From: De Eye-lands, Mon
Bullwinkle gets the brass ring !! I am impressed.
The Virginia, barke, 1607. The first “ship” built in America in the Popham colony. Popham was a contemporary of Jamestown, perhaps a tad earlier, but was abandoned for lack of support and follow-on colonists, so Jamestown became the first “successful” colony.
Popham was established at the mouth of the Kennebec River in May 1607. What’s interesting is that the Northern colonies were established by the Virginia Company, while the Southern colonies (including Virginia) were established by the London Company. Go figure.
The Popham colony was established 13 years before the pilgrims landed at Plymouth. The colony lasted one year, almost to the day. The untoward death of John Popham in 1608 put paid to the experiment. There wasn’t much there to recommend it: I mean Jamestown had “tobacco”, hootz gazoots. Popham had … trees; that incredible forest from Maine to the Ohio that was home to the Abenaki and the Five Nations. Good, but not economically supportable.
The Virginia (properly the Virginia of Sagadahoc) was the first true ship built in America. She was a proof of concept in that Raleigh Gilbert (colony president) undertook to prove that ships could be built of colonial timbers. She made at least two recorded trans-Atlantic voyages and survived a hurricane that sank larger vessels in a convoy to Jamestown.
She was built of native maple and made the first use, in recorded history, of North American clear pine; what is now called “mast pine”. European shipwrights knew nothing about the characteristics of North American timber and would ever refer to them as “clough” and “fir”.
Virginia used white maple for partial framing. From what we can get from her builder logs and offsets, she had “loft” frames in white maple, and intermediate frames in whatever was available (probably ash, or walnut).
Her construction techniques and marine materials were exactly those of the Continental Frigates Hancock, Randolph, Raleigh, 175 years later. 200 years later, Joshua Humphries went with southern live oak for framing and spans, but every other timber was specified to use the same wood that the Virginia pioneered. “Old Ironsides” sides, were planked with good old Maine clear pine. Just like Virginia.
Nous n'avons pas peur! Vive la liberté! Moi aussi je suis Charlie!
Yippy Ki Yay.