Jamestown Interpretive Essays

The Algonquian Exchange
Crandall A. Shifflett
Professor Emeritus, Virginia Tech and Director, Virtual Jamestown

Crandall A. Shifflett examines "The Other Jamestown," from the viewpoint of liminal Indians and proposes an alternative perspective to "The Colombian Exchange"

The Jamestown Statehouse
The staff combines a history of the Jamestown statehouse with a Powerpoint presentation of its various phases of development.

Sir William Berkeley
Warren M. Billings
Historian of the Supreme Court of Louisiana and
Distinguished Professor of History, University of New Orleans

Warren M. Billings examines the life of Sir William Berkeley, Governor of Virginia (1642-1652, 1660-1677), and one of the most influential men in the colony during the seventeenth century.

Jamestown's Environment
Dennis B. Blanton
Director, Center for Archaeological Research
College of William & Mary

In "Jamestown's Environment," Dennis B. Blanton provides an overview of the environmental history of the area that became Jamestown Island from the end of the last great ice age to early years of the colony.

Women in Early Jamestown
Kathleen M. Brown
Associate Professor of History
University of Pennsylvania

Kathleen M. Brown analyses the historical significance of women-Native American, white, and African-in early Jamestown and myths that influence our perception of the role of women in seventeenth-century Virginia.

Who Built Virginia? Servants and Slaves as Seen Through Runaway Advertisements
Thomas M. Costa
Associate Professor of History
University of Virginia's College at Wise

Thomas M. Costa focuses on the role that indentured servants and slaves played in colonial Virginia in his essay. Costa also utilizes advertisements for runaway indentured servants and slaves in the Virginia Gazette to indicate the wide range of skills that these laborers had.

Leaving England: The Social Background of Indentured Servants in the Seventeenth Century
James Horn
John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

In "Leaving England: The Social Background of Indentured Servants in the Seventeenth Century," James Horn notes that the men and women who decided to try their luck in the Chesapeake as an indentured servants came from a variety of backgrounds.

Indians and English Meet on the James
Karen Ordahl Kupperman
Professor of History
New York University

Karen Ordahl Kupperman looks at the assumptions that the Indians and the English had of each other before they met at Jamestown in 1607 and how these assumptions influenced relationships between the two groups of people between 1607 and 1622.

After the Fort: Jamestown, circa. 1620-1699
James P. Whittenburg
Associate Professor of History
College of William & Mary

James P. Whittenburg details the expansion of Jamestown beyond James Fort into the "New Town" section of the island between 1620 and 1699.

Crandall ShifflettŠ 1999, 2000