English Translation of the French Version
North Carolina Office of Archives & History Department of Cultural Resources
Historical Publications Section The Colonial Records Project
Jan-Michael Poff, Editor
Historical Publications Section
4622 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-4622
Phone: (919) 733-7442
Fax: (919) 733-1439

Print Bookshelf

Last Updated 05/24/00

Christoph von Graffenried's Account of the Founding of New Bern
edited by Vincent H. Todd, Ph.D.


1. Account of the voyage to America which the Baron Graffenried made when he brought a colony of Palatines and Swiss; and his return to Europe.


Although several persons have asked me for the account of my sad adventures in America I should not have been disposed to give it if I had not said to myself that I could justify myself before my society as well as before other persons who might possibly have unfavorable thoughts concerning my conduct, as though I had undertaken this colony thoughtlessly and imprudently and had passed my time in Carolina in luxury and idleness, in which they would have been very much deceived, my account showing the contrary. One will find in it also some particulars which could very well be omitted, but because of the vagaries of certain persons who have acted in bad faith, as well in regard to the poor colonists as towards me personally, having come even to black and inexcusable actions, I can do no less than make mention of them (although very charitably since I name no one) in order that people may impute nothing to me and that my innocence may come to light.

Doubtless certain curious people would like to know the reasons for an enterprise so large and so distant from my country and fatherland. Some know them, and the others will be content to learn that from the time that I had the honor of making some stay with the late Duke of Albemarle in London who was then made viceroy of Jamaica, from the accounts which were made of the beauty, wealth, and richness of English America I conceived such a favorable idea of it, that at the urgent invitations of this lord I should have followed him on his voyage with eagerness, if I had not been turned aside by the strong remonstrances of my relatives who wished that I should establish myself in my fatherland. And not withstanding all the pleasantness that I might have there, there nevertheless always remained some enticement and some attraction in the aforementioned country. Fortune, also, did not look upon me with so favorable an eye as I could have wished, but I had finished my mayorship of Yverdon, a great and important office, to the contentment of my sovereign, the neighboring states and the subjects, the Lord be praised, with a good and clean conscience; I did not make any profit, however, because of adversities, and on the other hand I was not a man to enrich myself at the expense of the poor subjects. Besides this, the troubles in Neufchatel brought me heavy loss. Seeing again that the new reform deprived me of the ability of obtaining any profitable office for a long time, hoping to make a more considerable fortune in these distant countries of English America in order better to support a numerous family according to my rank and station, I took a firm resolution for this important voyage, no less dangerous than long and difficult, with so much the more courage that I was strongly invited by different letters from the country above mentioned as well as from London. I hesitated a long time considering whether I should communicate my design to some friend or relative, but seeing in advance that they would dissuade me from it, I said nothing of it even to those who were nearest to me, and left secretly. Nevertheless before leaving the country, I stopped at the frontier at the home of a friend, and made a disposition of my affairs which I had not been able entirely to arrange before my departure, and sent it to one of my relatives, communicating to him my design; but ill luck would have it that this packet of papers was intercepted or lost, causing me much embarassment and confusion. And so receiving no answer during eight or ten days, I departed in the firm resolution of returning no more. But man proposes and God disposes.

2. Potomac [by a different hand].

3. The Governor of Virginia:

4. The one was the Receiver-General, the other the Surveyor-General, the third a justice of the peace. These three appeared for this purpose before the Royal Committee, where they received their instructions and were officially given the direction of this people in my absence, as well upon the sea as upon land, because I was not able to leave at that time on account of a little colony from Bern which was to follow shortly, as well as other matters which I had to look after.

5. Mr. Caesar, minister of the German Reformed Church of London at Gravesend.

6. More than half of them died on the sea.

7. And partly dismasted.

8. Not daring to commit itself to the sea because of the privateers, and besides, the water at the mouths of the rivers of Carolina being low, large vessels were not able to go out nor enter.

9. Consisting of about 1,000 acres of land.

10. It is necessary for me here to stop the course of my account, in order that I may also say something of what I transacted more particularly at London, item of my departure, what passed and what I noticed on my journey, and of my arrival in North Carolina this same month of September 1710. After that I will continue in order.

Having touched only incidentally upon what I transacted at London I shall say something more in detail here, nevertheless as succintly as possible. It will be well to distinguish somewhat the two plans of the proposed colonies, that of Virginia and that of North Carolina.

For that of Virginia we had the orders of L. L. E. E. of Berne, our sovereign magistrate [marginal note: Proposition of the state of Bern for a district of country in Virginia] to sound Her Majesty, the Queen of Great Britain, to see if she would be disposed to accord the state of Berne a district of country for the proposed colony, with jurisdiction under certain clauses, without depending upon any governor, but directly of the Queen or her Council; but the Crown not wishing to diminish its authority and grandeur, would not listen to this proposition, asserting that everything ought to conform to the laws and regulations of the realm. Since it caused some embarrasment also to a sovereign state to abase itself so much, nothing was done.

Nevertheless we, in particular my society and I, on the recommendation of Monsieur Stanion, Envoy Extraordinary from her Britannic Majesty, or by his assistance obtained from the Queen the permission to take land in Virginia above the falls of the Potomac River, under the same conditions as other subjects of Her Majesty, with the intention of dividing our colony, for good reasons. But as they gave me hope of more advantages in North Carolina, since the lands were much cheaper, and since we had certain jurisdictions and special privileges besides, we began there, and the fatal issue makes it plain that we should have done better to commence with Virginia; so much the more that we should have been more in security and better supported in case of danger, by the Crown than by individuals in Carolina. Moreover the situation according to the map that I have made of it, was not at all inferior to that of Carolina either in beauty or richness, nevertheless all these overtures before mentioned cost me many useless steps, pains, and expenses, in order to obtain only a shadow of favor; for when we wished to have the lands above mentioned secured and surveyed, it was found that they were already taken by Mylord Culpeper, so that it was necessary for us to look for the greater part in Maryland, a country belonging as an estate to Mylord Baltimore. It is true that we still had other places in Virginia marked out and secured, rather good but distant from Christian plantations. With regard to the colony for Carolina I had no less embarassment, pains, and expense, nevertheless, although, the Lords Proprietors were disposed to favor me. I think that before broaching this negotiation, it would not be out of the way to say something of their power and privileges. That is something we can see fully in the account or journal printed by the Surveyor-General Lawson, wherein is copied the charter or act accorded by the King, Charles II. This great favor and high jurisdiction which no private person or lord of the Three Kingdoms has, was accorded to these lords who recalled the King from his exile and have favored his return into the kingdom. This King, not wishing to be an ingrate towards his benefactors, did not know how to recompense them better than by such a signal favor, giving and handing the province of North Carolina to these lords in full possession, authority, and absolute power, just as the King had possessed. So then they have the title as follows: To His Excellency, N. N. Palatine and to the other real and absolute Lords Proprietors of the Province of Carolina. One of the chiefs of these Lords Proprietors was at the beginning General Monk, Duke of Albemarle. It was he who presented the crown which he had made, to the king at his entry into the kingdom; which crown they keep in the Tower of London beside the veritable crown of the realm, which I have seen. They always show them both to curious strangers.

Among the other privileges which these Lords Proprietors have is the power of creating Casiques, Counts, Barons, Knights and Gentlemen in these provinces. And those whom they wish to favor they cause to be corroborated and registered in the royal heraldry; just as they did with me, when, in order to procure me more authority with my people they honored me with the title of Landgrave of Carolina, Baron of Bernburg and Knight of the purple ribbon, with a medal, as my patents give proof. But the bad part of it is that with these titles there is not a proportionate revenue. All the good that has accrued to me of it is that they gave me the first rank after the governor in the upper house of parliament of the province, and preserved me the respect of the subjects. In the beginning, appearing in the parliament without the ribbon, I was well received, to be sure, but on certain occasions I was not obeyed as I should have been. That is why I was advised to wear the ribbon and the medal when I appeared in the assembly. This I did, and I perceived the effect immediately, for certain people who had not sufficiently respected my orders came afterwards to beg my pardon for it on their knees. This is sufficient concerning the authority and power of these Lords Proprietors.

I shall tell in a few words something of what they granted me, our treaty being too long to insert here. Firstly: They sold me 15,000 acres of choice land which I had surveyed upon the rivers Neuse and Trent and 25,000 acres upon the Weetock River at 10.£. sterling per thousand, or l£ per hundred acres, and 6 pence per hundred acres quit rent, which makes the sum of 175£ sterling, which I paid at the beginning in cash. Secondly: There was a reserve of 100,000 acres to choose between the rivers here named and Clarendon River, at the same price, and for that I had seven years time in which to make the first payment and between the seventh and the twelfth the whole was to be paid. Thirdly: The differences which my people might have with the English should be settled before the English judges, but the difficulties which my colonists might have among themselves should be settled among themselves or before me, the final jurisdiction in capital offenses reserved to the Lords Proprietors. Fourthly: Liberty of religion and the right to have a minister from our country who might preach in our language. Fifthly: Right of city and market or fair at New Bern. Sixthly: Freedom from all tax, imposts, tithes and hundredths, aside from the six pence per hundred acres annually as mentioned above. Seventhly: The Lords Proprietors or the province by their orders were to furnish me with two or three years provision of food and stock for myself and all the colony, to be paid back after the prescribed term.

