Thomas Hariot's report on Virginia

Essay by CrazycroneHigh School, 11th grade November 2004

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Thomas Hariot was said to have been born in Oxford. He was a mathematician who studied at St. Mary's Hall. After Hariot had achieved his degree he ventured to London. There he was employed by Sir Walter Ralegh to go on the expedition to Virginia. Sir Walter Ralegh had been interested in colonizing America as early as 1560. This trip, which he organized, was meant to get an accurate map of Virginia as well as document it. The expedition lasted 12 months through the years 1585-86. Once returning to London, Thomas Hariot wrote about what he found in "A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia".

Hariot's report consisted of many various things he found in Virginia. Some things that Hariot describes consist of: cedar, wine, dear skins, iron, copper, Pearl, sugar cane, and oade. All of these things Hariot describe as being useful and it is implied that it is plentiful.

Hariot lists all the positive aspects of Virginia. "Oade. A thing of so great vent and vse amongst English Diers, which cannot bee yeelded sufficiently in our owne countrey for spare of ground; may bee planted in Virginia, there being ground enough. The grouth therof need not to be doubted when as in the Ilandes of the Asores it groweth plentifully, which is in the same climate. So likewise of Madder."

Hariot continues to describe different herbs, plants, and foods in the second part of his account. He states that there are many herbs which grow natively to Virginia have a pleasant taste. He also states that there is plenty of food to be found. In reference to the crops of Virginia, he says, "The ground being thus set according to the rate by vs experimented, an English Acre conteining fourtie pearches...