(Leyden: Pieter Vander Aa, 1707). 178 x 118 mm. (7 x 4 3/4"). 1 p.l., 15,  pp. First Octavo Edition.
Modern light blue cloth over boards. With a folding engraved plate dramatically depicting the Jamestown Massacre. Sabin 12528. Tail of spine a little rubbed, mild smudges to title page and a couple of margins, but A FINE COPY, clean and fresh inside and out, and with an excellent impression of the engraving.
Featuring a memorably bloody folding engraving, this is a vivid first-person account of the 1622 surprise attack on Jamestown settlers by Powhatan Indians, fighting back against the colonists' increasing encroachment on their territories and attempts to convert them from their traditional religion. The killing of a tribal member by a settler was the last straw, and the Powhatan plotted an assault on the settlements and the fort. Some of the colonists, led by George Thorpe, had advocated for trying to integrate the Indians into the English colony, and these overtures had met with sufficient success that no one was suspicious on 22 March 1622, when Powhatan men came to the settlements with gifts of food, mingling and eating with residents. Members of the tribe often visited and had friendly interactions with the inhabitants, but this time the Powhatan, on a pre-arranged signal, violently attacked the English at midday, using the settlers' farming tools and muskets, as well as their own weapons, to kill men, women, and children, masters and servants, indiscriminately. The chaotic and terrifying scene is vividly portrayed in the engraved plate here. In all, 347 settlers were killed, and their bodies desecrated. The fort at Jamestown had been forewarned by a Powhatan convert to Christianity, who told his employer of the planned attack in time for the fort to prepare its defenses. After successfully repulsing the incursion, the English took their revenge, killing scores of the Powhatan, and burning their homes and crops. Our unnamed narrator travelled from England to Virginia in 1620, on a ship commanded by Captain Anthony Chester; because this account was first published in Pieter Vander Aa's series of books on voyages (1707-08), the work bears the name of the ship's captain, although he had sailed back to England long before the massacre at Jamestown. Chester did play a leading role in the narrative's other great drama, which occurred during the voyage across the Atlantic. His ship, carrying cargo and passengers, came under attack by two Spanish warships off the coast of Hispaniola. Despite being hampered by a full cargo load, limited firepower, and a far less maneuverable vessel, Chester managed to repel the assault and get his ship safely on her way, no mean feat of seamanship. The first English version of this account appeared in Captain John Smith's "General Historie of Virginia" in 1624. This short, ephemeral pamphlet is scarce: OCLC locates half a dozen print copies in U.S. libraries, while ABPC and RBH record just one copy at auction. (ST16320)
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PJP Catalog: 77.050