Jamestown

The Founding Foodies: How Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin Revolutionized American Cuisine by Dave DeWitt

The Founding Foodies: How Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin Revolutionized Ame

The Founding Foodies, by Dave DeWitt, is an easy-going chat on matters historic and gastronomic in the Old Dominion and beyond. DeWitt dismisses some food writers’ contentions that colonial food was poor stuff.  Having attended Mr. Jefferson’s university and being thus familiar with the third president’s many accomplishments, he knew that this common opinion was surely an overgeneralization.  Jefferson, as well as Washington and Franklin, were trend-setters—learned men who easily absorbed and promulgated cultured styles of fashion, philosophy, architecture, and, yes, food, derived European trends, especially their French allies.

Besides these Founding Fathers’ culinary preferences, DeWitt also looks at curious historical periods of Virginia history where food, or lack of same, played a noteworthy role.  At Jamestown, the horrors of spoiled ships’ rations and the colonists’ inexperience with hunting and fishing made them very dependent on the native tribes’ shared knowledge. They did learn to hunt and fish which was well since the supply ship was delayed, nearly resulting in John Smith being hanged.  Desperate to turn a profit in the days before tobacco, the settlers took up fishing on a grand scale—thousands of pounds of salted cod to England and dried fish to Spain.

Virginia Horse Racing: Triumphs of the Turf

By Virginia C. Johnson and Barbara Crookshanks

Go to catalog

"Virginia, mother of presidents, is also the mother of American horse racing. From the very beginning, Virginians have risked it all on the track as eagerly as on the battlefield. Follow the bloodlines of three foundation sires of the American Thoroughbred through generations of rollicking races and largerthan- life grandees wagering kingly stakes, sometimes on horses not yet born. How did the horse nicknamed Damn His Eyes get protection money from other horse owners? What did it mean to tap the claret to break a neck-and-neck tie? Why was Confederate cavalry so much better than the Union--was it the riders, or was it the mounts? All these and many more stories of horsemanship on and off the track fill the pages of Virginia Horse Racing: Triumphs of the Turf."

Reserve this title

A Brave Vessel by Hobson Woodward

The subtitle of A Brave Vessel by Hobson Woodward says it all: The True Tale of the Castaways Who Rescued Jamestown and Inspired Shakespeare's The Tempest. The voyage of the Sea Venture, May to July, 1609, featured an encounter with a perfect storm that flung the little boat ashore on the island of Bermuda instead of its intended destination, the fledgling colony at Jamestown.

The author is a credible historian (the text is fleshed out with ample notes and an extensive bibliography) with a novelist's skill at telling a story enlived with fleshed out characters, dramatic  tension, and pacing that make it a true page turner. One of the Sea Venture's passengers was William Strachey, a writer whose extensive chronicle of the castaways' experiences of the desert island was widely circulated on his successful return to England and clearly was familiar to Shakespeare who apparently wrote his play while the news was still fresh.

Who were these people?  How did they survive?  How did they hand build a boat capable of getting them up to Jamestown and what did they find when they arrived?  What elements did Shakespeare incorporate into his play?  Fascinating reading, with an amazing finish.

The Pleasure Gardens of Virginia: From Jamestown to Jefferson

By Peter Martin

Go to catalog

A scholarly look back at gardens of the past. Gardeners recorded their efforts from the settlement of Jamestown on. Both Jefferson and Washington were avid horticulturalists and left detailed note of their plants.

Reserve this title

A Goodly Ship: The Building of the Susan Constant: The Story of the Ship that Brought the Settlers to Jamestown, Revisiting History and the Art of Wooden Shipbuilding

By Peter H. Spectre and David Larkin

Go to catalog

A beautiful book to browse, this volume was written to record the recreation of the Susan Constant, the Godspeed’s sister ship, in 1992.

Reserve this title

Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland

By Sally M. Walker

Go to catalog

This book reports on the work of forensic scientists who are excavating grave sites in James Fort, in Jamestown, Virginia, to understand the people who lived in the Chesapeake Bay area in the 1600s and 1700s.

Reserve this title

Jamestown: Hands-on Projects about One of America's First Communities

By Jennifer Quasha

Go to catalog

An introduction to the first English settlement at Jamestown, Virginia, with step-by-step instructions for a variety of related projects including a topographical map of the settlement, a model Jamestown house, and wooden spoon puppets.

Reserve this title

African-Americans in the Colonies

By Jean Kinney Williams

Go to catalog

Contents: Jamestown, Virginia, 1621 -- Slavery becomes an American institution -- Recreating Africa in America -- Freedom at any cost -- Liberty, but not for all.

Reserve this title

Tribute to an Artist: The Jamestown Paintings of Sidney E. King

By James A. Crutchfield

Go to catalog

In the 1950s, local artist Sidney King was commissioned to create the historical tableaux that enliven the bare landscapes of Jamestown National Park. He worked with archaelogists and historians to illustrate the past and his work has been enjoyed by thousands of visitors. This book beautifully reproduces those images and includes commentary by historian James A. Crutchfield.

Reserve this title

The Shipwreck That Saved Jamestown: The Sea Venture Castaways and the Fate of America

By Lorri Glover and Daniel Blake Smith

Go to catalog

Anyone interested in Virginia's earliest colonial history ought to get to know the passengers and crew of the Sea Venture. This ship was sent to relieve Jamestown's starving colonists but never made it. The survivors landed on Bermuda, known as the Devil's Isle, where their saga continued. Their story was the inspiration for Shakespeare's The Tempest.

Reserve this title