Although Virginia must be content with a secondary and unpretending rank in the general department of history, yet in the abundance and the interest of her historical materials, she may, without presumption, claim pre-eminence among the Anglo-American colonies. While developing the rich resources with which nature has so munificently endowed her, she ought not to neglect her past, which teaches so many useful lessons, and carries with it so many proud recollections. Her documentary history, lying, much of it, scattered and fragmentary, in part slumbering in the dusty oblivion of Transatlantic archives, ought to be collected with pious care, and embalmed in the perpetuity of print.
e northern part of America for the purpose of fishing, and when Sir Humphrey reached St. John's Harbor, the thirty-six fishing vessels found there at first refused him admittance; but upon his exhibiting the queen's commission they submitted. He then entered the harbor, landed, and took formal possession of the country for the crown of England.
As far as time would admit, some survey of the country was made, the principal object of which was the discovery of mines and minerals; and the admiral listened with credulity to the promises of silver. The company being dispersed abroad, some were taken sick and died; some hid themselves in the woods, and others cut one of the vessels out of the harbor and carried her off. At length the admiral, having collected as many of his men as could be found, and ordered one of his vessels to remain and take off the sick, set sail with three vessels, intending to visit Cape Breton and the Isle of Sable; but one of his vessels being lost on a sand-bank, he determined to r
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