William Hilton, Jr.'s Account of His 1663 Explorations

William Hilton, Jr.'s Map of His Expedition

After sixteen days of fair weather, and prosperous winds, Wednesday the 26 instant, four of the clock in the Afternoon, and God be thanked, we espied Land on the Coast of Florida, the lat. of 32 deg. 30 min. being four Leagues or thereabouts to the Northwards of Saint Ellens, having run five hundred and fifty leagues.

(page of original. Heading of original, p.1 the name by which the Spaniards then designated Port Royal. Port Royal was the name given by Jean Ribaut, the French explorer, when he reached it on his voyage of exploration in 1562.)

...Five hundred and fifty Leagues; and to the Westward. of the Meridian of Barbados, three hundred thirty and one Leagues. The Evening and the Night following we lay off and on: Thursday the 27th instant, in the morning, we stood in with the Land,, and coasted the Shoar to the Southward, Ankering at Nights and sending our Boat out a mornings, till we came into the lat. of 31 deg. but found no good harbor that way. On Sunday the 30th instant, we tacked, and stood Northward : and on Wednesday the second of September, we came to Anchor in five fathoms at the mouth of a very large opening of three Leagues wide, or thereabouts, in the lat. of 32 d 30 min. and sent our Boat to sound the Channel. On Thursday the third, we entered the Harbor, and found that it was the River Jordan, and was but four Leagues or thereabouts NE from Port Royal, which by the Spanyards is called St. Ellens (St. Helens) within Land, both Rivers meet in one. We spent some time to sound the Chanels both without and within, and to search the Rivers in several branches, and

(1)The harbor was doubtless St. Helena Sound and The river the Corn (Professor William J. Rivers, one of the most accurate of our historians, say ... Sketch of the History of South Carolina footnote, pp. 1617), "The reitera statement in our authors, that the "Jordan" is the Combahee, I arn not prepared to adopt, after a close examination of the accounts of early voyages, old maps ... charts, and a comparison of Indian names that have been handed down to ... ... If, however, we believe that Cutis-chiqui was the old name of Silver Bluff, Jordan could not have been far from the Savannah river." At the time Professor Rivers wrote (1856) Sandford's narrative was inaccessible to him, and he probably did not examine Hilton's, for their location of the Jordan certainly identifies it the Combahee.

(2) Professor Rivers (ibid., p.15), speaking of the Spanish expedition from Hispaniola to the coast of what is now South Carolina in 1520, also says: "they entered a bay, a cape of which they named St. Helena, and a river in its vicinity they called the Jordan." The name St. Helena has been preserved in that to the present time, and St. Ellen's was probably another form of writing same name. Formed by Port Royal River, Morgan River, and several creeks and inlets is St. Helena Island, a large and fertile island that has played no in conspicuous part in the history of South Carolina. In 1712, a parish (an (Eclesiastical and legislative subivision of the province of South Carolina) was laid off contiguous thereto and inclusive there of and named St. Helena's Parish. By the constitution of 1865 the parishes were abolished as political subdivisions of South Carolina and St. Helena's passed out of existence. A large sound extending from the mouth of the Coosaw to the mouth of the Combahee also name St. Helena.

[Carolana Website Author's Note - The Spanish actually called their settlement Santa Elena, which of course in English is translated to St. Helena.]

... to view land On Saturday the fifth of September, two Indians came on Board us from the NE shoar, whom we entertained courteously, and afterwards set them on shoar. On Sunday the sixth, several Indians came on Board us, and said they were of St. Ellens; being very bold and familiar; speaking many Spanish words, as, Cappitan, Commarado and adeus. They know the use of Guns, and are as little startled firing of a Peece of Ordnance, as he that hath been at them many years: they told us the nearest Spanyards St. Augustins, and several of them had been there, as they said was but ten days journey; and that the Spanyards used to come to them at Saint Ellens, sometimes within Land, at other times in small Vessels by Sea, the Indians describe to have but two Masts. They invited us to come to St. Ellens with our Ship, which they told us we might do within Land. Munday the 14 September, our Boat went with twelve hands within Land to St. Ellen's. On Wednesday the 16th, came five Indians on board us: one of them pointing to another, said, "he was the grand Captain of Edistow, whereupon we took especial notice of him and entertained him accordingly, giving him several beads and other trade that pleased him well: He invited us to bring up our Ship into a branch on the N.E. side and told us of one Captain Francisco, and four more English that were in his custody on shoar; whereupon we shewed him store of all our Trade, as Beads, Hoes, Hatchets ete., and Bills etc, and said, he should have all those things if he would bring the English on board us; which he promised should be done the next day,

