Map of early Virginia (17th and 18th century America) on end papers.
NMAI copy 39088019495647 from the library of H. Paul and Jane R. Friesema.
Whosoever commands the sea -- The new fort in Virginia -- The cittie that never was -- West from the Azores -- Most welcome and fertile place -- Arrows of outrageous fortune -- Alarums and excursions -- Crowning and other achievements -- Lewd and naughtie practices -- A ship in time -- Strong pales and shivered arrows -- No fayre lady -- Questionable answers -- Stinking beer and other calamities -- Day of the diggers
This book examines the two earliest English outposts in Virginia--Roanoke and James Towne--and pieces together revelatory information extrapolated from the shards and postholes of excavations at these sites with contemporary accounts found in journals, letters, and official records of the period. The author illuminates narratives that have a mythic status in our early history : the exploits of Sir Walter Raleigh, Captain John Smith, and Powhatan; the life and death of Pocahontas; and the disappearance of the Roanoke colony. He recounts an excavation at Roanoke where he and his colleagues found the work site of a metallurgist named Joachim Gans, whose findings about the mineral wealth of Virginia helped to convince London merchants that America was a worthy risk. This is an account of high and low adventure, of noble efforts and base impulses, and of the inevitably tragic interactions between Indians and Europeans, marked by greed, treachery, and commonplace savagery on both sides.