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The Huguenot Colony of Florida.

Another attempt took place in Florida, which at that time extended much farther north than it does today. Edista River, at the mouth of which the colony was first established, is in what is now South Carolina, near Charleston. Jean Ribaut, a brave sailor from Dieppe, arrived there in 1562, and the starboard side was set to clearing fields and building rooms. The natural beauty of the place filled everyone with admiration. After a couple of years, however, the settlement was moved a little further south to the Port Royal strait, where there was an excellent harbor. A castle was built to protect it, which the French king named “Arx Carolina”, Charles’ castle. Even this well-planned enterprise, however, suffered a miserable shipwreck due to the religious wars raging in France and the jealousy of the Spanish. Rebellions arose even among the settlers themselves, and when the friendly natives had been treated very badly, they became enemies. Famine and all kinds of misery followed. The colony was already threatened with total destruction, when the English slave trader John Hawkins saved it when he went to the harbor with his ships. Finally, Jean Ribaut brought help from home, and luck began to smile again.

But just at the same time, Pedro Menendez appeared on the scene with a considerable Spanish military force. He announced that he had been commissioned by the King of Spain to kill every Huguenot, and he did. The defenders of Carolina Castle were captured and executed, “not as French, but as Lutherans,” as Menendez put it. Jean Ribaut’s fleet was shipwrecked in a storm on the coast, but Ribaut and a couple of hundred men were saved. Forced by famine, this force surrendered to Menendez, who promised to spare their lives and treat them well; but after getting everyone tied up, he let the whole group be slaughtered to the last man, “not as French, but as Lutherans”. Menendez then founded a colony called S. Augustine in the region and built several castles. In 1567 he returned to Spain on the affairs of the colony.

The news of the destruction of Carolina Castle and the horrible slaughter of Ribaut and his ship was coldly received at the French court, since the victims were Huguenots; but Ribaut’s friend Dominique de Gourges, Catholic as he was, determined to take revenge. He procured ships and a couple of hundred armed men and without worrying about the distance sailed across the Atlantic. It wasn’t until we were on the shores of Florida that he told his men the purpose of his trip. With the help of an Indian chief named Saturiba, in the spring of 1568, he usurped the castle of San Mateo and hanged its defenders in the same place where the defenders of the Carolina castle had been slaughtered. He attached a board to the logs and wrote on it: »I do not do this to Spaniards, but to traitors, robbers and murderers.» Too weak to attack Augustine, Gourges then returned to France. The Spanish colonies in Florida survived, even though they had a hard time over time. V. 1586 Francis Drake almost completely destroyed S. Augustine, and many times later it had to be in the foot of the war.

In England, religious intolerance did not yet force citizens to emigrate from their homeland, although North America later received its best English immigrants for exactly the same reason. In England, John Cabot’s inch of finding a more northerly sailing route to China was smoldering, and the English government initially gave its official support to companies aiming for this. Trade with the Great Khan’s kingdom and Cipangu was expected to bring much more benefit than settling unknown wildernesses. Through strange coincidences, however, the next attempt to find the Northwest Passage took on a completely different character.

Martin Frobisher.

Martin Frobisher had been sailing the seas since he was young and came to the conclusion that »Finding the Northwest Passage was the only thing left to be done in the world». He wanted to save this honor for himself and, after long efforts, got two small vessels with a carrying capacity of five-thirds tons, and a third sailboat of only ten tons. With them, in June 1576, he left the Arctic Ocean in search of a sea route to China and India. He didn’t think he was sailing blindly, he even thought he had a good treasure, because he had a map of those regions, drawn up according to the travels of the Venetian Zeno brothers. It is now known that the Zenos’ travelogue is a forgery from start to finish and their map was primarily based on Olaus Magnus’s map of the Nordic countries, but Frobisher trusted this as his guide,

The smallest of the ships sank in the storm on the way out, the other, fearing the height of the waves, turned back of its own accord, with one Frobisher continued his journey. But he got with his “Gabriel” to the coast of Labrador and met people there “who looked like Tartars, having long black hair, broad faces and flat noses, yellow brown skin and sealskin clothes; and similar were the women, but they had blue streaks on their cheeks and around their eyes.»

Bravely Frobisher then sailed his little ship northward until the ice prevented him from going any farther in that direction. He found land, now Baffinland, and a bay, now Frobisher Bay, and this bay he thought was the strait he was looking for, when he could not sail to its end. When five men from the ship’s small crew disappeared, perhaps killed by Eskimos, we had to start the return trip. Frobisher took a few Eskimos with him as a sample of human quality and took stones from the beach as a sign of usurping the land. These stones, which were bigger than usual, made big things happen.

