Henricus Colony of Virginia

Henricus Colony of Virginia

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Henricus (1611-1622, also known as Henrico, Henryco, Citie of Henryco) was a colony established in Virginia in 1611 by Sir Thomas Dale (l. Dale had been ordered by the Virginia Company of London – which had funded the establishment of Jamestown Colony of Virginia – to locate a site for a new colony that would replace Jamestown as capital.

Dale’s mission was to find better land for a colony as well as to fortify it against possible attacks by the Spanish who objected to England’s colonization efforts in North America, claiming it was already theirs. The land Dale selected for the colony had formerly been inhabited by the Arrohateck tribe, one of the members of the Powhatan Confederacy, but Dale had attacked and indiscriminately slaughtered many of them to secure the site.

The Arrohateck retaliated by harassing Dale’s colonists on their march and after they had built the colony. Henricus was founded in the second year of the First Powhatan War (1610-1614) waged between the colonists of Jamestown and Wahunsenacah, also known as Chief Powhatan (l. 1547 - c. 1618), leader of the Powhatan Confederacy, but Dale refused to allow the conflict to interfere with establishing the colony.

In 1613, as part of the ongoing war, Wahunsenacah’s daughter Pocahontas (l. 1596-1617) was kidnapped by the colonists and held for ransom first at Jamestown and then Henricus where she met her future husband, John Rolfe (l. 1585-1622). Their 1614 marriage established the Peace of Pocahontas (1614-1622), which was broken when Wahunsenacah’s successor, Opchanacanough (l. 1554-1646) launched the Second Powhatan War (1622-1626), which destroyed Henricus, killing most of the colonists including (presumably) John Rolfe.

Colonists returned to the ruins toward the end of the war, but the population never grew to what it had been, and the colony was abandoned. The site of a proposed college nearby, however, attracted colonists who settled there after the war. The location of Henricus was lost during the 19th century but is thought to have been on the peninsula now known as Farrar’s Island and close to the modern-day Henricus Historical Park, a living history museum that preserves Henricus’ story through daily reenactments and exhibitions staged in a reconstructed 17th-century colony.

Jamestown & the First Powhatan War

Although Jamestown came to be known as the first successful English colony in North America, it did not show a great deal of promise at first. When the first English colonists arrived in 1607, they set up their new settlement in a swamp which contributed to a number of diseases that contributed to the deaths of the 100 men and boys who established the settlement. They arrived in May of 1607 and, by that fall, had lost almost half their number.

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Contributing heavily to their difficulties was the fact that many of the colonists were aristocrats who had no experience in farming the land, and all, or almost all, had been led to believe that the Americas were laden with gold and one need not work at all in order to become wealthy. When they found this was not true, they resorted to stealing from the Native American tribes of the Powhatan Confederacy for food.

Wahunsenacah had initially provided them with food and supplies, hoping they would become his allies against the Spanish – who raided the coasts for slaves – as well as the hostile tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy. By 1609, however, relations between the Powhatan tribes and the colonists had soured as the English continued to encroach on native lands and steal food.

Captain John Smith (l. 1580-1631) had formed a relationship with Wahunsenacah and taken measures to prevent thefts, but he returned to England in October 1609, and Wahunsenacah ordered the colonists to remain behind the walls of fortified Jamestown. Warriors of the Powhatan tribes were given leave to kill colonists found on Powhatan land, and this contributed to the period of Jamestown’s history known as the Starving Time during which 80% of the colonists died.

In May 1610, the new governor Sir Thomas Gates (l. 1585-1622) arrived, declared the colony a failure, and ordered it abandoned. He was setting sail with the survivors on the return trip to England when he was met by another ship carrying the aristocrat Thomas West, Lord De La Warr (l. 1577-1618) who ordered him about, and Jamestown was re-established. De La Warr instituted new policies of interacting with the natives which ignored their claims to the land and demanded their submission, setting off the First Powhatan War.

Sir Thomas Dale & Henricus

Sir Thomas Dale arrived while this conflict was ongoing and was undeterred by the violence. Dale had served in the English army, attaining the rank of captain, and was later knighted for distinguishing himself in combat against the Spanish, attracting the attention of the court of King James I of England (r. 1603-1625). He was especially noticed by James I’s son Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales (l. 1594-1612) who became his benefactor and suggested him for the position of deputy governor, in charge of law enforcement, in Virginia. Dale was well-suited for the job as he had already shown himself a strict commander who dealt harshly with infractions but his experience fighting the Spanish certainly recommended him further.

Dale’s strict law code was applied in Henricus (named for his benefactor, Henry Frederick) & encouraged rapid development of the site.

The Spanish had colonized the West Indies, South and Central America throughout the 16th century and had also taken the region corresponding to the modern-day State of Florida in North America. They then claimed the land all the way up the coast to modern-day New York State, stopping short of lands claimed by the Dutch and the French. Dale arrived in Virginia under the impression that a Spanish raid could be imminent and so, after establishing himself (and instituting his harsh law code which, in many cases, caused colonists to flee for refuge to the native villages) marched over 300 colonists to the new site and put them to work around the clock.

Dale himself sailed to the site up the James River but his men marched up inland. On the way, they were harassed by members of the Powhatan tribes under the leadership of the war chief Nemattanew (d. 1621). Nemattanew would continue actions against the English while they built the colony and Dale responded with surprise raids on native villages, the burning of their crops, and random acts of violence. He also imposed the same harsh rules and regulations on the Henricus workers as he had upon the Jamestown colonists when he had arrived.

In Jamestown, he had made an example of those who sought to evade their civic responsibility or fled to the Powhatans. Scholar James Horn quotes Dale in relating the punishments inflicted, writing, "some were hanged, some burned, some broken upon wheels, others staked and shot [and others] bound fast unto trees and so starved to death" (196-197). Dale’s same law code was applied in Henricus (named for his benefactor, Henry Frederick) and encouraged rapid development of the site.

