Observations by Master George Percy, 1607
Observations gathered out of a Discourse of the Plantation of the Southerne Colonie in Virginia by the English, 1606. Written by the Honorable Gentleman, Master George Percy.
On Saturday the twentieth of December in the yeere 1606. the fleet fell from London, and the fift of January we anchored in the Downes: but the winds continued contrarie so long, that we were forced to stay there some time, where wee suffered great st ormes, but by the skilfulnesse of the Captaine wee suffered no great losse or danger.
The twelfth day of February at night we saw a blazing Starre, and presently a storme.
The three and twentieth day we fell with the Iland of Mattanenio, in the West Indies. The foure and twentieth day we anchored at Dominco, within fourteene degrees of the Line, a very faire Iland, the Trees full of sweet and good smels; inhabited by ma ny Savage Indians. They were at first very scrupulous to come aboord us. Wee learned of them afterwards that the Spaniards had given them a great overthrow on this Ile, but when they knew what we were, there came many to our ships with their Canoas, bri n ging us many kindes of sundry fruits, as Pines, Potatoes, Plantons, tobacco, and other fruits, and Roane Cloth abundance, which were cast away upon that Iland. We gave them Knives, Hatchets for exchange, which they esteeme much. We also gave them Beade s, Copper Jewels which they hang through their nosthrils, eares, and lips, very strange to behold. Their bodies are all painted red to keepe away the biting of Muscetos. They goe all naked without covering. The haire of their heade is a yard long, all of a length, pleated in three plats hanging downe to their wastes. They suffer no haire to grow on their faces. They cut their skinnes in divers workes. They are continually in warres, and will eate their enemies when they kill them, or any stranger i f they t ake them. They will lap up mans spittle, whilst one spits in their mouthes, in a barbarous fashion like Dogges. These people and the rest of the Ilands in the West Indies, and Brasill, are called by the names of Canibals, that will eate mans fle sh. These people doe poyson their Arrow heads, which are made of a fishes bone. They worship the Devill for their God, and have no other beliefe.
Whilest we remayned at this Iland we saw a Whale chased by a Thresher and a Sword-fish. They fought for the space of two houres. We might see the Thresher with his flayle lay on the monstrous blowes which was strange to behold. In the end these two fis hes brought the Whale to her end.
The sixe and twentieth day we had sight of Marigalanta, and the next day, wee sailed with a slacke saile alongst the Ile of Guadalupa, where we went ashore, and found a Bath which was so hot, that no man was able to stand long by it. Our Admirall, Cap taine Newport, caused a piece of Porke to be put in it; which boyled it so in the space of halfe an houre, as no fire could mend it. Then we went aboord and sailed by many Ilands, as Mounserot and an Iland called Saint Christopher, both uninhabited. Ab ou t two o’clocke in the afternoone wee anchored at the Ile of Mevis. There the Captaine landed all his men being well fitted with Muskets and other convenient Armes; marched a mile into the Woods; being commanded to stand upon their guard, fearing the tr ea cherie of the Indians, which is an ordinary use amongst them and all other Savages on this Ile. We came to a Bath standing in a Valley betwixt two Hils, where wee bathed our selves; and found it to be of the nature of the Bathes in England, some places ho t and some colder: and men may refresh themselves as they please. Finding this place to be so convenient for our men to avoid diseases which will breed in so long a Voyage, wee incamped our selves on this Ile sixe dayes, and spent none of our ships vi ctu all, by reason our men some went a hunting, some a fouling, and some a fishing, where we got great store of Conies, sundry finds of fowles, and great plentie of fish. We kept Centinels and Courts de gard at every Captaines quarter, fearing wee should be a ssaulted by the Indians, that were on the other side of the Iland. Wee saw none, nor were molested by any; but some few we saw as we were a meanes, but ranne swiftly through the Woods to the Mountaine tops; so we lost the sight of them; whereupon we made all the haste wee could to our quarter, thinking there had beene a great ambush of Indians there abouts. We past into the thickest of the Woods, where we had almost lost our selves. We came into a most pleasant Garden, being a hundreds paces square on eve ry side, having many Cotton-wooll, and many Guiacum trees. Wee saw the goodliest tall trees growing so thicke about the Garden, as though they had beene set by Art, which made us marvell very much to see it.
