On April 27 1607, the day after the Jamestown colonists landed at Cape Henry, some of the settlers began to build or assemble a small boat. George Percy, one of the original colonists, reported that it was completed and launched on April 28.
It appears, therefore, that 350 years ago—on the sandy beach near Cape Henry—the Jamestown bound colonists made their first important commodity by hand in the New World.
Contemporary records reveal that many small boats were built at Jamestown from the earliest years of the settlement. They afforded the best means of transportation through the uncharted wilderness, and were used for fishing, trade, and exploration.
The conjectural illustration shows colonists building a small boat at Jamestown Island—near Back River—about 1650.