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Title: A Pictorial Booklet on Early Jamestown Commodities and Industries
Author: Hudson, J. Paul
Language: English
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Jamestown, Virginia

Illustrated by Sidney E. King

Virginia 350th Anniversary Celebration Corporation
Williamsburg, Virginia

Copyright©, 1957 by
J. Paul Hudson, Jamestown, Virginia

Jamestown 350th Anniversary
Historical Booklet Number 23


In the pages which follow only a few of many goods and commodities made,
collected, or grown at or near Jamestown during the seventeenth century
will be discussed. No pretense is made to do more than touch lightly on
the ones mentioned most frequently by the early settlers. With the
exception of tobacco, grape vines, and herbs, agricultural products are

Jamestown has never received proper recognition as the place where many
American industries were born in the New World. Few people are aware
that boatbuilding, timbering, glassmaking, tobacco-cultivation,
wine-making, iron-smelting, and the making of pitch, tar, potash and
soap-ashes, were carried on in Virginia's colonial capital; nor is it
generally known that there was production of pottery, bricks and tile,
of considerable volume.

Besides the products mentioned in this booklet, attempts were made to
grow or produce other items at or near "James Citty"--including cordage,
silk-grass, dyes, salt, flax, hemp, alum, white earth, walnut-oil,
minerals, sweet-gums, madder, sugar cane, cotton, citrus fruits, olives,
bark, roots, and berries. A few brought profits to the planters while
others, like indigo, cotton, sugar cane, and citrus fruits, resulted in
failure. The tropical plants from the West Indies could not, of course,
withstand the cold Virginia winters.

Attempts made by the early planters to find commodities and raw
materials revealed to a large degree the industrial and agricultural
resources of the new colony. The lessons learned at Jamestown--even
information derived from the failures--were invaluable ones. For from
the successful activities carried out in the small huts, in the fields,
and in the woodland areas, would later develop industries and
agricultural pursuits undreamed of by the early settlers.

The history of American commodities, like the history of the nation,
is no longer a brief one. Three hundred and fifty years have now passed
since the first adventurous Englishman, with musket in hand and ears
alerted to the sound of moccasined feet, searched the wilderness area up
and down the James River for New World wealth. As time permitted, he
worked in his small shop making utilitarian things out of clay, wood,
sand, and metal--objects not entirely lacking in beauty. Busy as he was
with these tasks, he still found time to tend his small vineyard and
tobacco field. As he worked he may have dreamed of the day when his
hogs-heads of sweet-scented tobacco and casks of red wine would reach
England safely and be sold for a profit. Trying to better his condition
in a new land, he never dreamed that the seeds of his incessant labors,
which he was unconsciously planting, would some day flower into a great
industrial and agricultural nation.


  Introduction                       iii

  Boatbuilding                         1

  Timbering                            4

  Barrels and Casks (Coopering)        8

  Potash and Soap-Ashes               11

  Pitch and Tar                       14

  Iron                                16

  A Jamestown Blacksmith Shop         18

  Glassmaking                         23

  Furs and Hides                      26

  Building                            30

  Tobacco                             40

  Wine                                42

  Silk                                46

  Pottery                             48

  Metalworking                        52

  Fishing                             56

  Brewing                             60

  Herbs and Medicinal Plants          64

  Furniture                           68

  The Box-Maker and Turner            71

  Carriages and Wheeled Vehicles      72

  Spinning                            73

  Bread-Baking                        74

  "Harvesting" Ice                    76

  A Happy Home in Jamestown           77

  Selected Bibliography               78


On April 27, 1607, the day after the Jamestown colonists landed at Cape
Henry, some of the settlers began to build or assemble a small boat.
George Percy, one of the original colonists, reported that it was
completed and launched on April 28.

It appears, therefore, that 350 years ago--on the sandy beach near Cape
Henry--the Jamestown bound colonists made their first important
commodity by hand in the New World.

Contemporary records reveal that many small boats were built at
Jamestown from the earliest years of the settlement. They afforded the
best means of transportation through the uncharted wilderness, and were
used for fishing, trade, and exploration.

The conjectural illustration shows colonists building a small boat at
Jamestown Island--near Back River--about 1650.

[Illustration: Research on painting by author. _Photo courtesy National
Park Service._

Boatbuilding At Jamestown Over 300 Years Ago
_Conjectural Painting_]

[Illustration: _Photo courtesy National Park Service._
Boatbuilding Tools Unearthed at Jamestown
All tools in the picture were hand wrought during the seventeenth
century. Some may have been forged at Jamestown.]


Timbering was one of the first activities undertaken by the Jamestown
colonists and was one of the first English industries in America. The
day the settlers arrived they began cutting down trees, for timber was
needed to build their fort and town as well as to export to the mother
country. Thomas Studley, a member of the first colony, reported that
clapboards were made for loading on the ships which were to return to

Now falleth every man to worke, the Councell contrive the fort, the rest
cut downe trees to make place to pitch their tents; some provide
clapboard to relade the ships, some make gardens, some nets, &c.

Captain Newport left Jamestown in June, 1607 and aboard his two ships
were clapboards and other wooden products.

The virgin forests growing in the vicinity of Jamestown furnished
planks, masts, clapboard, wainscoting, and other wooden products needed
by the mother country. As England had run short of timber and was paying
exorbitant prices to European countries for naval stores and timber
products, the supply furnished by the Jamestown colony helped greatly to
relieve the situation. The Virginians were also helped, for timber was
one of the few products which brought profits to the struggling colony.

The conjectural painting shows settlers carrying out timbering
activities at Jamestown. Some of the piled up lumber will be used in the
colony, some will be shipped to England.

[Illustration: Research on painting by author. Photo courtesy National
Park Service.

Timbering At Jamestown Three Centuries Ago
_Conjectural Painting_]

[Illustration: _Photo courtesy National Park Service._
Tools Used By The Early Jamestown Settlers For Timbering
A few of many tools excavated at Jamestown which were used for
timbering over 300 years ago: felling axes, a hewing axe, adze, hatchet,
wedge, and saw fragment.]

[Illustration: The Carpenter. _Faber Lignarius._

We have seen Mens food and cloathing; now his dwelling followeth. At
first they dwelt in Caves 1 then in Booths or Huts 2 and then again in
Tents 3 at the last in Houses. The Woodmen felleth and heweth down Trees
5 with an Ax 4 the Boughs 6 remaining. He cleaveth Knotty wood with a
Wedg 7 which he forceth in with a Beetle 8 and maketh Wood-stacks 9. The
Carpenter squareth Timber with a Chip-Ax 10 whence Chips 11 fall, and
saweth it with a Saw 12 where the Saw-dust 13 falleth down. Afterwards
he lifteth the beam upon tressels 14 by the help of a Pulley 15
fasteneth it with Cramp-Irons 16 and marketh it out with a Line 17. Then
he frameth the Walls together and fasteneth the great pieces with Pins

         Courtesy Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D. C.

