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Good-Hope23. His success awakened the avidity of new adventurers; and the knowledge which was, by these means acquired of the different parts of the American continent, suggested to the celebrated sir Walter Releigh the idea of a settlement, within the limits of those coasts formerly visited by John Cabot.
A company was accordingly formed for that purpose, in consequence of Raleigh's magnificent promises; a patent was obtained from the queen, conformable to their views, and two ships were sent out, commanded by Philip Amidas and Arthur Barlow, in 1584. They came to anchor in the bay of Roanoke, in the country now known by the name of North-Carolina, of which they took formal possession for the crown of England. On their return they gave so favourable an account of the climate, soil, and temper of the inhabitants, that a colony was established the following year24: and Elizabeth, in order to encourage the undertaking, honoured the colony with the name of VIRGINIA, in allusion to her favourite, but much disputed virtue.
This settlement, however, never arrived at any degree of prosperity, and was finally abandoned in 1588. From that time to the year 1606, when two new companies were formed, and a charter granted to each of them by James I. no attempt appears to have been made by the English to settle on the coast of North-America. One of the new companies consisted of Adventurers residing in the city of London, who were desirous of settling toward the south, or in what is at present called Virginia; and the other, of adventurers belonging to Plymouth, Bristol, and Exeter, who chose the country more to the north, or what is now called NewEngland. The London company immediately fitted out three vessels, under the command of Christopher Newport, an able and experienced mariner, with an hundred and ten
23. Hackloyt's Collect. vol. iii.
24. Smith's Hist. of Virginia. adventurers
adventurers on board, and all manner of implements for building and agriculture, as well as the necessary arms for their defence. After a tedious voyage, and many discontents among the future colonists, their little squadron reached the bay of Chesapeake. One of the adventurers, in the name of the whole, was appointed to treat with the natives, from whom he obtained leave to plant a colony on a convenient spot, about fifty miles from the mouth of the river Powhatan by the English called James-River. Here they erected a slight fort, barricaded with trunks of trees, and surrounded by a number of little huts, to which they gave the name of JamesTown, in honour of the king25. Such was the slender beginning of the colony of Virginia; which though it had to struggle at first with many difficulties, became, even before the restoration, of very great national consequence.
A. D. 1632.
The rapid prosperity of Virginia was chiefly owing to the culture of tobacco, its staple commodity, and to the number of royalists that took refuge there, in order to escape the tyranny of the parliament. A like cause gave population and prosperity to the neighbouring province of Maryland, whose staple also is tobacco. This territory being granted by Charles I. to Cecilius lord Baltimore, a roman catholic nobleman (whose father, sir George Calvert, had sought an asylum in Newfoundland, in order to enjoy the free exercise of his religion), he formed a scheme of a settlement; where he might not only enjoy liberty of conscience himself, but also be enabled to grant it to such of his friends as should prefer an easy banishment with freedom, to the conveniencies of England, embittered as they then were by the sharpness of the laws against sectaries, and the popular odium that hung over papists. The project succeeded: the roman catholics flocked to the new settlement in great numbers, especially on the decline of the royal cause; and Maryland soon became a flourishing colony26.
26. Douglass's Summary, Part II. sect. xv.
New-England owed its rise to similar circumstances. A small body of the most enthusiastic puritans, afterwards known by the name of independents, in order to avoid the severity of the English laws against non-conformity, had taken refuge in Holland, soon after the accession of James I. But although Holland is a country of the greatest religious freedom, they did not find themselves better satisfied there than in England. They were tolerated indeed, but watched; their zeal began to have dangerous langours for want of opposition; and being without power or consequence, they grew tired of the indolent security of their sanctuary. They were desirous of removing to a country, where they should see no superior. With this view, they applied to the Plymouth Company, for a patent of part of the territory included in their grant. Pleased with this application, the company readily complied; and these pious adventurers, having made the necessary preparations for their voyage, embarked in one ship, in 1620, to the number of an hundred and twenty persons, and landed at a place near Cape Cod, where they founded a settlement, to which they gave the name of New-Plymouth. Other adventurers, of the same complection, successively followed those 28; and NewEngland,
