National Geographic : 1949 Jan
The National Geographic Magazine U. S. National Park Service Turn This Portrait Upside Down: A Woman's Face Appears! With passage of time a lady's head, shoulders, and arms have become visible in the Gilbert Stuart painting of Washington which hangs in the museum of Morristown National Historical Park, New Jersey. This photograph, made with infrared light, brings out the underpainting more clearly. Apparently de vout, the woman holds a large cross; her eyes peer, ghostlike, from the General's chest. Recent finding of "Mrs. King" on the canvas suggests that she may be the wife of Rufus King (1755-1827), New England politician and diplomat. No one knows why the artist painted out the lady. Perhaps he was dissatisfied and felt a good English canvas was too precious to waste! 1608 Jamestown was manufacturing glass.* Labor-management troubles, too, came early. "A more damned crew hell never vomited," wrote George Sandys, colonial treasurer, concerning the employees of 1622 23. One Italian, he complained, wrecked the furnace with a crowbar. Nine-tenths of the colonists died in the "starving time" of 1609-10. Even when the settlement was 15 years old, it narrowly escaped becoming another "lost colony." Indians wiped out nearly 400 of Virginia's 1,240 inhabitants, but Jamestown escaped the massacre through a warning by Chanco, Christian Indian boy. Here in April 1614 occurred the "melting pot" marriage of Poca hontas, Chief Powha tan's daughter (page 56), and John Rolfe, who had boomed the colony by finding a way of curing Virginia tobacco. Among their many American de scendants is Mrs. Edith Bolling Galt Wilson, who was married to President Woodrow Wilson in 1915. A shipload of women came to Jamestown in 1619. But more impor tant than mass matri mony were two other events of that year. One was the arrival of the first Negro slaves in English-speaking Amer ica, bringing a problem which later would shake the foundations of a nation. The other was the first meeting of the Virginia House of Bur gesses in the Jamestown church. Representative government on this continent was born unless, indeed, some Indian tribes enjoyed it long before. In 1676, a hundred years before the Decla ration of Independence, Americans' love of lib erty flared into revolt against a royal governor. Bacon's Rebellion failed, but it showed that sons of this new land would fight and die for freedom. Burned down by Nathaniel Bacon's men, Jamestown never recovered. A few years later the seat of government was moved to Williamsburg.f * See "Glass 'Goes to Town'," by J. R. Hildebrand, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, January, 1943; and "Founders of Virginia," by Sir Evelyn Wrench, April, 1948. t See "Restoration of Colonial Williamsburg," by W. A . R. Goodwin, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, April, 1937.