Monday, February 10, 2014

1614 - Pocahontas marries John Rolfe

January, 1614 - captain Adriaen Block finds icebound near the mouth of the Mauritius River (Hudson) and gets ready to spend winter on-the-spot. After a fire destroyed his ship, he declines the help that offers him captain Thijs Mossel and decides to build a new boat that he names Onrust.

Captain Hendrick Christiaensen had left to Amsterdam
with his boatload while Block had sailed up the North River to drop off men in Fort Nassau, knowing that Mossel, his rival, had just done so hereabouts, preparing for the next trade campaign. Yet, the winter harshness had beaten down so hastily that he found trapped and forced to wait a few months in Manhattan, an island belonging to the Lenape tribe. For height of misfortune, he had just landed when his boat was destroyed by a fire. There was no question for him to accept the outstretched hand of Mossel and he ordered his carpenters to work on a new boat, a small 16-ton yacht he called the Onrust (Restless). As much by eagerness as idleness, some of his crewmen did not take long to mutiny and took advantage of the fact that Mossel had left to deal with the Indians to seize his ship. They managed to flee after some skirmishes and set off to the West Indies with the hope to devote to piracy.
The Onrust was not completed that two ships from Amsterdam reached the mouth of the North River. These were the Fortuyn, commanded by Cornelisz Jacobs Mey and the Vos captained by Pieter Frantz, both chartered by rival Dutch traders. The competition of the previous year might start again with even greater ferocity but reason eventually won and it was decided that the four companies involved would share in equal amounts the 10 000 pelts collected during the campaign.
Block had promised a few months earlier to Mossel to waive the Mauritius River and go prospecting along the coast. Once the Onrust was ready to sail, he thus took opportunity to explore East River, Hell Gate and the Long Island Sound. And while traveling the latter he discovered two other rivers, the Housatonic and Connecticut that he went up to the present Hartford, sixty miles from its mouth. He found also a small island he called Visscher's Haek and which now bears his name (Block Island), although it is likely that it was recognized for the first time by captain May. Block also explored Narragansett Bay, the one apparently discovered by Verrazzano in 1524 that Bartholomew Gosnold [August 22, 1614] had vainly sought in 1602. He named it Roode Eylandt (Red Bay).
[June, 1614]

Jamestown in 1614
February, 1614 - Sir Thomas Gates leaves Virginia handing over to Deputy Governor Thomas Dale.

Thomas Gates went to England to prepare new expeditions but none of them succeeded. The investors were less numerous and harder to convince insofar as since its inception, the colony had shown no sign of profitability.
Gates died apparently in 1621 in the East Indies.
Thomas Dale had first served as Marshal of the colony alongside him. He was during five years the most high-ranking officer to enforce the law and showed a firmness which surely constituted the best remedy that could expect the colony to insure its sustainability. It is during his administration that was written the first code of laws of Virginia entitled " Articles, Lawes and Orders Divine, political and Martiall " (usually called Dale's Code).
In 1614, Thomas Dale sent about twenty men, under the command of lieutenant William Craddock, across Chesapeake Bay in order to settle seasalt extraction and a fishery for the colony.
[April, 1616]

Mars 1614 - a sharp dispute opposes Thomas Dale and his men to Powhatan, near the Pamunkey River.

Thomas Dale had taken Pocahontas with him, hoping that she could intercede with his father and obtain from him that he agrees the deal proposed one year earlier by Samuel Argall.
The meeting took place near the village of Matchut but Chief Powhatan had sent his sons. Pocahontas spoke to them but, according to the deputy governor Thomas Dale, she was particularly annoyed with his missing father not to recognize her responsibility for mediating.
The Indians were, anyway, not willing to negotiate and the situation quickly worsened. Raging, Thomas Dale ordered his men to set fire to the village. Several Indians were killed in the ensuing clash.

