The "president's project" of the National Society Daughters of Colonial Wars will be of interest to those of you with Maine ancestry and anyone interested in the settlements Europeans attempted in what is today New England and Canada before our pilgrim ancestors arrived in 1620. Popham Colony, named for leader George Popham but also called the Sagadahoc Colony, was established in 1607 near the mouth of the Kennebec River (modern-day Phippsburg, ME) with 120 male colonists who gave up and went home within the year, for various reasons. The colonists made history by being the first Europeans to construct an ocean-going vessel from the materials found in the New World. They sailed this craft, Virginia of Sagadahoc, home along with other craft in which they had arrived. It later made at least one more round trip to the Jamestown Colony. The DCW is asking for contributions to help defray the costs of reconstructing this ship, a 51', 30-ton seaworthy pinnace. You can see more details about the colony and the ship project at Maine's First Ship. This is a hands-on student learning program as well, in Bath, ME, a city with a strong history of shipbuilding. Information on how to donate is on the Maine's First Ship web site. An eyewitness account of the voyage and settlement, "Relation of a Voyage to Sagadahoc, 1607-1608," can be downloaded from American Journeys, a collection of early American exploration narratives, sponsored by the Wisconsin Historical Society, National History Day (a middle school & high school extracurricular history program), and funded by the Institute of Museum & Library Services (a federal program) and by private donors.
The author is an Arizona research historian who enjoys the challenge of looking for Mayflower descendants, hers and anyone else's.
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