Virgo Triumphans

Virgo triumphans,
in generall, but the south part therof
in particular:
including the fertile Carolana, and the no
lesse excellent island of Roanoak, richly
and experimentally valued :
humbly presented as the auspice of a beginning yeare,
to the Parliament of England,
and councell of state
by Edward Williams, Gent.

PUBLISHED BY Thomas Harper
PUBLISHED FOR John Stephenson

To the Supreme Authority of this Nation, The Parliament of ENGLAND.
Right Honorable:

THis Dedication in it selfe unworthy the honour of an addresse to your Grandeurs, and of a foile too dead i h ddow to approach neere your most vigorous luster, reposes it selfe yet upon a confidence that in imitation of that God (of whom you are in power the proper Representatives) who vouchsafed graciously to accept a poore paire of Turtles from those whose abilities could not ascend t a more rich oblation, you will be pleased to cast a favourable aspect upon this humble offering, as proceeding from a gratefull cleere and sincere intention, whose desire being strongly passionate to present Your Honours with something more worthy the auspice of a beginning Yeare, is circumscribed by a narrownesse of abilities and fortunes.

And indeed my lownesse had prompted me to have found out a more humble Patron for this Treatise; but since the Interest of that Nation you have so happily restored to its just and native liberty is the principall ayme intended in it, since the publick acknowledgement of the world unites in this common testimony, That God hath subscribed to all your Heroick and Christian undertakings with his own broad seal of Victory with his owne field word, Go on and prosper: led you through the red sea of bloud into the Land of Canaan, into the Harvest and Vintage of Israel, since Pharoah and his mighty ones have been swallowed up in the rapid current in the hideous cataracts of their ambit ous opposition; and have by loud and convincing testimonies (testimonies attracting the admiration of your friends, and confounding the malice of your enemies) made it a blessed object of your consideration, that the preservation and fixure requires a blessing no lesse sublime, and a vert e no less ex l[...]d, then the acquisition and tenure of conquests, m de good in the Christ ndome by vindicating the English Honour up n the Brittish Ocean with a u ssant Navy, a formidable subject of [...]ment to the Forraine Enemies of your Sion, by a strong winged prosecution of the Irish Assassinates, a spacious lettred example to teach English Mutineers what they may expect by the re sentence of justice upon Irish Rebells: All indeavours holding forth the way to improve the interest of this Nation, are improperly addressed to any other then your selves, who as you have been the unexampled instruments of our unpinion liberty, ought to be the sole Judges of whatsoever may relate to our future felicity.

We should have suspected the sincerity of History in its delineation of the Majesty which sat upon that August, and venerable Roman Senats, after having made the Land tremble under the terrour of their Armies, the sea to labour under the burthen of their numerous Navies, after having delivered all power oppressing the universall liberty to the revenging beak of their victorious Eagles and minted the Governments of the world by the Roman Standard; had not the Concentricity of your undertakings had not the Homogeniousnesse of your actions and felicity, vindicated and asserted the honour of antiquity, and raysed your reputations upon so high a wing of glory, that Posterity will be lost in the same mist of jealousie and incredulity of your owne augustnesse, yet for ever want the revivall of such examples the restauration of such presidents to confirme them.

And to the end you may in all things either parallell or transcend that Romane greatnesse, of which you are the inimitable exemplary, who inriched the heart and strengthned the armes of their Dominions by dispersing Colonies in all Angles of their Empire, Your pious care hath already layd a most signall foundation by inviting incouragement to undertakers of that nature: In the pursuit whereof let me beg the liberty in this Paper, under your Honours Patronage to publish the many pressing and convincing reasons which have and may induce you to prosecute a designe of such universall concernment.

  1. It will disburthen this Nation of many indigent persons, who having formerly perhaps enjoyed a fulnesse of abused or forfeyted plenty, at the present reduced to an inequality of such subsistence, are commonly prompted to their own and other mens ruine by making the high wayes (which should be as publike and inviolable a sanctuary as the most sacred places) an ambuscado to innocent Travellers, by which interruption of passages, there is commonly occasioned a decay and disincouragement of commerce, and dayly examples informe us, that Prisons at present are almost as full of criminall as indebted persons.
  2. It will take off all Parish charges, in providing for destitute Minors and Orphans, whereof there are at present a burthensome multitude, wherby the Parishes so freed, may with greater alacrity and ability, part with contributory moneys to maintaine, recrui e, and incourage your Armies and Navies.
  3. Those Orphans so provided for may by Gods blessings upon their labours become happy and wealthy instruments, advantagious to the place of their nativity in particular, and their whole Nation in generall. Whereas the condition of their birth and the usuall way of exposing them makes them capable of no more gainfull calling then that of day-labourers, or which is more frequent hereditary beggers.
  4. The Republick in its present constitution abounding with so dangerous a number of male contents, who commonly like Shrubs under high and spreading Cedars, imagine the spacious height of others to be the cause of their owne lownesse, may by this means be honourably secured, and such men removing their discontents with their persons, will have a brave and ample theater to make their merits and abilities emergent, and a large field to fow and reape the fruit of all their honest industrious and publick intentions.
  5. It will to admiration increase the number of Ships and Seamen, (the brazen wall of this Nation) all materialls to advance Navigation, being abundantly to be furnished out of those Countries, and the more ingenious Passengers by conference and disputation with the knowing Mariner, will take a great delight, satisfaction, and ambition, to attaine to the Theory of that knowledge, while the lesse capable being accustomed and assigned to an usuall part in the toyle thereof, and instructed by the ordinary Seaman, will bee brought to a good readinesse therein and speedy perfection.
  6. All Materialls for shipping, as Timber, Cordage, Sailes, Iron, Brasse, Ordnance of both mettals, and what ever else we are necessitated to supply our wants with out of the Easterne Countries, who make it not unusuall to take advantages of their neighbours necessitie, and often times upon a pretence of difference or misintelligence betwixt us, embrace an occasion to over-rate or over-custome their commodities, or (a reall quarrell widening) sell it to other Nations from whence we are forced to supply our selves at a second or third Market.
  7. It will give us the liberty of storing a great part of Europe with a larger plenty of incomparably better fish, then the Holander hath found meanes to furnish it withall, and will make us in no long tract of time, if industriously prosecuted, equall, if not transcend him in that his most benificiall staple.
  8. It will be to this Common wealth a standing and plentifull Magazine of Wheat, Rice, Coleseed, Rapeseed, Flax, Cotton, Salt, Pot-ashes, Sope-ashes, Sugars, Wines, Silke, Olives, and what ever single is the staple of other Nations, shall be found in this joyntly collected.
  9. It will furnish us with rich Furrs, Buffs, Hides, Tallow, Biefe, Pork, c. the growth and increase of Cattell in this Nation, receiving a grand interuption and stop, by killing commonly very hopefull yong breed to furnish our markets, or store our shipping, meerly occasioned by want of ground to feed them, whereas those Provinces afford such a large proportion of rich ground, that neither the increase of this or the succeeding age can in any reasonable probability overfeed the Moiety.
  10. By it many of your Honours Reformadoes and disbanded souldiers being dismist with the payment of such part of their arrears as your owne judgement (guided by the rule of your immense disbursements) shall thinke a convenient recompence, by transporting themselves thither may change their desperate fortunes into a happy certainty of condition, and a contented livelyhood, which will be a means not only to disburden this Republick (as before) but to remove all those clamors usualy disturbing your publick consultations, and to win upon them by your bounty to invert all those fearfull imprecations, with which they would (as much as in them lies) unblesse your proceedings, into a joyfull and fervent concurrence of prayers to the Almighty to shoure downe blessings upon your heads, who, next under him, are the glorious and visible instruments of their increasing happinesse.
  11. It will be a generous and moving incouragement to all industrious and publick spirits, to imploy those parts with which God and nature hath blessed them in the discovery of such happy inventions as may drive on hopefull designs with a lesser number of hands then is usually assigned to them, which issues of the brain are legitimate and geniall to beginning Plantations, where the greatest want is that of people: but for our own or other popular Kingdoms where we are commonly overprest with a greater multitude of labourer then imployers, by much lesse acceptable, since our indigent people look upon such Engins meerly as Monoppolies to engrosse their livelihood
  12. It will adde a very considerable increase to the Revenue of your Honours own Customs, and I shal assume the liberty in all humility to offer up to your more advised deliberation by way of supplement to your incomes, whether such malefactors as the letter of the law dooms to death, yet leaves a latitude for extent of mercy in the bosome of the Judges, whose release oftentimes proves not only ruinous to them so discharged, since not seldome they returne to their vomit, but pernicious to the Common-wealth reinvaded by their insolencies and disorders, might not be made instrumentally serviceable to the State, if (as it is frequent in other Countrey , where they are condemned to the Gallies) by way of reparation for their crime, they were sentenced to serve a quantity of years according to the nature of their offences, which expired, they should enjoy all immunities with others, and by this course be reduced and accustomed to a regular course of life. Of these a thousand transported and employed by an understanding improver, would by their labour advance an income of forty thousand pounds sterling per annum, at the least, and so proportionably according to their number.

That all these, and many inestim ble benefits may have their rise, increase, and perfection from the South parts of Virginia, a Country unquestionably our own, devolved to us by a just title, and discovered by John Cabot at the English expences who found out and tooke seisure, together with the voluntary submission of the Natives to the English obedience of all that Continent from Cape Florida Northward, the excellent temper of the aire, the large proportion of ground, the incredible richnesse of soile, the admirable abundance of Minerals, vegetables, medicinall drugs, timber, scituation, no lesse proper for all European commodities, then all those Staples which entitle China, Persia, and other the more opulent Provinces of the East to their wealth, reputation, and greatnes (besides the most Christian of all improvements, the converting many thousands of the Natives) is agreed upon by all who have ever viewed the Country: To which the judgement of the most incomparable Ralegh may be a convincing assertion, whose preferring of that Country before either the North of Virginia or New-England, though it may sufficiently command my submission and acquiescence; yet for more particular satisfaction be pleased to accept these reasons for such praelation.

  1. The apparent danger all the Colonies may be in if this be not possessed by the English, to prevent the Spaniard, who already hath seated himself on the North of Florida, and on the back of Virginia in 34, where he is already possessed of rich silver Mines, and will no doubt vomit his fury and malice upon the neighbour Plantations, if a prehabitation anticipate not his intentions, which backt with your authority, he understands too much of your power, and is too sadly acquainted with your admirable successes and generous resolutions, not to sit downe by any affronts offered to those under the wings of your protection, to attempt any thing against such who are immediately your owne Colony, lest thereby he administers matter of a fire, to which his own fortunes in the Indies must be a fewel, and himselfe raked up in its ashes.
  2. But the South of Virginia having a contiguous Ledge of at the least one hundred Ilands, and in the middest of those the incomparable Roanoak, the most of them at the same distance from the Continent that the Ile of Wight is from Hampshire, all of hazardous accesse to Forrainers, and affording a secure convenience from surprizall by the Natives, will if possessed and protected by your power, be as an inoffensive Nursery to receive an infant Colony, till by an occasion of strength and number, we may poure our selves from thence upon the Mayneland, as our Ancestors the Saxons from the Isle of Tanet into Brittaine.
  3. It dispences a moderate equality of heat and cold between the two violent extreams thereof in Barbadoes and New England. It will admit of all things producible in any other part of the World, lying in the same Parallel with China, Persia, Japan, Cochinchina, Candia, Cyprus, Sicily, the Southern parts of Greece, Spain, Italy, and the opposite Regions of Africa.
  4. It hath besides all Timber for shipping, the best and reddest Cedars and Cypresse trees that may be found in any Countrey.
  5. And lastly, the planting of this Collony will open a most compendious passage to the discovery of those more opulent Kingdomes of China, Cochinchina, Cathaya, Japan, the Phillipines, Summatra, and all those beauteous and opulent Provinces of the East Indies, which beyond dispute lye open to those Seas which wash the South-West parts of Virginia, through whose bosome all those most precious commodities which enable the Chinesie, Cathayan, Persian, and Indostant Empires, may more conveniently, speedily, with more security and lesse expences be transported thence from Spawhawn, of other remoter Provinces to Gombroon, by a long dangerous and expensive Caravane, and from thence to Surat, where when arrived the doubling of the Line, Calentures, Scurvies, with a long train of diseases and Famine attend its transportation into our owne Countrey.
  6. Whereas by expandeing our selves to both sides and Seas of Virginia, our commerce to those noble Nations lies open in short and pleasant voyages to the encouragement, enriching and delight of the Seamen, and personal adventurers, who will share in the delicacies and profits of those Kingdoms, without participating in the miseries attending our present voyages thither. The Cargason being easily conveyed, by much the greater part of the way, through Navigable Rivers, and from the Eastern shore of Virginia in a month, or at the largest six weekes time into England.

And by this meanes the Hollander, Spanyard, and Portugall, who (by the supine negligence of this Nation, and its Merchant Adventurers) do with insufferable insolence Lord over us in both the Indies, when they shall to the unknitting of their joints perceive by your nursing care over the Infancy of your Colonies, that they are arrived under your auspice, to cover both the Seas with numerous Navies, and your Honours eye of indulgence and providence waking to their security, will be content laying aside all other passions to wave future affronts and injuries, or fall deserved sacrifice to your offended justice.

And that this addresse may appear the more seasonable, I have (without any privity or relation to his person) taken leave to intimate to your Honours, that there is a Gentleman whom the publick reputation and testimony of those who have the happines to know him render of excellent abilities, integrity, and a never shaken affection to your cause in all its crisis and dangers through which God with a clew of successe hath been your conduct) who hath already undertaken for the transportation of some men thither, and only waits for your Honours approbation and authority, the world taking notice, hopes and encouragement from thence, that as this Colony is like to be the eldest of your legitimate daughters in that nature, so by your indulgence she shall have the happynesse not to be the yongest in your affection.

