Sunday, March 18, 2012

Shallops to Transport Tobacco

In 1620, twenty-five ship carpenters were dispatched to Virginia. They were to be employed only in the trade in which they had been educated. They were sent to the care of Treasurer Sandys who was instructed to seat them upon a tract of land containing 1200 acres of fine timber, and to allow them the use of four oxen for dragging the logs from the forest to the spot where they would carry on their work. Captain Barwick and his carpenters established themselves at Jamestown. At irst they were employed in erecting houses to afford shelter for themselves, and afterwards were engaged in building shallops. It was in the shallops, rather than in ships, that the tobacco was transported, because it was too heavy in draught to make their way into the creeks.  It was not long before several of the carpenters had succumbed to the deadly influences of the climate. This mission was considered a failure.  Sources: Works of Capt. John Smith, p. 571, Company's Letter, August 1621, Neill's Virginia Company of London, page 239. Pictured is a shallop constructed for Jamestown.

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