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Thursday, May 17, 2007

OF JAMESTOWN AND PLYMOUTH

While eating breakfast and then sorting my laundry I did my
occasional Google search on the words `Massachusetts’ and
'history’ and came across a newspaper article about the
recent festivities down at Jamestown with the President and
Queen Elizabeth in attendance. The article was entitled
“Take That, Plymouth!” and I was somewhat amazed at how
some of the Virginia and Jamestown authorities seem to have
some inferiority complex regarding how Plymouth gets more
attention then they do: the historians over how Plymouth’s
story is better known and the state officials over tourists who
visit Plymouth and spend their dollars there.


Yes, Jamestown is older. Yes, the Plymouth Rock story is
most likely 99% myth. But neither Jamestown nor Plymouth
is the oldest European settlement in North America. That
should be St Augustine in Florida, I believe. And there were
the Spanish missions and towns of the Southwest, and the
French colonists of Canada and the Mississippi Valley. They
are far older than the English colonies and get very little
of the attention they deserve in our history.


I am proud of my New England roots, some of which I’ve only
recently discovered. But I am also well aware of how rich
a past other regions possess. So, congratulations to Jamestown
on their anniversary, but let’s not turn it into some historical
spitting contest.


Oh, and what colonist was the only man to be accused of
mutiny in Jamestown and then later a colonist in Plymouth?
My ancestor, Stephen Hopkins!

2 comments:

GreenmanTim said...

And Barthomew Gosnold, whose short lived attempt at colonizing Massachusetts in 1602 came to naught on the Elizabeth Islands, later joined the settlers at Jamestown and died there that first year.

Janice said...

Woohoo I love it when skeletons fall out of the closet (i.e. Stephen Hopkins). I also admire anyone from Massachusetts who admits that the usual story of Plymouth Rock is 99% myth.

Janice