Friday, October 29, 2010

First California Company's 10/23 Meeting Was a Great Success

As we posted on September 24, Martha M. McCartney offered fascinating insights into the lives of some of Jamestowne's 5,500 surviving colonists during its early decades in her compelling lecture to the First California Company of the Jamestowne Society on Saturday, October 23.
Her audience of fifty-five members of the Society and guests assembled from all over California to hear her, and enjoy the clear views of UCLA and west Los Angeles and a superb luncheon in the Regency Club’s top floor in Westwood overlooking UCLA and West Los Angeles.
She related her early career background in identifying potential sites that had archaeological significance for mitigation for development along the James River, and how that morphed into delving into and compiling the biographies of the colonists. These became the source of her many articles on their lives and her classic book, Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers, 1607-1635, as well as two new books due out next year.
Mc Cartney reiterated some history familiar to the group, that of Jamestowne’s first three decades, but emphasized how the extraordinary drought of 1606-12 created desperate conditions for both the new immigrants and indigenous people. The increased salinity of the James River severely compromised drinking water supplies and food crops that exacerbated tensions of both groups in trying to survive.
"Our October meeting was one to remember" is the headline on the posting on the Jamestowne Society's First California Company blog (its new form of newsletter).
Billy Pittard, FCC's editor, reported, "With an outstanding speaker, a stunning venue, and a packed house," First California Company's October meeting was, "by all accounts, one to remember."
"Research historian and author Martha W. McCartney presented a tantalizing view of the early settlers at Jamestowne. Through her many years of research relating to the Jamestowne settlement, she discovered a number of unique resources and methodologies to compensate for the loss of courthouse records during the Civil War. In so doing, one of her methods was to develop profiles and records on individual settlers. Her book, Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers 1607-1635: A Biographical Dictionary is one of the fruits of this unique methodology. Her detailed accounts of events in the lives of specific individuals gave her presentation at our meeting a sense of immediacy and intimacy. Her presentation was also supported with a rich collection of maps and illustrations."
For more, including photos, go to

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