The third day wee set saile from Mevis. The fourth day we sailed along by Castutia and by Saba. This day we anchored at the Ile of Virgines in an excellent Bay able to harbour a hundred Ships. If this Bay stood in England, it would be a great profi t and commoditie to the Land. On this Iland wee caught great store of Fresh-fish, and abundance of Sea Tortoises, which served all our Fleet three daies, which were in number eight score persons. We also killed great store of wild Fowle. Wee cut t he Bark es of certaine Trees which tasted much like Cinnamon, and very hot in the mouth. This Iland in some places hath very good ground, straight and tall Timber. But the greatest discommoditie that wee have seene on this Iland is that it hath no Fresh- water, w hich makes the place void of any Inhabitants.
Upon the sixt day, we set saile and passed by Becam and by Saint John de porto rico. The seventh day we arrived at Mona: where wee watered, which we stood in great need of, seeing that our water did smell so vildly that none of our men was able t o endure it. Whilst some of the Saylers were filling the Caskes with water, the Captaine and the rest of the Gentlemen, and other Soldiers, marched up in the Ile sixe myles, thinking to find some other provision to maintaine our victualling. As we march ed we killed two wild Bores, and saw a huge wild Bull, his hornes was an ell betweene the two tops. We also killed Guanas in fashion of a Serpent, and speckled like a Toade under the belly. These wayes that wee went, being so troublesome and vilde, goin g u pon the sharpe Rockes, that many of our men fainted in the march, but by good fortune wee lost none but one Edward Brookes Gentleman, whose fat melted within him by the great heate and drought of the Countrey. We were not able to relieve him nor our s elv es, so he died in that great extreamitie.
The ninth day, in the afternoone, we went off with our Boat to the Ile of Moneta, some three leagues from Mona, where we had a terrible landing, and a troublesome getting up to the top of the Mountaine or Ile, being a high firme Rocke, ste[e]p, wit h many terrible sharpe stones. After we got to the top of the Ile, we found it to bee a fertill and a plaine ground, full of goodly grasse, and abundance of Fowles of all kindes. They flew over our heads as thicke as drops of Hale; besides they made suc h a noise, that wee were not able to heare one another speake. Further more, wee were not able to set our feet on the ground, but either on Fowles or Egges which lay so thicke in the grasse. Wee laded two Boats full in the space of three houres, to our gr eat refreshing.
The tenth day we set saile, and disimboged out of the West Indies, and bare oure course Northerly. The fourteenth day we passed the Tropicke of Cancer. The one and twentieth day, about five a clocke at night there began a vehement tempest, which la sted all the night, with winds, raine, and thunders, in a terrible manner. Wee were forced to lie at Hull that night, because we thought wee had beene neere land then wee were. The next morning, being the two and twentieth day, wee sounded; and the th ree and twentieth, and foure and twenteth day; but we could find no ground. The five and twentieth day, we sounded, and had no ground at an hundred fathom. The six and twentieth day of Aprill, about foure a clocke in the morning, wee descried the Land o f Vi rginia. The same day wee entred into the Bay of Chesupoic directly, wihout any let or hinderance. There wee landed and discovered a little way, but wee could find nothing worth speaking of, but faire meddows and goodly tall Trees, with such Fresh-wa ters running through the woods, as I was almost ravished at the first sight thereof.
At night, when wee were going abroad, there came the Savages creeping upon all foure, from the Hills, like Beares, with their Bowes in their mouthes, charged us very desperately in the faces, hurt Captaine Gabrill Archer in both his hands, and a sa yler in two places of the body very dangerous. After they had spent their Arrowes, and felt the sharpnesse of our shot, they retired into the Woods with a great noise, and so left us.