Note: ... captain, comrade, adieu (Edisto) was the name applied by the Indians to the country adjacent to the lower part of the the river that now bears that name. The Indian name for the river shore? ...Pon Pon. The Edisto is formed by two branches, North Edisto and South Edisto. which have their sources in the sand hills of the middle section South Carolina. These rivers unite about seventy five miles above the sea. About fifteen or twenty miles from the sea the river forks again, the south fork being known as South Edisto and the North fork as Dawhoo River. Dawhoo merged with the Widmalaw River and forms the North Edisto. The island formed by of the sea is known as Edisto Island, and is noted for producing the fine grade of long staple cotton known to the cotton trade. The main river for about twenty miles of its course through Colleton County is still called Pon Pon. The North Edisto of the sea forks was called Grandy in Hilton's time.

Hereupon we wrote a few lines to the said English, fearing it to be a Spanish delusion to entrap us. In the dark of the same evening came a Canoa with nine or ten Indians in her with their Bowes and Arrowes, and were close on board before we did discern them: We haled them, but they made us no answer, which increased our jealousie: So we commanded them on board, and disarmed them, detaining two of them prisoners, and sending away the rest to fetch the English; which if they brought, they should have theirs again. At length they delivered us a Note written with a coal, which seemed the more to continue our jealousie, because in all this time we had no news of our long-boat from St. Ellens, which we feared was surprized by the Indians and Spanyards. But to satisfie us that there were English on shoar, they sent. us one man on board about twelve of the clock in the Night who related to us the truth of the matter, and told us they were cast away some four or five leagues to the Northward of the place we then rode. On the 24th of July past, being thirteen persons that came on shoar, whereof three of them were kill'd by the Indians. On Thursday the 17th of September the Long-boat returned from St. Ellens, which presently we sent on shoar to fetch the other English, the Indians delivering us three more; and coming aboard themselves, we delivered them their two men. Then we demanded of the chief Commander where the rest of our English were: he answered, Five were carried to St. Ellens, three were killed by the Stonohs, and the other man we should have within two dayes. Wee replyed to him again, That we would keep him and two more of his chief men, till we had our English that were yet living; and promised them their liberty, with satisfaction for bringing us the English.

Note ...The name of the Stono tribe has also been preserved in the name of a river, which separates James Island and John's Island, two of the coastal islands near Charleston. These (Indians) were Shadoo and Alush and one who Hilton took. The first two to Barbados with him, but they subsequently returned to their homes.

Now to return to the businesse of our Design; the entertainment we had at S. Ellens put us in great fear of the Indians treachery; for we observed their continual gathering together, and at last began with stern look'd countenances to speak roughly to us, and came to search our mens Bandileers and pockets; yet inviting us to stay that night with them: but we made a sudden retreat to our Boat, which caused the Indian King to be in a great rage, speaking loud and angry to his men; the drift of which discourse we understood not That which we noted there, was a fair house builded in the shape of a Dovehouse, round, two hundred foot at least, compleatly covered with Palmeta leaves, the walplate being twelve foot high, or thereabouts, and within lodging Rooms and forms; two pillars at the entrance of a high Seat above all the rest: Also another house like a Sentinel house, floored ten foot high with planks, fastened with Spikes and Nayls, standing upon substantial Posts, with several other small houses round about.

Also we saw many planks, to the quantity of three thousand foot or thereabouts, with other Timber squared and a Cross before the great house. Likewise we saw the Ruines of an old Fort, compassing more than half an acre of land within the Trenches, which we supposed to be Charles's Fort, built, and so called by the French in 1562, etc.

