THE WHITE DOEORTHE FATE OF VIRGINIA DARE
Sallie Southall Cotten
Presented to, Bruce Institute By Sallie Southall Cotten, February 1908. Mrs John Denton
Compliments of Garrett & Co. Pioneer American Wine Growers Established 1835 Vineyards at Tokay, Medoc and Chockoyotte, N. C. Home Office, Norfolk, Va. Western Branch, St. Louis, Mo.
THE WHITE DOE
Copyright, 1901 BY SALLIE SOUTHALL COTTEN All rights reserved
TO The National Society of Colonial Dames of America WHOSE PATRIOTIC WORK HAS STIMULATED RESEARCH INTO AN IMPORTANT AND INTERESTING PERIOD OF THE HISTORY OF OUR BELOVED COUNTRY
AS civilization advances there develops in the heart of man a higher appreciation of the past, and the deeds of preceding generations come to be viewed with a calm criticism which denudes those deeds of false splendor and increases the lustre of real accomplishment. Man cannot see into the future and acquire the prescience of coming events which would make him infallible, but he can remove the veil from the past, contemplate the mistakes and successes of those who have lived before him, and who struggled with the same problems which now confront him. The results of their efforts are recorded in history, and inspired by high ideals he can study the past, and by feeding his lamp of wisdom with the oil of their experiences he secures a greater light to guide his own activities. Man remains a slave to Fate until Knowledge makes him free, and while all true knowledge comes
from experience, it need not necessarily be personal experience.
In studying the past, deeds come to be estimated more with reference to their ultimate results and as factors in universal progress, and less as personal efforts; just as more and more the personal merges into the universal in all lines of endeavor. Viewed in this light of ultimate results an imperishable and increased lustre envelops the name of Sir Walter Raleigh as the pioneer and faithful promoter of English colonization in America. The recognition of his services by the people who reap the reward of his labors has ever been too meagre. A portrait here and there, the name of the capital city in a State, a mention among other explorers on a tablet in the National Library, the name of a battleship, and a few pages in history, help to remind us of his association with this nation. Perhaps a few may recognize his personal colors—red and white—in the binding in this book, and his Coat of Arms in the heraldic device which ornaments the cover, and which are mentioned “lest we forget” one we should honor.
The present and ever increasing greatness of these United States is due to the efforts of this remarkable man, who so wondrously combined in
one personality the attributes of statesman, courtier, soldier, scientist, poet, explorer, and martyr. Isabella of Spain offered her jewels to aid Columbus, and the deed has been lauded and celebrated as of international value, yet it contained no touch of personal sacrifice. She was never deprived of her jewels, and while her generous offer proved her faith in the theories and ability of Columbus, it brought to her no suffering. On the other hand, the efforts of Sir Walter Raleigh were at his own expense, and entailed financial disaster on him in the end. That he sought to extend the power of England must be admitted by those who correctly estimate his character; yet no one will deny that he was the most important factor in the colonization of America by the English. Spain, France, and England contended long for supremacy in the New World, but France failed to gain any permanent power, and Spanish dominance, as illustrated in South America and Mexico, was followed by slow progress. It was the English race, led by Raleigh, which has become the leading power and modern strength of America. Colony after colony he sent to the new land, and desisted not, even after the death of his half-brother and coadjutor, Sir Humphrey Gilbert. Disaster could not daunt so brave
a spirit, and with unsurpassed enterprise and perseverance he continued to send expeditions year after year to what is now the coast of North Carolina, but which was then called Virginia, and recognized as Raleigh's possessions. Much money was required, and when his own fortune was exhausted he transferred to what is known as the London Company his rights to the land, and by his advice they avoided his mistakes and made the next settlement at Jamestown instead of Roanoak Island.
These facts have been temporarily obscured by the moss of neglect, but they cannot be destroyed. They will ever remain the foundation-stones of the great structure known and respected among nations as the United States of America, and were laid by Sir Walter Raleigh at Roanoak Island, on the coast of North Carolina, which was then called Virginia. The intervening years have brought great results, those early struggles have ripened into success and greatness beyond Raleigh's most sanguine dreams. A new race has arisen, yet bearing the characteristics of the race from which it sprung. Our English ancestors, our heritage of English law and custom, of religion and home life, of language and ideals, all tempered by the development of new characteristics, bind us through him to England.
Sir Walter Raleigh was not an ordinary man. He was one of the most remarkable of a coterie of remarkable men whom a remarkable queen (Elizabeth) gathered around her, and to whom she owed much of the grandeur of her remarkable reign. Elizabeth's greatest gift was a capacity for discerning and using great minds, and she had the good fortune to find many around her at that period of time. Raleigh won her favor, and received from her many benefits, among which was the honor of knighthood with its emoluments, which she conferred. In the end her favor cost him dear, because his heart had the courage to be true to itself in love. Elizabeth never forgave him for loving, marrying, and being true until death to her maid of honor, the beautiful Elizabeth Throckmorton. That vain and jealous queen permitted no rivals, and she wished to reign over the heart of this man, who, handsome, brave, gallant, intelligent, and romantic, made an ideal courtier. His life at court was brilliant but brief. Love anchored a soul attuned to loftier deeds, and after his marriage his career as a courtier was eclipsed by his later exploits as a statesman, warrior, explorer, and author. He planned and participated in many expeditions which brought benefit to his queen and added to his own fortune,
yet none of his expeditions have borne such an ever-increasing harvest of results as those he sent to America. He began that work in 1584, and continued to send expeditions in 1585-1586-1587, until the invasion of England by the Spanish Armada forced him to other activities, and even then he sent two expeditions to the relief of the colonists, which, because of the exigencies of war, failed to reach America. In fact, the attitude of Spain towards England at that time was the greatest obstacle which militated against the success of his colonies. His ships and his valor were necessary to suppress and check the insolence and ambition of Spain, who designed to conquer England and become mistress of the world. By his valor, loyalty, and wisdom Raleigh was largely instrumental in bringing about the failure of those plans and in defeating the Spanish fleet, which had been boastingly named The Invincible Armada. Again his zeal and cool daring won for England the great victory of Cadiz, which has always ranked as the most remarkable achievement in the annals of naval warfare. With only seven ships he dashed in and destroyed a large Spanish fleet (fifty-five ships) in its own harbor with a dexterity and valor not surpassed even by Dewey at Manila nor by Schley at Santiago.