The seven and twentieth day we began to build up our Shallop. The Gentlemen and Souldiers marched eight miles up into the land. We could not see a Savage in all that march. We came to a place where they had made a great fire, and had beene newly a rosting Oysters. When they percieved our coming, they fled away to the mountaines, and left many of the Oysters in the fire. We eat some of the Oysters, which were very large and delicate in taste.
The eighteenth day we lanched our Shallop. The Captaine and some Gentlemen went in her and discovered up the Bay. We found a River on the Southside running into the Maine; we entered it and found it very shoald water, not for any Boats to swim. Wee went further into the Bay, and saw a plaine plot of ground where we went on Land, and found the place five mile in compasse, without either Bush or Tree. We saw nothing there but a Cannow, which was made out of the whole tree, which was five and fort ie foot long by the Rule. Upon this plot of ground we got good store of Mussels and Oysters, which lay on the ground as thicke as stones. Wee opened some, and found in many of them Pearles. Wee marched some three or foure miles further into the woods, where we saw great smoakes of fire. Wee marched to those smoakes and found that the Savages had beene there burning downe the grasse, as wee thought either to make their plantation there, or else to give signes to bring their forces together, and to give us bat tell. We past through excellent ground full of Flowers of divers kinds and colours, and as goodly trees as I have seene, as Cedar, Cipresse, and other kindes. Going a little further we came into a little plat of ground full of fine and beautifull Strawber ries, foure times bigger and better then ours in England. All this march we could neither see Savage or Towne. When it grew to be towards night, we stood backe to our Ships, we sounded and found it shallow water for a great way, which put us ou t of all h opes for getting any higher with our Ships, which road at the mouth of the River. Wee rowed over to a point of Land, where wee found a channell, and sounded six, eight, ten, or twelve fathom: which put us in good comfort. Therefore wee named t hat point o f Land, Cape Comfort.
The nine and twentieth day we set up a Crosse at Chesupioc Bay, and named that place Cape Henry. Thirtieth day, we came with our ships to Cape Comfort; where we saw five Savages running on the shoare. Presently the Captaine caused the shallop to be manned; so rowing to the shoare, the Captaine called to them in signe of friendship, but they were at first very timersome, until they saw the Captain lay his hand on his heart; upon that they laid downe their Bowes and Arrowes, and came very boldly to u s, making signes to come a shoare to their Towne, which is called by the Savages Kecoughtan. Wee coasted to their Towne, rowing over a River running into the Maine, where these Savages swam over with their Bowes and Arrowes in their mouthes.
When we came over to the other side, there was a many of other Savages which directed us to their Towne, where we were entertained by them very kindly. When we came first a Land they made a dolefull noise, laying their faces to the ground, scratch ing the earth with their nailes. We did thinke they had beene at their Idolatry. When they had ended their Ceremonies, they went into their houses and brought out mats and laid upon the ground: the chiefest of them sate all in a rank; the meanest sort b r ought us such dainties as they had, and of their bread which they make of their Maiz or Gennea wheat. They would not suffer us to eat unlesse we sate down which we did on a Mat right against them. After we were well satisfied they gave us of their Taba cc o, which they tooke in a pipe made artificially of earth as ours are, but far bigger, with the bowle fashioned together with a piece of fine copper. After they had feasted us, they shewed us, in welcome, their manner of dancing, which was in this fashi on . One of the Savages standing in the midst singing, beating one hand against another, all the rest dancing about him, shouting, howling, and stamping against the ground, with many Anticke tricks and faces, making noise like so many wolves or devils. O ne thing of them I observed; when they were in their dance they kept stroke with their feet just one with another, but with their hands, heads, faces and bodies, every one of them had a severall gesture: so they continued for the space of halfe and houre. Wh en they had ended their dance, the Captaine gave them Beades and other trifling Jewells. They hang through their eares, Fowles legs; they shave the right side of their heads with a shell, the left side they weare of an ell long tied up with an artifi cial l knot, with a many of Foules feathers sticking in it. They goe altogether naked, but their privities are covered with Beasts skinnes beset commonly with little bones, or beasts teeth. Some paint their bodies balcke, some red, with artificiall knots of su ndry lively colours, very beautiful and pleasing to the eye, in a braver fashion then they in the West Indies.