After Frobisher’s return, a rumor spread in London that the mineral he brought was gold ore. It is unknown how the rumor actually originated, whether Frobisher himself had started it: in any case, it was immediately believed. Born in England: the same gold rush as in Spain after the discovery of America. At least Frobisher didn’t try to refute these wishes, but on the contrary, he assured that he saw a lot of spiders there, which many believe are signs that there are large gold stores nearby. One of his men admittedly said that the stones might have looked like gold, “but the sand looks the same in clear water – and yet not everything that glitters is gold”; but no one paid attention to that wisdom now.

The court and the mercantile world of London set out to equip the guild; Frobishor quickly had a whole fleet assembled. Many more sailors and adventurers tried to join than could be taken. The great “Kathayn Company” was formed, and Frobisher was appointed high admiral of all the lands and waters he discovered. At the end of May 1577, he set out and arrived in Frobisher Lake in mid-July. Even now he did not attempt to sail to its end, but remained in the belief that it was a strait; he had been ordered on this voyage to take the lead in shipping what was supposed to be gold ore. Every man who could handle a nail carried it, and at the end of August we set off on the return trip fully loaded. After a month we were at home and Queen Elisabeth, who had given the company both a state ship and a considerable amount of money, received Frobisher most favorably and thanked him. The queen gave the discovered land the name »Meta incognita» (unknown amount of distance), which it still has on maps.

200 tons of rock had not been broken and examined in a heartbeat. There was therefore no need to wait to see how much gold the stone contained; others could find an “unknown amount of distance”, the English had to advance to usurp it permanently. The huge amount of the mineral brought home seems to have been the best guarantee that the ore really was gold ore. It was started more hastily to equip a new expedition, which was bigger than all the previous ones.

At the end of May 1578, Frobisher left the Thames estuary on another expedition with fifteen ships. He now had to found a colony in »Meta incognita«. The queen, while attending Frobisher’s farewell audience, threw expensive gold coins around his neck. On the southern shore of Greenland, Frobisher went ashore, but then he didn’t even reach his bay, but instead drifted into the “wrong” bay, the Hudson Strait, from which he had to return. An attempt was made to establish a colony in Meta incognita, but nothing came of it, the crowd was too restless and the country too rugged. But the supposed gold ore was again taken in such large quantities, “that it should have been enough for all the gold diggers in the world”. And in October, everyone returned to England, except for one shipwrecked ship.

No writer of that time mentions what happened to the gold ore. The documents are completely silent about it. Undoubtedly, the matter was suppressed by suitable means, for it was to the honor of the English people. But after that, no more ships were sent to Meta incognita and Frobisher’s polar sea voyages remained there. A good sailor was not rejected from it, even if he had erred, because the country needed its sons. He served it both in the battle against Philip II’s “invincible armada” and in many other undertakings, and was mortally wounded in a naval battle on the coast of France.

Humphrey Gilbert.

While Frobisher was searching for gold and new routes in the frozen north, Humphrey Gilbert, the brave warrior, was making a great effort to settle Newfoundland, to conquer the excellent fisheries beyond. He received extensive rights from the Queen of England in 1578 and set to work with vigor, but the first attempt, which took place in 1579, ended so badly that the ships returned home before they had even reached their destination. One ship was lost on the way. It wasn’t until 1583 that Gilbert was ready to try again, including a Hungarian scholar named Paramenius. But luck was twice as bad on the second trip. Scarcely had the shore of England disappeared from sight, when the largest ship returned, because an infectious disease had been noticed. Gilbert nevertheless continued the journey to Newfoundland, sailing on August 31 from St. Johns Harbor and announced to the fishermen that he had come to claim the land as the property of the Queen of England. He also invited the crew of the foreign ship, Spanish, French and Portuguese, to be present, hoisted the English flag and erected a wooden statue on the beach, on which the English coat of arms was attached. There was no opposition to land grabbing from any side.

When this had happened, construction should have started. but searching for gold attracted news residents more. The expedition’s mineral expert assured that the mountains were full of silver ore. He was told to keep his information a secret and the supposed ore was taken to the ships without anyone seeing, so that the fishermen wouldn’t get a clue. The construction of the colony did not take at all to succeed, because Gilbert’s crew was used to a much more comfortable life by robbing the Spanish galleons. Everything went chaotically, it was very difficult to maintain order. One of the ships had to be abandoned as unfit and with the other three Gilbert then decided to go explore the continent. On the coast of Maine, the largest ship through carelessness ran aground and sank with its men for days. A hundred lives were killed in it, with the others, Parmenius and the mineral examiner with all the ore samples. The samples probably weren’t worth anything, because silver hasn’t been found that much in Newfoundland.