May that God who hath begirt your house with a Grove of Lawrell, continue the advance of those Victories till the whole Nation be crowned with Olives: May no sin, no ingratitude of ours divert his protecting and from us, his assistant arme from you: May the generations to come in admiration of your vertue and gratitude for their by you derived happines, make every heart your monument, wherein to embalme your memory whilst the Histories of all Nations and times enrich their Annals with your names as the most serious and triumphant part of all examples and transactions. And lastly may your owne thankfulnes to him from whom these dispensations of mercy have distilled like the dew of Hermon upon your beads and borders, so continue in your bosoms, that when you shalbe ripe for translation, he whose instruments you are, may welcom you with the approbation of,Well done good and faithfull servant, Which are the undisguised wishes of

Your Honours most humble,obedient,
and faithful Servant.
Ed. Williams.

To the Conservers and Enlargers of the Liberties of this Nation, the Lord President, and Counsell of State.

My Lords:
THere is the same nearenesse of relation betwixt your Lordships and the Parliament of England, which is betwixt the Sunne and Sun-beames. They from their illustrious Luminary dispensing. You disposing those bounties of warmth and animation, which have enriched the Commonwealth with all the Ornaments of verdure, repullulation and beauty, which at present she is in production of, and by the blessing of the Sun of Righteousnes (guiding and fortifying your virtuall and healthfull influences) may arrive to an absolute perfection, and be perpetuated to their happinesse, to your glory.

This Introduction which acknowledges so much of your power and greatnes, may make people admire why a Treatise of this meanes for form and delivery, a Presenter of such inconsiderablenes for parts and fortunes, should presume to cast themselves upon your Lordships protection. But my Lords, such disincouragements cannot direct any who know Humility, and a condescending Clemency are the ordinary attendants upon your extraordinary virtues, which take into their Patronage the restauration of the publick liberty, and the felicity of Nations.

The scope of it is the publick benefit of a Nation; to whom should it be dedicated, but to its Supporters, to its Atlantes, to those who designe the aggrandissement of it in their counsels, perfectionate that designe by their Armies? it were impatriotisme not to publish it, sacriledge to addresse it to any other.

It is an indeleble brand to the high-nam'd policy of the 7. Henry, who gave away as rich Provinces as any the eye of the World views to Spain from England, out of avarice, incredulity or contempt (or indeed all of them together) of Columbus his motion and condition. Your Lordships move in too high a Sphere of prudence and circumspection to become his seconds in that his heresie of wisdom. [Page] And who knows but providence has reserved the present opportunity to your times, that under his conduct and auspice you might be designed his glorious instruments of promoving a worke which carries in its bosome the advancement of the Gospel, by reducing the Natives, in its forehead the enlargement of the English greatnesse by extending its Empire.

My Lords, the Parliament of this Nation, and your selves (like the Twins of Hipocrates) having an inviolable correspondence of teares and smiles, of disasters and blessings of life and death together, the threads of both your humane emergencies twisted and wound up in the same bottome, makes it impiety to divide the apprecation of blessings. All which may be fitly and mutually added is, that your living Persons and Posthume counsels may be had in just reverence and due estimation: That you may shine like Luminaries in our English Hemisphere, while the Sun compleats his dayly, the Moone her nightly Circles, till a totall dissolution of Nature usher in the great day appointed for a generall audit; Where when an account is to be given of humane actions, May the memory of your owne illustrious generous, and Christian undertakings be a cordiall to your consciences, the justice and publick conducement of them, a reproach to others, who have abused equall Talents of parts and power, and the divine approbation of their sincerity, a conviction to all those who know not how to be gratefull for their owne, or the generall happinesse.

And these as they ought to be the publick exorations of all truly English; So in particular are they the devout wishes of,

My Lords,
Your most humble and faithfull Servant,

To the Reader.

IT is not out of any particular vanity, to publish my many imperfections in Print, nor am I to my best selfe understanding, infected with the disease which domineers in this scribling age, if the publicke benefit of the Nation, to which by the condition of our birth, we ow a particular duty, had not beene the cleere and uninteressed center of my intentions, I should be too sensible of my owne weaknesse, to expose my selfe to the pity of the wise, the criticisme of the capricious, or the laughter of the ignorant; and above all to be fastened by the eares upon a post, to beg a six penny contribution to buy me, to the trouble of their eyes and patience. Ill Bookes having the same unhappinesse which followes bloud-shot eyes, the very inspection of whom oftentimes contracts the disease alwayes a kind of abhorrency to the beholder.

But my aymes are more publicke: he which reads this shall discover the beauties of a long neglected Virgin the incomparable Roanoake, and the adjacent excellencies of Carolana, a Country whom God and Nature has indulged with blessings incommunicable to any other Region. Heere you may take view of an Island and Maine, fertile to admiration, and (which is more admirable in workes of this nature) nothing but incorrupted truth in her discovery.

It shewes a way to the wealthy to improve their riches, to the necessitous and such as have lost their old, the meanes to erect new fortunes: in a word, it delivers an expedient to this Common wealth, how it may shake off the disease growing upon her poverty and decay of trading. Nothing but hands and hearts wanting to make this Country a Magazine of all things to the Nation, a Sanctuary to the afflicted, a treasure to the indigent, and an inimaginable revenue to the Adventurers, all grounded upon those never-fayling foundations of reason and experience.

Neither doe I appropriate the honour (if any due) of being the sole author of this Tractate, the whole substance of it full of good wishes and generall intentions, was communicated to me by a Gentleman of merit [Page] and quality, upon perusall of which, I found an obligation upon me not to bury those advantages which may arise to our country by keeping it lockt up in silence: the Gentlemans name whose permission I obtayned to make it publicke, is Mr. John Farrer of Geding in Huntingdonshire, a perso~ of quality fortunes, who has made good his affections to that incomparable Country, by hazarding a considerable summe towards the advancing of the first Plantation, and is yet so good a Patriot to be ready in promoving any good designe in the Southerne parts of the (there) unequald Countrey. Nor is there heere inserted any thing but what my owne experience of the place, and a publike consent of uninterested Authors and people, will subscribe to; there is little of mine in this, but the Language, and some few additionall collections the Substance is entirely the Gentlemans above mentioned, which I thought fit to declare, that the Reader may ascribe and owe what ever is materially good to him; what is lesse acceptable or unskilfull in the contrivement, to the imperfections of


1. Virginia in Generall, but particularly CAROLANA, which comprehends Roanoak, and the Southerne parts of Virginia richly valued.

THE scituation and Climate of Virginia is the Subject of every Map, to which I shall refer the curiosity of those who desire more particular information.

Yet to shew that Nature regards this Ornament of the new world with a more indulgent eye then she hath cast upon many other Countreys, whatever China, Persia, Iapan, Cyprus, Candy, Sicily, Greece, the South of Italy, Spaine, and the opposite parts of Africa, to all which she is parallel, may boast of, will be produced in this happy Countrey. The same bounty of Summer, the same milde remission of Winter, with a more virgin and unexhausted soyle being materiall arguments to shew that modesty and truth receive no diminution by the comparison.

Nor is the present wildnesse of it without a particular beauty, being all over a naturall Grove of Oakes, Pines, Cedars, Cipresse, Mulberry, Chestnut, Laurell, Sassafras, Cherry, Plum-trees, and Vines, all of so delectable an aspect, that the melanchollyest eye in the World cannot looke upon it without contentment, nor content himsefe without admiration. No shrubs or underwoods choake up your passage, and in its season your foot can hardly direct it selfe where it will not be died in the bloud of large and delicious Strawberries: The Rivers which every way glide in deepe and Navigable Channels, betwixt the brests of this uberous Countrey, and contribute [Page 2] to its conveniency beauty and fertility, labour with the multitude of their fishy inhabitants in greater variety of species, and of a more incomparable delicacy in tast and sweetnesse then whatever the European Sea can boast of: Sturgeon of ten feet, Drummes of sixe in length; Conger, Eieles, Trout, Salmon, Bret, Muliet, Cod, Herings, Perch, Lampreyes, and what ever else can be desired to the satisfaction of the most voluptuous wishes.

Nor is the Land any lesse provided of native Flesh, Elkes bigger then Oxen, whose hide is admirable Buffe, flesh excellent, and may be made, if kept domesticke, as usefull for draught and carriage, as Oxen. Deere in a numerous abundance, and delicate Venison, Racoones, Hares, Conyes, Bevers, Squirrell, Beares, all of a delightfull nourishment for food, and their Furres rich, warme, and convenient for clothing and Merchandise.

That no part of this happy Country may bee ungratefull to the Industrious, The ayre it selfe is often clouded with flights of Pigeons, Partridges, Blackbirds, Thrushes, Dottrels, Cranes, Hernes, Swans, Geese, Brants, Duckes, Widgeons, Oxeyes, infinites of wilde Turkeyes, which have beene knowne to weigh fifty pound weight, ordinarily forty.

And the native Corne of the Country Maiz, is so gratefull to the Planter, that it returneth him his entrusted seed with the increase of 2 or 3 hundred interest, so facilely planted, that one man in 48 hours may prepare as much ground, and set such a quantity of Corne, that he may be secure from want of Bread all the yeere following, though he should have never so large an appetite to consume it, and have nothing else to live upon. Nor is it above three, or at the most foure months intervall betwixt the time of planting and gathering: Planted in March, April, or May, it is ready for the Barne in June, July, and August; and of this by a provident management, you may have yeerely three or foure Harvests. The stalk bruised yields a juice as big as Rice, pleasant as Sugar, and the green Ears boyled in such juice is comparable in agreeablenesse to the palats to what ever our Pease, Sparagus, or Hartichoke, hath eyther for satisfaction or delicacy. Nor is the Corne difficult in preservation, for in six or seven yeares there is scarce any sensibility of its corruption.

But lest our palats should have so much of curiosity as to dislike what ever is not native to our owne Country, and wheat is justly esteemed [Page 3] more proper this happy soyle, though at the first too rich to receive it, after it hath contributed to your wealth by diminution of its owne richnesse, in three or foure crops of Rice, Flax, Indian Corne, Coleseed, or Rapeseed, will receive the English wheat with a gratefull retribution of thirty for one increase, every Acre sowed with wheat will produce six, seven, or eight Quarter of the graine intrusted. And though Mr. Bullocke be pleased to under-rate at it halfe the crowne the bushell, which in the Canaries will yeeld ten and twelve shillings, and in Spaine eight, yet even in that proportion you are recompenced with six, seven, or eight pound the Acre, of which two men by a discreet division of their time, will plow, reape, and in at the least 60 Acres.

Which though it may appeare a matter of admiration, yet I shall easily make it apparant by the following Narration, in which such is the exactnesse of the Ayre in this Country, that you may have five successive Harvests of the same grain in different seasons. For though a man and a boy with much ease may plow an Acre every day, the ground being pliable of a rich blacke and tender mold, and no frosts or snowes, no usuall droughts or raines to hinder the going of the plow, yet I shall allow a month for the plowing of twelve Acres, and thus plowing in September, October, November, December, and January, you may have your severall Harvests in June, July, August, and September, which may easily bee inned by the same hands the labour not falling in a glut upon them, but the Corne ripening according to its severall seasons.

And thus by two mens labours onely you have a gratefull returne of at the least three hundred and sixty Quarters of Wheat, which will at that under rate formerly mentioned, viz 2s. 6d. yeeld so many pounds sterling: Nor is there such difficulty in the threshing, as may be at first sigh't suspected, since it may easily be tread out with Oxen, as it is usuall in Italy and other Countries.

The first Wheat being reaped, if you desire a croppe of Barley, the same Land plowed in Iuly, will returne its ripe increase in September, so that from one and the same piece of ground you may have the benefit of two different Harvests.

But the Rice (for production of which this Countrey is no lesse proper then those Lands which have the greatest reputation of fertility) sowed, yeelds a greater encrease with the same labour 40 Acres [Page 4] of this plowed if valued but at 7s. 6d. the Bushell, will yeeld 600l. all done by two men and a Teame of Oxen, who may by other labour in the intervall betwixt the committing the seed to ground, and its ripening, fall upon Cole-seed or Rape-seed, infinitely rich Commodities with the same facility.

The objection, that the Countrey is overgrowne with Woods, and consequently not in many Yeares to bee penetrable for the Plough, carries a great feeblenesse with it. For there are an immense quantity of Indian fields cleared already to our hand by the Natives, which till wee grow over populous may every way be abundantly sufficient, but that the very clearing of ground carries an extraordinary benefit with it, I wil make apparent by these following Reasons.

1. If wee consider the benefit of Pot-ashes growne from ten to fifty pound the Tunne, within these twenty yeares, and in all probability likely to encrease by reason of interdicting Trade betwixt us and the Muscovite, from whence we used to supply our selves; We shall finde the employment of that very Staple will raise a considerable summe of Money, and no man so imployed can (if industrious) make his labour lesse then one hundred pound, per annum: For if wee consider that those who labour about this in England give twelve pence the bushell for Ashes, if wee consider to how many severall parts of the Countrey they are compelled to send man and horse before they can procure any quantity to fall to worke upon; if wee consider some of the thriftiest, and wise, and understanding men, fell Wood on purpose for this Commodity, and yet notwithstanding this Brigade of difficulties finde their Adventures and Labours answered with a large returne of profit, wee who have all these things, already at our owne doore without cost, may with a confidence grounded upon reason expect an advantage much greater, and a clearer profit.

Nor can wee admit in discretion, that a large quantity of those should not finde a speedy Market, since the decay of Tymber is a defect growne universall in Europe, and the Commodity such a necessary Staple, that no civill Nation can be conveniently without it.

