« PreviousContinue »
Verrazzani) in the name of Francis I, as has been before stated, but the English having rediscovered it in 1593 and 1594, have been colonized there for seven or eight years. Their principal settlement named Jamestown is distant from Saint Sauveur where we settled about 250 leagues in a direct line. Judge of their right to interfere with us.
The English of Virginia were accustomed to come yearly to the islands of Pencoit which are 25 leagues from Saint Sauveur for their winter supply of codfish. Coming thither according to their custom in the summer of 1613, of which we have spoken, they were overtaken by the fogs and mists which, as we have said before, often cover sea and land. As these continued several days the current carried them much farther along the N. E. coast than they suspected, for they were eighty leagues farther up the coast of New France than they supposed, and near our port, but they did not rocognize the place. Unfortunately some savages passed near and went to them thinking they were French in search of us. The English could not understand the language of the savages but they made out by signs that there was a French vessel near for they understood the word Normandy by which we were designated and in the ceremony of which the savages made use they recognized the French courtesy and civility. Then the English who were without food, tattered, half naked, and seeking only for plunder, inquired about the size of our vessel, the number of our canoes and men. Having obtained a satisfactory answer they expressed themselves in shouts of joy, showing that this was indeed what they were in search of and that we were threatened. This was in fact what they were doing, but it was not so understood by the savages who thought they were only our good friends who were anxious about us and greatly desired to see us; so one of the remained on the vessel to act as pilot which he did with a favorable wind. As soon as the English discovered us they prepared for a battle, and it was only then that the kindhearted savage found out that he had been deceived. He began to bemoan his mistake and to curse those who had misled him. Often afterwards he wept and asked pardon of us and the other savages because the other savages wished to take vengeance on him for our misfortune, thinking that he had betrayed us.
But we seeing the vessel advancing under full sail knew not what to think whether they were friends or enemies, French or strangers. For this reason the pilot went out in a launch to reconnoitre, while others armed themselves. La Saussaye remained on shore and took the most of the men under his command. Lieutenant La Motte, Ensign Ronferè and Sergeant Joubert and all the remainder went boldly on shipboard, for it was there that the best men were needed.
The English vessel* came on swifter than a dart. She was painted red, the English flag was Aying while three trumpets and two drums were making a great noise. Our pilot who had gone out to reconnoitre did not return to his ship because as he said the English had the wind in their favor and in order not to fall into their hands he made the circuit of an island. Moreover on this occasion the vessel was deprived of half of its men and had for its defence only ten in all, and, farther,
* Under command of Capt. Samuel Argal.
none of them had ever been in a naval battle, except Captain Flory, who indeed lacked neither skill nor courage, but he had not time to prepare for action nor had he men. For this reason he could not raise his anchor or get under way which is the first step in a naval action. Moreover the sails were unbent, for as they felt secure in port during the summer they had stretched the sails as an awning from the poop to the bits over the deck and could not readily remove them. But this was a fortunate circumstances; for our men being so well hidden and the English not being able to single out their enemies upon the firing of their carbines, fewer men were killed or wounded.
At their approach as is customary in a call to surrender our men cried out in seafaring phrase, O. O. The English did not respond in like manner, but in a more furious one, with a heavy discharge of musketry and cannon. They had fourteen pieces of artillery and sixty musketers drilled to fight on ship-board, pouring in shot against the shore and over the beautiful meadow, from the poop, and fighting with the order of rank and file on shore.
The first discharge of the English was terrific enveloping them in fire and smoke. Our side made a feeble reply and the artillery was silent. Captain Flory shouted "Fire the cannon, fire" But there was cannoneer. Gilbert du Thet who was neither timid nor cowardly, hearing the command and seeing no one to obey it applied the match and made our salute as loud as the enemy's. The misfortune was that he did not take aim. Had he done so we might have had something more than noise.
