Jamestown

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

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.

Who's saying what in Jamestown, Thomas Savage?

By Jean Fritz

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A biography of Thomas Savage, one of the early colonists of Jamestown, Virginia, who was sent to live among the Indians in order to learn their language and become an interpreter.
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1607: A New Look at Jamestown

By Karen E. Lange

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Life in the brand-new Jamestown colony in 1607 wasn't easy. The settlers arrived full of hope-then hard times brought despair. Now the latest archaelogical evidence offers us the clearest glimpse yet of one of the most fascinating chapters in American history.

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Miracle: The True Story of the Wreck of the Sea Venture

By Gail Langer Karwoski

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In the summer of 1609 a fleet of nine ships left England bound for the Jamestown Colony. Days before landfall, the fleet was hit by a hurricane. Four nights later, the flagship, Sea Venture, ran aground on the reefs on Bermuda's northern coast. Miraculously everyone survived. This is their story.

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First New World English Thanksgiving Was Celebrated in Virginia

The Pilgrims get the fame for their feast in New England, but two years prior on December 4, 1619, thirty-eight Virginians at Berkeley Hundred celebrated “a day of thanksgiving’ to God as required by their charter:

Empires in the Forest: Jamestown and the Beginning of America

By Avery Chenoweth ; photographs, Robert Llewellyn

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"This beautiful work of photography and prose traces the ways in which American culture grew out of the conflict that characterized the first contact between Native Americans and Europeans."
(From the publisher's description)

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Pocahontas, Powhatan, Opechancanough: Three Indian Lives Changed by Jamestown

By Helen C. Rountree

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"Despite their roles as senior politicians in these watershed events, no biography of either Powhatan or Opechancanough exists. And while there are other "biographies" of Pocahontas, they have for the most part elaborated on her legend more than they have addressed the known facts of her remarkable life. As the 400th anniversary of Jamestown's founding approaches, nationally renowned scholar of Native Americans, Helen Rountree, provides in a single book the definitive biographies of these three important figures. In their lives we see the whole arc of Indian experience with the English settlers -- from the wary initial encounters presided over by Powhatan, to the uneasy diplomacy characterized by the marriage of Pocahontas and John Rolfe, to the warfare and eventual loss of native sovereignty that came during Opechancanough's reign."
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Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma: An American Portrait

By Camilla Townsend

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"...differs from all previous biographies of Pocahontas in capturing how similar seventeenth-century Native Americans were-in the way they saw, understood, and struggled to control their world-not only to the invading English, but also to ourselves.Neither naive nor innocent, Indians like Pocahontas and her father, the powerful king Powhatan, confronted the vast might of the English with sophistication, diplomacy, and violence. Indeed, Pocahontas's life is a testament to the subtle intelligence that Native Americans, always aware of their material disadvantages, brought to bear against the military power of the colonizing English."
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Love and Hate in Jamestown: John Smith, Pocahontas, and the Heart of a New Nation

By David A. Price

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A gripping narrative of one of the great survival stories of American history: the opening of the first permanent English settlement in the New World. Drawing on period letters and chronicles, and on the papers of the Virginia Company–which financed the settlement of Jamestown–David Price tells a tale of cowardice and courage, stupidity and brilliance, tragedy and costly triumph. He takes us into the day-to-day existence of the English men and women whose charge was to find gold and a route to the Orient, and who found, instead, hardship and wretched misery. Death, in fact, became the settlers’ most faithful companion, and their infighting was ceaseless.

Price offers a rare balanced view of the relationship between the settlers and the natives. He unravels the crucial role of Pocahontas, a young woman whose reality has been obscured by centuries of legend and misinformation (and, more recently, animation). He paints indelible portraits of Chief Powhatan, the aged monarch who came close to ending the colony’s existence, and Captain John Smith, the former mercenary and slave, whose disdain for class distinctions infuriated many around him–even as his resourcefulness made him essential to the colony’s success.
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Virginia Horse Racing: Triumphs of the Turf

By Virginia C. Johnson and Barbara Crookshanks

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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 larger-than-life grandees wagering kingly stakes, sometimes on horses not yet born.
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