On this day in 1609, Samuel Argall arrived in Virginia, having set sail from England on May 15. For those of you keeping track at home, that’s nine weeks and six days to cross the Atlantic Ocean—a new record. The average travel time prior to that had been twelve to eighteen weeks, but Argall followed the 30th parallel, which took him north of the standard Caribbean route, allowing him to make up the time.
The ship he sailed, by the way, was the Treasurer. Ten years later she would arrive in Virginia again—this time carrying the colony’s first Africans.
Also on this day, in 1838, Antonia J. Ford was born, in Fairfax Court House. A Confederate spy, she was best known for her alleged involvement in one fo the most famous cavalry raids of the Civil War, when John Singleton Mosby captured the Union general Edwin H. Stoughton in his headquarters. Mosby later denied that Ford had ever spied for him.
IMAGE: A portolan chart of the Atlantic Ocean and adjacent Continents, 1633, by Pascoal Roiz (Library of Congress)