Sir Thomas Dale
Sir Thomas Dale

1611, four years after Christopher Newport’s early explorations of what would become Virginia, Sir Thomas Dale left Jamestown to establish a settlement upriver. The party came to a peninsula on the north side of the river, now known as Farrar’s Island. It was here that Dale established the colony’s second settlement, “Henricus,” also referred to as the city or town of “Henrico.” The English named this colonization effort in honor of Prince Henry of Wales, son of James I.

In just four months, the town grew to a fortified settlement. Frame houses lined three streets, and the men had built a wooden church, a brick foundation for a permanent church, storehouses, watchtowers, and huts. A university was planned at the site with the aim of teaching the Virginia Indians and converting them to Christianity. This effort failed and Henricus was abandoned after ongoing conflict between the two cultures culminated in a devasting attack on Henricus on March 22, 1622.

In the years following the Virginia Indian uprising, the colonists engaged in regular attacks against the Indians, pushing them farther and farther westward.

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