Thursday, July 30, 2015

Jamestown reveals religious division at core of America's founding

By Nicholas Fandos

MASSACHUSETTS---All four, some of European America’s earliest leaders, died in colonial Jamestown from 1608 to 1610 and were long thought lost to history. Researchers have identified the remains of four of the colony’s leaders, and found surprising signs of religious division. Captain Archer died at 34 in late 1609 or early 1610, during the “Starving Time,” a six-month period during the winter of 1609-10, when famine and disease nearly wiped out the colony. Also among his remnants: a small silver box that researchers have identified as a Roman Catholic reliquary containing seven fragments of bone and two pieces of a lead ampulla, a type of flask used to hold holy water. If correctly identified, the finding could indicate that Captain Archer, or those who buried him, secretly harbored Catholic faith, even as the colony was outwardly Anglican. [link]
A small silver box, a Roman Catholic reliquary, was found in colonial Jamestown. Surrounding it are replicas of what is inside: bone and pieces of a lead ampulla. Credit Susan Walsh/Associated Press