Like the ancient mariners who set out from Europe to discover the New World, we set out from our home in Pennsylvania to test the waters of the Post-Covid World. We're headed to Charleston, SC, to see children and grandchildren. But on the way we stopped in Williamsburg, VA, to meet up with friends and tour the Colonial capital.
Williamsburg, capital of Virginia from 1699 to 1780, is now restored as a living-history example of an 18th century Colonial town. We spent the evening there, walking around the historic streets, meeting some of the guides, seeing a few of the old buildings.
But we were more interested in nearby Jamestown, the first English colony permanently established in America. (The first was Roanoke Island in the 1580s -- known as the Lost Colony because the settlers mysteriously disappeared.)
As we went through the museum we discovered that in May 1607 a little over a hundred English settlers in three sailing ships landed in Jamestown. They built a fort, tried to grow some food, and were soon set upon by the local Powhatan. As you know from middle-school social studies, the story gets complicated from there, with Captain John Smith and Pocahontas and the arrival of "20 and odd Negroes" in 1619.
Many of the settlers were killed, or starved to death, but the settlement did survive and remained the capital of Virginia for almost a hundred years. We saw a re-creation of the fort, a Powhatan village, and two of the three ships that carried the settlers.
Of course, B and her friend had to stop in the gift shop. So while I waited I perused the 50 state flags flying outside the museum. Small factoid: We all know what the original 13 states were. But do you know the 14th state? It was Vermont, which seceded from New York in 1777, and was admitted as its own state in 1791. Vermont's constitution of 1777 was the first to provide universal suffrage and the prohibition of slavery.
Then we took a ferry across the James River and had dinner on the outside deck of a waterside restaurant . . .
. . . and ended the day watching the sun set over the James River.
So we're traveling again. I can report that almost all the people stopping into the highway gas stations and restrooms were wearing facemasks and keeping their distance. So far so good. More than a hundred of the original Jamestown settlers died from starvation, Indian attack or malaria. We're pretty sure we're safe from starvation and Indian attack. We'll see if we survive Covid-19.