The fourth day of May we came to the King or Werowance of Paspihe: where they entertained us with much welcome. An old Savage made a long Oration, making a foule noise, uttering his speech with a vehement action, but we knew little what they meant . Whilst we were in company with the Paspihes, the Werowance of Rapahanna came from the other side of the River in his Cannoa. He seemed to take displeasure of our being with the Paspihes. He would faine have had us come to his Town. The Captaine was unwi lling. Seeing that the day was so far spent, he returned backe to his ships for that night.
The next day, being the fift of May, the Werowance of Rapahanna sent a Messenger to have us come to him. We entertained the said Messenger, and gave him trifles which pleased him. Wee manned our shallop with Muskets and Targatiers sufficiently: t h is said Messenger guided us where our determination was to goe. When wee landed, the Werowance of Rapahanna came downe to the water side with all his traine, as goodly men as any I have seene of Savages or Christians: the Werowance coming before them pl a ying on a Flute made of a Reed, with a Crown of Deares haire colloured re, in fashion of a Rose fastened about his knot of haire, and a great Plate of Copper on the other side of his head, with two long featers in fashion of a paire of Hornes placed in t he midst of his Crowne. His cody was painted all with Crimson, with a Chaine of Beads about his necke, his face painted blew, besprinkled with silver Ore as wee thought, his eares all behung with Braslets of Pearle, and in either eare a Birds Claw throug h it beset with fine Copper or Gold. He entertained us in so modest a proud fashion, as though he had beene a Prince of civill government, holding his countenance without laughter or any such ill behaviour. He caused his Mat to be spred on the ground, w h ere hee sate downe with a great Majestie, taking a pipe of Tabacco: the rest of his company standing about him. After he had rested a while he rose, and made signes to us to come to his Towne. Hee went foremost, and all the rest of his and our selves f ol lowed him up a steepe Hill where his Palace was settled. Wee passed through the Woods in fine paths, having most pleasant springs which issued from the Mountaines. Wee also went through the goodliest Corne fieldes that ever was seene in any Countrey. When wee came to Rapahannos Towne, hee entertained us in good humanitie.
The eight day of May we discovered up the River. We landed in the Countrey of Apamatica. At our landing, there came many stout and able Savages to resist us with their Bowes and Arrowes, in a most warlike manner, with the swords at their backes b e set with sharpe stones and pieces of yron able to cleave a man in sunder. Amongst the rest one of the chiefest, standing before them cross-legged, with his Arrow readie in his Bow in one hand, and taking a Pipe of Tobacco in the other, with a bold utter i ng of his speech, demanded of us our being there, willing us to bee gone. Wee made signes of peace, which they perceived in the end, and let us land in quitnesse.
The twelfth day we went backe to our ships, and discovered a point of Lande, called Archers Hope, which was sufficient with a little labour to defend our selves against any Enemy. The soile was good and fruitfull, with excellent good Timber. Ther e are also great store of Vines in bignesse of a mans thigh, running up to the tops of the Trees in great abundance. We also did see many Squirels, Conies, Black Birds with crimson wings, and divers other Fowles and Birds of divers and sundrie collours o f crimson, Watchet, Yellow, Greene, Murry, and of divers other hewes naturally without any art using.
We found store of Turkie nests and many Egges. If it had not beene disliked, because the ship could not ride neere the shoare, we had setled there to all the Collonies contentment.
The thirteenth day, we came to our seating place in Paspihas Countrey, some eight miles from the point of Land, which I made mention before: where our shippes doe lie so neere the shoare that they are moored to the Trees in sic fathom water.
