Jamestown: The “Starving Time”

Archaeologists have called her “Jane.”

She was only fourteen years old when she died at James Fort, part of the Jamestown settlement, during the winter of 1609-10. That winter has been called the “starving time” because of its particular brutality. The settlers dared not stray far from the fort, for fear of being preyed on by the Powhatans, and so they had been driven to eat rats and snakes in order to survive. Until now, the possibility that human flesh was also devoured had been just speculation. Recent excavation at the former site of Jamestown, however, confirms that during the “starving time” the fort’s inhabitants did indeed resort to cannibalism.

What Would Jefferson Do?

May 2 is National Prayer Day. John Ragosta, author of Religious Freedom: Jefferson’s Legacy, America’s Creed, penned the following thoughts at the outset of the day and has shared them with us. Writes Ragosta, “I inevitably come back to the following question: What would Jefferson do? How would he react to a National Day of Prayer mandated by Congress and proclaimed by the President?”