Native Americans 1500's
These boats were used by the Powhatan Indians to carry furs, food, and other trading items.
First Settlers 1600's
Shallops were wider and sometimes longer than canoes. They were propelled by oars or by mast. These wide body crafts were excellent for shallow water and were a practical means to transport people and cargo from one settlement to the next.
Sloops, shallops, barges, and double canoes were some of the more popular modes of floating the James during the 18th century.
Prior to the Civil War, the James was alive wth packets from New York, Baltimore, and Boston carrying a variety of cargo to and from Richmond.
Floating past Henricus today are pleasure crafts, tugboats and 10,000 ton cargo ships hauling tobacco, cotton, and other goods.
"Rough canoes, burned and scraped out of virgin timber"
"Boats on the James were versions of the Indian canoe or shallop"
"The River was swarming with boats and ships of all descriptions, many built right on the plantation from their own forests"
"in 1855 1,217 boats and ships entered the (Richmond) dock,1,377 departed from it"
"The James is now one of the state's more accessible rivers"
Quotes from In River Time Ann Woodlief, 1985