         Seventeenth Century Timbering and Building

The 1685 engraving shows activities relating to timbering and house
building. Similar practices were carried out at Jamestown during the
seventeenth century.

From _Orbis Sensualium Pictus_ by Johann Comenius (London, 1685).]



As early as 1607 barrel staves were made at Jamestown for exporting to
England. Later, when tobacco and other crops were grown
successfully--and a few commodities were produced in Virginia for
export--barrels, casks, and other wooden containers were made by the
cooper in large numbers.

John Lewes was the first cooper to reach Jamestown, arriving in January,
1608. Others followed him throughout the seventeenth century; and for
almost a hundred years their craft was an important one in the "Capital

The illustration shows a cooper and his helpers making barrels and
casks at Jamestown, about the year 1625.

[Illustration: Research on painting by author. Photo courtesy National
Park Service.

Making Barrels and Casks At Jamestown--About 1625
_Conjectural Painting_]

[Illustration: The Cooper.

The Cooper 1, having an Apron 2 tied about him, maketh Hoops Of
Haslel-rods 3, upon a Cutting-block, 4 with a Spoke-shave, 5 and Lags 6
of Timber. He maketh Hogs-heads 7 and Pipes, 8 with two Heads, and Tubs
9, Soes 10, Flaskets 11, Buckets 12, with one Bottom of Lags.

Then he bindeth them with Hoops 13, which he tieth fast with small Twigs
15, by means of a Cramp-Iron 14, and he fitteth them on with a Mallet
16, and a Driver. 17.

              Courtesy Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D. C.

           Making Barrels in the Seventeenth Century

The engraving, made in 1685, shows two coopers making a barrel. A
cooper's shop at Jamestown may have been somewhat similar to the one

From _Orbis Sensualium Pictus_ by Johann Comenius (London, 1685).]


Soap-ashes and potash were among the first commodities produced by the
English in America. Potash was made from soap-ashes (wood ashes,
especially those obtained from burning ash and elm) and was used at
Jamestown for making both soap and glass. Soap-ashes were exported to
England as early as 1608, and throughout the remainder of the century it
appears that both potash and soap-ashes were shipped to the mother
country, As early as 1621 soap-ashes were selling for six shillings to
eight shillings per hundred weight, whereas potash was bringing between
thirty-five shillings and forty shillings per hundred weight.

Although few contemporary records are available which mention the profit
made from the sale of soap-ashes and potash by the Virginia planters, it
is known that some small returns were made from time to time throughout
the seventeenth century. While tobacco was the important money-making
crop, the part played in the economy of the Jamestown settlement and
environs by other commodities--including soap-ashes and potash--should
not be overlooked.

In the conjectural picture Jamestown settlers are shown making potash.
Five steps were necessary:

     1. A pile of firewood (billet-wood) was burned until grey ashes
     were formed. The best woods were oak, ash, poplar, hickory, elm,
     hazel, and beech. Old hollow trees, if not dead, were especially

     2. After several pounds of ashes had accumulated, they were leached
     (boiling water was percolated through the ashes), resulting in a
     very strong alkali solution known as ley or lye.

     3. The alkali solution (or ley) was strained through a coarse linen
     cloth to keep out any coarse materials (such as small pieces of
     half-burnt wood), that might happen to remain in the ashes.

     4. The strained ley solution was poured in an iron pan, and
     evaporated over a quick fire--almost to dryness.

     5. The residue remaining in the bottom of the pan was removed and
     put into an iron pot. The pot was put over a strong fire till the
     matter was melted. Immediately the melted matter was poured out upon
     an iron plate, where it soon cooled and appeared in the form of a
     solid lump of potash.

[Illustration: Making Potash at Jamestown--About 1608
_Conjectural sketch_]

To a chemist the somewhat primitive methods described are very obvious
ones in making an impure form of potash. The combustion of hardwoods
resulted in an ash residue containing the desired potassium carbonate.
Some purification was obtained by leaching the ash residue in boiling
water and then filtering the "ley" through a coarse linen cloth. The
filtered "ley" was evaporated in an iron pot to dryness. The potash
resulting was now ready for making soap and glass, as well as for other
industrial uses.


Pitch and tar--used by shipbuilders from time immemorial for caulking
and covering seams of vessels--were made at Jamestown as early as 1608.
After the second supply ships reached Jamestown in October, 1608, one of
the settlers wrote:

No sooner were we landed, but the President dispersed [as] many as were
able, some for glasse, others for pitch, tarre, and sope ashes.

A month later trials of pitch and tar were carried to England by Captain
Christopher Newport, as reported by Thomas Studley, one of the original

Captaine Newport being dispatched with the tryals of pitch, tarre,
glass, frankincense and sope ashes, with that clapbord and wainscot
[which] could bee provided ... returned for England.

As pitch and tar were made in Virginia throughout the seventeenth
century, mainly for exporting to England, it appears that the colonists
made some profit from the sale of such products.

Pitch and tar were obtained from pine trees, one of the common trees in
the Tidewater Virginia woods. Tar is an oily, dark colored, product
obtained in the destructive distillation of pine wood. In Virginia it
was commonly made from the resinous roots and wood of various pines. The
wood was heaped into a conical stack depressed at the center, covered
with earth, and fired. The tar ran into a hollowed-out place in the soil
beneath the stack of wood. Pitch was a dark-colored viscous substance
obtained as a residue in distilling pine tar, and widely used for
caulking seams of boats.

It is of interest that the early settlers named the large swamp north
of the town area "Pitch and Tar Swamp." Undoubtedly the large pine trees
which bordered the swamp were used for making pitch and tar, as well as
turpentine and resin.

[Illustration: Making Tar At Jamestown From Pine Wood
_Conjectural sketch_]


It is possible that small amounts of iron were smelted at Jamestown in
earth ovens or Catalan-type furnaces during the early years of the
colony. In 1955 archeologists unearthed a circular-shaped pit which
contained charcoal, burned oyster shell, iron ore, pieces of smelted
iron, and slag. It is known that some iron was made in earth ovens in
England during the early years of the seventeenth century, where iron
was smelted in holes dug in the ground. The fires were fed with logs and
charcoal, and the heat was increased by use of large foot bellows. The
same method may have been used at Jamestown; or it is possible that the
"earth oven" may have been used for hardening bar iron imported from
England, as much bar iron received from the mother country was very soft
and unsatisfactory for making tools.

The conjectural sketch shows Jamestown colonists making iron in a
primitive earth oven or furnace.

[Illustration: Small Quantities Of Iron May Have Been Made At Jamestown
During The Early Years Of The Settlement

_Conjectural sketch_]


A blacksmith, James Read by name, was a member of the first group of
colonists who planted the Jamestown settlement in 1607. Perhaps he
helped forge the small chisels which Captain John Smith mentioned
(writing of the month of September, 1607):

As yet we have no houses to cover us, our tents were rotten, and our
cabbins worse than nought: our best commoditie was iron which we made
into little chissels.

