On the other side of High Street stands St. John's Episcopal Church, the lot for which was given in 1796 by the Deakins' family. Reverend Walter Addison of Prince Georges County, Maryland, had visited George Town in 1794 and 1795 and held occasional services, so a movement was started to build a church. Among the subscribers were Thomas Jefferson and Dr. Balch.
Oldest known image of Columbus
An Indian Pipe
Joseph Hodges Choate
Making lime from oyster shells in a kiln, about 1625. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)
Blowing glass at Jamestown in 1608. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)
Making “trialls” Of iron. Evidences of an earth oven or small furnace were discovered at Jamestown during archeological explorations. Small amounts of iron may have been smelted in the furnace during the early years of the settlement. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)
The Jamestown cooper was a busy craftsman. Many barrels, hogsheads, and casks were needed in the colony, and large quantities of barrel staves were made for shipping to England. (Painting by Sidney E. King.)
For everyday use the Jamestown settlers wore hardwearing clothes made of homespun cloth. (conjectural sketch by Sidney e. King.)
“Harvesting” Ice, about 1650. Archeological excavations revealed that icehouses were built on the historic island over 300 years ago. (painting by Sidney e. King
Drawing of Jamestown
A family enjoying a meal, about 1650. Many of the eating and drinking vessels portrayed, together with much of the tableware, are types which have been excavated. (conjectural sketch by Sidney e. King.)
Interior of Jamestown house
The interior of a small Jamestown house, about 1650. Although the painting is conjectural, many items shown - pottery, glassware, fireplace tools and kitchen accessories were unearthed on this historic island.
Firing a demiculverine from a bastion at “James Fort.” (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)
Enjoying a smoke in a tavern, about 1625. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)
The first colonists were quite familiar with the use of tobacco, and it is believed that many of them smoked clay pipes. Evidently there was some demand for tobacco pipes by the early planters as one of the men, Robert Cotten, who reached Jamestown in January 1608, was a tobacco pipemaker.
In 1611-12 John Rolfe had experimented with tobacco plants in Virginia (he used Virginia plants as well as varieties from the West Indies and South America), and was successful in developing a sweet-scented leaf. It became popular overnight, and for many years was the staple crop of the infant colony. There was a prompt demand for the new leaf in England, and its introduction there was an important factor in popularizing the use of clay pipes. After 1620 the manufacture of white clay pipes in England increased by leaps and bounds.
Cultivating a small garden in Virginia.
(Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)
Building a wharf, about 1650. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)
Piers and Wharfs.—In order to accommodate such large sailing vessels, piers and wharfs had to be built at Jamestown. A 1,300-pound iron piledriver was found in the basement of a 17th-century building in 1955. It was probably used three centuries ago for driving piles in the James River during construction of a small wharf.
Brewing beer at Jamestown. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)
Baking bread in an outdoor baking oven about 1650. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)
A wharf scene—arrival of a ship from the mother country. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)
During the 17th century, active trade was carried on between the Virginia colony and the mother country. Local commodities of timber, wood products, soap ashes, iron ore, tobacco, pitch, tar, furs, minerals, salt, sassafras, and other New World raw materials were shipped to England. In exchange, English merchants sold to the colonists, tools, farm implements, seeds, stock and poultry, furniture and household accessories, clothing, weapons, hardware, kitchen utensils, pottery, metalware, glassware, and certain foods and drinks.
There is also good evidence that some trade was carried on with Holland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Mexico, and the West Indies. Many artifacts unearthed (especially pottery) were made in the countries mentioned. It is believed that certain commodities were acquired by direct trade with the country where made, in spite of the strict laws by which the Colonial Powers sought to monopolize the colonial trade for the benefit of the mother country.