March 27, 1614 - the prospect of plentiful furs on the North American continent leads the States-General of the United Provinces to issue an edict stating that the persons who would discover new areas, ports or sounds would be granted an exclusive four-trip patent to be performed within four years after the discovery. The discoverer pledged furthermore to deliver to the States-General a detailed account of his journey, fourteen days after his return.

April 5, 1614 - Rev. Richard Buck celebrates the wedding of Pocahontas to John Rolfe. The young Indian princess was given the blessing of his father Chief Powhatan and Thomas Dale, Governor of Virginia. She becomes Madam Rebecca Rolfe.

The couple settled down in Varina Farms, a domain granted by the father of Pocahontas.
This marriage inaugurated a period of eight peace years with the Indians during which the settlers would devote to the farming of new lands.
[28 juin1614]

Late April, 1614 - Thomas Dale negotiates a peace treaty with the Chickahominy tribe.

Dale planned the supply by the Indians of two corn bushels to every fighting man and the provision of 300 warriors to insure the protection of the settlers against the Spaniards, in return for which he made the commitment not to interfere in their tribal government.
Too few, the Chickahominy had understood that, given their closeness to Jamestown, it was their interest to agree with the English rather than to stay under Powhatan's rule, and risk of suffering one day the same fate as their former neighbors Paspahegh.

April, 1614 - captain John Smith, former president of the Virginia colony from 1608 to 1609, returns on a mission to the New World, in Maine and Massachusetts Bay. He gives this region the name of New England, with the approval of prince Charles, and draws up a detailed map of the coast, from the Penobscot Bay to Cape Cod (Cape James).

Owing to his good knowledge of the area, it was question for him to found a plantation and to get involved in a very lucrative fur business. The project did not succeed, further to a disagreement with his partner, captain Thomas Hunt.
During his journey to Norumbega (New England), John Smith realized that the French were well ahead on the English in trade relations with the Indians. These had in particular agreements with the Abenaki for the supply of beaver pelts. The Indians also showed welcoming to the English, deeming that relationship with the European travelers allowed them to resist the lethal raids of the western Micmacs. Further south, the Wampanoags to which belonged Squanto provided only few pelts but were on the other hand experimented farmers. Their coast was planted with corn crops of which were especially supplied to hunting tribes living further north.
Smith had no other opportunity to return to America, because of his independent nature, and spent the rest of his life writing books, up to his death in June, 1631.

April, 1614 - Until then on the sidelines of the expedition, captain Thomas Hunt abducts 27 Indians Nauset and Patuxet linked with the Wampanoag tribe, under the pretext of buying them beaver pelts. He actually takes them to Spain to be sold as slaves on the market of Málaga. One of them, called Tisquantum (Squanto) is none other than an Indian already kidnapped nine years earlier by George Weymouth and allowed shortly before by Sir Ferdinando Gorges to join his people.

Squanto (c.1585 - 1622)
Born in the village of Patuxet (renamed Plymouth by John Smith), he had entered the history books in 1605 when captain George Weymouth had returned him to England, together with other members of the Wampanoag tribe. Squanto had served Sir Ferdinando Gorges about nine years before this one allows him to return to his native land. He was part of the John Smith's expedition and had just got back to his village when second captain Thomas Hunt was back on the scene with the worst intentions. Hardly inspired by mapping and exploration, he had left John Smith in his statements to dedicate himself to slave's trade, a far more lucrative activity. Squanto found himself trapped as 26 of his fellows and sent to Málaga to be sold. He was however quickly freed by Spanish priests who had planned to introduce him to the Christian faith before he succeeds in escaping for England. He was thus found in London, serving John Slaney, a gentleman involved in the exploration of the New World. He sent in particular Squanto to take part in an expedition to Newfoundland in 1617 where he met the explorer Thomas Dermer with whom he returned, a year later, to England. Squanto went back finally to his hometown in 1619 and worked afterward as a guide and farm adviser with the Pilgrims of the small Plymouth colony, come the following year aboard the Mayflower.
[November 1619]

From 1610, kidnapping Indians had become rather common and investors like Sir Ferdinando Gorges claimed to be able of teaching them the English cultural high ground so as to make allies once back in their country. The respect they inspired and their forbearance also favored fund raisings for the benefit of the colonial projects.

