Jamestown Colonial National Historical Park, Virginia

Jamestown, the site of the first permanent English colony in America, celebrated its 400th anniversary in 2007. The colony’s mere survival in its first years was a near-run thing: drought, disease, poor organization, and the hostility of the local Native Americans nearly brought Jamestown to the same fate as its short-lived predecessor at Roanoke. But mere survival was enough, and Virginia has been the fulcrum of American history ever since. Thomas Jefferson learned the philosophy that animated the Declaration of Independence at the College of William and Mary in nearby Williamsburg, and George Washington secured that independence across the peninsula at Yorktown. Jamestown settlers also bought “20 and odd Negroes” from a Dutch ship in 1619, and their Confederate descendants erected fortifications on the site of the old settlement during the Peninsula Campaign in 1862. Changes to the landscape and the shoreline had long made the exact site of the Jamestown settlement uncertain, but four recent seasons of excavation have uncovered 170 feet of palisade line, the east bulwark, three large trash pits, and a building, all part of the original James Fort. Currently three institutions interpret Jamestown: the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, the National Park Service, and Jamestown Settlement. Check the Web site above for activities related to the newest archaeological discoveries.

Location Information and Directions

Links:

Jamestown Colonial National Historical Park
Jamestown Settlement

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