Samuel Jordan

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Samuel Jordan
Diedc. 1623
OccupationPlanter and Burgess for Virginia General Assembly
Spouse(s)Cecily Jordan

Samuel Jordan (d. 1623) was an early settler and ancient planter of colonial Jamestown. He arrived in Virginia around 1610, and served as a Burgess in the first representative legislative session in North America. Jordan patented a plantation known as Jordan's Journey, which became a safe haven and stronghold for settlers during the Second Anglo-Powhatan War that ensued after the Powhatan surprise attack of 1622. Jordan died in 1623. After his death, the control of Jordan's Journey was uncertain as his wife Cecily Jordan became involved in the first breach-of-promise dispute in North America with Greville Pooley. Ultimately, Cecily Jordan prevailed in the case. She then married William Farrar, and Jordan's daughters with Cecily inherited Jordan's Journey.

Early life and arrival in New World[edit]

Samuel Jordan came to Virginia sometime around 1610, as his 1620 patent mentions him as having lived ten years in the colony.[1]

Samuel Jordan's early life is uncertain. Alexander Brown suggests "he was probably married more than once".[2] Some authors state that he had three sons from a first wife who were born in England: Robert, Samuel, and Thomas [3][4]. Though the genealogist John Dorman does not mention either Robert or Samuel, he does acknowledge the possibility that Thomas Jordan, who arrived in Virginia at age 18 aboard Diana in 1619, could be Samuel's son from an earlier marriage in England; however, he also points out there is no conclusive evidence to establish this relation.[5]

Role in Virginia government[edit]

Conjectural drawing of the First Assembly in Virginia, which Samuel Jordan attended.

When Deputy-Governor George Yeardley called the first representative legislative assembly in Virginia in 1619, Jordan served as a Burgess on behalf of Charles City [6]:154. During this first meeting, Jordan also served on the committee of readers for the Great Charter, which been recently received from the Virginia Company and had authorized the assembly.[6]:159 As a privilege granted by the Great Charter, Jordan also became an ancient planter [1], which entitled him to 100 acres of land for paying his own way to Virginia and remaining there for more than three years.

Marriage to Cecily[edit]

Sometime before 1620, Jordan married Cecily[1], who had arrived in Virginia in August 1611 [7] and is also described in Jordan's patent as an ancient planter.[1]. Cecily was around 18 years old at the time of the marriage, as the Jamestown muster of 1625 gives her age as 24. [8]:210

The Jamestown muster of 1625 lists two daughters in the Jordan household, Mary (born c. 1621) and Margaret (born c. 1623); the muster also includes a child named Temperance Baley (born c. 1618) in the household.[8]:210 Temperance, who was less than two years old at the time of Samuel and Cecily's marriage, had inherited her father's land, as the young girl is mentioned as an adjoining landholder in Samuel Jordan's 1620 patent.[1] Though she lived at the Jordan household, Temperance Baley's relationship to Jordan family is not certain.

Jordan's Journey[edit]

Virginia Historical Highway Marker of Jordan's Journey, which became both a successful plantation and a safe haven during the Second Anglo-Powhatan War.

In 1620, Samuel Jordan officially received his patent for 450 acres of land. [note 1] This patent included 200 acres for both his and Cecily's claim as ancient planters, as well as an additional 250 acres as headright for paying the transportation costs to Virginia for five indentured servants.[1] Jordan's patent, located at today's Jordan Point, Virginia, was known as Jordan's Journey;[9] his actual residence on the patent was known as Beggars Bush.[2]

When the paramount chief Opechancanough of the Powhatan Confederacy launched the surprise attack of 1622 that killed nearly a third of the English colonists and triggered the Second Anglo-Powhatan War, nobody from Jordan's Journey was listed as killed [6]:556. Jordan's Journey withstood the attack and became a fortified refuge.[10] After the initial assault, many of the outlying settlements were temporarily abandoned, and most of the colonists were ordered to move to a small number of relatively safer settlements, one of which was Jordan's Journey [6]:612. As a result, Jordan's Journey grew. In February 1624, 42 people were living at Jordan's Journey [11]:; a year later, 56 people were living there.[8]:209-213

Death and aftermath[edit]

Samuel Jordan died sometime before mid-February 1623,[note 2] as his name does not appear among living at Jordan's Journey in a list submitted to the Virginia Company that month.[11]:171 After he died, Cecily almost immediately became involved in a legal dispute that has been called the first breach-of-promise suit in North America [2]. About three days after Jordan had died, Reverend Greville Pooley proposed marriage. By June 1623, Cecily had contracted herself to another man who was currently living at Jordan's Journey, William Farrar, who was bonded to execute Samuel Jordan's will.[13]:8. Pooley took the case to the Virginia Council, claiming his proposal had initially been accepted.[14]:218 This outcome of this dispute not only determined who would marry Cecily, but also who would ultimately have say over the management of Jordan's property.[15] After a prolonged period of litigation that lasted until 1625, when Pooley eventually forswore any claims against her.[13] In 1625, Cecily Jordan and William Farrar married.[16] Even though William Farrar had married Cecily, the lists of patents sent back to England still listed Jordan's Journey as owned by the Jordan family.[14]:554 Farrar eventually acquired his own rights to a 2000 acre patent on Farrar's Island at the site of what had previously been Henricus,[17] and Jordan's daughters inherited Jordan's Journey.[18]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The patent was not entered into the record until 1690 when Richard Bland had acquired the property.[1]
  2. ^ Archaeologists who excavated Jordan's Journey have speculated that one of the more elaborate graves adjacent to the main residence containing the remains of a man between 35 and 39 may be Samuel Jordan's. If this is the case, Jordan was most likely born c. 1584-1588.[12]:51-53,63-64

