On today’s date, January 7, in 1608 an ominous mood overtook Jamestown, Virginia when fire broke out inside the fort destroying nearly all the buildings and structures.
It was just another in a series of unfortunate events.
Five days earlier, on Jan. 2, Captain John Smith returned to Jamestown minus his companions, after being captured by Opechancanough in December. Smith, who gives Pocahontas credit for saving his life, is promptly charged in the men’s death.
Although, it is the second time within a year that he is arrested, by September, Smith is president of the settlement. Smith received the honor, in large part, because he had been accepted into the good graces of chief Powhatan. Because of this relationship, Smith could accomplish what none of the other white leaders could — negotiate with the Native American tribes.
On the day of Smith’s second arrest another important development occurred — one that possibly saved the settlement from extinction. Captain Christopher Newport arrived by ship with the first round of supplies for Jamestown. Newport also brought 100 new immigrants. When the ship, John and Francis, docked on January 2, 1608, only 40 of the original 104 settlers that reached Virginia in April, 1607 were alive.
- Newport, Kentucky was named in honor of Christopher Newport.
- In 2010, the church building where it is believed Pocahontas and English tobacco farmer John Rolfe wed, was uncovered.
I remember visiting these ruins when I was a kid