Saturday, October 25, 2014

A fantastic coincidence and a fair wind

The arrival of Lord De La Warr and his three ships just before Admiral Sir George Somers, Lieutenant-Governor Sir ThomasGates, and the four pinnaces sailed for Newfoundland was indeed a fantastic coincidence, if not an act of providence. It saved England’s first settlement in North America.
         Three days later would have been too late. By that time the Deliverance, the Patience, the Discovery, and the Virginia would have been out of sight, sailing up the Atlantic coast, bound for Newfoundland.
Would De La Warr and his 150 new colonists have made a go of reviving Jamestown by themselves? Could De La Warr, who was not in good health (he was never to be really well while he was in Virginia) and a company of inexperienced newcomers who were ignorant of the Indians possibly succeed? Not likely.
             Jamestown, once near death, was revived: With a fair wind at their backs (another act of providence?) the little fleet of pinnaces sailed upriver and by nightfall on June 8 they reached the fort they had abandoned just two days ago. The relief expedition was close behind them. Two days later Lord De La Warr and his three ships with all their passengers and provisions dropped anchor at Jamestown.

              They had their work cut out for them.


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