Spain was always his foe because she feared him, and it seems like the Nemesis of fate that three hundred years later the death-blow of Spain as a world power was dealt in Manila Bay by the nation which Raleigh strove so hard to plant, himself all unconscious of what the years were to bring. On that famous morning when Dewey startled the world and chastised Spain for her insolence and cruelty, the ship which fired the first shot in a battle destined to change the rating of two nations, the ship which first replied to the fire of the Spanish forts, as if answering the challenge of an old-time foe,—that ship was the Raleigh, named in honor of that great man by the nation he had fostered, and in that battle Raleigh's foe was humbled, Raleigh's fame perpetuated, and Raleigh's death avenged.
After the death of Elizabeth the star of Raleigh set. He whose most valiant work had been the defense of England against the attacks of Spain was falsely charged with treasonable negotiations with Spain, and after a farce of a trial was thrown into prison, where he remained more than twelve years. The only mitigations of the horrors of prison life were the presence of his devoted wife and his books. He had always been a student, and he spent the weary
hours of his long confinement in that companionship which is known only to those who really love books, and to such minds they prove a panacea for sorrow and injustice. During that imprisonment he wrote his famous “History of the World,” marking the eventful epoch by writing a history of the Old World at the same time that he was opening the gates of the future by planting English colonies in the New World. As soon as he was released from prison his mind returned to schemes of exploration. He made a voyage to South America, where new disasters befell him, and where his oldest son was killed. Shattered by grief and misfortune he returned to England, where his enemies had planned his certain downfall. Again he was sent to prison, but not for a long time, for soon his princely head paid the penalty which true greatness has too often paid to the power of a weak king. As a subject he was loyal and valiant, as a husband faithful and devoted, as a father affectionate and inspiring, as a scholar distinguished in prose and poetry, as a soldier he won fame and fortune, as a statesman he contributed to the renown of his sovereign's realm, and as a man he lived and died guided by the highest ideals. This was the man who spent a fortune trying to establish English colonies in North America, and
who sent repeated expeditions to the island of Roanoak, situated where the waters of the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds meet, on the coast of North Carolina, but which was then called Virginia.
The island wears a cluster of historic jewels which should endear it to all patriotic Anglo-Americans. To them it should be the most sacred, the best loved spot in all the United States. There the first English settlements were made which led to English supremacy in the New World. There the first home altar was reared and the first child of English parents in the United States was born and baptized. There the blood of Englishmen first dyed the sod of North America, and there the first attempts at English agriculture were made. There was enacted the tragedy of American colonization, the disappearance of Raleigh's Lost Colony, and there the sacrament of baptism was first administered in the United States. Roanoak Island is a beautiful place, with fertile soil and wild luxuriance of vine-covered forests which are enveloped in a deep solitude which has become dignity. Restless waters ebb and flow by its side, restless winds kiss its bare sand dunes, a genial sun brings to maturity its wealth of tree and vine and shrub. Protected from the storms which ravage the ocean beyond, it sleeps in quiet
beauty, content with its heritage of fame as the first home of the English race in America.
Its isolated position, its wild beauty, its tragic associations, its dignified repose, all seem to have set it aside from the rush of modern progress that it might become a shrine for the homage of a patriotic people.
The wonderful fertility of the soil of this island seemed a marvel to the early explorers, all of whom have testified to it. Ralph Lane, governor of the colony of 1585, in writing to Raleigh of the island and the surrounding country, declared it to be “the goodliest soil under the cope of heaven,” and that “being inhabited with English no realm in Christendom were comparable to it;” every word of which is true now, provided that the English who inhabit it follow the suggestions of nature and adopt horticulture as the developing means. The surrounding country as well as Roanoak Island has a wealth of climbing vines and clustering grapes which point instinctively to grape culture. Amadas and Barlowe (1584) wrote that they found the land “so full of grapes as the very beating and surge of the sea overflowed them, of which we found such plenty, as well there as in all places else, both on the sand and on the green soil, on the hills as on the plains, as wellA Scuppernong Vineyard, Roanoak Island.
as on every little shrub as also climbing towards the top of high cedars, that I think in all the world the like abundance is not to be found.”
Surely no other such natural vineyard was ever found outside the fabled Garden of the Gods!