Many small chisels have been unearthed at Jamestown, and one may wonder
whether any were made during the hard autumn of 1607, when the state of
the new colony was at such a low ebb.

Another early Jamestown blacksmith was Richard Dole, who arrived on the
supply ship _Phoenix_, April 20, 1608. Read and Dole were the vanguards
of many ironworkers who emigrated to Virginia at various periods of time
throughout the seventeenth century.

In 1955 archeologists discovered the site of an early seventeenth
century forge or smithery near historic Jamestown church. Large
quantities of slag were unearthed together with pieces of bar iron,
weapons, tool fragments, and several partially-completed iron handles,
chisels, and nails. A few blacksmiths' tools and a small anvil were also
found. Associated cultural material found indicated that the forge
operated between 1610 and 1625, and there was good evidence that it may
have been located in an armourer's shop. The forge site appears to be
the oldest one used by the English which has been discovered in America.

The sketch showing the Jamestown blacksmith at work is based on a 1685
engraving by Johann Comenius.

[Illustration: A Jamestown Blacksmith Working In A Forge Shop
_Conjectural sketch_]

[Illustration: _Photo courtesy National Park Service._
Iron Objects Excavated At Jamestown Near The Site Of An Early
Seventeenth-Century Forge

Shown are blacksmiths' tools, bar iron, sword guards, slag, and a few
incomplete iron objects. It appears that the forge, located a short
distance west of historic Jamestown church, was in operation as early as

[Illustration: The Indian Massacre At Falling Creek, March 22, 1622
                       _Conjectural sketch_

In 1620-21 the Jamestown colonists established an iron furnace at
Falling Creek--about eighty miles upriver from Jamestown. It was the
first ironworks built in America by Englishmen, and the furnace was the
first one (of which there is definite record) in which iron was smelted.
The contemporary records also indicate that a few tools were made in the
forge shop. The enterprise was short-lived, however, for in 1622 the
Indians massacred the ironworkers and their families and destroyed the
furnace. Although never rebuilt, its importance cannot be overstressed,
for the Falling Creek site can rightfully claim the honor of being the
birthplace of the American iron industry.]

[Illustration: The Black-Smith.

The Black-Smith 1 in his Smithie (or Forge) 2 bloweth the fire with a
pair of Bellows, 3 which he bloweth with his Feet, 4 and so heateth the
Iron; And then he taketh it out with the Tongs 5 layeth it upon the
Anvile, 6 and striketh it with a Hammer, 7 where the Sparks 8 flie off.
And thus are hammered out Nails 9, Horshoos 10, Cart-strakes 11, Chains
12, Plates, Locks and Keys, Hindges, &c. He quencheth Hot-Irons in
the Cool-trough.

Courtesy Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D. C.

           A Seventeenth-Century Blacksmith At Work

A forge or smithery at Jamestown may have resembled the one in this 1685

_From Orbis Sensualium Pictus_ by Johann Comenius (London, 1685).]


Glass was made at Jamestown in 1608-1609, and again in 1621-1624, its
manufacture being one of the first English industries in the New World.

Among the colonists who reached Jamestown in October, 1608, were "eight
Dutchmen and Poles," some of whom were glassmakers. When Captain
Christopher Newport sailed for England a few weeks later he carried with
him "tryals of pitch, tarre, glasse, frankincense, sope ashes; with that
clapboard and waynscot that could be provided." It is not known what
kinds of glass were taken to England by Newport. John Smith, writing of
the year 1609, stated: "... wee made three or foure lotts of tarre,
pitch, and sope ashes; produced a tryall of glass...." Again, the
records do not reveal what kinds of glass were produced.

In 1621 six Italian glassmakers arrived at Jamestown, and during the
next three years attempts were made to manufacture glass, but it appears
that only small amounts were blown.

Oddly enough, archeological excavations did not disclose what kinds of
glass were made at Jamestown during the two ventures. When the
glasshouse site was excavated in 1948 only small fragments and
drippings--dark green in color--were found. It appears that the tiny
fragments could have been pieces from window panes, bottles and vials,
and simple drinking glasses. No glass beads were found at or near the
furnace site.

The conjectural sketch shows a Jamestown glassblower at work.

[Illustration: Making Glass At Jamestown In 1608
_Conjectural sketch_]

[Illustration: _Photo courtesy National Park Service._
Artifacts Relating To Glassmaking--Found Near The Site Of The Jamestown

In the picture are shown a small melting pot, part of a working hole,
fragment from a large melting pot, cullet (the broken or refuse glass in
the lower left corner), and green glass fragments (lower center and
lower right)]


Shortly after the Jamestown colony was planted the English adventurers
explored the rivers and bays in the vicinity of the settlement, visited
many Indian villages, and traded colorful articles to the natives in
exchange for foods, furs, and other commodities.

The first exploring party left Jamestown a week after the establishment
of the colony. Twenty-four of the settlers sailed up the James River as
far as the falls, a distance of about ninety miles. At Arahatteak (near
present-day Richmond) the explorers gave the Indians "penny knyves,
sheeres, belles, beades, glass toyes &c...." for mulberries, wheat,
beans, tobacco, and a "crowne which was of deares hayre, dyed redd."
Before leaving the village Captain Newport presented the Indian chief
with a hatchet and a red waistcoat.

On the return trip to Jamestown the exploring party visited other Indian
towns on the James River, including one whose chieftain was Powhatan's
brother--the wily and crafty Opechancanough. Gabriel Archer, a member of
the group, recorded that the chief's "kyngdome is full of deare (so also
is most of all the kyngdomes:) he hath (as the rest likewise) many ryche

Many of the early settlers listed the fur-bearing animals that inhabited
the dense woods near Jamestown. George Percy, an original planter,
observed that:

There is also great store of deere both red and fallow. There are
beares, foxes, otters, bevers, muskats, and wild beasts unknowne.

John Smith, in one of his early books describing Virginia (_A Map of
Virginia, With a Description of the Country_, Oxford, 1612), gives brief
descriptions of deer, squirrels, opossums, muskrats, bears, beavers,
otters, foxes, and others. With the exception of bears, these
fur-bearing animals still inhabit Jamestown Island--protected by the
National Park Service.

[Illustration: Jamestown Settlers Trading With The Indians
_Conjectural sketch_

For inexpensive beads and trinkets the colonists received furs, foods,
and other commodities from the aborigines]

It appears that early in the century some profit was being made from the
sale of furs in England, for Thomas Studley, who was in charge of the
first storehouse at Jamestown, wrote that "one mariner in one voyage
hath got so many [furs] as he confessed to have solde in England for

William Strachey, who lived at Jamestown in 1610-1611, described a
trading expedition made by Captain Samuel Argall in 1610:

Within this river, Captayne Samuell Argoll in a smale river which the
Indians call _Oquiho_. Anno 1610. trading (in a bark called the
Discovery) for corne, with the great king of _Patawomeck_, from him
obteyned well neere 400. bushells of wheat, pease and beanes (besyde
many kind of furrs) for 9. powndes of copper, 4. bunches of beades, 8
dozen of hatchetts, 5 dozen of knives, 4 bunches of bells, 1. dozen
Sizers, all not much more worth than 40_s._ English....