The fourteenth day, we landed all our men, which were set to worke about the fortification, and others some to watch and ward as it was convenient. The first night of our landing, about midnight, there came some Savages sayling close to our quarte r. Presently there was an alarum given; upon that the Savages ran away, and we [were] not troubled any more by them that night. Not long after there came two Savages that seemed to be Commanders, bravely drest, with Crownes of coloured haire upon their he ads, which came as Messengers from the Werowance of Paspihae, telling us that their Werowance was coming and would be merry with us with a fat Deare.
The eighteenth day, the Werowance of Paspihae came himselfe to our quarter, with one hundred Savages armed, which garded him in a very warlike manner with Bowes and Arrowed, thinking at that time to execute their villany. Paspihae made great signe s to us to lay our Armes away. But we would not trust him so far. He seeing he could not have convenient time to worke his will, at length made signes that he would give us as much land as we would desire to take. As the Savages were in a throng in the Fo rt, one of them stole a hatchet from one of our company, which spied him doing the deed: whereupon he tooke it from him by force, and also strooke him over the arme. Presently another Savage seeing that, came fiercely at our man with a wooden sword, t hin king to beat out his braines. The Werowance of Paspiha saw us take to our Armes, went suddenly away with all his company in great anger.
The nineteenth day, my selfe and three or foure more walking into the Woods by chance wee espied a pathway like to an Irish pace: wee were desirous to knowe whither it would bring us. Wee traced alonge some foure miles, all the way as wee went, ha ving the pleasantest Suckles, the ground all flowing over with faire flowers of sundry colours and kindes, as though it had been in any Garden or Orchard in England. There be many Strawberries, and other fruits unknowne. Wee saw the Woods full of Cedar an d Cypresse trees, with other trees, which issues out sweet Gummes like to Balsam. Wee kept on our way in this Paradise. At length, wee came to a Savage Towne, where wee found but few people. They told us the rest were gone a hunting with the Werowanc e of Paspiha. We stayed there a while, and had of them Strawberries and other things. In the meane time one of the Savages came running out of his house with a Bowe and Arrowes and ranne mainly through the Woods. Then I beganne to mistrust some villani e, tha t he went to call some companie, and so betray us. Wee made all haste away wee could. One of the Savages brought us on the way to the Wood side, where there was a Garden of Tobacco and other fruits and herbes. He hathered Tobacco, and distributed to every one of us; so wee departed.
The twentieth day the Werowance of Paspiha sent fortie of his men with a Deere, to our quarter: but they came more in villanie than any love they bare us. They faine would have layne in our Fort all night, but wee would not suffer them for feare o f their treachery. One of our Gentlemen having a Target which hee trusted in, thinking it would beare out a slight shot, hee set it up against a tree, willing one of the Savages to shoot; who tooke from his backe an Arrow of an elle long, drew it strongl y in his Bowe, shoots the Target a foote thorow, or better: which was strange, being that a pistoll could not pierce it. Wee seeinf the force of his Bowe, afterwards set him up a steele Target; he shot again, and burst his arrow all to pieces. He presen t ly pulled out another Arrow, and bit it in his teeth, and seemed to bee in a great rage; so hee went away in great anger. Their Bowes are made of tough Hasell, headed with very sharp stones, and are made artificially like a broad Arrow: other some of th e ir Arrowes are headed with the ends of Deere hornes, and are feathered very artificially. Pasphia was as good as his word; for hee sent Venison, but the Sawse came within a few dayes after.
At Port Cotage in our Voyage up the River, we saw a Savage Boy about the age of ten yeere, which had a head of haire of a perfect yellow and a reasonable white skinne, which is a miracle amongst all Savages.
This river which wee have discovered is one of the famousest Rivers that ever was found by any Christian. It ebbs and flowes a hundred and threescore miles, where ships of great burthen may harbour in safetie. Wheresoever we landed upon this Rive r , wee saw the goodliest Woods as Beech, Oke, Cedar, Cypresse, Wal-nuts, Sassafras, and Vines in great abundance, which hang in great clusters on many Trees, and other Trees unknowne; and all the grounds bespred with many sweet and delicate flowres of div ers colours and kindes. There are many brances of this River, which runne flowing through the Woods with great plentie of fish of all kindes; as for Sturgeon, all the World cannot be compared to it. In this Countrey I have seene many great and large Med o ws having excellent good pasture for any Cattle. There is also great store of Deere both Red and Fallow. There are Beares, Foxes, Otters, Bevers, Muskats, and wild beasts unknowne.
