Friday, January 22, 2010

"Jamestown 2007"

Three years ago the state of Virginia celebrated what it called "America's 400th Anniversary," an event marking the fact that the colony at Jamestown--the first permanent English settlement in what would become the United States--took place in 1607. We just read John Smith's account of it, published in 1623 (which is to say, already at some historical remove: Smith had written several accounts of Jamestown's early days already, each time adding to the story according to what he was trying to achieve and whom he was trying to reach with each text).

For the 400th Anniversary the state produced a website that you might find interesting. Of particular interest may be the following introductory video, which is narrated by Queen Elizabeth II.

What do you think of how this "text," created at a far historical remove from 1607, handles Jamestown's complexity? How does it compare to Smith's account?

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