On May 13, 1607, three ships, the Susan Constant, the Godspeed, and the Discovery disembarked 104 English colonists upon the shores of a small peninsula jutting into the James River. It seemed an ideal place. Thirty-six miles inland from the Chesapeake Bay, it would escape notice of Spanish ships along the coast. It was easily defended against attack and provided a good deep harbor for the ships. As noted by Master George Percy, one of those early settlers, "... our ships do lie so near the shore that they are moored to the trees in six fathom water." The settlers named the river James and the settlement Jamestown after their sovereign King James I.
This settlement would become the first permanent English colony in North America, the first capital of Virginia and the site of the first English representative government in America. It also became the social and political center of the Virginia colony for more than 92 years. But before permanency was assured, the colonists suffered many unimaginable trials, hardships and tribulations. Disease, hunger, internal squabbling and conflicts with the "naturals," the name the Virginia Company gave the Virginia Indians of this area, would take their toll. Of those first 104 adventurers, only 38 survived to the next spring. It was many years before this new colony established a strong enough foundation to ensure permanency.
Join Colonial National Historical Park and Preservation Virginia as we commemorate the 407th anniversary of the arrival of those English settlers to Jamestown. Walk the same grounds that John Smith, George Percy, Pocahontas and others did four centuries ago. Stroll through the foundations of Jamestown and envision its growth from small settlement into a center of commerce and government. Visit the Jamestown Church and sit where the first House of Burgesses met in 1619 to discuss the vital issues of the time and vote to impose the first taxes upon the people. Examine the archaeological site of the original triangular fort of 1607 and see some of the thousands of artifacts that have been recovered. Come, step back in time to early 17th century Virginia and its peoples.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS: Preservation Virginia and the National Park Service (NPS) proudly present the following activities for the 407th commemoration of Jamestown's founding. Most events are scheduled for May 10, 2014. Admission is $14.00 per adult with children 15 and under free.
SATURDAY MAY 10, 2014
Explore America's Birthplace - All Day
Free Enterprise and Early Industries - All Day
THROUGHOUT THE DAY - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The Buried Truth - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Native Lifeways of the Chesapeake - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The Peace of the Colony - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
New Happenings at the Archaearium - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
SPECIFIC PROGRAM TIMES
RANGER WALKING TOUR - 10:00 a.m., Noon, & 2:00 p.m.
Archery Demonstrations - 10:30 a.m. & 2:30 p.m.
ST. MARIES CITTY MILITIA - 11:00 a.m., 1:00 & 3:00 p.m.
ARCHAEOLOGIST WALKING TOUR - 11:30 a.m., 1:30 & 3:30 p.m.
Last updated: May 9, 2014