Humphrey Gilbert had to leave home. He himself had been sailing all the time on a small, only ten-ton “Squirrel”, because it was so comfortable to approach the shores. And with that he went across the Atlantic, even though everyone asked him to go to the bigger “Hirve”, which was also only a half-hundred-ton ship. Big storms harassed both ships in the Azores. Before his last night, Gilbert sat on the stern of his boat in the evening, book in hand, and when »Hirve» came to the end of the voice, he shouted encouragingly: »We are as close to heaven at sea as we are on land.» From the “Hirve” throughout the night, the fires of the “Squirrel” struggling in the waves were kept in check, but at midnight they suddenly disappeared, and neither the ship nor its sailors were seen among the living. The “deer” survived the storm and brought the news of Gilbert’s sad end to England.

This was the first real attempt by the English to establish a colony on the shores of North America.

Walter Raleigh.

More thorough were the settlement attempts made by Gilbert’s half-brother Walter Raleigh, a known favorite of Queen Elizabeth. Raleigh began his career as a volunteer fighter in the ranks of the French Huguenots, then sailed with Gilbert on piratical expeditions. fought in Ireland and finally went to court to seek his fortune. He became a favorite of Queen Elizabeth, and he used his influence to acquire large incomes. He obtained some very profitable trade monopolies, and used the proceeds for grand colonial enterprises.

In 1584, Walter Raleigh received almost unlimited rights from the queen to establish a colony wherever he wanted. He did not go to the frozen north, where Frobisher and Gilbert had tried, but chose the milder regions of the fertile east coast of North America. When Raleigh started the company, it was easy to get participants. First he sent two ships to reconnoitre under experienced captains. As they approached the coast of Carolina, they guessed that the land was not far away, because the air in the sea was so full of sweet scents, “as if you were in the middle of a park, where there was an abundance of all kinds of fragrant flowers”. They went ashore on those islands which, as a narrow reef on the coast of North Carolina, are separated from the outer sea by extensive beach barriers. They admired the length of the trees, the luxuriance of the vines, diversity of birds and strange fearless animals. As peaceful as nature was, the red people seemed to be just as friendly. They found an opening and sailed inside the island reef to Roanoke Island, where the Indian chief received them so cordially that they thought they had come among people living in the golden age. Both captains then returned to England, and gave such a flattering description of the beauty of the country they had seen, that the queen, delighted, named it “Virginia,” in memory of her own virginal kingship. Raleigh was ennobled because he had initiated such a successful expedition. where the Indian chief received them so cordially that they thought they had come among people living in the golden age. Both captains then returned to England, and gave such a flattering description of the beauty of the country they had seen, that the queen, delighted, named it “Virginia,” in memory of her own virginal kingship. Raleigh was ennobled because he had initiated such a successful expedition. where the Indian chief received them so cordially that they thought they had come among people living in the golden age. Both captains then returned to England, and gave such a flattering description of the beauty of the country they had seen, that the queen, delighted, named it “Virginia,” in memory of her own virginal kingship. Raleigh was ennobled because he had initiated such a successful expedition.

In 1585, another expedition was sent, which included seven ships and 180 emigrants. Raleigh himself remained at home; he entrusted the management to his friend Richard Grenville—the sea hero whose death we have before related—and Ralph Lane, a distinguished warrior, went with him as governor of the colony to be founded. On June 26, the ships arrived at Pamplico Strait and Roanoke Island at its northern end, from where Grenville and Lane made an eight-day reconnaissance trip along the coast. Everywhere the country people were hospitable. But in one village, a silver cup was stolen from the hikers, and when it was not immediately recovered, the stubborn Grenville let the village be burned and the poor destroyed. Such an act was a bad omen for the young colony. Grenville himself departed after doing this. When he came home, he thanked the country again, that it was »the best soil under heaven, the most pleasant place on earth. The climate is so healthy that we haven’t had a single sick person since we came to the country. If there were only horses and cattle in Virginia, and if Englishmen lived there, there would be no kingdom comparable to it in all of Christendom.» Mariot, who wrote an account of the stages of the expedition, studied more closely the country, its products, the people and admired the abundance of corn crops. In his opinion, potatoes were an excellent healthy food, he considered tobacco to be medicine and learned to smoke in the way of the country people. His work contains extensive descriptions of the people, their dress, quality of life and customs, their brutality in war and cunning in peace, their system of government and religious concepts.

