400th Anniversary of the First Landing of Permanent English Colonists In America Today

Today is the 400th anniversary of English colonists landing at Cape Henry at the mouth of the Chesepeake Bay. They arrived in three ships, the Susan Constant, the Godspeed and the Discovery. This kicks off a year of activities commemorating the founding of the Virginia colony at Jamestown in 1607.

Before setting sail, the London Council offered some interesting advice on how the colonists should deal with natives. To wit:

Disclosure: I grew up in Virginia and currently live most of the time in the Old Dominion. Apparently, my Scots-Irish ancestors arrived in Maryland sometime around 1750 and eventually ended up in hollers of what became West Virginia. My branch emerged from coal country in the 1950s. On the other hand some of my Texas forebears apparently arrived in central Texas from Bavaria sometime around 1900. And I admit it, I am very happy that my ancestors had the gumption and good sense to leave Old Europe for the New World.

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  • ||

    And I admit it, I am very happy that my ancestors had the gumption and good sense to leave Old Europe for the New World.

    I agree, but I do wish my ancestors had stolen more stuff to pass on to me besides just a country. Oh well.

  • Lichtenberg||

    Is this the place where we mention that, thanks to the involutary migration of many Africans to North America (slavery), their decendants live much better lives than the descendants of those who were not forcibly migrated?

  • Kevin K||

    The Terrance Malick film "The New World" about the Jamestown settlement was quite good.

  • tijjer||

    Sweet! Now my license plate is no longer so unfashionably premature.

  • ||

    "The New World" was a TERRIBLE movie--gorgeous cinematography, yes, but slow paced (until they get to England) and really bad history. Lots of soft-focus romping between Pocahontas and our boy John Smith. Didn't happen. Even my 11 year old niece was offended by how wrong they got it.

  • Mike Laursen||

    thanks to the involutary migration of many Africans to North America (slavery),

    Yeah, you'd think African Americans would be more grateful to the white man for rescuing them from those nasty white men who were colonizing Africa.

  • ||

    Hey, that's right--1607! I always forget these anniversaries until someone reminds me. The first representative assembly of the colonists in the New World was 1619, I believe.

  • Dave W.||

    The whites totally kicked the ass of the Indians.

  • Cesar||

    "The whites totally kicked the ass of the Indians."

    I think European *diseases* kicked the ass of the Indians.

  • Dave W.||

    I think European *diseases* kicked the ass of the Indians.

    Germ warfare kicked the ass of the Indians. The important thing to remember is that they got their asses kicked. Iraqi insurgents need to learn about the ass-kicking power of the USA and the other white nations. Iran is next. Then Syria!

  • ||

    The Indians' problem is that they did not recognize until 400 years later that whites cannot resist wagering on games of chance, even when they are told that the games are rigged against them.

  • Lichtenberg||

    Mike L

    I do not mean to excuse slavery. There is no way that the original slaves should ever have been grateful. Nor should the slavers be excused. But the fact remains that, because of their ancestors' horrific and immoral suffering, their decendants grow up in a country where there is no malaria, no contaminated water, no endless tribal war, and the chance to become rich and powerful.

    The great-great-great-grandchildren of slaves have also benefited from slavery. It's usually much better to be African-American than African.

    But no point. And no excuse for the initial crime.

  • ed||

    I'm as white as they come but I'll bet my ancestors were at least surfs at some point, if not actual slaves. I'm just happy one of them stopped geting drunk long enough to immigrate here.

  • Lichtenberg||

    serfs

    and ed, I'd be willing to bet you're a cousin within the 20th degree to the Queen as well.

    We're all descended from royals and slaves.

  • ||

    I dunno, Lichtberg. Is there where we mention that, thanks to the Holocaust, the descendants of European Jews who were displaced by the war and ended up in Israel live better lives than those who still live in Russia?

  • ||

    This sounds like good advice for any occupying power *cough cough* Iraq...

  • Lichtenberg||

    Except for geneticists, I think what's far more important than tracing our blood descent is tracing out intellectual descent. This may be where "memes" (I hate that over-used term) come in. I'm pretty sure, e.g., that Thomas Jefferson is no relation of mine. But I am definitely one of his "grandchildren." I think that my combined admiration and disappointment for the Jamestown settlers counts for more than any blood relation to them. I have inherited some of their ambitions--without blood--and not inherited some--again, without blood.

    Ancestors who came willingly, ancestors who were already here, ancestors who came most UNwillingly: whatever yours were according to DNA, your true ancestors were those who believed things and did things which you hope to imitate, surpass, and replicate in future generations.

  • ed, former serf||

    Serfs. Right. I doubt they did much surfing in the Scottish highlands.

  • Lichtenberg||

    joe

    maybe. Isn't all of our history a tapestry? One errant thread may create an inestimable work of art, accidentally.

