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An abbreviated archaeological excavation by the National Park Service unearthed no apparent evidence of the fort. William Kelso visited Jamestown in 1963 while a graduate student at the College of William and Mary in nearby Williamsburg.
He heard about the lost fort and the 20 acres of the island eroded by the river current. He had a theory that the standing 17th-century brick church tower was built near the center of the original fort.
In 1619, the first documented Africans came to Jamestown—about 50 men, women, and children—aboard a Portuguese slave ship that had been captured in the West Indies and brought to the Jamestown region.
They most likely worked in the tobacco fields as indentured servants, but as time went on, they became slaves.
Three contemporary accounts and a sketch of the fort agree that its walls formed a triangle around a storehouse, church, and a number of houses.
It followed several earlier failed attempts, including the Lost Colony of Roanoke.
On May 14, 1607, the Virginia Company settlers landed on Jamestown Island to establish an English colony 60 miles from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.
Discovery of the exact location of the first fort indicates its site was in a secure place, where Spanish ships could not fire point blank into the fort.
The natives initially welcomed and provided crucial provisions and support for the colonists, who were not agriculturally inclined.
Relations with the newcomers soured fairly early on, leading to the total annihilation of the Paspahegh in warfare within 3 years.
Jamestown served as the capital of the colony of Virginia for 83 years, from 1616 until 1699.