Making lime from oyster shells in a kiln, about 1625. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)
A physician bleeding a patient. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)
One of the members of the first colony was a surgeon, William Wilkinson by name. As the colony grew, other surgeons, physicians, and apothecaries, emigrated to Virginia. Their lot was not easy, for it appears that they were seldom idle in an island community having more than its share of “cruell diseases, Swellings, Flixes, Burning Fevers, warres and meere famine.”
During archeological explorations, drug jars, ointment pots, bleeding bowls, mortars and pestles, small bottles and vials, and parts of surgical instruments were recovered. These, undoubtedly, were used countless times at Jamestown by unknown “chirurgions,” doctors of “physickes,” and apothecaries—men who tried to keep the colonists well with their limited medical equipment and scant supply of drugs.
Spinning thread or yarn and weaving cloth were endless chores for the women living in the small wilderness settlemenT. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)
Settlers trading with the indians—bartering casting counters and other trade goods for furs. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)
One reason why the colonists selected a site for Jamestown some miles up the James River was to develop the Indian trade over an extensive area. During the early years of the colony, trade with the natives was encouraged. It is clear from the early records that the settlers bartered such items as beads, cloth, penny knives, shears, bells, glass toys, whistles, hatchets, pots and pans, brass casting counters, and similar objects in exchange for Indian corn (and other vegetables), fish, game, fruits and berries, and furs.
Playing a Jew’s harp—enjoying a little music in the Virginia wilderness. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)
A large assortment of iron and brass Jew’s harps (also known as Jew’s trumps) have been found. This small instrument is lyre-shaped, and when placed between the teeth gives tones from a bent metal tongue when struck by the finger. Modulation of tone is produced by changing the size and shape of the mouth cavity.
Archeological explorations revealed that the colonists enjoyed archery. The iron lever shown, known as a “goat’s foot,” Was used for setting the string of a light hunting crossbow. It was found 4 miles from Jamestown. Illustration showing the use of a “goat’s foot” From Weapons, A Pictorial History by Edwin Tunis.
Jamestown soldiers carrying polearms (a halberd and a bill). (conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)
A Jamestown sentry on duty shouldering his heavy matchlock musket. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)
The early Jamestown settlers were advised to equip themselves with “one armour compleat, light.” (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)
Harvesting tobacco at Jamestown, about 1650. (Painting by Sidney E. King.)
Fishing provided food as well as recreation for the colonists. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)
When the first settlers planted their small colony at Jamestown, the tidewater rivers and bays and the Atlantic Ocean bordering the Virginia coast teemed with many kinds of fish and shellfish which were both edible and palatable. Varieties which the colonists soon learned to eat included sheepshead, shad, sturgeon, herring, sole, white salmon, bass, flounder, pike, bream, perch, rock, and drum, as well as oysters, crabs, and mussels. Seafood was an important source of food for the colonists, and at times, especially during the early years of the settlement, it was the main source.
Those in England who planned to go to Virginia were always advised to provide themselves (among other items) with nets, fishhooks, and lines.
During archeological explorations, fishhooks, lead net weights, fish-gigs, and small anchors were uncovered. These are reminders of a day when fish and shellfish were abundant in every tidewater Virginia creek, river, and bay.
Bison (Forest americanus)
Fate, which has fallen into the Wisent over the centuries, has affected his one-part relative the Bison, in unbelievable shortness, one could even say in a period of ten years. Before the age of man, millions of these colossal animals crossed amazingly vast tracts of North America;—today, only hundreds of Bisons roam around.
When the British began to swarm into South Carolina he raised and drilled a company of his neighbors and friends known as "Marion's Brigade." These men, without uniforms, without tents, and without pay, were among the bravest and best of the Revolutionary soldiers. Old saws beaten at the country forge furnished them with sabres, and pewter mugs and dishes supplied material for bullets. The diet of these men was simple. Marion, their leader, usually[Pg 218] ate hominy and potatoes, and drank water flavored with a little vinegar.