After the first discharge they laid their vessel broadside on and made ready an anchor to grapple our bits. Captain Flory promptly paid out the cable which checked the enemy and made him sheer off for he feared that in following us we should run him aground. Afterward seeing our vessel still añoat, and being reassured they again attacked us with their carbines. It was in this second charge that DuThet was shot through the body and fell upon the deck. Captain Flory was wounded in the foot and three others in different places.
This was the signal for surrender for the contest was an unequal one. When the English heard that we had surrendered they threw themselves into our boat. At the same time our men threw themselves into their boat to make for the land as they feared the arrival of the victors. The English were no sooner on our vessel than they started in pursuit, calling to them to return or they should be obliged to fire upon them, by which, being still more frightened two of our men jumped overboard in order in my opinion to swim ashore; but they were drowned either because they were wounded or, what is more probable, because they were attacked and killed in the water. They were two promising young companions. One named Le Moine was from Dieppe, the other named Neven was from the city of Beauvais. Nine days afterwards their bodies reappearing were secured and buried with religious rites. Such was the capture of our vessel.
HISTORICAL NOTES. Pentagoet was the ancient name of the Penobscot River and Bay and also of the country adjacent. In some descriptions of it it included Mount Desert, and even Pemaquid.*
Champlain, in his voyage along the coast in 1604, says the savages guided him to the river of Pentagoet so called by them.t
The French applied the name to the peninsula of Castine and the English gave it the name of Penobscot. I
Charlevoix, Vol. I, page 206 to 210 says the Pentagoet river in the most ancient accounts was called “Norimbagua.”
Martin Pring came here in 1603 and arrived on our coast June 7, among a multitude of islands in the waters since called Penobscot Bayt located between 43 and 44 degrees of north latitude.
THE PILGRIMS AT PENTAGOET. In pursuance of their policy of trade with the Indians the Plymouth Pilgrims established a trading house at Pentagoet, 1626-7. Isaac Allerton, Edmund Ashley and Thomas Willett were the agents and over
This appears to have been the first attempt to sit down at Pentagoet, unless this is the point where the French built their forts in 1613. By the Treaty of Saint Germain March 29, 1632 Acadia was yielded to France. The Pilgrims, however, remained until they were driven away by D'Aulney in 1636, who took their property against their protest. After awhile, having consulted their neighbors, the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony at Boston, who gave them sympathy but no aid, they chartered a ship and employed Capt. Gilling, with Miles Standish to assist. They came to Pentagoet but did not agree and accomplished nothing. Standish took the ship back to Plymouth. Again the Pilgrims went to the Puritans and invited them to make common cause with them in regaining their property from the Frenchmen. The Puritans refused but wished them "success in the Lord.” Meanwhile to the great disgust of the Pilgrims they found that the Boston inen had been furnishing the Pentagoet Frenchmen with powder and shot. And thus ended the English occupancy of Pentagoet for that time.
In 1635-40, De Aulney de Charnissey was at Pentagoet, and built fortifications not far from a good harbor which was well sheltered by islands, and from which large ships might ascend forty miles.
• Belknap's Biographies, Vol. 2, page 252,
Judge John E Godfrey. Maine Historical Society Reports, Vol. 7, page 4.
12 Pentagoet, Penobscot, Mount Mansel, Mount Desert, Pematiq.
Judge John E. Godfrey says that the first fort was erected at Castine by D'Aulney, 1630-50*.
In 1635, De Aulney attacked Pentagoet and drove off the Plymouth Colony trading houset.
De Aulney had a farm house six miles above the fort. He remained at Pentagoet until 1651, when he was driven away by La Tour.
The French kept possession of Mount Mansel, now Mount Desert (? until 1627, when King Charles made another grant of the country to Sir William Kirk and his brother. These men fitted out at their own expense an armament, and took 18 French vessels and 135 pieces of ordnance which were intended for fortifications there and at Quebec. The whole country was taken by the Kirks from the Crown of France, and Alexander Kirk was make governor.
