Jordan's Point, Virginia
Archaeology in Perspective, Prehistoric to Modern Times
Martha W. McCartney
Jordan’s Point, a nearly triangular promontory in the James River, is situated in Prince George County, just east of the confluence of the James and Appomattox Rivers. A broad terrace overlooking the James, Jordan’s Point is bounded by small streams, tidal marshes, and protective uplands that rise to a height of 100 feet or more. In 1607, when the first European colonists saw Jordan’s Point, it was graced by the homes and cleared fields of natives they would call the Weyanoke. Virginia colonist Samuel Jordan established a community called Jordan’s Journey around 1621, giving his name to what became known as Jordan’s Point.
In time, the settlement became a hub of social and political life. By 1660, Jordan’s Point had come into the possession of the Blands, one of England’s most important mercantile families. They leased their property to one or more of their agents, usually merchants and mariners involved in inter-colonial trade. Richard Bland I and his descendants developed Jordan’s Point into a family seat and working plantation they retained until after the Civil War. At Jordan’s Point enslaved men, women, and children toiled in the fields, enabling the Blands to prosper. Richard Bland IV went on to become a distinguished American patriot, and one of his sons became a physician.
Featuring more than one hundred photos and illustrations, most in color, and intended for a general reader, Jordan’s Point, Virginia: Archaeology in Perspective, Prehistoric to Modern Times tells the story of Jordan’s Point, which spans thousands of years, through the cultural features that archaeologists have unearthed there. This is a book that will attract readers interested in Native American studies, Virginia and colonial history, and archaeology.
Distributed for the Virginia Department of Historic Resources
Martha W. McCartney is the author of six books, including Jamestown: An American Legacy. She is the recipient of many professional honors, including a 2001 Daughters of the American Revolution’s National History Award. A former historian for the Virginia Research Center for Archaeology, she has served as a consultant to the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, and the National Park Service.