Even in this generation an old resident of the Banks, an ante-bellum pilot on these waters, has testified that his grandfather could remember the time “when if a vessel were stranded on any of the beaches the crew could crawl to land on the grapevines hanging over where now there is only a dry sand beach.” Throughout the eastern part of that State (North Carolina) the grape riots in natural luxuriance and is luscious and fragrant. Many varieties remain wild, while others have been improved by cultivation. The three finest native American grapes, the Catawba, the Isabella, and the Scuppernong, are all indigenous to the soil of North Carolina. The Catawba, native to the banks of the river Catawba, from which it takes its name, is still found wild in North Carolina, while it has become celebrated at the North as a table-grape, and in Ohio as a wine-grape. In its adopted home it has revolutionized land values because of the money value of the product. The Isabella grape, so generally cultivated for table use, is thought to be a
hybrid between the Burgundy and the native fox-grape of the Carolinas. The tradition runs that the Burgundy was brought to South Carolina by the Huguenots, and that cuttings from this hybrid were brought to North Carolina and successfully propagated. Mrs. Isabella Gibbs, for whom this wellknown grape was named, carried a vine from North Carolina to Long Island, where it attracted attention because of its hardiness.
To the people of the South Atlantic coast the Scuppernong is by far the most important of the native grapes, for while it refuses to flourish away from its native home, yet its great possibilities as a wine-grape are beginning to be appreciated. All the early explorers gave it special mention. Hariot in his famous Narrative wrote, “There are two kinds of grapes that the soil does yield naturally, the one is small and sour, of the ordinary bigness of ours in England; the other far greater and of himself luscious sweet. When they are planted and husbanded as they ought, a principal commodity of wines by them may be raised.” (Hakluyt, 1586.) Lawson in his history (1714) describes several varieties, and dwells on the abundant supply of grapes and the great tangles of green vines. He wrote of a native white grape, which many in that day thought existed onlyOld “Mother” Scuppernong Vine.
in his imagination; but it was a reality and was the now well-known Scuppernong, whose fame history and tradition both perpetuate, and whose real worth, greater than its legendary fame, is now being recognized and appreciated. There are several varieties of the Scuppernong, all luscious and yielding rich juices, and when ripe they fill the air with a fragrance unknown to any other grape.
The first Scuppernong vine known to history was found on the mainland of the North Carolina coast by Amadas and Barlowe on their first voyage (1584). Tradition relates thay they transplanted this vine to Roanoak Island. On this island there still flourishes an old vine, which despite its gnarled body and evident age continues to bear fruit. It is claimed that it is the same vine Amadas and Barlowe planted. Some insist that it was planted by Sir Walter Raleigh himself, but as that famous knight did not realize his wish to visit his new possessions in North America, the honor of having planted the vine must revert to Amadas and Barlowe. It seems to be endowed with perennial youth, and the harvest from its branches is an annual certainty.
What the early explorers testified as to the abundant supply of grapes on the Carolina coast, and the propitious conditions existing for the propagation of
the vine, is equally true to-day. The manifest destiny of North Carolina as the rival of Southern France in the production of wines seems to be inevitable. The marvel is how it has been so long delayed after Hariot's special mention of such possibilities. Hariot was a close observer with a practical mind, and the presence of an indigenous supply of material to sustain an important industry suggested to him that the people coming to this grape-laden land might establish such an industry to their advantage. The delay of the development of grape-culture in its native home can only be explained on the theory that when nature boldly invites, man becomes shy. This indifference to grape-culture is peculiar to America, for in Europe all the aristocracy who are land-owners, where the climate makes it possible, are cultivators of the grape, take great pride in their wines, boast of their rare and fine vintages, and hold the making of wine as one of the fine arts.
The original Scuppernong has white skin, white pulp, white juice, and makes a white wine. Other varieties have dark purple skins and yield a reddish juice which makes a red wine. The dark varieties are said to be seedlings from the original white variety, and tradition explains the metamorphosis in this way.
In the magic spring made famous in the legend of The White Doe, after the blood of Virginia Darehad melted from the silver arrow into the water of the spring, then the water disappeared. As the legend says:“Dry became the magic fountain,Leaving bare the silver arrow.”
Then while O-kis-ko looked on in wonderment he saw“a tiny shoot with leafletsPushing upward to the sunlight.”
Tradition says that this “tiny shoot with leaflets” was a young seedling of the Scuppernong which had sprouted in the edge of the water, and it was not seen by O-kis-ko until all the water had disappeared. Then he saw it and immediately associated its appearance with the magic arrow, and so left it “reaching upward to the sunlight.” After many days he returned to the spot—drawn by an irresistible longing, and covered the fatal arrow, which had brought him so much woe, with earth and leaves to hide it from his sight. The earth and leaves furnished the necessary nourishment to the tiny vine, which reached out with strength and vigor, and finding friendly bushes upon which to climb, it soon made a
sheltering bower above the spot where had bubbled the magic spring. This tiny green bower became the favorite retreat of Virginia Dare, and marvel on the wonders of her death. Then it came to pass that when fruit came upon this vine, lo! it was purple in hue instead of white like the other grapes, and yielded a red juice. Full of superstition, and still credulous of marvels, red—it was the semblance of blood, Virginia Dare's blood, absorbed from the water (in which it had melted from the arrow) by the vine, and yet potent for good. Surely it held some unseen power, for it combined in some mystic way through the mysterious earth at his feet all the power of the magic spring, the power of the silver arrow, and the power of human blood consecrated through human love. He reverently drank the juice of this new vine, believing that it would in some way link him with the spirit of her he had loved and lost. Year after year he drank this juice and fed his soul on thoughts of love, making unconsciously a sacrament, and finding happiness in the thought that the blood of the maiden would feed his
spirit and lead him to her at last. To become good like her and to go to her became his highest hope. Aspiration had been born in his soul, and quickened by love it could not die, but led him blindly to strive to reach her, and such striving is never in vain.
