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This history was published in a 74 page booklet extolling the virtues and history
of Isle of Wight, VA from 1608 - 1907 for distribution at
the Jamestown Tercentenary Exposition in 1907.
It contains many related names such as, Pitt, Bridger, Norsworthy and Driver

ISLE OF WIGHT COUNTY

1608 - 1907

by Col. E. M. Morrison

A Brief History of Isle of Wight County, Virginia

Compiled for Distribution at the Jamestown Tercentenary Exposition

In the early spring of 1608, Captain John Smith, driven by the necessity of obtaining food for the famishing colonists at Jamestown, crossed the river (James), and obtained from a tribe of Indians called Worrosquoyackes fourteen bushels of corn. This transaction was the dawn of the history of Isle of Wight county, as well, almost, as that of America. Again, in December of this same year, Captain Smith, while on his way to visit Powhatan, who was then on the York River, spent his first night with this same tribe of Indians. And in the spring of 1611, after that terrible winter, in which five hundred of the colonists died of starvation and disease, that sad-hearted remnant of sixty emaciated, half-famished men, who had determined to abandon the colony, also spent their first night with this same tribe. 

     This tribe of Indians occupied a village near what is now known as Fergusson's Wharf, in this county, and their hunting grounds extended along the James River about five miles and inland about twenty, and had a fighting strength of forty or fifty warriors.

Captain Smith records that the king of this tribe furnished him with two guides, with whom he sent a valiant soldier, named Sicklemore, to explore the country around Roanoke Island for traces of the "lost colony" of Sir Walter Raleigh, with no successful result; and that he, the king of this tribe, warned him against the treachery of Powhatan; and yet this same savage, in a very few years, tried, and nearly succeeded, in killing every colonist on the south side of James River.

     In the western part of the county, now Southampton county, there was another tribe, called the Nottoways, who were identified with our earliest history. They were intimately connected with the white settlers, and for more than one hundred years lived on their own lands, bartered the products of their hunting and fishing with the white people for guns, blankets, etc., sold to them their lands, and, except for their fondness for rum, seem to have been a peaceful and well disposed people, more sinned against than sinning. For in 1752 the General Assembly of Virginia passed an act declaring "that if any person or persons shall hereafter, under any pretense whatever, take from the Indians any of their guns, blankets or other apparel, such persons so offending shall pay to the Indian or Indians so injured the sum of twenty shillings for every such offense; and if the offender be a slave, he shall receive, for such offense, on his or her naked back, twenty-five lashes, well laid on." But generally the Indians were treated with the greatest kindness until the time of the great Indian massacre, in 1622, for the colonists were thoroughly imbued with idea of converting them to Christianity.

     The first English settlement in Isle of Wight county was made by Captain Christopher Lawne and Sir Richard Worsley, knight baronet, and their associates, viz.: Nathaniel Basse, gentleman; John Hobson, gentleman; Anthony Olevan, Richard Wiseman, Robert Newland, Robert Gyner, and William Willis.

     On April 27, 1619, they arrived at Jamestown, with one hundred settlers, in a ship commanded by Captain Evans. They immediately settled near the mouth of a creek on the south side of the James River, still known as Lawne's Creek (sometimes improperly written Lyon's Creek), which was, in 1642, made the dividing line between this county and Surry County.

     Captain Lawne and Ensign Washer represented the settlement known as Lawne's Plantations in the first House of Burgesses, which met at Jamestown on the 30th day of July 1619.


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