Smith's Fort

06. Smiths Fort

Smith's Fort

In 1609, Captain John Smith built a fort on the south side of the James River as a retreat position should Jamestown be attacked by Virginia Indians or the Spanish. This dower tract of land was given to John Rolfe in 1614 by Powhatan upon Rolfe's marriage to Pocahontas. Rolfe is known to have cultivated the early tobacco crop on this property. 

Between 1751 and 1765, a brick plantation house was built that still stands today, with much of its interior woodwork still intact. The Manor House exemplifies the upper-middle-class lifestyle enjoyed by the Jacob Faulcon family in 18th-century Surry County. 

The property was purchased by a collective group of Black farming families in 1886 and was later acquired, and restored, by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Preservation Virginia obtained the house and property in 1933.

wedding of pocahontasLocated in the manor house is a print on paper from a steel engraving done by John C. McRae in 1855 entitled, "The Wedding of Pocahontas." It was modeled from an original oil painting by Henry Brueckner in the same year. It depicts the day in April 1614 when Pocahontas was wed to Englishman John Rolfe, an event that initiated 8 years of peace with the Algonquin Indians. The original painting resides in the Getty Museum.