Another fact that should be enshrined in the hearts and perpetuated in the memorials of the nation, is that on Roanoak Island the first Christian baptism in the United States was administered. By order of Sir Walter Raleigh, Governor White, and the following Sunday Virginia Dare, the granddaughter of Governor White, was baptized, both events being officially reported to Raleigh. In this day of religious freedom any enforced adoption of religious forms shocks our pious instincts. Yet baptism has always been considered necessary to salvation, and in the past the zeal of Christians for the salvation of their fellowmen often assumed the form of mild force. We read where the Spaniards, always religious fanatics, administered the Holy Sacrament to thousands in Central America and Mexico at the point of the sword; their zeal misleading them to force upon those less enlightened than themselves the hope of that heaven which they believed to be accessible
only through certain Christian rites. So to order the baptism of an Indian chief seems a simple, kindly thing, and most probably 1614. She was a captive at the time and held as a hostage to induce Jamestown.
Despite the fact that Virginia Dare was baptized twenty-seven years earlier than Washington as receiving the first baptism in the colonies. Buried in the annals of that time lies the fact that twenty-seven years before any colonist even came to Jamestown, Virginia Dare was born and baptized, as the sequence of Christian birth and as the child of Christian parents. Virginia Dare was not a myth. She was a living, breathing reality, a human creature of good English descent, the granddaughter of the governor of the colonies, the daughter of the assistant governor, and a sharer in the mysterious fate of Raleigh's Lost Colony. The historical facts of her life and the legend of her fate and death are contained in the pages of “The White Doe.”
Her baptism would not have been mentioned in the records if it had not been official and proper. In a new land, surrounded by dangers and difficulties, with strange environment to divert the mind to other channels, it would have been easy and natural for her baptism to have been delayed if not altogether neglected amid the stress of events. Her prompt baptism and the official report of the event to Sir Walter Raleigh is convincing testimony to the presence of a chaplain at Roanoak.THE FIRST BAPTISM IN THE WILDS OF
How naturally the scene rises before us. The young mother, her heart thrilling with the mysteries of love and life, and elated with the joy of motherhood, alert to the dangers of the new land, and suspicious of the strange people among whom her blue-eyed treasure must live, yet yielding cheerfully to the busy smiling English women who had crossed the ocean with her, and now with womanly intuition ministered to her needs. We can picture them making tidy the confused household, and stilling the cries of the infant as they prepare her to receive the sign of the cross. We can almost picture them deliberating over a choice from among their limited
supply of vessels of one worthy to become the receptacle of the water to be used. It was on the Sabbath-Day, and the dedication to God of the wee creature who had so newly come among them was a fitting observance of the day. The solemn words of the ritual of the English Church, never before spoken in that primeval forest, must have awakened mysterious vibrations which linger yet and give to Roanoak Island that atmosphere of perpetual repose which envelops it. There must have come to those who witnessed the scene that holy Sabbath-Day, just as it comes now to those who view it from afar, a deep realization that the God of the English and the Great Spirit of the Indian are one and the same, then, now, and evermore. The One God to whom in baptism Virginia Dare was brought and in whose name Christ.
The mist of oblivion fades before the light of Truth, and Virginia Dare will be a shining jewel in the Chaplet of Memories which some day Christian America will place upon the tomb of the Past.PREFACE
A FAMILIAR knowledge of the history of one's own country increases patriotism and stimulates valor. For this reason the study of written records called history should be supplemented by research into myths, folk-lore, and legends. While the value of history lies ever in its truth, it must yet bear the ideals of the people who participated in the events narrated. Tradition was the mother of all history, and was necessarily robed in the superstitions of the era of which the tradition tells. History writers, jealously guarding the truth, have striven to banish all traditions which seemed colored by fancy or even freighted with a moral lesson. These exiled traditions, bearing the seed-germs of truth, cannot die, but, like wandering spirits, float down the centuries enveloped in the mists of superstition, until finally, embodied in romance or song, they assume a permanent form called legend and become the heritage of a people. Legends are the satellites of history because they have their
origin in the same events, and the history of all countries is interspersed with them.
The legend of The White Doe is probably the oldest and possibly the least known of all the legends which relate to the history of the United States. It is a genuine American legend, and the facts from which it had its origin form the first chapter in the history of English colonization in North America. Those facts are found in the repeated attempts of Sir Walter Raleigh to establish an English colony in the New World. The Spaniards were in Florida, the French were in Nova Scotia, but England had gained no possessions in North America when Raleigh began his efforts. This fact assumes more importance when we remember that civilization has made the greatest progress in those parts of America where the English became dominant. In South America, dominated by the Spaniards, civilization has made no strides, while in the United States a new nation has arisen whose ultimate destiny none may limit or foretell. As the gates of a new century open and disclose almost unlimited fields for human progress, this new nation, with an enthusiasm and courage born of success, has taken her place to lead in the eternal forward search for better opportunities
and higher life for the human race. All this grand destiny, all this ripening opportunity, like a harvest from a few seeds, is traced back, event after event, to the early struggles of those who braved the dangers of sea and forest in the attempts to colonize America. Those pioneer efforts, so generously promoted by Sir Walter Raleigh, though only partially successful, were the stepping-stones which later led to the better-known settlement of Jamestown, in Virginia. A brief résumé of those stepping-stones will make them familiar to all.