I also had a special and very exact treaty with the Palatines which was planned, examined, and agreed upon before and by the Royal Commission, too large to insert here. Merely the substance as follows. Firstly: My colonists owed me fidelity, obedience, and respect; and I owed them protection. Secondly; I was to furnish each family provisions for the first year, a cow, two swine and some tools, to be repaid in three years. Thirdly: I was to give each family 300 acres of land and they were to give me as quit-rent two pence per acre. On the other hand I was to pay the six pence per hundred acres, the fee to the Lords Proprietors as already mentioned. As for the expenses of transportation and food for my colony to Carolina, the Queen granted that and in addition thirty shillings for clothes to each person large and small.

After that it was a question of providing good vessels, and there presented himself a person of my acquaintance, Chevalier Fyper, who undertook to furnish two vessels well equipped with the necessary provisions of food. But all this was not to be executed with such regularity as one could have wished. Since these lords, the directors or sub-directors of this swarm of people which was then at London had considerable difficulty providing for so many thousands of souls, money began to become scarce, so much so that our good Chevalier, who procured these provisions on credit in the firm persuasion that the money would be delivered over at any time that he should demand it, was much surprised to see himself turned away so many times. This went on for several months even, so that the creditors had an attachment executed upon his person for 24 hours. The Chevalier much alarmed at this procedure came one morning to inform me of it, charging me with all these evil consequences, which accusation troubled me greatly. As I was then in the country to get some air and to rest a little from my fatigue, I hastened to go to London to represent my griefs to the Royal Commission regarding the delay in the payment of this money. They gave me good words but several weeks more passed before the money promised was given over to Chevalier Fyper who did not fail from day to day to press the treasurers. In the end everything was done as desired.

After my colony had left in the vessels mentioned I proposed to follow them as soon as I had disposed of my private affairs and taken leave of a part of the lords of the royal commission and the Lords Proprietors of Carolina.

I pass over in silence a treaty made with William Penn, proprietor of Pennsylvania, for lands and mines, and a private treaty which I had with a society in Bern, upon which I was relying in order to have necessary assistance in an enterprise which I would find myself too weak to support; but it would have been better for me to associate myself, for an affair of this importance, with some wealthy and well known person in England who would possibly not have let himself be so quickly frightened by my reverses as these gentlemen.

My Palatine colonists having departed in the month of January 1710, I followed them and left London the last of May. I made use of a very comfortable carriage, almost the same as that from Paris to Lyons. I can do no less than speak here of something which I observed on this small journey. One Sunday I had to stop at a small village called Hartford, near which is the country house of the Count of Essex, a very ancient building which I was curious to see. And so I went there with due courtesy. In this magnificent palace I observed in a great dome some large and extraordinary paintings, in the Count's cabinet a quantity of rare pieces and very curious antiquities, and in a large hall I thought I saw upon a table a lute, some flutes and other instruments, with open music books, item a deck of cards scattered about, a purse of counters, several pieces of money, and several other pretty things very well made; but coming closer to the table I was much surprised to see the work of a second Apelles, for these pieces which I believed actual were only counterfeits in painting. That which seemed the most curious to see was that the surface of this marble table was so well polished that one would have thought they were paintings under glass or ice. One could even pour water on it without injuring the table or the painting. Certainly that must have been painted with a marvelous varnish. After having seen the rest of the palace and been refreshed with a fine collation and good liquors, I paid my respects and took my leave in order to go on my way.

After some days we came to York, an ancient city rather large and well populated, where I had time to see merely the Cathedral, a very beautiful structure. There I heard a very beautiful symphony or vespers and the canons used me courteously. From there we came to Durham, a rather pretty city. The Cathedral is rather fine. The Bishop of this place alone aside from the Prince of Wales, has the title of a prince in England. He also has the precedence over all the bishops except the bishop of London. After that there was nothing remarkable clear to New Castle.

New Castle is a large city, well populated, rich, commercial, well situated beside the River Tyne which empties into the sea. Everything abounds in that city. One lives well there and at a low price. There is salmon in abundance. The city is remarkable for the coal which is found there. Whole fleets leave in order to furnish the great city of London and the neighborhood with coal, and the miners are in such a great number that it is necessary to have a garrison to keep them in check. There are excavations so terrible thereabouts that they say they are the antichamber of Hell, and a stranger must have good courage to go far into them. There is made also a quantity of sea salt and there are several glassworks and other factories. Besides the merchants there are also very civil and honorable persons of another rank, with whom one passes his time very agreeably. From the fifteen days that I have been there, I could not sufficiently praise the kindness that they showed me. One of the chief men of the city, Alderman Fenwick, treated me magnificently to a fine symphony of musicians, persons of rank. There is also a very fine bowling green, a very beautiful prominade where there is a bowling green surrounded by several rows of Lindens, and this upon the eminence of the city where there is a fine view. Nevertheless, while I was there I had trouble which the captain of the vessel that was carrying my Swiss colonists caused. He was the master of it, a citizen of Boston, the capital of New England. Had it not been for the mediation of this gallant man Mr. Fenwick I should have ruined myself in a suit against the captain. We had agreed and concluded with him that he should furnish all the provisions necessary from Rotterdam to America. Nevertheless when he approached New Castle for his own private affairs to unload merchandise as well as to take on some for Boston, a part being provisions which he preferred to get there rather than in Holland, since they were cheaper, and actually better; having been obliged to stop there almost four weeks, he asserted that we were at our own expense with all our Swiss colony, which caused me much embarassment.

At last having agreed after a fashion, we left at the beginning of July for America. At the mouth of the River Tyne we stayed several hours to get a provision of salmon, fresh as well as dry, in a town situated on the bank of this river where there was such a great quantity of salmon that all the town was carpeted with them, drying in the sun before the houses as well as exposed for sale.

We left the mouth about three o'clock in the afternoon with a favorable wind and a fine day. When we were upon the high sea we saw several vessels. The nearer we approached them the more of them we discovered. At length passing out farther we found ourselves among three fleets; that of Holland which was rather numerous in ships of the line, was coming to the coasts of England to catch herring, mingled with the barques of the fishers and in the distance war vessels; on another side was that of the coalships which returned empty from London; and on another side that of Muscovy; the sun which was going down making them plain to be seen. These great vessels of war appeared among the other vessels like so many superb castles among mediocre houses and the whole appeared like three pretty cities built upon the sea. The next day which was a beautifully calm Sunday, the commander of the Muscovy fleet gave the signal and all the vessels unfurled their flags. As is the custom on this day, after the devotions, the trumpets, hautbois, and drums made themselves heard. Visits were made from one to another as though we were in a city. We passed the time so agreeably that I could then have wished to be always on the sea. But along toward evening there arose suddenly an impetuous wind so that those who were on visits had a great deal of difficulty getting into their boats to return to their vessels; and indeed one good toper who had difficulty leaving such good liquor, from having delayed too long, was obliged to remain on the vessel where he was visiting and was constrained to take a different route in spite of himself. As for us who were planning to make sail northabout, that is to say towards the north above the Shetland Isles, for our security, we took the plan of putting ourselves among the fleet of Muscovy, which in order to avoid the French with whom we were having war, in place of going by the Baltic Sea took its turn also to the north. We were seven vessels bound for America which made sail in company with those which were bound for Denmark, Sweden and Muscovy. At the latitude of the north of Scotland we separated after having saluted the commander of the merchant fleet, which is the usual order. They went toward the northeast and we toward the north and northwest. Nevertheless when the wind changed to the east it was so favorable to us that in place of taking our route above the Shetland Islands we cut and passed between these islands and those of Orkney, but safely, the Lord be praised, although it was night.

When we were at a certain latitude above Ireland, we saw several vessels appear at a distance making five sails coming toward us. This threw us into an alarm, not knowing whether they were enemies or friends. We took first of all our beds and mattresses in order to put them along the sides of our vessel to serve as a rampart, putting ourselves into as good position as possible to defend ourselves. We had a little fear, because of the three vessels that we saw, there was one with the white banner, the color of France. When we were a cannon shot distant the commander of this flotilla fired a blank shot as a signal that we should recognize him, but no response following, he fired the second in earnest and almost broke our main mast for us. So then it was necessary to submit and we answered with our little cannon, hoisted our English flag, and spreading the middle stay sail, in a moment the commander joined us so closely that we could speak together, and in order to act courteously to the commander, since there was not much wind, we invited him to board our vessel, which he did not refuse, being very glad to regale himself with some of our fresh English beer and a piece of pickled salmon. During this brief interval I took my opportunity to write to Europe and gave my letter to this little commander (who was accompanying four or five other Scotch and English vessels coming from Jamaica, Barbados and other places) and my letter was given to the post and arrived at Bern. Towards evening we separated and each took his way.