Ralph Hamor visits Powhatan
May, 1614 - Virginia councilor Ralph Hamor visits Chief Powhatan with Thomas Savage at the request of Thomas Dale. He is in charge on behalf of the deputy governor to ask the hand of his 12-year-old daughter, the young sister of Pocahontas.

The meeting took place in Matchut, Powhatan's new capital, on the north bank of the Pamunkey River. This mission was at least delicate, especially as Ralph Hamor had forgotten to wear the pearl necklace indicating that he was an official emissary. The negotiation ended ultimately in a failure.

June 2, 1614 - Captain Nicholas Hobson sails from Plymouth together with Epenow, a Nauset Indian captured in 1611 on the island of Martha's Vineyard (Capawack) for an expedition to New England aiming at bringing back gold.

Epenow had been for 3 years in the service of Sir Ferdinando Gorges and had got noticed not only by his physical qualities but also his intelligence to the point of becoming the Londoners' heart-throb. Having understood the English lust for gold, he had promised if he went back to his native island to reveal the location of gold mines in Capawack. Sir Ferdinando Gorges, the Earl of Southampton and captain Hobson had got on to fund the expedition.
From his arrival to Martha's Vineyard, Epenow hurried to jump overboard and joined the shore by swimming under the protection of Indian warriors shooting arrows on the boat. He did not reappear any more and captain Hobson understood how he had been fooled. Annoyed, he set sail to England without bringing back anything from his trip.

June, 1614 - while exploring the Nahant bay, north of Cape Cod (Cape James), Adriaen Block crosses appropriately on his way the Fortuyn captained by Hendrick Christaensen. He takes the opportunity to give up the Onrust, the yacht which he made build during winter on the island of Manhattan and goes back to Europe aboard a ship more suited to open sea.

He had previously made build a small trading post at Flatbush on Manhattan island where he had left Jan Rodriguez, a mulatto of his crew to collect pelts to the Indians.
[July, 1614]

June 18, 1614 - Samuel Argall and Ralph Hamor leave Virginia for England.

When Argall returned to England in 1614, his attacks against the French were subjected to an investigation, but it was admitted that his doings were legitimized by the need to protect the rights granted by the English Crown to the Virginia Company. The Jonas seized to the French was however returned to her owner Mrs de Guercheville, without compensation.

Ralph Hamor (1580-1626)
Son of a merchant-tailor member of the Virginia company of London, he took part in the expedition of the Sea Venture alongside Admiral George Somers and Thomas Gates. He had reached Jamestown only in May, 1610, after a ten-month-trip, of which nine spent in Bermuda. He was a secretary of the colony under Thomas Dale's government, until his final return to England. He published shortly after an entitled work "True Discourse of Virginia, and the Success of the Affairs there till the 18th of June, on 1614. "

June 28, 1614 - John Rolfe exports to England the first tobacco crop raised in Virginia.

July, 1614 - After a trip of almost a year, the Dutch skipper Adriaen Block is back in Amsterdam.

Block had returned with a map that was the first to use the term of " New Netherlands " to refer to the area between the English Virginia and French Canada, and to represent Long Island as an island.

One finds from there no further mention of Hendrick Christiaensen, suggesting that he died during the ocean crossing.

October 11, 1614 - The States-General of Holland grant a chart valid from January 1, 1615 till January 1, 1618 to the four companies trading up the North River (Hudson) from now united under the name of New Netherlands Company (Nieuw-Nederland Compagnie). This one guarantees them during three years a monopoly on beaver pelts for all the area between 40th and 45th parallels.

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