5/13/1607, Jamestown founded in Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in North America. In 1608 a 2nd supply ship arrived carrying Thomas (11552). “The Second Supplie was a ship called the Mary Margett, which arrived here nine months after, about the time of Michaelmas, in her sixty persons, most gentlemen, few or no tradesmen, except some Polanders to make pitch, tarre, potashes, & etc., to be returned for perfect gaine, foe meanly likewise were there furnished forth for victualles, that in lesse than two monthes after their arrivall, want compelled us to imploye our time abroad in trading with the Indians for corne...”. (S) Colonial Records of Virginia, State Paper Office, V3, No.21-I.
1609-1610 all but 60 of the 500 settlers died in the “Starving Winter”. In 1611 a small settlement was made as far up the north bank of the James River opposite the mouth of the Appomattox River. In 1617 the Virginia Company, hoping to expand population and agricultural production in the colony, encouraged private or voluntary associations organized on a joint stock basis to establish settlements in the area of the Company's patent. The Society of Smith's Hundred (later called Southampton Hundred) was organized in 1617. A painting based on archealogical evidence is the oldest know settlement, the Martin Hundred, depicts what these “Hundred’s” looked like. In succeeding years, small enclaves were established on the south side of the lower James River, on the northern end of The Peninsula at the mouth of the York River (then known as Charles River), and across the Chesapeake Bay on the Eastern Shore. In March of 1622 there was an Indian massacre. On the day prior to the attack, the Indians came bringing gifts of meats and fruits and shared them with the settlers, thereby disguising their intentions. The following morning they circulated freely and socialized with the settlers before suddenly seizing their own work tools to attack them. The Indians killed families in the plantation houses and them moved on to kill servants and workers in the fields. The Powhatans killed 347 settlers. The settlers immediately withdrew to the fort and to other easily defensible locations. In addition to the loss of life, the colonists also lost valuable crops and supplies necessary to survive the winter.
During the winter of 1622-23 the colonists were forced to trade with the Indians for corn and supplies and even with these provisions many went hungry, over four hundred settlers died. News of the killings did not reach England until mid-June. The Virginia Company responded by sending more supplies and weapons. The colonists in Jamestown retaliated with treachery of their own and numerous attacks to avenge the losses. They used the massacre as an excuse to wreak havoc on Indians wherever they found them. They feigned peaceful relations, let the Indians plant their corn wherever they chose, and then, just before the crop was ready for harvest they attacked, killing as many as they could and burning their crops. English armies destroyed entire villages. Within a couple of years, they had avenged the 347 deaths many times over. By 1634, the population of the colony was slightly less than 5,000, almost all of whom, except those on the Eastern Shore, still lived within about a 30-mile radius of Jamestown.
In 1634, the colony was divided into eight "shires," or counties, to facilitate administration. These were: Henrico, Charles City, James City [all on the Peninsula], Elizabeth City, Warwick River, Charles River, Warrosquoake [on the south side of the mouth of the James River], Accomack [on the Eastern Shore]. Hungars Parish was made soon after the county was established, and the first minister was Rev. Francis Bolton, who was succeeded by Rev. William Cotton. The first vestry was appointed in 1635. The old Hungars Episcopal Church is located about seven miles north of Eastville, on the north side of Hungars Creek.
In 1637, Swedish, Dutch and German stockholders formed the New Sweden Company to trade for furs and tobacco in North America. Under the command of Peter Minuit, the company's first expedition sailed from Sweden late in 1637 in two ships, Kalmar Nyckel and Fogel Grip. Minuit had been the governor of the Dutch colony, New Netherland, centered on Manhattan Island, from 1626 to 1631. The ships reached Delaware Bay in March 1638, and the settlers began to build a fort at the site of present-day Wilmington, Delaware. They named it Fort Christina, in honor of Sweden's twelve-year-old queen. It was the first permanent European settlement in the Delaware Valley. During the next seventeen years, twelve more Swedish expeditions left the homeland for New Sweden. A total of eleven vessels and some 600 Swedes and Finns reached their destination. The colony eventually consisted of farms and small settlements along both banks of the Delaware River into modern Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland. New Sweden rose to its greatest heights during the governorship of Johan Printz (1643–1653). He extended settlement northward from Fort Christina along both sides of the Delaware River and improved the colony’s military and commercial prospects by building Fort Elfsborg, near present-day Salem on the New Jersey side of the river, to seal the Delaware against English and Dutch ships. Despite these steps, the Swedish and Finnish colonists lived peacefully with their Dutch and Lenni Lenape neighbors. In 1654, Printz was succeeded by the colony's last governor, Johan Rising, at a time when the Dutch capitol of New Amsterdam was ruled by the hot-tempered Peter Stuyvesant. Soon after arriving in New Sweden, Rising attempted to remove the Dutch from the colony by seizing Fort Casimir (present-day New Castle, Delaware), below Fort Christina on the western shore of the river. With no gunpowder, Fort Casimir surrendered without a shot and was re-named Fort Trinity. The furious Governor Stuyvesant had his revenge the following summer, when seven armed Dutch ships and 317 soldiers appeared on the Delaware River. Realizing that resistance would be useless, the vastly outnumbered Swedes surrendered Fort Trinity and Governor Rising surrendered Fort Christina two weeks later.
