Jamestown Colony: A Political, Social, and Cultural History

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Jamestown Colony is an authoritative and thorough treatment of all aspects of life in Jamestown, the first successful British colony in the New World.

Four centuries after its founding, Jamestown has become the stuff of movies, legend, and tourism. This important work treats the reality behind the legends--Pocahontas, John Rolfe, Powhatan, John Smith, and others--and puts the stories into a broader context. More than 250 A-Z entries detail the colonial strategies, military considerations, political realities, and personal privations that went into the creation of the first enduring beachhead in the British effort to colonize the New World.

Based on primary sources and ongoing archaeological work, this book is the most comprehensive look at life in Jamestown. The reader will find detailed scholarship on all the familiar names along with the stories of the lesser known, told in their own words when possible. Published in the quadricentennial of Jamestown's founding, this solid reference is an invaluable resource for the student and history buff.

  • More than 250 A-Z entries on the people, events, politics, and culture of 17th century colonial life
  • More than 50 original documents providing details on life in Jamestown, often in the words of the settlers
  • A detailed chronology that covers important events from presettlement through decline
  • More than 65 illustrations and photographs of key people and places


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User Review - Flag as inappropriate

There is a portrait on page 20 of this book. It is said to be of Nathaniel Bacon 1647-1676 who was known as 'The Rebel'. The portrait was copied from a self portrait painted by Sir Nathaniel Bacon 1585-1627. It hangs in the National Portrait Gallery London, England and can be viewed on their website. Given this mistake, it would be wise to be cautious about the accuracy of the research undertaken to write this cook. 

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

There are so many inaccuracies, the information in this book cannot be trusted. A few examples: Matachanna is named as Pocahontas' brother (she was her sister), the author states that Pocahontas died of smallpox (what she died of is only speculated), and that the fort at Point Comfort was abandoned during the Starving Time of 1609-10, whereas Point Comfort was occupied by a group of well fed colonists during that time. There are much more accurate books written about Jamestown's early years. Choose Love and Hate in Jamestown by Price, A Land as God Made It by Horn, or Jamestown the Buried Truth by Kelso. 


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About the Authors

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About the author (2007)

Frank E. Grizzard, Jr., is director of the Lee Family Digital Archive, an online repository of the collected papers of the historic Lee Family of Virginia located at Washington and Lee University in Charlottesville, VA. His published works include ABC-CLIO's George Washington: A Biographical Companion.

D. Boyd Smith was born and grew up in the Jamestown, VA, area and has spent most of his career in the information technology field. He has worked as an archaeologist on both prehistoric and historic sites in Virginia.

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