Smith's Fort (2)

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Smith's Fort (2) (1609-1614) - A colonial fort established in 1609 by Captain John Smith in present day Surry County, Virginia. Never fully completed. Named for Captain John Smith the early leader of the Jamestown colony. Abandoned in 1614. Also known as Smith Fort and New Fort.

Smith's Fort Plantation Building
Smith's Fort Edge of Bluff and Grays Creek Below
Smith's Fort Site

Smith's Fort (2) History

Smith's Fort Earthworks Remains

Established by Captain John Smith early in 1609 but never fully completed. Captain Smith was called back to Jamestown in April 1609 when rats infested the food supply. The small site is on tall bluff overlooking Grays Creek with three steep sides and a narrow land side access. Grays Creek empties into the James River just across from the Jamestown settlement and would have been an easy route to attack the colony. The new fort was only 4 miles from Jamestown and could control that route. Only traces of the two-foot high and 120-foot long earthworks remain on the land side access path.

In 1614 John Rolfe married Pocahontas, daughter of Chief Powhatan, and he was given the tract of land on which the fort and the plantation now lay. The fort and surrounding lands were then sold by the son of John Rolfe and Pocahontas to Thomas Warwick who was thought to have built the brick dwelling at Smith's Fort Plantation in 1651-1652. It is now thought that the building was built for a subsequent owner of the land, Jacob Faulcon, circa 1670s.

Current Status

On the grounds of Smith's Fort Plantation, Surry County, Virginia. The fort site is located behind the plantation building at the end of a rough dirt road. The road is passable by normal passenger cars but care must be take to avoid hazardous spots. The plantation has limited days and hours of operation so call ahead. You can reach the site of the fort on a self guided basis even when the plantation is not open to visitors.

USGS Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) Database Entry: 1474749

Location: Smith's Fort Plantation, Surry County, Virginia.

Maps & Images

Lat: 37.170363 Long: -76.825333



Visited: 15 May 2013

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