Source 1b

Extracts from ‘A Description of the now discouered Riuer and Country of Virginia, with the liklyhood of ensuing ritches, by Englands ayd and industry’, 1607. Catalogue Ref: CO 1/1 f.53-7.


These extracts come from a document that was written in May-June 1607. They show how an English author viewed the land of Virginia and hoped for the successful growth of new crops for export. It also describes the practices and customs of the Native American tribes who were already living there when the English arrived. It is does not reflect the perspectives of the indigenous peoples of Virginia.


The Countrys Comodityes


The Comodityes [produce] of this Country, what they

Are in essence, is not much to be regarded, the

inhabitants having no concerne [concern] with any

nation, not respect of profit, neither as there

scarce that we call meum et tuum [mine and yours], among

them save only the kings know there owne

teritoryes, [territories] and the people their several gardens

yet this for the present by the consent of all

of seamen merrly [merely] our fishing for Sturgeon. [type of fish]





Tobacco after a yeare or two – 5000li a year.


« Return to Tobacco
  • What value is placed on the produce of this country by the writer?
  • Why do you think the writer has presented a particular view of the crops that are already growing there?
  • What do the English hope to grow in Virginia?
  • What attitude is inferred by the writer by the statement that the peoples of Virginia have ‘no respect of profit’?
  • What is the writer’s view on land ownership in Virginia?