But the countrymen were by no means happy when the ships left and so many remained. Grenville’s wicked act had aroused distrust and fear, they were frightened by the firearms of the whites, and they understood very well that more Englishmen would come, and that eventually their home and property would be taken from them. The Indians of the region therefore began to trouble the settlers in every possible way. When it was noticed that the whites were everywhere greedily searching for gold, the other Indian, a real master liar, tried to lure them very far in search of this yellow metal. He said that the Roanoke River began far inland from a great rock, and behind this rock a mighty sea, so near the source of the river that the salt water in great winds blew over the rock and mixed with the saltless water of the spring. There lived a nation, who had much gold and knew how to forge it very well, and there were so many pearls that the shores of the cities glittered with them. It is possible that the Indian did not lie on purpose, but that it was a common myth among the Indians, perhaps a vague echo of conditions in Mexico and Yucatan. Lane believed these stories and went up the Roanoke’s rapids in boats until all the provisions were gone, so that even the dogs had to be killed. He returned soon because the Indians did not expect to attack the colony. The Indians then intended to leave their fields unsown, in order to starve the colony: but an inch had to be left at that, for it would have brought famine upon themselves. Suspecting that they were plotting with their neighbors to exterminate the whites, Lane decided, for the sake of prudence, to set the record straight. He asked to hear Vingina, their foremost chief. This agreed and Lane arrived with an armed party at his low hut. Without the slightest sign of hostility, Lane and his men attacked Vingina and his most advanced soldiers, killing them all. This cataclysmic slaughter took place in the summer of 1 d. 1586. It did not tend to improve the safety of Lane and his colony, and the spirits of the settlers began to become more and more discouraged, especially as the earnestly hoped for aid did not come from England. But for a few days the whole sea was white with sails. Francis Drake, who had been on a three-thirds ship in the West Indies to capture, decided on his way home to stop by to see his friend Raleigh’s colony. He gave the colony a ship and some boats;

Scarcely had they set out, when a ship arrived, bringing in abundance the necessaries which they lacked: but when the colony was deserted, the ship returned home. Two weeks later, Grenville arrived with three ships bringing plenty of provisions. In vain he sought the emigrants; after unloading his goods on Roanoke Island, he left fifteen men to guard them until the new settlers arrived. and then left. Raleigh was not discouraged by adversity; until now he had sent only men as emigrants, now he decided to send whole families who were to found a town in Virginia called Raleigh. He appointed John White as its governor, drew up regulations for the colony and equipped a new fleet to carry emigrants and supplies.

This expedition arrived at Roanoke Island in April 1587; the castle was in ruins and nothing was left of the 15 men left in it but bones. It was obviously a revenge job, a bad omen for the new colony. However, the settlers went ashore and founded the city of Raleigh. But it was dogged by bad luck from the start. One Indian tribe was bitterly hostile. Another English force, when surprising an Indian camp at night, thought it belonged to this tribe and made a sudden attack, but killed Indians who belonged to a friendly tribe. White returned home on the last ship to get new ones from the warehouse; before he left, a daughter was born to his daughter Elanor Dare, who was married to an emigrant. This was the first English child born in the United States; the girl was named Virginia Dare. 89 men and 17 wives remained in the colony, but not a single one of them was ever seen. When Governor White arrived in England, there was feverish preparation for war and the state needed all the men and ships to repel the “invincible armada”. Raleigh did acquire two ships, which he sent to the colony to take help, but the leader of the auxiliary expedition did not sail directly to America, but went to sea to hijack. A French warship caught him, the captain was flogged and the ships were looted, after which, to Raleigh’s displeasure, he returned to England and the colony was left to its own devices. Raleigh had already spent £40,000 on the venture; his funds began to run out and it was not until two years after his departure that Governor White was able to return to the colony to his daughter and granddaughter. When he finally arrived on the island, the beginning of the city was in ruins, and no inhabitants could be seen or heard. No sign of a single man was found. of a woman and not a child. There was no information whatsoever whether they were alive or dead. Only the word »Croatan« was carved into a tree. This was an island close to the rest, the population of which had been friendly to the English; had the immigrants gone there? It would not have been difficult to obtain information, but Governor White proceeded with catalysis. Blaming the closeness of the stormy season, he betrayed the colony, his daughter, and his little granddaughter, and returned to England. Not a single one of them has been seen as comically. Five times Raleigh sent ships to look for them, but they had disappeared, as if swallowed up by the earth. Many conjectures were uttered as to the fate of the lost colony; some thought that the Indians had murdered them, others that they themselves had turned into Indians out of necessity. Long afterwards there were Indians in those regions with blue eyes, fair skin, and hair, and these were perhaps their descendants. In that tribe, which lived a little further inland in Robson County, there were also Englishmen, and the whole tribe was called »Croatan«.

