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The Voyage of Archangell

James Rosier's Account of the Waymouth Voyage of 1605

The Voyage of Archangell

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  • Voyage of Archangell, The 1

The Voyage of Archangell

Four hundred years ago, Captain George Waymouth sailed from England to the coast of Maine in search of a suitable site for an English colony. He and his crew spent twenty-nine days in May and June of 1605 sounding and exploring a very small area of the coast, which included an anchorage at the Georges Islands and the discovery of a “great river.” Which river? This question has been an ongoing controversy, even to the present day. Our best information comes from James Rosier, who was aboard the ship Archangell as a “gentleman” employed to document the voyage. His narrative, A True Relation, gives us one of the earliest written accounts of the natural resources of northern New England and the Native people who resided here.

ISBN: 978-0-88448-271-0 Categories: , ,
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In THE VOYAGE OF ARCHANGELL, by David Morey, four hundred years ago, Captain George Waymouth sailed from England to the coast of Maine in search of a suitable site for an English colony. He and his crew spent twenty-nine days in May and June of 1605 sounding and exploring a very small area of the coast, which included an anchorage at the Georges Islands and the discovery of a “great river.” Which river? This question has been an ongoing controversy, even to the present day. Our best information comes from James Rosier, who was aboard the ship Archangell as a “gentleman” employed to document the voyage. His narrative, A True Relation, gives us one of the earliest written accounts of the natural resources of northern New England and the Native people who resided here. But because Waymouth hoped to return with financial backing to establish a new colony, Rosier’s glowing account is cagey about certain geographic specifics–obviously, they didn’t want someone else to act on their information. Did they venture up the St. George River? Or was it the Kennebec? The Penobscot? Morey makes a convincing case for the Penobscot River and offers some interesting thoughts on how different history might have been had the English, rather than the French, claimed land this far to the north. Equally fascinating is Rosier’s description and Morey’s analysis of interaction with the Native Americans they met. Waymouth and his crew visited and traded with the local Indians to varying degrees of success, but then before leaving the coast, they kidnapped five Natives and took them back to England, ostensibly to glean more local knowledge from them. Their story, which Morey details separately, is still of great interest.

Reviews:

“…Rosier’s attention to detail… ability to draw out informants and learn from them is remarkable.” -Working Waterfront/Inter-Island News, July 2005

“Rosier’s narrative provides insight into the prevailing attitudes of the men of the early 1600s….Morey’s annotation, with over one hundred footnotes to supplement Rosier’s account, enhances and expands the reader’s understanding of the original text….Students of Maine history will find Rosier’s account to be a revealing record of early exploration and will find the documented interactions with the Native Americans equally interesting. The key to this work is, of course, Morey’s keen interpretation of the material. Without his insight the voyage of the Archangell would be valuable only to antiquarians. Morey transforms Rosier’s account into an accessible work of history.” -Maine History, February 2009

Additional Information

Weight 1 lbs
Dimensions 6 x 9.00 x 1.778 in
Compiled and Annotated by

David C. Morey

Format

Hardcover

ISBN

978-0-88448-271-0

Pages

160

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