While I was in Paris, I got a phone call from my sister Karin inviting me on a trip with her and her adorable family to Virginia!!! I was so excited I immediately accepted! So, just two short weeks after we returned from Europe, I boarded a plane bound for VA to meet up with the Burtons! I absolutely love traveling with this family, they are SO MUCH FUN!
Our first stop of the trip and our journey through American History was Jamestown. The Jamestown settlement in the Colony of Virginia was the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. William Kelso writes that Jamestown "is where the British Empire began ... this was the first colony in the British Empire." Jamestown was established by the Virginia Company of London as "James Fort" on May 4, 1607 and was considered permanent after brief abandonment in 1610. It followed several earlier failed attempts, including the Lost Colony of Roanoke. Jamestown served as the capital of the colony for 83 years, from 1616 until 1699.
We got to explore replicas of the ships on which the British sailed to America. The fleet consisted of three ships, named Susan Constant, Discovery, and Godspeed, under Captain Christopher Newport. After a particularly long voyage of four months including a stop in Puerto Rico, they finally departed for the American mainland on April 10, 1607. The expedition made landfall on April 26, 1607 at a place they named Cape Henry. Under orders to select a more secure location, they set about exploring what is now Hampton Roads and an outlet into the Chesapeake Bay they named the James River in honor of their king, James I of England.
Then we wandered into the settlement itself and met many of the hardworking people that brought the settlement to life. As you can imagine, starting a settlement in a foreign land was incredibly difficult. On May 14, 1607, Captain Edward Maria Wingfield, elected president of the governing council on April 25, selected a piece of land on a large peninsula, some 40 miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean, as a prime location for a fortified settlement. A defensible strategic point, due to a curve in the river the river channel was close to the land, thus making it navigable (and allowing for ships to dock near enough land for piers or wharves to be built).Perhaps the best thing about it, from an English point of view, was that it was not inhabited by nearby Virginia Indian tribes, who regarded the site as too poor and remote for agriculture. The island was swampy, isolated, offered limited space and was plagued by mosquitoes and brackish tidal river water unsuitable for drinking.
We had way too much fun trying on the type of armor they would have used during this time period.
After thoroughly exploring the Jamestown Settlement, we ventured over to a Virginia Indian Village that showed the contrast of how the Native Americans lived compared to the British.
The boys had a great time playing a game made up of throwing a corn cob arrow through hoops made of branches.
James and Thomas were totally into carving this canoe with sea shells. It was really hard to get Thomas to leave, he is such a hard and diligent worker and this type of thing was right up his ally.