Two relatively obscure captains, Arthur Barlow and Philip Amada, were sent by Sir Walter Raleigh to explore the New World. They sailed along the coast between Chesapeake Bay and Florida and claimed the whole area in the name of Queen Elizabeth I. When they returned to England in 1584 they reported to Raleigh that the land they had found was ideal for settlement. It had good soil, plenty of water and game in abundance. The Indians, too, were peaceful and friendly. Most of them were fishermen who sailed far out from the shore in canoes made from tree-trunks which thy hollowed out with burning brands. A skilful artist named John White had gone with the expedition and he showed Raleigh paintings of the green and pleasant country, and of the Indians who lived there. The queen also saw these paintings, as well as the two Indians who had been brought back to England. Raleigh was anxious to send a further expedition to colonize this new territory and Elizabeth suggested that it be called by that name which referred to her unmarried state – ‘the Virgin Queen’. And ‘Virginia’ it became.
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