Jamestown Fights Its Second-Rate Image
Four centuries later, Jamestown is still looking for a little respect.
True, breathtaking reproductions of the tall-masted ships will set sail to mark its 400th birthday, and Virginia is hosting a multimillion-dollar bash next month with pageantry, celebrities and fireworks to honor the first permanent English colony in the New World.
Even Queen Elizabeth II is coming to the Old Dominion to acknowledge her countrymen’s role in giving birth to a prosperous new nation.
In the American psyche, however, Plymouth Rock is where it all began.
Despite efforts to assert itself as the home of U.S. democracy and free enterprise, Jamestown has lagged in stature and recognition, becoming the Rodney Dangerfield of early colonial settlements.
“Jamestown has been forgotten,” said James Horn, vice president of research for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and author of “A Land as God Made It: Jamestown and the Birth of America.”
The only permanent European colony whose contributions could be said to have been even more obscured is truly the oldest