Founding a Colony
What was perhaps most telling was that Sir William Alexander understood that there was scant desire among his countrymen to abandon their native lands for the wilds of an unknown New World. As he wrote: “The sending forth of Colonies (seeming a novelty) is esteemed now to be a strange thing, as not only being above the courage of common men, but altogether alienated from their knowledge, which is no wonder” (Alexander, Encouragement to Colonies, 1). In actuality Alexander’s grant overlapped with that of Gorges, and the latter had to approve the new delineation for New Scotland. This insight suggests that he had developed a reasonably clear sense of the challenges facing a would-be colonial planter within a few years of receiving his charter. He knew, or learned very quickly, that if he was going to found a colony, it would be a long- term enterprise.