In ten days, the colonists had enclosed seven acres of land within a wooden palisade and then raised watchtowers, built a church, and then public buildings and storehouses. The first hospital in the colonies, Mount Malady, was built on the other side of the river and construction was begun on the first college – the University of Henrico - intended to convert and educate the Native Americans in European Christian values. A large swath of land was cleared for this purpose a few miles above Henricus. Scholar Mary Miley Theobald comments:

Christianizing Virginia’s Indians was a priority with the Virginia Company and King James. They planned to build a college at Henricus to teach Indian children trades useful to the English and to train them as missionaries to their own people. One hundred English tenants were sent to work ten thousand acres of college land to provide income for the school’s support and more than 32,000 sterling was raised in churches throughout England to get the institution off the ground. But it was not to be. The Indians “proved very loathe upon any terms to part with their children,” Governor George Yeardley said. (2)

The colonists were oblivious to the Native American needs and culture, however, and the land continued to be cleared for building the college as work went on in Henricus itself and across the river from the main town. Captain John Smith, who never returned to Virginia but kept a close watch on its developments, describes the colony in his 1624 work, The General History of Virginia, as it looked when Dale was completing it:

This town is situated upon a neck of a plain rising land, three parts environed with the main river, the neck of land well impaled, make it like an island. It hath three streets of well-framed houses, a handsome Church, and the foundation of a better [one] laid, to be built of brick, [as well as] store houses, watch houses, and such like. Upon the verge of the river there are five houses, wherein live the honester sort of people, as farmers in England, and they keep continual sentinel for the town’s security…On the other side of the river, for the security of the town, is intended to be impaled [sites known as] Hope in Faith and Coxendale, secured by five of our manner of forts…and Mount Malado, a guest house for sick people, a high seat and wholesome air, as well as Elizabeth Fort and Fort Patience. (421)

As Henricus developed, it attracted more colonists from Jamestown. Among them was John Rolfe, who had arrived in Virginia with Sir Thomas Gates in 1610, carrying hybrid tobacco seeds with which he experimented to produce a better crop than previously available. Tobacco had proven itself a profitable export for the Spanish and was widely cultivated in their South American colonies. The English had attempted to cultivate the type known as Nicotiana rustica, which grew wild in North America and been used in various ways by the Native Americans, but this produced a bitter and much harsher tobacco than the Spanish cultivation of the southern plant Nicotiana tabacum. The Spanish guarded their tobacco plants and seeds zealously, but, somehow, Rolfe had gotten hold of a number of their seeds which did well in the Virginia soil, and he became a wealthy farmer by 1614. He established his tobacco farm, Varina Plantation, across the river from Henricus, completing it in 1615.

Henricus & Pocahontas

While Dale was busy with Henricus, De La Warr was still managing the First Powhatan War from Jamestown but, falling ill in 1613 CE, turned his authority over to Sir Samuel Argall (l. 1580-1626). Argall made no changes to De La Warr’s war policies and, looking for some advantage, found Wahunsenacah’s favorite daughter Pocahontas living in a village within his reach. He tricked her into visiting his ship, kidnapped her, and brought her to Jamestown in 1613. He then moved her to Henricus, holding her for ransom against the return of prisoners, tools, and weapons taken by the Powhatan. Wahunsenacah complied with Argall’s demands but Pocahontas remained captive as Argall claimed the Powhatan chief had not fully honored the terms of exchange.

Pocahontas was turned over to the Anglican priest Alexander Whitaker (l. 1585-1616) whose plantation, Rock Hall, was located at Henricus. Since one of the stated goals of the English colonies was the evangelization of the natives, the conversion of a notable figure such as Pocahontas, it was thought, would encourage others of the Powhatan Confederacy to become Christians. Whitaker, in the words of scholar David A. Price, "was assigned the task of polishing Pocahontas’ English and teaching her the ways of a Christian lady" (152). Through Whitaker, Pocahontas converted to Christianity, met John Rolfe at Henricus, and married him in April 1614.

Their marriage received the blessings of Dale and Wahunsenacah and concluded the First Powhatan War. Relations between the immigrants and natives improved and they began trading regularly. At the same time, however, the profitable tobacco crop necessitated more land for the colonists and the Powhatan tribes were pushed further into the interior and off their ancestral lands. Pocahontas and Rolfe had a son, Thomas Rolfe (l. 1615 - c. 1660) in 1615 and left on a promotional tour of England in 1616 where Pocahontas died in 1617. Young Thomas (named after Thomas Dale) was left there in the care of Rolfe’s brother.

Indian Massacre of 1622

Wahunsenacah kept the peace, even after his daughter’s death, in honor of his grandson but he stepped down as chief shortly afterwards, dying c. 1618, and his half-brother Opchanacanough became Chief Powhatan. Opchanacanough also kept the peace while planning for an attack he hoped would drive the English from his lands and back to their own. He capitalized on the colonists’ obvious satisfaction over the conversion of Pocahontas and encouraged others of the tribes under him to express interest in doing the same. It has been claimed that Opchanacanough initiated hostilities in response to the killing of Nemattanew in 1621, but it seems clear that plans were in place long before this event and, besides, Nemattanew seems to have been justly killed in retaliation for the murder of a colonist and was never among Opchanacanough’s favorites anyway.

Natives and colonists came and went from Henricus and other villages all around Jamestown as the Peace of Pocahontas held. Natives were often welcomed into colonist’s homes to trade or share a meal, and some members of the tribes worked in the colonies as laborers or servants. None of the colonists, therefore, had any warning when Opchanacanough launched his attack (later known as the Indian Massacre of 1622) on Good Friday, 22 March 1622. At a given signal, natives in the homes and towns of the colonists rose up and killed the English while the warriors of the whole Powhatan Confederacy moved swiftly to burn the villages and kill even more colonists. The plan, to destroy the settlements one by one, and quickly before an alarm could be raised, worked well except for the Jamestown Colony which had been warned by a native boy who had become attached to one of the colonists.

Over 300 colonists were killed in one day, and Henricus was among the settlements destroyed by fire. John Rolfe, who is known to have died in 1622, was most likely killed at Henricus. The native warriors destroyed Mount Malady and set fire to the University of Henrico, and by nightfall, Dale’s colony was a smoldering ruin. Opchanacanough then waited to see the colonists’ response, hoping the attack had the desired effect and they would leave, but he would be disappointed. The colonists regrouped and fought back through a series of raids on Powhatan villages, recreating the tactics, losses, and deaths of the First Powhatan War in the second one. Opchanacanough sued for peace in 1626, but hostilities continued through 1629.


