The site of Jamestown Colony was nothing like the home they’d left. They’d felt pride in their natal farm though they’d belonged to it, not the other way around. Born to its manicured meadows, neat hedgerows, and trim outbuildings, its upkeep had been a part of every day. Born to thatched stone cottages in the shadow of the imposing barns and carriage house, they’d attended the chapel attached to the mossy, old manor house. They felt pride of place by virtue of family tradition; it was their work and the work of their fathers before them that stretched behnd them. They were often in need and sometimes Ill-treated, but they had a tie to the land. Had not fate intervened, their children would have worked and lived as they had.
Jamestown of 1643 was not a welcoming site. The vessel had tied to a crude wooden wharf. At the site of the rough timber fence surrounding the town, they didn’t have to be warned not to rush to disembark. A rutted, muddy trail led into the fort of nondescript houses. Blazing sun beat down as men in tattered rags, both black and white, gathered to await their turn unloading cargo from below. Mosquitoes buzzed around their heads and bore down, appreciative of the new blood. The humid air was thick with the smell of newly-turned earth, smoke, and manure from the enclosed animals.
Instead of fields of grain butting up to hedgerows, unfamiliar plots of large-leaf tobacco stood in large patches outside the high walls. Lesser squares of corn , beans, and squash clustered around nearby cabins built close enough that occupants could easily reach the enclosed settlement as needed. Enormous forests of tall trees pushed up to the farms and fields.
As they surveyed all that lay before them, the forests were most impressive. England’s sparse woodlands could not compare. Though the settlement was raw and unfamiliar, they realized the intimidating forest held the future for those hardy enough to wrest it out. All they had to do was serve out their next four years to claim their portion, not thinking those same forests were home to indigenous people who’d thrived there for millennia.
Images pulled from internet