Monday, September 21, 2009

Argall Towne

JAMES CITY — Local archaeologists have discovered Argall Towne, a short-lived village that was the first suburb of nearby Jamestown. The village was started in 1617 by Capt. Samuel Argall, then a colorful lieutenant governor of the colony. It thrived for three years, but his impetuous behavior led many of the settlers to move away to Martin’s Hundred near Carter’s Grove Plantation. Alain Outlaw of Williamsburg-based Archaeological & Cultural Solutions has been searching for the site since 1975. “It’s been a slow process,” said Outlaw, who is also an adjunct professor at Christopher Newport University. For two years, since he got access to the land, his students and volunteers have researched the site. Outlaw won’t pinpoint the locale for fear of relic hunters. The find is important because it represents the first major settlement in James City outside Jamestown, and it provides a key link to how settlers expanded outward from Jamestown. Argall Towne was built on strategically high land that was easily defended, and from that point small farmsteads spread inland. Posted on Friday, September 18, 2009

From October 16 to 18, a celebration and conference commemorating the 400th anniversary of Anglo-America's first coastal fortification -- "Fort Algernoune, 1609: Colonial Virginia's Maritime Rim" -- will take place at Old Point Comfort, the national historic landmark site of present-day Fort Monroe. "Algernoune Fort" was constructed at what's now called Old Point Comfort to guard approaches to Jamestown colony and the Chesapeake Bay. The October event is said to be planned "to consider how the maritime rim of colonial Virginia developed an egalitarian and culturally diverse society different from its Jamestown neighbor." Participants include James Whittenburg, William R. Pullen Chair, Department of History, College of William & Mary; William M. Kelso, Director of Archaeology, Historic Jamestowne Rediscovery Archaeological Project, Preservation Virginia; Ivor Noël Hume, OBE , Research Associate (hon.) Smithsonian Institution; Camilla Townsend, Professor of History, Rutgers University; David Harris Sacks, Richard F. Scholz Professor of History, Reed College; James Horn, Vice President of Research and Historical Interpretation, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation; and Karen Ordahl Kupperman, Silver Professor of History, New York University. For more information, please see the links on the left side of the home page at the Web site of the Fort Monroe Authority (officially, that's the "Fort Monroe Federal Area Development Authority"),

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