It is evident, therefore, that the Jamestown colonists who traded their
colorful beads and trinkets to the woodland Indians in exchange for food
and other commodities--including furs and hides--were the pioneer
English fur traders in the New World. The experiences which adventurers
like Christopher Newport, John Smith, and Samuel Argall had with the
cunning Virginia aborigines were just as exciting and stirring as those
shared by the hardened trappers and traders who searched the Rocky
Mountain streams for beaver two hundred years later. The hunt for furs
which began at Jamestown in 1607 did not diminish until the western
boundary of the United States had expanded to the shores of the Pacific
Ocean during the middle of the nineteenth century.

[Illustration: _Photo courtesy National Park Service._
Objects Found At Jamestown Which Were Used For Trading With The Indians
Shown are glass beads, bell fragments, a hatchet, scissors, knives, and
an incomplete brass pan.]


The day the colonists landed at Jamestown, May 14, 1607, they began
building a triangular-shaped fort ("a pallizado of planckes and strong
posts, foure foote deepe in the ground, of yong oakes, walnuts, &c."), "a
setled streete of houses," a church, a guardhouse, and a storehouse. It
is apparent that all men familiar with tools and building skills were
extremely busy during the first few weeks, especially the four
carpenters in the group (William Laxon, Edward Pising, Thomas Emry, and
Robert Small), two bricklayers (John Herd and William Garret), and mason
(Edward Brinto). As brick houses were not built at Jamestown until about
1625, the bricklayers who came to Virginia with the first group of
colonists undoubtedly aided the carpenters. Perhaps it was they who made
the first stone footings and mud and stick chimneys for the frame houses
which were built inside the fort.

As timber was plentiful in Virginia during the early years of the
settlement, most of the houses were of frame construction. During the
first decade or two house construction reflected a primitive use, not of
materials brought from England but those that were found ready at hand,
such as saplings for a sort of framing, use of branches, leafage, bark
and animal skins. During these early years, when the settlers were
having a difficult time staying alive, mud walls, wattle and daub, and
marsh grass thatch of a coarse sort were used. Out of these years of
improvising the construction with squared posts, later with quarterings
(studs), came into practice. There probably was little thought of
plastering walls during the first two decades, and when it was done,
clay, or clay mixed with oyster shell lime, was first used. The early
floors were of clay, and it should be remembered that clay floors
continued to be used in the humbler dwellings throughout the seventeenth
century. It can be assumed that most of the dwellings, or shelters, of
the Jamestown settlers, certainly until about 1630, had the primitive
appearance of "settlers" houses, and were rough on the exterior.

[Illustration: The Landing May 14, 1607.

The day the colonists landed at Jamestown (May 14, 1607) they began
building a triangular-shaped fort ("a pallizado of planckes and strong
posts, foure foote deepe in the ground, of yong oakes, walnuts, &."), "A
setled streete of houses," a church, a guardhouse, and a storehouse
_Conjectural sketch_

From _A Pictorial Story of Jamestown Virginia: The Voyage and Search for
a Settlement Site_, by J. Paul Hudson. Not to be reproduced without
permission of the author.]

[Illustration: Photo courtesy National Park Service. Research by A.
Lawrence Kocher.

A Small Jamestown House Built About 1630

_Conjectural Painting_

The frame house shown is believed to be typical of many built by the
yeomen settlers after 1630. A coarse marsh grass thatch covers the roof
and rough clapboards cover the sides of the building. The few casement
windows used have diamond-shaped panes, and heavy wooden doors swing on
hand wrought iron strap hinges. In the foreground is a large brick
chimney, oven, and woodshed. The shed and recessed nook in front of the
oven are covered with red earthenware pantiles. Jamestown has taken on a
degree of permanency, and many of the Colonists are realizing small
profits from the sale of tobacco.]

After the settlement had become fairly well established the colonists
began building a few brick houses. In the picture English artisans are
shown erecting a small brick structure at Jamestown about the year 1630.
It is quite clear from the documentary records and the archeological
remains that the colonists not only made their own bricks--and probably
many of their roofing tiles--but that the process, as well as the
finished product, followed closely the English tradition.

An old account, relating to brick-making in England three hundred years
ago, is summarized:

1. Before Christmas we begin to dig the earth and let it lie to mellow
till Easter.

2. Then we water the earth well and temper it with a narrow spade.

3. The moulder cuts off a piece of earth, throws it into the mould made
of beech, levelling it off with a wooden implement called a strike.

4. The carrier carries the mould to the drying ground, where he adroitly
turns it over, laying the bricks on the ground, and lifts up the mould.

5. When the bricks are dry, they carry them to a place where they row
them up like a wall. They are covered with straw, till they are dry
enough to be carried to the kiln.

6. Then they are stacked in the kiln, a fire kept till they are at the
top red fire hot.

7. Then we let them cool, and sell them as we can for as much money as
we can get, but usually about 13 or 14 shillings the thousand.

Similar methods may have been used at Jamestown during the seventeenth

[Illustration: Building A Small Brick House At Jamestown, About 1630
_Conjectural sketch_]

[Illustration: Making Brick At Jamestown About 1650
_Conjectural sketch_]

[Illustration: _Photo courtesy National Park Service._
Overall View Of Brick Kiln Unearthed at Jamestown
In addition to bricks, flat roofing tiles were found in this
kiln--placed there for firing with the bricks. Four brick kilns were
discovered at Jamestown during archeological explorations.]

In order to build brick houses lime was needed by the bricklayers and
plasterers for making plaster and mortar. Contemporary records reveal
that "lymeburners" emigrated to Jamestown as early as 1610. As four lime
kilns were found during archeological excavations, it is evident that
the lime used by the Jamestown builders was made on the historic island.
In the kilns oyster shells from the James River were burned and
converted into lime by the limeburners.

The unearthing of large quantities of plaster and mortar at Jamestown
indicates that the majority of the brick houses (as well as many frame
structures) had plastered walls and ceilings, especially after 1635.
Some plaster excavated had been white-washed while other bore its
natural whitish-gray color. All plaster and mortar found was made from
oyster shell lime, sand, and clay.

Ornamental or decorative plaster was found near a few of the house
foundations. The plasterwork, decorated in raised ornamental designs,
was used for enhancing the beauty of both the interior and exterior of a
building. Designs on the plaster included Roman numerals, letters,
mottos, crests, veined leaves, rosettes, geometric patterns, a lion, and
a face or mask. Many fragments of moulded plaster cornices were also
recovered. Broken oyster shells are distinguishable in the ornamental
plasterwork, indicating that the pargetting was made at Jamestown.

