The greater Washington DC area holds a great wealth of US history. Within a morning’s drive of the city lies the historic Jamestown Settlement, in Jamestown, Virginia, site of the first known permanent English settlement in America. This colony, founded in 1607, pre-dates the Mayflower’s arrival at Plymouth Rock by over a decade.
Jamestown served as the original capital of Virginia, and the area has seen over two centuries of military history, spanning the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Sadly, the early colonization by white settlers forced many Native Americans from their homelands, and the region also marks the origins of slavery in the nation, following the arrival of African American slaves in 1619. The Jamestown Settlement is also known to have suffered a long famine during the winter of 1609-1610, and recent evidence suggestions that residents may have even resorted to cannibalism.
A long and sordid history in Jamestown, is now showcased by a museum which includes a re-created Powhatan Indian village, ship replicas from the period, a colonial fort, and period costume historical interpreters. A Visitor’s Center and National Park Service lands are also in the region.
Jamestown, VA is approximately 3 hours South of Washington DC by car.
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