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March 29, 2013

Life at James Fort: Three Cultures of Historic Jamestowne Explored

The life and culture of 17th-century Virginia comes alive at Historic Jamestowne as guests meet and interact with the English, Africans and Virginia Indians inside and around James Fort. “Life at James Fort: Beyond the Walls” is presented 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 6 as costumed interpreters represent the three diverse cultures and relate their experiences in the New World.

Daniel Abbott, a Nanticoke descendant from the Virginia’s Eastern Shore, demonstrates tool making and domestic skills, and discusses the native plants and flowers used by the Virginia Indians in their daily activities. Abbott is an educator, researcher and artisan focused on study of the indigenous peoples of the mid-Atlantic. Melanie Hagan, a Powhatan interpreter of the Algonquian Chesapeake, shares her perspective of Virginia's earliest female inhabitants on the island. Learn about the daily life of indigenous women — their work, relationships and perspectives of the world in which they lived.

One of the first Africans to arrive in Virginia, Anthony Johnson shares his story of arrival in Virginia and his rise from servitude to freedom and success as a tobacco farmer. Johnson describes his relations with the English and Powhatan Indians as an African-American in early colonial Virginia during tours at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Anas Todkill, a 17th-century colonist, provides firsthand accounts of life at James Fort as he describes arms and armor, ceramics, tools and trade items were essential to a settler's survival. He shares his perspective as an English explorer and his relationships with the Virginia Indians.

Colonial Williamsburg blacksmiths conduct demonstrations at the site of the first blacksmithing operation at Jamestown, discovered by the Jamestown Rediscovery archaeological team in 2006. Jamestown's first blacksmiths repaired and manufactured simple and necessary items, and were involved in the testing of iron ores and manufacturing iron to create quality pieces for the colonists. This program is presented jointly by Historic Jamestowne and The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

“Life at James Fort: Beyond the Walls” is free with paid admission to Historic Jamestowne. The admission fee of $10 per adult includes both Historic Jamestowne and Yorktown Battlefield. Children under age 16 are admitted free. America the Beautiful National Parks passes are accepted and Preservation Virginia members also are admitted free. Historic Jamestowne is located at 1368 Colonial Parkway on Jamestown Island, seven miles west of Williamsburg. It can be reached via the Colonial Parkway or VA State Route 31.

For more information, please call (757) 229-4997 ext. 100 or visit

Media Contact:
Jim Bradley