How the Jamestown Colony led to the sailing of the Mayflower

By Erica Hahn

I admit that, despite many clues, until recently I never thought much about what role Europeans played in New England before the Pilgrims arrived on the Mayflower in 1620.  All I knew was that their native friend, Squanto, greeted them in English, having been kidnapped and carried off to Europe years earlier. Tragically, when he returned, everyone in his village had died of a European disease.  Where his village once stood was now the site of the colony of Plymouth Plantation.  We also know that our ancestors agreed to the Mayflower Compact, signed in 1620 off Cape Cod, because they somehow missed arriving in “Northern Virginia,” which was the area of their land patent.

So, when did Europeans first reach New England?  Where did the name “New England” come from?  How about “Cape Cod?”  How about “Plymouth?”  And was there competition?

The answers to these questions actually lie in Jamestown, the first English language colony to survive, founded in 1607.

The key founder of Jamestown was an Englishman called Captain Bartholomew Gosnold, born in 1571.  He pursued a seafaring life.  Before Jamestown, in 1602 he explored colonialization in “northern Virginia” in what is now New England. In doing so, he named the peninsula he reached, Cape Cod because … well, there was a lot of cod.  He named an island there for his dead daughter, Martha’s Vineyard. On another island off the cape, now called Cuttyhunk Island, he and his people built a fort, but after a month they abandoned it.

Gosnold at Cuttyhunk, 1602, by Albert Bierstadt, 1858

The English by this point were quite keen to colonize in North America and as a result two rival joint stock companies were chartered, the Virginia Company of London, based on where its organizers lived, which had jurisdiction in what is now the American South, and the Plymouth Company, based on where its organizers lived, which had jurisdiction in what is essentially now New England.

In Dec 1606, Gosnold managed to pull together enough backing via the London Company, which he helped found, for another try and this time set out for what would become the Jamestown Colony. He died there in August 1607.  In 2003, what is probably his long-forgotten grave in Jamestown was discovered by archeologists.

There was another try at establishing a colony in Maine, the “Popham colony” in 1607, at the same time as Jamestown. This effort was sponsored by the rival Plymouth Company, organized by John Popham and Ferdinando Gorges, and led by John’s nephew, George Popham.  Both John and George Popham died the first winter and the colony was abandoned within the year.

In 1609, Captain John Smith, who had been the president of Jamestown’s governing council, left for England after injuries and in disgrace.  But, in 1614 he again set sail for the New World, with two ships, this time to explore Maine and Massachusetts.

During his expedition, some of his company took native people as captives including Squanto. (It is uncertain as to whether this was the second time Squanto was taken captive.  He may originally have been taken captive in 1605 by an agent of Ferdinando Gorges.)

This map, New England Observed, 1616 is provided courtesy of the
Osher Map Collection at the University of Southern Maine and is part
of John Smith’s Description of New England

In 1616 in England, Smith published a book called A Description of New England. It is believed that this was the first time the name of New England was used for the area.

Smith created the map shown here and gave place names to various locations along the coast of Massachusetts including New Plimouth near Cape Cod.

It is unclear where the diseases that decimated the native people came from, but we know that in the years after Smith’s visit and before the Pilgrims arrived, a number of fishermen, French as well as English, frequented New England’s waters.  Cod was a very valuable commodity.

The religious separatists in Leiden, the Netherlands, who became known as the Pilgrims, must have poured over that book.  It was they who chartered two ships, including the Mayflower, for their voyage to the New World.

In 1619 in London, the Leiden separatists entered into a deal for a land patent with the London Company in the jurisdiction of the London Company, i.e., no further north than New York, as well as ships with the same company. When the Pilgrims started negotiations, they were soundly cheated by their original investors.  To satisfy new backers, a consortium of London financiers known as the Merchant Adventurers, they had to include “Strangers” among the passengers.  Many of the passengers on the Mayflower were not separatists but instead Strangers.

By accident or design, the Mayflower’s arrival on Cape Cod was considerably outside the jurisdiction of the London Company.  The following year in 1621 the Pilgrims obtained a new patent from the newly reorganized Plymouth Council for New England.

One of the Strangers was Stephen Hopkins, who came on the Mayflower with his second wife, some of his children, and two servants.  Stephen was unique in that he was the only passenger who had ever been to the New World before. In 1609 he had come on the “third supply”, then spent 9 months on Bermuda after a shipwreck, before the castaways built two smaller ships to get to Jamestown.   He then spent several years in Jamestown. A letter regarding “Eliezer Hopkins” arrived in Jamestown in 1614, probably bringing the news his first wife had died, and so he returned to England, Thus, he is a qualifying ancestor for both the Jamestowne Society and the Mayflower Society.

And not to forget the Canadian connection: The English were not the only Europeans interested in the area.  The French made several attempts to colonize in New England, mostly minor settlements for fishing and hunting as well.   Their first real North American colony was established in 1604 at St. Croix, an island at the extreme northern edge of what is now Maine.

St. Croix failed due to disease and in 1605 the founders moved what remained of it to what became Port Royal Habitation in modern Nova Scotia. A second French attempt in New England was a Jesuit mission called Saint Sauveur founded in 1613, also in northern Maine.  Two months later forces launched out of Jamestown wiped out both Saint Sauveur and Port Royal in 1613. Thus, Jamestown made New England safe for English Protestants.  And so, in 1620 English Protestants, i.e., the Pilgrims, started the successful colonization of New England.

Erica Hahn is a member of the California Mayflower Society and the Jamestowne Society.

