Primary Source Documents
and Ranger Recommended Readings
and Ranger Recommended Readings
Primary AccountsHaile, Edward Wright, ed. Jamestown Narratives: Eyewitness Accounts of the Virginia Colony, The First Decade: 1607-1617. Champlain, Virginia: Roundhouse, 1998.
(Republished primary sources are often hard to obtain, however this volume is a very handy compilation of primary sources about the first ten years of Jamestown.)
Historical ArchaeologyColonial National Historical Park. Jamestown Archaeological Assessment. National Park Service, United States Department of the Interior, 1996.
(This book details a five-year archaeological assessment of all of Jamestown Island by a multi-disciplinarian team of archaeologists, historians and scientists to learn more about the complete history of Jamestown Island from prehistoric times to present day.)
Kelso, William M. Jamestown: The Buried Truth. Charlottesville, Virginia: University of Virginia Press, 2006.
(Dr. Kelso is Head Archaeologist of the Jamestown Rediscovery Project that discovered the remains of the fort of 1607. This book provides an engaging story of how the fort site was found and how the archaeology has changed our understanding of the exploration and settlement of early 17th century Virginia.)
Kelso, William M. and Beverly Straube. Jamestown Rediscovery 1994-2004. Richmond, Virginia: The Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, 2004.
(This book provides the reader with an in-depth look of the archaeological project started in 1994 by Dr. Kelso to rediscover the original site of the1607 James Fort, which was thought to have eroded into the James River.)
Hume, Ivor Noël. The Virginia Adventure, Roanoke to James Towne: An Archaeological and Historical Odyssey. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1994.
(One of the best historical archaeologists in the country gives a very dynamic account about England's attempts at colonization in North America, with her first success being Jamestown. The book was published just before Dr. Kelso and his colleagues rediscovered the 1607 James Fort site.)
JamestownGlover, Lorri and Daniel Blake Smith. The Shipwreck that Saved Jamestown. New York: Henry Holt and Company,m LLC, 2008.
(A detailed and well written account of the 1609 Third Supply expedition sent to Jamestown to help revitalize and stabilize the colony. Hit by a massive hurricane, the fleet of nine ships was scattered, one ship sinking, and one, the Sea Venture, with many of the leaders of the expedition wrecking on the island of Bermuda. The remainder of the fleet straggled into Jamestown setting the stage for the Starving Time. The survivors on Bermuda would build two ships and arrive at Jamestown in the Spring of 1610.)
Horn, James. A Land As God Made It: Jamestown and the Birth of America. New York: Basic Books, a member of the Persus Books Group, 2005.
(Dr. Horn, who has researched and written extensively on 17th century Chesapeake society, provides readers with a brilliant account of the struggles of this first permanent English settlement in North America, as well as information about the nearby 1570-71 Spanish mission and the Lost Colony of Roanoke.)
Kupperman, Karen Ordahl. The Jamestown Project. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2007.
(An outstanding book by one of the leading historians of 17th century Virginia provides a unique Atlantic World perspective to the settler's struggle to survive at Jamestown, and how the colony's ultimate success created the formula for later English colonies to succeed.)
Price, David A. Love and Hate in Jamestown: John Smith, Pocahontas, and the Heart of a New Nation. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2003.
(This book is a very good, easy to read, narrative history of the early years of Jamestown, with a John Smith bias.)
Powhatan IndiansRountree, Helen C. Pocahontas, Powhatan, Opechancanough: Three Indian Lives Changed by Jamestown. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2005.
(Any book by Helen Rountree regarding the Powhatan Indians is excellent. This is her latest book, which deals with the three most prominent Powhatan people involved with the English, and the book is written from the perspective of the Powhatan Indians.)
Richter, Daniel K. Facing East from Indian Country: A Native History of Early America. Cambridge, Massachusetts, and London: Harvard University Press, 2001.
(Perspective matters in the telling of history. This book examines various times in North American history utilizing the viewpoints of the numerous Indian communities whose cultures and futures were forever changed by the arrival of Europeans.)
African AmericansBerlin, Ira. Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America. Cambridge, Massachusetts, and London: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1998. (Paperback edition).
(This book is a superlative study of American slavery and a must read for anyone.)
Hashaw, Tim. The Birth of Black America: The First Africans and the Pursuit of Freedom at Jamestown. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2007.
(The most authoritative book on the first African brought to Virginia in 1619, the "founding generation of African Americans"; those Africans who followed; their decendants; and their continuing struggle for freedom in the new land called Virginia.)
Morgan, Edmund S. American Slavery, American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1975.
(A little dated, but still a valuable study of 17th century Virginia colonial society: Virginia Indians, Europeans and Africans.)
Historical Fiction (Adult)Hume, Ivor Noël. Civilized Men: A James Towne Tragedy. Richmond, Virginia: The Dietz Press, 2006.
(Based on historical research, the story portrays two English brothers who choose opposite sides in the conflict between the colonists and the Powhatan Indians.)
Children's BooksCarbone, Elisa. Blood on the River. Viking, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 2006.
Cobblestone. Jamestown. April 1994.
Duke, Kate. Archaeologists Dig for Clues. New York: HarperCollins Children's Books, 1997.
Fritz, Jean. The Double Life of Pocahontas. New York, Puffin Books, 1987.
Hermes, Patricia. Our Strange New Land: Elizabeth's Jamestown Colony Diary. New York: Scholastic, Inc.
-------. The Starving Time: Elizabeth's Jamestown Diary.
-------. Season of Promise: Elizabeth's Jamestown Diary.
Karwoski, Gail Langer. Surviving Jamestown: The Adventures of Young Sam Collier. Atlanta, Georgia: A Peachtree Junior Publication, 2001.
Schanzer, Rosalyn. John Smith Escapes Again! Washington D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2006.
(Many readers know John Smith as the man rescued from death by Pocahontas, but his story includes a series of more fantastic escapades than seem possible for one lifetime. The author recounts the full details of John Smith's eventful life in an engaging storytelling style that includes a series of entertaining illustrations.)