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The Virginia Company sailed from England to try to establish the first permanent English colony in the New World. Their instructions were to settle Virginia, find gold and a water route to the Orient. The explorers landed on Jamestown Island on the banks of the James River on May 14, 1607.
The mission of Historic Jamestowne is to preserve, protect and promote the original site of the first permanent English settlement in North America and to tell the story of the role of the three cultures - European, North American and African - that came together to lay the foundation for a uniquely American form of democratic government, language, free enterprise and society.
The story of the people who founded Jamestown and of the Virginia Indians they encountered is told through film, gallery exhibits and living history at Jamestown Settlement. Outdoors, visitors can board replicas of the three ships that sailed from England to Virginia in 1607, explore life-size re-creations of the colonists' fort and a Powhatan village, and tour a riverfront discovery area to learn about European, Powhatan and African economic activities associated with water.
Experience Jamestown online and learn the Stories of a Nation from the various perspectives of the English settlers, the Natives who had been living on the land for more than 10,000 years, the early Africans who were brought over on a Dutch trade ship, as well as the investors in the Virginia Company, who had expected gold returns and a northwest passage to the Orient.
The goal of Virginia's 400th anniversary in 2007 was to capture the spirit, imagination, and diversity of the people of Virginia, and develop that energy into a myriad of signature events, national and international programs that brought a renewed historical awareness of Virginia's role as the birthplace of modern America and the cradle of American democratic traditions, ideologies and principles.
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