Nor are Pipestaves and Clapboard a despicable commodity, of which one man may with ease make fifteene thousand yearely, which in the countrey it selfe are sold for 4l. in the Canaries for [Page 5] twenty pound the thousand, and by this meanes the labour of one man will yeeld him 60l. per annum, at the lowest Market. If all this be not sufficient to remove the incumbrance of Woods, the Saw mill may be taken into consideration, which is in every respect highly beneficiall by this Timber for building houses, and shipping may be more speedily prepared, and in greater quantity by the labour of two or three men, then by a hundred hands after the usuall manner of sawing.

The Plankes of Walnut-trees for Tables or Cubbords, Cedar and Cypresse, for Chests, Cabinets, and the adorning magnificent buildings, thus prepared will be easily transported into England, and sold at a very considerable value.

But that in which there will be an extraordinary use of our Woods is the Iron mills, which if once erected will be an undecaying Staple, and of this forty servants will by their labour raise to the Adventurer foure thousand pound yearely: Which may easily be apprehended if wee consider the deerenesse of Wood in England, where notwithstanding this great clog of difficulty, the Master of the Mill gaines so much yearely, that he cannot but reckon himselfe a provident Saver.

Neither does Virginia yeeld to any other Province whatsoever in excellency and plenty of this Oare: And I cannot promise to my selfe any other then extraordinary successe and gaine, if this noble and usefull Staple be but vigourously followed.

And indeed it had long ere this growne to a full perfection, if the treachery of the Indians had not crushed it in the beginning, and the backwardnesse of the Virginia Merchants to reerect it, hindred that Countrey from the benefit arising from that universall Staple.

But to shew something further, what use may be made of Woods besides the forementioned Wallnut Oyle, at the least a fourth part of the Trees in Viginia being of that species, is an excellent Staple, and very gainefull to the industrious Labourer.

Nor is it a contemptible profit that may be made of Woods, if by boaring holes in divers trees, of whose vertues wee are yet ignorant, and collecting the juce thereof, a scrutiny be made which are fit for Medicinall Liquor and Balsomes; which for Gummes, Perfumes, and Dyes, and heere I may justly take occasion to complaine of our owne sloth and indulgence, if compared to the laborious [Page 6] Spanyard, who by this very practice have found out many excellent Druggs, Paints, and Colours, meerely by bruizing and grinding Woods, probably convenient for such experiments: which if boyled, and a white peece of cloth steeped in the boyling liquor, will by its tincture discover what colour it is capable to give, and if many should faile in the tryall, yet does it not fall under the probability, but that divers noble and usefull mysteries of Nature may be discovered by some such perforations and scrutinies. Nor are the many Berries commonly of an excellent collour and lustre unfit for such experiments; since the labour is little or nothing, and the issue if succesfull of remarkable advantage. And this the Spanyard hath experimented to the encrease of gaine and reputation; and above this is so signally curious and industrious, that he hath discovered many rare and delightfull colours, not onely by the meanes before mentioned, but by bruizing and boyling divers Fish-shells, the brightnesse and variety of colours giving him a just reason to pursue such curious examens.

The French relations of their Voyages to Canada, tell us, that the Indians and themselves falling into a contagious disease, of which Phisitians could give no Reason or Remedy, they were all in a short space restored to their health meerely by drinking water, in which Saxifrage was infused and boyld, which was then discovered to them by the Natives, and wee justly entertaine beliefe that many excellent Medicines either for conservation of Nature in her vigour or restauration in her decadence may be communicated unto us, if projection of this stampe be so much incouraged by hopes of reward or honour, as to be put in practice.

By this Improvement of Woods, the Ground comming to bee cleared, wee have a soile fit to produce what ever is excellent in Nature, the Vine and Olive which Naturally simpathize together, will thrive beyond beliefe, nor need it be any interruption to Tillage, since the Vintage and Harvest alwayes fall but in different Reasons.

That wild Vines runne naturally over Virginia, ocular experience declares who delighting in the Neighbourhood of their beloloved Mulberry-trees inseparable associates over all that Countrey, and of which in this their wildnesse Wines have beene made, of these Wines if transplanted and cultivated, there can be made no doubt but a Rich and Generous Wine would be produced: But [Page 7] if wee set the Greeke Cyprian Candian or Calabrian Grape, those Countries lying parallell with this, there neede not be made the smallest question but it would be a Staple which would enrich this Countrey to the envy of France and Spaine, and furnish the Northerne parts of Europe, and China it selfe where they plant it not, (of which more heereafter) with the Noblest Wine in the World, and at no excessive prices.

And from this Staple 'tis not unworthy of our most serious consideration, what an occasion of wealth would flow upon this Nation: Virginia when well peopled being able to match Spaine in that his Soveraigne Revenue, and the State by addition to their Customes for exportation thereof according to the mode of France and Spaine, would in no short time be sensible of this most inestimable benefit: To which if wee joyne the Profits of our Olives, wee may (Gods favourable hand blessing our industry) be the happiest Nation in Europe.

Nor need wee be at that charge for Caske under which Spaine labours, where ever wee cast our eyes upon this Fortunate Countrey wee may finde Timber proper for it.

For the advance of which noble Staple, I should propose that the Greeke, and other Rich Vines, being procured from the Countries to which they are geniall, every Planter in that Countrey might be enjoyned to keepe a constant Nursery, to the end when the ground is cleared, that they may be fit for removal, and the Vineyard speedily planted.

Further that some Greeke, and other Vignerous might be hired out of those Countries to instruct us in the labour, and lest their envy, pride, or jealousie of being layd aside when their mysterie is discovered, may make them too reserved in communicating their knowledge, they may be assured, besides the continuance of their Pension of a share in the profits of every mans Vintage, which will the more easily perswade them to be liberall and faithfull in their instructions, since the publick advance of this designe cannot miscarry without a sensible losse to their particular interest.

That before their going over a generall consultation may be had whith them what ground is proper, what season fit, what prevention of casualties by bleeding or splitting, what way to preserve or restore Wine when vesseld, which species of Wine is fittest [Page 8] for transportation over, or retention in the Countrey, which for duration, which for present spending: It being in experience manifest that some Wines refine themselves by purge upon the Sea, others by the same meanes suffer an evaporation of their Spirits, joyne to this that some Wines collect strength and richnesse, others contract feeblenesse and sowernesse by seniority.

These consultations drawne to a head by some able person, and published to be sent over in severall Copies to Virginia, by the inspection of which people might arrive at such competent knowledge in the Mystery, that the reservation or jealousies of those Vignerons, could not but be presently perceived and prevented.

But from hence no occasion should bee derived to breake or fall short of any contract made with those Vignerons, who are to be exactly dealt with in performance of Articles, every way made good unto them, with all just respects to win upon them, and the nonperformance of this hath beene the originall cause why Virginia at this day doeth not abound with that excellent commodity. Those contracted with as hired servants for that imployment, by what miscariage I know not, having promise broken with them, and compelled to labour in the quality of Slaves, could not but expresse their resentment of it, and had a good colour of justice to conceale their knowledge, in recompence of the hard measure offered them, which occasioned the laying aside of that noble Staple, the diligent prosecution whereof, had by this time brought Virginia to an absolute perfection in it, and to a great degree of happinesse and wealth which would attend it.

And had this beene as happily followed as it was prudently intended, that excellent Country had not hung downe its desolate head in so languishing a condition as the disrespect cast upon her, till of late yeares had reduced her to. Nor had the poore Planter (who usually spends all the profits of his labour in forraigne Wines) been impoverished by the want of it: but with delight might have shaded himselfe under his vine, reaped the benefit of it in Autumne, and buried all the memory and sense of his past labours in a cheerfull rejoycing by his owne harth with the issue of his owne vineyard.

And from hence might Barbadoes, St. Christophers, and all our Islands in the Indies, have richer, better, and by much cheaper, wines transported to them from a place much neerer in distance then Spain [Page 9] or the Canaries) and which doubles the benefit such intercourse together, would draw them to an association in power as well as communication of Staples.

Were this brought to a just perfection no other Nation could upon a quarrell betwixt Us, and Spaine, and France, reape a benefit by selling us their Wine at a third Market. And what wee vend now for it (that being made Native to us) might be returned in Bullion, to the apparent enriching of the Common-wealth, and the impoverishing of our Enemies, or at the least Friends deservedly suspected.

All Authours of Agriculture unanimously consent that neither Arable Pasture, Meadow, or any other Grounds are so benigne genuine, or proper for planting Vines in, as those cleared Lands are, wherein not Shrubs, but Tall Trees were standing. And wee must want a parallell in any part of the World to compare with Virginia for tall and goodly Timber-trees cleared of all under Woods, to which when cleared your Vines may be removed (the very removeall of them, as indeed of all other, giving an addition to their perfection (the excellency of transplantation being more particularly insisted upon heereafter.) But in the clearing of these woods it will be a saving of labour, and a delight to the Vine, besides other profits following to leave the Mulberry trees standing there, being such a happy correspondence together such a mutuall love ingrafted in them by Nature, that wee well may conclude with this Axiome, that the same Nature joynes all her excellencies together by an association of simpathies.

Nor does she wave that her happy order in Incomparable Virginia, where the soile and climate that fits the one, is equally amiable to the other, their loves and hates happily according, what the one shunnes, the other flies from, what the one affects, challenges the others embraces, and were not this soile and climate most geniall and proper Nature her selfe (whose productions are never uselesse) would never have crowned the Virgin Brow of this unexampled Countrey, with such a universall plenty of them, or with such a voluntary League have united them every where together.

[Page 10]

1.1. VIRGINIA compared to PERSIA.

BUT to illustrate this with another argument: Let us compare this felicity-teeming Virginia, as it is scituated from 31 degrees of Latitude to 40 with other Countries, seated in the same degrees which opens us a method of observing what Commodities Nations so planted abound with, which found wee shall discover in this excellent Virgin a disposition ingrafted by Nature to be Mother of all those excellencies, and to be equall (if not superior) as well in all their noble Staples, as in nearenesse to their particular enricher the perpetually auspicious Sunne. And this to whom Virginia owes the publication and portract of her incomparable beauty; Mr. Harriet the noble Mathematician delivers us by a happy instance in finding out for her a noble Sister of the same Latitude, the most glorious Persia, innobled as much by this comparison as in her Empire. And those who have travelled and viewed Persia; unanimously relate wonders of her admirable fertility in all sorts of Graine and Fruits, with an unexpressible abundance of Silke and Wines: In which this her rich-bosomed Sister claimes an equality in her plenty of Mulberries, Silke, and Gums, Vines, Maiz, Rice, and all sorts of Graine: onely as a fuller-dowryed Sister she merits a priority in fertility, pleasure, health, and temperature, a Virgin Countrey, so preserved by Nature out of a desire to show mankinde fallen into the Old age of the Creation, what a brow of fertility and beauty she was adorned with when the World was vigorous and youthfull, and she her selfe was unwounded with the Plough-shares, and unweakened by her numerous future teemings.

Another eye-witnesse of this Victorious Empire, delivers to memory that Govern in a Province of that Countrey, is so incomparably fruitfull, that Dearths are never knowne, nor Famine ever suspected in it, that in one onely City called Ety; there is such an inestimable store of Silke, that there might be bought in one day in that City as much Silke as will lode three thousand Camells. And he is little conversant with experience or History, who is ignorant that the abundance of Silke Native to that Countrey and Climate, [Page 11] is almost the sole Staple of that mighty Empire, by which never tobe exhausted Treasure of Silkes the sinewes and vitalls of the Persian Empire, the Sophy to the generall good of Christendome, keepes both the hornes of the Ottoman Moone from compleating their ambitious Circle. And if the English East-India Company of Merchants were not wrong-byassed by the factions and sinister ambition of some men in Authority amongst them, a great part of that wealthy Staple might be transported into England, and by that meanes dispersed over all parts of Europe to the enriching and honour of this Nation.

The digression upon this Parallell hath diverted me from ampliation upon the publick benefit, which may devolve into this republick by the Olive, which being genuine to the Vine, will by a happy consent of nature indisputably flourish in a vast abundance, and by a transportation into the warmer Regions, where the heate or scarcity of Cattle causeth a like indigence of Butter, will be a Staple of inestimable value, and of no smaller conducement to our owne shipping, into those provinces neere the Equinox, or in those voyages where the doubling of the Line either putrifies, or makes it of a taste little pleasing or agreeable to the palate.

1.2. VIRGINIA compared to CHINA.

BUt to leave Persia and descend to a more wealthy and powerful parallell, the richest and mightiest Empire in the World, lies in the same latitude and climate with our fortunate Virginia; namely China, divided from it only by the Southsea, and (which will bee a part of another discourse) not of any long distance from it, agreeing with it in multitude of Staples. China is stored with an infinite number of Mulberry trees to feede Silkewormes with, and vends silke in such a vast proportion, that in one onely City Lempo, which some call Liempo, the Portugeses, have with no small admiration, observed that one hundred and sixty thousand pound weight of silk hath beene caried out in one Shippe in the onely space of three Moneths.

Into Cambala the chiefe City of Tartary (as Authors of great [Page 12] repute and credit, and one who was personally there, reports) there comes every day from China, a thousand waggons laden with silke. Nor is China lesse happy in its multitude of navigable Rivers, in its wonderfull fertility of all sorts of graine, Maiz, Rice, &c. of which it receiveth every yeere three or foure most plentifull Harvests. Rivers stored with an incredible quantity of Fish and Fowle, enriched and ennobled with numerous Mines of Gold, Silver, Brasse, Iron, and other Mettalls, Quicksilver, Nitre, Allum, Pretious stones, Pearles, Muske, Cotton, Sugars, Rubarb, China Root, vast proportions of Flax, Furres extraordinary rich. To this happinesse of soile and situation, they associate an equall felicity of parts and industry, by which they pretermit not one span of ground which they assign not to particular and profitable uses, and by an ingenious division of the ground according to the quality of the soyle, designe the drier part for wheat and barly, That which is more visited with an improving moysture, to Rice and Sugar; Ascents and Mountaines to groves of Pines and Chestnuts, betweene which are planted Maiz Panicle, and all kinde of Pulse. In other proper places are Mulberry Groves, Gardens, Orchards, Flax, and in a word no spot of ground misimployed from its proper advantage.

