In 2019, Virginia and the nation will commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first representative assembly in the western hemisphere and the arrival of the first Africans in mainland English America. Both events are closely connected to Jamestown. The General Assembly was held in Jamestown’s church in the summer of 1619 and of the first two dozen Africans forcibly transported to Virginia, several lived and worked in Jamestown, on neighboring plantations, or passed through on their way upriver.
Archaeological excavations, special programs, and new exhibits will highlight the events and people who played a pivotal role in our nation’s history. Jamestown Rediscovery archaeologists are currently excavating the church where the first Assembly was convened and, in partnership with the National Park Service, digging in New Towne to understand the landscape in which Angela, one of the first Africans, lived. Running from July 2018 through the end of 2019, the “World of 1619” programs will introduce visitors to the historical people who witnessed these world-changing events. New on-site and online exhibits highlighting the significance of 1619 and its legacies will also debut in early 2019.