Independent Publishers Group Logo

Sign up today...
for featured pop culture and science reads, books for kids and teens,special offers, bestsellers, and more, in your inbox!

Select topics of interest:
The Wealth of Jamestown
The Wealth of Jamestown

The Wealth of Jamestown


238 Pages, 6.05 x 8.76

Formats: Trade Paper, EPUB

Trade Paper, $14.95 (CA $20.00) (US $14.95)

Publication Date: August 2017

ISBN 9780998087306

Rights: WOR

Barbara McLennan (Aug 2017)


eBook Editions Available

Will it work on my eReader?
Price: $14.95


The Wealth of Jamestown follows the development of a new people and the birth of a nation. William Roscoe, a young Virginia planter and sheriff of Yorktown and Gloucester, and Sarah Harrison, seventeen-year-old daughter of one of Virginia’s wealthiest planters, are in love and engaged to be married. But Sarah’s father, Benjamin Harrison II, forces Sarah to break the engagement and marry James Blair, lobbyist, church bureaucrat and Commissary of the Church of England, with connections to the Board of Trade in England. Sarah retains her dowry and wealth, and while Blair goes to England to lobby for a college of which he’d be President, she continues her relationship with William. Sarah and William buy two sailing ships, and William begins trade with pirates in the new city of Charles Towne. With King William’s War with France finished, commerce and trade open up and Virginia planters become very wealthy---William becomes a member of the House of Burgesses. But Blair returns, reclaiming his status and seeking power over all of Virginia. 


This is a great story about a part of our history that is so familiar, yet still far away.  A romance set incolonial times, the story describes strong men and powerful women who face the challenges of a harshworld filled with warfare and piracy. The reader will be a part of a great adventure of colonial Virginia. Brian A. MooreMayorCity of Petersburg December 1, 2013 - Bryan Moore, Mayor of Petersburg, VA - Brian Moore, Mayor of Petersburg, VA

It is a privilege for Jamestown Settlement to have been part of the inspiration for Barbara McLennan’s latest work. Through her fictional account, a period of Virginia’s history is vibrantly retold.  - Philip G. Emerson, Executive Director, Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation. - Philip G. Emerson, Executive Director, Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation.

Everyone loves a great read. And this is a great read! It's got everything a readercraves: intrigue, suspense, power struggles of the mighty and the commoner, and the tantalizingclashes of love and money. It’s the inside story not taught in the schools — one of themost tumultuous and exciting periods in history. Louis XIV is on the throne of France, England hasjust fired a king and hired William and Mary as new monarchs, and Virginia simply wants to sell itstobacco, while pirates threaten commerce on the seas. And the reader is on the inside of the entiretheatre of action on both sides of the Atlantic! - Dr. Richard Oliver, founder and CEO of American Sentinel University, former business executive and college professor, and author of a number of bestselling books. - Dr. Richard Oliver, founder and CEO of American Sentinel University, former business executive and college professor, and author of a number of bestselling books.

Author Barbara N. McLennan draws the curtain of time back in this historical novel, letting us look through the window of the past and see some of Jamestown's most affluent and notable citizens. McLennan focuses on a small circle of friends and family connected to the Rev. James Blair and his wife, Sara Harrison Blair. Theirs is a story of love, power and politics.The story begins in 1685, right before the Blairs are married, when Sara is only 17. At the opening of the book she is engaged to the sheriff of Yorktown, William Roscoe. Though in love with Roscoe, Sara is pressured by her family to marry Blair.The story continues as Blair, obsessed with founding a college in Virginia, works to start the College of William and Mary. His pushy, pompous manners and single-minded obsession to start a college and be its first president made a lot of influential colonists angry and unwilling to help him.Blair also went on a couple of long voyages to England in pursuit of the college, leaving Sara to run the home and plantation, her inheritance, on her own.McLennan helps us see that the colonies had some very strong women. Rules in the colonies were a bit different than in Europe, and women of substance, education, and birth had a strong influence on the culture and the society that would become America."The Wealth of Jamestown" is a book of historical fiction that brings to life the inhabitants of Jamestown and the colonies in the 1600s. An entertaining read, especially for those who love early American history.For more about the book, including excerpts, go to's work and education seem to have had a strong influence on her writing. According to her website, she holds doctorate and law degrees and has penned five other books and numerous academic articles.A former docent at Jamestown Settlement, McLennan currently assists the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation in preparing for the new American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. She is also on the board of the Chesapeake Bay Writers organization. - Elizabeth Macfarlane - Daily Press, Newport News, VA, Sept. 23, 2014

