The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Jamestown and Williamsburg

Yesterday the two of us spent the morning at the Jamestown Settlement, an extensive museum and outdoor exhibit depicting the first permanent English settlement in America. Our visit once again began with a film describing the colony's first difficult years. We then roamed through the museum displays, joined by hundreds of children on school field trips. One can only hope they absorbed some of the history to which they were exposed.

The outdoor exhibits include replicas of three period ships, a recreation of the settlement's fort, and a typical Indian village. We boarded the Discovery, the smallest of the three ships, and could not imagine sailing across the Atlantic on so small a vessel. Brave hearts in those days! At the Indian village Diane and I spent some time chatting with a young woman who was making needles from pieces of deer bone. The fort, a reproduction of the sort built by the English colonists, was equally interesting and underscored the challenges faced by those who left their homeland to settle in this rather hostile wilderness. 

Above: Diane aboard Discovery

Above: Powhaten "Indians" 

Leaving Jamestown, we returned to the riverside town of Yorktown to spend a little time in a used bookstore we had noticed on our previous visit. After a mediocre lunch in a local restaurant we drove to Williamsburg and revisited the shops and exhibits. 

In the midst of our ramblings along Duke of Gloucester Street we encountered the traitorous Benedict Arnold, now an officer in the British Army and accompanied by a squad of redcoats. Addressing the people of Williamsburg, he attempted to rationalize his actions with little success. In truth as a British Brigadier General, Arnold actually did carry the war to Virginia and even captured Richmond. He eventually settled in London and died there in 1801 at the age of 60. He was generally disliked by both the Americans and the English.

Above: Arnold the traitor addresses a hostile crowd

Above: Basket makers in Williamsburg

Above: a typical Williamsburg house

Today we head to Northern Virginia to join our friends, the Lees; and tomorrow it's on to Annapolis where Dave and I hope to attend the Navy football game. The weather, however, has turned much colder, especially for those of us who live in Florida.

No comments:

Post a Comment