Now one of Virginia's most important archaeological sites, in the early eighteenth century Fort Christanna was one of the colony's most intriguing experiments. Governor Alexander Spotswood established this fort to defend Virginia's frontier from French and Indian predations, to protect friendly tribes and promote and regulate trade, and to provide a school for Indian youth. The pentagon-shaped fort enclosed a blockhouse, warehouses, a house for Spotswood, and a few other buildings. For a few years, Spotswood managed to inveigle the chiefs of various tribes into sending their sons to learn English and study Christianity at his school. However, occasional hostilities caused the fort and school, for most purposes, to close in 1718.
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