I have made many remarks about what I saw upon the sea and of what took place, having made a rather curious journal, but ill luck willed that a small trunk or coffer in which there were some more rarities of America with other papers and some clothes was lost, although it was well recommended to a captain of a vessel which left Virginia, I not being able to take it with me because I had a long journey to make by land from Williamsburg, the capital of Virginia to New York, being already overloaded with clothes, for I had as much as my two horses could carry. So then I shall make mention of only some few things which I remember well and which I believe sufficiently worthy of the curiosity of the reader. Moreover there are so many authors who have written about the marvels of the sea that I refer the reader to them. I shall merely say to those who have not read these authors that when we came under the tropical line of Cancer, or at a certain latitude of the sea between this line and the Artic pole, we saw there white birds of the size of a crow which even came to sit upon our masts. The sailors take them for birds of good omen and do not allow anyone to shoot them. The thing that is most remarkable is that we see these birds only at this latitude of the sea and not elsewhere.

But for birds of bad omen there are others, smaller, black with a little white, which fly about here and there upon the sea, and as often as one sees them fly about the vessel and principally about the bow it is observed that they presage nothing good, but bad weather, either tempest or terrible storms. I took that at first for a fable, but having myself noticed it at different times, I am almost obliged to believe in it. I really believe if one wished to philosophize upon it one would find natural reasons for such occurrences.

I have observed also a remarkable thing in a fish called the dolphin. This fish is very pretty in the water, having the color of the rainbow. When it follows a vessel it stays only two feet below the surface of the water. It is charming to see it swim. It is always accompanied with several small fish which keep always near the tail and never leave this post unless the dolphin goes away or is killed. We took one of them with a trident and this is the way they are caught. The shaft or pole to which the trident is fixed is attached to a long cord and when the dolphin is swimming sufficiently close to the vessel, a sailor or whoever wishes to, provided he has skill, throws the trident at the dolphin. Sometimes they catch it at the first throw, rather often they fail. When they have speared it, they draw in the cord and raise the fish out. As pretty as the fish is in the water just so ugly it is out of the water; but when well dressed we made good cheer of it. The younger they are the better and more delicate. One sees also flying fish and there are so many other sorts of marvelous things to be seen on the sea that one would make a volume of them. When there is a calm or merely some small breeze, I enjoyed looking at and examining so many kinds of insects and other things coming from the sea foam. In certain localities one sees plants and extraordinary flowers. It is surprising where these plants take root in the midst of the ocean where there are such terrible depths. One sees in many places currents so strong that skillful masters of vessels are sometimes turned out of their course if they do not take good care. But the most curious thing would be to know where these currents come from. There is one which comes from the Gulf of Mexico; but for the rest, one has yet to penetrate to where they do originate.

Referring the curious to authors who have written amply about the rarities of the sea, I continue my way. When we came to the latitude of Newfoundland, some one pointed out to me approximately the grand banks of this island, where such a great quantity of cod is taken, with which France and England supply themselves. At this place a French privateer followed us a whole day, but not having a favorable wind it could not overtake us. Nevertheless we feared greatly. That is why we consulted together and the conclusion was that as soon as the sun should have set we would lower our sails gradually and unnoticeably in order that the privateer should lose sight of us against the night, and since it would doubtless keep following us towards the continent, it would be necessary to change the route. As soon as it was dark we stretched our sails and went back the way we had come for three or four leagues, and taking to the high seas we made our efforts to gain the left of the privateer, and going straight towards Virginia we escaped his hands, for we should have had the worst of it, having only four cannons in our vessels.

A few days after, we discovered the Gulf Stream, sea plants, sea gulls, and presently ducks and other sorts of sea fowl; a sure sign that one is not far from terra firma. And so we had a lad climb to the top of the mast. As yet, however, he could not see anything. But going up for the second time, awhile after this, he saw land which looked like a low cloud bank. But recognizing directly that it was land, he cried out “hooray” which is the English exclamation of joy or applause, and asked for some drink money. We approached the continent and skirted the provinces of Pennsylvania, Jersey and Maryland until we discovered Cape Henry in Virginia, at the mouth of the James River. A north-west wind favoring us, we entered easily into this river and arrived safely at Guiguetan, now called Hampton, a rather pretty town, the first (one comes to) at the entrance to Virginia, after a voyage or passage of two months. We were very happy in having had but one storm and that lasting but a couple of hours, and in having had no sickness. We remained a night and one day in order to refresh ourselves.

Having made our arrival known to the Lieutenant Governor and given him the Queen's letter, the Governor being absent, we went down the river and entered into the Nunscimund River. There it was that we unloaded the vessel of our provisions and clothing and the captain of the vessel bade us goodbye, taking the route to New England in order to go to Boston, the capital of this province, which was his birth place. We hired some boats to load with our clothing and provisions in order to have them taken along with our people to a house which was described to us as being the nearest (for us), the home of one Hamstead, a fine man who welcomed us and accommodated us effectually both with food and wagons for our journey by land from there into Carolina.

11. For an honest man there could he no hesitation and since, by good fortune, my reputation was pretty well established in America and my design made a great stir, I sent at first into Pennsylvania for provisions of flour, where, fortunately, I had already given order from London as a precaution, fearing that possibly things might not be so well established in North Carolina as they made me believe. I also did not fail to send into Virginia and into the Province even, in order to procure for myself the necessary provisions. But all this dragged out so long that in the meantime these new colonists were obliged to sell even a part of their clothes and merchandise (which they had bought at London to make some gain from the little money which they had) to procure the necessaries from the neighboring inhabitants in order not to die of hunger.

12. As soon as we had arrived at Summertown, a village on the frontier of Virginia and Carolina, a small band of inhabitants of North Carolina came to greet me and offered me the government...

13. I replied that although I was indeed invested with this dignity of Landgrave, I did not at present wish to take advantage of this title, thanking them civilly...

14. That it would be in bad taste for me to meddle in a dispute concerning such a matter;

15. But as these people, who were, the majority of them, Nonconformists, did not want to have such a great tory for governor, my answer did not please them...

16. I could not sufficiently express the sad and deplorable state in which I found these poor people at my arrival; almost all sick and in great extremities and the few who remained well, in despair. God knows in what a labyrinth, yes, even danger of my life I found myself then. I leave to the reader to think how my little Bernese colony looked upon this play, who until then lacked for nothing, their voyage and passage having been fortunate from the commencement until their arrival in Carolina, the season good and fine, well furnished with all provisions, well equipped with sailors, well quartered with plenty of room on the vessel, now to see such a sad spectacle before them where disease, poverty, and despair were at their height. That which increased the evil more yet is that these poor Palatines having used the greater part of their clothes in order to purchase food for themselves in the greatest necessity, were very much disconcerted when they saw that the directors above mentioned, having the greater part of their effects still in their hands, retained them; but principally one, N. R., under pretext of reserving a good part for his pains and expenses. And when I asked him to make an account, he put me off so often that to the present time the account is not yet settled; and that was very easy for him because of the trouble which followed. He must have found these furnishings of the Palatines very convenient for himself because before he had their effects in his hands he lived humbly and afterwards he played the great gentleman. He kept their things until my arrival and when I wished to have them brought to our place of residence I could not get even a part except with arms and by force, indeed could not have all notwithstanding the complaints I made of it to the government because he belonged to the magistracy.

That which was the cause of all these misfortunes was the bad conduct and unscrupulousness of a part of the superior and inferior inspectors.

A marginal note to the italicized words is as follows: Of whom N. R. was one also, whom I do not name because of his eminent connections.

17. While on my part I made all my efforts to establish my colony, as I have just said, on the other hand we wrote to Mr. Hyde in Virginia where he had made some stay waiting a better outcome of his candidacy, who did not fail to come as soon as possible, with his family into Carolina upon the Chowan near Colonel Pollock.

18. After the repast, over a bottle of Maderia wine we came to very serious discourse, and since it was he who refused me everything (by virtue of my patents and the orders of the Lords Proprietors he was to furnish me with all the necessaries from the revenues of the province), I was very glad to reproach him and to represent to him also the enormity of his criminal proceedings. Seeing himself convinced by so many good reasons and moreover in order to lull me to sleep so that I would not work against him too much, he promised me ___ etc.

