Bacon’s Rebellion at Historic Jamestowne

The 1676 Burning of Jamestown to be Recreated

September 15, 2018

Jamestown, Va. - Jamestown, Va. - Rebellion will be the focus of a special evening tour at Historic Jamestowne on Saturday, September 15. The evening walking tour will take visitors through the colonial town site and present the events leading to the burning of Virginia’s 17th-century capital on September 19, 1676. This program marks the 342nd anniversary of the rebellion, which was a power struggle between two of colonial Virginia’s strongest personalities: Governor Sir William Berkeley and Nathaniel Bacon. The walking tour begins at 7:00 p.m. at the Tercentennial Monument overlooking the James River.

Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in North America, served as the capital of Virginia throughout the 17th-century. In 1676 a major rebellion erupted across Virginia in which citizens chose to follow Nathaniel Bacon, the rebel leader, or Governor Sir William Berkeley, the crown’s representative in the colony. The climax of the rebellion occurred on September 19, 1676, when Bacon and his followers destroyed Jamestown by setting fires throughout the town site.

On the Saturday evening walking tour, details of this dramatic event will unfold as visitors experience the conflict through the “eyewitness” account of Thomas Matthew, a burgess in Virginia’s General Assembly in 1676. He will lead visitors from one stop in the town site to another to hear the accounts of other eyewitnesses to the rebellion. Controlled fires will recreate the burning of Jamestown as it occurred on September 19, 1676. The walking tour will last an hour and a half and cover a short distance. Visitors should wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a flashlight and insect repellent.

Bacon’s Rebellion Programs-

“Living History Tour” Saturday 15, 10:00 am, 12:00 pm & 3:00 pm. Join an indentured servant who will recount their time in Virginia and the unhappy circumstances that led to the rebellion. This program will start at the Tercentennial Monument.

“Bacon’s Rebellion Walking Tour” Friday and Saturday Sept. 14 and 15, and again on Wednesday September 19, 1:00 pm at the Tercentennial Monument. The tour will focus on the complex actions that led to a civil war that burned Jamestown to the ground, devastated Native American communities, and threw England and the colonies into chaos.

“Berkeley, Bacon’s Rebellion, and the Origins of the American South” September 19, 2018 –
the 342nd anniversary of the capitol’s destruction, 3:00 p.m. in the Historic Jamestowne Visitors Center classroom. Guests can join Jamestown Rediscovery Public Historian Mark Summers for a lecture on the legacies of controversial Virginia governor Sir William Berkeley and the 1676 rebellion led by Nathaniel Bacon. During the lecture, Mr. Summers will discuss the myth and reality of the “Cavalier” culture of Virginia and explore the social class and racial implications of 1676. Learn how the effects of Berkley’s rule can be seen today from politics to pop culture.

Additional Programs Saturday September 15-

Inside James Fort: Hoops and Save. 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. Location: Inside James Fort, weather permitting. Join cooper Marshall Sheetz as he demonstrates traditional methods for creating buckets, barrels and casks.

James Fort Archaeology Walking Tour. 11:00 am at the Tercentennial Monument. Join a Jamestown Rediscovery archaeologist or education specialist who has been part of the exciting discoveries on a walking tour through James Fort to hear about the ongoing excavations and some of the most significant findings.

First Africans Walking Tour. 2:00 pm at the Tercentennial Monument. This walking tour of New Towne will focus on the arrival of the first Africans in Virginia in 1619.

News Release


Last updated: September 8, 2018

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