Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

BOOK IV.

BIOGRAPHY AND HISTORY OF THE SOUTHERN

INDIANS.

* I will go to my tent, and lie down in despair;

I will paint me with black, and will sever my hair ;
I will sit on the shore where the hurricane blows,
And reveal to the God of the tempest my woes ;
I will weep for a season, on bitterness fed,
For my kindred are gone to the mounds of the dead;
But they died not by hunger, or wasting decay:
The steel of the white man hath swept them away."

ANONYMOUS.

CHAPTER I

Preliminary observations respecting the country of the southern Indians-Wingira, the first Virginia chief known to the EnglishDestroys the first colony settled there-MENATONON-Sriko-ENSENORE- Second colony abandons the country Tobacco first carried to England by them-Curious account of prejudices against it -GRANGANEMEOHis kindnesses-His family-His death-PowhatanBoundaries of his country-Surprises the Payankatanks— Captain Smith fights his people -Opekankanough takes Smith prisoner The particulars of that affairHe marches him about the country-Takes him, at length, to Powhatan, who condemns him to be put to deathSmith's life saved at the intercession of PocahontasInsolence of Porchatan increased by Neroport's follySmith brings him to termsA crown sent over to him from EnglandIs crowned emperor-Speech-Uses every stratagem to kill Smith-Is baffled in every attempt-Smith visits himSpeeches-Pocahontas again sades Smith and his comrades from being murdered by her fatherТомосомо. .

The difficulty of rightly partitioning between the southern nations and the Iroquois, or Five Nations, can easily be seen by all such as have but very partially taken a survey of them, and considered their wandering habits. Therefore, should we, in this book, not always assign a sachem to his original family or nation, we can only plead in excuse, that we have gone according to our best information. But we have endeavored to draw a kind of natural boundary between the above-mentioned nations, distinguishing those people beyond the Chesapeake and some of its tributaries, as the southern Indians, and those between that boundary and the Hudson, by the name Iroquois. To their respective territories inland, we shall not, nor is it necessary to, fix bounds, in our present business. We are aware that some writers suppose that all the Indians, from the Mississippi to the vicinity of the Hudson, and even to the Connecticut, were originally of the same stock. If this were the case, the period is so remote when they spread themselves over the country, that these great natural divisions had long since caused quite a difference in the inhabitants which they separated ; and hence the propriety of noticing them according to our plan.

344

WINGINA -SETTLEMENT OF VIRGINIA. (Book IV. It is said that the territory from the sea-coast to the River Alleghany, and from the most southern waters of James River up to Patuxent, in the state of Maryland, was inhabited by three different nations, and that the language of each differed essentially from the others. The English called these nations by the names Powhatans, Manahoacs, and Monacans; these were the Tuscaroras. The Powhatans were the most powerful, and consisted of several tribes, or communities, who possessed the country from the sea-coast to the falls of the rivers. *

To give a tolerable catalogue of the names of the various nations of Virginia, the Carolinas, and thence to the Mississippi, would far exceed our plan. We shall, therefore, pass to notice the chiefs of such of those nations is are distinguished in history, pointing out, by the way, their localities, and wnuiever shall appear necessary in way of elucidation, as we pass, and as we have done in the preceding books.

WINGina was first known to the English voyagers Amidas and Barlow, who landed in Virginia in the summer of 1584, upon an island called, by the Indians, Wokokon. They saw none of the natives until the third day, when three were observed in a canoe. One of them got on shore, and the English went to him. He showed no signs of fear, “but spoke much to them," then went boldly on board the vessels. After they had given him a shirt, hat, wine, and some meat, “ he went away, and in half an hour he had loaded his canoe with fish,” which he immediately brought, and gave to the English.

Wingina, at this time, was confined to his cabin from wounds he had lately received in battle, probably in his war with Piamacum, a desperate and bloody chief.