Dale had also developed the City of Henricus which grew up from the town beside the fortifications which, after March 1622, was also in ruin. Colonists from Jamestown and former Henricus citizens returned to settle there, but in 1623, it was reported that the site had been "left to the Indians". There is some evidence it was reinhabited by the English in 1624 and that the area cleared for the college supported some colonists, but Henricus was never rebuilt.

The ruins of the colony were still noted by travelers in the 18th century and were also recorded by writers during the American Civil War (1861-1865). In 1864, the Union Army dug a canal in the area (the Dutch Gap Canal) which destroyed the ruins, and later development of the area further obscured the site so that by the 20th century the general area of Henricus was known but not the exact location.

In 1985, a group was organized to preserve the history of Henricus, and this was incorporated in 1987 as the Henricus Foundation. Through donations and grants, the Henricus Foundation was able to establish the living museum of the Henricus Historical Park, which hosts thousands of visitors every year who come to hear the story not only of Henricus and the English colonists but of the Powhatan tribes displaced by them.

Early Settlers of Colonial Virginia

The recorded History of Virginia began with settlement of the geographic region now known as the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States, previously settled thousands of years ago by Native Americans. The earliest visits to the area were conducted primarily by English and Spanish explorers. After early attempts by Spain to establish a colony in the 1570's were abandoned, permanent European settlement did not occur until the establishment of Jamestown in 1607, by English colonists. As tobacco emerged as a profitable export, Virginia imported more Africans to cultivate it and hardened boundaries of slavery. The Virginia Colony became the wealthiest and most populated British colony in North America.

After an early expedition in 1584 to the "New World" by Sir Walter Raleigh, many other expeditions from England were sent to explore and colonize, including three ships that set sail on April 30, 1607, which were funded by "The Virginia Company". The 'Discovery', the 'Godspeed' and the 'Susan Constant' sailed for 4½ months to reach the shores of the New World. From the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, the three ships sailed. Captain Bartholomew Gosnold, Captain Christopher Newport, Captain John Ratcliffe, Captain Gabriel Archer, and Captain Edward Wingfield were in charge of the expedition. The people of the expedition consisted of 'gentlemen' and farmers.

The first settlement in what became known as the Virginia Colony was Jamestown, which was founded in 1607. It was set up to be the center of the Virginia Colony's government and commerce. Later in 1624, Virginia was created as a royal colony that included the original Jamestown settlement, when King James I revolked the charter of the bankrupt Virginia Company and the colony transferred to royal authority as a crown colony, but the elected representatives in Jamestown continued to exercise a fair amount of power. Under royal authority, the colony began to expand to the North and West with additional settlements. In 1630, under the governorship of John Harvey, the first settlement on the York River was founded. In 1632, the Virginia legislature voted to build a fort to link Jamestown and the York River settlement of Chiskiack and protect the colony from Indian attacks. This fort would become Middle Plantation and later Williamsburg, Virginia. In 1634, a palisade was built near Middle Plantation. This wall stretched across the peninsula between the York and James rivers and protected the settlements on the eastern side of the lower Peninsula from Indians. The wall also served to contain cattle.

Also in 1634, a new system of local government was created in the Virginia Colony by order of the King of England. Eight shires were designated, each with its own local officers. These shires were renamed as counties only a few years later. They were:

Accomac (now Northampton County) Charles City Shire (now Charles City County) Charles River Shire (now York County) Elizabeth City Shire (existed as Elizabeth City County until 1952, when it was absorbed into the city of Hampton) Henrico Shire (now Henrico County) James City Shire (now James City County) Warwick River Shire (existed as Warwick County until 1952, then the city of Warwick until 1958 when it was absorbed into the city of Newport News) Warrosquyoake Shire (now Isle of Wight County)

These counties served as the primary foundation for governing for many years in early Colonial Virginia, until the colonies agreed many years later to form what now is the United States of America. The settlers listed below were all considered very important to the establishment of government and were significant in the historical impact on Colonial Virginia:

Wikipedia: History of Virginia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Virginia Colonial Virginia, Williamsburg Official site http://www.williamsburg.com/ InfoPlease: Virginia: History, Geography and State Facts: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0108283.html

Henricus Colony of Virginia - History

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Citie of Henricus

In May 1611 Sir Thomas Dale arrived in Virginia with instructions from the London Company to find a secure and healthy area to establish a new town and seat of the colony. Early in September 1611, Sir Thomas Dale moved up the river to establish Henricus, the colony's second settlement.

Sir Thomas Dale was an experienced officer, having served as a captain in the Netherlands. He had been knighted at Richmond (England) on June 19, 1606, as Sir Thomas Dale of Surrey. With the help of friends, Dale was appointed High Marshall of the colony.

As High Marshall, Dale was responsible for enforcing the laws, determining punishment and leading military expeditions. As commander, Dale was also responsible for overseeing the construction and defense of the city.

Men were assigned specific tasks. While some cleared the land, others began construction of the palisades and buildings and others kept watch against hostile Native Americans. He already had "timber, pales, posts and railes" prepared "for the present impaling this new Towne to secure himself and en from the mallice and trechery of the Indians."

Henricus stood "upon a neck of very high land, 3 parts thereof environed with the main River." As a defensive measure, Dale erected a long fence known as a pale across the narrow end of the neck of land to make it an island. Powhatan's skilled bowmen harassed the Englishmen as the fort and palisade took shape, sending arrows over the walls.

Dale confidently expected that the new town would replace Jamestown as the principal seat of the colony. The location upriver provided security from possible Spanish attack (Britain was hostile with Spain at this time) and the high bluffs provided a healthier environment than the swamps of Jamestown.

John Rolfe, an enterprising settler, was the first to successfully introduce crop tobacco to Virginia on his small Virginia farm. Rolfe obtained the seeds of a strain of Trinidad and Orinoco tobacco that thrived in Virginia soil. This "green gold" quickly became the colony's chief export and transformed the struggling colony into a bustling and robust economy.

In 1614, shortly after the introduction of crop tobacco, Sir Thomas Dale instituted a policy of private ownership of land drastically altering the development of Henricus. To encourage each citizen to work and prosper from his labor, he gave each man three acres of land. In exchange for the land, each man was required to provide 2 barrels of food to the common food stores each year. By 1616 is it believed that approximately 50 persons were all the remained within the Citie walls. Others had established their own private farms along the James River.

