Celebrating (Not Just Commemorating) Jamestown


I was at the big Jamestown 400th Anniversary Commemoration Sunday night, with an excellent and amazingly cohesive 400-musician orchestra (400 years, get it?) and 1,607-person choir (Jamestown was founded in 1607, get it?). The politically correct Powers That Be decided to call this a commemoration rather than a celebration, because it might seem we were “celebrating” the killing of Indians. I guess it’s okay to commemorate the killing of Indians, as long as that’s coupled with endless apologies, but not to celebrate the event. The implication is that the killing of Indians was the only significant thing that happened in Jamestown.

At least speakers like Sandra Day O’Connor did remark, earlier, that Jamestown was significant for the importation of Common Law and the Rule of Law to America, though she said this in a way that implied that we still live under the Common Law and the Rule of Law, which, of course, we don’t, and haven’t since at least the reign of America’s first fascist president, FDR.

Still, there is a reason to both commemorate and celebrate the founding of Jamestown, and Thomas J. DiLorenzo gave us that reason in his article in three years ago, "Giving Thanks for Private Property." He relayed how the Jamestown settlers nearly starved themselves to extinction under socialism, but then survived and prospered after the institution of private property.

One of the other nice things about making a big to-do over Jamestown is that it reminds everyone that Virginia was in existence years before those first Yankees hit the shores of New England and went through the same process of saving themselves through private property after socialism failed. When the Yankees celebrate in 2020, we Southerners can yawn and say, “Been there, done that.”

And then there are the French. The City of Quebec had a tourist booth at Jamestown this weekend where they passed out pamphlets inviting people to come visit next year and help them “celebrate” (note: not “commemorate”) the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City (what, were no Indians injured in the making of Quebec?). They will also be celebrating “the history of the first European settlers in North America.” The clear implication is that England is not part of Europe – well, you know, it’s just a savage island to the west of Europe.

Switching hats from Southerner to Texan, I have to chuckle because I know that the Spaniards were on today's American soil before the English or the French. And, of course, the first European Thanksgiving celebrated on present-day American soil took place in what we now call El Paso.

But wait. The Vikings were most certainly in North America before the Spanish. And before we get into a fight over which country can claim the Vikings, we must note the increasingly convincing evidence that the Chinese were here long before the arrival of any Europeans.

A few years ago I attended a day-long conference sponsored by the Library of Congress concerning the thesis of Gavin Menzies in his book, 1421: The Year China Discovered America. When his book was first published, the historians union (you know, those with a Ph.D. after their name) ridiculed Menzies, who was only a retired British naval officer and therefore an “amateur” historian, the implication being that he was a modern-day Parson Weems.

Well, here we were gathered in the Library of Congress conference room, filled to capacity, and the theses being examined had gone far beyond Menzies. We were treated to lectures about:

  • How the alphabet of the coastal Indians in eastern Canada included numerous characters that were virtually identical to characters in the Chinese alphabet.
  • The discovery of a city in the mountains of Nova Scotia that supposedly shows archaeological evidence of Chinese habitation.
  • How the Indians of the Pacific Northwest, when they came into contact with European explorers, told about previous visits by Chinese and Japanese (and they knew the difference).
  • And, most far-out of all, about a DNA study looking into the similarities of Chinese and Native American DNA.

I can see where all of this is going. In a few years not only will everything we buy in Wal-Mart be “made IN China,” but it will be established that America itself was “made BY China.” Please don’t tell Lou Dobbs.

September 27, 2007