[Illustration: Making Lime From Oyster Shells, About 1625
_Conjectural sketch_]

[Illustration: _Photo courtesy National Park Service._
Ornamental Plaster Made At Jamestown
Archeological explorations revealed that ornamental plaster was used on
a few Jamestown buildings--for enhancing the beauty of both the exterior
and interior. Broken oyster shells are imbedded in the decorated
plaster, indicating that the pargetting was made at Jamestown.]


When Jamestown was established in 1607 the Indians living in Tidewater
Virginia were smoking a leaf from the native tobacco plant, _Nicotiana
rustica_. It was a bitter tasting leaf of rather poor quality, and never
cultivated on a large scale by the early planters.

About 1611, seeds of a West Indies tobacco plant, _Nicotiana tabacum_,
were introduced into Virginia. A year later John Rolfe experimented with
the seeds from the West Indies plant, together with tobacco seeds from
South America. The exact nature of Rolfe's tests, carried on at or near
Jamestown, is unknown, but the plant he seemingly developed was one with
a mild, sweet-scented, leaf.

The new sweet-scented leaf became popular overnight, and during the
remainder of the seventeenth century it proved the economic salvation of
the colony. To a large degree, the new crop determined the economic,
social, and political life of the planters. The demand in England for
the new leaf was also responsible, in a large measure, for the spread of
settlement and increase of population in Virginia. The tobacco plant
developed by Rolfe was the first crop grown by the Virginia settlers
which made a profit.

The conjectural illustration shows Jamestown colonists harvesting
tobacco about the year 1650.

[Illustration: Research on painting by author. Photo courtesy National
Park Service.

Harvesting Tobacco At Jamestown About 1650
_Conjectural Painting_]


During the early years of the Jamestown settlement the Virginia Company
of London encouraged many agricultural pursuits, including the planting
and cultivation of grape vines and the making of wine. The reasons
seemed to have been twofold: first, to make money for the Virginia
Company, whose stock-holders had invested much capital in the new
colony; and secondly, to insure the mother country a steady flow of
inexpensive wine--which was impossible as long as continental merchants
charged exorbitant prices for wines sent to England. Then, too, if wine
could be made successfully in Virginia, the people living in the new
settlement would profit accordingly.

Vineyards were planted on Jamestown Island at various periods of time
during the seventeenth century, and quantities of good wines were made,
but far too often inferior wine was fermented. Because of the long sea
journey from Virginia, casks of good wine sent to England frequently
arrived in a spoiled condition.

After 1675 the hope of producing good Virginia wine for export purposes
waned. During the last ten years of the century, when Jamestown
declined, the vineyards were neglected, fell prey to deer and the
elements, and soon became engulfed in the wilderness.

The illustration shows a man and woman pressing grapes at Jamestown
about 1650. The woman is trampling them, whereas the man is using a
primitive grape press.

[Illustration: Research on painting by author. Photo courtesy National
Park Service.

Making Wine At Jamestown About 1650

_Conjectural Painting_]

[Illustration: _Photo courtesy National Park Service._

Items Found At Jamestown Relating To Wine

Wine was a popular beverage in Virginia during the seventeenth century.
A few items unearthed at Jamestown which relate to wine consumption are
shown: a wine bottle, wine glass, glass bottle seals (which were
attached to the shoulders of many wine bottles), a bronze spigot, and
wooden barrel staves. In 1610 Francisco Maguel, who had spent eight
months in Virginia, wrote that "There grow in that country [Virginia]
wild many forest grapes, of which the English make a wine that resembles
much the wine of Alicante, according to the opinion of the narrator who
has tasted both."]

[Illustration: The Vintage. _Vindemia._

Wine groweth in the Vine-yard 1, where Vines are propagated, and tied
with Twigs to Trees 2, or to Props 3, or Frames 4. When the time of
grape-gathering is come, they cut off the Bunches, and carry them in
measures of three bushels 5, and throw them into a Vat 6, and tread
them with their Feet 7, or tramp them with a wooden Pestil 8, and
squèese out the juice in the Wine-press 9, which is called Must
11, and being received in a great Tub 10, it is powred into Hogs-heads
12, it is stopped up 15 and being laid close in Cellars upon Settles 14
it becommeth Wine. It is drawn out of the Hogshead, with a Cock 13, or
Faucet 16, (in which is a Spigot) the Vessel being unbunged.

              Courtesy Folger Shakespeare Library Washington, D. C.

                        Making Wine In 1685

The interesting engraving entitled "The Vintage" was made in 1685. A
wine making establishment at Jamestown may have resembled the one in the

From _Orbis Sensualium Pictus_ by Johann Comenius (London, 1685). ]


During the early years of the seventeenth century England was paying
exorbitant prices for silk. Most of it was purchased from the
Mediterranean countries--France, Italy, and Spain. Some was imported
from the Near East, and small amounts from the Orient were bought from
Dutch sea captains. As extremely high prices were being paid for the
precious cloth, the Virginia Company decided to experiment with silk
culture in the new colony.

Silk was made at Jamestown during the seventeenth century, but the
enterprise seldom brought profit to the planters. The majority of the
colonists had to struggle to grow crops and produce goods with which
they were familiar, and were reluctant to experiment with a commodity
which required a special skill that they did not possess. A few
settlers, however, made serious efforts to raise silkworms, and at times
small quantities of silk were made and shipped to England.

The silk-making venture died a hard death, but the large mulberry trees
which still grow in many places in Tidewater Virginia (perhaps scions of
seventeenth century ones) are reminders of a day when a few Virginia
colonists fed and nurtured silkworms and "wound off" silk thread onto
primitive wooden reels.

In the conjectural illustration a woman is drawing silk thread from the
cods; the man is winding the thread on a wooden reel.

[Illustration: Research on painting by author. Photo courtesy National
Park Service.

Drawing And Winding Silk Thread, About 1650

_Conjectural Painting_]


There is definite evidence that pottery was made at Jamestown over 300
years ago. A kiln site was uncovered in 1955, and nearby were found
overfired pots, misshaped vessels, and mis-glazed pieces--undoubtedly
from the "waster" pile. Also found near the kiln site were two complete
pots, and hundreds of fragments from local-made vessels which were used
in the colony between 1625 and 1650--indisputable evidence that crude,
utilitarian, lead-glazed earthenware was made at Jamestown during the
seventeenth century.

Although made for everyday use, many of the pieces unearthed at the
Jamestown kiln site are symmetrical in form and not entirely lacking in
beauty. One can easily see that the craftsman took pride in shaping the
pieces, as three centuries later the crude wares are still pleasing to

The Jamestown potter, indeed, was no young apprentice or mere farmer who
potted on the side. The potter's art, then as now, was a highly
specialized one, rooted in a long tradition. Our potter was an artisan,
trained in the mysteries of a medieval craft, and it was probably he who
first transplanted his ancient skills to the Virginia wilderness.

