“Some may helpe with their purses, some with their persons”

As Dylan Ruediger’s new editions of the book show, Edward Waterhouse ended his narrative of the Virginia colony and the 1622 Powhatan assault by appealing to his fellow citizen’s “purses” or “persons.” He implored “euery good Patriot” to consider carefully “how deeply the presecution of this noble Enterprise concerneth” the king, the nation, the economy, and even “the propagation of Christian Religion” (despite the fact that he had just endorsed a violent colonial policy that left no room for any more missionary work). Any good patriot could help. Some could help with their “purses” and some with their “persons”; some by investing, in other words, and some by going personally to Virginia as settlers. Some could help with their “fauour” and “some with their counsell”; that is, some by approving the effort, and others by advising the company. You can find this passage and its complicated context by downloading the photo facsimile here, and searching in your PDF reader for “purses.”

 

 

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