    The thread is still wrong, however wondrous the unintended result. But is it wrong to love the finished carpet?

    To return more closely to the subject...

    We should, I suppose, despise the conquistadores. Yet, were it not for them, there would be no Mexico.

  • ||

    Damned illegals.

  • ||

    The London Council forgot the part about lobbing the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch.

  • Lichtenberg||

    It is very possible to surf in Scotland. I do not recommend it unless you have steel balls, though.

  • ||

    And when ye Read of said London Council bee ye of the Mind that one ought to Capitalise random Words and to Eschew the use of Commas wherever possible.

    May the Providence of Heaven guide you to Victory ouver the Indian scourge.

    - Josh

  • ||

    Or is this where we mention that those darn Indians took the land from those apparent Western Europeans who found a way to get to the Mississippi delta about 10,000 years ago?

    CB

  • Dave W.||

    Or is this where we mention that those darn Indians took the land from those apparent Western Europeans who found a way to get to the Mississippi delta about 10,000 years ago?

    Maybe they bought it with honest contracts.

  • Mike Laursen||

    their decendants grow up in a country where there is no malaria, no contaminated water, no endless tribal war, and the chance to become rich and powerful.

    And I hope you understood my point was that Africa might be a better place now if it hadn't been plundered by European colonization. I'm going to assume you don't mean it this way, but your comments could be taken as implying that when black people aren't competent to run their own countries, so they're lucky to live in a country run by white people.

  • ||

    Dr. Walter Williams, for one, has said many times that he is grateful his ancestors couldn't outrun the African slavers.

  • ||

    The people who died in the Middle Passage - estimates run from 30% on up - don't have descendants.

    I wonder if any of those non-persons could have cured malaria and built water systems.

  • Lichtenberg||

    Whoa, Mike L

    You really need to re-read. I said nothing about what was done/is being done to Africa.

  • Lichtenberg||

    And so it begins...as always...a deliberate misreading of what I wrote, and what others have written. I knew it would happen. White liberal guilt is soooo predictable.

  • ||

    Lichtenberg,

    Scottie don't surf!

  • Lichtenberg||

    joe

    Shall we wonder about other things, too?

    I wonder how many symphonies were not composed, how many diseases not cured, how many problems of physics not solved, how many machines not invented, how many ditches not dug, how many dying people not comforted...

    because the composers, doctors, physicists, inventors, laborors, nurses, were aborted?

    Huh? Huh?

    If you want to engage in "what if?" then you should really start with "what if Adam never bit the fruit?"

    Your point is useless.

  • ||

    And I hope you understood my point was that Africa might be a better place now if it hadn't been plundered by European colonization.

    At this point, I don't know if it was the plundering, so much as the detritus of European thinking and governance that is the problem.

    Most of Africa's problems can be chalked up to the burdens of (1) artificial states being run by Marxists kleptocrats and/or (2) ethnic cleansing by Muslim maniacs.

  • ||

    If it makes you feel better to use the word "guilt" as a talisman against thought, so be it. For my part, I'm going to stand pat in my "slavery made the world a worse place" position.

    If you don't want to engage in "What if...," sir, then you shouldn't write "What if..." comments, as you did at 10:40.

  • ||

    RC,

    Kleptocrats and genocidists don't come to power in societies that haven't seen their populations ravaged.

  • Lichtenberg||

    I do not recall saying that slavery made the world a better place, nor saying that it didn't make the world a worse place.

    I did not say Cortez made Central America a worse place, nor a better place.

    I merely suggested that, whatever is good about the place which now exists is partly the result of the bad which came before.

    Here is some of the good that came from the great evil of slavery: Rice, King, Powell, Hughes, Douglass, Sowell, Berry.

    I never claimed the end justifies the means, especially since the ends are so far removed from the means. Yet it is wrong to deny the good result. And again, "What if?" thinking really is rather pointless.

  • ||

    I'm not sure what the point of this argument is. Men do bad things to each other. Always have, still do. Most of the good things about our society came from cultures that did evil--slavery, conquest, etc. I'd say worrying about the present and the future serve us better than trying to pass blame for past evils. Also, it's not like the victors or dominant in these clashes were all evil and the victims all good. Plenty of nasty business in our history to go around.

  • Lichtenberg||

    Pro Libertate

    well said.

    we should celebrate from the past what we take as good now, and I believe, be forgiving of what we now deem bad if it was good or neutral then.

  • ||

    The Terrance Malick film "The New World" about the Jamestown settlement was quite good.

    Yeah. I learned from it that Captain John Smith spoke with an Irish accent.

  • ||

    And I hope you understood my point was that Africa might be a better place now if it hadn't been plundered by European colonization.

    Right, as can be seen from the fact that Ethiopia, having avoided colonialism, and Liberia, having been colonized by African Americans rather than Europeans, are so much better off than the rest of Africa.