The foure and twentieth day wee set up a Crosse at the head of this River, naming it Kings River, where we proclaimed James King of England to have the most right unto it. When wee had finished and set up our Crosse, we shipt our men and made for J ames Fort. By the way, wee came to Pohatans Towre, where the Captaine went on shore suffering none to goe with him. Hee presented the Commander of this place, with a Hatchet which hee tooke joyfully, and was well pleased.
But yet the Savages murmured at our planting in the countrie, whereupon this Werowance made answere againe very wisely of a Savage, Why should you bee offended with them as long as they hurt you not, nor take any thing away by force. They take but a litle waste ground, which doth you nor any of us any good.
I saw Bread made by their women, which doe all their drugerie. The men takes their pleasure in hunting and their warres, which they are in continually, one Kingdome against another. The manner of baking of bread is thus. After they pound their w he at into flowre, with hote water they made it into paste, and worke it into round balls and Cakes, then they put it into a pot of seething water: when it is sod throughly, they lay it on a smooth stone, there they harden it as well as in an Oven.
There is notice to be taken to know married women from Maids. The Maids you shall alwayes see the fore part of their head and sides shaven close, the hinder part very long, which they tie in a pleate hanging downe to their hips. The married women w eares their haire all of a length, and is tied of that fashion that the Maids are. The women kinde in this Countrey doth pouce and race their codies, legges, thighes, armes and faces with a sharpe Iron, which makes a stampe in curious knots, and drawes th e proportion of Fowles, Fish, or Beasts; then with paintings of sundry lively colours, they rub it into the stampe which will never be taken away, because it is dried into the flesh where it is sered.
The Savages beare their yeeres well, for when wee were at Pamonkies, wee saw a Savage by their report was above eight score yeeres of age. His eyes were sunke into his head, having never a tooth in his mouth, his haire all gray with a reasonable b igge beard, which was as white as any snow. It is a Miracle to see a savage have any haire on their faces. I never saw, read, nor heard, any have the like before. This Savage was a lusty and went as fast as any of us, which was strange to behold.
The fifteenth of June we had built and finished our Fort, which was triangle wise, having three Bulwarkes, at every corner, like a halfe Moone, and foure or five pieces of Artillerie mounted in them. We had made our selves sufficiently strong for t hese Savages. We had also sowne most of our Corne on two Mountaines. It sprang a mans height from the ground. This Countrey is a fruitfull soile, bearing many goodly and fruitfull Trees, as Mulberries, Cherries, Walnuts, Cedars, Cypresse, Sassafras, a nd Vines in great abundance.
Munday the two and twentieth of June, in the morning, Captaine Newport in the Admirall departed from the James Port for England.
Captaine Newport being gone for England, leaving us (one hundred and foure persons) verie bare and scantie of victualls, furthermore in warres and in danger of the Savages, we hoped after a supply which Captaine Newport promised within twentie wee kes. But if the beginners of this action doe carefully further us, the Country being so fruitful, it would be as great a profit to the Realme of England, as the Indies to the King of Spaine. If this River which wee have found had been discovered in the ti me of warre with Spaine, it would have beene a commoditie to our Realme, and a great annoyance to our enemies.
The seven and twentieth of July the King of Rapahanna demanded a Canoa, which was restored, lifted up his hand to the Sunne (which they worship as their God), besides he laid his hand on his heart, that he would be our special friend. It is a gene rall rule of these people, when they swere by their God which is the Sunne, no Christian will keep their oath better upon this promise. These people have a great reverence to the Sunne above all other things: at the rising and setting of the same, they s it downe lifting up their hands and eyes to the Sunne, making a round Circle on the ground with dried Tobacco; then they began to pray, making many Devillish gestures with a Hellish noise, foming at the mouth, staring with their eyes, wagging their heads and hands in such a fashion and deformitie as it was monstrous to behold.