 

Sources:

Natalie Zacek, “Bartholomew Gosnold (1571-1607,” Encyclopedia Virginia, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, https://www.encyclopediavirginia.org.

William Taber, “Maine’s Popham Colony,” Athena Review, vol 3, no. 2: Peopling of the Americas, http://www.athenapub.com

James Truslow Adams, The Founding of New England.  Boston, the Atlantic Monthly Press, 1921.

Peter Firstbrook, A Man Most Driven, Captain John Smith, Pocahontas and the Founding of America. London, Oneworld Publications, 2014

Caleb Johnson, “Tisquantum (“Squanto”)”, Caleb Johnson’s MayflowerHistory.com http://mayflowerhistory.com

Caleb Johnson, Here Shall I Die Ashore, Stephen Hopkins:  Bermuda Castaway, Jamestown Survivor, and Mayflower Pilgrim. 2007, Xlibris Corporation, 2007

Brenda Dunn, A History of Port-Royal/Annapolis Royal 1605-1800. Halifax: Nimbus, 2004.

 

 

 

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Our June 24, 2017 Annual Meeting: A Genealogical Learning Experience

This gallery contains 7 photos.

Our 2017 Annual Meeting attracted 45 members, prospective applicants and guests, some of whom travelled from Sherman Oaks and Palm Springs.  We began with an opportunity to socialize – renewing acquaintances with old and new friends – and, later, conducted … Continue reading

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Jamestowne Society’s 2017 Governors’ Forum and Spring Membership Meeting

By Governor Scarlett Gathings Shepherd

Each year, the Council encourages the Governor to participate in the Society’s spring Governors’ Forum and other meetings held annually in Williamsburg. Following is my report on my participation May 18-20, 2017.

Governor Scarlett Shepherd with Dr. Bill Kelso

On May 18, the Society leadership hosted a reception for company governors and their guests. We travelled by motor coach from the Williamsburg Lodge, where the main events were held, to Jamestowne Island. We were met there by a reenactor portraying Governor Yeardley, who led the group to the Dale House Cafe. We gathered for wine and cheese and met Dr. Bill Kelso, Jamestown Rediscovery’s Head Archaeologist, where I purchased an autographed copy of his most recent book, Jamestown The Truth Revealed.

We also met Dr. James Horn, President of the Jamestowne Rediscovery Foundation and David Givens, our 2014 Alice Massey Nesbitt Fellowship winner and Senior Archaeologist at Jamestown Rediscovery. I had previously met Mr. Givens in March at St. George’s Church in Gravesend, England for the Pocahontas Life and Death 400th Anniversary Celebration, where he spoke about Pocahontas and the archeological work at Jamestown. We received an informative update on the dig progress before we returned to the Lodge.

The Governor’s Forum was held the following day. The Society’s Lt. Governor Roy Martin, Jr., discussed annual giving, followed by fund recipient reviews. We also discussed fellowships, and the Elizabeth B. Wingo, Jamestowne Island, Building & Grounds, endowment and unrestricted funds. Jamestowne Society Magazine Editor Susan McCrobie reviewed the requirements for submissions. Governor Zillion discussed the new Veterans Recognition program. Jane Alexander also talked about how we are linking Revolutionary War era ancestors with our Qualifying Ancestors.

Artifacts stored in Archaearium Vault

We then boarded buses to Jamestowne Island for a tour of the dig site, Archaearium and private vault. I especially enjoyed the vault as I had never been there before. Over two million artifacts – lost, broken, or discarded by the early colonists – are housed in its state-of-the-art collection room. They are cataloged and analyzed with representative objects on display that show interactions with the Virginia Indians.

One of our speakers and tour guides was Governor Yeardley’s

Governor Shepherd with Capt. Edward Brewster

reenactor from the night before and who now portrayed Capt. Edward Brewster. The very knowledgeable Jamestown Rediscovery staff also served as tour guides.

We had box lunches at the Dale House Cafe. It was a long but interesting day but unfortunately it was unseasonably warm for Virginia in May. Many of the others met for the Governors’ Dinner at Christiana Campbell’s Tavern, which is said to have been a favorite of George Washington’s. As I had the pleasure of dining there the year before, I chose instead to make it an early night in order to recover from the heat of the day.

The Society Council’s most informative meeting was held the following day, May 20, in the Williamsburg Lodge.  Among items discussed were new insignia items, such as a new duffel bag and new style signet rings. The Council also conferred an Honorary Society membership on Dr. Bill Kelso. Governor Zillion also mentioned and reiterated the Society’s opposition to Dominion Energy’s proposal to build transmission towers across the James river. The Council also approved a sash for former Governors.

Dr. Kelso reviews Jamestown Rediscovery’s explorations, with Governor Jerry Zillion watching slides in the background

The Membership Luncheon followed and was preceded by a bagpiper in Scottish regalia. Governor Jerry Zillion recognized the veterans who were in attendance and presented a new company charter to the Bay of Naples (Florida) Company. He then surprised Dr. William Kelso with the announcement that he had been named an honorary member of the Society. Dr. Kelso was accompanied by his wife and was the guest speaker. He reviewed the current explorations of the sites of early churches within the confines of the 1907 Memorial church. After the luncheon, he made himself available to sign his new book.

It should be noted that in March I had invited Mr. Givens to speak at a First California Company event and stay at our San Diego home. I reminded him of my offer at the wine and cheese event and he indicated that he might be amenable. I also took the opportunity of inviting Dr. Kelso and his wife to stay with us and give a talk at our luncheon and sell his book.