19. To which I resolved, not without taking good precautions, the more so that I had been threatened by some of my colonists even, and the road was none too well secured, being two days journey distant, where I had to descend and cross great rivers and rather dangerous forests.

20. Bad luck would have it that just then a certain mutinous and turbulent personage named Richard Roach arrived from London. This caused much disorder. He was an agent for one of the Lords Proprietors but of the sect of Quakers, who was said to come into this country to trade.

21. Which fomented the rebellion and augmented the troubles and made us a great deal of inconvenience.

22. 200.

23. Equipped and armed with about 60 or 80 men.

24. When we observed this manoeuvre we also put ourselves into position and went down behind a hedge towards the bank of the river.

25. During all this I was obliged against my will to take the presidency, for the matter was delicate and dangerous.

26. And in advance a letter was written to communicate our design to him, and he courteously marked out a day and a place for us on the frontier of Virginia and Carolina, having aside from that the desire to exercise his troops in that vicinity.

27. The Governor of Virginia left orders that they should let him know at Williamsburg, the place of his residence, as soon as I should have arrived.

28. It was necessary then to look for other expedients. Now, because I had been recommended by the Queen and because the first time Governor Spotswood saw me he wished to do me a pleasure and not send me away without granting me some favor, he asked me if I had something else to propose or some expedient which was easier to grant me. Seeing then that these Virginians were not disposed to help us, perhaps themselves having a little of that free and democratic spirit, I considered whether some soldiers of regular troops might be found. Accordingly I asked the Governor, since he was the vice-admiral of the Virginia coasts, to have the kindness to send us a warship well manned. This he granted us.

29. In the course of time he was banished to a distant island for life and died there.

30. At my return to Neuse I was much surprised to find so many ill and even several dead, among the number of whom were two servants who had been brought to me from Bern. Without doubt it was the great heat which came the three months of June, July and August, that was the cause of it; our people coming from a cold and mountainous country were not yet accustomed to this flat country and this hot air. Yet there was no lack of physicians and surgeons who took care of them. These afterwards also became sick. But the principal cause of it was that in my absence they had neglected my orders for diet which I had given at first on my arrival in America when I found the Palatines already so ill. It was by the good advice of persons who had made a long stay in Carolina that I had instructed them not to drink too much fresh and cold water, but to boil it with some sassafras, of which the woods are full, and afterwards to let it cool off and to drink as much of it as they wished. I used it in the morning with a little sugar in place of tea and it did me much good. I have noticed also that those who went right to bed when they felt bad became very sick and many died. There prevails in this country a certain fever. It is a general tribute which strangers have to pay at the beginning, and the cure for it is very peculiar. When this fever attacks you the best remedy is, in place of going first of all to bed, to run until you sweat in great drops and even fall over from weariness. You must not stop there but arise and continue until you can go no farther. I am speaking from experience. And so I had it only three weeks whereas others have dragged out whole years, at last become swollen and died of it. I here warn the lazy that it is not a disease which suits them. Idle and lazy people are almost always sick there. Exercise is needed. A proof that it is necessary and good is that I was very much afflicted with gout in Europe, and in this country I escaped with a few small attacks.

In this country the red oaks are so juicy that by making a small opening with an ax, there comes out a quantity of sap which is vinegar. But it is bad for the health. Our people used it during the great heat in order to eat some salad and did not feel well from it. There are two more inconveniences against which we had to guard ourselves. These are serpents and ticks, in French surons. There grows a marvellous antidote and in great abundance with which one must not fail to provide himself. There are three sorts of it. There is one kind which has a peculiar virtue. If one carries the root with him he can sleep freely under a tree; no serpent will approach. The Indians ordinarily use it. If one bruises this root and gives some of it in a cup or pot of fresh water to the animal which is bitten by a serpent, it recovers and gets well in a short time. I have made proof of it upon my horses and my dog and they got well. The ticks trouble people to the point of causing fever. It is believed to be corrupt dew which fastens to the grass, nevertheless one sees it only where there are animals. As for the women they have more difficulty protecting themselves, the men wearing stockings of leather are free. The peasants who have tougher skin do not feel it so much. It lasts only certain months of the year.

Each of my colonists adapting himself as best he could and according to his capacity and skill, it was a question of doing no less in the city. Following the permission and the privileges I had, I accordingly chose a point of land between the Trent and Neuse Rivers, a place where there was an Indian kinglet with his people, about a score of families. The place was called Chatouka. Mention has been made of it on page six (of the original manuscript). We purchased it so dearly because of the advantageous situation. It was a matter of importance then to have my place free. Surveyor General Lawson, who had sold it wanted me to drive off the savages. But I did not want to do anything like that; far from it. I set about purchasing from one of these Indians a small extent of land where I built my cabin, while waiting for something better, and I even made a sort of alliance with this kinglet, named Taylor, and his people. This was done formally. Some little time afterwards, seeing that these savages could not agree with my people nor mine with the savages, the idea occurred to me to propose to them to buy this land also of them, and to assign them another place where they could live just as comfortably and upon the same river not far from this place. They began to appreciate my reasons, and we held a solemn council regarding it. Since I am on the matter of these savages, before speaking of the plan and foundation of the little city of New Bern, I shall continue where I left off with the Indians and also say something about their religion and what took place.

And so we decided upon a day to make our agreement. The kinglet dressed himself in his best, but in such a grotesque fashion that he seemd more like an ape than a man. He came with seventeen fathers of families. They went out into an open field and placed themselves in a circle on the ground. I also put on whatever would glitter most, had a chair brought for me, and taking to my side an interpreter, a savage who spoke English well, I broached the matter and the object of this assembly. After having represented my reasons to them they also told their own, and to speak without partiality they had better reasons in their opposition than I. Nevertheless we came to an agreement. I made them several small presents of little value, and as purchase price for this land in question I gave to the king two flasks of powder holding four pounds, a flask holding two pounds, and with that 1,000 coarse grains of buckshot; to each of the chiefs a flask of powder and 500 lead shots (a marginal note says some rather coast shot). After that I had them drink well on rum, brandy distilled of the settlings of sugar, the ordinary liquor in this country, and the agreement was made.

This occasion was nevertheless troubled by the rudeness of Mr. M. who, having drunk too copiously with some Englishmen who came to dine with me, lost his sense of duty and coming to insult these poor Indians, took the head dress from the king and threw it as far as he could. He entered into the circle and taking by the arm, one of their orators who spoke a little to much against our proceedings, he pulled him out of the circle giving him several blows. I first had this gentleman who was so intoxicated, seized by some of my servants in order to take him to the house, where these invited English kept him company, diverting him as best they could. The reader can easily imagine what effect a procedure like that produced. And so the king making his complaint said that if the Christians made peace and their alliances after that fashion he did not want to have anything to do with them. I did not fail to answer him that he ought not to pay attention to what a brute, controlled by the power of liquor, had done, that I would reprimand him vigorously for it and I would even send him far away, that he should not insult them more, that they should rely on me assuring themselves that I would never do them injury so long as they were good neighbors with me. Satisfied with my answer and with my better treatment they returned home. This gentleman, after a little sleep which ought to have made the vapors pass from him, became quiet. I do not know what fly bit him, but after ten oíclock in the evening when I had gone to bed believing all were at rest, he arose and went toward the Indian lodges. Finding the Indian orator still up, he treated him very badly. But immediately the king with some Indians gave the halloo and I admire the patience and discretion of these savages, in not having beaten the barbarous Christian in their turn. The next day the king with his concillors did not fail to complain of the reiterated bad treatment of this brute worse than a savage, with threats that if they were insulted any more they would pay him in the same coin. I had considerable difficulty appeasing them. I had them drink freely again and sent them away with assurance that I would have this turbulent man leave and that they would not be insulted any more.

After the departure of these Indians, finding my man in his better senses, I talked to him seriously about some things. This person will be spoken of very often in this account; but because of his relatives who are people of distinction, rank and merit, I have consideration for him and do not name him, denoting him only by Mr. M. He was one of the eight associates, to our loss and my ruin and that of several others. May the Good God convert him and give him to know how much evil he has caused. The Surveyor-General has been punished with a terrible execution by the savages for his crimes and bad faith. If this man does not change, the same thing may very well come to him. Living no better than a barbarian he might well be chastized by the barbarians. (The marginal note says, He died among the Indiansí. This appears to have been put in later).

