Thursday, March 8, 2007

This is the year in which the U.S. celebrates the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, Virginia, from whence this nation was born.

I realize that to anybody living practically anywhere else in the world, 400 years isn't worth a pfft. Some Europeans probably have cat litter boxes older than that.

The more you study the Jamestown history, the more you realize how messy it all was. Not referring to the battles with the natives -- any idiot by now knows that they had their own human motives for variously supporting or attacking the newcomers, they weren't just naive nature children.

But rather, the notion of saying, this was first, that was first. There was a colony (Roanoke) established further south, which mysteriously vanished, although a local native tribe claims that its survivors joined up with them. And there were several other attempts before Jamestown by the English to found forts along the Atlantic coast, from Newfoundland on down.

Anyway, on some side street in Richmond, Virginia, a metal cross was put up 100 years ago, in commemoration of Jamestown VIP Christopher Newport's visit in 1607 to the future site of that city. It replaces the long-lost, wooden, original cross of Newport's, which he put up somewhere in that general area -- nobody knows exactly where.

Am I stupid for wanting to travel to see this cross, even though it's not the real one and not even in the right place? I'm just trying to do my part to commemorate. It's not like I have to drive for days to get there -- and that's as specific as I dare to be on this blog.

2 comments:

Perhaps you won't understand said...

My original guess had you in NY, about 6 hours bus from Richmond. Although perhaps I'll now revise my estimate ~200km South and guess you're from Washington, DC, 2 hrs bus from Richmond by Fung Wah. Though I'm not from the US, so I'd be pretty good if I got close.

I recently toured Boston and DC. The history from your corner of the world is fascinating -- try living in Australia, where not much has happened in 230 years. Let me know of your discoveries

eastcoastdweller said...

Oh, I think you're being a little too hard on Australia. Sure, you all didn't have a Civil War, but count your blessings for that.

Australia helped fight WWI and II just as the US did, and later took part in the Vietnam War, which must have been as conflicted and headline grabbing in your society as it was here.

If memory serves me, you all had a big gold rush, too; and your own stories of colonizing a vast and sometimes hostile continent.