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Dear America Wiki

Elizabeth during her second diary, The Starving Time

All of the characters that appear in Elizabeth's Diaries, Our Strange New Land, The Starving Time, and Season of Promise by Patricia Hermes.

Main characters[]

Elizabeth Barker[]

Main article: Elizabeth Barker

Elizabeth Mary Barker[1][2] (born October 1599)[3] was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Barker, the twin sister of Caleb, and older sister of Abigail. She sailed across the Atlantic Ocean with her parents and settled in Jamestown, Virginia in August 1609. Elizabeth experienced many trials and tribulations during her first year in the colony. She was good friends with Jessie Bolton, Mary Dobson, and Temperance Flowerdew.

Supporting characters[]

Anna Whistler[]

Anna[4] Barker (formerly Whistler) was the sister of Mistress Collier. She was experienced with birthing and assisted Mistress Barker with Abigail in October 1609. During the following winter, Anna gave birth to a stillborn son and was widowed after the death of her husband. Anna nursed Abigail during Mistress Barker's illness and after her death. In November 1610, she married Mr. Barker and was expecting a baby by February 1611.

Mistress Barker[]

Mistress Barker ("Mama"; died March 24, 1610)[5] was the wife of Mr. Barker, and mother of Elizabeth, Caleb, and Abigail. She moved to Jamestown with her family, after a long journey across the ocean. Mistress Barker had a hard time adjusting at first and missed her son. She also worried for the safety of her daughters, Elizabeth and newborn Abigail. Mistress Barker fell ill during the winter and passed away in March 1610.

Mr. Barker[]

Mr. Barker ("Papa") was the father of Elizabeth, Caleb, and Abigail, and husband of Mistress Barker. He was a third son and had a hard time in England. In 1609, he settled in Jamestown with his family and built their house in time for the following winter. Mr. Barker became an adviser to Captain John Smith during his first few months there. He was smart and capable, occasionally proposing solutions for the colony's problems. Mr. Barker was also a master carpenter and rebuilt several buildings in Jamestown. He remarried in November 1610 to Anna Whistler.

Caleb Barker[]

Caleb Barker (born October 1599)[3] was the twin brother of Elizabeth and older brother of Abigail. He enjoyed sketching and talking to his twin sister. Caleb stayed behind in England with his mother's cousin, because of his weak lungs. Elizabeth stole his sketchbook, which she used as a journal for a year. In the spring of 1610, Caleb reunited with his family in Jamestown. Caleb learned carpentry skills from his father within a year of arriving.

Jessie Bolton[]

Jessie Bolton (born October 1599)[3] was a friend of Elizabeth. They met on board the Blessing, and became friends during the long journey. She and Elizabeth were born in the same month and year, and also had blonde hair and blue eyes. Jessie's mother died in September 1609, after arriving at Jamestown. She became closer to Elizabeth over the following month, before moving back to England with her father in October.

Mary Dobson[]

Mary Dobson (born c. 1595)[6][7] was a settler in Jamestown and friend of Elizabeth. They became friends, after Jessie went back to England. She would often meet Elizabeth at their secret place to discuss their hopes and dreams. Mary had a crush on John Bridger. Mary's mother passed away on January 1, 1610,[8] leaving her heartbroken. She and Elizabeth became friends with Temperance Flowerdew.


Pocahontas (born c. 1596)[9] was an Indian (Native American) daughter of the chief, Powhatan. She saved John Smith's life and later acted as a go-between for the Indians and settlers. Elizabeth and Jessie became friends with Pocahontas. After John Smith returned to England, Pocahontas stopped visiting Jamestown. Pocahontas returned in September 1610, but was no longer the playful young girl she use to be.

Minor characters[]