As the colonists began to prosper, their increased numbers and aggressive expansion further strained the relationship between the English and the Native Americans. In March 22, 1622, Opechancanough, Powhatan's younger brother and successor, led a raid against English settlements up and down the James River. The Citie of Henricus was destroyed. Although Opechancanough did not succeed in driving the English from the area, some of the settlements were abandoned, including Henricus.

Subsequent efforts to reestablish the town of Henricus failed. In May 1625, more than three years after the devastating attack, only 22 inhabitants were reported residing in ten "dwelling-houses" at Henricus.

In 1637, fifteen years after the Massacre, the site was included in a 2,000 acre tract patented by William Farrar (farrar1). Because it was owned by the Farrar family, specifically William Farrar, Sr., the peninsula became known as Farrar's Island.

The 1611 Citie of Henricus is being recreated in a new and exciting way. To best educate visitors about the important beginnings that occurred at Henricus in a compelling and dynamic way, the Citie is being rebuilt in seven educational venues, or "outdoor classrooms." Each venue will focus on one of the many beginnings that occurred at Henricus, and will include living history interpretation, buildings and gardens.

The influence of the Native Americans on the lives of the English settlers cannot be overstated. The skills and experiences the Native Americans shared with the English enabled the colonists to survive in this new environment.

The Native American encampment is enclosed within a log style palisade. The recreated camp includes two yahawkins (wigwams). To demonstrate the different building techniques of the Eastern Woodland Natives, one yahawkin is covered in bark and one in reed. Carved totems also enhance the experience. Interpreters can demonstrate many of the crafts and skills of the Native Americans, including tanning, canoe making, flintknapping, basket weaving, pottery working and cooking techniques. The agrarian life of the Native Americans also is explored. Corn and tobacco fields are planted as examples of the types of crops the Native Americans grew.

Explore the life of the typical 17th-century Henricus resident within the palisaded walls of the Citie Center. Interpreters will use a watchtower and armory to demonstrate the importance of military rule that controlled this colony. With several dwellings, a completed wooden church, the brick foundation for a another church, and vegetable and herb gardens as a backdrop, the domestic and social interaction of the Citie's inhabitants will also be investigated. Blacksmithing, carpentry and brick making will further demonstrate the daily community life of the colonists.

Mt. Malady, the first public hospital in the American colonies, was built near Henricus in 1612. A contemporary observer described Mt. Malady as "an Hospitall with fourscore lodgins (and beds ready to furnish them) for the sicke and lame, with keepers to attend them for their comfort and reverie." The hospital was most likely a long, narrow structure fortified with a palisade or paled fence. It is thought to have had 40 beds for 80 patients. Comparatively, the typical European hospital housed four or more patients per bed, head-to-toe, regardless of gender. Mt. Malady was more a retreat or "guest house" for the sick than a hospital in the modern sense. Built for "harboring sick men and receiving strangers," the hospital at Henricus provided a safe haven where colonists could recover from their long sea voyage to Virginia. They could also seek treatment for such prevalent diseases as typhoid fever, dysentery and salt poisoning contracted by drinking contaminated water from shallow wells and salt water from the James River. In addition, incoming settlers brought many infectious diseases with them which spread to the colonists. The hot humid Virginia summers, so different from England, would also have been hard on those newly arrived. It is not known how long Mt. Malady stood and served as a hospital. Some believe that it was destroyed during the Indian Massacre of 1622. Public institutional care for the sick disappeared in Colonial Virginia when the London Company was dissolved in 1624. With the dissolving of the Virginia Company, the colonists had to provide for their own medical care through private physicians or at home.

The Virginia Company began to develop the first university in English North America near Henricus in 1619. The Colledge of Henricus was to offer a place of higher learning for both the settlers and Native American youth. The company provided instructions specifying that 10,000 acres be set aside for the university. Later, they reserved an additional 1,000 acres for a college to provide religious instruction to the natives in order to "civilize" them. The land set aside was on the north side of the river and extended from the falls down to the area adjacent to Henricus.

The Colledge of Henricus was a casualty of the Massacre of 1622. Seventeen men were killed on college lands. Survivors fled to Jamestown for safety. The Company in London later sent a directive to Virginia ordering work to resume on the college. Though several attempts were made to follow this directive, public support in Virginia was lacking and these attempts were in vain.

Virginia Colony Facts: Roanoke

In 1584 Sir Walter Raleigh sent his first colonization mission to Roanoke. The first expedition was a research mission. The English wanted to learn the smelting techniques of the natives.

By learning their smelting techniques the English could speed up their process from 16 weeks to 4 days and would give them an advantage. The settlement was abandoned when locals began to worry about conflicts with the native tribes. The colonists brought back with them tobacco, maize, and potatoes.

The second attempt to colonize Roanoke was in 1587 when Sir Walter Raleigh sent 150 colonists under the leadership of John White to Roanoke Island.

White returned to England for supplies that same year and was unable to return immediately due to a conflict between England and Spain (This was roughly the time of the Spanish Armada defeat).

When he finally returned in 1590 the colonists had abandoned Roanoke and written on a tree was the word, CROATOAN.

The colonists&rsquo departure did not seem forced, but they were never found. During this time the first English baby born on American soil had been birthed. Her name, Virginia Dare.

The Colonists of Roanoke disappeared and left behind the words, Croatoan. They were never found or heard from again.

1610 to 1619

Sir Thomas Gates is deputy governor until the arrival of Thomas West, Lord De La Warr, the newly appointed governor of Jamestown.

The Virginia Company sends the Reverend Richard Buck to Jamestown to be the colony's first chaplain.

Dutch colonists begin operating a glassworks at Jamestown.

May 23 or 24, 1610

The Deliverance and the Patience arrive in Jamestown, carrying John Rolfe, Ralph Hamor, Sir George Somers, and others from the Sea Venture wreck. The survivors have built the two ships on Bermuda island from wreckage of the original ships destroyed in a hurricane. They find approximately sixty malnourished colonists at Jamestown.

May 24, 1610

Sir Thomas Gates, the new governor of Jamestown establishes martial law under Laws Divine, Morall and Martiall. These laws are published in London in 1612.