27. Douglas. Hutchinson. Winslow. ap. Purchas.
28. Among the number of persons so disposed, we are told, appeared John Hambcen and Oliver Cromwell, who were only prevented from executing their purpose of going into voluntary exile, by a royal proclamation issued after they were on shipboard, in 1635, prohibiting future emigrations until a licence should be obtained from the privy council. (Neal's History of the Puritans, vol. ii.) The exultation of the puritanical writers on this subject is excessive. They ascribe all the subsequent misfortunes of Charles I. in connection with the scheme of Providence, to that tyrannical edict, asthey are pleased to cali it. (Neale, ubi sup. Harris's Life of Oliver Cromwell, &c.) Nor can the speculative politician help indulging a conjecture on the possible consequences of the emigration of two such extraordinary men, with that of others who would have followed them, at such a crisis. Charles I. roused to arms, but not crushed by the parliament, might have established absolute sovereignty in England; while Hambden
England, in less than fifty years, became a great and populous colony, consisting of several independent governments, which were little inclined to acknowledge the authority of the mother country.
Beside these large colonies in North America, the English had established a colony at Surinam, on the coast of Guiana, in South America, and taken possession of several of the West-India islands, early in the seventeenth century. Barbadoes and St. Christopher's were thriving colonies before the conquest of Jamaica; and the rapid cultivation of that large and fertile island, which had been much neglected by the Spaniards, together with the improve ent of her other plantations in the West-Indies, soon gave England the command of the sugar-trade of Europe29.
For the benefits of this, however, and of her whole colony-trade, England is ultimately iudebted to the sagacity of the heads of the commonwealth-parliament. They per
ceived that those subjects, who from various motives, had taken refuge in America, would be lost to the parent-state if the ships of foreign powers were not excluded from the ports of the plantations. The discussion of that important point, with other political considerations, brought on the founded a commonwealth, or Cromwell erected a military despotism in America. Possessed of a boundless country, (for wherever they had gone they must have become leaders), they would never have submitted to the controul of any Power on this side of the Atlantic. The work of ages would have been accomplished in a few years. Sooner than have borne such controul, Hambden would have taken refuge in the woods; have associated with the wild natives, and enrolled them among his citizens. Cromwell, in such emergency, would also have led his fanatical herd into the bosom of the forest : have hunted with the Savages; have preached to them; have converted them; and when he had made them Christians they would have found they were slaves!-Though destitute of the talents of a Hambden or a Cromwell, the emigrants to the northern plantations had strongly imbibed the sentiments of political as well as religious independency, which they have ever since continued to cherish,
29. Account of the European Settlements in America. vol. ii.
A. D. 1651.
famous navigation act, which prohibits all foreign ships, unless under some particular exceptions, from entering the harbours of the English colonies, and obliges their principal produce to be exported directly to the countries under the dominion of England.
Before this regulation, which was with difficulty submitted to by some of the colonies, and always evaded by the fanatical and factious inhabitants of New-England, the colonists used to send their produce whithersoever they thought it could be disposed of to most advantage, and indiscrimin ately admitted into their harbours ships of all nations. In consequence of that unlimited freedom, the greater part of their trade fell into the hands of the Dutch; who, by reason of the low interest of money in Holland, and the reasonableness of their port duties, could afford to buy at the dearest and sell at the cheapest rate; and who seized upon the profits of a variety of productions, which they had neither planted nor gathered39. The navigation act remedied this evil : and the English parliament, though aware of the inconveniencies of such a regulation to the colonies, were not alarmed at its probable effects. They considered the empire only as a tree, whose sap must be returned to the trunk, when it flows too freely to some of the branches.
To all those settlements England thenceforth exported, without a rival, her various manufactures. From her islands in the West Indies they passed to the Spanish main, whence large sums were returned in exchange; and as it was long before her North-American colonies began to think of manufacturing for themselves, the export thither was very great. Nor was her trade confined merely to America and the Eastand West-Indies. Early in the sixteenth century she had opened a beneficial trade to Russia, by discovering a passage round the North Cape; and the ingenuity of her manufacturers, who now excelled the Flemings, to whom the
30. Id. ibi