If you are reading this, you are probably a blogger, so you can appreciate the thrill when the first customers come through the door, that moment when you begin to see readers show up in your access logs. So I hope you’ll relive your moment of exhilaration with me as the first visitors have landed on the shores of my latest endeavor, The Jamestown Site.
It is ironic that it was a sensation not unlike what the natives must have experienced when they glimpsed the foreign ships off the coast of their ancient land. At first I rubbed my eyes and surmised I was dreaming: there were seven visits reported to a page. I’ve been working on the site awhile, and was busy with the chores of preparing the site for its official launch on the 400th anniversary of the First Landing of the Jamestown expedition, April 26th. My recent adversities meant that it wasn’t going to be quite what I’d hoped. I had even considered abandoning the project. But I have two years invested. More significantly, the Jamestown story is simply too compelling, too infinitely interesting, for me to abandon.
Indeed, the story of Jamestown is one of abandonment. It is odd that Jamestown’s reputed significance is as the first permanent English settlement, considering the unsuitable swamp was within a century or so plowed under as the new Virginians sought higher ground at Williamsburg. The nation’s founding myth itself was relinquished to the Pilgrims at Plymouth who arrived thirteen years later as part of historical revisionism after the Civil War. Jamestown, where slaves first arrived in America, was simply erased from the national consciousness.
If it hadn’t been for a fabled love story between a white man and an Indian princess–and a Disney movie that made Pocahontas and John Smith names learned in childhood–Jamestown might have remained buried for another century.
As I said, there is much of interest. If you are so inclined, visit The Jamestown Site. You will be one of the first. Just remember that, like the original site, it is in the throes of nativity.
— Michael Norton