And that Virginia is parallell in neerenesse of Staples, as well as neighbourhood to the sunne, to that celebrated Empire, what multitudes of Fish to satisfie the most voluptuous of wishes, can China glory in which Virginia may not in justice boast of? What Fowles can she make ostentation of, in which Virginia can be esteemed inferiour? Can China, insolent with her prosperity, solely lay clayme to a more singular honour for her affluence in Maiz and other grain, for the maintenance and luxury of her plenty-wanton Inhabitants, without an open injury to her equall, to her Mayden sister, to our incomparable Virginia? Are her Mulberries springing from a voluntary bounty of Nature lesse numerous or usefull then those to which China hath added all the assistance which could be expected from advantages of transplantation, or an industrious people? If China will descend to particulars, to compare Quantity and Quality of Fish and Fowle, Let her shew us Turkies of 50 pound weight, Let her instance an example of one hundred and fifty Fowle, to reward the labour of three charges of shot and powder, Let her publish a president so worthy of admiration (and which will not admit [Page 13] beliefe in those bosomes where the eye cannot be witnesse of the action) of five thousand fish taken at one draught neere Cape Charls, at the entry into Chesapeak Bay, and which swells the wonder greater, not one fish under the measure of two feet in length. What Fleets come yeerely upon the coasts of New found Land, and New England for Fish, with an incredible returne? Yet tis a most assured truth, that if they would make experiment upon the South of Cape Cod, and from thence to the coast of this happy Countrey, they would find Fish of a greater delicacy, and as full handed plenty, which though Foraigners know not, yet if our owne Planters would make use of it, would yield them a Revenue which cannot admit of any diminution, whilest there are Ebbes and Flouds, Rivers feed and receive the Ocean, or Nature fayles in (the Elementall Originall of all things) Waters.

There wants nothing but industrious spirits and incouragement, to make a rich Staple of this commodity; and would the Virginians but make Salt pits, in which they have a greater convenience of Tides (that part of the Universe by reason of a full influence of the Moone upon the almost limitlesse Atlantick causing the most spacious Fluxes and Refluxes, that any shore of the other divisions in the World is sensible of) to leave their pits full of Saltwater, and more friendly and warme Sunbeames to concoct it into Salt, then Rochel, or any parts of Europe. Yet notwithstanding these advantages which prefer Virginia before Rochel, the French King rayses a large proportion of his Revenues out of that Staple yearly, with which he supplyes a great part of Christendome.

And if from this Staple the miserable French can procure a subsistence, some of them a comfortable livelyhood, notwithstanding all the private oppressions of their grinding Landlords, the Publick Tallies, Subsidies, Aides, Imposts, and other hard Titles of authorized Rapine. What shall wee imagine the freeborne English in a Countrey where he owes no Rent to any but to God and Nature, where he has Land to satisfie his desires in its extent, his wishes in its fertility, where free-quarter is a word onely understood by Report, may expect of profit and content both in this Staple of Salt, in that of Wines made in those Countries, where either the Spanish insolence and exactions, the French extortions, or the Turkish Imperiall Robberies, though in the highest degrees of exorbitance, [Page 14] are not of force so to disincourage the Inhabitants from attendance upon the Vineyard, which notwithstanding all those Horse-leaches of Imposition, returnes them such a profit as make them keepe a middle path betweene the ascent of Riches, and precipice of Poverty.

Nor would it be such a long intervall (Salt being first made) betwixt the undertaking of this Fishing, and the bringing it to perfection; for if every servant were enjoyned to practise Rowing, to be taught to handle Sailes, and trimme a Vessell, a worke easily practised, and suddainely learned, the pleasantnesse of Weather in fishing season, the delicacy of the Fish, of which they usually feede themselves with the best, the encouragement of some share in the profit, and their understanding what their owne benefit may bee when their freedome gives them an equallity, will make them willing and able Fisher-men and Seamen.

To adde further to this, if wee consider the abundance, largenesse, and peculiar excellency of the Sturgeon in that Countrey, it will not fall into the least of scruples, but that one species will bee of an invaluable profit to the buyer, or if wee repeate to our thoughts the singular plenty of Herrings and Mackarell, in goodnesse and greatnesse much exceeding what ever of that kinde these our Seas produce, a very ordinary understanding may at the first inspection perceive that it will be no great difficulty to out-labour and out-vye the Hollander in that his almost onely Staple: Which wee may also sell at a cheaper Market then in common estimation; if wee revolve the Salt to be our owne, which they buy from France, or fetch from the Isle of May, and that the very fraight of Passengers (of which allured by this improvement, and the publick approbation, there will be constant multitudes) in our owne Shippes will at the least defray 3 fourths of the charges.

I should not unwillingly heare (though I dispaire ever to know it for a certainety) that China did exceede us in fishing; for were it granted, wee should not imagine those warry Inhabitants so circumscribed and limited to one part of the Ocean especially the same Climate and Latitude, inviting them as not to visit our opposite shore of Southwest Virginia in as great variety and plenty.

And to the more curious and able Persons I shall offer what singular object it were of variety and plenty, if they would take the advantage [Page 15] of some tides and seasons, when the resort of fish is greatest to stoppe the Returne of them out of some Creeke perpetually flowing with Salt by Slices, or such other invention: Heere would those great ones generate and produce till even they laboured with their owne Multitude, if permitted to increase two or three yeares, who might with very small charge be maintained, and yearely render to the proprieter an Ocean of Fish in a narrow confine of Water.

Nor were it unworthy the labour to make an experiment whether the Sturgion himselfe might not receive a kinde of Domestication in that narrow circumscription, especially if wee let it descend into our thoughts, that (by small perforations in the sluces he perpetually admits a Renovation and change of salt Water) he may receive the same benefit of Liberty, namely variety of Water, which he delights in when unconfined, and admitting the Originall Breeder not to thrive well by such imprisoning, yet Customes ascending as high as Nature in the Breed, would make that Familiar to them, which peradventure might have been offensive to the first Spawner, and should they delight (as in some seasons of the yeare Fishes doe vary their Resorts) at any time in fresh water; A large Pond digged neare having either Springs to fecde it, or Raines to fill it, might by communication of a Sluce receive both them and Salmon, when they seeke after the Freshes.

And that Fishes may be unwilded, and become Domestick, History will sufficiently informe us, wherein are delivered Reports of some who growne more particularly intelligent, were distinguisht by names, and understood themselves so called: and Martiall in one of his Epigrams to Caesaer, (I meane Domitiax) tells the Prince speaking of Fishes so instructed, Quid quod nomen habert & ad Magistri Nomen quis{que} sui venit citatus? And further, Manum{que} lambit, a thing, which though a Poet, and consequently bold, even to untruths, yet he durst never have obtruded upon Caesar, whom himselfe makes a party in the experiment.

And to adde something to what hath formerly beene delivered of Balsomes and Colours, why from the Livers and most unctuous parts of those more delicate Fishes, may not curiosity finde a means to extract an Oyle; which (if it be not Medicinall, though I am enclined by severall Reasons to beliene the affirmative) may notwithstanding [Page 16] artificially distilled after its first extraction prove a delicacy for the Tables of Princes and Great Ones, especially for Sauces, and other Confections which Luxury hath found out for the irritation of dull and retreating appetites. But I cannot believe it to be deprived of its particular virtue in Physicall operations, and the industrious conclusions of our Ancestors have by such probations discovered many rich Mysteries of Nature; whilst wee either glutted with our owne plenty of Receipts, or out of a too fond a Reverence wee pay to antiquity acquiesce in their prescriptions, as in the ne plus ultra, the Hercules Pillars of Wisedome, beyond which there were no passage, or else feare every innovation brings inconveniences in his Traine, which opinion if it had possessed those our Ancestors, the World had continued in ignorance, and must for ever have layne sick of an incurable folly in the Fooles Hospitalls.

For what concernes the Flax of China, that wee may not lose the smallest circumstance of Parallell with Virginia, Nature her selfe hath enriched this her bosome Favourite with a voluntary plant, which by art, industry, and transplantation may be multiplyed and improved to a degree of as plentifull, but more excellent Nature: Which because of its accession to the quallity of Silke, wee entitle Silke Grasse: Of this Queene Elizabeth had a substantiall and rich peece of Grograine made and presented to Her. Of this Mr. Porey in his discovery of the great River Chamonoak, to the South of Iames River delivers a Relation of infinite Quantity, covering the Surface of a Vast Forest of Pine-trees, being 60. miles in length.

It had beene wished that the injunction given to every Planter to set so many thousand Plants of this kinde had been effectually prosecuted: The intermission whereof hath beene a prejudice not easily imaginable: Nor is it yet too late to effect it, and in all probability by transplantation it may thrive beyond comparison larger, and the skinne of it growne more tender and delicate, may arrive to some equality with the labour of the Silke-worme, if it be managed by such Rules of Nature best sute with its production.

For Hempe there is a naturall kinde of Hempe, a species of Flagg in that Countrey, from which being boyled you may strippe a long and fine skinne, not onely proper for Cordage, but the finer sort singularly usefull for Linnen; of this two hundred weight hath [Page 17] beene sent into England, of which hath beene made excellent Cordage, and very good Linnen. This, by observation of the soile it growes in, and transplanted into Grounds of like, but richer property, would together with tht Silke-grasse make a Staple of admirable Returne and Profit; Provided every Planter had an injunction for this, as well as the former to sow or set a convenient proportion, to which his owne profit (quickned with the imposition of a mulct in case of neglect) would easily invite him. And by this meanes would Virginia not onely furnish her owne people, but supply other Nations with Stuffes and Linnen.

To the Brasse of China, wee shall oppose the Virginian Copper (or Gold, for yet it is doubtfull) for by a concurrent Relation of all the Indians, justified to severall English of Quality, particularly to the Earle of Southampton in Mr. Poryes Narrative, to Sir William Berkely, all seconding Mr. Heriots Report, that within ten dayes West toward the setting of the Sunne, the Natives of that Countrey gathered a kinde of a Red Sand falling with a streame issuing from a Mountaine, which being washed in a sive, and set upon the fire speedily, melts and becomes some Copper, which they shew us, but as they say much softer. We shall only suppose it to be Copper, contrary to the opinion of divers knowing men, who apprehend it for a Richer Metall; but melting with such ease two parts in five turning to a Solid Metall, the other three parts being peradventure not any thing of the Oare, but onely such Rubbidge, as joyned to the Oare in rouling, and this falling meerely from the superficies of the Mountaine, yet a Rich Copper; what eye enlightned with the smallest beame of Reason, will not conclude it for an extraordintry accession of Wealth to this Countrey? and why may not the intralls of this Minerall be Gold, since the skinne and crust of it is Copper? Nature her selfe oftentimes dealing after the mode of divers great men, delighting to lay an unregarded outside over her Richest Linings.

To proceed in continuation of our comparison with China, if it abound more in visible Silver (of which with our abundance of Staples may quickly put us into a condition of entring into completion with) yet cannot Virginia in all probability be destitute of that Metall: For besides divers conjectures grounded upon naturall circumstances: Mr. Gage in his Relation of the Indies, as letterures [Page 18] us that the Spanyards have found out a rich Silver Mine on the back side of Florida Westward, in 34 degrees of Latitude, and the farther they extend their search Northward, the more Rich and Pure the Mines discovered improve themselves.

Nor shall wee plead inferiority in Pearles with China or Persia, since Mr. Heriot assures us of a large quantity of Pearles found amongst the Natives, spoyled by their ignorance in boring of them, and defacing their orientall lustre, by exposing them to the fire. These were found amongst the Indians at Roanoak, and the Relations of the Natives on all hands unanimously concur that the South and West of this opulent Countrey was stored with such abundance and variety, that the Indians used to make and adorne Babies with them: And one of the English had collected a Bracelet of very orientall Pearle, to the number of five thousand, which were all lost in the Returne to England.

If China suppose a merit of precedency in Muske, Virginia may justly oppose them with her Musk Rat, or Muscassus, which in all probability cannot but be the same; for it is a tradition received into the Number of truths, that the Confection of their Muske in that Countrey is bruizing and burying a certaine Creature to putrefaction, of which this Odour is effected, and it is very open to conjecture that this Musk-Rat or Muscassus, whose flesh and skinne are extraordinary redolent and durant, and of which there is an infinite plenty, by such order may be brought to the same perfection. Neither is it so improbable that this Odour should proceed from putrefaction, which is naturally an abhorrence to the Nosthrill: for if you apply too neare to the substance of the Muske, there is an occult subolency of such a putrefactive originall. Neither are all excretions of Nature in themselves offensive to the sense of smelling, for the Fluxe of the Civet-Cat is accounted amongst our most soveraigne Perfumes: And this experimented will be a Staple of noble use, and no lesse benefit.

Nor shall wee yeeld the Laurell of preeminence in Richnesse of Furres to China, if the Furres of Beavers, Otters, Martines, and above all Black Foxes (which are upon some part of this Continent) may pretend any title to Richnesse: And yet have wee beene hitherto so supinely negligent to permit the Dutch and the French to carry away most of this pretious Commodity, to trade in our Rivers, [Page 19] under-sell us, and which discovers either an implacable malice or insatiable avarice, trade with those Indians (of whom wee have no reason to nourish any great confidence) for Muskets and Powder.

