[7]

THE FIRST PART,
OF MARCHAN-
TABLE COMMO-
DITIES.

Silke of grasse or grasse Silke.

THere is a kind of grasse in the countrey vppon the blades where of there groweth very good silke in forme of a thin glittering skin to bee stript of. It groweth two foote and a halfe high or better: the blades are about two foot in length, and half inch broad. The like groweth in Persia, which is in the selfe same climate as Virginia, of which very many of the silke workes that come from thence into Europe are made. Here of if it be planted and ordered as in Persia, it cannot in reason be otherwise, but that there will rise in shorte time great profite to the dealers therein; seeing there is so great vse and vent thereof as well in our countrey as els where. And by the meanes of sowing & plăting in good ground, it will be farre greater, better, and more plentifull then it is. Although notwithstanding there is great store thereof in many places of the countrey growing naturally and wilde. Which also by proof here in England, in making a piece of silke Grogran, we found to be excellent good.

Worme Silke.

In manie of our iourneyes we found silke wormes fayre and great; as bigge as our ordinary walnuttes. Although it hath not beene our happe to haue found such plentie as elsew here to be in the coutrey we haue heard of; yet seeing that the countrey doth naturally breede and nourish them, there is no doubt but if art be added [8] in plantig of mulbery trees and others fitte for them in commodious places, for their feeding and nourishing; and some of them carefully gathered and husbanded in that sort as by men of skill is knowne to be necessarie: there will rise as great profite in time to the Virginians, as there of doth now to the Persians, Turkes, Italians, and Spaniards.

Flaxe and Hempe.

The trueth is that of Hempe and Flaxe there is no greate store in any one place together, by reason it is not planted but as the soile doth yeeld it of it selfe; and howsoeuer the leafe, and stemme or stalke doe differ from ours; the stuffe by the iudgemęt of men of skill is altogether as good as ours. And if not, as further proofe should finde otherwise; we haue that experience of the soile, as thas there canno bee shewed anie reason to the contrary, but that it will grow there excellent well; and by planting will be yeelded plentifully: seeing there is so much ground whereof some may well be applyed to such purposes. What benefite heereof may growe in cordage and linnens who can not easily vnderstand?

Allum.

There is a veine of earth along the sea coast for the space of fourtie or fiftie miles, whereof by the iudgement of some that have made triall heere in England, is made good Allum, of that kinde which is called Roche Allum. The richnesse of such a commoditie is so well knowne that I neede not to saye any thing thereof. The same earth doth also yeelde White Copresse, Nitrum, and Alumen Plumeum, but nothing so plentifully as the common Allum; which be also of price and profitable.

Wapeih:

Wapeih, a kinde of earth so called by the naturall inhabitants; very like to terra sigillata: and hauing beene refined, it hath beene found by some of our Phisitiős and Chirurgeons to bee of the same kinde of vertue and more effectuall. The inhabităts vfe it very much for the cure of sores and woundes: there is in diuers places great plentie, and in some places of a blewe sort.

Pitch, Tarre, Rozen, and Turpentine.

There are those kindes of trees which yeelde them abundantly and great store. In the very same Iland where wee were seated, being fifteene miles of length, and fiue or sixe miles in breadth, there are fewe trees els but of the same kind; the whole Iland being full. [Sassafras.] [9]

Sassafras.

Sassafras, called by the inhabitantes Winauk, a kinde of wood of most pleasand and sweete smel; and of most rare vertues in phisick for the cure of many diseases. It is found by experience to bee farre better and of more vses then the wood which is called Guaiacum, or Lignum vitć. For the description, the manner of vsing and the manifolde vertues thereof, I referre you to the booke of Monardus, translated and entituled in English, The ioyfull newes from the West Indies.

Cedar.

Cedar, a very sweet wood & fine timber; whereof if nests of chests be there made, or timber therof fitted for sweet & fine bedsteads, tables, or deskes, lutes, virginalles & many things else, (of which there hath beene proofe made already) to make vp fraite with other principal commodities will yeeld profite.

Wine.

There are two kinds of grapes that the soile doth yeeld naturally: the one is small and sowre of the ordinarie bignesse as ours in England: the other farre greater & of himselfe iushious sweet. When they are plăted and husbandeg as they ought, a principall commoditie of wines by them may be raised.

Oyle.

There are two sortes of Walnuttes both holding oyle, but the one farre more plentifull then the other. When there are milles & other deuises for the purpose, a commodity of them may be raised because there are infinite store. There are also three seuerall kindes of Berries in the forme of Oke akornes, which also by the experience and vse of the inhabitantes, wee finde to yeelde very good and sweete oyle. Furthermore the Beares of the countrey are commonly very fatte, and in some places there are many: their fatnesse because it is so liquid, may well be termed oyle, and hath many speciall vses.

Furres:

All along the Sea coast there are great store of Otters, which beeying taken by weares and other engines made for the purpose, will yeelde good profite. Wee hope also of Marterne furres, and make no doubt by the relation of the people but that in some places of the countrey there are store: although there were but two skinnes that came to our handes. Luzarnes also we haue vnderstăding of. although for the time we saw none. [b] [10]

Deare skinnes.

