Ferdinando Gorges

St. Georges Fort plan, Phippsburg, 1607

St. Georges Fort plan, Phippsburg, 1607
Item 7542   info
Maine Historical Society

English ship Captain Waymouth recommended Ferdinando Gorges and John Popham place their settlement, known as the “Popham Colony” at the mouth of the Penobscot River. Without proper maps or guides, George Popham and Raleigh Gilbert mistook modern Phippsburg, on the mouth of the Kennebec River, as the suggested site, and constructed Fort St. George there in 1607.

The winter of 1607 was cold, and supplies ran short. Relations with the Wabanaki were poor and became worse after George Popham died, leaving the Raleigh Gilbert, then about 24, in charge. In the spring of 1608, news arrived that Gilbert had inherited his family estate through the death of his older brother. By the summer of 1608, the entire crew sailed home with Gilbert, many aboard the Virginia, a 30-ton pinnace the colonists built to help with their explorations and trading. The Virginia, was the first English vessel built in North America.

The full title of this plan of Fort St. Georges reads, "The draught of St. Georges Fort erected by Captayne George Popham Esquire one entry of the famous river Sagadahock in Virginia taken out by John Hunt the viii day of October in the yeare of our Lord 1607."

This map is a 19th century facsimile of the original held at the Spanish archives in Simancas, Spain.

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