  • Abigail (born c. 1605) and Sarah (c. 1605 – September 22, 1609)[10] were twin sisters. Sarah became sick and passed away, shortly after their arrival. Abigail also fell ill.
  • Abigail Barker (born October 7, 1609)[11] was the youngest daughter of Mistress and Mr. Barker, and the sister of Elizabeth and Caleb. She became close to Anna Whistler and called her "Mama."
  • Amelia Quick (born 1601),[12] a colonist, whose mother died during the voyage to Jamestown. She took care of her siblings, Charles, Peter, and Sarah. Amelia was devastated by the deaths of her whole family.
  • Mistress Bartlett was the wife of Master Bartlett and mother of seven, including Joshua, Jacob, and Sarah. Elizabeth, Mary, and Temperance went to her house to practice sewing.
  • Mistress Bolton (died September 7, 1609)[13] was the mother of Jessie and wife of Mr. Bolton. She became ill and died shortly after arriving in Jamestown.
  • Mr. Bolton was the father of Jessie and husband of Mistress Bolton. He was heartbroken over his wife's death. Mr. Bolton went with John Martin to trade with the Indians and returned injured. He boarded John Smith's ship and returned to England with his daughter.
  • Master Brown, one of the earliest settlers in Jamestown. In 1610, Lord Delaware order that his ears be chopped off, after he stole a cup of food. Elizabeth convinced Lord Delaware to forgive Master Brown.
  • Mistress Bridger, the mother of John, James and Thomas. She was unpopular among her peers.
  • Mr. Bridger was the father of John, James, and Thomas. He did little work and was disliked by most of their fellow colonists. In December 1609, Mr. Bridger went upriver to form a new settlement.
  • Reverend Buck was a Christian minister in Jamestown.
  • Charles, Peter (died March 1610)[14], and Sarah Quick (died December 1609),[15] the siblings of Amelia. The twin boys were troublesome and described as "devilish". They all became sick and died.
  • Claire (c. 1600[16] – September 21, 1609)[10] was a friend of Elizabeth. She arrived at Jamestown in August 1609 and passed away the following month.
  • Mistress and Mr. Collier were the parents of Francis. Mistress Collier and her sister, Anna Whistler, helped Mistress Barker give birth to Abigail.
  • Lord Delaware, Jamestown's leader from June 1610 to the spring of 1611. He was extremely strict and imposed several new rules on the colonists. Lord Delaware was intrigued by Elizabeth and would invite her to his house for discussions.
  • Mr. Foster (died September 1609)[17] was one of the earlier settlers of Jamestown. He missed his children, whom he had left behind in England. Mr. Foster fell ill and passed away.
  • Francis Collier (died March 19, 1610)[14] was a friend of Elizabeth. He was a great storyteller and would tell fantastical stories to cheer others. Francis was unable to recover from his illness and died.
  • Francis West, another leader of Jamestown, who argued with John Ratcliffe.
  • Captain Gabriel Archer was a leader of the Blessing. He was allied with George Percy. Elizabeth described him as "a dreadful, unpleasant man."
  • George Percy was a leader of Jamestown, who disliked John Smith. He became leader, after John was injured and sent to England. George was allied with Gabriel Archer.
  • George Yeardley was Temperance's crush. They eventually become engaged and planned their wedding for the following spring.
  • Reverend Harper was a Christian minister in Jamestown, Virginia.
  • James and Thomas Bridger (died March 1610)[18] were the younger brothers of John. They both became ill suddenly in March 1610 and died, along with their elder brother.
  • Jacob Bartlett was the son of Master and Mistress Bartlett. Mary developed a crush on him.
  • John Bridger (died March 1610)[18] was the brother of James and Thomas. He delighted in tormenting Elizabeth and Jessie. In March 1610, he passed away.
  • Captain John Martin was a leader in Jamestown, who disliked John Smith. He took a group to trade for food in Nansemond territory with disastrous consequences.
  • John Ratcliffe (died 1609),[19] another leader in Jamestown. Ratcliffe attempted to trade with the Powhatans, but was killed.
  • Captain John Smith was the leader of the Jamestown settlement. He was friends with Pocahontas, who saved his life when Chief Powhatan captured him. In 1609, he was injured during a gunpowder explosion and returned to England.
  • Joshua Bartlett was the son of Master and Mistress Bartlett. He was a friend of Caleb.
  • Mistress Pickett (died August 28, 1609),[20] a settler in Jamestown, who died during childbirth. Her son passed away a few hours after her.
  • Powhatan was a local Indian chief and father of Pocahontas. He once captured John Smith, but his daughter asked him to spare John.
  • Rawhunt was a member of the Powhatan tribe. He visited Jamestown with Pocahontas to deliver supplies. In March 1610, he found Elizabeth in the woods and brought her back to the colony.
  • Sarah Bartlett, nicknamed "Miss Tiskit" by Elizabeth, was the only daughter and youngest children of Master and Mistress Bartlett.
  • Temperance Flowerdew was Elizabeth's and Mary's friend. She arrived on one of the ships from Bermuda. Temperance had a crush on George Yeardley and later became his fiancée.
  • Thomas Gates was a citizen living in Jamestown.


See also[]