A Diverse Jamestown Household 1620-1640

A Diverse Jamestown Household 1620-1640 (HMBCH)

Location: Williamsburg, VA 23185
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 12.454', W 76° 46.455'

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By 1624, William Peirce, a "beloved friend" of governor Francis Wyatt, built a house - "one of the fairest in Virginia" - on this lot. Peirce, captain of the governor's guard and the colony's cape merchant, also served as lieutenant governor, commander of Jamestown Island, and a member of the council. He participated in the "thrusting out" of Governor John Harvey from office in 1635.

In addition to Peirce, the household included his wife Joan, praised by Captain John Smith as "an honest and industrious woman" who maintained a "garden at Jamestown containing 3 or 4 acres." Smith noted further that Mistress Peirce harvested 100 bushels of figs annually from the lot. Their daughter, also named Joan, married John Rolfe, the widower of Pocahontas, in 1617.

In the 1625 muster, the household had expanded to include an African woman, Angelo, identified as a servant. Along with eight Africans residing on Governor Yeardley's property, Angelo was one of the first recorded Africans at Jamestown. How long Angelo lived on this site is unknown. No one recorded her duties, but perhaps she helped harvest the figs.
Placed ByColonial National Historic Park
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, October 16th, 2014 at 7:22pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 342557 N 4119373
Decimal Degrees37.20756667, -76.77425000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 12.454', W 76° 46.455'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 12' 27.24" N, 76° 46' 27.30" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)757, 202
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 50 Island Drive, Williamsburg VA 23185, US
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