June 7, 1610

Conditions continue to deteriorate at Jamestown and Sir Thomas Gates and the colonists sail away, abandoning the colony. But they encounter Lord De la Warr and his supply ships at Mulberry Island on June 8 and return to Jamestown three days later.

August 9, 1610

Jamestown colonists attack the Paspagegh Indians. They defeat the Pasageghs decisively, at least for the moment. Friction continues between the Paspageghs and the English who have settled on their land.

Lord De La Warr serves as governor from June 10, 1610 through late March 1611 and then departs for England. George Percy serves as deputy governor through the end of May, when Thomas Dale arrives and replaces him.

September 1611

Thomas Dale leads a group of colonists to establish Henricus (later Henrico), one of the first outlying settlements in Virginia.

The third charter of the Virginia Company of London reaffirms its independence from the Crown in matters of trade and governance. A new council, drawn from all Company members, makes policy and writes instructions for Jamestown. Meetings of the weekly "court" or assembly made up of officers and some members will be more frequent, and there will be a great quarterly court, made up of council members, interested officials, and members. The governor and his council in Jamestown are responsible to the Company.

The Crown licenses lotteries and one is established to raise funds for the Virginia Company.

The British establish a colony on the island of Bermuda.

April 13, 1613

At Jamestown, Captain Samuel Argall and others who have captured Powhatan's daughter Pocohontas, bring her to Jamestown. Governor Sir Thomas Dale determines to keep her hostage until Powhatan releases captured Englishmen.

Settlements branch into the interior. There are now four: Jamestown, Kecoughtan (Elizabeth City after 1621), Henrico, and Charles City. The term of the first indentured servants in Jamestown expires and they are now free laborers. Some return to England, while others remain to become tenant farmers.

John Rolfe is the first in Jamestown to grow marketable tobacco after obtaining superior seed from the West Indies, where the Spanish have outlawed the sale of tobacco seed to other nations on penalty of death.

This year, Captain Samuel Argall negotiates a written treaty with the Chickahominy Indians, who are semi-independent of the Powhatan confederation. Jamestown is still largely dependent on Indian tribes for food supplies.

March 1614

John Rolfe and Robert Sparkes travel up the Pamunkey River with Pocohontas, who has been held captive at Jamestown for almost a year. Powhatan negotiates a truce.

April 1614

John Rolfe and Pocohontas are married. Before she is married, Pocohontas converts to Christianity and assumes the Christian name "Rebecca."

June 28, 1614

John Rolfe sends the first shipment of Virginia tobacco to England. Samuel Argall and Ralph Hamor depart for England.

The Bermuda Company is chartered. In 1609, the Virginia Company claimed Bermuda as part of its original charter but did nothing to establish a colony there. In 1612, some Virginia Company members purchased rights from their own Company and formed the Somers Island Company, which is chartered as the Bermuda Company in 1615. London meetings of the Virginia and Bermuda Companies often involve the same people. An Extraordinary Court Held for Virginia and the Sumer Islandes

May. Governor Sir Thomas Dale, John Rolfe, Pocohontas, and ten other Powhatan Indians sail for England on board the Treasurer, arriving in June. George Yeardley is deputy governor while Dale is in England. Dale has been recalled under criticism and in an effort to redeem his leadership writes A True Relation of the State of Virginia, Left by Sir Thomas Dale, Knight, in May last, 1616. A Proclamation Giving License to Any Who Are in Virginia, to Return Home, 1616/17

Late summer 1616

Under Deputy Governor George Yeardley's leadership, friendly relations with the Chickahominy Indians deteriorate. Jamestown is unable to supply itself, instead devoting land and labor to the cultivation of tobacco. The Chickahominy Indians are sometimes unable to supply the colony with food, or they grow impatient of repeated requests and refuse supplies. Governor Yeardley and a group of men kill twenty to forty Chickahominy Indians, and as a result the tribe draws closer to the Powhatan confederation.

The Company fails to win a monopoly in tobacco trade from the Crown. This would have made the Company and colony the sole importers of tobacco. James I , who has a strong distaste for the habit of smoking, opposes excessive cultivation of the crop. Tobacco exports grow from a total of twenty-five hundred pounds in 1616 to a total of fifty thousand pounds in 1628.

In London the Company creates a subsidiary joint-stock company called the "Magazine" or "Society of Particular Adventurers for Traffic with the People of Virginia in Joint Stock." This almost-completely-independent company receives a monopoly in supplying Jamestown and outlying settlements. Its director and courts meet separately from the Virginia Company's, and profits are returned to its investors alone.

November 1616

Ending the first seven-year period, the Virginia Company attempts to issue dividends to its investors, but profits are so small that it distributes land in Virginia instead. The Company allows the establishment of private plantations, called "hundreds." Land grants are made to several of the Company's major adventurers. Thereafter, some people buy stock in the Virginia Company for the specific purpose of getting private land grants. After 1618, English settlement significantly encroaches on Indian lands, especially along the Chickahominy and James Rivers. Most of these encroachments are due to private land grants by the Company.

March 21, 1617

Pocohontas dies of illness at Gravesend, England. While in England, her husband, John Rolfe, has written A True Relation of the State of Virginia, which puts a good face upon conditions in Virginia. A Letter from John Rolfe to Edwin Sandys upon His Return to Virginia

April 1618

Powhatan dies. About a year earlier he had ceded power to Opitchapan (or, Itopan), who was then succeeded by Opechancanough.

October 29, 1618

Sir Walter Raleigh is executed for treason in London, in part to satisfy the Spanish. In 1616, Raleigh had been paroled from the Tower of London, where he had been imprisoned since 1606. After his release, Raleigh had attacked a Spanish settlement in Orinoco, where he had been searching for "El Dorado," the fabled Indian leader of a city of gold. The expedition a failure, Raleigh then sailed north along the Carolina coast and Chesapeake Bay and on up to Cape Cod and the mouth of the Kennebec River before sailing home to face trial and execution.

December 1618

The Company's instructions to the Colony's new governor, George Yeardley, recognize tobacco as a medium of exchange.

This year, Virginia Company officials in London discover that rather than yielding a profit, the original investment of seventy-five thousand pounds has been almost entirely lost.

This year begins what is called the "Great Migration," which by 1623 brings the population of the Virginia colony to forty-five hundred.