To conclude, what ever else China may presume to boast of: Whether Nitre, Allum, Quicksilver, Rhubarb, and China Root, of which some wee have already discovered: If wee consider the parallell in Latitude, the equality of temperate Climate, the parity in soile, and its fertility, the similitude in brave Navigable Rivers, the unanimous congruity and consent in divers knowne Commodities, wee shall have an ample basis to ground conjectures upon, that what ever singularity of Nature that Nation may imagine her selfe Victorious over others, will be found equall in this Garden of the World, this aemulous Rivall of China, Virginia: And the Chineses may with as great justice deny the Europeans the benefit of both eyes, as boast that they precede in any thing except Antiquity of habitation and a long experienced industry, this great Luminary of the new World Virginia.

What ever other commodities, the Novelty of inhabiting this amorous Virgin hath made it appeare defective in, as Sugar, Indigo, Cotton, Ginger, and other advantageous Staples, wee shall appeale to all who have seene this unexampled Countrey; (we meane Roanoak, and the more Southerne parts, and those Countries towards the fertile Mangoack) whether it be guilty of any contrariety, distemper, or extremity, which might hinder their production. The Sunne, which in other Countreys makes his visit in Flames and Droughts, heere casts his auspicious Beames, and by an innocent and complementall warmth, courts the bosome of this his particular favourite, hastening and disposing its wombe for ripe productions, which salute him in an absolute perfection. Winter Snowes, Frosts, and other excesses, are heere only remembred, never known. The purling Springs and wanton Rivers every where kissing the happy soyle into a perpetuall verdure, into an unwearied fertility: no obstructions in your expectations, attempt and hope them, prosecute and enjoy them.

Nor have we in design to lay any imputation upon the Barbadoes, which already aboundeth to admiration, with the Staples last mentioned, yet it will become our charity to wish the Country as healthfull, [Page 20] as it is fruitfull; that it may answer the expectation and merit of its most industrious and publicke spirited Planters, who have given a brave example to all, by the effects of their industry and unwearied constancy. From a thing almost lost to memory, (at the least to reputation) they have raysed the honour of that Island, to be a subject of admiration for wealth and Staple, and that so little a circumference of Ground should be able to vent the value of two hundred and fifty thousand pound yeerely, as some Merchants have maintayned, not only addes to the weight and measure of their just estimation, but increases the favourable wishes of all movers of industry, that they had a larger proportion of ground to improve upon.

And if an invincible sloth doth not possesse us in Virginia, (wee meane the South) why should not wee rayse an equall or greater profit upon as fertile and convenient a soile? especially if we consider the populousnesse of the place, has so raysed the price of Land there, which we have heere gratis, where number of inhabitants doe so little take from our abundance, that they adde to our wealth, security and plenty, and the sole meanes to increase and improve upon Staples.

We have made it apparant that what ever China hath of Staple or delicacy, is produced or producible in this above-example Virgin. But to shew that even China her selfe must in some things give place to this more happy Mayden, Terra sigillata, or Lemnia, (as peculiar an income to the Grand Signiors Treasury, as that of Salt is to the French Kings) and of which China can no way boast, is native to this Countrey; Vines are eyther not naturall, neglected, or not understood by the Chineses, but in this incomparable soyle the Grape presents it selfe every where to your delighted prospect. And what shadow can there be of scruple that Wines well cultivated, and issuing from a rich Grape, will not be as commodious a Staple to that voluptuous and gluttonous Nation, who wanton away their wealth in banquets, as the Wines of France and Spain are to the more Northerne and lesse abstenious Nations of Europe?

There needs no objection be made against this Staple; for the Southwest part of Virginia being once discovered, the Sea laid open and that passage compleat in all its numbers, the pleasure of the commerce, the richnesse of returnes, and the extraordinary quicknes of the profit, will invite so many to come over and plant that commodious [Page 21] quarter of Virginia, that as we shall never labour with too numerous a multitude of inhabitants, so we shall not have any great occasion to complaine of the paucity of Planters.

Nor is Tobacco in those Indian seas (especially cured as in Virginia, and of that strength and excellency) a commodity of inconfiderable commerce, particularly if wee call to minde what gayne there is by the exchange for Indian commodities, so that any ordinary understanding may comprehend that although Tobacco should yeeld but three pence the pound in India, yet by way of barter with those Nations where the returne quadruples the value in England, the gaynes gotten by it might be very considerable.

But if we may beleeve Printed Relations (and the person delivering it so cleerely, is, in my opinion, worthy of all credit) Tobacco from Surat to Moco yeeld ten for one profit, returned in Eastridge feathers to England you have six to one profit; but this is for those Planters who are so infected with that disease of the Countrey, that they cannot admit of any other Staple, though more gainefull and lesse laborious. Yet is not Tobacco without its vertues: for the Spaniard hath found out, besides the use of it in smoke, (or the smoky use) that the juice thereof (when greene) applyed to any wound cut, sore, and without any distinction, whether greene, festered, or cankered, will heale it speedily, and almost miraculously; the leafe bruised or stamped, and applied to any bite or sting of a venemous quality, to any wound made by a poysoned arrow, the green leafe heated in hot ashes, and layd upon any part of the body afflicted with aches, will worke effects answerable to the most powerfull operations of Nature.

1.3. The Benefit and part of the Silke-worme mystery treated of.

BUT to show to the World that wee may equall the best of the Westerne Kingdomes in this noble mystery of Nature the Silke-286 worme: That France and Italy are much below this Mignon of Glory and Profit, the universally advantageous Virginia, wee shall upon those infallible demonstrations of Nature, make evident, having [Page 22] the clew of truth, reason, and modesty to direct us.

It will not be denied by any, whose forehead is not too brazen, that no Countrey is so proper for adventitious as its owne Native Commodities, the seeds of things suffer a deterioration by changing the propriety of that soile which was geniall to them, and the exact order of Nature suffers a diminution, if wee imagine any other Climate or Region more proper for the perfection of any thing, then where it is originally produced.

Tallier affarmes that this mystery of the Silke-worme hath not been experimented in Europe above a thousand yeares, being transmitted to our Climate out of the Asiatick World, in so much that Italy hath not beene above 200 yeares enriched with this industrious Creature, France received it from Italy, and it is observed, that the warmer the Region, by so much larger and stronger encrease and texture receive they from the labour of this admirable and naturall Weaver. France being of a colder temper then Italy, their Woomes are weaker, in the more Northerne part of that Kingdome from one ounce of seed they profit five or sixe pound of Silke increase, worth at the least 2 os. per pound, in Languedock, and the warmer Provinces the same quantity is increased to 7, 8, or 9l. but in Brescia, of Calabria seede, they use usually to make eleaven or twelve pound of Silke from the same originall proportion.

The poore people in both those Kingdomes buy their Mulberry leaves to feede this profitable and industrious Spinner, and the very charge of those leaves amounts to a full halfe of all other their expences.

The Nobility of Italy and France (the Grand Duke of Tuscany himselfe, descending into a part of this profit) make up a considerable part of their Revenue from their Trees, the Leaves of every one bring valued according to their goodnesse and quality, from five shillings to twenty and upwards, so that divers make an income of three, four, five, sometimes a thousand pounds per annum from the sole profit of their Mulberry trees.

The Grand Duke from the sale of his, rayses an income communibus annis, of sixty thousand Ducars,

Yet divers Gentlemen in Italy make a larger increase of profit, by setting out their Mulberry trees to necessitous people, for halfe the gaine arising from the worme so fed. Those poore contribute [Page 23] their seed, employ their labour, and are at all expences in bringing the silke to perfection; yet notwithstanding when completed, the Gentleman who sets out his Trees, divides the moyety of the entire profit, for the hire of his Leaves only, yet are these people, maugre this difficulty, comfortable gayners.

And the same Tellier is bold to affirme, that non obstante the disagreeablenesse of the Country to that worme, in the Kingdome of France from the sole revenue now of Silke, arises a greater intrade then from their Corne, Oyle and Woad put together, which grow in that Kingdome in vast proportions. And another French Author affirmeth, that the benefit of the Silke-worme, (of which France hath had no triall till within these fifty yeeres) ariseth to four Millions per annum, sterling, and this he pretends to have all circumstances of truth and certainty, drawne from an exact computation to confirme it.

If France (an almost improper Countrey for this improvement) can rayse within the verge of fifty yeeres, so large and numerous a revenue, what shall we imagine Italy (a warmer Region, and by much more convenient, although not altogether Native for this inriching creature) may meerely upon this Staple returne in their Treasury, having besides the advantage of Climate, a hundred and fifty yeeres precedency in the mystery, and their seed more strong, better fed, and lesse subject to diseases and casualties?

But Virginia a Countrey which Nature hath no lesse particularly assigned for the production, food, and perfection of this Creature then Persia or China stored naturally with infinites of Mulberry-trees, some so large that the leaves thereof have by Frenchmen beene esteemed worth 5l, in which the indigenall and naturall Worme hath beene found as bigge as Wallnuts, and thriving, in the South thereof in admirable plenty and excellence; if this mystery were but duly followed, and industriously promoved, might be a Magazine for all the Westerne World, and singly in her selfe outvy France, Spaine, and Italy, in all their advantages collected.

Heere the Leaves are onely sold by nature, who requires no other satisfaction then industry to make use of her bounty. Timber to erect their Fabricks is provided, and costs no more then preparing a benevolent Sunne, and a Serene Sky, contributing their indulgence to its perfection. No narrow assignation of Ground (richer then [Page 24] the most fertile France or Italy can pretend to, or boast of) to plant those Trees on, if not neare enough to the setled Plantations; in briefe, all the conveniences imaginable to assist and advance this to the Noblest Commerce in the World, if neglect and sloth make us not ingratefull to our selves, and nature, by abusing our selves, by not using her bounty.

To further this happy designe, let us descend into an unequall comparison: Let us compare our most incomparable Virginia, where the Mulberry and the Worme are aboriginall to Italy, where they are onely adventitious: Let us imagine our owne Worme of that strength and greatnesse onely equall to those of Brescia and Italy, where the usuall of come from sixe ounces of seede is 72, or at least 60 pound weight of Silke, and adhearing to this Parallell; let us see the apparency in the profit.

A man and a boy, if their hands be not sleeping in their pockets, will feede as many Wormes as come of sixe or eight ounces of seed till they be past their foure first sicknesses, and within some 14 dayes of spinning: Indeed the last 14 dayes require a more extraordinary diligence and attendance, a more frequent and carefull feeding, because in that time they conceive, gather, and store up the disposing matter from whence the Silke comes, which by an incomprehensible mystery of Nature, they after as it were vomit out of their mouthes, and spinne out of their bowells. At this more particular season, there is a necessity of adding the labour of three or foure helpes more (to which Women or Children are as proper as Men) which is an inconsiderable accession considering the gaine arising from it.

That you may know the reason why Women, Children, lame and impotent persons are as fitting to attend the last fourteene dayes, as Men, will appeare by their labour, which is nothing but to feede them within doores, cleanse, dry and perfume their lodgings, with some strengthning but not overstrong odour.

And as one skilfull in this noble mystery is sufficient for the employing, overseeing, and directing hundreds under him, so (the skill being rather experimentally to be taught, then built upon long and ambiguous precepts) he may bee able to perfect all those under him, within the five or six weeekes time of their imployment in the full understanding the mystery. And the better to incourage both [Page 25] the teacher and learner of the mystery, the master should be invited by reward to be liberall in communicating his knowledge, and those under his instruction encouraged by arguments of honour and profit proposed to the best proficient, would disperse seeds of emulation and diligence, since every one would imploy himselfe seriously to engrosse and appropriate to himselfe the reputation and advantage in the victory.

And in boyes and children, disputations frequently set on foot, with some slight distinction of merit, would make all that are ingeniously disposed, quicken their observation and diligence, to gaine the credit of prelation. Though to take off all disincouragement or despayre, from those lesse apprehensive and docible, in this noble and gainefull Trade of Silke, there is no such absolute necessity layd upon them to be supersticiously and precisely curious in observing the Booke Rules, and written Precepts, that upon the omission or unpunctuall observation of any of those Precepts in hatching, lodging, feeding, and tending of the Silke-wormes, wee should imagine such minute deviations might occasion an improsperity or generall failing: for wee will admit something may be wanting either in materialls, accommodation, or precisenesse of knowledge; yet may the worke (a higher and irresistible cause not interrupting it) prosper and succeede, notwithstanding such defect, to the great contentment and gaine of them which keepe them.

Let us imagine it to be granted that the indigency of the person improving the incommodiousnesse of the place, or want of House-roome, which the Bookes exactly tye us to, be in many things preterregular (though such a supposition may fall upon any other part of the World more justly then Virginia, where all materialls and conveniency answer our exactest wishes) yet will dayly examples confirme us, that in Languedoc, Provence, and other parts of France, and as many in Spaine and Italy, amongst the common sort of that exaction tyred people, that one poore low-rooft Cottage, and one Roome in it is all the house extent they have to take their sleepe in, dresse their miserable dyet, and serve themselves of for use and retirement; yet does this industrious Creature (such are the blessings with which God rewards the sweat of Industry) thrive as happily (and sometimes answer labour with a greater fellcity) as those which the curiosity of Richer persons fit with all commodiousnesse [Page 34] of Chamber feeding, and attending, which is a speaking encouragement that no man should despaire, but reposing a cheerefull confidence in the blessing of the Almighty, with this Resolution, that what ever meanes, what ever curiosity, art, or precept, may contribute towards the preparing and familitation of a worke, yet the end, the event must depend on his eternall goodnesse to crowne it, and all our labours projected with never so great a Talent of humane wisdome and experience, must conclude with this never failing truth: That except the Lord build the house their labour is but lost that build it: Except the Lord keepe the City, the Watchman watches but in vaine. Wee must therefore lift up our hearts and eyes with thankefullnesse unto the Hills, unto the Mountaine of Israel, and Rock of David, from whence those streames of blessings must acknowledge their sole, their originall Fountaine, which may serve as an admonition, that neither the whole, nor any part of the worke should be begunne without applying our devotions to him: Let it therefore be the Morning Omen to the worke, and the Evening auspice, Lord prosper the worke of our hands, prosper good Lord our handy workes. After the Reposall of this confidence in God; let him apply himselfe with his greatest industry and ability, with this comfort and assurance, that he cannot but make a considerable returne: Though wee should be much injurious to Art (the noble right hand and Midwife to Nature) if wee should deny a more promising probability of a riper and fuller gaine the more curious and observant he is in following all the approved experiments, Rules, directions, and precepts thereunto belonging.