Upon the death of Granganemeo, in 1585, Wingina changed his name to Pemissapan. He never had much faith in the good intentions of the English, and to him was mainly attributed the breaking up of the first colony which settled in Virginia

li was upon tne return to England of the Captains Amidas and Barlow, from the country of Wingina, that Queen Elizabeth, from the wonderful accounts of that fruitful and delightful place, named it, out of respect to herself, Virginia; she being called the virgin queen, from her living unmarried. But, with more honor to her, some have said, " Because it still seemed to retain the virgin purity and plenty of the first creation, and the people their primitive innocency of life and manners.”+ Waller referred to this country when he wrote this:

“So sweet the air, so moderate the clime,
None sickly lives, or dies before his time.
Heav'n sure has kept this spot of earth uncurst,

To show how all things were created first." Sir Richard Greenvil, stimulated by the love of gain, next intruded himselt upon the shores of Wingina. It was he who committed the first outrage upon the natives, which occasioned the breaking up of the colony which he left behind him. He made but one short excursion into the country, during which, by foolishly exposing his commodities, some native took from him a silver cup, to revenge the loss of which, a town was burned. He left 108 men, who seated themselves upon the island of Roanoke. Ralph Lane, a military character of note, was governor, and Captain Philip Amidas, lieutenantgovernor of this colony. They made various excursions about the country, in hopes of discovering mines of precious metals; in which they were a long time duped by the Indians, for their ill conduct towards them, in compelling them to pilot them about. Wingina bore, as well as he could, the provocations of the intruders, until the death of the old chief Ensenore, his father. Under pretence of honoring his funeral, he assembled 1800 of his people, with the intention, as the English say, of destroying them. They, therefore, upon the information of Skiko, son of the chief NİENAToNon, I fell upon them, and, after killing five or six, the rest made their escape into the woods. This

* From a communication of Secretary Thompson 10 Mr. Jefferson, and appended to the Notes on Virginia, ed. of 1801. Stich, 11.

Smith calls him the “lame king of Moratoe."

[ocr errors]

was done upon the island where Wingina lived, and the English first seized upon the boats of bis visitants, to prevent their escape from the island, with the intention, no doubt, of murdering them all. Not long after, “Wingina was entrapped by the English, and slain, with eight of his chief men.”

MENATONOx was king of the Chawonocks, and OkiskO of the Weopomeokes, “a powerful nation, possessing all that country from Albemarle Sound and Chowan River, quite to the Chesapeakes and our bay.”* At this time, Menatonon was lame, and is mentioned as the most sensible and under. standing Indian with whom the English were at first acquainted. It was he that made Lane and his followers believe in the existence of the mine already mentioned. “ So eager were they,” says Mr. Stith, "and resolutely bent upon this golden discovery, that they could not be persuaded to return, as long as they had one pint of corn a man left, and two mastiff dogs, which, being boiled with sassafras leaves, might afford them some sustenance in their way back."

After great sufferings, they arrived upon the coast again. The reason why Menatonon deceived the English, was because they made him a prisoner for the purpose of assisting them in making discoveries. After he was set at liberty, he was very kind to them. Two years after, when Governor White was in the country, they mention his wife and child as belonging to Croatan, but nothing of him.

White and his company landed at Roanoke, 22 July, 1587, and sent 20 men to Croatan, on Point Lookout, with a friendly native called Manteo, to see if any intelligence could be had of a former colony of 50 men left there by Sir Richard Greenvil. They learned, from some natives whom they met, that the people of Dassamonpeak, on what is now Alligator River, had attacked them, killed one, and driven the others away, but whither they had gone none could tell. One of their present company, a principal man of their government, had also been killed by the same Indians. This tribe and several others had agreed to come to Roanoke, and submit themselves to the English ; but not coming according to appointment, gave the English an opportunity to take revenge for former injuries. Therefore, Captain Stafford and 24 men, with Manteo as a guide, set out upon that business. On coming to their village, “ where seeing them sit by the fire, we assaulted them. The miserable soules amazed, fled into the reeds, where one was shot through, and we thought to have been fully revenged, but we were deceived, for they were our friends come from Croatan to gather their corn!” “ Being thus disappointed of our purpose, we gathered the fruit we found ripe, left the rest unspoiled, and took Menatonon, his wife with her child, and the rest with us to Roanoak.” | But to return to Wingina.

