AMERICA ó 400 YEARS OLD IN 2007
Big Anniversary in April! For Godís children, this is an important event; it regards who you are and Godís purpose for your lives. April 29th, 2007, will be 400 years since the first settlement on the North American continent by Christís sheep, the Israelites. Thatís the white European race, the twelve tribes of Israel, for those who donít know.
400 YEARS! Our ancestor Israelites were in Egypt for 400 years. At first they prospered in that country which is the Bible symbol for World, but then oppressors began to exploit them. Our presence in America has followed the same pattern. Our ancestors left Egypt/World to go to their Promised Land, just as we, in this end time period, anxiously await our liberation and our entry into our Promised Land, Heaven.
If you review the history of Americaís first settlements, it becomes pretty obvious that God was guiding the program and that America is the final land for His Israelites before the World civilization ends and Heaven begins.
April 29, 1607 was the first successful settlement in America. In 1492 Christopher Columbus had sailed to the Caribbean islands, but not to the American continent. However, he is justly credited with making the new world available. Then, in 1585 there was an attempted settlement on Roanoke Island, off North Carolina, but the entire village disappeared and the mystery of that event has never been solved. The settling of America involves four separate ventures:
1492 at Caribbean Islands by Captain Christopher Columbus
He was seeking Cathay/China; ship was the SANTA MARIA, a 75 ft. carrack of 150 tons with 50 men, along with two caravels the Nina & Pinta, about 70 ft each.
1607 at Jamestown, Virginia by Captain Christopher Newton
Jamestown,Virginia (40 mi. up James River), Passengers were gold-seekers]; ship was 100 ton SUSAN CONSTANT (called Sarah Constant by Willison) a Colonial Merchantman ship built in 1605 (w/71 persons), accompanied by the 40 ton Godspeed w/Captain Gosnold (52 persons), and the 20 ton Discovery, a pinnace w/ Captain Radcliffe (21 persons).
1620 at Plymouth, Mass. by Captain Christopher Jones
Plymouth is south of Boston. Passengers:Pilgrims; ship:MAYFLOWER, 350 ton Merchant Ship,90 ft. length (102 persons).
1630 at Salem, Mass. by Captain Peter Milbourne
Salem, Massachusetts is north of Boston. Passengers were Puritans; flagship was the 350 ton ARBELLA (formerly the Eagle), along with ten ships accompanying: the Talbot, the Mayflower (not the same ship as 1620), the Whale, the Ambrose, the Jewel, the William & Francis, the Success, the Hopewell, the Trial, and the Charles. Master of the Arbella was Captain Peter Milbourne of Yarmouth Castle, a resident of London.
The name "Christopher" is derived from the Greek kristos, which means anointed one, and the Greek word pherein, which means to bear or carry, (root word for ferry). The name means Christ-bearer.
To review these historical events is to be struck by some very clear lessons for us today. In hindsight, we can see the hand of God working powerfully to get this nation off to the right start. The Columbus expeditions were not dissimilar to the subsequent expeditions from Spain, of Conquistadors who looted Central America of its gold and made Spain rich. It wouldnít be that kind of people whom God wanted in His land. The 1607 Jamestown settlement was men only, and even though the great Christian, Rev. Robert Hunt, planted a cross on the beach, claiming this land for Christ, the rest of the men were gold-seekers and they failed terribly. Some of the 1620 Plymouth Pilgrims from the Mayflower were devout Christians, but as a settlement they neglected to focus primarily on Godís will and they suffered terribly and nearly did not survive. It was the 1630 group of Puritans who settled at Salem which succeeded wonderfully and prospered and flourished, and whose prayers were answered, because they kept their focus on their Lord, the true Head of their mission.
Today, we can read the accounts of these settlers and feel humbled to compare our soft lives to their hardships. We take for granted the World which we enjoy, and we have turned our focus from our Lord to the enjoyment of its comforts, wealth, security, and sense-gratifications which are rewards from the Worldís lord, Jesusí counterpart. Today we donít want to hear Jesus warning us that we must die to this World if we would follow Him. Rather, we flock to prosperity preachers who tell us that God loves us and wants us to have all the Worldly pleasures and wealth. Sadly, God is no longer forcing us to get-it-right, but has stepped back to permit us our worship of this Worldís lord. We have become weak, apostate, and rebellious against our God. It would benefit each of us to read the accounts of the first settlers, and to see how powerfully God guides and loves His own who are devoted to doing His will.