But the chiefest aime and intention of those Rules are to illustrate the perfection of this Art, and to informe your knowledge, and better your future experience and preventionall care, if any misadventure arrive, or miscarriage in the Silke-wormes, or if they prosper not equally this yeare with the last; for by inspection upon them you may understand the cause and reason of such misadventure, and with it the remedy; and this also takes away all dispaire or disincouragement for men, commonly men till they are convinced in the naturall cause of a disaster or failing attribute, all such mischances to Nature, or else impute the non-thriving to their owne misfortune by a ridiculous opinion that they are not ordained to be fortunate in this or that Mystery, so freequently does Fortune incurre the blame [Page 35] of humane neglect or ignorance.

Besides wee are to imprint in our knowledge, that no Rules can have so much of generality and exactnesse, which will not admit of deviations arising from some particular and variable circumstances. Wee must not therefore conforme the nature of the Climate to our Rules, but our Rules to it, in which wee must resume to your deliberation how, and in what one Climate differs from another, how the constitution of this yeare varies from the next, or the precedent, the immediocrities of heate, cold, drought, and moisture, serenity, or mists, c. The manner of their lodgings, the quality of the winde to be admitted or excluded: To temper a season inclining to a preternaturall coolenesse with an artificiall heate, to refresh and infrigidate the Aire in times of immoderate heate, by admitting the cooling Aire and Windes proceeding from a cooler Quarter, and this to be observed with a more particular care; when they spinne their Silke, that Creature then being very obnoxious to be stifled with too much heat.

There must be likewise a providentiall regard in a moist season, that the Mulberry leaves be carefully dryed after their gathering, before they be administred for food to the Silke-worme: But if the season pertake more of drought it will be wisedome to let the leaves lye and shade a little after their gathering, that they may have them coole and refreshing, and in seasons of temperature and continued droughts, it may be very requisite to water the Roots of the Mulberry-tree, which will be a refreshing to the leaves, and this is usually practised in Spaine; especially if the Mulberry-tree be seated in a hot or dry ground, which otherwise must not be so prescribed without particular caution.

Nor is it below our consideration to weigh the condition of the place in which the Mulberry is planted, if in a sower foule or wet soile to collect what inconvenience that food may bring unto your worme, and therefore if your necessity will admit it to avoyd such wholly, if not to use them with such qualifications as may make them least offensive.

After having regard to the nature of the ground your Tree receives its juce from, the quality of the season, in which you gather them; it falls next to your consideration to compare the kinde and nature of the Tree, together with the kinde and nature of their [Page 28] seed, worme, and silke, and directing your selfe by an exact observation of particular circumstances, so to make exceptions, and to order every thing with judgement and discretion thereafter, that your Bookes and experience may by that meanes walke hand in hand together.

But time and observations will affoord you many experiments, out of which perhaps some more rules of Art may be framed, in divers particulars, more consenting to the Country and Climate of Virginia. Which finding, after good triall thereupon made, it will become the reputation of a good Patriot in generall, and a good Master of a family in particular, to digest them into such a regular order and method, that the publication thereof may be a common benefit to all, and a private memoriall to particulars.

For since in Persia and China it does not fall under likelihood, that they can oblige themselves to observe all particulars in its strictest limitation, where such an infinite quantity of silke passeth through the hands of the people, it is very agreeable to reason that in a Climate of the same nature and parallell, namely Virginia, there may be rules found out of far lesse brevity, and more pertinency, then have yet been considered or published.

And yet where all these Rules are curiously observed, they make not oney in Spaine and Italy, but in the colder parts of France a far greater gaine (the quantity of adventure and time considered) by thus chargeably feeding of Silk-wormes, then by any other commodity whatsoever.

But to avoid that inconvenience of fetching leaves a far off, or attending the growth of your owne Mulberries, or that necessity which makes the poorer sort of our owne miserable people to lodge them in that Roome which is their Kitchin, their Chamber, their all. With what ease and conveniency may there be a house set up in the middle of a Grove of Mulberries, naturally growing, where the Silkewormes, in a dry Cabinet of Boords, after the maner of Sicily, may be kept (described more largely in the Bookes which treat of this Silkeworme, then can bee expected in this paper) set up with stones in it, in case the Countrey and season require it, eyther to correct the ill sents, or (if so be they are seated in cold, moyst, or shady places, of which your owne sense and experience will quickly acquaint you) to give the ayre a temper and qualification, which if not [Page 29] prevented, may destroy your worke by killing the Silkeworme.

And this Lodge built for them, the season of the yeere will invite your selfe and family (I meane such part of your family as you assigne to this worke) to lodge there also, the time being at the most but six weekes, and for the first moneth, one third of your family will be sufficient to feed them, but the last 14. dayes; the other 2. thirds will be requisit that the wormes may bee more often and plentifully fed the well feeding at that time contributing much to their strength and perfection, and consequently to the improving your expected silke, both in quantity and quality.

That all may be invited and courted to this undertaking, in this glorious Countrey, Nature hath left us destitute of no materialls. To erect these slight silken lodgings, will be no more expences, then your labour; nor is that any greater, then to cut out some posts and studdes, fit them, and set them up, then to cleave and saw out small quarters, rafters, plankes, pales, and boards, to make and set up the sides of the house, in stead of more substantiall walls, and to cover the roofe in stead of Tile. For the effecting of all which with the lesser trouble, that Countrey affords abundance of Woods, which will runne out, slit, and cleave into long lengths and breadths, which by the directnesse of the Ground will rive in a manner, as if they had beene sawen for the worke. All which must be so close layd, joyned, and nayled together, the one still lapt over the other, that no Winde or Raine may penetrate therein to offend that labourious Creature, and this may easily be prevented, if such chinkes and open places as you shall discover bee stopped up with Lome, Clay, and Lime, of which materialls in those Countreyes you will finde no want. And to this purpose the Indian Mats, and the like things may be made good use of in this way, which will be sure to keepe out Winde and perhaps Raine: But to these things your owne inventions, pro re nata, will abundantly furnish you with matter of preventing casualties: Nor will it bee unseasonable to repeat the extraordinary convenience of Saw-mills, which in this case will be in a high degree serviceable to you, and of this the whole Colony will be beneficially sensible in boards, Plankes, housing, Silk-worm-lodgings, Timber, shipping, and all particular kinde of uses.

And this once erected, with what speed may such a house be clapped [Page 39] up together, with a few nailes one lopping over another, either long like a Bowling-Alley, that the functions of the Family may be distinct, and no offensive heat or sent disturbe the Worme in his curious operations.

Or being in doubt of surprisall, some Families going into the Woods together may equally joyne together, and those woodden houses (still observing that the Roomes where the wormes are may be set end and end together, that so the Kitchins and their lodgings may be still the two extreames) may be cast into the forme of a Fort which pallisadoed, and your house sentinelled by halfe a dozen of good Dogges, wilbe a sufficient defence against all the Natives of the Countrey.

And this may be in case they worke not in common, which if by compact they agree upon, the Lodging for the wormes may be cast in the middle of such a circle, the Timber houses round about shading them from over much heat, wind or moisture, and the necessary fires there made, will throughly cleere the ayre of all vapours and mists which may disorder this innocent Spinner. The Silke Harvest ready, and the encrease brought to a just estimation: The Cohabitors may according to the agreement made betwixt them, returne with their Dividends, and this removall into the Woods will have the same nature of content which the Citizens take in a time of vacation and City wearinesse Citizens being never so weary as when they have no worke) to visit the delights of the Countrey, though with different ends; since these in their Voyages of pleasure expend, the other both save and encrease their stock and treasure. These Boards (the worke ended) being taken downe are serviceable for seaven yeares together, and easily erected or renewed.

I am not altogether of advice, that the Indians be hired to assist you in these Remoter Workes, as sensible how apt they and the Divell their Tutor may be to embrace an occasion of being treacherous; but if they could be brought to worke by Parties (well watched and Spyes amongst themselves set over them) in the middest of our most populous Plantations, with their Wives and Children, who will easily runne through this curious, but not heavy labour and may be sufficient pawnes for the Indian fidelity, if cunningly divided, they would be very serviceable in this kinde for a small Reward, and peradventure might be made great use of for [Page 38] this worke heereafter by undertaking it themselves, which may be manifested for these Reasons.

  1. First, the Indian is naturally curious and very ingenious, which they shew in all their works and imitations: the only thing that frights them from bringing any work to perfection, is the labour attending it.
  2. But to feed his curiosity, there is nothing in the world more proper then this curious atome of Nature the Silkeworme: to see this untaught Artist spin out his transparent bowels, labour such a monument out of his owne intralls, as may be the shame, the blush of Artists, such a Robe that Solomon in all his glory might confesse the meannesse of his apparell, in relation to the workemen, cannot but bring them to admiration; and that those spirits whose thoughts are of a higher wing then ordinary, may bee convinced of a divine power of the hand of God in the Creation: which gaynd upon him, it will not be impossible to drive him to an acknowledgement of Redemption, if private ends or any other respect then that to Gods glory, possesse not those who should cover a multitude of sinnes, by winning a soule to his Creator, and forcing him from the jawes of his Destroyer.
  3. In this curiosity there is little or no labour (a thing which they abhorre) their women and children will bee sufficient to goe through with it: and if they could but be brought to it, our Trade with them for silke would be of greater consequence, then all their Furs or other commodities put together.
  4. By this meanes it were possible to fasten Cloaths upon them, which if once it were effected, that which Mr. Bullocke excellent patly calls, The Universall not of Nature. Ambition would cement them to a more orderly course of life, and one still striving to outvie the other in bravery of habits: there would be no labour under Heaven like this, to reduce them to civility, the toyle thereof being inconsiderable, and the profit great to him in respect of his now trifling Merchandise: and to us by trading with them, might bee returned for 5s. the pound at the most in commodities.
  5. By this means would he be brought to plant great quantities of Mulberry trees round about his Plantation, which according to his constant inconstancy, evermore shifting, would necessarily, our owne numbers increasing, fall into our hands and possession, or if he [Page 32] should against the tide of his nature abide by them, yet a very inconsiderable trifle would buy the propriety from him.
  6. The Silkeworme harvest lighting at such a season of the year, wherein he by improvidence hath wasted all his Bread-corne, at which time he usually retires into the Woods to seeke a thinne subsistence, by the allurement of this great profit he would undoubtedly stay at his Plantation, and allow us a share in his increase of Silke, for such provision of Maiz as would maintaine him, and this would be a large accession of profit to the English.
  7. Admitting Virginia in its whole extent from Cape Henry Southward (as a worke so easily compassed, and such profit ensuing thereupon, especially to the Weroances or Reguli, who have many Wives, Slaves, and Children, would hardly faile from being a universall labour) to containe in all thirty thousand people, of which the fourth part or more men, if this Staple be followed by them, and our vigilance preventing any Traffick of other Nations with them, it will yeeld the Colony of course a trade with them worth cleare a hundred thousand pound per annum.

Neither doe I comprehend a sufficient Reason why in so happy a Climate as that of Virginia; there may not be a double Silke Harvest: This I am sure of, that there are secrets in Nature of retardation as well as acceleration of Springs, and both being industriously brought to the experiment, the acceleration anteceeding the first Spring, and the retardation postvening the latter by three weekes, (which may easily be effected by election and distinction of ground to plant in) and at the latter end of the Harvest the seeds being disposed and ripened for production, will without doubt produce an effect answerable to the most inestimable profit intended by it.

That the election of Ground may doe this, wee may see by freequent examples betwixt things well cultivated, and that which is never transplanted from its first wildnesse, and there are many presidents round about us, where in one and the same Towne, one and the same fruit have oftentimes three Weekes distance of time betwixt their unequall maturity; the naturall warmenesse or coldnes of the Ground occasioning the advance or procrastination of fruits according to its severall disposition.

Nor can such a course be any interruption to Harvest or Vintage, both comming much after the season of the Silke-worme, though [Page 33] I should (in submission to better judgement) conceive that with transplantation of trees (such as they would have come later then ordinary, for that purpose being loosed from the Ground neare upon the ascent of their sap would spring for that season according to their expectation later then is usuall, and the next yeare its novelty of ground having made it wanton will come much earlier, and more improved then those whose fixure to the place of its first pullulation keepes it selfe to its former constancy, and by this meanes the later Harvest would not be at the most three Weekes time after the (usuall) income of the first.

And without doubt the Chineses and Persian could not vend such vast quantities of Silke, with which they farshion so huge a part of the World with one single Harvest, which though wee are at present ignorant of, yet what should discourage us from delivering such conjectures to a tryall, since the examen of it is not without probability, nor the discovery without an extraordinary certainety of profit?