In 1584 Queen Elizabeth made a grant to Raleigh for all the land from Nova Scotia to Florida, which was called Virginia, in honor of the Virgin Queen, as Elizabeth was called.
The first expedition sent out under this grant was in the same year, 1584, and was entirely at the expense of Sir Walter Raleigh, as were all of the expeditions up to 1590. It was solely for the purpose of exploration, and was under the command of Amadas and Barlowe, who, after coasting along the Atlantic shores, entered Pamlico Sound and landed on the island of Roanoak, on the coast of the present State of North Carolina. They made the acquaintance of the tribes there
resident, explored the country on the coast, and returned to England to bear enthusiastic testimony to the delightsomeness of the country. They took with them back to England two native Indian chiefs, Manteo and Wanchese, who returned to America on a subsequent voyage, as the official records tell.
The following year, 1585, a colony of one hundred and seven men landed on this same island of Roanoak. They came organized to occupy and possess the land granted to Raleigh, and to secure such benefits therefrom as in those days were deemed valuable. They remained one year, exploring the country and trying to establish relations with the Indians. They built houses, planted crops, and looked forward to the arrival of more men and food, which had been promised from England. But no ships came, provisions grew scarce, and before the crops they had planted were mature enough to harvest, Sir Francis Drake, the great sea-rover of that day, appeared off the island with a fleet of vessels.
Knowing the dangers of that coast, he did not attempt to come to the island, but sent in to learn of the welfare of the colony, and offered to supply their immediate needs. They asked, among other
things, that their sick and weak men be taken back to England, that food for those who remained be given them, and for a vessel in which they might return home if they so desired, all of which Drake granted. But a dreadful storm arose, which lasted three days and drove the promised vessel out to sea, with a goodly number of the colonists and the promised food on board. Seeing thus a part of their number and their food gone, the remaining colonists became homesick and panic-stricken and begged Drake to take them all to England, which he did. Thus ended the first attempt at English colonization in North America.
Fifteen days after their departure Sir Richard Grenville arrived with three vessels, bringing the promised supplies, but found the men gone. Wishing to hold the country for England until another colony could arrive, he left fifteen men on the island with provisions for two years, and he returned to England. Those fifteen men are supposed to have been murdered and captured by the Indians, as the next colony found only some bones, a ruined fort, and empty houses in which deer were feeding.
The leaving of those fifteen men is considered the second attempt at colonization, and is recognized
as a failure. But all success is built only by persistent repetition of effort, and so, in 1587, another colony came from England to this same island of Roanoak. Among those colonists were seventeen women and nine children, thus proving the intention of making permanent homes, and the hope of establishing family ties which should for all time unite England and North America. A few days after the arrival of this colony at Roanoak, Virginia Dare was born,—she being the first child born of English parents on the soil of North America,—and because she was the first child born in Virginia she was called Virginia. Her mother, Eleanor Dare, was the daughter of John White, the governor of the colony, and the wife of one of the assistant governors.
The Sunday following her birth she was baptized, this being another fact of official record.
By Sir Walter Raleigh's command the rite of baptism had been administered, a few days earlier, to Manteo, an Indian chief, who had visited England with a returning expedition, as previously mentioned. This baptism of the adult Indian and of the white infant were the first Christian sacraments administered in North America, and are worthy of commemoration.
The colonists soon found that to make possible and permanent their home in a new land many things were needed more than they had provided. So at their urgent request their leader, Governor White, grandfather of Virginia Dare, consented to return to England to secure the needed supplies, with which he was to return to them the following year. When White reached England he found war going on with Spain, and England threatened with an invasion by the famous Spanish Armada. His queen needed and demanded his services, and not until 1590—three years later—did he succeed in returning to America. When at last he came the colonists had disappeared, and the only clue to their fate was the word “Croatoan,” which he found carved on a tree; it having been agreed between them that if they changed their place of abode in his absence they would carve on a tree the name of the place to which they had gone.
The arrival of those colonists, the birth and baptism of Virginia Dare, the return of White to England, the disappearance of the colony, and the finding of the word Croatoan, these facts form the record of that colony, the disappearance of which is a mystery which history has not solved.
But tradition illumines many periods of the past which history leaves in darkness, and tradition tells how this colony found among friendly Indians a refuge from the dangers of Roanoak Island, and how this infant grew into fair maidenhood, and was changed by the sorcery of a rejected lover into a white doe, which roamed the lonely island and bore a charmed life, and how finally true love triumphed over magic and restored her to human form,—only to result in the death of the maiden from a silver arrow shot by a cruel chieftain.
This tradition of a white doe and a silver arrow has survived through three centuries, and not only lingers where the events occurred, but some portions of it are found wherever in our land forests abound and deer abide. From Maine to Florida lumbermen are everywhere familiar with an old superstition that to see a white doe is an evil omen. In some localities lumbermen will quit work if a white deer is seen. That such a creature as a white deer really exists is demonstrated by their capture and exhibition in menageries, and to-day the rude hunters of the Alleghany Mountains believe that only a silver arrow will kill a white deer.
