With support from the University of Richmond

History News Network

History News Network puts current events into historical perspective. Subscribe to our newsletter for new perspectives on the ways history continues to resonate in the present. Explore our archive of thousands of original op-eds and curated stories from around the web. Join us to learn more about the past, now.

Queen visited Jamestown in '57, will see a different place this week

When Queen Elizabeth II visited Jamestown, Va., in 1957 to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the first British settlement in North America, she was 31 years old and had been on the throne for less than five years.

A lot has happened since, to her and to Jamestown.

On Friday, when the queen returns for the 400th anniversary of the settlement's founding, she will see a much different representation of the colony, complete with Indians and blacks whose fortunes crossed there.

"She got the sanitized version in 1957," said Peter Wallenstein, a Virginia Tech historian whose book Cradle of America focused on the convergence of Europeans, American Indians and black slaves at Jamestown. "Now she'll see a more inclusive view of all three of the great racial groups that met there. Jamestown represents the origins of democracy and slavery."

Related Links

  • From myth to history -- uncovering the real Jamestown
  • Read entire article at Los Angeles Times