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
Through the achievements of early pioneers and settlers, of whom Daniel Boone is the type, the region lying between the Alleghany Mountains and the Mississippi River came into the possession of the United States. In a very different way did the territory lying between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains become a part of the national domain. It was acquired not by exploration or settlement, but by purchase, and the man most intimately associated with this purchase was Thomas Jefferson.
At twenty-nine years of age he married a beautiful young widow of twenty-three. After the wedding festivities, he and his bride started out in a four-horse carriage to drive to his home, Monticello, more than 100 miles away. It was in the month of January, and a heavy snow-storm overtook them, compelling them to abandon the carriage and continue the journey over the rough mountain roads on horseback.
Robert Fulton [1765-1815]
Robert Fulton was born of poor parents in 1765, in Little Britain, Pa. His father having died when the boy was only three years old, his mother took charge of his education. She taught him herself until he was eight and then sent him to school. But he had no liking for books, and made slow progress. Drawing and mechanical devices absorbed his interest, and nothing gave him greater delight than to visit the shops of mechanics and there with his own hands to work out his new ideas.
A Pack Horse
A Flat Boat
Another illustration of his [Robert Fulton] inventive gift belongs to his boyhood days. He and one of his playmates used to go out fishing in a flat boat which they propelled by the use of long poles. Getting tired of this method of navigation, Robert made two crude paddle-wheels, one for each side of the boat, connecting them by a sort of double crank, which the boys united in turning. They could then easily propel the boat in their fishing trips to various parts of the lake, and keenly enjoyed this novel and easy way of going a-fishing.
Fulton returned in 1806 to America, where, with money furnished by his friend Livingston, he began to construct another steamboat which he called the Clermont, after the name of Livingston's home on the Hudson. This boat was 130 feet long and 18 feet wide, with a mast and a sail, and on each side a wheel 15 feet in diameter, fully exposed to view.
One morning in August, 1807, a throng of expectant people gathered on the banks of the North River at New York, to see the trial of the Clermont. Everybody was looking for failure. People had all along spoken of Fulton as a crack-brained dreamer, and had called the Clermont "Fulton's Folly." "Of course the thing would not move." "That any man with common-sense might know," they said. So while Fulton was waiting to give the signal to start, these wiseacres were getting ready to jest at his failure.
Finally, at the signal, the Clermont moved slowly, and then stood perfectly still. "Just what I have been saying," said one onlooker with emphasis. "I knew the boat would not go," said another. "Such a thing is impossible," said a third. But they spoke too soon, for after a little adjustment of the machinery, the Clermont steamed proudly up the Hudson.
Andrew Jackson [1767-1845] the sixth President of the United States
A Spinning Wheel
On Christmas morning (December 25, 1492), while it was still dark, as he was cruising along the shores of[Pg 16] Hayti (or Hispaniola), the Santa Maria went aground on a sand-bar, where the waves soon knocked her to pieces. As the Pinta had already deserted, there now remained but one ship, the Niña. This little vessel was too small to accommodate all the men, and forty of the number, wishing to stay where they were, decided to build a fort out of the timbers of the wrecked vessel and put her guns in the fort for their defence. These men had provisions for a year, and constituted the first Spanish colony in the New World.
Columbus was a man of commanding presence. He was large, tall, and dignified in bearing, with a ruddy complexion and piercing blue-gray eyes. By the time he was thirty his hair had become white, and fell in[Pg 4] wavy locks about his shoulders. Although his life of hardship and poverty compelled him to be plain and simple in food and dress, he always had the air of a gentleman, and his manners were pleasing and courteous. But he had a strong will, which overcame difficulties that would have overwhelmed most men.
Brick House type at Jamestown
Row House type at Jamestown
Pottery at Jamestown
There is good evidence that a pottery kiln was situated 30 feet west of the “industrial area.”
How an ironworking pit was used.
Cross section of a brick-lined well at Jamestown
(Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)
Brick House at Jamestown, about 1640. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)
AN EARLY JAMESTOWN HOUSE. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)