Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Day 4 - Jamestown

October 2016 - Jamestown VA

We decided to do Jamestown today, the Settlement and the Historic area. We chose to buy the Triangle ticket, 5 sites 7 days for $90 each. This way we can see all we want and revisit if we miss something or take our time.

Created for the 350th anniversary celebration in 1957 as Jamestown Festival Park, today Jamestown Settlement includes a recreation of the James Fort ca. 1610 to 1614, and a Powhatan Indian Village, indoor and outdoor displays, and replicas of the original settler's ships, the Susan Constant, Godspeed, and the Discovery.

We started with the movie which was an excellent overview.

After the film we stepped outside to begin the tour.

The Powhatan (also spelled Powatan) are a Native American people in Virginia. It may also refer to the leader of those tribes, commonly referred to as Powtitianna. It is estimated that there were about 14,000–21,000 Powhatan people in eastern Virginia when the English settled Jamestown in 1607.They were also known as Virginia Algonquians, as they spoke an eastern-Algonquian language known as Powhatan or Virginia Algonquian.

In the late 16th and early 17th centuries, a mamanatowick (paramount chief) named Wahunsunacawh (a.k.a. Powhatan), created a powerful organization by affiliating 30 tributary peoples, whose territory was much of eastern Virginia. They called this area Tsenacommacah ("densely inhabited Land"). Wahunsunacawh came to be known by the English as "Powhatan". Each of the tribes within this organization had its own weroance (chief), but all paid tribute to Powhatan.

Next the ships.

Susan Constant, captained by Christopher Newport, was the largest of three ships of the English Virginia Company (the others being Discovery and Godspeed) on the 1606 - 1607 voyage that resulted in the founding of Jamestown in the new Colony of Virginia.

Godspeed, under Captain Bartholomew Gosnold, was one of the three ships (along with the Susan Constant and the Discovery) on the 1606-1607 voyage to the New World for the English Virginia Company of London. we'll hear more of Gosnold later today.

Discovery was the smallest of three ships that were led by Captain Christopher Newport on the voyage that resulted in the founding of Jamestown in the new Colony of Virginia in 1607. When Captain Newport returned to London, England, he left Discovery behind for the use of the colonists.

She took part in six expeditions in search of the Northwest Passage. During the 1610-1611 expedition in the Canadian arctic, the crew of Discovery mutinied, and set their captain Henry Hudson adrift in a small boat; he was not seen again, and the crew returned to England.

Inside the triangular wooden palisade of the re-created 1610-14 fort are wattle-and-daub structures topped with thatch roofs depicting dwellings, as well as an Anglican church, a court of guard, a storehouse, a cape merchant’s office and a governor’s house.

Fit for the highest ranking official in the Virginia colony, the grandest dwelling in Jamestown Settlement’s re-created 1610-14 fort is open to visitors. Based on archaeological and documentary research, the Jamestown Settlement building is furnished and interpreted as the colonial governor’s house.

The 66- by 18-foot, two-and-a-half-story building has a cobblestone foundation, walls of wattle and daub, wood plank floors, and a thatch roof. Entering through one of six doors, two on opposite sides that open into small “lobbies,” visitors can explore all four rooms on the first floor of the new building. The second story, not accessible for public viewing, is likely to have served in the original building as sleeping space for servants and for storage.

The first-floor hall, or main public room, has a table with a distinctive armchair at its head for the governor. The adjacent parlor, interpreted as a space where the governor may have entertained guests, features a smaller table and chairs, clothes press and cupboard.

 On opposite ends of the house are bedchambers – one for the governor, the other for members of his household, which might include his physician and secretary. Two chimneys with back-to-back fireplaces provide a hearth in each of the four rooms.

After a quick lunch we headed to Historic Jamestowne.

Historic Jamestowne is the cultural heritage site that was the location of the 1607 James Fort and the later 17th century city of Jamestown.

Jamestown, first established on May 13, 1607, was the site of the first permanent English settlement in North America. Jamestown was the capital of the Virginia Colony, and saw Bacon's Rebellion in 1676, when the statehouse was burned. After a second burning in 1698, the capital was relocated to higher ground at Middle Plantation in 1699, which was then renamed Williamsburg.

The world of Pocahontas changed dramatically during her lifetime. At her birth, her father, Wahunsenacawh, had expanded his political leadership across 8,000 square miles from the banks of the James River north to the Potomac River, covering more than 30 communities that included nearly 15,000 people. The English who came to Jamestown Island in 1607 resisted his wish that they become another subject community. Pocahontas was directly involved in the relationship between the English and the Powhatan Indians that whipsawed between friendly trade of food and open warfare and kidnapping. She herself was kidnapped from a village on the Potomac River and held in captivity for a year before she announced to Chief Powhatan her conversion to Christianity and her desire to marry English tobacco grower John Rolfe.

She chose to take an English name, “Rebecca,” that means “mother of two peoples,” and they married in the large church inside James Fort on April 5, 1614. They had a son. They traveled to England to promote the colony to investors, and Rebecca was celebrated in the highest London society. But as the Rolfes began their return to Virginia, she took ill and died in Gravesend, England. The Powhatan Indian confederacy rapidly declined after her uncle’s attack in 1622 failed to stop English colonization.

During his two years in America, Smith was principally responsible for the survival of England’s first permanent colony in the New World. His bold leadership, military experience, and determination brought a measure of discipline to the dissolute colonists; his negotiations with the Indians prevented starvation; and his dispersal of the colony from unhealthy Jamestown lowered mortality. After his return to England, his promotional writings contributed significantly to English efforts for an American empire.

Officially named the Nathalie P. and Alan M. Voorhees Archaearium, the Voorhees Archaearium is a museum with excavated artifacts and exhibits about Jamestowne. The building is located over the excavated remains of the last Statehouse in Jamestown, which visitors can see.

Once we completed the museum we drove the loop around the island and made a stop at the glassblowing house before heading back. I'll cover these elsewhere.
We walked 4 miles today.