For some good reading pleasure at this important Anniversary, I would suggest these books, which are the source material for this article: The Light and the Glory, by Peter Marshall and David Manuel, and also Saints and Strangers, 1945, by George F. Willison, and Behold Virginia, 1952, by George F. Willison. Also, Age of Exploration, by Time-Life Books, 1967. Photos of ships are from various internet displays, some of which sell models or kits. Unless otherwise noted, any quotations are from Peter Marshall's book.
Oct. 12, 1492 CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS:
Picture of a model of the Santa Maria.
TRIP ONE left Saltes, Spain August 3, 1492 on the Santa Maria, a small carrack of 150 tons, 75ft., w/50 men, along with 2 caravels, the Nina and the Pinta (about 70ft ea). Landed Oct 12, 1492 on Watling Island, Bahamas. Oct 27th Cuba. The Santa Maria went aground on Christmas day 1492 at Cap Haitien, Hispaniola - its timbers used to build a fort for 40 men. He returned to Lisbon March 4, 1493.
TRIP TWO Sept 1493 - Spring 1496 Caribbean Islands. Discovered that the first settlement on Hispaniola was destroyed, every man massacred. He established another settlement.
TRIP THREE 1498 - 1500 Trinidad, Orinoco River, and South America mainland.
TRIP FOUR 1502 - 1504 Honduras, Central America, and South side of Gulf of Mexico, but not North America.
1497 JOHN CABOT for Englandís Henry VII, in the bark Matthew to Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. He was the Renaissance discoverer of North America, but thought he had found the outskirts of Cathay. His was Exploration, but no settlement.
1523 GIOVANNI daVERRAZANO for King Francis I of France, looking for Cathay. Landed in North Carolina. He described coast from Georgia to Maine. Exploration, but no settlement.
1534 JACQUESCARTIER for France; Gulf of St. Lawrence. On 1535 trip, went up St. Lawrence River 1,000 miles; wintered near Quebec. Made last trip in 1541. Exploration, but no settlement.
1585 JOHN WHITE Roanoke Island. Small fleet of ships dispatched from England by Sir Walter Raleigh. John White was an artist who painted things of new world, his work, when published would create great interest among Europeans. The settlement on Roanoke, the "City of Raleigh," was desperate with supplies diminishing. They also suffered attacks by Indians. Gov. John White sailed back to England for emergency relief, leaving daughter & granddaughter "Virginia" Dare behind. Two years later, he returned to find no one on the island & no trace. That mystery was never solved.
April 29, 1607 JAMESTOWN, VIRGINIA
Picture of an actual replica of the Susan Constant
Rev. ROBERT HUNT planted a Cross at Virginia Beach and dedicated the new world to Jesus Christ, and called for three days of prayer before going further. Even King James I (who sponsored the 1611 KJV Bible) promoted this exploration for the sake of propagating the Christian religion, although just superficially and superstitiously because they feared another Roanoke disaster. 144 men were aboard the three ships, including one of the two partners of the Virginia Company, Edward-Maria Wingfield. No women or families on board. Their real interest was only in obtaining riches. The Captain of the Susan Constant was CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT, one of Sir Walter Raleigh's men who had been a successful privateer (pirate for the English), accompanied by the Godspeed and the Discovery. They left London December 20, 1606, and returned due to terrible weather. After weeks at anchor, tossing in winter storms, the crossing took six weeks of stormy seas; then up thru the West Indies and into Chesapeake Bay.
April 29, 1607; the Susan Constant fleet of three ships touched America's shore at the location now called Virginia Beach, planted a cross, and claimed the new land for Jesus Christ and for England. It had been exactly 100 years prior, in 1507, that a mapmaker named Martin Waldseemuller, made a world map which included the new southern continent (South America) and gave it the name, "America," after an explorer who had mightily impressed him, namely the Florentine geographer, Amerigo Vespucci. Vespucci announced that the lands across the ocean comprised a new continent which "it is proper to call a new world." That phrase so impressed the German publisher, Waldseemuller that he named the continent "America," unwittingly doing a great injustice to Columbus, but perhaps doing a service of God.
May 14, 1607; five months since departure, they finally disembarked at the marshy Jamestown island site forty miles up the James River from Chesapeake Bay. The seven man council for this Virginia Company settlement was: Captain Newport, Edward-Maria Wingfield, Bartholomew Gosnold, John Smith, John Ratcliffe, John Martin, George Kendall.
Gosnold died of fever that summer. Newport left after a week with the ship. Kendall was shot by firing squad for stealing. Wingfield was arrested and held for trial back in England. John Smith was raiding Indian supplies, got caught, had a trial before Chief Powhatan; used a compass to wow the chief, impressed him with verbage, was permitted to live. Later, Smith wrote that Powhatanís daughter, Pocahontas, saved his life. In February, Martin and Ratcliffe were casting off in the pinnace to sail back to England when Smith stopped them by force, getting himself sentenced to death for treason. Newport arrived with the ship just in time to save Smith and to release Wingfield. Of the original 144 men, only 38 survived.
