• Structure 17, Glassblowing and Island Drive

    Historic Jamestowne

    Part of Colonial National Historical Park Virginia

A Defensible Site

This detail of Captain John Smith's map of Virginia, published in 1624, shows that Jamestown is an admirably defensible site. (Note that north is to the right on this map.)

The narrow isthmus connecting Jamestown with the mainland was under water during high tide; the peninsula itself jutted into the James, affording the settlers a view several miles up and down the river from where they built their fort. Two and a half centuries later, Confederate earthworks would be constructed on the 1607 fort site.


Did You Know?

Water color portrait of Sir Walter Raleigh

Sir Walter Raleigh made England’s first serious attempts to settle North America. He launched three expeditions; the third was John White’s Roanoke Island settlement, often called "the Lost Colony.