Historic Timeline

CCC Museum
  1. 1600's
  2. 1700's
  3. Revolutionary War
  4. 1800's
  5. Civil War
  6. 1900's
  7. 20th Century

“Eighty miles up from our river from Jamestown I have surveyed a convenient, strong, healthie and sweete site to plant a new towne.”

 - Sir Thomas Dale


A group of approximately 250 Virginia Indians, known as Arrohateck, live near the area now occupied by Henricus Historical Park. They are part of the Powhatan Chiefdom whose population exceeds 13,000 in coastal Virginia. Sir Christopher Newport explores the James and Appomattox rivers five days before Jamestown is settled, along what are now Chesterfield County’s borders.


In September 1611, the English settle on a bluff on the James River, about 80 miles upriver from Jamestown. Sir Thomas Dale, the leader of the expedition, names it “Henricus,” in honor of Henry, Prince of Wales, and builds a fort with extensive palisades.


Coxendale is established on the southern bank of the James. It grows to include five smaller forts, the first hospital and Reverend Whitaker’s parsonage, Rocke Hall. Mount Malady is established at Henricus as the first hospital in the New World.


Pocahontas, reportedly one of Chief Powhatan’s favorite children, is captured by Captain Samual Argall. Initially, she is taken to Jamestown and subsequently is taken to Henricus. She is cared for, and instructed in Christianity, by Rev. Alexander Whitaker. Pocahontas converts to Christianity, is baptized and takes the Christian name Rebecca.


Dale goes to war against the Appamatuck tribe south of Henricus and settles in some of their property, naming this area Bermuda Hundred. It is incorporated as a town and there begins the first system of private land ownership. The first successful tobacco crop is cultivated by John Rolfe and tobacco ensures the economic survival of the colony. Pocahontas meets, and is courted by, John Rolfe, whom she marries in April. The Peace of Pocahontas forges a treaty between the English and the Powhatan Indians.


Pocahontas travels to England with her husband and infant son Thomas to meet King James. While there, she contracts an illness, possibly tuberculosis or smallpox, and dies at the age of 22. She is buried in Gravesend, England.


English colonists receive land grants and begin independent plantations. The increased numbers of settlers, poor crops and increased evangelical efforts, rekindle the Indians’ fear of the English. When Opechancanough becomes chief in 1618, the stage is set for renewed hostilities. Small Indian raids begin upon the settlers and Opechancanough gathers support from other tribes. Former Virginia Governor George Yardley and Governor Francis Wyatt try diplomacy to resolve the issues to no avail. The first 20 Africans arrive in Virginia in 1619.


The Virginia Company of London charters the first college in the New World to offer higher learning to both colonists and Indians. Also, good bog iron was found along Falling Creek in 1608 and construction of the first industrial ironworks in the New World begins in 1619 when about 150 ironworkers and their families arrive.


On Good Friday, March 22, the treaty signed between Indians and the English ends when the Powhantans attack throughout the Virginia colony. The ironworks are destroyed and almost 60 are killed including women and children. Henricus is severely damaged, and most of the settlers in Bermuda Hundred are slain or wounded. Recovery is slow after the Indian attacks and King James revokes the Virginia Company’s charter in 1624.


The first Africans are brought to Bermuda Hundred by landowners Francis Epps and Thomas Harris.


Swift Creek Mill is built by Henry Randolph, who acquires a large tract of land in Bermuda Hundred on Swift Creek in 1655. Randolph was born in England and migrated to Virginia about 1640. It is believed to be the oldest grist mill in the country.


Bermuda Hundred town plan denotes the central square as the slave market.