-Sullivan's History of Maine, p. 275. In the "Geographical History of Nova Scotia" printed in London, 1749, it is said, page 53: "In 1613, a new project was formed in France to get possession of Pentagoet, a river which lies 30 leagues southwest from St. Croix. With this view a colony duly furnished with missionaries was transported thither."
John Palairet in his description of English and French possessions in North American Edition, 1755, says:
“In 1613, the French established a fort at the mouth of the river Pentagoet, and Argal drove them away. t".
John Ogilbys in his Geography of the World," 9 volumes, London, 1671, says: "Two Jesuits excommunicated Pouirincourt's son, gained a party in France, received arms, brass guns &c. from Louis XIII became masters of Port Royal, and began a fort at Pentagoet."
Pierre Charlevoix, a French traveller, born Oct. 29, 1682 ; died Feb. 1, 1761. He was a missionary of the order of Jesuits. He ascended the Saint Lawrence, traveled through the country of Illinois, and descended the Mississippi to its mouth. He printed “Histoire de la Nouvelle France,” in which he says, page 209, “that Saint Savior was at Pentagoet.”
Sullivan's History of Maine 1795, page 276 says: “The Jesuits about this period (1613) began to gain influence. The Duke (Duchess) of Guercheville who was the favorite of Louis XIII was in their interest. They promised him a share in the new plantation, and he caused them to be amply supplied with what they needed. By this means they made themselves masters of Port Royal and began a fort at Penobscot but Argal put a stop to their proceedings.”
John Johnston, L.L.D., in his history of Bristol, page 19, says that at this time forts were erected as far west as the mouth of the Penobscot.”
* Maine Historical Society, vol. 8, page 330.
FORT PENTAGOET IN 1670.* This fort (built by the French) at what is now Castine, had been for some time in the hands of the English, but by the Treaty of Breda in 1667, was to pass over to the French. Accordingly August 5, 1670, Capt. Richard Walker, Deputy Governor surrendered it to the French governor, Chevalier de Grand Fontaine. In the Act of Surrender the forts and contents are described or scheduled, in substance as follows:
“1. One fort with four bastions, well flanked, which bastions are sixteen teet.
A Guard House, 13 paces by 6, built of stone. 3. A Magazine, with another of equal size and strength, 36 paces by 12, built of stone. 4. A House same size as the guard house, built of stone.
5. A Chapel 8 paces by 6, built of timber with mud walls, with steeple and bell, 18 pounds.
6. A garden in which there were 70 or 80 fruit trees.
7. Cannon; 18 in number, weighing from 925 pounds to 3,200 pounds each.”
Who built and for what purpose this fort, is as yet unsettled. It is said that the French built it but where is the evidence of the fact ? Who planted the So fruit trees in the garden? The writer of this can not answer these questions but trusts that some delver in history may yet solve them.
HOME OF THE BASHABA.
CONTRIBUTED BY REV. H. 0. THAYER, OF LIMINGTON, ME.
Early explorers on the coast of Maine, told of a noted personage among the native tribes. They called him the Bashaba,” and understood him to be a chieftain of superior rank and extensive authority. Under him were subordinate chiefs, which were styled Sagamos, (or Sagamores).
Diverse opinions obtain, whether Bashaba was a title of rank or only a native name. Hon. J. E. Godfrey in an article in the Maine History Collections, vol. 7, discusses the matter, adduces citations from old writers and favors the opinion that Bashaba, (or Bessabes, or Betshes) was simply the name of a prominent chief. The early English writers evidently believed otherwise, but French authorities quite as intimately acquainted with the native tribes, speak as if Bashaba or Betsaches, was a personal name, not of official rank.
The home of this chief was usually assigned to some locality upon the Penobscot, but not definitely determined even in latter years.
Mr. Godfrey mentions opinions of some that upon the Brimmer Flats in
•History of Castine, p. 256 from Plantation office, Whiteball, England, in memorial of the English and French Commissioners in Nova Scotia or Acadia, London, M. D. C. C. L. V. p. p. 606 to 610 in the library of Boston Athenæum.