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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Gloucester Point in Gloucester County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Natives, Explorers, Tobacco and Buccaneers

The Early History of Gloucester Point

 
 
Natives, Exploreres, Tobacco and Buccaneers Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, May 2, 2009
1. Natives, Exploreres, Tobacco and Buccaneers Marker
Inscription. “I made a draughte of our riverÖby us discovered.” Robert Tyndall to Henry, Prince of Wales

In 1600, this tidewater land was part of a vast American Indian empire ruled by the Powhatan nation. English mariner and mapmaker Robert Tyndall found a narrow entrance to the York River in 1608. He was exploring the new Virginia Colony with John Smith and Christopher Newport. Tyndall sent a map back to England, calling these narrows “Tendales fronte.” John Smith changed the name to ĎTendales Poynt” when he printed his famous Chesapeake map in 1624.

Strategic Tyndallís Point soon attracted interest. Tobacco plantations sprang up throughout the area. The colonial government built a tobacco warehouse at the Point to serve local planters shipping their crops to England. The first fort was erected here during a 1667 invasion scare from the powerful, seagoing Dutch.

As Gloucester became an established town in 1680, maritime wars continued with the Dutch, Spanish and French. The fort, with ten foot high dirt walls faced with brick, had fifteen cannon by 1711. In addition to threatened foreign invasions, pirates terrorized shipping and two were hung here in 1719. Over time, the defenses were neglected and often in poor condition.

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Whatís in a Name?
Virginians
Tyndallís Point Park Walkway Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, May 2, 2009
2. Tyndallís Point Park Walkway
waited over 250 years to officially name their Point “Gloucester.” Robert Tyndall noticed the Point in 1608 and put his name on it. The English built the first fort here in 1667 and named it for King James II. In the 1860s, Union forces named their camp and fort located here Gilpin and Keyes. By the late 1800s, Gloucester Point finally joined the county and town named for Henry, Duke of Gloucester, the third son of King Charles I.
 
Erected by Gloucester County.
 
Location. 37° 15.029′ N, 76° 30.09′ W. Marker is in Gloucester Point, Virginia, in Gloucester County. Marker can be reached from Vernon Street near Riverview Street. Click for map. The marker is on the Tyndallís Point Park Walkway. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1376 Vernon Street, Gloucester Point VA 23062, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. After the Surrender at Yorktown (a few steps from this marker); Welcome to Gloucester Point (a few steps from this marker); Gloucester Point (a few steps from this marker); Early Land Patent (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Gloucester Point (a few
Tyndallís Point Park Entrance Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, May 2, 2009
3. Tyndallís Point Park Entrance
steps from this marker); A Vital British Outpost at Gloucester Point (within shouting distance of this marker); Attacking with “Decisive Vigor” (within shouting distance of this marker); The British Safety Valve (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Gloucester Point.
 
More about this marker. On the lower left is the 1624 Chesapeake Map with the caption, “Tendales Poynt” guards the entrance to the York River on John Smithís Chesapeake map. The York River was particularly important to the American Indians who calle dit “Pamunkey.” Wahunsunacock, paramount leader of the Powhatan Empire, had his main town of “Werowocomoco” upriver from Tyndallís Point. Courtesy of John Sutton
 
Categories. ExplorationNative AmericansSettlements & Settlers
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 742 times since then and 47 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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