April 23, 1619

Sir Edwin Sandys, a west English merchant with leanings toward Puritanism, is elected treasurer of the Virginia Company at a quarterly court. John Ferrar is deputy treasurer. Sandys calls for a decrease in tobacco cultivation, the creation of industries, such as the reestablishment of the glassworks and saltworks, which had fallen away, the production of naval stores, an ironworks, sawmill, silkworming, and vineyards. He calls for the cultivation of subsistence crops and of the neglected Company or "public" lands in Virginia. Women are recruited in London to come to the colony and marry. Sandys's predecessor and political enemy, Sir Thomas Smith, becomes head of the Bermuda Company. When Sandys's laudable projects fail, he becomes vulnerable to attacks.

April 1619

Governor Sir George Yeardley is empowered to charge and try Governor Samuel Argall for neglect of duty and malfeasance. Yeardley had been governor from April 1616 to May 1617 and was then succeeded by Samuel Argall, who had returned from England. Argall had established harsh martial law during his tenure, which had caused adverse publicity for the Company in London. Yeardley assures colonists that in Virginia they shall enjoy the same rule of common law as in England. The Company has instructed him to establish a legislature, settle disputes about private land patents, regularize the relationship between private plantations, or hundreds, and the Company, and to re-cultivate the Company or public lands. Instructions to Governor Yeardley.

July 30- August 4, 1619

The first legislative assembly meets in Jamestown, in the choir of the church. None of the Assembly's laws are official unless ratified by one-fourth of the Company's Court. Guided by the Company's instructions, the Assembly passes measures to encourage the production of wine, hemp, flax, and, above all, an adequate food supply. The cultivation of tobacco is restricted. Colonists have complained about the high prices charged by the Magazine, and the Assembly limits its profits to twenty-five percent. Other measures address social behavior, such as idleness, drunkenness, gambling, and the wearing of apparel beyond one's social station. Seven private plantations, or hundreds, are represented in this first Assembly. John Pory, A Reporte of. the General Assembly Convented at James City, July 30-August 4, 1619

John Rolfe, who has returned from England, becomes a member of the Council. He marries Jane, the daughter of Captain William Pierce.

Summer 1619

Unceasing torrid heat adds to the crop, food supply, and health problems of the Virginia settlements. There are about a thousand people living in the Virginia colony.

August 1619

The first African slaves are brought to Virginia by Captain Jope in a Dutch ship. Governor Yeardley and a merchant, Abraham Piersey, exchange twenty of them for supplies. These Africans become indentured servants like the white indentured servants who traded passage for servitude. John Rolfe to Edwin Sandys, Jan 1619/20, "About the latter end of August. "

The duty-free status of the Company and the colony ends. The Crown now expects to derive revenue from the Colony in the form of custom duties.

Opechancanough replaces Itopatin as leader of the Powhatan confederation.

Henricus Historical Park

Rocke Hall, one of the park’s recreated colonial structures.

Image Source: Uploaded by cheryl h to Trip Advisor

When people think of historical parks, images of picnic tables, scenic hiking trails, and fun historical reenactments are usually what first come to mind. But that’s not the case for the locals of Chester, Virginia. The historical park in their town isn’t just where people go for recreation and history lessons. Henricus Historical Park is also a prime place to get scared.

To begin with, the town of Chester is no stranger to paranormal activity. Ghost sightings and strange occurrences have been reported by residents and visitors for quite some time. Be careful when you are steering up Ruffin Mill Road, for instance – vehicles are known to unexplainably break down while driving on it. According to local lore, it is haunted by the spirit of a woman who committed suicide after losing her child. It’s also believed to have once been an old Indian trail.

If you are on Ware Bottom Spring Road, avoid the old Parkers Battery that lies beside it. Many people have seen apparitions of Civil War soldiers emerge from its bunkers. It was an important part of the Confederate’s defensive line, so you can be sure that it’s seen its fair share of battles.

Then there is Eppington, one of Chesterfield County’s most famous plantation homes. This stellar Georgian style mansion was built by Colonel Francis Eppes in 1768. Besides their wealth, the Eppes family was known for its close connection with Thomas Jefferson. The Colonel was a cousin of his wife, Martha. When Martha Jefferson passed away in 1782, her two daughters were brought to Eppington. Jefferson asked the Eppes to raise his children while he was away serving as Minister to France. Unfortunately, one of the girls, Lucy, fell victim to illness and died just one month later. The last owners of the house, the Cherry family, would often hear Lucy’s spirit weeping on the second floor1.

Over 30 graves have been discovered at Eppington, according to NBC29.com.

But Historic Henricus Park offers a much larger environment to do some ghost hunting. It also has had much more time to accumulate some tormented souls. Its site gives a nice overview of its long history2.

The story of Henricus dates back to nearly ten thousand years ago. Archaeologists have discovered the artifacts and skeletal remains of various Native American tribes, including the Paleo-Indians, the Arrohateck, and the Powhatan, at Henricus. For the Indians, the land’s close proximity to the James River and York River basins made it ideal for setting up villages and farms. The area thus experienced much tribe versus tribe warfare before the Europeans arrived in 1607.

One of the most well known members of the Powhatan tribe is definitely Pocahontas. By the early 1600s, Chief Powhatan had emerged victorious from all the competition over the area. He swallowed up over thirty tribes, including the Arrohateck, into his chiefdom. Pocahontas, born Matoaka, was one of the Chief’s daughters. Described by Captain Ralph Hamor to be her father’s “delight and darling”3, she enjoyed some status, despite her mother’s lowly ranking. She thus easily caught the eye of Captain John Smith, when he was captured by the tribe and brought to the Powhatan capital, Werowocomoco, to be interrogated by the Chief.

The impressive Chief Powhatan.

Before his December abduction, Smith had arrived at Virginia with other settlers in April 1607. He was sent by The Virginia Company of London to colonize the land. In May of that year, the beginnings of Jamestown blossomed, as well as serious problems between colonists and Indians. Luckily for Smith, he would survive his stay at Werowocomoco. Pocahontas is believed to have played a pivotal role in his survival:

“‘…at the minute of my execution’, [Smith] wrote, ‘she [Pocahontas] hazarded the beating out of her own brains to save mine and not only that, but so prevailed with her father, that I was safely conducted to Jamestown.’”4

“Pocahontas Saving the Life of Capitain John Smith” by Paul Cadmus, 1939.

