On this day in 1584, the English exploration party led by Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe went ashore somewhere on the Outer Banks of present-day North Carolina, claiming the land “in the right of the Queens most excellent Majesty.”
Barlowe was impressed with what he saw:
This Island had many goodly woods, full of Deere, Conies, Hares, and Fowle, even in the middest of Summer, in incredible aboundance. The woodes are not such as you finde on Bohemia, Moscovia, or Hyrcania, barren and fruitlesse, but the highest, and reddest Cedars of the world, farre bettering the Cedars of the Açores, of the Indias, or of Lybanus, Pynes, Cypres, Sassaphras, the Lentisk, or the tree that beareth the Masticke, the tree that beareth the rinde of blacke Sinamon, of which Master Winter brought from the Streights of Magellane, and many other of excellent smell, and qualitie.
It should be noted, however, that he was being paid to be impressed. This, after all, was where Sir Walter Raleigh hoped to seat his Roanoke colony, and the queen needed to hear that it was chock full of “many goodly woods”—or, for that matter, woodly goods. Whatever brought in the money!
IMAGE: Nags Head Woods by Blair Tormey