While the English were upon the errand we have been speaking of, Win. gina pretended to be their friend, but deceived them on every opportunity, by giving notice to his countrymen of their course and purpose, and urging them to cut them off. He thought, at one time, that the English were destroyed, and thereupon scoffed and mocked at such a God as theirs, who would suffer it. This caused his father, Ensenore, to join their enemies, but on their return he was their friend again. He, and many of his people, now believed, say the voyagers, that “we could do them more hurt being dead, than liuing, and that, being an hundred myles from them, shot, and struck them sick to death, and that when we die it is but for a time, then we return again.” Many of the chiefs now came and submitted themselves to the English, and, among others, Ensenore was persuaded again to become their friend, who, when they were in great straits for provisions, came and planted their fields, and made wears in the streams to catch fish, which were of infinite benefit to them. This was in the spring of 1586, and, says Lane, having one corn till the next harvest to sustain us. What added greatly to their distresses, was the death of their excellent friend Ensenore, who died 20th of April following. The Indians began anew their conspiracies, and the colony availed themselves of the first opportunity of returning to England, 346 GRANGANEMEO.-HIS KINDNESS TO THE ENGLISH. [Look IV which was in the fleet of Sir Francis Drake, which touched there in its way from an expedition against the Spaniards in the West Indies. *

* Stith's Virginia, 14. By "our bay” is meant James River Bay. Smith's Hist. Virginia.

we not

The conduct of Lane and his company in this fruitless attempt to establish themselves in Virginia, was, in the highest degree, reprehensible. They put to death some of the natives on the most frivolous charges, and no wonder they were driven out of the country, as they ought to have been. While they were there, they became acquainted with the use of tobacco, and, taking it to England, its introduction into general use soon rendered it a great article of commerce. And here it will not be improper to notice how many different persons have had the credit, or, perhaps, I should say discredit, of introducing this “ Indian weed” into England ; as, Sir Francis Drake, Sir Walter Ralegh, Ralph Lane, and some others. Now, as some writer observes, the reader may father it upon whom he pleases, as it is evident Sir Francis Drake took Ralph Lane and tobacco both together into England; and no one will dispute the agency of the gallant knight, Sir Walter Ralegh, for he sent out Lane in his employ. Mr. John Josselyn, in his “ Two Voyages to N. England," has this passage: “ Others will have tobacco to be first brought into England from Peru, by Sir Francis Drake's mariners.”

There were many who affected a violent disgust towards the use of tobac. co; the most conspicuous was King James, whose mind seems to have been just weak enough to fight windmills. He even wrote a book denouncing its ise in the severest terms he could command. It grew spontaneously in Wingandacoa, (Virginia,) and the natives called it Uppowoc. It is generally supposed to be called tobacco from the island Tobago, but this derivation is much questioned. 1

GRANGANEMEO was a chief very favorably spoken of. As soon as the arrival of the English was made known to him, he visited them with about 40 of his men, who were very civil, and of a remarkably robust and fine appearance. When they had left their boat, and came upon the shore near the ship, Granganemeo spread a mat and sat down upon it. The English went to him armed, but he discovered no fear, and invited them to sit down ; after which he performed some tokens of friendship; then making a speech to them, they presented him with some toys. None but four of his people spoke a word, or sat down, but maintained the most perfect silence. On being shown a pewter dish, he was much pleased with it, and purchased it with 20 deerskins, which were worth, in England, one hundred shillings sterling!! The dish he used as an ornament, making a hole through it, and wearing it about his neck. While here, the English entertained him, with his wife and children, on board their ship. His wife had in her ears bracelets of pearl, which reached to her middle. Shortly after, many of the people came out of the country to trade, “ but when Granganemeo was present, none durst trade but himself, and them that wore red copper on their heads as he did." He was remarkably exact in keeping his promise," for oft we trusted him, and he would come within his day to keep his word.” And these voyagers further report, that “commonly he sent them every day a brace of bucks, conies, hares, and fish, and sometimes melons, walnuts, cucumbers, pease, and divers roots."

In their wanderings, Captain Amidas and seven others visited the island of Roanoake, where they found the family of Granganemeo living in great comfort and plenty, in a little town of nine houses. The chief was not at home, “but his wife entertained them with wonderful courtesy and kindness. She made some of her people draw their boat up, to prevent its being injured by the beating of the surge; some she ordered to bring them ashore on their backs, and others to carry their oars to the house, for fear of being stole. When they came into the house, she took off their cloathes and stockings, and washed them, as likewise their feet in warm water. When their dinner was ready, they were conducted into an inner room, (for there were five in

* Relation of Lane, printed in Smith's Virginia.
+ Herriot's Observations, (one of Lane's company,) printed in Smith.

Stith's Hist. Virginia, 19.–See Book ii. Chap. ii.

« AnteriorContinuar »