On May 12, 2007, Jamestowne Society members assembled at the Kingsmill Marriott beginning at 6 AM to board buses which
the Society had chartered to take 500 of its members onto
Jamestown Island for a morning program shared with the Order
of First Families of Virginia and the Descendants of the
Order of Ancient Planters. Upon arrival, we entered the new
Visitor Center (completed in January 2007) and crossed to
the Island on the newly constructed bridge.
The sun had risen just shortly before the buses left the
Marriott, and clouds were clearing. Gathering at the program
stage, the group was seated in a grassy area not far from
the James. The three lineage societies joined in a program
to commemorate the 400th Anniversary of the First Permanent
English Settlement in North America. Representatives of each
society participated in the program, which featured "John
Rolfe," a skilled actor who greeted us as though we were
newly arrived to the 1600s settlement, and provided an
orientation for us as to what we might expect to encounter
in our new lives in Virginia. At one point during "Rolfe's"
talk, the three replica ships from Jamestown Settlement
could be seen on the James River, one of the rare times when
all three ships are sailing at once.
Anniversary Commemoration Stage at Historic
Jamestowne, Photo by S. G. Rager
Above, left to right: "John Rolfe" addresses the group;
Carter B. S. Furr, Lt. Governor of the Jamestowne Society is
third from right; W.
Harrison Schroeder, Governor of the Jamestowne Society, is
second from right, and Charles D. "Dan" McGuire, Chairman of
the 2007 Committee, is at far right.
Following the program, members were free to visit the
Memorial Church, the Archaerium, the archaeological digs
underway and other sites on the Island. Since members and
guests were permitted access before the public was, it was
uncongested and easy to imagine that today's setting is not
that different from what settlers encountered in May 1607
upon their arrival.
As the picture below taken before the program shows, the
James River from Jamestown back towards the Chesapeake Bay
is quite serene at that time of day:
downriver from Jamestown Island's shoreline, Photo by S. G.
All buses were
boarded by 11 AM for the return trip to the Kingsmill
Marriott, where members and their guests assembled for a
reception at noon, followed by luncheon at 1 PM. The speaker
for the luncheon was Dr. James Horn, author of A Land as
God Made It: Jamestown and the Birth of America. Dr.
Horn is the O'Neill Director of the John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
Library at The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and lecturer
at the College of William & Mary, who earlier wrote
Adapting to a New World: English Society in the
Seventeenth-Century Chesapeake. W. Harrison Schroeder,
Governor of the Jamestowne Society, presided over the
meeting, and introduced those at the head table, including
The luncheon adjourned around 3 PM, and members and guests
reconvened at 6 PM for a second reception. The formal
banquet began at 7 PM with a color guard from nearby Fort
Eustis and a procession of those who would be seated at the
head table. Greetings from the President of the United
States, who declined to be present, were read by Governor
Harrison Schroeder. Brigadier General Danny McGuire,
chairman of the 2007 Committee for the Jamestowne Society,
introduced the Honorable John Marsh, former Secretary of the
Army in the administration of President Reagan, who was the
Members and guests from the East Coast, Midwest, South, New
England, and the West mingled at the various activities
which were scheduled, making introductions, renewing old
friendships, and enjoying the sharing of history and
genealogical ties. The Jamestowne Society activities took
place on May 12. Some members also visited the Island (or
"Historic Jamestowne" as it is now known) again on May 13.
More photographs will be posted on the site over the next
several weeks. When you check back, scroll down the page to
see what's been added since your last visit.
Below: Members of the Chesapeake Bay Company who attended
assemble for a photo in the lobby of the Kingsmill Marriott.
Several members who attended do not appear in the photo.
left to right: William Buchanan England, Janice Shanks,
Susan Godman Rager (Governor), Judith Blackburn Conner (Past
Governor); Back, L-R:
Beatrice Jenkins England (Historian), Diane Meredith Scott, Virginia
Felts Brown, Mary Sue English Newton.
Don Rager: (1)Three ships: Susan Constant, Godspeed and
Discovery, with the Jamestown-Scotland Neck Ferry;
Godspeed; and (3) the Discovery
by Don Rager: (1) Susan Rager (center) with archaeological
dig in background;
(2) Resconstructed building near Church;
(3) Capt. John Smith with Mary Sue Newton (at right)
by S. G. Rager: (1) and (2) John Rolfe on Stage during
Program; (3) Performance stage after the Program ended
S. G. Rager: (1) and (2) Council gathers at the Capt. John
Smith statue for brief meeting and Joyce Bockemuehl ,
Auditor General, reads
(3) Susan Constant on the James
by D. M. Scott: (1) Treasures from the archaeological dig;
Photos by S. G. Rager:
(2) Three Ships on the James; (3)
Susan Constant and Discovery together
from D. M. Scott: (1) Susan and Don Rager at Banquet;
Virginia Brown and Diane Scott at Banquet ;
Conner; at Banquet;
(4) Jamestown Memorial Church.
from D. M. Scott: (1) Indians on May 13; (2) John Rolfe and
Diane Scott on May 13;
(3) Three ships sailing on the James
on May 12
Jamestowne Society Luncheon, May 12, Williamsburg Marriott:
Don Rager, Susan Rager, Mary Sue Newton, Byrd Newton
Jamestowne Society Companies Chairperson, Carolyn Kendrick
Farmer, of Houston, TX,
with Jamestowne Society wreath at
graveyard outside Memorial Church, May 12
New marker near
pathway from new Visitor Center at Historic Jamestowne
highlighting location of Governor Yeardley's lot. Text reads
as follows: "George Yeardley arrived in Jamestown in 1610,
was appointed captain of the guard, and eventually
lieutenant governor. Later knighted and appointed governor
of Virginia in 1618, he issued the Great Charter in 1619,
establishing the first representative government in
Virginia. In 1620 Yeardley acquired a
seven-and-one-quarter-acre lot extending east from this
location. A 1625 muster roll listed the members of
Yeardley's large household: Yeardley, his wife, Lady
Temperance Yeardley, their three children, and 24 servants,
including three African men and five African women
(eight of the first nine Africans documented at Jamestown).
The muster also lists 50 cattle, 40 swine, and 11 goats and
kids on Yeardley's lot. In addition to three dwellings,
Yeardley owned three boats: a barque, four-ton shallop, and
skiff. At this location, archaeologists excavated the
brick foundations of a structure that may have been
Yeardley's. Scattered building materials along Back River
suggest that two additional dwellings, perhaps for servants,
may have been located at the eastern end of his lot.
below is the Luncheon Program, front and back:
S. G. Rager
below: Program from the Banquet
S. G. Rager
S. G. Rager
Visitor Center at Historic Jamestowne on the Island:
S. G. Rager
for more pictures and postings in the next several weeks!