Lastly, in addition to all that I learned about Jamestown and Jamestown Society, there is the history in that area to be remembered, as well as the friendships that are made to entice you. The best way to travel between the Richmond Airport and Williamsburg is by a rental car. Instead of the Interstate, I chose to take historic Route 5, so I could stop at my William Randolph family gravesite at Turkey Island Farm to place flowers on their

Randolph Grave Site

graves. I have been told that it is the oldest family gravesite in the United States.

I also stopped at Berkeley Plantation, which is known as the

Randolph family graves

1619 site of the first Thanksgiving (not Plymouth.) There, I needed to pick up some things for our First California Company luncheon this coming November. My ancestor Theodorick Bland is buried next door at Westover, so I also stopped there to place flowers. Shirley Plantation is nearby, where Robert E. Lee’s mother grew up, as well as Sherwood Forrest, the home of President Tyler. So, I combined history remembrances with my conference.

Governor Shepherd, Jane Calle Congdon and Fran Davis

Last, but not least, was the opportunity to renew friendships at the conference, including Jane Cralle Congdon, the Society’s Regional Chairmen Coordinator; Jane (“Xan”) Alexander, the Society’s Webmaster and Western Regional Chairman; Fran Davis, former National President of NS Colonial Dames of the XVII Century; and, former Society Attorney General Susan Godman Rager. I encourage all members to attend our Jamestowne Society meetings and conferences.

(Ed. Note: Please click on the photos to enlarge them.)

 

Posted in 2017, 2017 JS Spring Meetings, Early American History, First California Company, geneaology, Historic Jamestown, James Horn, Jamestown Rediscovery, Jamestowne Society, Jamestowne Society Governor, Kelso, Membership, News, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Comments Off on Jamestowne Society’s 2017 Governors’ Forum and Spring Membership Meeting

The Program for Our June 24 Annual Meeting Is “Early Virginia Genealogy; Finding Deeper Roots”

First California Company’s 2017 Annual Meeting and Luncheon will be held Saturday June 24, 2017 at 11:30 AM at the Green Dragon Tavern & Museum in Carlsbad (north San Diego County).

Our program will be Early Virginia Genealogy; Finding Deeper Roots; to be presented by KC Reid, MS, MLitt., of Deeper Roots Genealogy.

KC Reid is a Professional Genealogist with emphasis on colonial research, lineage societies, military records, copyright law, world and slavery history, courthouse records, deed, immigration and politics. Of particular interest to our prospective applicants and members, KC will be sharing ways to find that elusive proof for your Jamestowne ancestor.

Our membership chairman and other members will be available to meet with prospective applicants and members after the luncheon either at the Green Dragon or at the nearby Cole Library to discuss their individual applications. (NOTE: The Cole Library has an extensive genealogical section for research.) Please advise on your reservation if you would like discuss your application or contact Marty Sommercamp at sommercamp@roadrunner.com or phone: 858-481-8314.

We will meet in The Green Dragon Tavern & Museum’s Presidents Room. It is located at 6115 Paseo del Norte, Carlsbad, CA 92011 (see directions below); phone: 760-918-2421.

Please plan to allow some extra time to tour the restaurant’s unique museum, which displays numerous historical exhibits and artifacts from our nation’s Revolution.

The cost of the luncheon and program is $40, and menu choices include Shepard’s Pie, Fish ‘N’ Fries, New England Grilled Chicken Salad and Vegetarian New England Hummus Salad.

Please make your check payable to First California Company, Jamestowne Society and mail it, with the number and names in your party and menu selections, to:

Julie Plemmons, 6033 Estelle Street #11, San Diego, CA 92115-5496

Yours reservation and check must be received by June 10, 2017.

For more information or details, please contact Lieutenant Governor Julie Plemmons at jpnkids@yahoo.com or 619-207-7006.

Directions: From I-5 north or south, exit at Palomar Airport Road and go east to the first traffic light (Paseo del Norte) and turn south for about one block. The Green Dragon is on the right. Look for a sign directing you to the Museum. Park in the south side of the parking lot and enter through the Museum Doors (differs from the main entrance.) Look for The  Presidents’ Room.

 

Posted in 2017, 2017 Annual Meeting, Early American History, First California Company, Genealogical Help, geneaology, Jamestowne Society, Uncategorized | Tagged | Comments Off on The Program for Our June 24 Annual Meeting Is “Early Virginia Genealogy; Finding Deeper Roots”

First California Company’s Matrimonial News

We extend our congratulation and best wishes to our Governor Scarlett Stahl and Historian Lt. Col. James Shepherd, USMC (ret.),who were married at St. Francis of Assisi church in Simi Valley, Ca last Saturday, May 6.

 

Bride and groom before the ceremony; she’s wearing his “favorite dress.”

Cutting the cake

 

 

Posted in 2017, First California Company, Jamestowne Society, Jim Shepherd, Scarlett Stahl, Uncategorized, Updates | Comments Off on First California Company’s Matrimonial News

A Visit to Pocahontas 400; An English Commemoration of Her Death and Interment

By Governor Scarlett Gathings Stahl

As Pocahontas was my tenth great grandmother, I was invited by Reverend Canon Chris Stone of St Georges Church in Gravesend, England to attend the March 21, 2017 commemoration of her death and interment in the church, 400 years from the date of her burial. I also attended as Governor of First California Company of the Jamestowne Society, as well as on behalf of the National Society of Colonial Dames of the XVII Century, as its California State Chair of Pocahontas Gardens, Projects and Scholarships. I believe that I was only Pocahontas descendant in attendance.

