John Smith's map of Virginia (various editions) show a "Sharpes Ile" (Sharpe's Island) in the Nansemond River at a point that looks to be (or be near) modern Thompson's Landing. His description begins at the James:
"This river is a musket shot broad, each side being should [shoaled] bays; a narrow channell, but three fadom [fathom]; his course for eighteene miles almost directly South, and by West where beginneth the first inhabitants: for a mile it turneth directly East, towards the West a great bay, and A WHITE CHAULKIE ILAND convenient for a Fort: his next course South, where within a quarter of a mile the river divideth in two..."
Would like to know of any early references to this island (prior to 1670), particularly in patents along the river. These patents would have been issued as in Elizabeth City (1634-36), New Norkolk (1636-37), Upper Norfolk (17371646), or Nansemond (1646-1670).
No one seems to have any idea why this island was so named at the time, but by the late 1600s, it is not found on any maps.
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