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Jamestown Trivia

Brain Snacks: Tasty Tidbits of Knowledge

Pocahontas was not the first princess to save John Smith's life. According to Smith, when he was captured by Turks in a battle in Hungary in 1602, another beautiful, love-smitten princess played a major part in securing his escape.16

During the 'starving time' winter of 1609 settlers dug up and consumed the recently buried. One man went a step further—he killed his wife and then chopped and cured the meat.17

Realizing that overcoming language barriers was crucial to successfully colonizing North America, Sir Walter Raleigh recruited about twenty Indians to train as translators. Others followed his example; between 1600 and 1620 there were as many as 50 Indians studying English in London.18

Given the short life expectancy of men in Virginia (48), fathers assumed they would not live long enough to see their children reach adulthood. Therefore, to provide for their upbringing, fathers often deeded children some cattle at their birth. As cattle were so valuable, adults competed to serve as guardians for these 'orphants,' or fatherless children. To protect their interests, a 1643 law required that the county courts take an annual inventory of the orphants' livestock.

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