On Monday, September 21, one English youth was brought from St. Ellens aboard us by an Indian, who informed us that there were four more of their company at St. Ellens, but he could not tell whether the Indians would let them come to us: For saith he, Our Men told me, that they had lately seen a Frier and two Spanyards more at St. Ellens, who told them they would send Soldiers suddenly to fetch them away. This day we sayled up the River with our Ship to go through to St. Ellens. On Tuesday the 22 instant, three Indians came on board; one of them we sent with a Letter to the English Prisoners there. On Wednesday the 23d, we sent out Boat and Men to sound the Chanel, and finde out the most A bandoleer was a broad belt or baldric slung over the shoulder. Charles Fort was located on the eastern side of an island between the Broad and Port Royal rivers which was subsequently named Parris Island in honor of Alexander Parris, for many years public treasurer of the province of South Carolina. Its ruins are still to be seen there at the point where Pilot's Creek enters Port Royal River. The ruins here described were probably the remains of some structure used by Spanish priests from St. Augustine who had beeu trying to convert the Indians in this quarter some years before.

Note: ...likely way to St. Ellens with our Ship by Combeheh.

In the mean time came many Canoa's aboard us with Corn, Pumpions, and Venison, Deerskins, and a sort of sweetwood. One of our men looking into an Indian basket, found a piece of Spanish Rush, it being new, we demanded of the Indian where he had it; who said, of the Spaniards. In the interim, while we were talking, came a Canoa with four Indians from St. Ellens, one standing up, and holding a paper in a cleft stick; they told us they had brought it from the Spanish Captain at St. Ellens. We demanded how many Spaniards were come thither; who said, Seven, and one Englishman:

We received their Letter writ in Spanish, but none of us could read it: We detained two of the chiefest Indians, one of them being the Kings Son of St. Ellens, and that kept one of the English prisoners; the other two we sent away with a Letter to the Spaniard, wherein we gave him to understand , that we understood not his letter; and told the Indians, when they brought the English, they should have their men again, with satisfaction for their pains. On Thursday, 24 instant , we sayling further up the River to go through, at last came to a place of fresh water, and Anchored there, sending our Boat ashoar with a Guard to get water. Towards night came the first Indian that we sent to St. Ellens with a letter to the English, who brought us another letter from the Spaniards, and an Answer of ours from the English, writ in the Spaniards letter. The Spaniard sent us a quarter of Venison , and a quarter of Pork, with a Complement, That he was sorry he had no more for us at that time. We returned him thanks, and sent him a Jug of Brandy; and withal, that we were sorry we understood not his letter. This night about twelve at of the Clock we had a most violent gust of winde, but of no long continuance. On Friday 25 September, we weighed, and returned down the River six leagues, or thereabouts, because we perceived the Indians had gathered themselves in a Body from all parts thereabouts, and moved as the Ship did: and being informed by an Indian that the Spaniards would be there the next day; we took in Firewood, and continued there...

Note: ...Combahee (pronounced Cumbee) is the name by which the river called Jordan by the Spaniards is now known. 'Wommony. He was aboard taken to Barbados, but returned to his home.

