Jamestown, first established in May 1607, was the site of the first permanent English settlement in North America. Jamestown was the capital of the Virginia Colony, and saw Bacon's Rebellion in 1676, when the statehouse was burned. After a second burning in 1698, the capital was relocated to higher ground at Middle Plantation in 1699, which was then renamed Williamsburg.By the middle of the 18th century, the land was cultivated mainly by the Travis and Ambler families. During the American Revolutionary War the area was used as a military post where American and British prisoners of war were exchanged.In the 19th century, Jamestown Island reverted to little-used farmland, and in 1862 became the site of Doller's Point Battery, a Confederate earthworks during the American Civil War intended to protect Richmond against Union gunboats. Swann's Point Battery was a Union Army battery located Swann's Point above the mouth of Gray's Creek on the James River, opposite Jamestown Island from 1862-1865. The Ambler Farm was burned by escaped slaves, who found the desolate island to be a haven. The area then reverted to farmland until preservation efforts began at the end of the 19th century.
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