RCC Honors History Project

Gabriel Archer Journal Entries

Posted by elsiegonzalez on September 29, 2009

Gabriel Archer was an accompany of Captain Newport.  These Journal Entries narrate some of the encounters they had with the natives of Virginia.

Journal Entry 2:

“We found here a wiroans, for they so call their kings, who sat upon a mat of reeds with his people about him.  He caused one (a mat) to be laid for Captain Newport*; gave us a deer roasted, which according to their custom they seethed (boiled) again.  The people gave us mulberries, sod wheat and beans.  He gave our captain his crown, which was of deer’s hair dyed red.  Now as we sat merry (happily) banqueting with them, seeing their dances and taking tobacco, news came that the Great King Powatah** was come, at whose presence they all rose off their mats – save (except) the king Arahatec*** – separated themselves apart in fashion of a guard, and with a long shout they saluted him.  Him we saluted with silence, sitting on our mats, but presented – as before we did to King Arahatec – gifts of divers (various) sorts, as penny knives, shears, bells, beads, glass toys, etc. more amply (generously) than before.  Now this king appointed 5 men to guide us up the river, and sent posts before to provide us victual.”

Journal Entry 3:

“The king was desirous to have a musket shot off, showing first the manner of their own skirmishes, which we perceive is violent, cruel, and full of celerity.  Our captain caused a gentlemen discharge his piece soldier-like before him, at which noise he started, stop’d his ears, and expres’d much fear, so likewise all about him.  Some of his people being in our boat leapt overboard at the wonder hereof. But our course of kindness after, and letting him to wit that we never use this thunder but against our enemies, yea, and that we would assist him with these to terrify and kill his adversaries, he rejoiced the more; and found it bred a better affection in him towards us.  Captain Newport* bestowed on him a red waistcoat, which highly pleased him, and so departed, giving him also 2 shouts as the boat went off.”


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