Native Intelligence: Jamestown celebration and colonialism

By Jack D. Forbes
News From Indian Country 5-08

The current celebration of the Jamestown colony in Attan-Akamik (Virginia) is an example of the distortions of north American history found in the popular culture of the USA and Canada, and also in our schools’ educational curricula. The latter, at heart, is designed to firmly plant in every child’s mind the priority and dominance of the English heritage in north American development.

Jamestown was a “corporate” attempt to seize and invade an American territory solely for the purpose of profit-taking and imperial expansion. It was a completely illegal, immoral, and selfish undertaking by British government officials and entrepreneurs who had already been raiding the American coasts, from Newfoundland to the Caribbean (and even along the Pacific Coast of south, central, and north America. In these early raids many Americans (Indians) had been seized and carried back to Europe, including several seized along the Rappahannock River of Attan-Akamik.

Many of the English raids were very much like modern CIA kidnappings, designed to produce valuable intelligence about America for future imperial operations.

The Virginia Company which established the Jamestown base on the Powhatan River in 1607 was a joint-stock company, a corporation. It’s investors expected a profitable return on their investment, I suppose very much like many huge corporations do today.

In any case, Jamestown was not the first European base in North America, and it was not even the first European foothold in the future United States. The Spaniards, with the use of persons of Native American and African ancestry as laborers, had already established St. Augustine (1565) and Santa Fe, New Mexico (initiated in 1598). The French already had outposts in Acadie (Nova Scotia) and along the St. Lawrence river, while the English had bases in Newfoundland and on Providence Island (off of Nicaragua).

But why is it that the media and state governments promote Jamestown and other English settlements (Plymouth Colony will be coming up in 2020!), but neglect far older activities of the Spaniards with their African and Native American workers, and collaborators? I would suggest that it is because the Anglo-Americans who have controlled the USA politically and economically only want to honor and trace their own ethnic heritage. Others can be ignored because they might corrupt the Anglo-Americans’ essentially genealogical approach to U.S. history.

Even English activities will be largely ignored if they took place in areas that became part of Canada or one of the Caribbean republics.

 

 

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