Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Argall, Samuel

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ARGALL, Sir Samuel, English deputy governor of Virginia, b. in Bristol, England, in 1572; d. in 1639. He was one of the early adventurers to Virginia, his first public exploit being the abduction of Pocahontas. By the present of a copper kettle, Argall induced the Indian in charge of the girl to entice her on board his vessel, hoping to receive a large ransom from her father; but this Powhatan refused to give. When Sir Thomas Dale was governor of Virginia, in 1613, Argall with his sanction commanded an expedition that destroyed the French settlements of St. Croix and Port Royal in Nova Scotia, and that of St. Saviour on Mt. Desert island. As deputy governor of Virginia from 1617 to 1619 he distinguished himself by many acts of tyranny and rapacity, so that he was recalled to England in 1619. He had amassed a fortune by trading in violation of law, but was shielded from punishment by his partner, the earl of Warwick. He was hated by the colonists for his enactment of severe sumptuary laws, and for his arbitrary conduct in general. Argall took part in the expedition against the Algerines in 1620, was knighted in 1623, and in 1625 joined an expedition against the Spanish. Purchas gives an account of his voyage from Jamestown in 1610, and has also preserved his letter, written in 1618, about his voyage to Virginia. After the death of Lord Delaware, Capt. Argall took charge of his estate, and was accused by Lady Delaware, in letters still in existence, of the grossest peculation. See Beverley's “History of the Present State of Virginia” (London, 1705); Abiel Holmes's “Annals of America” (Cambridge, 1829); Marshall's “Life of Washington”; Bancroft's “History of the United States” (New York, 1884); and “Virginia Vetusta” (Albany, 1885).