Have you visited Jamestown Settlement lately? Make sure to check out “TENACITY: Women in Jamestown and Early Virginia,” a special yearlong exhibition on display through January 5, 2020. The special exhibit explores little-known, captivating personal stories of real women in Jamestown and the early Virginia colony and their tenacious spirit and impact on a fledgling society.
The exhibit is story-driven and features artifacts, images, interactives and primary sources – some on display in America for the first time – to examine the struggles women faced in the New World and their contributions. Visitors can hear stories of the first English women in the Virginia colony beginning in 1608 and the Powhatan Indian women they encountered. Exhibits examine stories of the first documented African woman, Angelo, to arrive in Virginia in 1619, and the Virginia Company of London’s effort that same year to encourage the growth of the Jamestown colony by recruiting single English women. From women’s roles to women’s rights, the exhibition connects issues of the 17th century and their relevance today.
Discover the stories of these tenacious women, including Anne Burras Laydon, an English woman who arrived in 1608 at the age of 14 as a maidservant; Cockacoeske, a Virginia Indian woman who was recognized by the colonial government as the “Queen of the Pamunkey” and ruled until her death in 1686; and Mary Johnson, an African woman who arrived in 1623 and labored on a Southside Virginia plantation and later gained her freedom and became a landowner in Virginia.
Along with the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation’s collection of 17th-century objects, the special exhibition features more than 60 artifacts on loan from 22 international and national institutions, including the Victoria & Albert Museum; Museum of London; Master and Fellows of Magdalene College Cambridge; Shakespeare Birthplace Trust; The National Archives, U.K.; Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.
For more information about the exhibit, please visit the Jamestown Settlement website.
About Jamestown Settlement
Jamestown Settlement explores the world of America’s first permanent English colony and the Powhatan Indian, English and west central African cultures that converged in the 17th century. Through comprehensive and immersive indoor exhibits and outdoor living-history experiences, discover life in the Jamestown colony and its first century as Virginia’s capital. The living history museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. James City County is proud to be a partner in the public-private partnership that funded “TENACITY: Women in Jamestown and Early Virginia.” Additional partners include the Commonwealth of Virginia and 2019 Commemoration, American Evolution, with additional support from the Robins Foundation.
Laura Messer, Tourism & Marketing Coordinator