Colonial WilliamsburgTeacher Institute2011by Donna Morais
James Town Settlement, Historic Jamestown & The Powhatan Indian Village
We begin our journey in Jamestown in the year 1607. The Discovery, the Godspeed and the Susan Constant are sent to Virginia with a charter from the King to the Virginia Company of London to find gold, silver and jewels, and to find a new passage to the Orient. They arrive April 26, 1607. The ships make their way to the site of James Fort on May 13. Captain John Smith and the others establish the FIRST PERMANENT ENGLISH SETTLEMENT in what will become the United States of America.
The Three Sisters Corn, Beans and Squash The three crops benefit from each other. The maize provides a structure for the beans to climb, eliminating the need for poles. The beans provide the nitrogen to the soil that the other plants utilize and the squash spreads along the ground, blocking the sunlight, which helps prevent weeds.
Dr. William Kelso One of America's foremost historical archaeologists in Early American history
The excavation of James Fort began in 1994, and by 1996, Kelso and a small staff of archaeologists had enough evidence to announce that they had discovered the remains of James Fort, dispelling the long-held belief that the fort was lost to the James River.
Burial of a European man, estimated age mid thirties, interred with a Captain’s leading staff. This is likely the grave of Capt. Bartholomew Grosnold, captain of the Godspeed.
Captain John Smith In 1606 Smith became involved with plans to colonize Virginia for profit by the Virginia Company of London, which had been granted a charter from King James I of England. The expedition set sail in three small ships, the Discovery, the Susan Constant and the Godspeed, on December 20, 1606. His page was a 12-year-old boy named Samuel Collier. John Smith was apparently a troublemaker on the voyage, and Cap. Christopher Newport (in charge of the three ships) had planned to execute him upon arrival in Virginia. However, upon first landing at what is now Cape Henry on April 26, 1607, sealed orders from the Virginia Company were opened. They designated Smith to be one of the leaders of the new colony, forcing Newport to spare him.
The Powhatan Indians At the time English colonists arrived in the spring of 1607, coastal Virginia was inhabited by the Powhatan Indians, an Algonquian-speaking people. The Powhatans were comprised of 30-some tribal groups, with a total population of about 14,000, under the control of Wahunsonacock, sometimes called “Powhatan.” The Powhatans lived in villages with houses built of sapling frames covered by reed mats or bark. Villages within the same area belonged to one tribe. Each tribe had its own “werowance” or chief, who was subject to Wahunsonacock. Although the chiefs were usually men, they inherited their positions of power through the female side of the family. In a ranked society of rulers, great warriors, priests and commoners, status was determined by achievement, often in warfare, and by the inheritance of luxury goods like copper, shell beads and furs. Those of higher status had larger homes, more wives and elaborate dress. The Powhatans worshipped a hierarchy of gods and spirits. They offered gifts to Oke to prevent him from sending them harm. Ahone was the creator and giver of good things.