Kecoughtan was recognized as a strategic situation, and after Captain Smith's departure for England, in October, 1609, George Percy, the President, sent Captain John Ratcliffe down to the mouth of the river to build a fort. He chose the present site of Fort Monroe, and called his stockade "Algernourne Fort," in honor of President Percy's ancestor William Algernourne de Percy, who came to England with William the Conqueror. Soon after began the Starving Time at Jamestown, during which most of the settlers died. Captain Ratcliffe, while on a trading voyage to the York, was betrayed and killed by the savages, and his place at Point Comfort was supplied by Captain James Davis. Only some sixty wretched survivors were at Jamestown when the Spring of 1610 arrived, and these would have perished but for the almost miraculous arrival of Sir Thomas Gates and the passengers of the Sea Venture, who had been wrecked for forty weeks on the Bermuda Islands. They reached Point Comfort May 21, 1610, and through Captain Davis, Governor Gates was first made acquainted with the terrible condition of things at Jamestown.
Here again was the stopping place two weeks later of Sir Thomas West, Lord Delaware, who arrived just in time to prevent the desertion of Virginia by Gates. There was then waiting at Point Comfort, a little pinnace called the "Virginia," built on the coast of Maine, and the only product of the colony sent out, to that region in 1607 by the Plymouth Company. It had been sent down from Jamestown by Governor Gates to take on Captain Davis and his guard; and the colonists at Jamestown were momentarily expected. Delaware at once dispatched the Virginia up the river, and the ships from Jamestown were met off Mulberry
Island. Under orders the departing ships tacked about and sailed back to the old place of settlement, and, in the evening of June 8th, 1610, the colonists again took possession of their forlorn habitations.