With more ships their numbers grew, but not their Christian devotion. In April 1609, they discovered their 279 bushels of stolen corn were rotted and half-consumed by thousands of rats. They suddenly had no food! All abandoned the site; some went to Chief Powhatan and worked with the Indians. Others tried to fish. Some settled for stealing from each other and trading the items to the Indians. More than half of them died, including the Reverend Robert Hunt, the one truly good Christian, leaving about eighty haggard survivors.
Summer 1607; The John & Francis arrived, with the Phoenix, carrying 100 men, but no extra provisions.
Jan 8, 1608; Captain Newport arrived at Jamestown on the John & Francis with 70 men, along with consort, the Phoenix with 40 men, under Captain Nelson. Newport left in April 1608.
Sept 1608; the Mary Margaret arrived at Jamestown with 70 persons, including a wife, Mrs. Forrest, and 13 yr old maid, Anne Burroughs. Between disease, starvation, brackish water, fetid swamps around them, and cold winters, the death rate during the second year there was nine out of ten.
Fall 1609; the Virginia Company in England replaced the Council with a single Governor, Thomas Gates, and a new charter from the King. Nine ships left England, the flagship being Sea Venture, carrying a total of about 500 passengers, including about 50 women and children, 6 mares and 2 horses. Other ships were Blessing, Lion, Falcon, Unity, Diamond, and Sparrow. The Virginia had already turned back to England because it was leaking badly. A hurricane in the Bermuda Triangle scattered the fleet, a ketch with 20 on it foundered and was lost; the Sea Venture shipwrecked and all aboard it spent the next 9 months on Bermuda while the other ships took 400 sick and starving passengers to Jamestown. The winter of 1609 and spring of 1610 are called The Starving Time, when most of the people perished. They ate their horses, dogs, cats, rats, mice, snakes, leather harnesses, shoes, and even made stew from the fresher corpses. The ships which had arrived that fall carried many people but no provisions because in England they were hearing false reports of the endless bounty of the new land. The Adventurers of The Virginia Company, who financed these trips, were expecting wealth of that bounty instead of demands for more investment. Their lust for wealth was so undeterred that for twenty years they never did learn from their disastrous mistakes.
May 1610; deliverance came from the Bermuda shipwreck of Sea Venture, as the men had used the wreckage to build two ships, the Deliverance, and the Patience. Bermuda had been lush with provisions, but they carried little because they expected to find abundance at Jamestown. Instead, they found only sixty starved survivors of the 480 from the previous August. In June they abandoned Jamestown, boarded their two pinnaces, and floated down the James River to sail north toward Newfoundland and back to England. While still on the river, the next ships arrived.
June 1610; Three ships arrived with Lord De La Warr to be the new Governor, and 150 men. He commanded all those who were fleeing Jamestown to return to it. After a year, De La Warr tired of the sport and returned to England along with 55 of his English Gentlemen (dandies).
May 1611; three ships arrived with Sir Thomas Dale a Netherlands War Captain on the Star, with 250 persons, 12 cows, 20 goats, dogs, and chickens. Dale enforced extreme discipline under martial law. The death penalty was enforced for even minor infractions. Gradually, some order was established, but at terrible expense. Then Dale kidnapped Pocahontas, asking corn for ransom, resulting in a meeting with Powhatan. During the meeting Dale was given a letter from John Rolfe, asking permission to marry Pocahontas. War was averted, and a wedding was held, with Powhatan supplying the food. Pocahontas was given a Christian name, Rebecca, later going to England where she died from pneumonia. Rolfe then returned to Virginia to raise the first cash crop, tobacco. Virginia was ultimately saved by the addictive weed, tobacco.
Fall 1611; Sir Thomas Gates arrived with 280 men, 20 women, and cattle, hogs, arms, ammo, and provisions for a few weeks. Gates organized work parties, built towns, garrisons, etc.
1612; John Smith, back in England, wrote Description of Virginia, which spilled the beans on the debacle at Jamestown.
1613; Only 300 people still survived at Jamestown of the 1,550 who had come there. Some had returned to England, but at least 800 of them had died. By 1614 the financial backers for the Virginia Company had spent £46,000, which Willison estimates to be equivalent to $2,300,000 of the 1940 dollars, which would be nearly twenty million dollars today.
