Go to Home pageGo to GlossaryGo to TimelineLinks to useful websitesLink to worksheetPrint this section
Nav 2
Home > Roanoke Settlement > Why did the settlement fail? > Source 3 > Transcript

Why did the settlement fail? Source 3 Transcript

Tarraquine and Andacon two principall men about Pemisapan, and very lustie fellows, with twentie more appointed to them had the charge of my person to see an order taken for the same, which they ment should in this fort bene executed. In the dead of the night they would have beset my house, and put fire in the reedes that the same was covered with; meaning (as it was likely) that my selfe would have come running out of a sudden amazed in my shirt without armes, upon the instant whereof they would have knocked out my braines.

The same order was given to certaine of his fellows, for M. Heriots: so for all the rest of our better sort, all our houses at one instant being set on fire as afore is said, and that as well for them of the fort, as for us at the towne. Now to the ende that we might be fewer in number together, and so bee the more easily dealt withal (for in deed tenne of us without our armes prepared, were a terrour to a hundred of the best sort of them, ) they agreed and did immediatly put it in practice, that they should not for any copper sell us any victuals whatsoever: besides that in the night they should sende to have our weares robbed, and also to cause them to bee broken, and once being broken never to be repaired againe by them. By this means the King stood assured, that I must bee enforced for lacke of sustenance there, to disband my company into sundry places to live upon shell fish, for so the Savages themselves doe, going to Hatorask, Croatoan, and other places, fishing and hunting, while their grounds be in sowing, and their corne growing: which failed not his expectation. For the famine grew to extreme among us, our weares failing us of fish, that I enforced to sende Captaine Stafford with 20 with him to Croatoan my Lord Admirals Iland to serve two turnes in one, that is to say, to feede himselfe and his company, and also to keepe watch if any shipping came upon the coast to warne us of the same. I sent M. Pridiox with the pinnesse to Hatorask, and ten with him, with the Provost Marshal to live there, and also to wait for shipping: also I sent every weeke 16 or 20 of the rest of the company to the maine over against us, to live of Casada and oysters.

Simplified Transcript
Tarraquine and Andacon, two of Pemisapan’s men, along with 20 others were given orders to attack me in this fort. It was planned that in the dead of the night they would set fire to the reeds that made up my thatched roof. I would then have come running out of my house dressed only in my night shirt and they would have attacked me and knocked out my brains.

The same order was given to other men to attack Mr Heriot and all the officers and set all the houses in the fort and in the town alight. The aim of this plan was to reduce our numbers so that they could deal with us more easily (ten of us even unarmed are a match to a hundred of them). They agreed not to trade any supplies for copper with us; besides this, they also planned to break into our encampment at night and break all our fishing wires never to repair them again for us. The King thought that by these actions we would be so short of food that I would be forced to break my company up into small groups, sending them to different places to live on shellfish as the savages themselves do, going to Hatorask, Croatoan and other places, fishing and hunting while their fields are sown and the corn is growing. This is what happened. We grew so hungry, our wires failing to catch any fish, that I was forced to send Captain Stafford and 20 men to Croatoan. This was to do two things, to feed himself and his men and also to look out for any ships along the coast. I sent Mr Pridiox, the Provost Marshall and 10 men with the pinnace to Hatorask to live there and wait for shipping. I also sent 16 or 20 men of the rest of the company over the maine to live off Casada and oysters.


Close window


Home | Glossary | Timeline | Links | Worksheet | Print