Jamestown Island

| View Cart ⇗ | Info

“Distant view of Jamestown Island. This view is from the north side of what was once a marsh, but now a deep bay, four hundred yards wide. On the left is seen the remains of a bridge, destroyed by a gale and high tide a few years ago; and beyond is the James River. Near the point of the island, toward the end of the bridge, are the remains of an ancient church. Mr. Coke resided upon the island when the tempest occurred which destroyed the bridge. The island was submerged, and for three days himself and family were prisoners. It was in winter, and he was obliged to cut the branches of ornamental trees that were close to his house, for fuel. I was gravely informed by a man on the beach, while making the sketch, that Pocahontas crossed at that very spot ‘in her skiff,’ when she went to warn the Jamestown settlers of threatened danger. The dear child had no need of a skiff, had such a thing existed in America, for I was told by Mr. Coke that his father-in-law well remembered when a marsh, so narrow and firm that a person might cross it upon a fence rail, was where the deep water at the ruined bridge now is. Every year the current of James River is changing its margins in this region, and within a few years Jamestown Island, made so only by a marsh on the land side, will have a navigable channel around it. Already a large portion of it, whereon the ancient town was erected, has been washed away; and I was informed that a cypress-tree, now many yards from the shore stood at the end of a carriage-way to the wharf, sixty yards from the water’s edge, only sixteen years ago. The destructive flood is gradually approaching the old church tower, and if the hand of man shall not arrest its sure progress, that too will be swept away, and not a vestige of Jamestown will remain. Virginians, look to it, and let a wall of masonry along the river margin attest your reverence for the most interesting historical relic within your borders! Some remains of the old fort may be seen at low water, several yards from the shore."—Lossing, 1851


Benson J. Lossing, The Pictorial Field-Book of the Revolution (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1851)II:446


TIFF (full resolution)

2400×1203, 1.2 MiB

Large GIF

1024×513, 176.0 KiB

Medium GIF

640×320, 75.8 KiB

Small GIF

320×160, 21.2 KiB