The disappearance of this colony has been truly called “the tragedy of American colonization,” and around it has hung a pathetic interest which ever leads to renewed investigation, in the hope of solving the mystery. From recent search into the subject by students of history a chain of evidence has been woven from which it has come to be believed that the lost colony, hopeless of succor from England, and deprived of all other human associations, became a part of a tribe of friendly Croatoan Indians, shared their wanderings, and intermarried with them, and that their descendants are to be found to-day among the Croatoan Indians of Robeson County, North Carolina.
(Those who desire to investigate this supposed solution of the mystery can easily secure the facts and the conclusions formed by those who have made a careful study of the subject.)
Of course, it can never be known certainly whether Virginia Dare was or was not of that number, but the full tradition of her life among the Indians is embodied in the legend of The White Doe.
Much has been written about the Indian princess Pocahontas, and much sentiment has clustered
around her association with the Jamestown colony, while few have given thought to the young English girl whose birth, baptism, and mysterious disappearance link her forever with the earlier tragedies of the same era of history. It seems a strange coincidence that the Indian maiden Pocahontas, friend and companion of the White Man, having adopted his people as her own, should sleep in death on English soil, while the English maiden, Virginia Dare, friend and companion of the Red Man, having adopted his people as her own, should sleep in death on American soil,—the two maidens thus exchanging nationality, and linking in life and in death the two countries whose destinies seem most naturally to intermingle.
The scattered fragments of this legend have been carefully collected and woven into symmetry for preservation. Notes from authentic sources have been appended for the benefit of searchers into the historical basis of the poem, which is offered to the public with the hope that it may increase interest in the early history of our home land and strengthen the tie which binds England and the United States.
SALLIE SOUTHALL COTTEN.
|FORGOTTEN FACTS AND FANCIES OF AMERICN HISTORY||i|
|THE SEEDS OF TRUTH||23|
|THE LEGEND OF THE WHITE DOE|
|II.—THE PALE-FACE MAIDEN||42|
|VI.—THE SILVER ARROW||72|
|1 “While within its bright'ning dimness, With the misty halo ’round her, Stood a beautiful white maiden”||FRONTISPIECE|
|2 A Scuppernong Vineyard, Roanoak Island||x|
|3 Old “Mother” Scuppernong Vine||xii|
|4 Among the Scuppernongs.—A Modern Vineyard||xiv|
|5 A “Virginia Dare” Vineyard||xvi|
|6 The Arrival of the Englishmen in Virginia||23|
|7 “The Fierce, Brawny Red Man is King of the Wold”||24|
|8 The Land-of-Wind-and-Water||32|
|9 Man-te-o, a Chiefe Lorde of Roanoak||34|
|10 “Then a New Canoe he fashioned”||52|
|11 The Magician of Po-mou-ik||58|
Frontispiece from an original drawing by May Louise Barrett.
Maps and remaining illustrations reproduced from Theodore de Bry's edition of “The True Pictures and Fashions of the People in that Parte of America now called Virginia,” 1590.
THE SEEDS OF TRUTH
The arrival of the Englishmen in Virginia
ROANOK, 1587SHIMMERING waters, aweary of tossing,Hopeful of rest, ripple on to the shore;Dimpling with light, as they waver and quiver,Echoing faintly the ocean's wild roar.Locked in the arms of the tremulous watersNestles an island, with beauty abloom,Where the warm kiss of an amorous summerFills all the air with a languid perfume.Windward, the roar of the turbulent breakersWarns of the dangers of rock and of reef;Burdened with mem'ries of sorrowful shipwreck,They break on the sands in torrents of grief.Leeward, the forest, grown giant in greenness,Shelters a land where a fervid sun shines;Wild with the beauty of riotous nature,Thick with the tangles of fruit-laden vines.*From fragrant clusters, grown purple with ripeness,Rare, spicy odors float out to the sea,†Where the gray gulls flit with restless endeavor,Skimming the waves in their frolicsome glee.* See Appendix, Note a.† See Appendix, Note b.Out from the shore stalks the stately white heron,Seeking his food from the deep without fear,Gracefully waving wide wings as he risesWhen the canoe of the Indian draws near.Through reedy brake and the tangled sea-grassesWander the stag and the timid-eyed doe*Down to the water's edge, watchful and waryFor arrows that fly from the red hunter's bow.Fearless Red Hunter! his birthright the forest,Lithe as the antelope, joyous and free.Trusting his bow for his food and his freedom,Wresting a tribute from forest and sea,No chilling forecast of doom in the futureDaunts his brave spirit, by freedom made bold.Far o'er the wildwood he roams at his pleasure,The fierce, brawny Red Man is king of the wold.* * * * * *Lo! in the offing the white sails are gleaming,Ships from afar to the land drawing nigh;Laden with men, strong and brave to meet danger,Stalwart of form, fair of skin, blue of eye.* See Appendix, Note c.
THE LEGEND OF THE WHITE DOE
Man-te-o, a chiefe lorde of Roanoak
“The fierce, brawny Red Man is king of the wold”
The magician of Po-mou-ik
NOTE a.—“We viewed the land about us, being where we first landed very sandy and low towards the water side, but so full of grapes as the very beating and surge of the sea overflowed them, of which we found such plenty, as well there as in all places else, both on the sand and on the green soil, on the hills as in the plains, as well on every little shrub, as also climbing towards the tops of high cedars, that I think in all the world the like abundance is not to be found.”—First voyage of Amadas and Barlowe, 1584. From Hakluyt.
