Jamestown – A Colony Full Of Mysteries

Jamestown, a simple English colony expanding into a new world?
Or a mysterious story full of deception and suspence?

Watching Pocahontas could never prepare you for the bizarre truths uncovered from so many hundreds of years ago.

Join us as we venture back and hope to discover what really happened here!

 

Arriving!

Like any good british citizens we must purchase our tickets before embarking to the new world!

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Prospects For a New Land With Riches

The year is 1606, it’s a cold December morning, but we’ve been waiting a long time for this opportunity!

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What is drawing us to to this new land? Promises of gold? Are we escaping the law? Maybe it’s just the adventurer inside us calling us to this new land!

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The Virginia Company of London is our financial sponsor and they’re hoping to profit off our labors.

We’ve packed a few belongings and are ready to board.

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Some cabins are a little better than others…

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Tommy takes the upgrade to the Captain’s cabin.

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Kali settles for the cook.

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The flag is up and we’re ready to sail!!

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We’re going to be on this ship for several months, what are we going to do?

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There are a couple decks on the ship we can explore.

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Good thing we have these cannons to protect us against any pirating ships!

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We’ll hold off firing at this innocent looking soul.

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Looking up to see the sun, we must be close to land.

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Travelling all these months isn’t so bad if you have good company!

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What could this be?

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Land!!!
We fairly easily survived this 4 month journey to the new land!!

Out of 105 passengers, only one comrade was lost on this journey,. So, I’d say we’re off to a good start!

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Time to get off the dock before we are bombarded with these children…. don’t know how they made it to the new world! Natives perhaps?

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A Colony in the Making

Exploring the coast for a few weeks we determine this will be a great place for our new colony.

Time to get to work building up the fort!

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Not only do we have to worry about the possibility of an Powhatan Indian attack, but we’re mostly on the lookout for the Spanish trying to take back these lands (they think it belongs to them 😁).

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With some cannons from the ship, we may be able to hold them off.

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Shelter is a must as well.

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A nice place to hang armor is always a plus.

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Being religious folk, it is important for us to build a church as well!

Reverend Robert Hunt is our first Anglican minister of Jamestown.
The only church allowed in England (and this is, by all things considered, England) is the Church of England.

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Unfortunately, within a year of arrival to this new land, he dies…
We’re not really sure how.

We’ll leave this monument to honor him and all the services he provided us in his short time at Jamestown.

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Tommy has volunteered to be a stand in and prepares for his first sermon.

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He is a little nervous, but more excited.

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His sermon turns out to be quite a grand address.

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Water supply is not the greatest and there is a lack of food. Relations with the Indians is starting to deteriorate.

Maybe we should have brought more people willing to work, instead of so many upperclassmen with no labor skills.

New Leadership

It’s been a roughly a year now since we’ve been here. We have been going through some new struggles, but hopefully with our new leader Captain John Smith, he can turn things around.

Hopefully he forgives us for holding him in the brig all this time…

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This guy has quite the background!

Captain John Smith was born in 1580 to a farmer. At a young age, he fought in the Netherlands and Hungary, was captured and taken to Turkey, then sold into slavery in Russia. Being the strong, courageous man he is, he escaped his captivity by murdering his master.

John made it back to England, and at the age of 27 traveled to the new colony of Jamestown. The Indians seem very fond of him, even though they tried to kill him. It is said Pocahontas did save him from the death of her father, but unlike the movie, they never did get married.

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He has now instilled a “no work, no food” policy, which helps to have everyone pulling their weight.

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We are now able to continue making improvements to our new colony.

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It seems he will help keep our relations with the Indians harmonious as well.

Powhatan Indians

John Smith is insisting that he lead numerous expeditions in an open boat, exploring and mapping the Chesapeake Bay and it’s principle rivers.

You may remember from the movie Pocahontas, that John Smith and her fall in love and get married.

Well, at the time John Smith had comes to the new colony, Pocahontas is only about 12 years old.

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They may not have be lovers, but they are friends. The relationship between John Smith and Pocahontas drastically improves our relationship with the locals.

So much so that Pocahontas and her friends come to visit the fort quite often.

Now we get the opportunity to visit them.

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We begin trading with them.

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Providing them with copper, beads, cloth, weapons and tools and they give us food, leather, and animal pelts.

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Local children show Kali how they remove the fur from the skin with an oyster shell to make leather.

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Kali makes sure to share this important knowledge with Tommy.

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The Indians have been here for many years, so they are expert gardeners. They show us some of their gardening tricks on our visit.

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We are so fortunate to visit while they are in the process of building a new hut.

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I didn’t know they have ratchet straps!!! 😝

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The Powhatan are also working on building a canoe to use for fishing. They’ve made quite a bit of progress.

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We are surprised by the amount of people our Powhatan friends have allowed in.

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Oh look!!!

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A bald eagle nest!!

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Looking on the ground, we see they have chickens!

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Powhatan Games

Things are really looking up for us!! The Powhatans have even treated us to one of their favorite games!!

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We could not understand what they were calling it, so we just call it “Put the corn cob with a feather on it through circular twigs”.

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Overall, we’ve really enjoyed our visit into the Powhatan camp!

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They give us a nice, warm welcome throughout our stay.

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Hopefully, our relations with them will continue to improve!

