A Time for Remembrance
Location: Memorial Church
This month, we commemorate the 400th anniversary of a somber event that causes us to confront the difficult and complex history of Jamestown. On March 22, 1622, the English settlers awoke confident in the peace they had enjoyed with the Powhatan people since the marriage of John Rolfe and Pocahontas eight years earlier. They had established families and increased the number of English colonists exponentially. To the English, there was a league of “peace and amity” between themselves and the native peoples of Virginia, a peace that Chief Opechancanough claimed would hold as the “sky should sooner fall.”
Yet that morning, the sky fell. Opechancanough had instructed bands of Powhatan warriors from among the core tribes to strike English settlements from the coast to the falls of the James River. Nearly one-quarter of the English colony was killed in a single day. The college, lands, and ironworks were destroyed and never rebuilt. The English cried “massacre” and felt betrayed by their former allies. But from the Powhatan perspective, this attack was a final attempt to drive English invaders from their lands. They saw the ever-expanding English colony as a threat to their hunting grounds, their religion, and their culture. Opechancanough was striking back against a colonial power that threatened his people’s existence.
Through archaeology, exhibitions, tours, and lectures, we will use this anniversary to reflect upon the long series of events that led to this conflict – to understand its roots and indeed the roots of all conflict between cultures and peoples that persist to this day. Please join us on Tuesday, March 22, 2022, for A Time for Remembrance, a respectful program in commemoration of these events, beginning at 12 noon at the Memorial Church.
Free with paid admission to Historic Jamestowne.