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- Thomas Hariot - 6/22 -
two pinnaces, hardly big enough to bear distinct names, yet small enough to cross dangerous bars and enter unknown bays and rivers. In this splendid outfit were nearly two hundred souls, among whom were Master Ralfe Lane as governor of the colony. Thomas Candish or Cavendish afterwards the circumnavigator, Captain Philip Amadas of the Council, John White the painter as delineator and draughtsman, Master Thomas Hariot the mathematician as historiographer, surveyor and scientific discoverer or explorer, and many others whose names are preserved in Hakluyt.
The fleet had a prosperous voyage by the then usual route of the West Indies and fell in with the main of Florida on the 20th of June, made and named Cape Fear on the 23d, and a first landing the next day, and on the 26th came to Wococa where Amadas and Barlow had been the year before. They disembarked and at first mistook the country for Paradise. July was spent in surveying and exploring the country, making the acquaintance of the natives, chiefly by means of two Indians that had been taken to England and brought back able to speak English. On the 5th of August Master John Arundel, captain of one of the vessels, was sent back to England, and on the 25th of August Admiral Grenville, after a sojourn of two months in Virginia, took his leave and returned, arriving at Plymouth on the 18th of October. There were left in Virginia as Raleigh's 'First Colonie,' one hundred and nine men. They remained there one whole year and then, discontented, returned to England in July 1586 in Sir Francis Drake's fleet coming home victorious from the West Indies.
One of these 109 men was Thomas Hariot the Author of the Report of Virginia. Another was John White the painter. To these two earnest and true men we owe, as has been said, nearly all we know of 'Ould Virginia.' Their story is briefly told by Hakluyt.
Sir Francis Drake in the true spirit of friendship went out of his way to make this call on the Colony of his friend Raleigh. He found them anything but contented and prosperous. They had long been expecting supplies and reinforcements from home, which not arriving, on the departure of Drake's fleet becoming dejected and homesick, they petitioned the Governor for permission to return. Immediately after their departure a ship arrived from Raleigh, and fourteen days later Sir Richard Grenville himself returned with his fleet of three ships, new planters and stores of supplies, only to find the Colony deserted and no tidings to be had. Leaving twenty men to hold possession the Admiral made his way back to England.
It has already been stated how and under what circumstances the epitome of the labours and surveys of Hariot came to be printed, but it may be well to show how it came to be united with John White's drawings and republished a year or two later as the first part of De Bry's celebrated collections of voyages. Hakluyt returned to Paris at the end of 1584. and remained there, perhaps with an occasional visit to London, till 1588, always working in the interests of Raleigh. In April 1585, a month before the departure of the Virginia fleet, he wrote to Walsingham that he ' was careful to advertise Sir Walter Raleigh from tyme to tyme and send him discourses both in print and in written hand concerning his voyage.' Rene Goulaine de Laudonnière's Journal had fallen into Hakluyt's hand, and he induced his friend Basanier the mathematician to edit and publish it. This was done and the work was dedicated to Raleigh and probably paid for by him. Le Moyne the painter and mathematician who had accompanied the expedition, one of the few who escaped into the woods and swamps with Laudonnière the dreadful morning of the massacre, was named by Basanier. He also mentions a lad named De Bry who was lucky enough to find his way out of the clutches of the Spanish butchers into the hands of the more merciful American Savages. This young man was found by De Gourgues nearly three years later among the Indians that joined him in his mission of retribution against the Spaniards, and was restored to his friends well instructed in the ways, manners and customs of the Florida Aborigines.
This journal of Laudonnière carefully edited by Basanier was completed in time to be published in Paris in 1586, in French, in octavo. It was dedicated to Sir Walter Raleigh. Hakluyt translated it into English, and printed it in small quarto in London the next year and it reappeared again in his folio voyages of 1589. The French edition fell under the eye of Theodore De Bry the afterwards celebrated engraver of Frankfort, formerly of Liege. Whether or not this engraver was a relative of young De Bry of Florida is not known, but we are told that he soon sought out Le Moyne whom he found in Raleigh's service living in the Blackfriars in London, acting as painter, engraver on wood, a teacher and art publisher or bookseller.
De Bry first came to London in 1587 to see Le Moyne and arrange with him about illustrating Laudonnière's Journal with the artist's maps and paintings, and remained here some time, but did not succeed in obtaining what he wanted, probably because Le Moyne was meditating a similar work of his own, and being still attached to the household of Raleigh was not free to negotiate for that peculiar local and special information which he had already placed at Raleigh's disposal for his colony planted a little north of the French settlement in Florida, then supposed to be in successful operation, but of which nothing had yet been published to give either the world at large or the Spaniards in the peninsula a premature clue to his enterprise.
There is still preserved a good memorial of De Bry's visit to London in the celebrated funeral pageant at the obsequies of Sir Philip Sidney in the month of February 1587, drawn and invented by T. Lant and engraved on copper by Theodore de Bry in the city of London, 1587. A complete copy is in the British Museum, and another is said to be at the old family seat of the Sidneys at Penshurst in Kent, now Lord de L'lsle's; while a third copy not quite perfect adorns the famous London collectionof Mr Gardner of St John's Wood Park.