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Gruesome Times ☠

It’s now the fall of 1909, and we have just got word that Captain John Smith has been injured from a gunpowder “accident: and is returning to England. Was it really an accident? Some might say so… and he was not well liked by many here because of his strong leadership.

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We’re pretty sure John Smith knows how to handle his gun, but the powder is very volatile… so who knows?

Regardless, with John Smith gone Pocahontas isn’t coming around any more and things have begun to go downhill pretty fast.

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Even worse.. there might be Spanish spies among us!

Fear is spreading through the camp, and they’ve started to execute suspected spies!

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This Winter has proven to be quite a difficult winter!
Disease is spreading throughout the camp, killing so many people.

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Could the food be poisoned!?!? More spies!?!?

We can’t trust anything… and have resorted to eating whatever we can find.

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Even these little guys!

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The truth is… we’re starving!
It seems odd that we can’t find food in what’s described as the “land of plenty”. Fish are literally leaping from the rivers… hog running wild and we aren’t eating?

Perhaps we’re afraid to eat the food… so many people are getting so deadly ill.

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Have we been poisoned by the Spanish Spies? Are the rats that we are eating poisoned?

If people aren’t dying from disease, they are dying from starvation!

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Years later, archaeologists will dig up what they believe to be an young girl they name Jane. She was in the same deposit  as butchered horses, dogs, and other small animals around this time.

Cannibalism???? Another man is tried and sentenced to death after finding he killed and ate his wife in an effort to survive….

Digging Only Leads to More Mysteries

What else will future archaeologists uncover in their digs?

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They will dig both sites where churches have resided.

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The original church may provide them one of the greatest mysteries of all!

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It’s not common for us to bury our dead in coffins over here… but these four prestigious people will all later be found in caskets.

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The grave marker on the right marks where we bury Reverend Robert Hunt. We bury him with a shroud and his head to the east as this is the burial position for clergymen so they when they’re resurrected, they’ll be facing their congregation.

Inside the two left graves we placed Sir Ferdinando Wainman and Capt. William West.  They were both related to the governor, Lord De La Warr and high ranking individuals brought over to Jamestown, so we thought it would be fitting to bury them here.

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Located middle right lies what will become the most mysterious coffin of Captain Gabriel Archer.
He was one of the early leaders of Jamestown and was buried with a captain’s leading staff as well as a small silver box.

The small silver box is what’s important!

This little box is believed to be a Catholic reliquary containing special bones, possible of a saint and a vile possibly holding water, oil, or maybe blood.

A catholic reliquary? In England? When Catholicism is forbidden by law???
Could Gabriel have been secretly Catholic? Or even a step further… a Spanish spy!?! Another thing… the reliquary is placed there after he’s dead! So there are at least two Catholics!

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Later excavations will find that we even buried Gabriel Archer in the same manner as Reverend Hunt, facing the east (denoting a person or religious importance.
It’s not known who placed that reliquary on his coffin, or why. This is mystery waiting to be solved, perhapes by archaeologists in many more years.

Surviving the “Starving Time”

After enduring through the winter of 1609-1610, there is only 60 of us remaining from the 300 to start!

It’s been a miserable nightmare!
We’re ready to leave this land of misery as soon as the next set of supplies comes in.

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The Sea Venture finally arrives and after days of convincing, the ship has agreed to desert this fort and take all of us back to England! We can put this nightmare to rest!!

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Maybe back in England we can finally try and make some kind of life for ourselves.

Well… that is until we run in to Lord De La Warr’s ship!

We meet this guy just as we’re leaving the bay! And even after all that we’ve endured, he forces us back to Jamestown.

De La Warr immediate instills Marshall Law… we’re trapped here.

But maybe with this new leadership we’ll be a more successful colony…

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and working tirelessly to rebuild we are successful, and create will be known as Jamestown, the first English colony!

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Back to Reality

A big thanks to Ranger Mac for his stupendous storytelling skills. Throughout the entire tour, we are completely consumed in the stories and mysteries that are prevalent throughout Jamestown.

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Ranger Mac has to head back to the visitor’s center and close up, but we have a few minutes to wander the grounds of the settlement as they grew later into the 1600’s.

There is a monument that commemorates 300th Anniversary of the Original Settlement.

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We come across several of the recreated ruins of structures built in the 1600’s when they began expanding outside the walls.

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During our tour with Ranger Mac, he explains that when archaeologists dig up remains they dig it up, map and document their finds, then bury them again for further preservation. A recreation of what they found is then created and placed over the buried remains.

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Archaeologists are currently in the process of excavating this area, so we get to see some of their finds!

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We take a few minutes to explore the Voorhees Archaearium Archaeology Musuem.

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Inside we see the remains of JR1046B. They believe these remains belong to Captain Bartholomew Gosnold, but they are not positive.

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Here another mystery for you.

Killed during the starving time, this man was shot in the leg by a musket; you can actually see a musket ball that was lodged there in the back of his knee. Since you can’t really shoot yourself… who killed this man? And more importantly why?

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The park is closing and we’re hungry, so we decide to head to a friends suggestion located in Virginia called Baker’s Crust.

Dinner Tonight

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We enjoy our dinner….

and dessert!

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As we eat we reflect on our time at Jamestown, we are inspired to look more into the events that took place at this settlement. We’ll have to find some good documentaries, books and articles!

Any suggestions?

Leave us a comment! 😀