Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Potomac River of 1634

The Potomac River

In early spring of 1634, when Father Andrew WHITE and the English colonists on the Ark and Dove sailed into the Potomac River, they were enthralled with the beauty of the “great stream” and its wooded shores. They named it Saint Gregory, in honor of the canonized Pope of that name. "Never have I beheld a larger or more beautiful river," wrote Father WHITE. "The Thames seems a mere rivulet in comparison with it; it is not disfigured by any swamps, but has firm land on each side. Fine groves of trees appear, not choked with briers or bushes or undergrowth, but growing at intervals as if planted by the hand of man, so that you can drive a four-horse carriage, wherever you choose, through the midst of the trees. Just at the mouth of the river we saw the natives in arms. That night fires blazed throughout the whole country, and since they had never seen so large a ship, messengers were sent in all directions, who reported that a canoe, like an island, had come with as many men as there were trees in the woods."

The image, Potomac River, was originally uploaded to the Internet by Edna Barney. It was posted here by Neddy of flickr.