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Nugent, Nell Marion (1934). "Patent Book No. 2". Cavaliers and Pioneers, a Calendar of Land Grants 1623-1800. 1. Richmond, VA: Dietz Press. p. 226.
  2. ^ a b c Brown, Alexander (1890). The Genesis of the United States, Vol 2. II. Boston, MA Houghton, Mifflin. p. 933.
  3. ^ Winslow, Ellen G. R. (1931). History of Perquimans County As Compiled from Records Found There and Elsewhere. Raleigh, NC: Edwards & Broughton. p. 367.
  4. ^ Hale, Nathaniel C. (1948). Roots in Virginia: An Account of Captain Thomas Hale, Virginia Frontiersman, His descendants and Related Families. With Genealogies and Sketches of Hale, Saunders, Lucke, Claiborne, Lacy, Tobin and Contributing Ancestral Lines. Philadelphia, PA: George H. Buchanan. [self-published source]
  5. ^ Dorman, John Frederick, ed. (2004). Adventurers of Purse and Person, Virginia, 1607–1624/5: Families G-P (Volume 2) (4th. ed.). Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing. pp. 363–364. ISBN 978-0806317632.
  6. ^ a b c d Kingsbury, Susan Myra, ed. (1933). Records of the Virginia Company of London. 3. Washington DC: Government Printing Office.
  7. ^ Southall, James P. C. (1942). "Cicely Jordan Farrar and Temperance Baley". The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography. 50 (1). pp. 74–80. JSTOR 4245145.
  8. ^ a b c Hotten, John Camden (1874). "Musters of the Inhabitants in Virginia 1624/25". The Original Lists of Persons of Quality, Emigrants, Religious Exiles, Political Rebels, Serving Men Sold for a Term of Years; Apprentices; Children stolen; Maidens Pressed; and Others Who Went from Great Britain to the American Plantations, 1600-1700 : With Their Ages and the Names of the Ships in Which they Embarked, and other Interesting Particulars; from Mss. Preserved in the State Paper Department of Her Majesty's Public Record Office, England. New York, NY: Empire State Book. pp. 199–274.
  9. ^ Hatch, Charles E. (1957). The First Seventeen Years: Virginia, 1607-1624. Williamsburg, VA: Jamestown 350th Anniversary Celebration Corp. p. 68.
  10. ^ Smith, John (1624). The Generall Historie of Virginia, the Fourth Booke (PDF). Madison, WI: Madison Historical Digital Library and Archives, AJ-082. p. 370.
  11. ^ a b Hotten, John Camden (1874). "Lists of the Living and Dead in Virginia, February 16, 1623". The Original Lists of Persons of Quality, Emigrants, Religious Exiles, Political Rebels, Serving Men Sold for a Term of Years; Apprentices; Children stolen; Maidens Pressed; and Others Who Went from Great Britain to the American Plantations, 1600-1700 : With Their Ages and the Names of the Ships in Which they Embarked, and other Interesting Particulars; from Mss. Preserved in the State Paper Department of Her Majesty's Public Record Office, England. New York, NY: Empire State Book. pp. 167–196.
  12. ^ McLearen, Douglas C.; Mouer, L. Daniel; Boyd, Donna M.; Owsley, Douglas W.; Compton, Bertita (1993). Jordan's Journey: A Preliminary Report on the 1992 Excavations at Archaeological Sites 44PG302, 44PG303, and 44PG315. Richmond, VA: Virginia Commonwealth University Archaeological Research Center. doi:10.6067/XCV81J98NK.
  13. ^ a b McIlwaine, H. R., ed. (1924). Minutes of the Council and General Court of Colonial Virginia 1622-1632, 1670-1676 with Notes and Excerpts from Original Council and General Court Records into 1683, Now Lost. Richmond, VA: Virginia State Library. p. 42.
  14. ^ a b Kingsbury, Susan M., ed. (1935). The Records of the Virginia Company of London. 4. Washington DC: Government Printing Office.
  15. ^ Bruce, Philip Alexander (1907). Social life of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century: An Inquiry Into the Origin of the Higher Planting Class, Together with an Account of the Habits, Customs, and Diversions of the People. Richmond, VA: Whittet & Shepperson. pp. 225–226.
  16. ^ Dorman, John Frederick, ed. (2004). Adventurers of Purse and Person, Virginia, 1607–1624/5: Families A-F (Volume 1) (4th. ed.). Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing. pp. 926–928. ISBN 978-0806317441.
  17. ^ Nugent, Nell Marion (1934). "Patent Book No. 1". Cavaliers and Pioneers, a Calendar of Land Grants 1623-1800. 1. Richmond, VA: Dietz Press. p. 60.
  18. ^ McCartney, Martha W. (December 2011). Jordan's Point, Virginia: Archaeology in Perspective, Prehistoric to Modern Times. ISBN 9780615455402.