Jamestown Journey: Bacon’s Rebellion

Lead: In the summer of 1676, the colony of Virginia, already locked in an Indian war, broke into the conflict later called Bacon’s Rebellion.

Intro.: Dan Roberts and A Moment in Time with Jamestown - Journey of Democracy, tracing the global advance of democratic ideals since the founding of Jamestown, Virginia in 1607.

Content: Climactic historical incidents can sometimes act as a snapshot – of an era, a period, a personality. Few snapshots depict late 17th Century colonial Virginia as does Bacon’s Rebellion.

America’s First Century: Algonquian Annihilation

Lead: Throughout history there have been large human migrations, during which there were often winners and losers. In seventeenth century Virginia, the big losers were Native Americans.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Mass migration happens for a variety of reasons. Economic greed or economic opportunity, imperialism, ideology or religion, hunger, disease, climate change, or any number of reasons, can cause a large number of people to leave their homes and move to a new place. If the numbers favor the immigrants, the old society is swamped and many may die.

Roger Williams and the Founding of Rhode Island

Lead: In 1636 Roger Williams, banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony, founded the colony of Rhode Island, a unique constitutional experiment in religious toleration.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Puritan preacher Roger Williams was banished from Massachusetts because his unorthodox views threatened colonial officials. Williams, a champion of religious freedom and favoring payment to Native Americans for unjust expropriation of their land, was banished from the colony in 1635 and ,before he could be deported back to England, he escaped south during the bitter winter and settled on Narragansett Bay near present-day Newport. There he became friendly with the Narragansett Indians and purchased from them land at the head of the bay. There, Williams established a village and a new colony, Rhode Island. Williams named the settlement Providence for what Williams said was his gratitude “for God’s merciful providence unto me in my distress.”

Jamestown Journey: John Rolfe

Lead: Often overlooked in the stories of his exotic and more famous wife, Pocahontas, planter John Rolfe discovered the key to Jamestown's economic survival.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Born in Heacham, Norfolk, England about 1585, John Rolfe brought his family to Virginia in the 1609 re-supply fleet. They were shipwrecked on Bermuda and did not arrive on the Chesapeake until June 23, 1610.

Jamestown Journey: John Smith

Lead: Perhaps no early leader was as instrumental in saving and prospering the Jamestown colony than mercenary, adventurer, explorer, and mapmaker Captain John Smith.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Having no children of his own, John Smith liked to think that England's outposts in the new world where his offspring. He wrote, "I may call [the colonies] my children for they have bin (sic) my wife, my hawks, my hounds, my cards, my dice and in total of my best content."

Virginia House of Burgesses II

Lead: In 1619 the Virginia General Assembly first met in the Jamestown Church. Despite war, privation, and a name change, this institution has continued to provide the Commonwealth with representative and often wise governance.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Before Jamestown became a royal colony in 1624, it was owned by a royal stock enterprise, chartered by King James I, The Virginia Company of London. Finding neither instant riches nor the hoped for Northwest Passage to China, the hapless colonists barely survived the struggles of the early years. In 1619, however, in an effort to transform the colony into a more profitable enterprise, a series of reforms was instituted to improve stability and profitability. One of the reforms permitted the colonists to elect a representative body. This body, modeled after English Parliament, was called the House of Burgesses. A Burgess was an elected citizen representative from a particular borough or settlement.

Virginia House of Burgesses I

Lead: On July 30, 1619, the Virginia Assembly first met in Jamestown. It was the first legislative assembly in America and in one form or another it has been meeting ever since.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: By the end of 1619, the young Jamestown colony had over one thousand settlers, even though only about one in five survived the colonial experience in the early years. By the end of 1619, both African slaves and women had arrived helping to bring stability to the fledgling colony.

Anne Hutchinson II

Lead: In 1637 the Massachusetts Bay Colony put religious reformer Anne Hutchinson on trial for challenging the authority and theology of the Church.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Hutchinson and her family had emigrated from England to the Massachusetts to escape what they felt was religious persecution. An intelligent and independent thinker, Anne began to hold a weekly discussion group in her home. She and her followers did not hesitate to criticize the colony’s religious and political leaders for what they perceived as the leaders’ narrowness on morality and religion. Anne held the dangerous view that God spoke to individuals rather than through the clergy or church officials. Believing Hutchinson to be a threat to order and peace, the Massachusetts General Assembly enacted a law stipulating that women could neither organize, lead, nor attend meetings. Undaunted, Anne refused to stop and John Winthrop, one of the founders and Governor of the colony, in 1637, brought her to trial for insulting churches and their ministers and not honoring the fathers of the Commonwealth.