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"TENACITY: Women in Jamestown and Early Virginia" Special Exhibition
November 10, 2018 to January 5, 2020 at Jamestown Settlement

High-resolution images, along with captions below, are provided for editorial use to illustrate Jamestown Settlement’s special exhibition “TENACITY: Women in Jamestown and Early Virginia.” Images should be credited to the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation or the specific institution lending artifacts for this yearlong special exhibition. 

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Detailed image captions

“TENACITY” Special Exhibition Logo

This special exhibition profiles the little-known stories of Virginia Indian, African and English women in Jamestown and early Virginia.

Tenacious women – Virginia Indian, African and English women reflected in “TENACITY” special exhibition. Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation photo.

A contemporary photograph depicts Virginia Indian, English and African women and their “tenacious” spirit in the 17th century in the upcoming Jamestown Settlement special exhibition, “TENACITY: Women in Jamestown and Early Virginia.”

Page from the Ferrar Papers, circa 1621, Courtesy of the Master and Fellows of Magdalene College Cambridge.

This page from the circa 1621 Ferrar Papers, on loan from the Master and Fellows of Magdalene College Cambridge, features the name “Cicely Bray” and her recommendation by Sir Edwin Sandys to come to Virginia. She is one of 56 women listed in the documents.

Muster of the Inhabitants of Virginia, circa 1625. Courtesy of The National Archives of the UK, ref. CO1/3 f136v.

Among two rare documents related to Angelo, among the first recorded Africans in the colony, are on loan for the first time in America from The National Archives of the United Kingdom. The “Muster of the Inhabitants of Virginia, January 1624-25” documents the colony’s inhabitants after the March 1622 Anglo-Indian War to include “Angelo a Negro woman in the Treasuror.”

Ducking Chair, English, traditional 17th century. Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation collection.

An English ducking chair, a recent acquisition to the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation collection, represents the use of public humiliation as punishment that was common in England and in America from the early 17th to 19th centuries. Offenders – usually women – were strapped to a sturdy chair, which was fastened to a long wooden beam, and dunked into a body of water. A 1634 Virginia court case recorded that Betsey Tucker was punished in this way for “brabbling” or gossiping.

Court Cupboard, circa 1650-1670, James County, Virginia, Collection of the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA), Gift of Frank L. Horton.

On loan from the Collection of the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, a court cupboard crafted in James City County, Virginia, is one of the oldest-known pieces of Virginia-made furniture. The cupboard is associated with Mary Peirsey Hill Bushrod, who arrived in Jamestown in 1623 at the age of 10.

Unfitted jacket, English, 1605-1620. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

The loose, unfitted nature of this English unfitted linen jacket, circa 1605-1620, was likely worn as 17th-century maternity wear, and it will be used to tell the stories of English women pregnant during their voyage across the Atlantic to the New World. Among them is the story of Mistress Rolfe, the first wife of John Rolfe, who gave birth in Bermuda after the wreck of the Sea Voyage to a daughter, named Bermuda. Both mother and daughter died shortly thereafter.

Embroidered bodice, circa 1610, Courtesy of The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

A long-sleeved bodice on loan from The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust features an embroidered design of trailing stems and leaves worked in colored silk and metal threads, with metal spangles or sequins. In the “TENACITY” special exhibition, the object is associated with governor’s wives and women aspiring to an upper class.

Legacy Wall interactive. Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation photo.

A touch-screen Legacy Wall will allow visitors to explore stories of women from 1607 to the present day in five themes — occupation, citizenship, marriage, education and healthcare. Visitors will be able to share stories of influential women across history, including those in their own lives and families, and add them to the Legacy Wall.

Ferrar Papers interactive screen. Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation photo.

A Ferrar Papers interactive, presented near the original Ferrar Papers on loan from the Master and Fellows of Magdalene College Cambridge, will allow visitors to gain insight to the 56 women listed in the 1621 Ferrar Papers with the touch of a screen.