The commemoration was the highlight of the community’s two-year Pocahontas 400 Life Celebration.

Gravesend is an ancient town on the Thames with over a thousand years of English history. It was the port of departure for ships sailing to the New World and where Pocahontas died and is buried. She was better known to her tribe as Matoaka, daughter of Powhatan. She was called by her Christian name Rebecca in England, where, in 1616, the Virginia Company sponsored her tour and appearances to help promote Jamestown and its nascent tobacco industry.

The following is from the church service program:

A view of the service at St. George’s;  I am in the left fifth row, aisle. Chief Adams of the Mattaponi Tribe is at the lectern.

“…Pocahontas, in her 22nd year, was due to return to Virginia with her husband and son in March 1616 [1617], sailing on the George, which was under the command of Captain Samuel Argall. Either ashore or onboard, Pocahontas succumbed to the illness she had endured and breathed her last. It’s said that her last words were, ‘all must die. ‘Tis enough that the child liveth’. The Reverend Nicholas Frankwell MA [Cantab], then rector of Gravesend, may well have conducted the burial service, laying Pocahontas to rest.

“Among the mourners would have been not only her husband, John [Rolfe], but also Captain Argall and Ralph Hamor, one of the original 1607 settlers, now also returning to Virginia. St. George’s at the time is said to have been damp and dark. The entry in the parish register reads, ‘1616 [1617] March 21, Rebecca Wolfe, Wyffe of Thomas [John) Wolfe Gent. A Virginia Borne, was buried in ye Chancell.’

“The church building in which, most agree, Pocahontas was buried, burned down in 1727, along with much of Gravesend. In due course, thanks in part to monies granted by the Gravesend Churches Act 1730, a new church was built and opened in 1733. Ever since then, the whereabouts of Pocahontas’ remains have been a matter of conjecture.

“Today’s service commemorates the occasion of Pocahontas’ burial 400 years ago and acknowledges the contribution of her example to peace and reconciliation both during her life and down through the centuries.”

At the Pocahontas Statue

A statue in the gardens of the rebuilt church was erected in 1958 and is a copy of the one in Historic Jamestown. This memorial to Pocahontas, who lost her original name and religion, and in 1616 [1617] her life, has been relisted by Historic England to mark this 400th anniversary. The life-size bronze of Pocahontas has had its heritage list entry updated to include a full description of her life and role in English and American history. I saw school children placing flowers at the statue of Pocahontas the day before the service.

Pocahontas 400 led up to the anniversary day of her burial. I arrived on Sunday, March 19, and, at the church crowded with guests, heard David Givens of Jamestowne Rediscovery give two interesting talks, a slide show on Pocahontas and the archeological excavations at Historic Jamestown, After David’s first talk, he gave Reverend Stone one of the books he had written.

Presenting the check to Reverend Canon Chris Stone

After his second talk, I gave Reverend Stone a $200 check from our First California Company and its members for the maintenance of the church’s Pocahontas Gardens. Hearing my own short speech, David Givens added that he was very grateful to the Jamestowne Society for giving him a grant for his Master’s Degree at the University of Leicester in England.

Tuesday, March 21 was an exceptionally sunny and beautiful day, where several hundred invited participants gathered for a parade in nearby St. Andrews Park, with costumed musicians playing for the crowd. As the crowd was gathering, there was a ceremony aboard a small red ship on the Thames where water from the James River was poured into the Thames to join the two rivers and two nations.

Pictured before the statue are: Reverend Canon Chris Stone; the Mayor’s daughter, Victoria Bonce; the High Sheriff of Kent, Mrs. Kathrin Smallwood; Chief Emeritus Kenneth Adams, Upper Mattaponi Tribe; Mayor of Gravesham Greta Goatley; Lord Lieutenant of Kent, Viscount De L’Isle; me; The Right Reverend James Longstaff, Bishop of Rochester; Chief Anne Richardson, Rappahanock Tribe; Chief Stephen Adkins, Chickahominy Tribe.

Among the dignitaries who attended the commemoration events and service were: Mayor Greta Goatley of Gravesham; her daughter Victoria Bonce; the High Sheriff of Kent, Mrs. Kathrin Smallwood; the Lord Lieutenant of Kent, Viscount De L’Isle; the Right Reverend James Longstaff, Bishop of Rochester; and, three Indian Chiefs from Virginia: Chief Emeritus Kenneth Adams, Upper Mattaponi Tribe; Chief Anne Richardson, Rappahannock Tribe; and, Chief Stephen Adkins, Chickahominy Tribe. The US Ambassador to Great Britain had attended another commemoration event earlier this year.

I then participated in the early afternoon parade through the village with a stop at The Market Place to see a sculptural Peace Tree and a display of colorful feathers by Kent-based Animate Arts, created to commemorate Pocahontas. Legend has it that Pocahontas planted a mulberry tree at a manor house in Heacham, Norfolk, where Rolfe was from.

Upon arrival at St. George’s Church, Bishop Longstaff presided over a special service, during which Reverend Stone thanked the Jamestowne Society, Colonial Dames of the XVII Century and me for our support of his church. The Church was packed to capacity with invited guests, while an overflow crowd was able to view the services on television in another building. Afterwards, we went to the Old Town Hall for refreshments with the Mayor, which was accompanied by the costumed musicians.

I am grateful to Reverend Stone for inviting me to attend as it was very moving.

