Showing posts with label Jamestown. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jamestown. Show all posts

Thursday, May 31, 2007


In the interests of fair play I present the following link
which proves that some folks in Plymouth are as guilty of
historical inaccuracies and huckstership as some folks in
Jamestown are. It's from today's Quincy Patriot-Ledger

"Plymouth promises to show Jamestown how to party:
America’s Hometown has big plans for celebrating its
400th birthday."

The comments from the Plymouth selectman at the end
of the article about "setting the record straight"are
particularly incredible.

I'm waiting to see if any readers point out the obvious
to him and the newspaper.

And we have thirteen more years of this nonsense to
look forwards to unless some responsible historians
step in to restore sanity.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


Hmm. My earlier post about Jamestown and Plymouth got
this response from Michael Norton at the Jamestown Site

“While wrapping up my coverage of the Quadracentenial, I
ran across this blog post. The author doesn't seem to
appreciate that from Virginia's perspective it is a historical
spitting contest. The North, victorious in the Civil War,
stole the nation's founding myth from its rightful owners.
Virginians want it back.

Notice how the author cleverly skirts the salient fact that
Jamestown was the first English settlement by observing
(correctly) that neither Jamestown nor Plymouth was the
first European settlement. I couldn't help but notice
he didn't write his post in Spanish.

Of course his ancestor mutinied at Jamestown only to land
in Plymouth, an interesting twist to the tale. So consider
the source:…”

and then he goes on to quote my post.

At this late hour, approximately 12:47am, I’m sort of bemused
by this. I’ve never been accused of “cleverly skirting” something
before and it certainly wasn’t my intention in the original post. It
was just a quick thought I had and that I wanted to get posted
on the blog before I went off to the laundromat and forgot about

I’m a bit taken aback.

But ok, then. Jamestown still isn’t the oldest English settlement
in North America. That honor would appear to belong to the
town of St. John’s in Newfoundland founded around 1528 by
English fishermen. I might have to doublecheck that, it is as I
said, late.

It would seem to me that there’s plenty of historical treasures
in beautiful Virginia such as the homes of many of the founding
Fathers as well as places associated in many Americans’ minds
with the Revolutionary and Civil War. And it’s wonderful to
celebrate Jamestown’s 400 years but this obsession with the
idea that Plymouth stole it's rightful place demeans it.

Can’t we all just get along and be proud of each area's

Thursday, May 17, 2007


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!