The sixt of August there died John Asbie of the bloudie Flixe. The ninth day died George Flowre of the swelling. The tenth day died William Bruster Gentleman, of a wound given by the Savages, and was buried the eleventh day.
The fourteenth day, Jerome Alikock, Ancient, died of a wound, the same day Francis Midwinter, Edward Moris Corporall died suddenly.
The fifteenth day, their died Edward Browne and Stephen Galthorpe. The sixteenth day, their died Thomas Gower Gentleman. The seventeenth day, their died Thomas Mounslic. The eighteenth day, there died Robert Pennington, and John Martine Gentlema n. The nineteenth day, died Drue Piggase Gentleman. The two and twentieth day of August, there died Captaine Bartholomew Gosnold, one of our Councell: he was honourably buried, having all the Ordnance in the Fort shot off, with many vollies of small sho t.< /P>
After Captaine Gosnols death, the Councell could hardly agree by the dissention of Captaine Kendall, which afterwards was committed about hainous matters which was proved against him.
The foure and twentieth day, died Edward Harington and George Walker, and were buried the same day. The six and twentieth day, died Kenelme Throgmortine. The seven and twentieth day died William Roods. The eight and twentieth day died Thomas Sto od ie, Cape Merchant.
The fourth day of September died Thomas Jacob Sergeant. The fift day, there died Benjamin Beast. Our men were destroyed with cruell diseases, as Swellings, Flixes, Burning Fevers, and by warres, and some departed suddenly, but for the most part t h ey died of meere famine. There were never Englishmen left in a forreigne Countrey in such miserie as wee were in the new discovered Virginia. Wee watched every three nights, lying on the bare cold ground, what weather soever came, [and] warded all the nex t day, which brought our men to bee most feeble wretches. Our food was but a small Can of Barlie sod in water, to five men a day, our drink cold water taken out of the River, which was at a floud verie salt, at a low tide full of slime and filth, whic h w as the destruction of many of our men. Thus we lived for the space of five moneths in this miserable distresse, not having five able men to man our Bulwarkes upon any occasion. If it had not pleased God to have put a terrour in the Savages hearts, we had all perished by those vild and cruell Pagans, being in that weake estate as we were; our men night and day groaning in every corner of the Fort most pittifull to heare. If there were any conscience in men, it would make their harts to bleed to heare the p itifull murmurings and out-cries of our sick men without reliefe, every night and day, for the space of sixe weekes, some departing out of the World, many times three or foure in a night; in the morning, their bodies trailed out of their Cabines lik e Dog ges to be buried. In this sort did I see the mortalitie of divers of our people.
It pleased God, after a while, to send those people which were our mortall enemies to releeve us with victuals, as Bread, Corne, Fish, and Flesh in great plentie, which was the setting up of our feeble men, otherwise wee had all perished. Also we w ere frequented by divers Kings in the Countrie, bringing us store of provision to our great comfort.
The eleventh day, there was certaine Articles laid against Master Wingfield which was then President; thereupon he was not only displaced out of his President ship, but also from being of the Councell. Afterward Captaine John Ratcliffe was chosen P resident.
The eighteenth day, died on Ellis Kinistone, which was starved to death with cold. The same day at night, sied one Richard Simmons. The nineteenth day, there died one Thomas Mouton.
William White (having lived with the Natives) reported to us of their customes. In the morning by breake of day, before they eate of drinke, both men, women, and children, that be above tenne yeares of age, runnes in to the water, there washes the mselves a good while till the Sunne riseth, then offer Sacrifice to it, strewing Tobacco on the water or Land, honouring the Sunne as their God. Likewise they doe at the setting of the Sunne.
"Observations by Master George Percy, 1607" in Tyler, Lyon Gardiner, ed. Narratives of Early Virginia, 1606 - 1625. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1907.