Those who will object that notwithstanding 700 years practice Italy hath not discovered this mystery, or if discovered, found it destitute of successe, may be pleased to receive this Answer: That there is an immense disproportion betwixt the happyest Region of Italy, and the South of the excellent Virginia. Italy (and that annually) is subject much to inclemency of Winters, in respect of our more temperate Maiden, where Snows and black Swans are alike Prodigies; the cold there is rather like a Phletomy to tame the Plethorick abundance of Springs, then dead it: Nor are the Springs of Italy so early as ours in that Climate, and the Mulberry shooting forth later then all other Trees by much, may by this meanes of transplantation and heat of soile, be equall with the first, and by that early apparence give day-light to this and other more abstruse Magnalia.

I have insisted so much the longer upon this Mystery of the Silk-worme, because (if it were handled by a better pen, judgement, and ability) it is every way noble and sublime, so much worthy the knowledge, not onely for the benefit (which is extraordinary rich how ever) but for the admiration of Nature, who hath abreviated all the Volume of her other Miracles into this her little, but exact Epitome, like that Artist who contracted the whole body [Page 34] of Iliads and Odysses into a Nutshell.

Besides what wee have sayd of Silke wee shall find the Indian profitable to himselfe, and as in the Staple of Wines, of which when he has received the whole knowledge, wee cannot make the least tittle of doubt, but he will with all eagernesse prosecute it: First, because it concernes his belly, to which no people under Heaven are more indulgent; and secondly, his Wife and Children who plant his Corne may take the charge of the Vineyard with not much more labour. But that which turnes to our advantage is, that the Indian communicating the knowledge of the Grape to his Neighbours, and they transmitting it all along as far as New Spain, will stir up the Spanish jealousie to interdict all Viti-culture amongst them, and as far as the extent of his power can fathome to prosecute severely all such Natives as shall make it a subject of their industry to the prejudice of Spaine. This must of necessity make strong combinations and leagues against the Spanish Tyranny, which though they are not of themselves able to shake off, yet will the Spanyard feare to extend himselfe further (except in such strength as at present his condition denies him) knowing the Indians untinguishable thirst of Revenge, and his laying hold of all opportunities to put it in execution, with all the powers of his understanding cruelty and malice.

And thus shall the Spanyard in case he attempts our supplantation be constantly discovered by the siding Indian, and if there be a necessity to prevent his malice, by turning his designe upon his owne head, infinite occasion of intelligence may wee have from the enraged Native, how to attaque him in his strongest security, where either the distance or impassability of the way will make him confident and carelesse.

Further use may be made of the Native in fishing after Pearle, to which if wee allure him by a constant Trade with him for them, his owne profit will quickly enlighten his desire of more, and that desire quicken his industry.

That Virginia affordes multitude of Pearles, Mr. Lane is sufficient to give publick information, where he tells us a Relation delivered to him of a Weroance, who had so great quantity of Pearle, and did so ordinarily take the same, as that not onely his owne skinnes that he weareth, and the better sort of his Gentlemen and [Page 35] Followers are set with the sayd Pearle; but also his beds and houses are garnished with them, and that he hath such quantity of them that it is wonder to see: These are Mr. Lanes words exactly.

Nor is there any difficulty in the discovery of this, or ingrossing the Trade; especially since wee are the Masters of the Countrey, and if any other Nation should attempt to partake in the benefit of our Trade, the strength of Virginia is at present such as may repell by violence, all Forraigne incroachments upon their trade and livelyhood.

The Indians unanimously consent that twenty two miles beyond the Falls, is a Rocke of Chrystall, and this they evidence by their arrowes very many whereof are headed with it. And that 3 dayes journey from thence, is a Rocke or Hill of Silver Oare. Beyond which, over a ledge of Hills, by a concurrent Relation of all the Indians, is the Sea, which can be no other but that Sea which washes the shore of China, &c.

That this report of a great Sea Southwest beyond the Mountains, cannot have the least of fiction or confederacy, since all the Indians from Canada to Florida, doe unjarringly agree in the Relation, is obvious to the meanest apprehension.

The discovery whereof, if we fall upon it by degrees, will bee a worke of no long time or difficulty, but the unexpressible profit and glory of the action, will rayse the noble head of this above example Countrey to such a high Zenith of wealth, power, and lustre, that it will be reputed a very remarkable degree of felicity to any Nation which shall reach to such a Verticall point of glory, as to bee reputed but our second in these most noble considerations.

By this meanes what wealth can there be in those richest provinces of the World, in those Countries which Nature created for her Cabinets of excellency, which we shall not discover? What discover without a power of Appropriation? What opulency does China teeme with which shall not be made our owne by the Midwifry, by the Juno Lucina of this virtuall passage? This by a happy transmigration, by an innocent Magick will convert that Countrey, (which by a swelling denomination, yet without not some pretence of Reason its Natives call by a Title signifying all under Heaven) into our Maid of admiration and envy Virginia. Her Silke-worm shall spinne for Carolana, her Cloth of Gold be weaved for Roanoak. [Page 36] The English name shall keepe company with the Sunne, and those Nations who owe him a particular adoration shall honour it as the next thing sacred. The Esterne Nations oppressed with the slavery of those illustrious horseleeches their princes, will come under our shadow, and by a thicke repayre to our most glorious and happy Mayden, live with us in that liberty, which Nature in their Creation intended to the noblest of his creatures Mankind. And by this recourse all those curiosities of Art, in which those Easterne Nations transcend Europe, will bee conveyed to us with their persons. Cattell and Horse in which they abound, will bee sold to us for nothing, for European trifles, whilest the more necessary Staples of this our Westerne World, will be sold at advantages not convenient to be mentioned. The voyage short, easie, rich, and pleasant. No doubling of the Line, no calentures, scrurvies, or other long passage diseases, to affright or distast the laborious Seaman: whereas now the enfeebling and destroying of Mariners is almost an unavoidable consequence of those long and dangerous, rather circumferences then voyages.

But lest we should sing a Paean before a Victory, it will not bee unworthy our labour to discourse what meanes may be used in this Discovery. Which if it should misse in its prosecution, (for which fayling there is not the least shadow of probability) yet might carry a vast profit to recompence all your paynes and expences.

That it must not bee attempted at the first heat, but must have more recourses then one to the fire of a Triall, will bee made apparent by these reasons.

First, the inconveniency or non feysibility of carrying so much provision as will serve the Discoverers, whose number, in my opinion, cannot bee lower then two hundred, if wee let slide into our deliberation the many unknowne Nations, through whose territories we are to make our passage, and which by common estimation, are much more numerous in the Inland, then Marine Countreyes.

Next admit wee undertake and compasse it with such a number, yet the discovery not being capable of secresie amongst such a multitude of undertakers, the publick resentment of such a felicity approaching, not suffering people to be silent; wee should have this arrive to the Spanyards knowledge, who will roule all stones under [Page 37] Heaven to dispossesse or prepossesse, and indeed the danger his Peru, Chili and Philippines, by such seating, may lie obnoxious to, will adde spurres to his inclination to prevent us, which till wee bee in in a condition to resist, may be effected with our absolute ruine.

The safest way therefore is, by degrees to steale upon the design, and take our way thither, by ceasing of places of advantage, very frequently found in that Contry, which we may progressionaly fortifie at every twenty or five and twenty miles distance, and to these places we may constantly send supplies of victualls and ammunition, not only for the men there Garrisond, but for our owne reception and maintenance in the Discovery: and these men standing continually upon their guard, may (I meane those most remote) by conference with the Indians, discover with much ease, of what distance, what accesse, what harbours, what frequentation, and by what people the neighbour Sea consists of; to take with them exemplars of all Mineralls, Drugges, Dies, Colours, Birds and Beasts, drawne to the life in colours, which (by an invitation of reward) will be a surer meanes of discovery, (if any such be) then by multitudes of people, whose number commonly (as in the example of Fernando Soto in Florida) hastens no other discovery, but that of unavoydable famine, and being usually, either through necessity, or a disordred maner of living irregular and ungoverned, fright the inhabitants from all commerce and conference or else make them join in a confederacy to abuse and remove them by telling their unwelcome Company, golden lies, and miracles of Countreys farther distant, where they are likely to find small satisfaction for their covetousnes or hunger.

Reason and experience will condemne us of folly, if wee should refuse to profit by commendable examples, though proceeding from Enemies or Friends suspected: It will be therefore an incitement irreproveable to commend to our owne imitation the Custome which the industrious Spanyard practiseth in his designe of discoveries: Every one of the associates carry a little horne about their necks in such journeys, by which meanes if the errour of the night or thickenesse of the Woods occasion any separation betwxit them, or an Ambuscado of Enemies make the passage doubtfull, by winding of that Horne, presently notice is given to the rest, who upon receiving the sound give the first winder notice of their residence, [Page 38] to which they may repaire, or testifie their apprehension and readinesse to prevent all hostile stratagems.

The same indefatigable Nation in their passage over Rivers, presently make themselves light Canoas after the Indian mode, with which entring themselves and swimming their Horses (whose heads they keepe above water by a coller fastened to the Boat) they overcome difficulties of currents, which to any other but those seems insuperable, and indeed their labour in this kinde show them of admirable Resolution and Constancy.

Though wee may entertaine grounds of hope and confidence, that this discovery of the South Sea may be made without any tedious Land-journey, since it is certaine that from the great confluence of Waters in the Gulfe of St. Laurence, foure mighty Rivers receive their sourse, the first whereof pouring it selfe North into Canada, another running Eastward into the Sea called Hunsons River, the third running Westward into the Maine are already discovered, but the fourth upon which wee have reason to fixe high expectation beading Southward to Florida, washes all the backside of Virginia, and may in all probability discharge it selfe into the South Ocean, which if it suit with our conjectures, Virginia will have by that meanes a double accession of security and convenience.

For our security it will be a naturall bar betwixt us and the jealous Spanyard, who if he should injustly continue the possession of out Florida, which is indisputably English; yet thus dividided from us by a vast River full of islands, and places convenient to command the Channell fortified and maintained by our Nation, he is too full of providence and caution to attaque us, if once in so good a posture.

For the conveniency which sufficiently speakes it selfe the ease of transportation by water, and all in our owne Chanell, the saving of Land charges, and probability of a more speedy passage, are prespicuous arguments to commend it.

And to confirme the probabilities of this passage by the Lake the more strongly, the Indians of Canada confessed to Iames Cartier that it is but a Moneths sayling, from thence to go to a Land where Cynanon and Cloves are gathered. Others told the same person, that from the place where they left their Pinnace, there is a River which goeth South-West, from whence there is a whole Moneths [Page 39] sayling to go to a certaine Land, where there is neither Ice nor Snow seene, where the Inhabitants doe continually War one against the other, where there is great store of Orenges, Almonds, Nuts, and Apples, with many other sorts of Fruits. What ever beliefe other men bestow upon this Relation, I know not; but truely in such a generall concordance of Reports, where there can be no roome left for confederacy or designe, to be perswaded of the truth therein, cannot have any vitious tincture of facility or credulity.

But it is time to remit these high and noble atchievements to the prosecution of those who have more power and ability, who may give such a discovery the honour of their names, and transfer a perpetuall illustrious memory to posterity, we shall onely suppose it faisible and hope the effects will answer such supposition.

Which if it should faile, why may not Virginia in her future felicity of silke be a new China and Persia to Europe? why may not all the spicery of the East flourish with an equall successe in this our most justly tempered Climate? already can Virginia boast of Cinamon, which if transplanted might not be inferiour unto any? why may not the Cloves perfume Virginia with as aromatick redolency as the Philipine Gardens.

Our aire is more serene, better tempered then theirs, nor have we any more sense of Winter to hinder the ascent of sap then the Moluccians, if it be any thing more harsh in cold, yet is it but a check to a peradventure too forward Spring. What multitude of flowers have our late Gardens in England seen non native to this soyle or Climate? Fruits thought solely proper to Italy and Spaine flourish here to the envy of those Countries, who see often times the Colonies in a happier degree of prosperity then the Mother, for Fruit and Flowers.

But these designements must be the Daughters of time, curiosity and industry, to whom away may be made passable, and easie, by that uncabinetting and deciphring of Nature, Garden Philosophy, what harsh disposition in the World will not be lenified and refined by these curious conclusions? Dioclesian could postpose the science of governing Mankinde to the knowledge of managing his Scions, to see those Plants grow up, which his own laureld hand had set, watred and attended and accordingly flourish, was in a manner the production of so many Children, who in this have the advantage, [Page 40] that their florescence is not subject to selfe-deprivation, give them but an acceptable grounds a bounteous Aire, and an arriding Sunne and they answer the most exact desires of the Setter or Ingrafter; but Children, let them have all the Auxiliares of a full Fortune, warmth of education, and heat of encouragement, by some private disease of the genius, by some secret malignity in nature, or its right hand custome, seldome or neuer thrive according to the wishes of the Parent, they are either too ranke with insolence, too much parched with rashnesse, or withered with infamy and luxury, that those which planted them instead of delight in that which they esteemed their Masterpeece, have nothing but a Spring of indignation, or an Autumn of Melancholly to answer their expectation, and are so far from contentment at their groweth that they would have reckoned it amongst the Smiles of their Fortunes, that no warmth of theirs had contributed to their production, no indulgence to their continuance and education.

These allurements are for those whose delights onely are interested and denoted to this retired activity; but those who looke further will finde (that which is rarely or never contingent to other contentments) this pleasure to be attended with an inestimable profit, and one of the most certaine returnes in nature: But this fertility-labouring Countrey, especially in its Southerne beauties, in its Roanoak excellencies, like to a Princesse, all compos'd of Bounty, suffers no addresse to be made unsatisfied. Gentle Winters to court your seed, warme Springs to marry them to perfect Masculine ripenesse, nothing but ingratitude and indiligence to delay or divert its liberality, hitherto (like those confined Virgins in a barbarous Seraglio) it hath suffered the imputation or injury of sterility by a non-complacency in its Savage Amourists, the abundance of perfection having put them into a satiety or incapacicy of enjoyment.