The conjectural illustration shows a Jamestown potter shaping a vessel
on his crude kick wheel.

[Illustration: Research on painting by author. Photo courtesy National
Park Service.

Making Pottery At Jamestown About 1625

_Conjectural Painting_]

_Photo courtesy National Park Service._

Examples Of Lead-Glazed Earthenware Made At Jamestown Between 1625 and

The pottery vessels shown were found near the site of an early
seventeenth-century pottery kiln discovered on Jamestown Island in

[Illustration: The Potter:

The Potter 1, sitting over a Wheel 2, maketh Pots 4, Pitchers 5, Pipkins
6, Platters 7, Pudding-Pans 8, Juggs 9, Lids 10, &c of Potters-clay
3, afterwards he baketh them in an Oven 11, and glazeth them with
White-Lead. A broken pot, affordeth Pot-sheards, 12.

          Courtesy Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D. C.

               Making Pottery In The Seventeenth Century

The kick wheel used by the Jamestown potter may have resembled the one
in the seventeenth-century engraving.

From _Orbis Sensualium Pictus_ by Johann Comenius (London, 1685).]


As early as 1608 two goldsmiths--William Johnson and Richard
Belfield--emigrated to Jamestown. With them were two refiners and a
jeweler. Although John Smith wrote that these artisans "never had
occasion to exercise their craft," it is possible that they made a few
small objects of silver, pewter, and latten metal (a brass-like alloy).

In spite of the fact that few specimens of silver and pewter were found
at Jamestown, seventeenth century records and inventories indicate that
many Virginia families owned such wares, including cups, beakers,
dishes, salts, salvers, tankards, porringers, bowls, and plates.

A pewterer who lived thirty miles from Jamestown--Joseph Copeland by
name--made the oldest dated piece of American pewter which has been
found. In the 1930's, National Park Service archeologists, working at
Jamestown, recovered the significant specimen--an incomplete pewter
spoon which is a variant of the trifid or split-end type common during
the 1650-1690 period. Impressed on the handle, in the trefoil finial of
the stem is the mark of the maker, giving his name, the Virginia town
where he worked, and the year he started business. The matchless spoon
bears the sole surviving "touch" or mark of an American pewterer of the
seventeenth century. The complete legend, encircling a heart, reads:
"IOSEPH COPELAND/1675/CHUCKATUCK." (Chuckatuck is a small Virginia
village located about thirty miles southeast of Jamestown.) Copeland
later moved to Jamestown, and as he worked in the statehouse from
1688-1691 he may have made pewter in Virginia's capital "Citty."

The conjectural sketch shows a Jamestown metalworker making spoons.

[Illustration: Making Pewter Spoons At Jamestown About 1675 _Conjectural

_Photo courtesy National Park Service_
            A Unique Pewter Spoon Handle Found At Jamestown
The rather commonplace and incomplete spoon fragment illustrated is
significant for many reasons. Its prime importance is that it is the
oldest known pewter object of American manufacture. The mark on the
handle is the sole surviving one of an American pewterer of the
seventeenth century. The mark reveals that the spoon was made in 1675 by
Joseph Copeland, who worked at Chuckatuck, Virginia (located thirty
miles southeast of Jamestown).]

_Photo courtesy National Park Service._
             Items Left At Jamestown By Early Metalworkers
The brass weights, ingot of scrap brass, and silver spoon shown, which
were unearthed at Jamestown, are reminders of a bygone day when
metalworkers made beautiful things in Virginia's colonial capital over
three centuries ago. Contemporary records indicate that many
metalworkers emigrated to Virginia during the seventeenth century.]


When the first settlers planted their small colony at Jamestown the
tidewater rivers and bays teemed with many kinds of fish and seafood.
Varieties which soon appeared on the colonists' tables included
sheepshead, shad, sturgeon, herring, sole, white salmon, bass, flounder,
pike, bream, perch, rock, and drum; as well as oysters, crabs, and

The day after the colonists reached Virginia, April 27, 1607, George
Percy observed that the oysters were large and tasty:

We came to a place where they [the Indians] had made a great fire, and
had beene newly a rosting oysters. When they perceived our comming, they
fled away to the mountaines, and left many of the oysters in the fire.
We eat some of the oysters, which were very large and delicate in taste.

The following day, April 28, Percy noted that some of the oysters had

... we got good store of mussels and oysters, which lay on the ground as
thicke as stones. Wee opened some, and found in many of them pearles.

The Jamestown planters who wrote accounts of the new colony commented on
the abundance and variety of fish and shellfish in the rivers and creeks
near the "capital citty." It seems rather surprising, therefore, that so
many colonists died during the first autumn "of meere famine," as
reported by Percy, when the James River teemed with fish, oysters, and

Captain Gabriel Archer, Gentleman, mentioned a seven foot sturgeon which
was caught on June 13, 1607: "Our Admiralls men gatt a sturgeon of 7
foote long which Captayne Newport gave us." George Percy commented on
the excellence of the sturgeon in the James River:

_Photo courtesy National Park Service._
                Fishhooks, Fish-gigs, Lead Net-Weights
The artifacts shown were excavated at Jamestown. These objects and many
others found, are reminders of a day when fish and shellfish lived in
abundance in every creek, river, and bay, in Tidewater Virginia.]

There are many branches of this river, which runne flowing through the
woods with great plentie of fish of all kindes; as for sturgeon, all the
world cannot be compared to it....

John Smith and William Strachey also listed the delicious and palatable
varieties of fish and shellfish which were found in Virginia waters,
revealing that seafood was an important source of food for the
colonists. At times, especially during the early years, it was one of
the main sources.

[Illustration: Repairing Nets At Jamestown About 1620
_Conjectural sketch_
Seafood was an important food for the early colonists. At times,
especially during the first years of the settlement, it was one of the
main foodstuffs.]


One seventeenth century building unearthed at Jamestown appears to have
been used as a place where beer, ale, brandy, and other alcoholic
beverages were made. Nearby were found pieces of lead, which may have
been part of a lead cistern which held barley, and inside the building
were three brick ovens, which may have been used for drying malt. A
handle from a copper kettle was discovered near one of the ovens, and
pieces of copper and lead pipes were recovered not far from the
building. Historical objects excavated near the site revealed that the
structure was used between 1625 and 1660.

A 1685 account relating to brewing could very well refer to a Jamestown
establishment where beer and other beverages were made nearly 300 years

Where wine is not to be had they drink beer, which is brewed of malt and
hops, in a caldron. Afterwards it is powred into vatts, and when it is
cold, it is carried in soes [wooden pails], into the cellar and is put
into vessels.