Additional ships would continue to arrive, bringing weakened and sick settlers and very little supplies, thus burdening the tiny group even more. In 1620, only 200 still survived at Jamestown, even though another 1,200 had come the previous year. In March 1621 there were 843 settlers in Virginia. Then, in April 1621 the Indians killed about one-third of them.
What happened at Jamestown was a horror. The settlement was promoted as a venture for Christ, but in practice it was as base and materialistic as any could be. They seem to have been blinded by God into an incomprehensible stupidity. The puzzle which is so difficult for us to fathom is why those settlers never realized that God had removed His blessing from their venture. They could have repented and prospered.
NOV 11, 1620 PLYMOUTH, MASSACHUSETTSIN CAPE COD BAY:
Picture is of a model of the Mayflower
THE MAYFLOWER, under Captain CHRISTOPHER JONES, carried 102 Pilgrims for a sixty-six day crossing. (word: pilgrim from Italian = wanderer, stranger) Many of them were Separatists (aka Brownists) who had left Scrooby, England in 1607 for Amsterdam, and then Leyden, Holland, until 1620 when they were some of the 102 passengers on the 180 ton Mayflower. The majority of passengers were of the Church of England, but all were quite devout Christians. From Leyden there were 16 men, 11 women, and 14 children. Some of these were: William and Mary Brewster with two sons, Love and Wrastle, William and Dorothy Bradford, John and Katherine Carver, Edward and Elizabeth Winslow, Dr. Samuel Fuller, Miles and Rose Standish.
The separatists were intensely devoted to Christ and to performing Godís will. They believed that God "was calling them to a new Jerusalem, to build His temple anew ó with themselves as its stones." and "Now as the people of God in old time were called out of Babylon civil, the place of their bodily bondage, and were to come to Jerusalem, and there to build the Lordís temple, or tabernacle . . . so are the people of God now to go out of Babylon spiritual to Jerusalem . . . and to build themselves as lively stones into a spiritual house, or temple, for the Lord to dwell in. . . ."
August 5, 1620 they set sail from Southampton. Three days out, the Speedwell was leaking badly. They turned back to Dartmouth for re-caulking. One week later, set sail, but leaking badly, they retreated to Plymouth, England where they found no open seams. The Speedwell was abandoned there, leaving about 20 people who willingly dropped out. Then, the Mayflower trip across the ocean was "seven weeks of hell in an ill-lighted, rolling pitching, stinking inferno."
Nov 9, 1620; "Land Ho" - Cape Cod sighted. Because of a looming mutiny problem, they drafted The Mayflower Compact, a significant historical document. In late December they finally settled on the mainland at the site they named Plymouth. It was a terrible winter; many died. They built a common house on land for storage, but it caught fire Jan 14, 1621. In February there were seventeen deaths; in March thirteen. When worst was over, they had lost 47. They built huts of mud daub and wattle; they knew nothing of building cabins with logs.
April 21, 1621 Captain Jones departed with the Mayflower for England.
Samoset was the name of an Indian who came to them speaking good English which he learned from sea captains and fishing captains in Maine. Then Squanto, a local Patuxet Indian, came to them, having been in England and well acquainted with the English. Squanto taught the pilgrims how to fish and plant corn and other necessary skills.
November 1621; The first ship from home arrived at Plymouth, the Fortune, carrying 35 more colonists but no food or equipment. This winter would be their "starving winter." Rations got down to five kernels of corn per day for a person. Not one died of starvation. The summer of 1622 saw a good first crop of corn and then a drought which promised disaster. They proclaimed a day for repentance and renewal and prayer. A gentle rain resulted for fourteen days. They reaped a surplus of corn. They finally got it right!
JUNE 8, 1630 SALEM, MASSACHUSETTS
1628 ó 1644 were the years of The Great Migration to the new world, a sixteen year period in which more than twenty thousand Puritans migrated to New England and forty-five thousand other Englishmen headed for Virginia, the West Indies, and points south. While the first Pilgrims at Jamestown had been Separatists (Brownists), these new Puritans were opposed to separation from their church, hoping to reform the Church of England from within. After Charles I became King in 1625 the Puritans in England were singled out for persecution and it became clear to them that the church could not be changed from within. Since they were not revolutionaries who wished to challenge the church, they finally decided to migrate to America where they could still be loyal to the Crown and to the Church, but free to live in obedience to God.