NOTE b.—“The second of July we found shoal water, where we smelled so sweet and so strong a smell as if we had been in the midst of some delicate garden abounding with all kinds of odoriferous flowers, by which we were assured that the land could not be far distant.”—First voyage of Amadas and Barlowe, 1584.
NOTE c.—“Deer, in some places there are great store: near unto the seacoast they are of the ordinary bigness of ours in England, and some less: but further up into the country where there is better feed, they are greater.”—Harriot's Report.
NOTE d.—“The Governor (John White) with divers of his company, walked to the north end of the island, where Master Ralph Lane had his fort, with sundry necessary and decent dwelling houses, made by his men about it, the year before, where we hoped to find some signs, or certain knowledge of our fifteen men. When we came thither we found the fort razed down, but all the houses standing unhurt, saving that the neather rooms of them, and also of the fort, were overgrown with melons of divers sorts, and deer within them, feeding on those melons; so we returned to our company, without hope of ever seeing any of the fifteen alive.”—Hakluyt.
NOTE e.—“At our first landing they seemed as though they would fight with us, but perceiving us begin to march with our shot towards them, they turned their backs and fled. Then Manteo, their countryman, called to them in their own language, whom, as soon as they heard, they returned, and threw away their bows and arrows, and some of them came unto us embracing and entertaining us friendly, desiring us not to gather or spoil any of their corn, for that they had but little. We answered them that neither their corn nor any other thing of theirs should be diminished by any of us, and that our coming was only to renew the old love, that was between us and them at the first, and to live with them as brethren and friends; which answer seemed to please them well, wherefore they requested us to walk up to their town, who there feasted us after their manner, and desired us earnestly
that there might be some token or badge given them of us, whereby we might know them to be our friends,” etc.
“And also we understood by them of Croatoan, how that the fifteen Englishmen left at Roanoak the year before, by Grenville, were suddenly set upon by thirty of the men of Secota, Aquoscogoc, and Dasamonguepeuc, in manner following. They conveyed themselves secretly behind the trees, near the houses where our men carelessly lived, and having perceived that of those fifteen they could see but eleven only, two of those savages appeared to the eleven Englishmen, calling to them by friendly signs that but two of their chief men should come unarmed to speak with those two savages, who seemed also to be unarmed. Wherefore two of the chiefest of our Englishmen went gladly to them; but whilst one of those savages traitorously embraced one of our men, the other with his sword of wood, which he had secretly hidden under his mantle, struck him on the head and slew him, and presently the other eight and twenty savages shewed themselves; the other Englishman perceiving this, fled to his company, whom the savages pursued with their bows and arrows so fast that the Englishmen were forced to take the house, wherein all their victuals and weapons were; but the savages forthwith set the same on fire, by means whereof our men were forced to take up such weapons as came first to hand, and without order to run forth among the savages, with whom they skirmished above an hour. In this skirmish another of our men was shot into the mouth with an arrow,
where he died; and also one of the savages was shot into the side by one of our men, with a wild fire arrow, whereof he died presently. The place where they fought was of great advantage to the savages, by means of the thick trees, behind which the savages through their nimbleness defended themselves, and so offended our men with their arrows, that our men, being some of them hurt, retired fighting to the water side where their boat lay, with which they fled towards Hatorask. By that time they had rowed but a quarter of a mile, they espied their four fellows coming from a creek thereby, where they had been to fetch oysters; these four they received into their boat, leaving Roanoak, and landed on a little island on the right hand of our entrance into the harbor of Hatorask, where they remained awhile, but afterwards departed, whither as yet we know not.”—Hakluyt.
NOTE f.—“The thirteenth of August, our savage, Manteo, by the commandment of Sir Walter Raleigh, was christened in Roanoak, and called Lord thereof, and of Dasamonguepeuc, in reward of his faithful services.”—Hakluyt.
NOTE g.—“The eighteenth, Eleanor, daughter to the Governor, and wife to Ananias Dare, one of the assistants, was delivered of a daughter, in Roanoak, and the same was christened there the Sunday following, and because this child was the first Christian born in Virginia, she was named Virginia.”—Hakluyt.
NOTE h.—“The twenty-second of August, the whole company, both of the assistants and planters, came to the Governor, and with one voice requested him to return himself into England, for the better and sooner obtaining of supplies and other necessaries for them; but he refused it, and alleged many sufficient causes why he would not. . . . The next day, not only the assistants, but divers others, as well women as men, began to renew their requests to the Governor again, to take upon him to return into England for the supplies and dispatch of all such things as there were to be done. . . . The Governor being at the last, through their extreme entreating, constrained to return into England, having then but half a day's respite to prepare himself for the same, departed from Roanoak the seven and twentieth of August in the morning, and the same day about mid-night came aboard the Fly-boat who already had weighed anchor, and rode without the bar, the admiral riding by them, who but the same morning was newly come thither again. The same day both the ships weighed anchor and set sail for England.”—Hakluyt.