Brandy-wine, extracted by the power of heat from dregs of wine in a pan,
over which a limbeck [an apparatus used in distillation] is placed,
droppeth thorow a pipe into a glass.

Wine and beer, when they turn sowr, become vinegar.

They make mede of wine and honey.

[Illustration: Brewing Beer
_Conjectural sketch_]

[Illustration: Drawing.

Where Wine is not to be had they drink Beer, which is brewed of Malt 1,
and Hops 2, in a Caldron 3, afterwards it is powred into Vatts 4, and
when it is cold, it is carried in Soes 5, into the Cellar 6, and is put
into Vessels. Brandy-wine, extracted by the power of heat from dregs of
Wine in a Pan 7, over which a Limbeck 8, is placed droppeth thorow a Pipe
9, into a Glass. Wine and Beer, when they turn sowr, become Vinegar.
They make Mede of Wine and Honey.

            Courtesy Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D. C.

                   Beer, Brandy, Mead, and Vinegar

These beverages may have been made at Jamestown in a building somewhat
similar to the one shown in the 1685 engraving.

From _Orbis Sensualium Pictus_ by Johann Comenius (London, 1685).]

_Photo courtesy National Park Service._
         Artifacts Unearthed Relating To Brewing And Distilling
Shown are lead and copper pipes, kettle fragments, a brass spigot, and
scrap metal. It is believed that most of the beer and ale brewed at
Jamestown after 1620 was made by the common brewer. One act, passed in
1620/21 "for the repressinge of the odious ... sinne of drunkenesse,"
stated that "noe person ... shall at any tyme ... brewe anie beere or
ale, and sell the same againe in his or her house ... unless it bee in
townes where there is noe comon brewer."]


Among commodities which the early Jamestown settlers searched for were
herbs and medicinal plants. It is possible that Thomas Wotton and Will
Wilkinson, surgeons with the first colony, were the first members of the
English medical profession to collect and experiment with New World

The few colonists who wrote of their travels in Virginia frequently made
mention of the herbs and native plants. George Percy related that five
days after the settlers had planted their colony at Jamestown, May 19,
1607, that "One of the savages brought us on the way to the wood-side,
where there was a garden of tobacco and other fruits and herbes."

On an exploring trip upriver from Jamestown in late May, 1607, Gabriel
Archer recorded that "One [savage] shewed us the herbe called in their
tongue _wisacan_, which they say heales poysoned woundes, it is like
lyverwort or bloudwort."

John Smith mentioned the spring herbs, though he did not know their
names: "Many _hearbes_ in the spring time there are common dispersed
throughout the woods, good for brothes and sallets, as violets, purslin,
sorrell, &c. Besides many we used whose names we know not."

The first supply, approximately 120 settlers, reached Jamestown in
midwinter and early spring, 1608. Among the group was a physician, Dr.
Walter Russell; a surgeon, Post Ginnatt; and two apothecaries, Thomas
Feld and John Harford. There is no record, however, indicating that
these men used Virginia plants and herbs for medicinal purposes.

The man who first made intensive experiments with native plants was
Doctor Lawrence Bohun. Arriving at Jamestown in 1610, he is mentioned
several times by William Strachey, who also reached Jamestown in 1610,
in _The Historie of Travell into Virginia Britania 1612_:

[Illustration: Doctor Lawrence Bohun Experimenting With Herbs At
Jamestown, 1610

_Conjectural sketch_]

There groweth in the Island of James-towne a smale tree of leaves, armes
and fruict, like the myrtle-tree, the fruict thereof hath a tast with
the mirtle, but much more bynding, these trees grow in great plentye,
rownd about a standing pond of fresh water in the middle of the Island;
the pill or rynd whereof is of so great force against inveterate
dissentericall fluxes of which Doctor Bohoune made open experiment in
many of our men labouring with such diseases and therefore wisheth all
such phisitians as shall goe thither to make use thereof.

As early as 1610 the Virginia Company of London instructed the colonists
to send the following plants to England: sassafras, bayberries, "poccone
to be gotten from the Indians," "galbrand [galbanum] groweth like
fennell," sarsaparilla, and walnut oil. Other plants, both native and
exotic, which were cultivated at Jamestown for medicinal purposes
included mastic, woodbine, senna, snakeroot, dittany, mechoacan,
pepper-wort, Jamestown (or Jimson) weed, wild cherry, and rhubarb.

Most of the herbs which were cultivated in English gardens grew
successfully in Virginia, especially the ones listed in John Gerard's
_The Herbal_ (London, 1597), and William Lawson's _The Country
Housewifes Garden_ (London, 1617). Many contemporary records reveal that
several herbs were used for medicinal purposes as well as for improving
the flavor of certain foods and beverages.

A few herbs still grow on Jamestown Island, and together with the
native sassafras, bayberry, wild bergamot, and bee balm, they remind us
that the wilderness physicians, surgeons, and apothecaries did
everything in their power to keep the English settlers alive and well
three centuries ago.

[Illustration: _Photo courtesy National Park Service_
            Items Used By Jamestown Doctors And Apothecaries
The drug jars, ointment pot, vials, and mortar and pestle fragments
remind us that physicians, surgeons, and apothecaries experimented with
herbs and native plants three centuries ago--attempting to keep the
Jamestown colonists alive and well.]


Virginia in the seventeenth century was a woodsman's paradise, and there
is every reason to believe that most of the furniture used in Jamestown
houses was made by colonial cabinetmakers. In the forests grew
magnificent specimens of oak, walnut, pine, cypress, cedar, maple, and
many other varieties; and although contemporary records are scanty, it
is believed that the "James Citty" furniture makers made skillful use of
such woods. William Strachey, who reached Jamestown in 1610, wrote that
the church furniture was made of cedar and black walnut:

It [the church] is in length threescore foote, in breadth twenty foure,
and shall have a chancell in it of cedar, and a communion table of blake
walnut, and all the pewes of cedar, ... a pulpet of the same, with a
font hewen hollow, like a canoa....

In spite of the fact that few records exist regarding the kinds of
furniture made in the seventeenth century by Virginia cabinetmakers, the
pieces extant reveal that the English styles were followed closely.
While it is true that the wealthy planters imported some ornamented
furniture from London, much of their furniture was made on the
plantations. It is believed that practically all furniture used by the
yeomen settlers was locally made.

[Illustration: A Jamestown Cabinetmaker At Work
_Conjectural sketch_]

[Illustration: _Photo courtesy National Park Service._
Tools Unearthed At Jamestown Which Were Used by Coopers, Carpenters, And
Furniture Makers

Shown are gouges, augers, chisels, bits and hammers; an adze,
hewing-axe, punch, race-knife, scriber, and wedge. All were hand wrought
during the seventeenth century.]

The Box-Maker and Vehicles

[Illustration: The Box-Maker, and the Turner.

