Letter of Ferdinando Gorges to Henry Challons

Mr. Challons,[1]


I received your letter sent me by the Mr. Nicholas Hines, by whom I rest satisfied for your part of the proceeding of the voyage, and I doubt not but you will be able to answer the expectation of all your friends.  I hope you shall receive very shortly, if already you have not, an attestation out of the High Court of Admiralty to give satisfaction of the truth of our intent that set you out.  Let me advise you to take heed that you be not overshot in accepting recompense for our wrongs received, for you know that the journey hath been no small charge to us that first sent to the coast and had for our return, but the five savages,[2] whereof two of the principal you had with you and since.[3]  Within two months after your departure, we sent out another ship to come to your supply, and now again we have made a new preparation of divers others, all which through your misfortune is likely to be frustrate and our time and charge lost.  Therefore, your demands must be answerable hereunto and accordingly seek for satisfaction, which can not be less then five thousand pounds, and therefore before you conclude for loss, attend to receive for resolution from hence, if they answer you not thereafter, for if their conditions be not such as shall be reasonable, we do know how to right ourselves, for rather then we will be losers a penny by them.   We will attend a fitter time to get us our content and, in the mean time, leave all in their hands.  Therefore, be you careful herein and remember that it is not the business of merchants or rovers, but, as you know, of men of another rank and such as will not prefer many complaints nor exhibit divers petitions, for that they understand a shorter way to the wood, so commending you to God and continuing myself.         


Your most assured and loving friend,


Ferdinando Gorges

Plymouth, March 13, 1606/7


Post Script:

Postscript, I pray you use the means that the savages and the company be sent over with as much speed as is possible and that you hasten yourself away if you see not likelihood of a present end to be had, for we will not be tired with their delays and endless suits, such as commonly they use, but leave all to time and God, the just revenger of wrongs.  Ferdinando Gorges


The copy of Sir Ferdinando Gorges, his letter to Mr. Challons, received the 6th day / 1606


New England


14, 45, 48, 13, 39, 1606



[1]  Henry Challons

[2] According to Forbes, the five captives were Tasquantum (Tisquantum), Manida (Mannido), Dehamda, Skettwarroes, and Assacumet (Assacomoit), all abducted from their homeland, Mawooshin in present day Maine, by Captain George Weymouth in 1605.  More recent scholarship, however, questions Tisquantum's presence among these Eastern Abnaki, and suggests a confusion with another of   Weymouth's captives, Sassacomoit.   Forbes, Indian Abroad, 16.  Vaughan, Transatlantic Encounters, 76.

[3] The two Indians spoken of here were Assacomoit (Sassacomit) and Mannido.  They were aboard Challons' ship, the Richard, heading from England to the Northern New England coast, when a storm caused the vessel to encounter a Spanish fleet that boarded the ship and sent the Richard's crew to a prison in Seville.  It was here that Gorges' letter to Challons was directed.  Subsequently, Assacomoit and Mannido were taken as slaves, with only the former eventually surviving his captivity.  Vaughan, Transatlantic Encounters, 57-58.