their men.

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

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

Two daies after, a Paspaheyan came to shew vs a glistering Minerall stone, and with signes demonstrating it to be in great aboundance like vnto 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 vs, for to get some Copper of vs; or with some ambuscado to betray vs, seeing him falter in his tale, being two miles on our way, [we] led him ashore: where abusing vs from place to place, and so seeking either to haue drawne vs with him into the woods, or to haue giuen vs the slippe; I shewed him [the] Copper, which I promised to haue giuen him, if he had performed his promise. But for his scoffing and abusing vs, I gaue 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 recouered, and we not willing to trifle away more time then necessitie enforced vs vnto: we thought good, for the better content of the aduenturers, in some reasonable sort of fraight home Maister Nelson, with Cedar wood. About which, our men going with willing minds, [it] was in very good time effected, and the ship sent for England [on 2nd June 1608]. Wee now remaining being in good health, all our men wel contented, free from mutinies, in loue 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 aduenturers 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 for habitation, but also very profitable for comerce in generall; no doubt pleasing to almightie God, honourable to our gracious Soueraigne, and commodious generally to the whole Kingdome.


A Map of Virginia. With a Description of the Countrey, the Commodities, People, Government and Religion by John Smith (1612) Chapter 1, Book 3 of The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles by John Smith (1624) Chapter 2, Book 3 of The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles by John Smith (1624) Chapter 7, Book 3 of The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles by John Smith (1624) Chapters 10–11, Book 3 of The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles by John Smith (1624) Chapter 12, Book 3 of The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles by John Smith (1624) “The gouernment left to Captaine Yearly,” from Book 4 of The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles by John Smith (1624) Chapter 1 of The Trve Travels, Adventvres and Observations of Captaine Iohn Smith in Europe, Asia, Africke, and America, Vol. 1 (1629) Chapter 7 of The Trve Travels, Adventvres and Observations of Captaine Iohn Smith in Europe, Asia, Africke, and America, Vol. 1 (1629) Chapters 11–12 of The Trve Travels, Adventvres and Observations of Captaine Iohn Smith in Europe, Asia, Africke, and America, Vol. 1 (1629) Chapter 17 of The Trve Travels, Adventvres and Observations of Captaine Iohn Smith in Europe, Asia, Africke, and America, Vol. 1 (1629) The Legend of Captaine Jones by David Lloyd (1631) “John Smith,” from The History of the Worthies of England by Thomas Fuller (1661)

APA Citation:
Smith, John. A True relation of such occurrences and accidents of note, as hath hapned at Virginia, since the first planting of that Collony by John Smith (1608). (2020, December 07). In Encyclopedia Virginia.
MLA Citation:
Smith, John. "A True relation of such occurrences and accidents of note, as hath hapned at Virginia, since the first planting of that Collony by John Smith (1608)" Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities, (07 Dec. 2020). Web. 13 Apr. 2024
Last updated: 2020, December 07
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