Being badly satisfied with him I sought an expedient for sending him elsewhee. And so he set out to survey the lands along the Weetock River, and for that purpose I furnished him all the necessaries. On his return there arrived one of his old comrades from Pennsylvania in a shallop of another worthless fellow with him. Among the three the plan was made to take a trip towards Cape Fear and to survey the lands along this river, otherwise called Clarendon River; and for this they made such provisions of food and merchandise that there remained to me almost nothing more. Nevertheless they idled away their time in outrageous debaucheries. This trick did not please me and making my reflections upon it one morning before they had eaten breakfast I told them that from the way they were going about it I saw that they preferred to disport themselves than to do a necessary and profitable piece of work, that I had need of this merchandise in order to relieve my necessity and that of the colony, that we had land enough for the present, that we needed first to see how our colonists would succeed, that since great sums were needed to sustain an enterprise of this importance there was more need to think how to procure for ourselves the wherewithal to subsist, than to go to useless and as yet unnecessary expenses, etc. My proposition disconcerted these fine debauchees and they did all they could to argue with me but my resolution was firm and I told Mr. M. that having made so much noise about his silver mines that we had come to genuine treaties, as well with Mr. Penn, Proprietor of Pennsylvania, as with J. Justus Albrecht, chief of the miners from Germany, who was waiting only our orders in order to have them come, it was there that he ought to labor. Accordingly they ought to go to Philadelphia, Capital of Pennsylvania, to notify the governor of my arrival in this country, give our patent to Proprietor Penn and announce to him that we had the design to go visit the mines in question, since they appeared to be situated in the rear of his jurisdiction, and that he should give us the necessary assistance. And then after everything should be ready and in good order and assured against the Indians I would transport myself there, etc. These two rascals, the above mentioned companions of Mr. M. when he was going with several others to the discovery of the mine in question, approved of my proposition and encouraged Mr. M. to this expedition. At last he gave his hand upon it, and they left, provided with the same provisions that they had taken for the little journey to Clarendon River. Several days after their departure, the king with some of his Indians came to find me. Not knowing that for other reasons I had had this Mr. M. leave, he evidenced much joy that I had delivered them from the dangerous man, and this affair did me a great deal of good in my captivity at Catechna where the kinglet spoke in my favor.

Thereupon we promised each other reciprocally to be good neighbors and the Indians left the place shortly after to settle themselves in the place assigned to them, not far from there. Some time afterwards I made a trip to Core Town ten miles from Chatouka, where I had the savages assembled to propose to them that finding myself in their vicinity I intended to live on good terms with them, making offer of my services. This was well received, but as there wore two chiefs in the village, one named Core Tom and the other Sam, the first an enemy of the English and the other who was absent, a friend, I could not entirely arrange some things which I should have wished very much to arrange. Nevertheless, rather satisfied with the reception, I returned home the same day. This village of Core is very well situated. There is a cooler atmosphere, and is bordered by the Neuse River. If these Indians had wished to change places I should have liked very much to do so.

Having had until now more pressing occupations, I had not as yet done very much for the establishment of the city. Finding myself a little disengaged I took the Surveyor-General and his clerk with me to make a plan of this new city. Since in America they do not like to live crowded, in order to enjoy a purer air, I accordingly ordered the streets to be very broad and the houses well separated one from the other. I marked three acres of land for each family, for house, barn, garden, orchard, hemp field, poultry yard and other purposes. I divided the village like a cross and in the middle I intended the church. One of the principle streets extended from the bank of the rivier Neuse straight on into the forest and the other principle street crossed it, running from the Trent River clear to the Neuse River. After that we planted stakes to mark the houses and to make the first two principal streets along and on the banks of the two rivers, mine being situated at the point. And since artisans are better off in a city than on plantations, I gave them some privileges. In place of the inhabitants or new citizens being obliged to pay me annually as my fee and for the three acres of ground a silver crown, the people with trades were free for ten years, the other for three only. At the first I had a good number who began to fell timber in order to build their houses. There were two carpenters, a mason, two carpenters and joiners, a locksmith, a blacksmith, one or two shoemakers, a tailor, a miller, an armourer, a butcher, a weaver, a turner, a saddler, a glazier, a potter and tilemaker, one or two millwrights, a physician, a surgeon, a schoolmaster. There were here and there on the plantations still other artisans. There was lacking as yet only a minister, and while waiting the one I was having come from Germany I performed the function. (Marginal note. Reading sermons after the English fashion) having permission of the Bishop of London to marry and baptize. For the Communion I had a minister come once a year from Virginia. There came a minister from Virginia who preached in English and French and I had engaged him for my colony, he being very well satisfied to come for the 50£ sterling which the Chamber of London for the propogation of the faith orders in such cases, and a reasonable offering which the colony in general made.

After a part of these artisans had their timber work ready and had at least put themselves under cover, while waiting something better, and when I had also fitted up my own dwelling a little better, we were concerned to give a name to the city, which we did in great solemnity; and we joined to Neuse that of Bern. Thus the city was christened New Bern. At the commencement there was to be established a market once a month and once a year a fair. Finally there were several other regulations. When the governor, the council, and many planters of Carolina had advice of our establishment they not only all had a desire to live there but actually had lots, that is to say, limited plots, marked out for them.

They were right; for in all the province there was not a single place of security. There was neither a general provision of food nor munitions of war nor arms. Each was, so to speak, abandoned to the jaws of the wolf. If the savages were a people better adapted for war they could have destroyed the people of that province whenever they had wished. If the good God had not watched over these fickle Carolinians better (than they themselves did), there would not have remained one soul.

There were many persons of Pennsylvania and several for Virginia who took lots, so that in a few years we should have had a fine city. I should have transferred the seat of government there, the rather, than at Little River, where the large assembly stayed, there were only a few scattered houses, where we were badly lodged and had no security.

While I was busying myself in establishing the affairs of the colony to the best of my ability, having even caused a redoubt to be built up above towards Mill Creek for the safety of the colony and to hold the Indians in check from this side, I also made several regulations and ordinances, as well for the military as for the civil affairs. My provisions of food began to diminish and the merchandise also, which in this country is used as cash. And so I began to reflect very seriously upon my enterprises. Far from receiving any assistance and help, whether from the province or the Lords Proprietors, or of my own country and my society; there arrived, on the contrary, protested bills of exchange. In this bad state of affairs, I no longer knew where to turn, having already written several times to the (old) country and to the society for help. No response having followed, and fearing that they would take my information for tales, I conceived the notion of inquiring whether I might not find some one of the colony, who, tired of his troubles would have a desire to go back to the old country. I found one who was the very person, a man whom two members of the society had choson to take care of their plantation, but who, seeing that these gentlemen were not furnishing anything for him to live on, resolved to go back home. On his promising me that it would cost me only the expense to Philadelphia, I gave him five guineas for that and a small bill of exchange for him to collect as much at Philadelphia. But the rascal was not satisfied with so little when he came to Philadelphia and found a merchant who was so easy that, without my orders, on my credit, he advanced him more than he needed. At London he did the same, and at Amsterdam also and so on clear to Bern. And our friends, the associates, were much surprised to see his face and more at his boldness and the big bill. Nevertheless before the departure of this rascally pilgrim, I had made and given to him a map of the land and rivers where I had placed my colony and a memorandum of what I had done for this establishment, as well as of the expenses I had incurred on this account, with the bill of everything and a letter prepared to encourage them to support me in this enterprise, to the effect that although it was very difficult and dangerous at the commencement, still, having surmounted the most dangerous obstacles, there was good appearance of success; leaving the rest to the account which he would make by word of mouth, principally concerning the beauty and wealth of the country. This letter he delivered and according to the information I have received of it, he omitted nothing which could tend to the advantage of the establishment, and doubtless I should have obtained the help needed except for the misfortune which came to me a short time after, as is to be seen in my account.

In this hope of a prompt and sufficient assistance, seeing that food for the colony was costing me more for carriage than the purchase price, at the advice of friends and persons of understanding, I purchased a sloop, a vessel suited to be used upon the sea and on the rivers, with a barque which could serve only in the rivers; this for bills of exchange. These vessels did me as well as the province great service, as will be seen later. I was constrained to this expedient because there were very few of these vessels in the province, and during this civil war they were all engaged and one could not act them for love or money, and yet we had to live. There was at this time such a scarcity of salt, because strangers did not dare to bring any during these troubles, that I was obliged to send my sloop to the Bermuda Islands to look for it; and since there had to be something to exchange, I obtained permission of Governor Hyde to gather up grain (marginal note, in this case Indian corn) here and there in the province upon his account and the account of the Lords Proprietors. But ill luck would have it that this corn was wet by a great storm, which spoiled my market, and the profit of this voyage was very small. Nevertheless the salt which I got from the Bermudas did me and my neighbors much good, and I was very glad that for the first time my vessel was saved and returned in good shape except for the sails which were much torn and for some cordage ruined. It had been absent so long that I thought all lost. This might well disturb me very much, having cost me 300£ Sterling. But what disturbed me most was the crew: I had some very good sailors on it. In the uncertainty of the above I went sometimes to survey lands in order to find relief, and I can do no less than relate here a rather peculiar adventure which preceded that of Catechna, when I was taken captive by the savages.