The truth of this being abundantly manifest, an apparent profit and delight inviting the able and industrious; necessity must be the next Argument to those whose Poverty can pleade no excuse for their indiligence; yet this laborious necessity is not so ingratefull as in England, and in other more thick-peopled Countries, what ever you sweat for in this bounteous Region, is crowned with a recompence amazing your expectation; such things as make poverty and life wearisome, contempt of, or impossibility of any melioration [Page 41] to their condition are things heere never charged upon honest indigence, or denyed to a commendable industry, nor can they palliate their sleepe and sloth with a pretence of wanting materialls to worke upon, or plead that such things as should employ them must be first had out of England, since there is enough abundantly and naturally in that unpresidented Countrey to employ their industry, to enrich their labour.

Though Silke-grasse is unquestionably a Staple which will bee Neighbour to the profit of the Silke-worme, though the naturall Hempe-flagge may be a Merchandize in time equal to English Flax, though the Sarsaparilla be an extraordinary vendible Commodity, though Pipestaves be so beneficially, that with not many drops an extraordinary workeman may make his labour worth sixty pounds per annum.

Though he has fish there, and in such abundance that the attending diligently upon two seasons, onely returnes him a Reward of one hundred pound sterling in Sturgion, Salmon, Herings, Mackrell: Pot-ashes a rich and never decaying Staple, c. Yet since against this an objection may be made what course they may take for their provisionall subsistence. Those who apprehend such doubts will be pleased to receive this answer, in which if they are sensible of Reason they cannot faile to receive satisfaction.

There is no man will ever be denyed the loane of Corne for his house-spending, and seed till the Harvest; if he be a single man he may prepare as much ground if cleared, and set as large quantitie of Corne for his owne spending and repayment of what borrowed, in two dayes space as will abundantly suffice him twelve Moneths.

Admit there be no cleared Ground, yet if he but unbarke the Trees one foot round after the Indian mode to prevent the shade occasioned by the leaves, which such unbarking quite destroyes, the Corne (set betwixr those Trees) will thrive and prosper exceedingly, and their greund thus prepared will last seaven or more yeares successively, and this worke cannot last him above five dayes at the longest.

If he have a Family, his Wife and Children will be able to beare part in that labour, and many others.

For Provision of flesh, if he can use his peece he may, even at his [Page 42] labour in the Woods, have opportunity of killing Venison, Hares, Wild-foule (in their season innumerable) and Fish, of which the Rivers are all times plentifully furnished, and of great delicacy; if in all this abundance he is yet apprehensive of Famine, wee shall refer him to the number of those who are afraid to be starved for meat in a Cooks shop.

Besides what a small summe of money will buy your Cattell, and Swine in Virginia? Whose feeding costs them nothing but thankes to God, who has spread that superficies of that noble countrey with perpetuall friut and verdure. Poultry in infinite variety and plenty, the forbearance of whose encrease for a small terme of years will make them so numerous, that they may alwayes have a full table.

The West Indie Potatoe (by much more delicate and large then what wee have heere growing besides that it is a food excellently delicious and strongly nourishing, fixes himselfe wherever planted, with such an irradicable fertility, that being set it eternally grows: of this an extraordinary pleasing and strong drinke may bee composed.

Nor is the Maiz lesse commendable for bread then malting, of both which in its use it affordeth a peculiar goodnesse and convenience: And I am much to learne how a poore man can in justice complaine of want, when he is as it were besieged with such plenty: This for provision may abundantly satisfie, but if he can be content to forbeare debauches and profusenesse for the first three yeares he may by any of the meanes aforesaid arrive to such a condition of thriving. that he may allow himselfe a large latitude of expences (that first three yeares once expired) without much empairing his fortunes.

But since all men either by constitution of age, oppression of yeares, or different education, are unable of improper for the Fifanet or Hatchet, I shall offer them a way which may be lesse laborious and peradventure more gainefull; yet before I descend to this, I must take leave by digression to enlarge something which I have already hinted on, namely the benefit of transplantation.

The removing and transposition of Wild Plants, doth with an experimented happinesse wonderfully mitigate and engentile their selfe noble nature; whether (as an Authour delivers it very elegantly) [Page 43] it be by reason that the nature of Plants, as of men, is desirous of Novelty and peregrination, or because that at their parting from their former grounds they leave there that ranke wildnesse virulency and ill quality from the Forest, where is first rooted the gratefull novelty and allurement of a well cultivated soyle makes it receive a new by exiling it from the old savagenesse and indomestication of its first seat and nature.

Since then the removing of wild Plants addes so much to their improvement and melioration confirmed by naturall Reason and unerring experience: Why may not the diligent labour by removeall and transposing this excellent Staple of Silke grasse, make it thrive equally in greatnesse and goodnesse, there needes no more art to be used then that of comparing the soile (transplantations into worse grounds being naturally improsperous) and though there appeare now somewhat of trouble (though nothing of labour) in peeling the silky skinne of, yet that it may be broken as Flaxe or cleared by some Instrument (the Commodity richly rewarding the nobility of any invention) to this purpose; time and further experience will no doubt to the publick enriching of the Colony and this Nation make apparent. In this any one which is not sworne a servant to ease and sloth, may with a small toile reape a considerable profit.

Next, what will not those Vines produce if well husbanded after their transplantation, and in this most delightfull labour the gain is so appareut that almost the blindest judgement may perceive it.

Orenges, Lemons, Pine-aples, Plantanes, Peaches, Apricocks, Peares, Aples, in a word all sort of excellent Fruits will grow there in full perfection; you may sleepe whilst they are growing, after their setting or engrafting, there needes no more labour but your prayers, that they may prosper, and now and then an eye to prevent their casualties, wounds or diseases.

Sugars, Indigos, Cotton, and Ginger, require a greater industry; but if wee consider the difference betwixt the two Climates of Barbadoes and Virginia, the immoderate heate of the first and the exact temper of the other, the labour though it may require as frequent handling, yet is by much lesse toylesome.

In a word, if a man be yet timerous of a thriving condition in [Page 44] this Countrey; I shall with his pardon believe him, distrustfull of Gods providence; or if he be so vitiously disposed as to hope after a Land where he may enjoy an undisturbed plenty without the sweat of his browes, the Maps are so extreamely deficient in the description of such a Countrey, that I must desire him to looke for a new World and Kingdome, for such an easie accommodation.

If any make an Objection why this Countrey stored with all these Riches, furnished with all these Staples, hath so long held downe her head in the lownesse of a desperate condition? Why being capable to crowne her browes with Garlands of Roses and plenty, she sate desolate amongst the Willowes of neglect and poverty? Let them but recall their Memory, how by the prevailency of Gondamore the Corporation was dissolved, their patent cancelled, to which if wee adde the cooperation of the Indian treachery in their first massacre, they will cease their wonder at its languishing condition, and convert it to a full admiration, how that Colony could ever raise her endangered head out of those Gulfes of distraction, in which the Gold of Spaine, the disincouragement of the Court, the discontent of the better sort of Planters, and the desperate negligence of the more inconsiderable had in humane opinion irrecoverably involved her.

But the incomparable Virgin hath raised her dejected head, cleared her enclouded reputation, and now like the Eldest Daughter of Nature expresseth a priority in her Dowry; her browes encircled with opulency to be believed by no other triall, but that of expeperience, her unwounded wombe full of all those Treasuries which indeere Provinces to respect of glory, and may with as great justice as any Countrey the Sunne honours with his eye-beames, entitle her selfe to an affinity with Eden, to an absolute perfection above all but Paradize.

And this those Gentlemen to whom she vouchsafes the honour of her Embraces, when by the blessings of God upon their labours sated with the beauty of their Cornefield, they shall retire into their Groves checkered with Vines, Olives, Mirtles, from thence dilate themselves into their Walkes covered in a manner, paved with Orenges and Lemmons, whence surfeited with variety, they incline to repose in their Gardens upon nothing lesse perfumed then Roses and Gilly-flowers. When they shall see their numerous Heards [Page 45] wanton with the luxury of their Pasture, confesse a narrownesse in their Barnes to receive their Corne, in bosomes to expresse fully their thankefulnesse to the Almighty Authour of these blessings, will chearefully confesse: Whilst the Incomparable Roanoak like a Queene of the Ocean, encircled with an hundred attendant Islands, and the most Majestick Carolana shall in such an ample and noble gratitude by her improvement repay her Adventurers and Creditors with an Interest so far transcending the Principall.

1.4. A valuation of the Commodities growing and to be had in Virginia: valued in the year, 1621.

And since those Times improved in all more or lesse, in some 1/3, in others ½, in many double, and in some treble.

  • IRon, ten pounds the Tun.
  • Silke Coddes, two shillings six pence the pound.
  • Raw silk, 13s. 4d. the pound, now at 25s. and 28. per pound.
  • Silke grasse to be used for Cordage, 6d. the pound: but we hope it will serve for many better uses, and so yeeld a far greater rate, wherof there can never be too much planted. Of this Q. Elizabeth had a silke Gowne made.
  • Hemp, from 10s. to 22s. the hundred,
  • Flax, from 22s, to 30s. the hundred.
  • Cordage, from 20s. to 24s. the hundred.
  • Cotton wooll, 8d. the pound.
  • Hard pitch, 5s. the hundred.
  • Tarre, 5s. the hundred.
  • Turpentine, 12s. the hundred.
  • Rozen, 5s. the hundred.
  • Madder crop, 40s. the hundred: course madder, 25s. the hundred.
  • Woad, from 12s. to 20 the hundred.
  • Annice seeds, 40s. the hundred.
  • Powder Sugar, Panels, Muscavadoes and whites, 25s. 40. and 3l. the hundred.
  • [Page 46]Sturgeon, and Caveare, as it is in goodnesse.
  • Salt, 30s. the weight.
  • Mastick, 3s. the pound.
  • Salsa Perilla wild, 5l. the hundred.
  • Salsa Perilla domestick, 10l. the hundred.
  • Red earth Allenagra, 3s. the hundred.
  • Red Allum, called Carthagena Allum, 10s. the hundred.
  • Roach Allum, called Romish Allum, 10s. the hundred.
  • Berry graine, 2s. 6d the pound: the powder of graine, 9s. the pound: it groweth on trees like Holly berries.
  • Masts for shipping, from 10s. to 3l. a peece.
  • Pot-ashes, from 12s. the hundred, to 14. now 40. and 35s. the hundred.
  • Sope-ashes, from 6s. to 8s. the hundred.
  • Clapboord watered, 30s. the hundred.
  • Pipe staves, 4l. the thousand.
  • Rape-seed oyle, 10l. the tun, the cakes of it feed Kine fat in the Winter.
  • Oyle of Walnuts, 12l. the tun.
  • Linseed oyle 10l. the tun.
  • Saffron, 20s. the pound.
  • Honey, 2s. the gallon.
  • Waxe, 4l. the hundred.
  • Shomacke, 7s. the hundred, whereof great plenty in Virginia, and good quantity will be vented in England.
  • Fustick yong, 8s. the hundred.
  • Fustick old, 6s. the hundred, according to the sample.
  • Sweet Gums, Roots, Woods, Berries for Dies and Drugs, send of all sorts as much as you can, every sort by it selfe, there being great quantities of those things in Virginia, which after proof made, may be heere valued to their worth. And particularly, we have great hope of the Pocoon root, that it will prove better then Madder.
  • Sables, from 8s. the payre, to 20s. a payre.
  • Otter skins, from 3s. to 5s. a piece.
  • Luzernes, from 2s. to 10 a piece.
  • Martins the best, 4s. a piece.
  • Wild Cats, 8d. a piece.
  • Fox skins, 6d. a piece.
  • [Page 47]Muske Rats skins, 2s. a dozen: the cods of them will serve for good perfumes.
  • Bever skins that are full growne, in season, are worth 7s. a piece.
  • Bever skins, not in season, to allow two skins for one, and of the lesser, three for one.
  • Old Bever skins in Mantles, gloves or caps, the more worne, the better, so they be full of fur, the pound weight is 6s.
  • The new Bevers skins are not to bee bought by the pound, because they are thicke and heavy Leather, and not so good for use as the old.
  • Pearles of all sorts that ye can find: Ambergreece as much as you can get: Cristall Rocke: send as much as you can, and any sort of Minerall stones, or earth that weighs very heavy.
  • Preserve the Walnut trees to make oile of, cut them not downe so also preserve your Mulberry and Chestnut trees very carefully.
  • In the month of June, bore holes in divers sorts of Trees, wherby you shall see what gums they yield, and let them bee well dried in the Sun every day, and send them home in very dry caske.


This is the full version of the original text


authority, blood, climate, fish, food, health, plenty, posterity, rice, sea, trade, virtue, wealth, wheat

Source text

Title: Virgo Triumphans

Author: Edward Williams

Publisher: Thomas Harper

Publication date: 1650

Edition: 2nd Edition

Place of publication: London

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from images available at Early English Books Online: Bibliographic name / number: Wing / W2660 Physical description: [14], 47 p. Copy from: Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery Reel position: Wing / 951:61

Digital edition

Original author(s): Edward Williams

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) Whole


Texts collected by: Ayesha Mukherjee, Amlan Das Gupta, Azarmi Dukht Safavi

Texts transcribed by: Muhammad Irshad Alam, Bonisha Bhattacharya, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Muhammad Ehteshamuddin, Kahkashan Khalil, Sarbajit Mitra

Texts encoded by: Bonisha Bhattacharya, Shreya Bose, Lucy Corley, Kinshuk Das, Bedbyas Datta, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Sarbajit Mitra, Josh Monk, Reesoom Pal

Encoding checking by: Hannah Petrie, Gary Stringer, Charlotte Tupman

Genre: Britain > pamphlets

For more information about the project, contact Dr Ayesha Mukherjee at the University of Exeter.