The Box-Maker 1, smootheth hewen-Boards 2, with a Plain 3, upon a
Work-board 4, he maketh them very smooth with a little plain 5, he
boareth them thorow with an Augre 6, carveth them with a Knife 7,
fasteneth them together with Glew, and Cramp-Irons 8, and maketh Tables
9, Boards 10, Chests 11, &c. The Turner 12, sitting over the treddle
13, turneth with a throw 14, upon a Turners-bench 15, Bowls 16, Tops 17,
Puppets 18, and such like Turners work.

Courtesy Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D. C.

The Box Maker And Turner

Many tools similar to those in the 1685 engraving have been unearthed at

From _Orbis Sensualium Pictus_ by Johann Comenius (London, 1685).]

[Illustration: Carriages. _Vehicula_:

We are carried on a Sled 1, over Snow, and Ice. A Carriage with one
Wheel is called a Wheel-barrow; 2, with two Wheels a Cart; 3, with four
Wheels a Wagon, which is either a Timber-wagon 4, or a Load-wagon 5. The
parts of a Wagon, are, the Neep, (or draught-tree,) 6, the Beam 7, the
Bottom 8, and the Sides 9, 10. Then the Axle-trees 10, about which the
Wheels run the Lin-Pins 11, and Axletree-staves 12, being fastened
before them. The Nave 13, is the ground-fast of the Wheel 14, from which
com twelve Spokes; 15. The Ring encompasseth these, which is made of six
Fellows 16, and as many Strakes 17, Hampiers, & Hurdles 18, are set
in a Wagon.

Courtesy Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D. C.

Seventeenth Century Carriages

Wheeled vehicles used at Jamestown 300 years ago were probably similar
in appearance to the ones shown in the 1685 engraving. A wheelbarrow,
cart, timber wagon, load wagon, and sled are illustrated.

From _Orbis Sensualium Pictus_ by Johann Comenius (London, 1685).]


[Illustration: Spinning

Line and Hemp, being rated in water, and dried again 1, are braked with
a wooden Brake 2, where the Shives 3, fall down, then they are heckled
with an Iron Heckle 4, where the Tow 5, is parted from it. Flax is tied
to a Distaff 6, by the Spinster 7, which with her left hand pulleth out
the Thred 8, and with her righte hand turneth a Wheel 9, or a Spindle
10, upon which is a Wharl 11. The Spool receiveth the Thred 13, which is
drawn thence upon a Yarn-windle; 14, hence either Clewes 15, are wound
up, or Hanks 16, are made.

Courtesy Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D. C.

Making Linen Thread

The various steps depicted in the making of linen thread were used at
Jamestown during the seventeenth century.

From _Orbis Sensualium Pictus_ by Johann Comenius (London, 1685). ]


[Illustration: Bread-Baking.

The Baker 1, sifteth the Meal in a Rindge 2, and putteth it into the
Kneading-trough 3. Then he powreth water to it, and maketh Dough 4, and
kneadeth it with a wooden slice 5. Then he maketh Loaves 6, Cakes 7,
Cimnels 8, Rolls 9. &c. Afterwards he setteth them on a Peel 10, and
putteth them thorow ye Oven-mouth 12, into the Oven 11. But first he
pulleth out the fire, and the coals with a Coal-rake 13, which he layeth
on a heap underneath 14. And thus is Bread baked, having the Crust
without 15, and ye Crumb within 16.

Courtesy Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D. C.

Baking Bread In 1685

The seventeenth century engraving shows how bread was baked almost 300
years ago.

From _Orbis Sensualium Pictus_ by Johann Comenius (London, 1685).]

_Photo courtesy National Park Service._
          Baking Oven Used At Jamestown Three Centuries Ago
The earthenware baking oven shown was restored from over 200 fragments
found during archeological excavations at Jamestown. In use, heated
stones were placed inside and left until the walls of the oven were hot
enough for baking. Sometimes the oven was placed directly on the embers.
With the small thick door in place, heat was retained for considerable
time--the domed top reflecting the heat down on the bread or cakes that
were being baked.]

"Harvesting" Ice

Research on painting by author. Photo courtesy National Park Service.
"Harvesting" Ice At Jamestown About 1640

_Conjectural Painting_

Although not a commodity in the strict sense of the word, an icehouse
was indispensable in preserving certain products. Archeological
explorations at Jamestown revealed that icehouses were built on the
island over 300 years ago. Ice was "harvested" during the winter months,
and often remained in storage as late as September or October. It was
used for cooling bottled wines, "firming" butter, and keeping fresh
certain foods, such as fish, meats, and dairy products. In the
illustration men are carrying ice to the circular-shaped, brick,
icehouse. In the distance a man is sawing ice.]

A Happy Home In Jamestown

Research on painting by author. Photo courtesy National Park Service.
                      A Happy Home In Jamestown
_Conjectural Painting_
The early Jamestown settlers were self-sufficient to a large degree when
they arrived in the New World, and so they remained. Cut off from
communication with the mother country for long periods of time, they had
to rely upon their own resources. If they needed a thing they usually
had to make it with their own hands or do without. These homemade
objects--including cloth, pottery, tools, woodenware, furniture, brick
and tiles, and many household accessories--were well-made and extremely
practical. Many items made in the home were not entirely lacking in


Bailey, Worth. "Joseph Copeland, Seventeenth Century Pewterer."
    _Antiques_, April, 1938. 188-190.

----"Lime preparation at Jamestown in the Seventeenth Century."
    _William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine_, 2nd
    series. January, 1938. 1-12.

Bruce, Philip Alexander. _Economic History of Virginia in the
    Seventeenth Century._ New York, 1935. 2 vols.

Forman, Henry Chandlee. _Jamestown and St. Mary's: Buried Cities of
    Romance._ Baltimore, 1938.

Harrington, J. C. _Glassmaking at Jamestown._ Richmond, 1952. 48 p.

----"Seventeenth-Century Brickmaking and Tilemaking at Jamestown,
    Virginia." _The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography_,
    January, 1950. 16-39.

----"Some Delft Tiles Found at Jamestown." _Antiques_, January,
    1951. 36, 37.

Hudson, J. Paul. "The Story of Iron at Jamestown, Virginia, where
    Iron Objects Were Wrought by Englishmen Almost 350 Years Ago." _The
    Iron Worker_, Summer, 1956. 2-14.

----and C. Malcolm Watkins. "The Earliest Known English Colonial
    Pottery in America." _Antiques_, January, 1957. 51-54.

Innocent, C. F. _The Development of English Building Construction_.
    Cambridge, England, 1916. 294 p.

Peterson, Harold L. _Arms and Armor in Colonial America, 1526-1783._
    Harrisburg, Pa., 1956. 350 p.

Salzman, L. F. _English Industries of the Middle Ages._ Oxford,
    England, 1923. 360 p.

      *      *      *      *      *      *

Transcriber's note:

The spelling and punctuation of the original publication has been
retained. Obvious extracts of quotations have been marked with
quotation marks.

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