...that night, at which time one of our Indian Prisoners made at his escape by leaping overboard in the dark. On Saturday the 26th we weighed, and stood down to the Harbour's mouth, and stayed there till Monday the 28. In all which time came no one to us, though we stay'd in expectation of their coming continually; therefore put out to Sea, concluding their intentions not to be good Being out of the River Jordan, we directed our course S.W. four leagues or thereabouts for Port Royal, to sound the Chanel without from the poynts of the Harbour outwards; for we had sounded the Harbour within from the points inward when our Boat was at St. Ellens: And now being athwart the Harbour's mouth, we sent our Boat with the Mate and others, who found the N.E. and E N.E. side of the opening of Port Royal to be Sholes and Breakers to the middle of the opening; and three leagues or thereabouts into the Sea, from the side aforesaid, is unsafe to meddle with: but the S.W. and W. side we found all bold steering in N.N.W. two or three miles from the S.W. shoar, sayling directly with the S.W. head-land and of the entrance of Port Royal: the said head-land is bluft, and seems steep, as though the trees hung over the water: But you must note, that if you keep so far from the S.W. side, that you stand in N.N.W. with the bluft head aforesaid, you shall go over the outskirt of the E. N.E. sholing, and shall have but three or four fathom for the space of one league or thereabouts, and then you shall have six and seven fathoms all the way in: But if you borrow more on the S.W. side, till you have brought the S.W. head of the Entry to bear N.N.E. you shall have a fair large Chanel of six, seven, and eight fathoms all the way in, and then five, six, seven and eight fathoms within the Harbour, keeping the Chanel, and standing over to the Northward: we supposed that it flows here as at the River Jordan, because they are but four leagues asunder, and flows S.E and N.W. seven foot and half, and sometimes eight foot perpendicular: the Mouth of PortRoyal lyes in 32 deg. 20 mint. lat. Now as concerning the entrance of the River Jordan, at, 32 deg. 30 min. or thereabouts, you shall see a range of Breakers right against the opening, two or three leagues off the St. W. Point; which you must leave to the Northward, and steer in with the said S.W. Point, giving a range of Breakers that runs from the said Point a small birth, and you shall have two, three, and four fathoms at low water; and when you come one mile from the Point aforesaid, steer over directly to the N.E. Point, and you shall have six or seven fathom all the way. Within the N.W. Point is good Anchoring: you shall have five fathoms fair aboard the shoar: and you shall have five , six , seven, and eight fathoms, sayling all along upon the iliver, ten leagues, and a large turning Chanel:

It flows here S.E. and N.W. seven foot and a half, and eight foot at common Tydes. The River Grandy, or as the Indians call it Edistow, lyes six leagues or thereabouts from the River Jordan, and seems to be a very fair opening: but because the chief Indian of that Place was on board us, and the Countrey all in Arms, we not knowing how the winde might crosse us, it was not thought fit to stay there: But some of those English that had lived there, being Prisoners, say, that it is a very fair and goodly River, branching into several branches, and deep, and is fresh water at low Tide within two leagues of the Mouth; it seeming to us as we passed by, a good entrance large and wide, lat. 32 deg. 40 min. in or thereabouts.

Now our understanding of the Land of Port Royal, River Jordan, River Grandy, or Edistow, is as followeth: The Lands are laden with large tall Oaks, Walnut and Bayes, except facing on the Sea, it is most Pines tall and good: The Land generally, except where the Pines grow, is a good Soyl, covered with black Mold, in some places a foot, in some places half a foot, and in other places lesse, with Clay underneath mixed with Sand; and we think may produce any thing as well as most part of the Indies that we have seen. The Indians plant in the worst Land, because they cannot cut down the Timber in the best, and yet have plenty of Corn, Pumpions, Water-Mellons, Musk-Mellons: although the Land be over grown with weeds through their lazinesse, yet they have two or three crops of Corn a year, as the Indians themselves inform us. The Country abounds with Grapes, large Figs, and Peaches; the Woods with Deer, Conies, Turkeys, Quails, Curlues, Plovers, Teile, Herons; and as the Indians say, in Winter, with Swans, Geese, Cranes, Duck and Mallard, and innumerable of other water-Fowls, whose names we know which lie in the Rivers, Marshes, and on the Sands Oysters in abundance, with great store of Muscles; A sort of fair Crabs, and a round Shelfish called Horsefeet. The Rivers stored plentifully with Fish that we saw play and leap. There are great Marshes, but most as far as we saw little worth, except for a Root that grows in them the Indians make good Bread of. The Land we suppose is healthful; for the English that were cast away on that Coast in July last, were there most part of that time of year that is sickly in Virginia; and notwithstanding hard usage, and lying on the ground naked, yet had their perfect healths all the time. The Natives are very healthful; we saw many very Aged amongst them. The Ayr is clear and sweet, the Countrey very pleasant and delightful: And we could wish, that all they that want a happy settlement, of our English Nation, were well transported thither, etc.