On many early maps Bayou La Batre was called River Derbanne. It seems that a Frenchman, Frncois Guyon Des Pres Derbanne [a business partner of Graveline350] was lost in the area and the waters were given his name. In the early French days a battery was located at the mouth of the bayou, therefore the bayou was later called River Batterie. In time the name evolved to Bayou Batterie – Bayou Labatree and then Bayou La Batre. Even though the site was only thirty miles south of Mobile, it was a wilderness. The land was covered with towering pines and giant oaks. Fruits and nuts were plentiful, as were wild animals. The waters of the numerous bayous meandered about the area, and the bay where they emptied provided an abundance of seafood.
In 1832 the missionary Father Chalon visited Bayou La Batre. He was forced to abandon his horse for a pirogue, a small boat, because the area is marshy and has many bayous. He stayed the first night in a cabin which had a bed with only some bits of straw. He wrote, “I shall never again disdain the straw; the following nights I missed it…. If you want to see Frenchmen whose costume and simplicity call to mind the manners of the 12th century, I would strongly advise you to take me as your guide and I will conduct you to Bayou-la-Battrai. If you want to hear French spoken as it was written by Joinville, [Jean de Joinville, 1224–1319, a chronicler of medieval France] come first to Mobile, and I will lead you to Bayou-1a-Battrai. In the midst of these good farmers I found myself transported to an era which antedates ours by at least four centuries. …. It is true that they are very poor. I must also add that they are profoundly ignorant; but far from commerce with the world, they had not contracted its vices; their poverty was the rampart which saved their faith. They possess nothing that could tempt the cupidity of men; and so they have been abandoned to themselves as if they lived in terrignota;” (S) “Bayou La Batre: A Sketch”, by Archbishop Oscar Hugh Lipscomb, The Alabama Review, January 1966, PP20-27.
On 1/31/1699 the explorers Pierre Le Moyne and Sieur D’Iberville dropped anchor off the southern tip of Alabama. France had laid claim to this vast territory comprising three quarters of what is now the United States, and named it Louisiana after their king. Due to the fact that the two French ships, Le Marin and La Renommee, drew so much water the explorers set out in longboats to follow the mainland in an east-west direction. Passing by what is now Bayou La Batre and Cedar Point, they found this island. Coming upon a large pile of bones (possibly sixty men or women), D’Iberville named the island “Massacre.” The island was described as being covered with pines and cedars and being seven leagues long and one-fourth league wide. A league is about three miles. By 1701, the natural harbor on the south side was in constant use. Sand Island and Pelican Island formed a crescent shaped harbor, large enough and deep enough to accommodate thirty vessels. It was here that the ships were unloaded and their cargo put on shallow draft vessels to go upstream. Mobile Bay was too shallow to permit the larger boats access. Mobile was called the birthplace of the colony and Dauphine Island the cradle. Although the name “Massacre” hung on for many years, the island was named officially Isle Dauphine, in 1707. In 1711 pirates from British Jamaica attacked the colony on Dauphin Island. There was a lot of destruction, but no lives were lost. A hurricane of extreme intensity hit the island in 1717. The entrance to the harbor was blocked and three ships trapped. Much of the livestock was drowned. The damage influenced the French to move the capital first to Pascagoula, then to New Orleans. A number of families moved from the island after the storm. Two more ships arrived in 1718 with five hundred passengers. War was declared with Spain in 1719. The French attacked Pensacola, and in return the Spanish attacked Dauphine. The French successfully opposed the attack. Dauphin Island was occupied by the French until 1764, by the British from 1764 until 1781, by the Spanish from 1781 until 1813, when under orders from President Madison, General Wilkerson took Mobile during the final battle of the War of 1812.