On day when I was going to survey lands, the weather having changed, fearing a great tempest and not wishing to sleep in the woods, I left my surveyors, and took my way home with my valet. My great haste caused me to mistake one path for the other. In this way so much time was lost that night surprised me and I fell among the very Indians who moved from the place where I had settled at Chatouka, now called New Bern. I leave the reader to think in what apprehension I was, and whether the Indians would not have had a fine chance to revenge themselves on me if I had misused them and had not lived peaceably with them. Having had nothing with which to reproach myself in this regard, I reassured myself a little and luckily they received me well. The thing that should have increased my apprehension was that one of the chiefs of the Core savages, who was not favorable to the English, was at that very time on a visit to King Taylor. Nevertheless I got off with a little fear. As I was very thirsty from having traveled all day through the woods, fearing that drinking water would make me sick, in their excess of politeness they sent to a sick woman who had some cider in order to let me have some of it. I did not learn that until several days after or I should not have drunk so much, and I should have had scruples against depriving this poor sick woman of a drink which she used for a cordial rather than to satisfy her palate. For my supper the king made me a present of a quarter of venison, but this evening I did without supper. Tired with my traveling I was very glad to rest, and so I had my valet stretch my little tent for me to lie under, but I scarcely slept. All night they made fires of joy, dancing and singing about them, making sometimes choruses and cries such as might have chased the wolves from the forest; music different from that of Orpheus who tamed the most savage animals. The next day early, the king gave me as escort two savages who put me on the right road and accompanied me home. After having given them something good to eat and drink I gave them a little present for King Taylor and in place of his cider I sent him two bottles of rum or brandy of sugar to divide also with the poor sick woman, a much better cordial. This was very well received as I have learned. This same king contributed not a little to my release, next to the Divine assistance, when I was condemned to death by the savages at Catechna.

31. Having neither place of retreat nor provision, whether of food, arms, or amunition, encouraged them not a little in the project.

32. He first of all, after the punishment, which consisted only in sawing logs for the public safety during a single day, a punishment which did not approach the crime, crossed over the river to meet the Indians.

33. The Indians who had difficulty believing such perfidiousness of me doubting what the rascal had reported, risked sending to us one of their troop who knew English well, this was, indeed, my interpreter of Catechna, although he was in great apprehension of being taken and his life endangered. Upon which there happened a rather amusing adventure. This Indian, having passed across to this side of the river, watched for an occasion of talking to some of my people, in order to know the reality of the matter. When the Indian wished to approach one of my colonists the poor man was so frightened that he came all out of breath to give the alarm in my quarter and informed me that he had seen a savage who had wanted to approach; that doubtless the others were not far distant, which in fact alarmed me a little and I put my people into position. Nevertheless I imagined that the Indians, impatient to get their ransom, might have sent some one to see where we stood about it. And so I ordered the same man who had taken fright to betake himself again alone to that same place, telling him that I would post people at a distance to defend him in case of danger, which we did. The savage did not fail to show himself a little while after, and approaching made signs to him that he need fear nothing. Our man making the same sign to the other, they eventually approached and came face to face. They came thus upon the chapter of the blacksmith who had talked against me, nevertheless without the savage ever being willing to name him, but he talked of him in such a way that one could guess who it was. Our man who had his instructions represented to him that the savages were badly informed and that it was a dishonest man who had made these invidious reports; that I was keeping an exact neutrality, so far from the contrary that the English were not satisfied with me because I did not wish to join with them, contenting myself in keeping my post. He insinuated, moreover that the savage ought to bring back their Palatine prisoners if they wished to have their ransom, and several other things that he had orders to say. After this he let the Indian go quietly, telling him that in the future none of the savages should come here any more, but if they had anything to say they should make a fire opposite to our quarters, that afterwards I would send someone in a boat to talk to them, that we would talk to them only on the water; and they, the Indians, should come to meet us and not more than two at a time.

34. The above mentioned Brice, who would gladly have had his tools, especially those which were used for repairing guns, took it into his head to get them back by cunning. If he could not have them otherwise, resolved, even, to take them by force.

35. (Pretending that it is for the defence and service of the country.)

36. Small fort.

37. Which would have been done if I had had enough witnesses against him.

38. Marked with a mark N: which signifies Neuse.

39. (Who really were not in action against them, but suspected of being on the side of the enemies.)

40. When the general assembly was convoked I did not fail to betake myself to it. First of all I presented myself in the upper house, consisting of the governor, the representatives of the Lords Proprietors, the councillors, and caciques or gentlemen of the province. After I had made my complaints and had justified myself for my conduct I went to the lower house, consisting of the deputies of the communes. After a small discourse on the subject in question, I asked about these caluminators, who had made secret inquiries without any order of the authorities. I wanted to have them named to me and to have brought before me the original copy of the 20 or 23 articles which had been formed against me. I absolutely wished that the accuser should produce himself, in order that I might convince him of falseness, prove my innocence and justify myself in due form, but no one dared show himself nor even open his mouth on the subject of these false accusations.

Doubtless these false accusers got wind of it and learned how I had justified myself before the governor of Virginia and Carolina, and seeing that my conduct was approved they did not dare to pursue their accusations for fear of being beaten. Nevertheless my honor and reputation suffered much in all this and I was even in danger of my life; so much the more, since among the Palatines, my subjects even, there were false witnesses. What should I do then in this wretched situation of things? Seeing that no one wished to speak I myself began to name the accusers, fulminating against them and demanding justice. But alas! In a government so confused, where the first fire of sedition was not yet entirely extinguished, because a good part of the members of Parliament were still holding secret grudges, men who were good friends of this Brice who was also a member of it, and who all would have been glad if some affront should come to me for having taken the side of the Governor; and because of the embarassment of this Indian war, as well, I could get no other satisfaction than to see a profound silence at my explanation and defence. It is true that the governor and the upper house made excuses and paid their respects to me, advising me for the rest, to seek justice according to the forms usual in the time of peace against slanderers. Think, my dear reader, how much time it would have been necessary to wait to have my due satisfaction, since until now the Indian war is not finished. A marginal note says, A. 1716.

41. These poor people who felt only too keely the effects of the extremity to which we were then reduced (nothing of our provisions having remained except a measure of wheat, having endured 22 weeks without any help whatsoever from the government or the province) had no difficulty in consenting to what I proposed to them.

42. An English planter of the sect of Quakers.

43. So then the government of South Carolina sent 800 savage tributaries with 50 English Carolinians, under the command of Colonel Barnwell.

44. Shaft or litter.

45. The place of our rendezvous was at the home of a very gallant man. Mr. Rosier, near the falls of the Potomac, where several gentlemen from Pennsylvania who were also interested with us had come to meet me, in the hopes of seeing what there was of this fine and rich silver mine of which Mr. M. had made so much noise and for the find-of which they had already furnished so much money. Having staid a rather long time at this place without learning any news either of Mr. M. or of the colony which we were awaiting for daily with impatience, the strange vagaries of this M. made us almost doubt, and not without reason, of the reality of his advances. That is why we took the resolution to go ourselves to visit the place of the mines, of which he had given us a map. And so we prepared in a rather good manner to make this journey, although it was very dangerous. And as I had formed the design before I had been given notice of this rendezvous, I took my precautions, communicating my design to the Governor of Virginia who gave me patents, even published commands by which he ordered that at my first request or at the first notification, rangers should follow and accompany me. When we came to a small village called Canavest, a very pleasant and enchanting spot about 40 miles above the falls of the Potomac, we found a troop of savages established there, and in particular a Frenchman from Canada, named Martin Charetier, who had married an Indian woman or savage. He was in great credit among the savages beyond Pennsylvania and Maryland, and at the fine advances of Mr. M. had settled himself there, leaving for this his place where he was well established in Pennsylvania. This same Martin Charetier had also made the journey to Senantona to look for mines with Mr. M. and contributed a good sum of money to it. This man warned us that the Indians, who were in the vicinity of this mountain of S. where the mines were said to be, were much alarmed by the war which we were having with the Tuscaroras, and told us that not to risk ourselves on so dangerous a journey without necessity. We gave heed to this, postponing the plan for a more secure occasion and time. We made an alliance, however, with these Indians of Canavest, a very necessary thing, in connection with the mines which he hoped to find there as well as on account of the establishment which we had resolved to make in these parts of our small Bernese colony which we were waiting for. After that we visited those beautiful spots of the country, those enchanted islands in the Potomac River above the falls. And from there, on our return, we ascended a high mountain standing alone in the midst of a vast flat stretch of country, called because of its form Sugar Loaf which means in French pain de suere, taking with us a surveyor, the above named Martin Charetier, and some savages. From this mountain we saw a great extent of country, a part of Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Carolina. By use of the compass we made a map, and observed particularly the mountain Senantona where our mines were said to be. We found that this mine was situated beyond Virginia, and not beyond Pennsylvania as the map of it had been given to us.