From Tuesday the 29th of September, to Friday the second of October, we ranged along the shoar from the lat. 32 deg. 20 min. to the lat. 33 deg. 11 mint. but could discern no Entrance for our Ship, after we had passed to the Northwards of 32 deg. 40 min. On Saturday the third instant, a violent storm came up, the winde between the North and the East; which Easterly windes and fowl weather continued till Monday the 12th By reason of which storms and fowl weather, we were forced to get off to Sea to secure our selves and ship, and were horsed by reason of a strong Current, to Cape Fair-Roads in lat. 35 deg. 30 mint. On Monday the 12th aforesaid we came to an Anchor in seven fathom at Cape Fair-Road, and took the Meridian-Altitude of the Sun, and were in the lat. 33 deg. 43 min. the winde continuing still Easterly, and fowl weather till Thursday the 15th instant; and on Friday the 16th, the winde being at N.W. we weighed, we sailed up Cape Fair-River, some four or five leagues, and came to an Anchor in six or seven fathom; at which time several Indians came on Board, and brought us great store of Fresh-fish, large Mullets, young Bass, Shads, and several other sorts of very good well-tasted Fish. On Saturday the 17th, we went down to the Cape to see the English Cattle, but could not finde them, though we rounded the Cape: And having an Indian Guide with us, here we rode till the 24th instant , the winde being against us, we could not go up the River with our Ship; in which time we went on shoar, and viewed the land of those quarters. On Saturday we weighed, and sayled up the River some four leagues or thereabouts. Sunday the 25th, we weighed again, and towed up the River, it being calm, and got up some fourteen leagues from the Harbours mouth, where we mored our Ship. On Monday the 26 October, we went down with the Yoal to Necoes, an Indian Plantation, and viewed the Land there. On Tuesday the 27th, we rowed up the main River with our long-Boat and twelve men, some ten leagues or thereabouts. On Wednesday the 28th, we rowed up about eight or nine leagues more. Thursday the 29th was foul weather, of much rain and winde, which forced us to make Huts, and lye still. Friday the 30th, we proceeded up the main River, seven or eight leagues. Saturday the 31, we got up three or four leagues more, and came to a Tree that lay athwart the River: but because our Provisions were neer spent, we proceeded no further, but returned downward the remainder of that day; and on Monday the second of November, we came aboard our Ship. Tuesday the third, we lay still to refresh ourselves.

On Wednesday the 4th, we went five or six leagues up the River to search a branch that ran out of the main River towards the N.W. In which branch we went up five or six leagues: not liking the Land, we returned on board that night about midnight, and called that place Swampy-branch. Thursday the fifth instant, we staid aboard; on Friday the 6th we went up Greens River, the mouth of it being against the place we rode with our Ship. On Saturday the 7th, we proceeded up the said River some fourteen or fifteen leagues in all, and found that it ended in several small branches; the Land for the most part being marshy and swamps, we returned towards our ship, and got aboard in the night: Sunday the 8th instant we lay still, and on Monday the 9th we went again up the main River, being well provided with Provisions and all things necessary, and proceeded upwards till Thursday noon 12th instant, at which time we came to a place where two Islands were in the middle of the River, and by reason of the crookednesse of the River at that place, several Trees lay athwart beth branches, which stopped up the passage of each branch, that we could proceed no further with our Boat; but we went up the River side by land some three or four miles, and found the River to enlarge it self: So we returned, leaving it as far as we could see up a long reach running N.E. we judging our selves from the Rivers mouth North near fifty leagues; we returned, viewing the Land on both sides the River, and found as good tracts of land, dry, well wooded, pleasant and delightful as we have seen any where in the world, with great burthen of Grasse on it, the land being very level, with steep banks on both sides the River, and in some places very high, the woods store'd with abundance of Deer and Turkies every where we never going on shoar, but saw of each also Partridges great store, Cranes abundance, Conies, which we saw in several places; we heard several Wolves howling in the woods, and saw where they had torn a Deer in pieces.