Deare skinnes dressed after the manner of Chamoes or vndressed are to be had of the naturall inhabitants thousands yeerely by way of trifficke for trifles: and no more wast or spoile of Deare then is and hath beene ordinarily in time before.

Ciuet cattes.

In our trauailes, there was founde one to haue beene killed by a saluage or inhabitant: and in an other place the smell where one or more had lately beene before: whereby we gather besides then by the relation of the people that there are some in the countrey: good profite will rise by them.

Iron.

In two places of the countrey specially, one about fourescore and the other sixe score miles from the Fort or place where wee dwelt: wee founde neere the water side the ground to be rockie, which by the triall of a minerall man, was founde to holde Iron richly. It is founde in manie places of the countrey else. I knowe nothing to the contrarie, but that it maie bee allowed for a good marchantable commoditie, considering there the small charge for the labour and feeding of men: the infinite store of wood: the want of wood and deerenesse thereof in England: & the necessity of ballasting of shippes.

Copper.

A hundred and fiftie miles into the maine in two townes wee founde with the inhabitaunts diuerse small plates of copper, that had beene made as wee vnderstood, by the inhabitantes that dwell farther into the countrey: where as they say are mountaines and Riuers that yeelde also whyte graynes of Mettall, which is to bee deemed Siluer. For confirmation whereof at the time of our first arriuall in the Countrey, I sawe with some others with mee, two small peeces of siluer grosly beaten about the weight of a Testrone, hangyng in the eares of a Wiroans or chiefe Lorde that dwelt about fourescore myles from vs; of whom thorowe enquiry, by the number of dayes and the way, I learned that it had come to his handes from the same place or neere, where I after vnderstood the copper was made and the white graynes of mettall founde. The aforesaide copper wee also founde by triall to holde siluer.

Pearle.

Sometimes in feeding on muscles wee founde some pearle; but it was our hap to meete with ragges, or of a pide colour; not hauing yet discouered those [places] [11] places where wee hearde of better and more plentie. One of our companie; a man of skill in such matters, had gathered to gether from among the sauage people aboute fiue thousande: of which number he chose so many as made a fayre chaine, which for their likenesse and vniformitie in roundnesse, orientnesse, and pidenesse of măy excellent colours, with equalitie in greatnesse, were verie fayer and rare; and had therefore beene presented to her Maiestie, had wee not by casualtie and through extremity of a storme, lost them with many things els in comming away from the countrey.

Sweete Gummes.

Sweete Gummes of diuers kindes and many other Apothecary drugges of which wee will make speciall mention, when wee shall receiue it from such men of skill in that kynd, that in taking reasonable paines shall discouer them more particularly then wee haue done; and than now I can makc relation of, for want of the examples I had prouited and gathered, and are nowe lost. with other thinges by causualtie before mentioned.

Dyes of diuers kindes.

There is Shoemake well knowen, and vsed in England for blacke; the seede of an hearbe called Wasewówr; little small rootes called Cháppacor; and the barke of the tree called by the inhabitaunts Tangomóckonomindge: which Dies are for diuers sortes of red: their goodnesse for our English clothes remayne yet to be proued. The inhabitants vse them onely for the dying of hayre; and colouring of their faces, aud Mantles made of Deare skinnes; and also for the dying of Rushes to make artificiall workes withall in their Mattes and Baskettes; hauing no other thing besides that they account of, apt to vse them for. If they will not proue merchantable there is no doubt but the Planters there shall finde apte vses for them, as also for other colours which wee knowe to be there.

Oade.

A thing of so great vent and vse amongst English Diers, which cannot bee yeelded sufficiently in our owne countrey for spare of ground; may bee planted in Virginia, there being ground enough. The grouth therof need not to be doubted when as in the Ilandes of the Asores it groweth plentifully, which is in thesame climate. So likewise of Madder.

Suger canes.

Whe carried thither Suger canes to plant which beeing not so well preserued as was requisit, & besides the time of the yere being past for their setting when we [b 2] [12] arriued, wee could not make that proofe of them as wee desired. Notwithstăding, seeing that they grow in the same climate, in the South part of Spaine and in Barbary, our hope in reason may yet continue. So likewise for Orenges, and Lemmons, there may be planted also Quinses. Wherebi may grow in reasonable time if the action be diligently prosecuted, no small commodities in Sugers, Suckets, and Marmalades.

Many other commodities by planting may there also bee raised, which I leaue to your discret and gentle considerations: and many also may bee there which yet we haue not discouered. Two more commodities of great value one of certaintie, and the other in hope, not to be planted, but there to be raised & in short time to be prouided and prepared, I might have specified. So likewise of those commodities already set downe I might haue said more; as of the particular places where they are founde and best to be planted and prepared: by what meanes and in what reasonable space of time they might be raised to profit and in what proportion; but because others then welwillers might bee therewithall acquainted, not to the good of the action, I haue wittingly omitted them: knowing that to those that are well disposed I haue vttered, according to my promise and purpose, for this part sufficient. [THE]


The Second Part, of Svch Commodities . . .