The Pocahontas plaque at the church

The Pocahontas window in St. George’s

With Chiefs Stephen Adkins, Chickahominy Tribe and Anne Richardson, Rappahanock Tribe

With Chief Chief Emeritus Kenneth Adams, Upper Mattaponi Tribe (center) and a British sailor

Dave Givens of Jamestown Rediscovery

A pause in the parade

The costumed musicians

 

With the Mayor of Gravesham Greta Goatley (right) and the Mayor’s daughter, Victoria Bonce (left)

With permission, two photos were shown from Kentpix.

Posted in 1617, 2016, Early American History, First California Company, Gravesend, Historic Jamestown, Jamestown Rediscovery, Jamestowne Society, John Rolfe, Pocahontas, Pocahontas 400, Scarlett Stahl, St. George's Church, Uncategorized, Virginia | Comments Off on A Visit to Pocahontas 400; An English Commemoration of Her Death and Interment

In Memoriam: Scott Burgess Krutilek

Scott Krutilek, flanked by Governor Scarlett Stahl and wife Sandy at 2016 SCGS Jamboree

We regret to report the passing of our valued and steadfast member, Scott Burgess Krutilek; April 24, 1938 ~ February 28, 2017. He was active in our company’s Council for many years, a friend to many and brought joy and a large measure of good will to our meetings. He is missed.

Past Governor Ginny Gotlieb’s remembrance:

“Scott served the First California Company as Lieutenant Governor, Treasurer, Councilor and always as a kind and dedicated member and wise advisor.  He and his wife and fellow member Sandy have staffed our table for many years at the Southern California Genealogy Society’s annual Genealogy Jamboree.  It was through Scott’s suggestion that we began to participate in the Jamboree.  He was always willing to help in ways big and small and was modest about his efforts and contributions.  He and Sandy brought their granddaughter Kathleen into the Society and FCC and she, too, has helped us at past events.”

Our company is making a memorial donation to the Society’s Wingo Fund for records preservation. Individuals who wish to augment this with a personal donation can do so as follows:

  1. Use the “Donate  Now” button on the Society’s website, and designate it for the Wingo Fund and dedicate your donation to a Memorial for Scott Krutilek.
  2. You can mail a check payable to the Jamestowne Society with the memo Wingo Fund in memory of Scott Krutilek.
Posted in First California Company, geneaology, Gotlieb, In Memoriam, Jamestowne Society, News, Officers and councilors, Scarlett Stahl, Scott Krutelik, Uncategorized | Comments Off on In Memoriam: Scott Burgess Krutilek

Our Winter Meeting: A Celebration of the Life of Pocahontas

Governor Scarlett Stahl convened our 2017 Winter Meeting in post-deluge Los Angeles on February 18. Nineteen members and guests met to exchange greetings, enjoy fellowship and celebrate the life of Pocahontas.

We began with Dr. Jessica Stern’s engaging and informative presentation on Pocahontas; Her Life and Times in England and the 400th Anniversary of her Death in March 1617.

In her talk, Jessica sought to answer this question: how did Pocahontas feel when she went to London in 1616, around the age 20? We have ample evidence about how the Virginia Company saw her visit. Seizing on a new peace forged between the Chesapeake Algonquian and the English in Virginia (manifested with Pocahontas’s 1614 marriage to John Rolfe), the Virginia Company hoped to use her visit to promote colonization. As made clear in this portrait commissioned during her trip, they sought to emphasize that Pocahontas was Native AND English, and solicit investment in a missionary school. But what about her? Did she feel excitement? Or did she feel captured and homesick?

After showing a digital depiction of how 17th century London may have appeared to Pocahontas, Jessica suggested that, at the very least, the sights, sounds, smells, and crowds must have been jarring. She (much more so than Rolfe) was treated with great pomp and circumstance, which exhausted her – treated to plays, at court, and at the Tower. She and her family moved to an estate in the suburbs to give her some rest. It was there John Smith came to visit her, and it is his account of her views that is the most revealing. As he recalled, she revealed that she feels like a stranger in this land, is duty bound to be Smith’s “child and countryman,” and believes the English “lie often.”

To Jessica, this suggests that Pocahontas saw her trip to England as an extension of the role she assumed the day she participated in the adoption ritual of Smith in 1608 (which he interpreted as her having saved his life out of affection). Then, as in England, she was working to forge a peace between the English and Natives, a role that to which she seemed resigned. But this dutiful life was cut short. As her ship began its trip back to Virginia in March 1617, Pocahontas fell ill, probably of a lung ailment like tuberculosis and died. With her, she had carried 100 pounds that had been donated to start the mission school. She was buried at St. George’s church in Gravesend.