NOTE k.—“Our boats and all things filled again, we put off from Hatorask, being the number of nineteen persons in both boats; but before we could get to the place where our planters were left, it was so exceeding dark, that we overshot the place a quarter of a mile, where we espied towards the North end of the island the light of a great fire through the woods to the which we presently rowed: when we came right over against it we
let fall our grapnel near the shore, and sounded with a trumpet a call, and afterwards many familiar English tunes of songs, and called to them friendly; but we had no answer, we therefore landed at daybreak, and coming to the fire we found the grass and sundry rotten trees burning about the place. From hence we went through the woods to that part of the island directly over against Dasamonguepeuc, and from thence we returned by the water side round about the north point of the island, until we came to the place where I left our colony in the year 1586. In all this way we saw in the sand the print of the savages’ feet of two or three sorts trodden in the night; and as we entered up the sandy bank, upon a tree, in the very brow thereof, were curiously carved these fair Roman letters C. R. O., which letters presently we knew to signify the place where I should find the planters seated, according to a secret token agreed upon between them and me at my last departure from them; which was, that in any way they should not fail to write or carve on the trees or posts of the doors the name of the place where they should be seated; for at my coming away they were prepared to remove from Roanoak fifty miles into the main. Therefore at my departure from them in An. 1587, I willed them that if they should happen to be distressed in any of those places, that then they should carve over the letters or name, a cross † in this form; but we found no such sign of distress. . . . And having well considered of this, we passed towards the place where they were left in sundry houses, but we found the houses taken down, and the place very strongly
enclosed with a high palisade of great trees, with curtains and flankers, very fort-like, and one of the chief trees or posts at the right side of the entrance had the bark taken off, and five feet from the ground in fair capital letters was graven CROATOAN without any cross or sign of distress. . . . I greatly joyed that I had safely found a certain token of their safe being at Croatoan, which is the place where Manteo was born, and the savages of the island our friends.”—From Governor White's account of his voyage in search of the colonists, after the defeat of the Spanish Armada. Hakluyt., Vol. III.
NOTE l.—“We brought home also two of the savages, being lusty men, whose names were Wan-ches-e and Man-te-o.”—First voyage by Amadas and Barlowe.
NOTE m.—All authorities agree in the statement that the favorite time among the Indians for an attack on an enemy was at, or about, daybreak.
NOTE n.—“Into this river falls another great river called Cipo in which there is found great store of mussels in which there are pearls.”—Voyage of Amadas and Barlowe.
“In her ears she had bracelets of pearls, hanging down to her middle, and these were of the bigness of good pease.”—Voyage of Amadas and Barlowe.
“Sometimes feeding on mussels, we found some pearle, but it was our hap to meet with ragges, or of a pied colour; not having yet discovered those places where we heard of better and more plenty.”—Harriot's Report.
NOTE o.—“The manner of making their boats in Virginia is very wonderful. For whereas they want instruments of iron or others like unto ours, yet they know how to make them as handsomely, to sail with where they list in their rivers, and to fish withal, as ours. First they choose some long and thick tree, according to the bigness of the boat which they would frame, and make a fire on the ground about the roots thereof, kindling the same by little and little with dry moss of trees, and chips of wood that the flame should not mount up too high, and burn too much of the length of the tree. When it is almost burnt through, and ready to fall they make a new fire which they suffer to burn until the tree falls of its own accord. Then burning off the top and boughs of the tree in such wise that the body of the same may retain his just length, they raise it upon poles laid over cross wise upon forked posts at such a reasonable height as they may handsomely work upon it. Then take they off the bark with certain shells; they reserve the innermost part of the bark for the nethermost part of the boat. On the other side they make a fire according to the length of the body of the tree saving at both the ends. That which they think is sufficiently burned, they quench and scrape away with shells, and making a new fire they burn it again and so they continue, sometimes burning and sometimes scraping until the boat have sufficient bottoms.”—Harriot's Report.
NOTE p.—“They are a people clothed with loose mantles made of deer skin, and aprons of the same round about their middles.”—Harriot's Report.
NOTE s.—“They have commonly conjurers or jugglers, which use strange gestures, and often contrary to nature in their enchantments: For they be very familiar with devils of whom they inquire what their enemies do, or other such things.”—Harriot's Report.
Mrs. Sallie Sims Southball Cotten, pioneer in the field for women's activities, is reverently remembered as the mother of the Federation of Woman's Clubs. She was born in 1846 and died in 1929 at the ripe old age of 83 years—years of service from childhood and on to the day at sunset when she went to her reward. She organized the End of the Century Club in Greenville. She was a member of this club and of the Greenville and Farmville Woman's clubs until her death.
Mrs. Cotten was correspondent for North Carolina in the General Federation of Woman's Clubs in 1900 when the national meeting was held in Milwaukee. This wonderful woman's with a vision, had an active part in everything the women of North Carolina and the Nation were doing all through the years. Mrs. Cotten organized the Mothers’ Congress, and before that was one of the “lady managers” of the World's Columbiar Exposition in Chicago in 1892.
Mrs. Cotten wrote “The Club Women's Hymn.” She spent her life in service. It is tradition among club women, especially the several hundred who are here in Greenville today, that Sallie Sims Southall Cotten, is enshrined in the hearts of the women of America.
Sallie Sims Southall Cotten's life was a monument to her. It is singularly fitting and appropriate that today, while the Federation of Woman's Clubs is meeting in district conference, that we remind that this patriot—this leader in the fine things of life—is buried here in Greenville. The name is revered — honored and cherished.
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