Jeffrey D. Morris

A Historical and Archaeological Investigation of the Chickahominy Shipyard Site.

(Under the direction of Professor Gordon P. Watts, Jr.) Department of History, July 2000.

The purpose of this thesis was to locate, document, and identify underwater archaeological features at the Revolutionary War Virginia State Navy (VSN) shipyard site on the Chickahominy River. Previous research identified the site, but completed no detailed historic or archaeological investigation. Review of data on the site suggested that it played an important role in the VSN and that there were remains of several dockyard features and two shipwrecks located near the site. This thesis determined that the Chickahominy Shipyard was an important facility to the VSN. Its primary role, however, changed from a shipyard to a naval base during the war due to downsizing. The investigation at the site located, documented and identified the remains of a historic wharf, a slipway, and the remains of the VSN galleys Lewis and Safeguard. Those investigations also determined that strong tidal currents in the river have dramatically reduced the archaeological value of the features in the river.