Also in the River we saw great store of Ducks, Teile, Widgeon, and in the woods great flocks of Parrakeeto's; the Timber that the woods afford for the most part consisting of Oaks of four or five sorts, all differing in leaves, but all bearing Akorns very good: we measured many of the Oaks in several places, which we found to be in bignesse some two, some three, and others almost four fathoms; in height, before you come to boughs or limbs, forty, fifty, sixty foot, and some more, and those Oaks very common in the upper parts of both Rivers; Also a very tall large Tree of great bignesse, which some do call Cyprus, the right name we know not, growing in Swamps. Likewise Walnut, Birch, Beech, Maple, Ash, Bay, Willough, Alder and Holly; and in the lowermost parts innumerable of Pines, tall and good for boards or masts, growing for the most part in barren sandy ground, but in some places up the River in good ground, being mixed amongst Oaks and other Timber. We saw several Mulberry-trees, multitudes of Grape-Vines, and some Grapes which we did eat of.

We found a very large and good tract of Land on the N.W. side of the River, thin of Timber, except here and there a very great Oak, and full of Grasse, commonly as high as a mans middle, and in many places to his shoulders, where we saw many Deer and Therkies; also one Deer with very large horns, and great in bedy, therefore called it Stag-Park: it being a very pleasant and delightful place, we travelled in it several miles, but saw no end thereof. So we returned to our Boat, and proceeded down the River, and came to another place some twenty five leagues from the Rivers mouth on the same side, where we found a place no lesse delightful than the former; and as far as we could judge, both Tracts came into one. This lower place we called Rocky-point, because we found many Rocks and Stones of several bignesse upon the Land, which is not common. We sent our Boat down the River before us; our selves travelling by Land many miles, were so much taken with the pleasantnesse of the Land, that travelling into the woods so far, we could not recover our Boat and company that night. On Sunday the morrow following we got to our Boat, and on Monday the 16th of November, we proceeded down to a place on the East-side of the River some twenty three leagues from the Harbours mouth, which we call'd Turkie-Quarters, because we killed several Turkies thereabouts.

We viewed the Land there, and found some tracts of good Land, and high, facing upon the River about one mile inward, but backwards some two miles all Pine-land, but good pasture-ground: we returned to our Boat, and proceeded down some two or three leagues, where we had formerly viewed, and found it a tract of as good Land as any we have seen, with as good Timber on it. The banks of the River being high, therefore we called it High-Land Point, Having viewed that, we proceeded down the River, going on shoar in several places on both sides, it being generally large Marshes, and many of them dry, that they may more fitly be called Medows: the wood-land against them is for the most part Pine, and in some places as barren as ever we saw Land, but in other places good Pasture-ground: And on Tuesday the 17th instant, we got aboard our Ship, riding against the mouth of Greene's River, where our men are providing wood, and fitting the Ship for the Sea: In the interim, we took some view of the Land on both sides of the River there, finding some good Land, but more bad, and the best not corn parable to that above. Friday the 20th instant was foul weather, yet in the afternoon we weighed, and went down the River some two leagues, and came to Anchor against the mouth of Hilton's River, and took some view of the Land there on both sides, which appeared to us much like unto that at Greene's River.

Monday 23, we went with our Long-boat well victualled and manned up Hilton's River; and when we came three leagues or thereabouts up the said River, we found this and Greene's River to come into one, and so continued for four or five lcagues, which causeth a great Island betwixt them. We proceeded still up the River, till they parted again, keeping up Hilton's River on the Lar-board side, and followed the said River five or six leagues further, where we found another large branch of Green's River to come into Hilton's, which maketh another great Island. On the Starboard side going up, we proceeded still up the River some four leagues, and returned , taking a view of the Land on both sides, and now judge our selves to be from our ship some eighteen leagues W. and by W.