Author Barbara McLennan has come up with an interesting book, and even more interesting, it covers a little tapped mine of American history: the time around 1685-1700, or, to put it in recognizable terms, the time of George Washington's grandfather.  Very few books, fiction or non, are dedicated to that time frame.  One jumps from Columbus to the Pilgrims and then to ol' George. But this block of time, when Virginia was the oldest and wealthiest of Britain's colonies, and becoming wealthier by the year, was a time of hardship, a time of experiment and a time of building.  Men were rugged and tough.  Challenges and fights to the death were common - over trivial causes.  Women were just as tough - but in a different way.  They were smart and savvy, and were appreciated for those virtues.  In those days of boundless distances, men were away for long periods and it would be the wives who not only ran the home, but the plantation or the business.  Jamestown, circa 1685, had been around for nearly eight decades.  Ships from England were arriving regularly with new settlers and manufactured goods in exchange for the commodity of Virginia wealth:  tobacco.  Tobacco had become such a major gold mine, as it were, that goods were bought sold with tobacco as the unit of currency. The Wealth of Jamestown is peppered with a very large cast of characters, all real, and a few perhaps "enhanced."  But the real people, the Colonial Governors, preachers, and wealthy plantation owners with descendants whose names are well known throughout history, have been immaculately researched, and shed some light on this unilluminated time.  Nicholsons, Byrds, Carters, Blairs, Harrisons, Parkes and Custises are names that today are household names in Virginia. The book discusses not only governors and merchants and planters, but the thriving business in piracy - or, as the pirates considered themselves, merely merchant sailors who a) skirted the French ships that were equally interested in helping themselves to the continent, and b) skirted the laws they believed did not apply to them.  Central to the story is a love affair that had been thwarted by an arranged-for-money marriage.  As expected, the marriage was unhappy, so Sarah and William merely "skirted" those laws as well.  But the love story is coincidental to what the author is looking to do, and becomes a vehicle for telling the intrinsic tale: how the colony of Virginia operated, how it grew, how the rule of law took hold when Jamestown was the capital of Virginia, and, of course, how it became wealthy. Author McLennan was wise when she chose to write historic fiction: it gives her far more latitude in stating her point.  And, of course, it makes for a much livelier read.  Key to good historic fiction, of course, is the "plausibility" issue.  Might this have happened?  Was it in keeping with the characters?  The times?  The issues?  Might these people have known each other and interacted as portrayed?  With the exception of using more modern language, everything in The Wealth of Jamestown rings true.  It is a solid good read - not only for history lovers, but even for middle and high school readers who, sadly enough, are usually required to learn history on their own.  Barbara McLennan makes it pleasant to learn! - Feather S. Foster - Chesapeake Style Magazine, June 2014

The Wealth of Jamestown covers the time between 1685 and 1700 using a romance between the plantation owner’s daughter, Sarah, and the young sheriff, William, of Yorktown to illustrate an early history of Virginia. McLennan who serves as a docent at the Jamestown Settlement incorporates many historical characters using her extensive research to enliven a time most are barely aware of. The first few chapters, with its plethora of characters and actions unfamiliar to modern life, feel dense and confusing at times. However, the reader is then rewarded with a charming love story and a fascinating historical overview. One realizes that with the appalling loss of life through disease, birthing, dueling and skirmishes with Indians encouraged by the French, the survivors, both men and women were strong and resourceful. Many plantations were overseen by the women in the families because of the death or temporary absence of the men. McLennan especially brings to life James Blair, villain, husband of Sarah and clergyman with political connections. The reader will dislike him as much as his contemporaries disliked his rigidity and single-mindedness. Although Jamestown was eventually deserted, many of the characters enmeshed within the story were the antecedents of the founders of the United States. The Wealth of Jamestown painlessly presents an early and difficult time in American history. - Judith Helburn - Story Circle Book Reviews

4 of 5 starsbookshelves: first-reads Read from July 12 to 16, 2014Great book, enjoyed reading about Jamestown. I did not know much about Jamestown, and was happy to receive this book as part of the first reads books. I loved how the author included historical figures from Jamestown in the novel, and also how she included a genealogy in the back of the book about them. After reading this book I want to learn more about Jamestown, and it's founding members. I shall be recommending this book to my friends and family that love history.  - Aimee - Goodreads

Author Biography

Barbara McLennan has published eight books and numerous magazine and journal articles on various political, economic, and historical subjects. For two years she contributed columns and articles on local customs and local history to, a local online newspaper serving the Rappahannock region of Virginia.Holding both Ph.D. (University of Wisconsin, Madison) and J.D. (Georgetown) degrees, Barbara McLennan is a former professor, association executive and high level official in the United States Departments of Commerce and Treasury. Over the last several years, she has served as docent at Jamestown Settlement, the living history museum that commemorates the founding of the first English speaking settlement in North America, and at Historic Jamestown, the site of the original fort and an archaeological dig. She also has assisted the historian in preparation for exhibits at the new museum of the American Revolution at Yorktown.Since moving to Williamsburg, Dr. McLennan has taught courses on the U. S. budget in the Thomas Jefferson School of Public Policy, The College of William and Mary. She also has been a Visiting Scholar at William & Mary's Raymond A. Mason School of Business, where she serves as a writing consultant to students in the MBA program. She has held a commission as member of the Governor of Virginia's Asian Advisory Board on trade and investment and is a Board Member of the Chesapeake Bay Writers Organization.