And two of the savages by chance knowing the situation of this mountain, told us that they had already roamed about the locality having visited almost all parts of this mountain, but that they had found no mineral and that our map was not correct, at which we were much surprised. We discovered from this height three chains of mountains, the last higher than the one before, somewhat distant and a very fine valley between the first ranges. After we had come down again from this mountain to a place at the foot where there was a very fine spring and good soil, we went to Martin Charetierís where we were lodged and treated after the Indian fashion. The day after, we departed in order to return home. We went down the river. For the purpose of the descent the Indians with marvelous skill made us in less than a half day a small boat of the bark of trees. We got into it, five of us, besides two savages, who managed the boat. We even put in our baggage. It was charming going down the river to see the beautiful country on the sides and the pretty islands, but when we came close to a great rock in the middle of the river, not far from the falls, as is to be seen on the map (number 6), we found the passage dangerous, for about this rock which is almost a little mountain with a pretty plain up on top where an Indian lived, there are still a number of small rocks and great stones, which make the passages swift, narrow, and bad. I did not want to go down it, and we all got out except Mr. Rosier, who, knowing the skill of the Indians, risked it. When we saw from a distance the turns they had to make, what inexpressible skill it needed to steer this canoe or boat, we almost thought there was some magic in the act, and we were very glad to be out of it, especially when we heard the Indians singing as they passed at great speed, almost striking against a great stone or rock. But this made my good Mr. Rosier pray, bold as he might be. At a quarter of a league beyond this bad passage they stopped and we got into the boat again. Good Rosier, still very pale with fear, assured us that he would never be so rash again. We went down the river very nicely and easily from there to the falls. At a quarter of a league from them we got out, the valets having brought out horses to that place. Nevertheless before mounting our horses we saw how the Indians carried the boat upon their shoulders into the forest to repair it, they taking good care not to tell us that the end was damaged by striking against a rock. It was necessary to shorten the boat by cutting off the end. After having it well repaired, the Indians brought it back to the river and were rash enough to go down the rapids or great falls of the Potomac. They passed down very nicely, according to their story, but yet they caused us considerable anxiety becaused they delayed very much before they joined us at Mr. Rosierís where we lodged. I staid some time longer with this gentleman, waiting for my people from Carolina. The rest of the company took their way to Pennsylvania, badly satisfied with the tergiversations and strange conduct of Mr. M.

It is to be remarked here that Mr. M., whom for good reasons I do not name, has thoroughly duped people by his fine and persuasive accounts of having found such rich mines; and if I have also gone into the snare it was easy to entrap me, being a stranger in these parts. My foundation was this: First, I hardly thought a man of his rank and a fellow countryman besides, capable of such tricks. Second, the mineral which he had shown, having been tested, was found very good. Third, the oaths that he took. Fourth, the patents which he asked of the Queen of England for this purpose, a very bold trick. Fifth, since so many persons from Pennsylvania and other provinces having made the journey openly with the permission of the neighboring governors for the discovery of these mines, there appeared something real in the affair. Sixth, among others who had interested themselves in it, were a merchant of Pennsylvlania a very shrewd man and no longer young, a skillful goldsmith and other persons who ought to know the country thereabouts well. Seeing that these persons of ability living in these parts from their youth even, some of them natives of these places, risked considerable sums, I could not think that they had not taken all security and precaution. Seventh, we made a formal agreement with some German miners to carry on the whole thing. Mr. M. made a voyage to Holland to confer with the chief of the miners who was to prepare all the tools and supplies necessary for this enterprise, the cose of which was nearly one thousand ecus in silver. Eighth, Mr. Penn, Proprietor of Pennsylvania made a contract with us, having thorough knowledge of all. He favored us very much in this regard, even made Mr. M. director-general of all the minerals in the province. Who after so many such proceedings would doubt the reality of the thing? There could be made a whole history of this farce, and a rather funny one; but I am sorry for the poor miners who have left the certain thing they had in Germany to go to find the uncertain in America. In place of a good vocation that they had, they have nothing at present except what they can gain from some cleared land where they are obliged to live very modestly. The mining master was even arrested with all his clothes and tools by the ambassador of the Emperor and would have been in danger of a grave punishment, even of his life, if the English ambassador had not found means to liberate him.

46. I return to the little new colony which we wished to establish. I believe that there are scarcely any places in the world, more beautiful and better situated than this of the Potomac and of Canavest, which we wished to divide into two little colonies, the first just below the falls. There is a very pretty island of very good ground, and facing it, an angle between the great Potomac River and an other little river named Gold Creek, in French Ruisseau díOr, suited to receive everything which comes up the river, the greatest merchant vessels being able to sail there, as well as that which comes down from above the falls or from the surrounding country. The other colony was to be established near Canavest as is to be seen by the map.

Marginal note. Fine situation of land above and below the falls of the Potomac, where we wished also to establish a colony. See map.

47. It was to push further, towards Mexico. He wanted me to transfer the colony along the Mississippi. By this he has made it clear that he had either lost his good sense or that he was a rascal. I believe both together. Without any doubt he had been drinking when he wrote this letter.

48. First: This Mississippi River is very far from the place where we were in North Carolina. Where get the food for so many people, and the transportation? Second: What security against the privateers and the hostile nations then in war with France? Third: How were we to pass through so many tribes of unknown savages, a terrible danger and something very rash? Fourth: There are three nations which lay claim to it, Spain, France and England. He thought that Bern, as neutral, would easily obtain this country. What an idea! This is what they call building castles in Spain. Fifth: Consider the incapacity of the state of Bern, which, having no maritime forces would not be able to maintain a country so far away. Sixth: This country is already marked by the two great powers, Spain and France, the first possessing the country from the river towards Mexico, the second taking whatever is this side of the river for a dependency or rather as territory belonging properly to Canada, having already taken possession and built several forts there, as is to be seen on the small map of Mexico and New France.

49. Wishing to make one more attempt.

50. Likewise whether he had left anything of my linen and furniture.

51. On this crossing nothing extraordinary took place except that we were once in danger by the negligence of our captain, who in a great storm was sleeping at his ease. Although the sailors warned him several times he did not hurry himself to see what might be wrong, so that the small sail above the bowsprit was submerged by the waves, the ropes broke, and then our vessel went down under the waves so that we were in the water and all were wet. Shortly after the bowsprit broke, that is the point of the vessel, and we expected to perish. We had to fasten sailors to lines and plunge them into the troubled sea to fish up the ropes, sail, and especially the bowsprit, which we had great difficulty in raising. These poor sailors were well soaked and beaten by the waves, and more than once they had to swallow salt water. Finally we secured the most necessary things. We stirred around a great deal and endeavored to repair the bowsprit as best we could. The wind ceased a little and we were able to repair what was needed more at our ease; but after that because the bowsprit was shortened our boat did not travel with such speed as before.

Several days after this we discovered a rather curious thing. The first time we saw it we thought it a sail at a distance, which obliged us to order the small boy to mount to the top of the mast. There he perceived that this which looked white was too big for sails. At length he thought that it was doubtless land, and we were much troubled supposing ourselves in midocean. We first examined the chart or geographic map, counted the hours or miles we had made, and found that in this latitude there were no islands. In order not to strike against this unknown place we turned more to the right. At length we discovered that it was a mass of ice which, without doubt, had been detached from the glaciers of the north by a warm wind. We approached it closely and were surprised to see a little mountain of ice floating in the middle of the ocean. The form and figure of it were like a fortress of some height. One could see a sort of rampart, houses, turrets, etc., upon it. The breadth of it was also rather great so that one might have thought it a fort if it had appeared on terra firma in winter. The glacier floating towards the southwest and we making sail towards the northeast, we lost it from view.

52. Which caused me inconceivable pains. At length I bestirred myself very much with some great lords in order to procure work and bread for these people . They employed them to make or repair a great dike. But a heavy rain came on and all was overturned. So then we had to look for new expedients to enable them to subsist. I found place for a part, but not for all. Nevertheless I was anxious to go home, fearing a voyage in winter, feeling already an attack of the gout which does not suit well with cold. At last I found two powerful merchants, traders of Virginia. To them I proposed and recommended this affair as best I could. Along with that I consulted a lord of distinction to whom I was recommended by the Governor of Virginia regarding these very mines, in order that he might serve me and do his good offices at the court. We concluded that these people, etc.