One league below this place came four Indians in a Canoa to us, and sold us several baskets of Akorns, which we satisfied for, and so left them; but one of them followed us on the shoar some two or three miles, till he came on the top of a high bank, facing on the River, we rowing underneath it, the said Indian shot an Arrow at us, which missed one of our men very narrowly, and stuck in the upper edge of the Boat, which broke in pieces, leaving the head behind. Hereupon we presently made for the shoar, and went all up the bank except four to guide the Boat; we searched for the Indian, but could not finde him: At last we heard some sing further in the Woods, which we thought had been as a Chalenge to us to come and fight them. We went towards them with all speed, but before we came in sight of them, we heard two Guns go off from our Boat, whereupon we retreated with all speed to secure our Boat and Men: when we came to them, we found all well, and demanded the reason of their firing the Guns: they told us that an Indian came creeping on the Bank as they thought to shoot at them, therefore shot at him a great distance with Swan-shot, but thought they did him no hurt, for they saw him run away.

Presently after our return to the Boat, while we were thus talking, came two Indians to us with their Bows and Arrows, crying Bonny, Bonny: we took their Bows and Arrows from them, and gave them Beads, to their content. Then we led them by the hand to the Boat, and shewed them the Arrow-head sticking in her side, and related to them the businesse; which when they understood, both of them manifested much sorrow, and made us understand by signes, that they knew nothing of it: so we let them go, and marked a Tree on the top of the bank, calling the place Mount-Skerry. We looked up the River as far as we could discern, and saw that it widened it self, and came running directly down the Countrey: So we returned, and viewed the Land on both sides the River, finding the banks steep in some places, but very high in others. The banks sides are generally Clay, and as some of our company doth afirm, some Marie.

The Land and Timber up this River is no way inferior to the leest in the other, which we call the main River: So far as we discovered, this seems as fair, if not fairer than the former, and we think runs further into the Countrey, because there is a strong Current comes down, and a great deal more drift-wood. But to return to the business of the Land and Timber: We saw several plats of Ground cleared by the Indians after their weak manner, compassed round with great Timber-Trees; which they are no ways able to fall, and so keep the Sun from their Cornfields very much; yet nevertheless we saw as large Corn-stalks or bigger, than we have seen any where else: So we proceeded down the River, till we found the Canoa the Indian was in who shot at us. In the morning we went on shoar, and cut the same in pieces: the Indians perceiving us coming towards them, run away. We went to his Hut, and pulled it down, brake his pots, platters, and spoons, tore his Deer-skins and mats in pieces, and took away a basket of Akorns:

So we proceeded down the River two leagues, or thereabouts and came to another place of Indians, bought Akorns and some Corn of them, and went downwards two leagues more: at last we espied an Indian peeping over a high bank: we held up a Gun at him; and calling to him, said, Skerry: presently several Indians appeared to us, making great signes of friendship, saying, Bonny, Bonny, and running before us, endeavoring to perswade us to come on shoar; but we answered them with stern countenances, and said, Skerry, taking up our guns, and threatening to shoot at them; but they cryed still Bonny, Bonny: And when they saw they could not prevail, nor perswade us to come on shoar, two of them came off to us in a Canoa, one paddling with a great Cane, the other with his hand; they came to us, and laid hold of our Boat, sweating and blowing, and told us it was Bonny on shoar, and at last perswaded us to go ashoar with them.

As soon as we landed, several Indians, to the number of forty lusty men, came to us, all in a great sweat, and us Bonny: we shewed them the Arrow-head in the Boat-side, and a piece of the Canoa which we had cut in pieces: the chief man of them made a large Speech, and threw Beads into our Boat, which is a signe of great love and friendship; and made us to understand, when he heard of the Affront which we had received, it caused him to cry: and now he and his men were come to make peace with us, making signes to us that they would tye his Arms, and cut off his head that had done us that abuse; and for a further testimony of their love and good will towards us, they presented to us two very handsome proper young Indian women, the tallest that we have seen in this Countrey; which we supposed to be the King's Daughters, or persons of some great account amongst them. These young women were ready to come into our Boat; one of them crouding in, was hardly perswaded to go out again. We presented to the King a Hatchet and several Beads, also Beads to the young women and to the chief men, and to the rest of the Indians, as far as our Beads would go: they promised us in four days to come on board our Ship, and so departed from us.

