OK I admit it I am going to do a little name dropping. My ancestor was the FIRST governor of Jamestown! That is right, he was the guy who didn't like John Smith and had him brought to the New World in chains. Seems like the 2 guys didn't like each other. We didn't know this when we read - This Dear Bought Land so now I need to do some serious research on him. His name was Edward Maria Wingfield. More exciting information to follow........stay tuned! click here and here for more information. Oh wait, I want this for my birthday!!!
oh, looky what I found .......(here) (I cut and pasted the following)
Edward-Maria Wingfield Jamestown's First President - 1607
Edward Maria Wingfield was the true founder of the first successful English colony in America in 1607. History with few exceptions, ignores this fact. Nevertheless it is for this accomplishment he is best known, although he was also a valiant soldier in prior years for England.
Wingfield an active leader in getting the Jamestown expedition up and running, was one of the Big Eight Virginia Company stockholders and the only venturer representing the London company in Virginia.
Most of the accepted history of Jamestown was written by the better known, John Smith himself, who became an adversary of Capt. Wingfield. Smith's enormous ego basically denied merit to anyone but himself. Therefore history of the event is unfairly slanted with many inaccuracies.
Smith describes Wingfield as a weak person, who misappropriated rations, held Smith in custody without cause, tried to escape from Jamestown, did not build temporary defense works or even unpack the arms. Each and every one of these accusations were disproved by chapter and verse in a 1993 book ("Virginia's True Founder: Edward-Maria Wingfield") by Jocelyn Wingfield of London, England. The simple undeniable fact is Smith was not in charge of building the fort, did not initiate bartering with the Indians or keeping peace with them. He was not the founder of Jamestown as most people tend to believe.
John Smith was a brave and daring individual with many accomplishments at Jamestown to his credit. Unfortunately telling the truth was not one of them. History has vastly exaggerated Smith's role and ignores that Wingfield was the true founder of the Jamestown colony.
Wingfield and his cousin, Bartholomew Gosnold were responsible for recruiting around half the settlers from their ancestral homes in Suffolk, England area. Wingfield was the only stockholder and charter grantee to sail with the one hundred and five colonists on three ships into Virginia. He had been chosen president of the council and took complete charge upon arrival. Incidentally, John Smith arrived in chains for promoting mutiny inroute.
Wingfield was not popular as the responsibility was staggering, nevertheless the 57 year old military man was extremely experienced in defense works, constructed the fort in an incredibly short time of a month and a day. It was indeed a dismal, fledging colony in the early days. To add to the overwhelming problems, many of the colonists were "gentlemen" and did not take well to "labor." It was working, watching and warding, so much so that Wingfield's cousin, Gosnold advised him to ease up a bit as he was working the men too hard.
After arrival to promote harmony Smith was released from his incarceration and allowed to take his seat on the council. After Gosnold died, Smith led a drive for the council to depose it's president, his adversary, Wingfield.
As the going got especially tough, with starvation, disease, a high percentage of deaths as well as Indian attacks, Wingfield was deposed. History often overlooks that John Smith was also deposed as was his two predecessors as president of the council.
When Christopher Newport's ship returned from England with supplies, he (Newport) dismissed all charges against Wingfield as ludicrous, except one and that was he was an atheist. This was also untrue, as he was a Protestant. The fact remains that Wingfield led the colony from selection of a brilliant defense position on the James River, building the fort, establishing contact with the Indians during a tenuous and a most dismay period between arrival in April until September, 1607. His leadership established the colony on a foundation to become a permanent settlement in the new world. So it was Capt. Edward Maria Wingfield, the first president of Jamestown who was the true founder.