Modern city planners were thus keen to celebrate Pocahontas for rescuing the man who helped establish our nation. They built a road in Eastern Henrico and named it Pocahontas Parkway. But sometimes, embracing history too much has its pitfalls: it disturbs the dead. People report of hearing the drums and chants of Native Americans as they drive along the parkway at night, sometimes even seeing apparitions emerge from the darkness.

Henricus, established in September 1611, was the colony’s second settlement. This time, it was Sir Thomas Dale who was sent by The Company to continue with colonizing Virginia. “Dale confidently expected that the new town would replace Jamestown as the principal seat of the colony.”5 But his aggressive plans to achieve this only strained tensions between colonists and tribes.

All of the uneasiness finally climaxed in 1622. During the famous Indian Massacre, also known as the Powhatan Uprising, Powhatan’s brother and successor Opechancanough led a surprise attack on Jamestown, leaving some 347 to 4006 settlers dead. Among the destroyed settlements was Henricus. The town’s once booming population was dwindled down to a mere 22 inhabitants7.

Fifteen years later, William Farrar, an investor of tThe Virginia Company of London, arrived in Virginia. He inherited 2,000 tracts of land where the “Citie of Henricus” once stood and patented his earnings “Farrar’s Island.”

An old map of Farrar’s Island.

The town of Chester played an important role in both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. That’s why many of the reenactments staged at Historic Henricus Park are of these eras. During the Revolutionary War, Chester served as a training camp for new recruits of General George Washington. The British also made use of the town. General Charles Cornwallis set up temporary headquarters at Chester before making his way to Yorktown. Thus, where Historic Henricus Park now stands frequently fell in the path of conflict. During the Battle of Petersburg, for instance, a fleet from the Virginia Navy faced the gunboats of British commander Major General William Phillips at Osborne’s Landing. Though the British would emerge victorious from the conflict, the Americans put up a good fight.

During the Civil War, Henricus was also the site of an important naval skirmish. The scene during the Battle of Trent’s Reach, which lasted from January 23 to 25 in 1865, was one of chaos, gunfire, and explosions.

“With bullets whistling and shells exploding over their heads, [the soldiers’] job was increasingly hazardous. These soldiers also succumbed to fever and disease requiring an ever-ready flow of replacements.”8

Ships exploding during the Battle of Trent’s Reach.

Besides restless ghosts, the battle also left behind the beginnings of the important Dutch Gap Canal, located about one mile away from Henricus Historical Park. During the Civil War, the James River was getting in the way of conflict, so Union soldiers and African American laborers attempted to construct a large duct to divert its waters. Battle play prevented them from seeing their project to completion – it took another five years for the canal to be truly realized. It then went through several renovations and improvements to become the popular tourist destination that it is today.

Today, the park’s staff have “recreated 1611 Citie of Henricus”9 in its entirety. Visitors can mingle with actors dressed in traditional 17th century garb, as they are taught the ways of being a colonist. Other interpreters dawn Native American costumes, as they show tourists what life was like for the area’s first inhabitants. Henricus Fort includes twelve colonial structures, such as taverns, pig houses, and colonial homes. The Indian Village features several long houses and miniature farms, not unlike the ones lived in and tended by the Powhatan tribe. You can learn skills like blacksmithing and canoe making at the park, but just don’t be too sure whoever’s teaching you is actually alive!

An actor, tilling the land at the park’s recreated colonial village.

Image Source: Petersburgarea.org

John Pagano, who joined the reenactment team back in 2007, has experienced such mix-ups. Once, while he was in the Soldier’s House, he caught a glimpse of a female colonist walking outside.

“’By the time I got to the door, there was no one there,’ he says. ‘I didn’t have anyone on staff who even looked like that. That was the first big hint as far as thinking something [paranormal] was going on there.’”10

Indeed, spirits seem to be as eager as actors to interact with visitors. In buildings, tourists report of hearing unexplained noises, such as children laughing and footsteps. Others claim to have seen misty apparitions and objects moving on their own. Outside, cannon blasts and gun fire have frequently disrupted the serene atmosphere, despite the fact that no reenactments were being staged at the time. Paranormal specialists have thus become increasingly fascinated with Historic Henricus Park.

Horror author and ghost expert Pamela K. Kinney even includes Historic Henricus Park on her list of Top Ten Haunted Spots of Richmond, Virginia and Its Surrounding Counties11. When Kinney visited the site with Jackie Tomlin of Central Virginia Paranormal Investigations back in 2010, they left with plenty of video and audio12evidence of ghosts, both inside buildings and outside on the grounds. “A rapid temperature drop, a faint voice, and a sound that comes from right behind us…”13 they report in footage.

The paranormally busy park has entire events dedicated to its spectral tenants. Since 2012, Henricus Historical Park has been “lock downed”14 to avid horror fans. During the park’s annual Haunted Henricus: Things That Go Bump in the Night15 event, guests get a full evening of fear and fun. And since no children under six are allowed to attend, you can be sure that it is for real thrill seekers!

During the festivities, you will encounter actors reenacting spooky legends from European and Native American folklore. Members of the paranormal group Transcend Paranormal are also onsite to lead tours of the haunted park and share what they uncovered during earlier visits. They have plenty of evidence to go through, including a full-bodied shadow figure16, countless electronic voice phenomena, and strange video anomaly17. When asked about Henricus Historical Park, Transcend Paranormal’s Steve Dills replies: “It’s our go-to place. Sometimes we stay overnight.”18

The “full-bodied shadow figure” shot by one of Transcend Paranormal’s guests.

Port and Ferry Town

Bermuda Hundred became a local site of mercantile activity as stores, warehouses, and taverns were built there, especially the store of Francis Eppes, who with William Randolph laid out the town of Bermuda Hundred in 1688. Three years later, in 1691, the General Assembly officially made Bermuda Hundred one of Virginia’s ports. Its importance grew over the next eighty-nine years as it became a tobacco inspection site in 1731, home to a ferry across the James River to City Point (now the city of Hopewell) in 1732, and a south-side court for Henrico County until Chesterfield County was formed in 1749. In 1738, Bermuda Hundred was briefly considered as a site for the new capital of the colony, but was not chosen. After 1780, when Richmond became the new capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Bermuda Hundred saw its port’s importance decline.

