1619 Commemoration Events

July 29 – August 4, 2019

Join us for a week of lectures, walking tours, family-friendly programs, and other special events to commemorate 1619.

All programs and activities below are included with any Historic Jamestowne admission ticket.

archaeology and exhibits

Archaeology in Action!: Daily, 9:00am–12:00pm, and 1:00pm–4:00pm
Jamestown Rediscovery archaeologists are actively exploring around the 1617 church site to learn more about where the first assembly was held. Jamestown Rediscovery, in partnership with the National Park Service, is also digging on William Pierce’s lots in New Towne to learn more about the household and landscape of the site where Angela, one of the first Africans to arrive in Virginia, lived. Stop by the site both sites to ask about the latest discoveries! Location: Outside the The Memorial Church and in New Towne, near the Ambler Mansion Ruins.

In the Footsteps of Democracy: Daily, except Tuesday, 9:00am–5:00pm; Tuesday, 2:00pm-7:45pm
Visit the newly-refurbished Memorial Church to view the archaeological remains of Jamestown’s 1617 Church, the meeting place of the first representative government in English America. Stand on the exact spot where the first General Assembly was held in 1619 and our nation’s democracy began. Location: Memorial Church

From Fort to Port: Legacies of 1619: Daily, 9:30am–5:30pm
Visit the newest exhibit in the Archaearium to explore how Jamestown developed into a flourishing port town by the second half of the 17th century. Learn more about the tobacco boom in Virginia as well as how the exploitation of Africans, Virginia Indians, and indentured servants. Location: Archaearium

Meet a Curator: Monday & Thursday, 3:00pm–4:30pm
Meet a member of our curatorial team and learn more about the development of our new exhibits highlighting the events of 1619 and their legacies. Location: Memorial Church and Archaearium

walking tours

James Fort Archaeology Walking Tour: Daily, 11:00am–12:00pm and Sunday, 2:00pm–3:00pm
Join a Jamestown Rediscovery archaeologist who has been part of the exciting discoveries on a walking tour through James Fort to hear about the ongoing excavations and some of the most significant findings. Tour begins at the Tercentennial Monument.

First Assembly Tour: Monday, Tuesday, & Thursday, 2:00pm–3:00pm
This walking tour of James Fort will focus on the struggle toward good government—from the chaos of the early fort period to the long lasting effects of democracy—and the rule of law that eventually lead to American Independence! Tour begins at the Tercentennial Monument.

First Africans Walking Tour: Tuesday, 3:00pm–4:00pm, and Wednesday, Friday, & Saturday, 2:00pm–3:00pm
This walking tour of New Towne will focus on the arrival of the first Africans in Virginia in 1619. But the story of African Americans at Jamestown goes beyond 1619… Tours begin at the Tercentennial Monument.

children’s activities

Dig Box: Daily, 11:00am–3:00pm
Children can enjoy an array of hands-on activities including mending pottery, screening for artifacts, and “sorting & picking.” Learn more about the importance of archaeology and examine real artifacts found on site. Location: Near the The Ed Shed and Hunt Shrine

Hands on the Past!: Daily, 11:00am–4:00pm
Children can enjoy an array of hands-on activities including mending pottery, screening for artifacts, and “sorting & picking.” Learn more about the importance of archaeology and examine real artifacts found on site. Location: The Ed Shed, near the Hunt Shrine

people of the past

“A Laudable form of Government”: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, 10:00am–10:45am & 1:00pm–1:45pm
Join Sir George Yeardley, John Pory, and a host of 1619 Virginia settlers as they meet for the first representative assembly in English speaking America. This 40 minute program will use a narrator and living history re-creations to follow each of six days of the first session, offering insights into how English common law and customs were introduced in America. Location: Archaearium Loop Tent, except 10:00am Sunday when the performance will be held in the Memorial Church

Angela’s Story: Tuesday, 4:00pm–5:00pm, and Wednesday, Friday, & Saturday, 3:30pm–4:30pm:
Meet Angela, one of the first Africans who lived on Jamestown Island. Listen as she recalls her former home in Angola, her capture, and her new life in Virginia. Location: Tuesday: Angela Site; Wednesday, Friday, & Saturday: Archaearium Loop Tent

Meet Sir George Yeardley: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, 3:00pm–3:30pm
Meet one of the founders of American democracy, Sir George Yeardley, and learn about the Virginia Company of London’s ambitious plans to transform the colony.
Location: Memorial Church


“The Foundations of Democracy: The Archaeology of the 1617 Church”: Monday, Wednesday, & Friday, 11:00am–11:45am
Join members of the Jamestown Rediscovery staff to learn about the archaeology of the Memorial Church, the incredible discoveries that have been made, and the rich history behind the Knight’s Tomb.Location: Archaearium Loop Tent

“Jamestown Rediscovered 1994-2019: Quadrans-centennial of Archaeological Discoveries”: Monday & Wednesday, 12:00pm–12:45pm
Twenty-five years of digging by Dr. William Kelso and the Jamestown Rediscovery archaeological team has revealed much about the James Fort site, once thought lost to erosion. Kelso will present a multi-media talk describing that discovery, how the original Fort plan was revealed, intriguing written messages left in the ground, and mysteries from the grave. Location: Archaearium Loop Tent

“1619: Democracy Diversity and Race”: Friday, 12:00pm–12:45pm
In this illustrated presentation, Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation President and historian James Horn discusses the paradox of America’s founding: democracy and slavery and the enduring legacies of 1619. A book signing will follow. Location: Archaearium Loop Tent

“The Angela Site: An Archaeological Study of Race, Inequality, and Community in Early Jamestown”: Thursday, 12:00pm–12:45pm
The Jamestown Rediscovery team, in conjunction with the National Park Service, has been excavating on the site of one of the first Africans to arrive in English North America. Join Director of Archaeology, David Givens, as he discusses the ongoing archaeology that illuminates the lost history and landscapes of one of the most significant historical events for our nation. Location: Archaearium Loop Tent

“Virtually Rebuilding the 1617 Church: The Use of 3D Modeling and Other Technologies to Visualize James Fort”: Thursday, 1:00pm–1:45pm
Digital technologies, such as 3D modeling and virtual reality, are helping to visualize 17th-century James Fort. Director of Digital Initiatives, Lisa Fischer, will discuss the ongoing work to create a 3D model of the church where the first Assembly met and other projects that are revolutionizing how the team depicts and studies Jamestown. Location: Archaearium Loop Tent

special commemorative events

Richmond Symphony: Tuesday, 8:00pm–10:00pm
Enjoy the Richmond Symphony’s first concert on Jamestown Island during this special evening program. This free event is sponsored by American Evolution, Jamestown Rediscovery, and the National Park Service.  Location: Symphony Tent

Not visiting this week? Check out next week’s schedule or the calendar for future special events.

All outdoor activities are weather permitting. Additional logistical information will be posted closer to the time of the event.