    Oh, wait. . .

  • Mike Laursen||

    Sorry, like I said, I didn't assume you were being racist. I agree that engaging in "what ifs" is kinda pointless.

    I'd say I'm more white, classically-liberal, empathetic than white liberal guilty.

  • Mike Laursen||

    I believe Mussolini annexed Ethiopia into Italy in a very nasty war. That doesn't count as colonization?

  • Lichtenberg||

    Mike L

    OK, good clarification. I guess what it comes down to is, wherever you are today is equally a result of everything evil and everything good in yours and everyone else's past.

    I say it's best to trace our intellectual DNA, rather than the actual DNA stuff.

    And, on balance, the thing which happened 400 years ago (even though it was a failure as I recall) was pretty good.

  • Dave W.||

    we should celebrate from the past what we take as good now, and I believe, be forgiving of what we now deem bad if it was good or neutral then.

    Bailey didn't choose a very good quote for the celebration of goodness. Especially not the 2007 celebration of goodness.

  • ||


    Yeah, you'd think African Americans would be more grateful to the white man for rescuing them from those nasty white men who were colonizing Africa.


    The African slave trade was run by Muslim Arabs, not European colonialists.

  • ||

    I believe Mussolini annexed Ethiopia into Italy in a very nasty war. That doesn't count as colonization?

    When Italian domination lasts for all of five years, during which the Italians were able to accomplish roughly nothing (well, except for abolishing slavery and building the country's first good system of roads), no it really doesn't.

  • ||

    Kleptocrats and genocidists don't come to power in societies that haven't seen their populations ravaged.

    Oh, c'mon, joe. Exceptions abound, unless you count every society that isn't a First World liberal democracy.

    Nearly every damn country in the world is ruled by kleptocrats. When has any Middle Eastern country had its population ravaged, just to pick a continent at random? How about South America? Was Cuba's population "ravaged" before Castro took power?

    I'm not letting the West off the hook for the mess in Africa by any means. Hell, I'm blaming the West for doing such a godawful job of preparing the place for liberal democracy that it was fertile soil for kleptocratic Marxist nutjobs.

  • Mike Laursen||

    during which the Italians were able to accomplish roughly nothing

    I suppose murder, mayhem, mustard gassing, and prison camps can't really be counted as accomplishments.

  • ||

    Mike Laursen,

    Don't forget the aqueducts.

  • Mike Laursen||

    I don't know about the aqueducts. Did the Italians build them, tear them down, swim in them?

  • ||

    I believe Mussolini annexed Ethiopia into Italy in a very nasty war. That doesn't count as colonization?



    By that definition, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Austria would be considered German colonies.

  • ||

    Oh, yeah, the sanitation, Mike. Remember what the country used to be like?

  • Mike Laursen||

    By that definition, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Austria would be considered German colonies.

    You're absolutely right. I should have said "plundered by Europe" instead of "plundered by European colonization." The aspect of colonization where the conquering country establishes settlements in the conquered country isn't salient to the point I was making.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Pro Libertate, I'm not following whatever you're saying about aqueducts. So, I'll just state that I am and always have been in favor of plumbing, unless it's harming the environment or something, in which case I think we need to study the problem.

  • ||

    Mike Laursen,

    I apologize. Intermixed among my serious remarks are gratuitous quotes from Life of Brian. Italians, Romans, what's the difference?

  • Mike Laursen||

    Italians, Romans, what's the difference?

    Motor scooters?

  • ||

    And I hope you understood my point was that Africa might be a better place now if it hadn't been plundered by European colonization.

    And I hope you understand, my point is that if you really believe Africa have gotten its act together, if only the Europeans hadn't invaded/colonized/whatever, then either you've never read any history, or you're just a tad on the nut case side.

    Or both.

  • ||

    Boy I tell ya, those Indians back 400 years ago were racists. Every last one of them. Why, did you know that many of them were not in favor of open borders and unlimited immigration? And they expressed themselves about this, by firing arrows and jamming spears into the bodies of European immigrants.

    How many more bridges would have been built, and gold dug, and industries erected, if not for all the Europeans that those Indians killed.

    Those damned Indians needed to learn a lesson, yessir. Somebody should have told them how much better off they would have been, if they had just been able to get over their simple, foolish racism, and adopt an open door policy.

    Oh wait....

  • ||

    In any case, I for one am very happy that the Indians were here, for without them we might not have the second amendment. Or it might never have survived as long as it has.

  • ||

    That letter they gave to the first colonists -- we better make sure the Mexicans coming over the border don't get to see that thing. They might start getting ideas.

  • ||

    African-Americans aren't grateful for the our ancestors were enslaved.

    What you are essentially arguing that it is right that we had to pay a much steeper price to gain the same opportunities that whites got for much less.

    How on earth is that acceptable?

    Oh and Walter Williams is an ass.

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