After luncheon was served, new member Gale Hewes was introduced and the meeting moved on to company business, including officers’ reports and announcements. They included:

  1. Treasurer Suzy Leif will coordinate and respond to requests for carpooling to help facilitate transportation to future meetings.
  2. First California Company will again have a table at Southern California Genealogical Society’s 2017 Genealogy Jamboree on June 10, staffed by Governor Stahl, Historian Jim Shepherd and Scott and Sandy Krutilek. We will distribute our recently reprinted company brochure to all attendees.  Members can also obtain them from Governor Stahl.
  3. As previously reported, Governor Stahl will attend the Pocahontas 400 Life Commemorative Church Service on March 21 (400th anniversary of her death) in St. George’s Church, Gravesend, England, participate in the parade and an event the Old Town Hall. She will present the Company’s donation of $100 to St. George’s for help in upkeep of the Pocahontas memorial garden.
  4. Governor Stahl gave a report with an update on the national Society. She and Historian Jim Shepherd will attend its spring Governors’ Forum and meetings in Williamsburg May 19-20.
  5. Jim McCall reported on efforts to stop the proposed construction of view-destroying power transmission towers across James River near Jamestown. The US Army Corps of Engineers’ has been evaluating the requisite permit application since 2013 and now appears to be near to reaching a decision. Until the decision comes down, opposition efforts will continue.
  6. Jim also announced that he is raising funds to help produce a documentary film in tribute to Bill Kelso, the honored archaeologist who has enabled Jamestown Rediscovery to emerge as America’s most important archeological site. This special film tribute is being produced with the endorsement and cooperation of the Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation that serves as fiscal agent for the production.

We will next convene for our 2017 Annual Meeting on Saturday, June 24 in Carlsbad at the Green Dragon restaurant, which is modeled after the Boston tavern where the American Revolution was plotted.

Our Speaker, Dr. Jessica Stern, surrounded by past Governor Donna Derrick, Governor Scarlett Stahl and Councilor Jim McCall

 

 

New member Gale Hewes and her husband, Phil, at left

Guest Margaret Willcox, Jim Shepherd, Suzy Leif, past Governor Donna Derrick, Governor Scarlett Stahl, and Speaker Dr. Jessica Stern

Sandra Bill, past Governor Joanne Murphy, Dorothy Peterson and guest Sue Pitney

Guest Beth Ullman, Harry Holgate, Susan Holgate and past Governor Virginia Gotlieb

Jim McCall, Erica Hahn and past Governor Martha Gresham.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in 1607, Donna Derrick, Dr. Jessica Stern, Early American History, First California Compoany, Jamestown Rediscovery, Jamestowne Society, Pocahontas, Scarlett Stahl, SoCal Genealogical Jamboree, St. George's Church, Uncategorized, Virginia, Winter 2017 | Comments Off on Our Winter Meeting: A Celebration of the Life of Pocahontas

Jamestown in Winter

It’s been a tough weather week in Historic Jamestown.

We here show a You Tube video of  Jamestown in Winter shot from a drone by the Jamestown Rediscovery staff. This makes us appreciate our California weather, no matter the current rains. Note how the reenactor also helps us appreciate what our earliest ancestors had to endure; it was then the Little Ice Age. John Smith described how he had to chop through river ice in visiting the Powhatans and exploring the Chesapeake. Not all summer-like and mosquitos.

Also, below are photos that were among those posted by Jamestown Rediscovery on its Facebook page. As some readers of this page do not access Facebook, we are posting these so all can share them. You can click on them for more detail.

All were taken on January 9 (when it was 10 degrees) by JR staff, two of which were notably taken by Merry Outlaw, its Curator of Collections.

 

The Island in Winter

 

 

Memorial Church and 17th century tower in the snow (Merry Outlaw)

James Fort in the snow.

 

Site of the 1608 church in winter (Merry Outlaw)

Posted in 1607, 1608, 2017, Early American History, geneaology, Historic Jamestown, James Fort, James Fort extension, Jamestown Church Bell Tower, Jamestown Rediscovery, John Smith, News, Updates, Virginia, Winter 2017 | Comments Off on Jamestown in Winter

Our February 18 Winter Meeting in Los Angeles Will Celebrate Pocahontas’ Life

Governor Scarlett Stahl at Pocahontas Statue at Gravesend, England with Reverend Chris Stone

A Message from Governor Scarlett Stahl:

We will next meet on Saturday, February 18 in Los Angeles to celebrate the life of Pocahontas. She was my tenth great-grandmother and the ancestor I chose to join Jamestowne Society with. I have made several pilgrimages to her former sites…such as the 400th Wedding Reenactment at Jamestowne on April 5, 2014, the Pamunkey Indian Reservation in Virginia (the main tribe of Powhatan, Pocahontas’ father) and St. George’s Church in Gravesend, England, where my ancestor was buried March 21, 1617. I also enjoyed our March 2014 First California Company luncheon at the LA Airport Marriott Hotel; Commemoration of the 400th Wedding Anniversary of Pocahontas and John Rolfe.

Her marriage to John Rolfe secured peace between the settlers and the Indians. It was approved by both Chief Powhatan and the Virginia Company Governor for that very reason. Pocahontas died of an unknown illness 400 years ago in March 1617 and was buried at St George’s Church, Gravesend.

There are a series of events commemorating  her Life Celebration at Gravesend. I am excited and privileged to share that I have personally been invited by the Rector, the Reverend Canon Chris Stone, to attend on March 21, the Pocahontas 400 Life Commemorative Church Service in St George’s Church, Gravesend, England, where the Pocahontas Gardens are and which I have previously visited. Following the services, I have been invited to be in the parade and then enjoy refreshments with the Mayor in the Old Town Hall in High Street. I hope to have a report and photos of the festivities for you.  Please contact me if you wish to learn more.

However, it also is fitting to commemorate her death with a Life Celebration at our own First California Company meeting on February 18 at the Tam O’Shanter, one of Los Angeles’ long-established culinary institutions.

Tam O’Shanter

Our meeting is being held at one of my own favorite restaurants, which is modeled after a Scottish pub, housed in a Tudor-style building with plaid-clad waiters serving us. It opened in 1922 and has been operated by the same family in the same location. It was Walt Disney’s favorite restaurant.

