Glover: The Shipwreck that Saved Jamestown
|Ratings are described on the Book-note ratings page.|
Lorri Glover and Daniel Blake Smith, The Shipwreck that Saved Jamestown : The Sea Venture Castaways and the Fate of America. New York : Henry Holt and Co., 2008. 322 pages; illustrated, with maps; includes bibliographic references and index.
This is the story of another storm that had vast implications in the development of America. Along with 9 other ships, the largest English fleet ever, the Sea Venture, a newly built, 300-ton vessel, was sent in 1609 by the London Company investors, to take supplies to, and rescue, the starving settlers in Jamestown. There was much political infighting in England and it was hard to sell this rescue venture to the public.
A deadly hurricane isolated and swamped the Sea Venture off the coast of Bermuda with 150 passengers and crew. The crew bailed around the clock in vain to keep the ship afloat. Land was finally sighted. Bermuda had the reputation of being inhabited by devils, but in reality, it was not devils but the coral reefs that tore the hulls off ships as they neared the island of Bermuda. The passengers and crew survived to build a different sort of life on the island where fish, wild hogs, and fruit were plentiful.
There were, or course, trials and tribulations as Sir Thomas Gates was in strict, efficient charge of the group and the work. Over the year much was salvaged from the Sea Venture. The book contains many helpful portraits, illustrations, and maps.
One observes serious research in the crafting of this book. The lone preacher who happened to be on the Sea Venture, one Rev. Richard Buck, Oxford educated, eventually held two religious services daily. Other names, associated with the Virginia colonies, are sprinkled throughout the book. No records were left by the women.
Gates felt his main goal in life was to get to Jamestown, Virginia. He had no idea of the deplorable conditions there. What was left of the Sea Venture was used to make a makeshift pinnace which was to try to sail to Jamestown, with eight men. You will want to read to see if the small pinnace makes it to the goal and returns. Read to find out who wanted to stay in Bermuda and who wanted to sail to Jamestown.
-- Notes by EHL