Saturday, July 30, 2005

A salute to July 30, 1619, and the folks of Jamestown

It's a small world. Reading the "Fact of the Day" on my Business News e-mail newsletter, I learned a bit of history for my own country. Here's the Fact of the Day:
The first elected assembly in the New World has its inaugural meeting today in Jamestown, Virginia in 1619. The House of Burgess will ultimately go on to become the genesis of self-government in the American colonies and will one day lead to the foundation of the United States of America. Jamestown itself was named for King James VI (and I of England). To find out more about the United kingdom's first king go to
So, my appetite whetted, I went looking for a bit more information and, from the National Park Service website on Colonial National Historical Park's page on Members of the First Representative Assembly, I find this:
The first legislative assembly in English North America took place July 30 through August 4, 1619 in the choir of the Jamestown Church. This first House of Burgesses consisted of Company appointed Governor Sir George Yeardley, a six man Company appointed governor's counsil and two representatives from each of the eleven surrounding settlements or plantations. These representatives were chosen by election from among the settlers of each plantation.
The representatives are then named. Then there's this:
Like the early struggles of the colony itself this first assembly suffered. It was hot and humid and many of the Burgesses were ill from the extreme temperatures. Indeed one Burgess had already succumbed to the heat as it was reported that on August 1st one Mr. Shelley of Smyths Hundred had died. The Governor decided that this first assembly would end after six days, on August 4th.
That same National Park Service website has quite a few "Historical Briefs" on Jamestown, on a variety of subjects. Go here for an index.


Bookworm said...

You have, consistently, the most eclectic posts I've seen -- and I mean that in a good way. I'm so impressed by your ability to ferret out such a wide range of fascinating bits and bites of information. It's always a pleasure to come to your blog and to have my horizons broadened.

Kathryn Judson said...

Bookworm, I'm glad you like it. I have a blast doing this. It's fun sharing what I run across that looks interesting.

Plus, to be honest, I am using this forum to broaden my own horizons. I was raised in a religion-hostile family that didn't key into history or current events, was taught in a nice but shallow way in public schools, and then, at college, got adopted by feminists and other leftists (who pumped my brain full of what I now recognize as nonsense). I'm spending much of my middle age making up for both a lack of education on the one hand and an overabundence of miseducation on the other. It keeps me busy, trying to get the sort of foundation I wish I'd been given when I was young. (Better late than never, right?)