Our speaker, Jessica Stern Ph.D., is associate professor of History at California State University Fullerton, who will tell us about Pocahontas: Her Life and Times in England and the 400th Anniversary of her Death in March 1617.

Here are some possible highlights: Thursday, January 5 marked 400 years since Pocahontas was presented to James I at Whitehall Palace in London, where she attended a masque at Whitehall Palace as visiting American royalty.  She had traveled with her husband John Rolfe, of Heacham, Norfolk, but he was excluded from the masque as a commoner. The couple’s links to the village are believed to still be apparent today, as it is said that Pocahontas, John Rolfe and their son may have visited Heacham in 1616 to meet his family. Legend says she planted a mulberry tree in the village, which some believe to be the larger tree which is still growing there.

Please join us in our Life Celebration. We will assemble at 11:30 AM for socializing, then hold a short business meeting for members and enjoy our luncheon, followed by of our program.

We will meet in the Guards’ Room at Tam O’Shanter, which is located at 2980 Los Feliz Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039. Phone: 323-664-0228. NOTE: The I-5 corridor is often congested with Saturday traffic, so please allow extra time to travel.

The cost of the event is $40 and you can choose from prime rib of beef, roasted chicken and a seasonal vegetarian entree. Reservations must be received  by February 10. You can make one by contacting our Treasurer, Suzy Leif.

As always, guests, prospective applicants to the Society and members of other companies are very welcome.

I hope we will see you there to join once again in Jamestowne Society fellowship and sharing to help further our mission:

  • To discover and record the names of all living descendants of those early settlers who made the great sacrifice to establish our English-speaking Nation; and to unite these descendants to honor the memory of our settler ancestors;  and to record their deeds, and to do homage to the birthplace of Virginia and the Nation.      
  • To associate those descendants as members of the corporation.      
  • To bring the members into closer association through activities revolving around matters of common historical and genealogical interest.

Scarlett Gathings Stahl, Governor

First California Company, Jamestowne Society

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in 1614, 1617, 2014 Meeting, 400th Anniversary Pocahontas Rolfe Wedding, Early American History, First California Company, Gravesend, Historic Jamestown, Jamestowne Society, John Rolfe, News, Pocahontas, Scarlett Stahl, St. George's Church, Uncategorized, Virginia | Comments Off on Our February 18 Winter Meeting in Los Angeles Will Celebrate Pocahontas’ Life

Whose Ancestors are Buried in the Jamestown Church?

There have been six churches at Jamestown. The most meaningful were the second, built in 1608 – the site of the 1614 Rolfe/Pocahontas wedding and where graves of four founders were found; the third, built from 1617 to 1619 – the site of the first elected representative legislature in the New World in 1619; the fifth, built sometime in the seventeenth century – its tower is the sole remaining edifice from the colony; and, the sixth, built in as the 1907 Memorial Church, built over and around the sites of the second and third churches.

The second and Memorial churches are located as numbers 18 and 27 on Jamestown Rediscovery’s Map of Discoveries.

With the $50,000 donation announced by Governor Jerry Zillion in the Society’s Fall 2016 Magazine, Jamestown Rediscovery has now expanded its archaeological dig to the interior of the Memorial Church. This is in preparation of the 2019 commemoration of 400th anniversary of the First Assembly, but also to investigate which of our ancestors may be buried there. Two recent news articles report on their progress, one local and the other picked up and published nationally by the Associated Press. There are links within these articles that offer more details of the dig.

The Society requests members and companies interested in supporting this work to make donations to the Society, which will then forward the designated contribution. Donors have three options: (1)  by going to the Roll of Honor page on its website, where online, digital contribution instructions are at the bottom of the page, (2) using the form for mailing donations on the same page, or (3) using the Donate Now button on the Society’s Home page and specifying Archaeological Dig Fund in the provided field.

This is summarized on our Jamestown Archeology page, where we have and will include links to published progress reports from time to time. We will post news of any remains that are found in the church excavation.

Posted in 1607, 1608, 1608 Church Chancel, 1614, 17th Century Church Bell Tower, 17th century church tower, 2016, Daily Press, Early American History, First California Company, Founders' Graves, geneaology, Historic Jamestown, James Fort extension, Jamestown Rediscovery, Jamestowne Society, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Whose Ancestors are Buried in the Jamestown Church?

Our Fall 2016 Meeting Had a Romantic Twist

Governor Scarlett Stahl

Governor Scarlett Stahl

Governor Scarlett Stahl convened First California Company’s fall 2016 meeting on November 12 at Knotts Berry Farm Hotel in Buena Park with 27 members, friends and guests attending. All officers and councilors were present, with the exception of Treasurer Suzanne Leif, Chaplain Sandra Orozco and Councilors Jim McCall and Anita Guenin.

Governor Stahl presided and reported as follows:

Our speaker was Professor Stewart Davenport, who received his Ph.D., in History from Yale University and is an Associate Professor of History at Pepperdine University.

Governor Scarlett Stahl with Professor Stewart Davenport, our speaker, and Lt. Governor Julie Plemmons. Both Scarlett and Julie are holding the tobacco leaves, which were grown and provided as decoration by Historian Jim Shepherd.

Governor Scarlett Stahl with Professor Stewart Davenport, our speaker, and Lt. Governor Julie Plemmons. Both Scarlett and Julie are holding the tobacco leaves, which were grown and provided as decoration by Historian Jim Shepherd.

