Narratives of Early Carolina, 1650-1708


Presuming on the claim that the explorations of Sebastian Cabot gave the British government sovereignty over that portion of North America lying between the 31st and 36th degrees of north latitude, Charles I., on October 30, 1629, granted it to his attorney-general, Sir Robert Heath, for the founding of a province. Sir Robert did nothing in the way of settling his territory, and for thirty years after the grant was made to him very few explorations were made in that country and very little was written about it. One contribution to the subject, however, was a pamphlet published in London in 1651, containing an account by Edward Bland, Abraham Woode, Sackford Brewster, and Elias Pennant of an expedition made by them in August and September, 1650, into that part of the domain of Carolina next to Virginia, to which they gave the name New Britain.

Bland was a merchant of Virginia and in this trading expedition among the Indians he realized that the Christianizing of the Indians and settling of the country would sooner advance the interests of the province of Virginia and the merchants and traders thereof. Upon his return he and his companions petitioned the Assembly of Virginia to be allowed to make discoveries to the southward and to establish settlements and have intercourse with the Indians there. The petition was granted on condition that Bland and his associates, in effecting the settlement, should secure themselves with a hundred able men sufficiently supplied with arms and ammunition.

To advance their undertaking they resorted to the customary plan of publishing a pamphlet designed to attract . . .


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