Historic Sites Henricus Historical Park

E xperience what it was like when the first English settlers moved to America by taking a trip to Henricus Historical Park in Chesterfield County.

Established in 1611 by Sir Thomas Dale, Henricus was the second successful English city in the New World. It was built along the James River on land inhabited by the Appomattocks tribe, where Pocahontas grew up. Harsh battles were fought when the English first arrived in America. It was the marriage between Pocahontas and John Rolfe that helped bring a peaceful coexistence between the two warring factions.

Union troops tried to build a canal here late in 1864 to cut off a curl of the James threatened by Confederate forts such as Dantzler. The effort failed during the war, but the canal was completed later and is now the main James River channel. Civil War Trails sign overlooks the river in the park.

Daily, visitors enjoy a very interactive experience as costumed interpreters bring early Virginia history to life! Special events and programs are offered throughout the year including Publick Day in September. Closed Mondays and some holidays.

Adults: $8
Children (ages 3-12): $6
Military: $1 off
Children Under 2: Free
Members: Free

Evolution of the Virginia Colony, 1611-1624

Almost from the start, investors in the Virginia Company in England were unhappy with the accomplishments of their Jamestown colonists. They therefore sought a new charter, which the king granted in May 1609. They took immediate steps to put the company on a sounder financial footing by selling shares valued at 12 1/2, 25, and 50 pounds (English monetary unit, originally equivalent to one pound of silver). Investors were promised a dividend from whatever gold, land, or other valuable commodities the Company amassed after seven years.

Meanwhile, the charter allowed the Company to make its own laws and regulations, subject only to their compatibility with English law. To avoid the disputes that had characterized Virginia in its first years, the Company gave full authority and nearly dictatorial powers to the colony's governor. These changes were nearly too little and too late, for Jamestown was just then experiencing its "starving time." The Company, however, was bent on persevering and sent a new batch of ships and colonists in 1611. Over the next five years, Sir Thomas Gates and then Sir Thomas Dale governed the colony with iron fists via the "Lawes Devine, Morall, and Martiall."

The harsh regimes of the Virginia governors were not especially attractive to potential colonists. What was more, the colonists who did go to Virginia often did not have the skills and knowledge to help the colony prosper. The colonists not only found little of value, they were remarkably unable even to feed themselves. As a result, huge numbers of colonists perished from disease (many of which they brought with them), unsanitary conditions, and malnutrition. Between 1614 and 1618 or so, potential colonists were much more attracted to the West Indies and Bermuda than they were Virginia.

By 1618, the Virginia Company was forced to change course again. The Company had not solved the problem of profitability, nor that of settlers' morale. Sir Edwin Sandys became Company Treasurer and embarked on a series of reforms. He believed that the manufacturing enterprises the Company had begun were failing due to want of manpower. He embarked on a policy of granting sub-patents to land, which encouraged groups and wealthier individuals to go to Virginia. He sought to reward investors and so distributed 100 acres of land to each adventurer. He also distributed 50 acres to each person who paid his or her own way and 50 acres more for each additional person they brought along. This was known as the Virginia headright system.

Finally, Sandys thought it essential to reform the colony's governing structure. He hit upon the idea of convening an assembly in the colony, whose representatives would be elected by inhabitants. The assembly would have full power to enact laws on all matters relating to the colony. Of course, these laws could be vetoed by either the governor or the Company in London.

It may be said that some things improved, while others did not. With the experiments of John Rolfe, the colony finally discovered a staple product--tobacco. The colonists wanted to plant tobacco because it was a cash crop, even though the King opposed the use of the weed. But the Company constantly discouraged the cultivation of tobacco because its production seduced the colonists away from planting corn. The colony also continued to face the problem of lack of laborers and inability to feed itself. The ultimate answer to the labor problem was ominously foreshadowed in a little-noticed event that Rolfe described to Sandys in 1619: the arrival of a Dutch man-of-war carrying a group of captive Africans, for by the end of the century, African slave labor would become the colony's economic and social foundation. Indian relations, which seemed quiet for a time, finally spelled the end to the Virginia Company. In 1622, Indians rose up and massacred a large number of Virginia colonists. This led to an inquiry into Company affairs and finally the revocation of its charter.

For additional documents related to this topic, the most pertinent to the evolution of early Virginia, the Records of the Virginia Company (in the Thomas Jefferson Papers). Captain John Smith's Generall Historie of Virginia and the four volumes edited by Peter Force in the mid-19th century are also essential resources. Both of these sources are full-text searchable via The Capital and the Bay.

Henricus Historical Park explores crime and punishment

RICHMOND, Va. -- If you're looking to get out of the house this summer and go back in time, consider a visit to Henricus Historical Park. The park sits on about five acres of land in Chesterfield County.

Historical interpreters at the park take you back to life in the 1600s.

"Henricus is the second site that the English settled in America. The first one, of course, is Jamestown in 1607," Josh LeHuray, Education Supervisor Henricus Foundation at Henricus Historical Park, said. "In 1611, Sir Thomas Dale needed a new capital. So they moved up the James River and settled in what’s now Henrico or Chesterfield County and formed Henricus."

The site is impressive and equipped with important historical detail.

"We have a fort, we have a recreated Indian village called Arrohateck, the local tribe that was living near here now, of course, we have a plantation home and the first hospital in America, we have a recreation of that as well," LeHuray said.

The park is hosting a program on colonial gardening and plants on June 5.

"So these are two-hour programs for kids basically between the ages of four thru 10 where they get to come to the site and we’re gonna look at all kinds of agriculture from the 1600s," he said.

On June 12, they will offer a colonial crime and punishment event of how laws were transferred from England to America.

"So we’re gonna be looking at some of the tools that were used to punish people," LeHuray said. "The really cool thing about this is that at 1 p.m. that day there is going to be a reenactment of the very first witch trial in America."

The trial of Joan Wright, accused of witchcraft in 1626, from a record of the original transcript.

"At the end, we open it up to the public and ask what do you think? Should she have been found guilty? Is this is a good trial? A bad trial? What do you guys think of this?"

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