The Jamestown Chronicles Glossary
King James I
- Mary, Queen of Scots
Mary Stuart was born in 1542 and became Queen of Scotland within days when her father died. In 1565 she married her cousin, Henry Stewart/Lord Darnley; and their son was later crowned James I of England. She was convicted of treason — for allegedly supporting an attempt to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I. She was beheaded in 1587.
- Elizabeth I
Elizabeth, the daughter of King Henry VIII, was born in 1533 and became Queen of England and Queen of Ireland until her death in 1603. Known as The Virgin Queen (since she never married), the New World’s Virginia was named for her.
- The Virginia Company
King James I granted a charter to The Virginia Company in 1606 to support England’s goals of finding a northwest passage to the Orient, competing with the expansion of other European nations, and bringing the Anglican religion to the Indians. Investors in the stock company expected profits.
- Captain Christopher Newport
Born in 1561, Newport was a British mariner who worked as a privateer, raiding Spanish merchant ships in the Caribbean for many years. Because of his reputation, he was given command of the Susan Constant—the largest of the three ships that arrived at Jamestown in 1607. He died in 1617 on a voyage to the East Indies.
- Captain John Smith
Long before Jamestown, Smith fought in battles and hand-to-hand combat as a mercenary soldier in Eastern Europe. He was also an explorer, mapmaker, ethnographer, council president, trader, and most important — a prolific writer who described in detail his adventures in Virginia.
- Thomas Dale
A distinguished British soldier, Dale was knighted by King James I in 1606, becoming Sir Thomas Dale of Surry. Five years later, he became the colonial deputy governor at Jamestown, where his severe leadership established order and rebuilt the debilitated colony.
Ann Burras Laydon
An indentured servant was obligated to work for a certain amount of time to pay off a passage or other debt. An employer provided food and shelter but usually no payment except in some cases, when a final payment — such as land — might be made upon completion of the contract.
- Indian Women
The matrilineal society of the Powhatan Indians passed inheritance and kinship through females. The women — along with the children — did the work of building houses, gathering necessary wood, reeds, clay, and water, building houses, and growing crops as well as cooking.
- African Women
Angolan women were often in charge of raising crops — which may have included tobacco. In Virginia, they brought useful farming knowledge to help the colony’s economy. In Africa they used tree bark or wove cotton to make clothing that indicated their status in society.
Also known as Wahunsonacock, the English called this chief of the Powhatan Indians “Powhatan.” He presided over a chiefdom of around 32 tribes who had been in eastern Virginia for thousands of years. They were sometimes referred to as Algonquians because of the language they spoke.
The daughter of Chief Powhatan, Pocahontas was also known as Matoaka and Amonute. As a child, she aided communication between Indians and colonists. Before marrying Englishman, John Rolfe, she converted to the Anglican religion, was called Rebecca Rolfe, and traveled to England where she died in 1617.
- John Rolfe
John Rolfe was an early English settler at Jamestown who grew tobacco, which was a primary export for the colony. He married Pocahontas, the daughter of Chief Powhatan; and they lived at Varina Farms — a plantation upriver from the colony and the birthplace of their son, Thomas.
Africans in Virginia
An ancient European nation, Portugal became a world power in the 15th century and held a monopoly on the export of slaves from Africa from 1440-1640. Making it a center of navigation, they sponsored voyages down the west coast and around the southern tip of Africa to India. With the help of African kings and traders, the Portuguese obtained slaves along the west coast — especially Angola.
Angola is a country in south-central Africa with its west coast on the Atlantic Ocean. In the 15th century Portugal began to settle the area, then the Kingdom of Ndongo; and, in the 16th century, established a colony based on the slave trade at Luanda, and soon controlled the coast.
- Anthony Johnson
Early records refer to him as “Antonio a Negro.” He arrived in Virginia in 1621 as either an indentured servant or a slave, worked on a tobacco plantation, survived the Indian attack of 1622, married, had a family, purchased his freedom, and eventually owned 250 acres.