The Assembly’s work covered a wide range of business including commercial and economic arrangements for the colony, regulating moral offences, overseeing matters of religion, and relations with the Powhatan Indians. As well as acting as a legislative body, the Assembly served as a court and adjudicated between settlers and cases involving Indian peoples. The Assembly was an important part of the Great Reforms that swept away the existing military government and created a new democratic society based on the rule of law and consent of the governed.
In session from July 30 to August 4, 1619, the General Assembly was the first representative governing body to meet in North America, or anywhere in the Americas, and has continued to meet to the present day.
In 2019, Jamestown Rediscovery archaeologists found the final fourth wall of the 1617 church and the locations of the choir and chancel area where the First Assembly met. An exhibit was then planned around the finds. Today, visitors can view the brick foundations of the early church through glass panels placed in the Memorial Church floor. They can also sit in the recreated pews in the very spot that the Assembly met 400 years ago.
-Proceedings of the Virginia Assembly, 1619