Thus ended Walter Raleigh’s colonization drive. However, it was not in vain, it opened the eyes of the English people, it was an extremely important initiative and was later fully recognized.

Raleigh then fell out of favor with the queen and had very mixed fortunes. To make up for his lack of money, he decided in 1595 to go on a voyage of discovery to South America. Letters had been found in the hijacked Spanish ships that told the stories about El Dorado we mentioned before, and these letters gave wings to Raleigh’s imagination. He equipped five ships and sailed to the coast of Guiana. After reaching the mouth of the Orinoco, he ascended the river five hundred kilometers, finding nothing but uninhabited savannas, but not losing his faith. After coming home, he wrote a travelogue, which is the most animated and best written of Elisabeth’s adults, even if it is full of lies. It tells the truth about all the Dcrado myths. Raleigh claimed to have found “a vast, rich, and lovely kingdom, with a great golden city of Manoa, Named El Dorado by the Spanish. That country has many times more gold than the best parts of India and Peru. It has more large cities than Peru in its heyday. It is the most beautiful country that my eyes have ever seen.» He said that he had taken it as the property of the queen and the people of England, and that most of the kings there were vassals of the already defunct queen.

Raleigh’s story was believed. In 1596, he sent captain Laurens Keymis on a new expedition to the same regions, and even though he didn’t find gold either, he had seen a lot of the best lands that were just waiting for their farmer. In the following decade, many trips were made from England at the initiative of others, although they all ended badly. And in the end, Raleigh went there himself. Namely, when Queen Elizabeth died and Mary Stuart’s son James I ascended the throne of England, Raleigh was accused of conspiracy and was sentenced to death without sufficient reasons. although the judgment was not executed. He was imprisoned in the Tower from 1603 to 1616, spending his time with alchemical experiments and literary works. Finally he got free, when he promised to find rich gold for the king in Guiana without violating Spain’s land rights. The Spanish ambassador warned the king and argued that this was impossible, but James, who was in need of money, replied that if Raleigh committed acts of banditry, the ready sentence would be carried out, he would be beaten on his return. Raleigh made promises that he surely knew were impossible, and set out in March 1617. But this venture was more unfortunate than any of the others. The expedition arrived on the last day at the mouth of the Orinoco, after Raleigh fell ill with fever and froze in Trinidad. Five small vessels set off up the Orinoco under the command of the trusty Keymis. This met a Spanish colony inland, and a fight ensued, in which several Spaniards and Walter Raleigh’s son fell. After many days of fighting and searching for gold mines, Keymis returned to Raleigh with a message of grief and, hurt by his master’s reproaches, killed himself. After all kinds of delays, hesitations and rebellions, the expedition finally returned and Raleigh, at the request of the Spanish ambassador, was taken to the Tower to be hunted. After such a motley life, so many happinesses and even more disappointments, he felt the blade of the ax the day before the slaughter and said: »This does not arouse fear in me. It is an able medicine that cures me of all my diseases.» They didn’t go to Guyana from England, and the last golden Dorado dream had come to a sad end. after hesitations and mutinies, the expedition finally returned, and Raleigh, at the insistence of the Spanish ambassador, was taken to the Tower to be killed. After such a motley life, so many happinesses and even more disappointments, he felt the blade of the ax the day before the slaughter and said: »This does not arouse fear in me. It is an able medicine that cures me of all my diseases.» They didn’t go to Guyana from England, and the last golden Dorado dream had come to a sad end. after hesitations and mutinies, the expedition finally returned, and Raleigh, at the insistence of the Spanish ambassador, was taken to the Tower to be killed. After such a motley life, so many happinesses and even more disappointments, he felt the blade of the ax the day before the slaughter and said: »This does not arouse fear in me. It is an able medicine that cures me of all my diseases.» They didn’t go to Guyana from England, and the last golden Dorado dream had come to a sad end. who heals me of all my diseases.” They didn’t go to Guyana from England, and the last golden Dorado dream had come to a sad end. who heals me of all my diseases.” They didn’t go to Guyana from England, and the last golden Dorado dream had come to a sad end.

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