When we left the place, which was presently, we called it Mount-Bonny, because we had there concluded a firm Peace. Proceeding down the River two or three leagues further, we came to a place where were nine or ten Canoas all together; we went ashoar there, and found several Indians, but most of them were the same which had made Peace with us before: We made little stay there, but went directly down the River, and came to our Ship before day Thursday the 26th of November, the winde being at the south, we could not go down to the River's mouth: but on Friday the 27th, we weighed at the mouth of Hilton's River, and got down one league towards the Harbour's mouth. On Sunday the 29th we got down to Crane-Island, which is four leagues or there abouts above the Entrance of the Harbour's mouth.

Now on Tuesday the first of December, we made a purchase of the River and land of Cape-Fair, of Wattcoosa, and such other Indians as appeared to us to be the chief of those parts: they brought us store of Fresh-fish aboard, as Mullets, Shads, and other very good Fish: this River is all Fresh-water fit to drink. Some eight leagues within the mouth, the Tide runs up about thirty-five leagues, but stops and riseth a great deal farther up; it flowes at the Harbours mouth S.E. and N.W. six foot at Neap-Tides, and eight foot at Spring-Tides: the Chanel on the Easter-side by the Capeshoar is the best, and lyes close aboard the Cape-land, being three fathoms at High-water, in the shallowest place in the Chanel just at the Entrance; but as soon as you are past that place half a Cables length inward, you shall have six or seven fathoms, a fair turning Chanel into the River, and so continuing four or five leagues upwards; afterwards the Chanel is more difficult in some places six or seven fathoms, four or five, and in other places but nine or ten foot, especially where the River is broad. When the River comes to part, and grows narrow, there is all Chanel from side to side in most places; in some places you shall have five, six, or seven fathoms, but generally two or three, Sand and Oazet.

We viewed the Cape-land, and judged it to be little worth, the Woods of it shrubby and low, the Land sandy and barren; in some places Grass and Rushes, and in other places nothing but clear sand: a place fitter to starve Cattel in our judgement, then to keep them alive; yet the Indians, as we understand, keep the English Cattle down there, and suffer them not to go off the said Cape, as we suppose, because the Countrey-Indians shall have no part with them, and as we think, are fallen out about them, who shall have the greatest share. They brought aboard our Ship very good and fat Beef several times, which they could afford very reasonable; also fat and very large Swine, good cheap penny-worths:

Note: ..."The punctuation should apparently be, "all fresh water fit to drink, some eight leagues within the mouth. The tide runs up about thirty-five leagues, but, etc. The author is still speaking of the Cape Fear River."

...but they may thank their friends of New-England, who brought their Hogs to so fair a Market. Some of the Indians brought very good salt aboard us, and made signes, pointing to both sides of the Rivers mouth, that there was great store thereabouts. We saw up the River several good places for the setting up of Corn or Saw-mills. In that time as our businesse called us up and down the River and Branches, we kill'd of wild-fowl, four Swans, ten Geese, twenty nine Cranes, ten Turkies, forty Ducks and Mallard, three dozen of Parrakeeto's, and six or seven dozen of other small Fowls, as Curlues and Plovers, etc.

Whereas there was a Writing left in a Post at the Point of Cape Fair River, by those New-England-men that left Cattel with the Indians there, the Contents whereof tended not only to the disparagement of the Land about the said River, but also to the great discouragement of all those that should hereafter come into those parts to settle: In Answer to that scandalous writing, We whose names are under-written do affirm, That we have seen facing on both sides of the River, and branches of Cape-Fair aforesaid, as good Land, and as well Timbered, as any we have seen in any other part of the world, sufficient to accommodate thousands of our English Nation, lying commodiously by the said River.

On Friday the 4th of December, the winde being fair, we put out to Sea, bound for Barbados; and on the 6th day of January, 1663/4 we came to Anchor in Carlisle-Bay; and after several known apparent dangers both by Sea and Land, we now brought us all in safety to our long wish'd for and much desired Port, to render an Account of our Discovery, the verity of which we aver.

Anthony Long
William Hilton
Peter Fabian


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