53. The captain of the vessel, to whom I had to entrust the matter, (marginal note: because I had something contreband in my chest,) nevertheless under another name, advised me to go to Gravesend in a little boat in order to wait for him there. When I was half way, there arose such a heavy contrary wind that I was constrained to go ashore, turn back a little and go to Gravesend afoot, where I went to bed and remained a whole day. But since living was high there and I did not know whether the contrary wind would last a long time yet; considering besides, that this was also a port, I took the way for London again, where the captain of my vessel was not yet ready, waiting for a more favorable wind. In the meantime I remained at Southwick on this side the Thames for later orders. When we had come to land I was given notice to follow him, and at Greenwich I entered the vessel, and a little outside the city of Gravesend he let me go ashore, telling me that I was to wait until he had declared everything there was on the vessel. Notwithstanding that he had said to the customs officers that my chest belonged to a gentleman of St. Valery, that he could testify that there was only coats and clothing in it, they would not be content with that. Accordingly he promptly sent a boy to notify me that I had to open my chest, which caused me some anxiety, nevertheless I put a good face on it and spoke French. I immediately took my key with an English half sovereign and gave it to the clerk, begging him not to disturb my coats which were so nicely folded. Fortunately this worked; for if they had examined everything I should have been discovered and in danger.

After that we passed out. When we were almost at the mouth of the Thames, near a port named Margate, there arose such a terrible storm, accompanied with thunder and lightning, that we were in great danger, being scarcely able to hold the anchor during the night. The following day when the wind had quieted down a little we made sail farther out, and when we were upon the high sea a great contrary wind drove us into a place full of sand banks, so that we were obliged to turn back and approach another port named Ramsey. If the people of this little city and a great number of sailors had not come to our help we should have perished without fail. There is where we were obliged to stay eight days because of contrary wind and in order to be able to mend our torn sails and repair other damages. This was very inconvenient for me because I did not have very much money for my journey to Paris, not having counted on incurring expense off the vessel. When the wind had quieted a little we went out, but were driven back for the second time. At last the wind changed to the northeast, which was favorable to us, and so we passed close to Dover. After that the wind changed again. The voyage or crossing gave me more trouble than I had when I crossed the ocean twice; in place of three days we took three weeks to reach St. Valery. And at this place there is such a dangerous entrance that we had to have pilots, who came to meet us in order to guide us, for there was a great wind and one could not see the marks. I came near being arrested again at St. Valery, because of not having greased the palms of the officers of the port, who in a very brusk manner asked for the passport, doubtless intending to frighten me in order to get the coin. But just as though I knew that the Swiss had free passage in all parts of France, I did no spend much time with them and when they haled me before the Governor I went immediately and showed him a little bill of exchange for Paris, by which he could see that I was Swiss and a Bernese, saying to him that I had not asked for a passport because the Swiss were in alliance with France, and that a good part even, were in the serivce of the King, that I myself had passed and repassed into France, and never had anyone ask me for one.

The Governor was satisified with my answer and I continued my journey, going up the river towards Abbevile, where I entered into the diligence for Paris, where I stayed only one night and departed in the diligence for Lyons. From there I went on horseback with the driver of the fish cart, but at the fort of Ecluse I again had to go up to the castle to talk with the Commandant, who had more scruples than the Governor of St. Valery and did not wish to let me pass. Thereupon I opened my valise to take out my patent which my sovereign had given me for the governorship of Yverdon. This I showed to the Commandant, saying to him that I had not had the design of passing this way, but by way of Pontperlier since I knew the Governor particularly, having lived neighbor to him during my prefecture-ship, and that I had not had need of a passport for this and other reasons which I gave him. So then he let me pass, and I continued my way to Geneva; from there towards our vineyard in Vaud near Vevay, where I expected to meet my family according to the advice given, intending, indeed, to make some stay there. But I found no one since they had left eight days before. So then it was necessary to follow them, although with regret. I arrived in Bern on St. Martinís Day, 1714, in good health, the Lord be praised, finding everything in good condition at home.

54. And I cannot succeed with the others. Means failed me to bring suit against my society although it would be well founded in virtue of a bona fide contract which I have in hand. I have presented a supplication in the Senate, in which I merely demanded a commission to hear what I had to propose, but I was not heard, a thing which hardly encouraged me to go to law.

55. As I have just said above I not only made all efforts, with my relatives, friends, the society and the magistracy of Bern, I having written moreover to Germany, but I made a further attempt with a neighboring republic. Nevertheless I could not succeed, whatever persuasive arguments I gave. After that I tried Mr. Stanyon, who has been envoy-extraordinary from Her Britannic Majesty to the Helvetian Corps, having given him a petition for Her Majesty with a succinct account and a memorandum. But this gentleman, having been chosen for the embassy to Vienna and having departed for this purpose, all my labor has been for nothing and things are at a stand-still. I made one more attempt. The answer was that the troubles of England having not yet calmed down, there was nothing to be done for me at present.

On the return of King George of Hannover, thinking that all was dissipated and that the new alliance with France and Holland would so confirm the tranquility to the realm there would be nothing more to fear for the claimant, I should have made one last effort, but at this point I was put off again by the discovery of the new conspiracy. Seeing then that as often as a good star arose apparently to favor my design, and yet that it was always crossed or hindered, it appears that fortune absolutely will have nothing to do with me. That is why there is left nothing better than to leave my projects and seek the treasures above, etc.

56. Dumplings. (?)

57. This place, although in a terrible desert, still had its charm. It was a fine field of corn where there was a great Indian cabin. This place was surrounded by a deep little river which made a small island, nature having made of it a small, but almost impregnable fort by the morass and the thick bushes which surrounded it. All this populace above mentioned consisted of old, decrepit men, women, children, and young men under age to bear arms.

A. At the foot of this fall, to the side we wished to build a house and establish a plantation in order to cart merchandise from there. The greatest merchant vessels can sail up to within a half of a quarter of a league of this fall, which is very convenient for commerce.

B. Just below the falls there is caught a prodigious quantity of the best fish. In the month of May they come there in such numbers that they kill them with a stick.

C. This island is all cut out of rock. Above it is a very fine and good soil, sufficient to support a whole family. Indians live there. One could make an impregnable fort of it. It is near this island that we set foot on land when we came down this river from Canavest.

D. Plantation of Colonel Bell, eight hundred acres of land to sell for 168£ Sterling. Very suitable and convenient for our design. From there one goes to Canavest horseback or on foot.

E. At the foot of this mountain there is a fine hot spring. The Indians esteem it highly and cure themselves of several complaints.

F. Half way up this mountain there is a very fine spring of cold water.

G. One can ascend this mountain on horseback very conveniently to within a gunshot of the summit. On the top there is a pretty plain of considerable extent. There are oaks, chestnuts and wild nuts. It is there that we discovered a big extent of country, a part of Virginia, Maryland, Carolina and Pennsylvania.

H. Island of Canavest, elevated country and very good, where the Indians or savages had planted some fine Indian corn. It is upon this island that we had made the design to establish ourselves at the commencement, as being very well situated to carry on trade in Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. For this reason we had had almost all the good land bordering the river surveyed.

1. A very curious pond. At a depth of two feet the water is very hot. To get cold water, good to drink, one has to plunge a glass bottle attached to a string down deep, probably four or five feet and then one will get very excellent water cold as ice.

K. Here we had caused to be marked out six thousand (pauses or) acres of choice land, abounding in and full of sugar trees. These trees are very handsome and are as tall as oaks. They grow only on rich soil. When one makes a blow with an ax into the trunk of the tree there comes out a juice. From three or four pots of this juice boiled in a kettle there remains a sweet substance in the bottom and this is sugar. They make little cakes of it. This sugar is a little grayish and has a taste a little different from that of cane, but good. I used it in tea and coffee and found it excellent.

L. From Canavest we came down the river to this point in a boat or canoe which the Indians had made of bark, expressly for us.

M. The Plantation of Mr. Rosier, a good, generous, and polite gentleman, very well settled, where I stayed for some time.

N. The place where the silver mines were supposed to be, which Mr. M. had proposed to us.

O. Part of Pennsylvania.

P. Salt springs, a place where salt water has been discovered.

Q. Charming island of very fine land and trees, on one side steep rocks, on the other an approach suitable for boats.

This place with the plantation of Colonel Bell would have suited us well.

If the Surveyor-General Lawson had not turned us aside from our first design, which was to establish ourselves here at the commencement, where we should have been more in security, better assisted and better supported, to all appearances we should not have failed in our enterprise. But the gentleman would not have had the profits of the surveying. But yet it would have been better to be deprived of this profit than of his life which he miserably lost, as is seen (in the account). It is true that besides the fine speeches of Lawson, it was the fine promises of the Lords Proprietors which tempted us to establish ourselves at first in North Carolina.

NOTE:-Only so much of the French Version is published as is necessary to show wherein it varies from the German version.

| Out-of-Print Bookshelf | Maps | Newspapers | Picture Gallery | Other Useful Links | Monographs| NC Historical Review | First Editions

North Carolina Office of Archives & History Department of Cultural Resources
Colonial Records Project Home Page