Don Diego De Molina - Captive and Spy
On Saturday, August 11, 2012 Preservation Virginia will present special program about Don Diego De Molina. Help interview Don Molina, a Spanish Commander, after his capture near a Virginia fort in 1611. The prisoner will be allowed an interview during the 30 minute program with those wishing to meet him. But beware - he is alleged to be a Spanish spy! Interviews will be held in the Jamestown Memorial Church at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
In June 1611, a Spanish warship anchored near the English Fort Algernon at Point Comfort near the mouth of the James River. When Don Diego De Molina and two of his crew stepped ashore, they were surrounded by 50 Englishmen and marched off as prisoners. Peace was settled between England and Spain just before the founding of Jamestown in 1607 -- but Spanish spies kept a close eye on the settlement and its threat to a century of Spanish rule in the Americas. Governor Thomas Dale worried that Molina was sent ahead to scout the Virginia coast for a Spanish attack fleet yet to come -- "What may be the danger of this unto us who are here so few, so weake and unfortified," Dale wrote.
Under close arrest at James Fort, Molina quickly learned how desperate the conditions were at Jamestown, that the Englishmen were "held captives by their masters." Some of the details we know today about life in the fort come from reports Molina smuggled out of the colony and back to Spain. Will Molina convince the English servants to rebel? Will he be hung as a spy by the English or rescued by the Spanish? Learn about this Spanish captive and his experiences at James Fort.
Did You Know?
The botanical sassafras was at one time worth its weight in gold as a medicinal plant. It was an early Jamestown export. In modern times it has been used to flavor root beer.