LeMoyne died in 1588, and De Bry soon after came to London a second time and succeeded in purchasing of the widow of Le Moyne a portion of the artist's drawings or paintings together with his version of the French Florida Expeditions. While here this time De Bry fell in with Richard Hakluyt, who had returned from Paris in November 1588, escorting Lady Sheffield.
Hakluyt at the end of this year, or the beginning of 1589, was engaged in seeing through the press his first folio collection of the voyages of the English, finished, according to the date in the preface, the 17th of November, though entered at Stationers' Hall on the strength of a note from Walsingham the first of September previous. Hakluyt with his mind full of voyages and travels was abundantly competent to appreciate De Bry's project of publishing a luxurious edition of Laudonnière's Florida illustrated with the exquisite drawings of Le Moyne. Ever ready to make a good thing better, Hakluyt suggested the addition of Le Moyne's and other Florida papers; and introduced De Bry to John White, Governor of Virginia, then in London.
White, an English painter of eminence and merit, was as an artist to Virginia what Le Moyne his master had been to Florida. Le Moyne had twenty years before mapped and pictured everything in Florida from the River of May to Cape Fear, and White had done the same for Raleigh's Colony in Virginia (now North Carolina) from Cape Fear to the Chesapeake Bay. Le Moyne had spent a year with Laudonnière at Fort Caroline in 1564-65, and White had been a whole year in and about Roanoke and the wilderness of Virginia in 1585-86 as the right hand man of Hariot.
Together Hariot and White surveyed, mapped, pictured and described the country, the Indians, men and women; the animals, birds, fishes, trees, plants, fruits and vegetables. Hariot's Report or epitome of his Chronicle, reproduced by the Hercules Club, was privately printed in February 1589. A volume containing seventy-six of White's original drawings in water colours is now preserved in the Grenville library in the British Museum, purchased by the Trustees in March 1866 of Mr Henry Stevens at the instigation of Mr Panizzi, and placed there as an appropriate pendant to the world-renowned Grenville De Bry. This is the very volume that White painted for Raleigh, and which served De Bry for his Virginia. Only 23 out of the 76 drawings were engraved, the rest never yet having been published. Thus Hariot's text and map with White's drawings are necessary complements to each other and should be mentioned together.
Knowing all these men and taking an active part in all these important events, Hakluyt acted wisely in inducing De Bry to modify his plan of a separate publication and make a Collection of illustrated Voyages. He suggested first that the separate work of Florida should be suspended, and enlarged with Le Moyne's papers, outside of Laudonnière. Then reprint, as a basis of the Collection, Hariot's privately printed Report on Virginia just coming out in February 1589, and illustrate it with the map and White's drawings. Hakluyt engaged to write descriptions of the plates, and his geographical touches are easily recognizable in the maps of both Virginia and Florida.
In this way De Bry was induced to make Hariot's Virginia the First Part of his celebrated PEREGRINATIONS, with a dedication to Sir Walter Raleigh. Florida then became the Second Part. The first was illustrated from the portfolio of John White, and the second from that of Jaques Le Moyne. Both parts are therefore perfectly authentic and trustworthy. Thus the famous Collections of De Bry may be said to be of English origin, for to Raleigh and his magi De Bry owed everything in the start of his great work. Being thus supplied and instructed, De Bry returned to Frankfort, and with incredible energy and enterprise, engraved, printed, and issued his VIRGINIA in four languages, English, French, Latin and German, in 1590, and his Florida in Latin and German, in 1591. The bibliographical history of these books, the intimacy and dependence of the several persons engaged; and the geographical development of Florida-Virginia are all so intertwined and blended, that the whole seems to lead up to Thomas Hariot, the clearing up of whose biography thus becomes an appropriate labor of the Hercules Club.
Little more remains to be said of Raleigh's Magi who have been thus shown to be hand and glove in working out these interesting episodes of French and English colonial history. To Hakluyt, Le Moyne, White, De Bry and Hariot, Raleigh owes an undivided and indivisible debt of gratitude for the prominent niche which he achieved in the world's history, especially in that of England and America ; while to Raleigh's liberal heart and boundless enterprise must be ascribed a generous share of the reputation achieved by his Magi in both hemispheres.
Of Hakluyt and De Bry little more need be said here. They both hewed out their own fortunes and recorded them on the pages of history, the one with his pen, the other with his graver. If at times ill informed bibliographers who have got beyond their depth fail to discern its merits, and endeavour to deny or depreciate De Bry's Collection, charging it with a want of authenticity and historic truth, it is hoped that enough has been said here to vindicate at least the first two parts, Virginia and Florida. The remaining parts, it is believed, can be shown to be of equal authority.
Whoever compares the original drawings of Le Moyne and White with the engravings of De Bry, as one may now do in the British Museum, must be convinced that, beautiful as De Bry's work is, it seems tame in the presence of the original water-colour drawings. There is no exaggeration in the engravings.
Le Moyne's name has not found its way into modern dictionaries of art or biography, but he was manifestly an artist of great merit and a man of good position. In addition to what is given above it may be added that a considerable number of his works is still in existence, and it is hoped
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