Edited by Gerald Boerner
Today’s topic, the founding of the Jamestown Settlement, has special meaning for my family. One of my wife’s ancestors arrived in the Jamestown colony in 1619, one year before the Pilgrims arrived at Cape Cod. Jamestown started out with three ships, the Susan Constant, Discovery, and Godspeed, filled with 500 men (NO WOMEN!) who were not used to working with their hands. By the time my wife’s ancestor, a Doctor, reached the settlement, about ten percent of the population had perished.
But things got better. Jamestown became the capital if the Virginia Colony and that prototypical institution, the House of Burgesses (Virginia Legislature) was meeting by the time our relative arrived in 1619! The people were exploring democracy early in the life of this colony; free speech was a cornerstone of the commonwealth of Virginia. We hear, of course, more from this body during tour fight for independence 150 years later.
We owe so much to the hearty pioneers who became England’s first permanent settlement in the New World. They survived by making alliances with the Indians, discovering tobacco as a cash crop, and bringing German and Polish émigrés into the colony to start a glass-making industry. What more could we ask.
So, let’s get this exploration started… GLB
These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2010 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved
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Quotations Related to SETTLERS
“The Achilles Heel of the Americas was the lack of cultural confidence typical of new settlers.”
— Arthur Erickson
“People, when they first come to America, whether as travelers or settlers, become aware of a new and agreeable feeling: that the whole country is their oyster.”
— Alistair Cooke
“One of the strongest and most persistent elements in national development has been that inheritance of political traditions and usages which the new settlers brought with them.”
— Albert Bushnell Hart