 

His presentation was on Tobacco in Colonial Virginia: From Boom to Bacon’s Rebellion. Table decorations included real dried tobacco leaves, which had been grown by our Historian, Jim Shepherd and little tobacco bags filled with candy, which were provided by former Governor Donna Derrick and Lieutenant Governor Julie Plemmons. [Ed. Note: Dr. Davenport’s remarks complemented Jim Shepherd’s recent account of his experience as our Company’s only tobacco planter.]

The first order of business was to ratify the Council’s appointment of Erica Hahn to serve as Secretary for the remainder of the 2016- 2018 term as successor to Michelle Chatelle, who had found it necessary to resign. Additionally, we ratified Suzanne Leif’s Council appointment to serve as Treasurer for the remainder of the term 2016-2018 as successor to David Grinnell, who also found it necessary to resign. Both motions were voted upon and adopted. We expressed our appreciation to both for their willingness to serve.

The minutes from the May 21 meeting had been emailed to all members and the Secretary received no corrections or additions.  There were no objections, and the minutes were filed as approved.

Erica Hahn, Secretary, read the Treasurer’s Report as well as the proposed 2017 Budget in the absence of Treasurer Suzanne Leif. These were voted upon and adopted.

Chaplain for the Day, Claire Murphy, reported that our Chaplain, Sandra Orozco was home from the hospital after her fall.

Marty Sommercamp, Membership Chair, introduced two new members, Sally Shepherd Stovall and her seven-year-old nephew, Lucas Lapp.

Susan Shepherd Lapp, Sally Shepherd Stovall, Jim Shepherd (Historian) Scarlett Stahl (Governor) and Lucas Lapp at the new American Flag that was donated by the Shepherd Family.

Susan Shepherd Lapp, Sally Shepherd Stovall, Jim Shepherd (Historian) Scarlett Stahl (Governor) and Lucas Lapp at the new American Flag that was donated by the Shepherd Family.

The Shepherd family presented a new U.S. flag and pole and a matching pole for the Jamestowne Society Flag, as a  gift to our First California Company, which was met with applause.

Parliamentarian Martha Gresham, as a member of the Bylaws Committee, presented amendments to our Bylaws, which were voted upon and adopted.

In Jim McCall’s absence, Jim Shepherd gave a status report on efforts to Save the James.

Jamestowne Society news: Jerry Zillion was re-elected Governor at the Society’s November 4 Fall Meeting. The Lieutenant Governor, Secretary, Auditor, Chaplain, Treasurer all were re-elected.  About 4 others are new officers. Several new councilors were elected [Ed. Note: see the Society’s website.]

Anne Stokes Moore is no longer Companies’ Chair and is now Historian. She has been replaced by Jane Congdon, who is now Regional Chairmen Coordinator, a new office to oversee the nine regions into which companies have been organized. Jane was also elected Registrar for the Society at the Fall meeting. Jane (“Xan”) Alexander is our Western Regional Chair; more information will be sent to all governors by their Regional Chairs, who now will liaison between the Society and companies in their areas.

The Jamestowne Society would like to honor our members who have served in the U.S. military and has created a new pin to recognize U.S. military veterans.  Governors are to compile lists of veterans in their respective companies. In late February or March, the nine Regional Chairmen are to receive those reports from the governors. Jane Congdon will then compile them to create the Society’s complete veteran list. This is ongoing project and names will continually be added just before each national meeting for updated lists at the meetings.

Veterans standing, wives standing for their husbands and daughters standing for their fathers in recognition of Veterans Day.

Veterans standing, wives standing for their husbands and daughters standing for their fathers in recognition of Veterans Day.

First California Company veterans were asked to stand when their name was called, stating their name and branch of service. Also, ladies were asked to stand and give the names and branch of service for their spouses or fathers. The names read were as follows:

George R. Horne, # 7544, Captain, U. S. Marine Corps Reserve. 1958-68 (Not called back on active duty for Vietnam)

John E. Cahoon #6569, Chief Petty Officer, U. S.  Navy Reserve, Retired Served aboard the USS Essex CV 9 (Carrier Vessel), during WWII and during the Korean War as well. He stayed in the reserves and retired after 24 years.

Ward C. White, #8651, S/Sgt. U.S. Air Force, Korean War Veteran, Service: 21 July 1949 to 12 December 1952

James A. Shepherd, # 8690,  Lt. Col., U. S. Marine Corps, Retired. Vietnam War Veteran.Service: 16 April 1958 to 1 July, 1980.

James H. McCall #5883 Private, U. S. Marine Corps Reserve 1955-59 (Injured and eventually discharged.)

Lieutenant Governor Julie Plemmons advised that our next meeting will be on February 18, 2017, with a Los Angeles-area venue to be advised.

The meeting’s Romantic Twist: Scarlett Stahl and Jim Shepherd announced their engagement, and she slightly sheepishly showed off her engagement ring.

Our youngest member, Lucas Lapp (seven years old,) holding tobacco, which was the theme of the speaker’s address.

Our youngest member, Lucas Lapp (seven years old) holding tobacco, which was the theme of the speaker’s address.

 

Posted in 2016 Fall Meeting, Buena Park, Bylaws, Dr. Stewart Davenport, Early American History, First California Company, First California Compoany, geneaology, Jamestowne Society, Jamestowne Society Governor, Jim Shepherd, New Members, News, Officers and councilors, Planter, Save the James, Scarlett Stahl, Stewart Davenport, Tobacco, Uncategorized, Updates, Virginia | Comments Off on Our Fall 2016 Meeting Had a Romantic Twist