The Puritan movement was to become the huge migration of Christians to the new world. It was an exodus and the Moses for this large family was a man named John Winthrop. A company of principals met at Cambridge on August 26, 1629. Three days later, the decision to migrate more than a thousand Puritans was approved and John Winthrop was elected Governor. Chartered by the Massachusetts Bay Company, he arranged the ships and all the details, and was himself aboard the Arbella, when they left England from Cowes near the Isle of Wight on March 30, 1630. Four of the eleven ships were the Arbella, the Talbot, the Ambrose, and the Mayflower. At their departure, all listened to a sermon by a young Puritan minister named John Cotton. He preached on 2 Samuel 7:10 (KJV) "Moreover, I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime." Cotton concluded his sermon with: "What He hath planted, He will maintain. Every plantation His right hand hath not planted shall be rooted up, but His own plantation shall prosper and flourish. When He promiseth peace and safety, what enemies shall be able to make the promise of God of none effect? Neglect not walls and bulwarks and fortifications for your own defense, but ever let the name of the Lord be your strong tower, and the word of His promise, the rock of your refuge. His word that made heaven and earth will not fail, till heaven and earth be no more."
Standing at the rail of the Arbella, John Winthrop got his first sight of coast of Maine with its tall conifer covered hills. It was so much grander than he had expected. The voyage had been peaceful and enjoyable, somewhat different than so many before it. Carrying a yearís food supply, they were content to let some time pass before settling. Godís watchful providence seemed very real to these Puritans who made Godís will the very foremost criterion for their lives. In fact, of the 198 vessels to set sail for New England in the first half of the seventeenth century, only one was lost. On June 12, 1630 they arrived at the pitiful little collection of huts called Salem , the first town of the Massachusetts Bay Company. John Winthrop replaced John Endecott the previous Governor, and instituted a new program of Christian endeavor. He wrote a sermon titled A Model of Christian Charity, addressing the very heart of the problem. He said, "This love among Christians is a real thing, not imaginary . . . as absolutely necessary to the well being of the Body of Christ as the sinews and other ligaments of a natural body are to the well being of that body . . . . We are a company, professing ourselves fellow members of Christ, and thus we ought to account ourselves knit together by this bond of love . . . . Thus stands the cause between God and us: we are entered into covenant with Him for this work. We have taken out a Commission; the Lord hath given us leave to draw our own articles . . . . If the Lord shall please to hear us, and bring us in peace to the place we desire, then hath He ratified this Covenant and sealed our Commission, and will expect a strict performance of the Articles contained in it. But if we shall neglect the observance of these Articles . . . the Lord will surely break out in wrath against us."
John Winthrop so powerfully promoted the identity of the people as the Body of Christ that both the Separatists and the Puritans joined together to produce what became the Congregational Church.
Thus did our Almighty Father bring His children to a land which had been promised, and thus did they flourish to the extent that they kept their Lord in focus. They heard their God saying in Psalm 50, "Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice."
The full story of the work of John Winthrop reveals him as a man worthy of a National Holiday, second only to George Washington as a founder of our nation. Sadly, American Christians know neither him nor his work as our enemies have nearly erased his memory from our history, and have twisted the real truth about Puritans into something we'd rather forget.
But, I compiled this little article in order to remind us all of who we really are, and of our God's providence, and of the Captain of our lives, Jesus Christ. We are now at the end of our 400 year period of settlement in this land; soon we will be liberated from the World's oppression, to be led into the Kingdom of Heaven by our Captain, our true Christopher.
by Roger Hathaway, February, 2007
ADDENDUM: (June 30, 2007) Our Old Testament states two different numbers of years for the Egyptian sojourn of Israel. In Genesis 15:13, God says they will be there in a land not their own for 400 years. In Exodus 12:41, it is stated that they were in Canaan and Egypt for 430 years. Now, one more figure: it was 490 years from the time of Jacob's birth until Moses' Exodus from Egypt. That 490 year number was later used in Daniel 9, in the vision which is called the "Seventy Weeks" prophecy. While the 70 Weeks prophecy has always been interpreted as the 490 years prior to Jesus' death, I think the Daniel prophecy fits our end time scenario even more accurately, something which I might write about in another article.
Anyway, regarding the above three numbers, 400 & 430 & 490, they all seem relevant to this year of 2007.
(1) April 29, 1607 until 2007 is 400 years: since Rev. Robert Hunt planted a flag on Virginia Beach and claimed this continent for Jesus Christ.
(2) It was in 1577, 430 years ago, that Sir Francis Drake landed his ship, the Golden Hind, on a beach north of San Francisco, and claimed this continent for Jesus Christ.
(3) October 31, 1517 was 490 years ago that Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses on the door of the church at Wittenburg, an act which established the Protestant revolution and liberated the white race Europeans from the Roman Catholic Tyranny. This was a significant turning point in our history which signalled the beginning of the fourth quarter of our age of Pisces which was inaugurated by Jesus birth.
2007 might be a really important year!
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