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O.A. members...interested in making history?

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Before I even begin to tell you what I am thinking I'd like to throw out some thoughts...


First, this forum can serve for the now the purpose of a coast to coast internet conclave...lots of talent and skills out there that can be tapped into...it'll be needed


Second, it's going to take a lot of very hard work plus a considerable amount of dedication, and the clock is ticking.


Third, it's going to require many lodges working together as a team to complete the project. This project is beyound the scope of a single lodge...

No lodge chiefs, chapter chiefs or OA advisors now serving will see the completion of this project during their tenure in these offices.


Fourth, the completion of this project will generate a considerable amount of both national and international news.


And last, besides being a major historical project, it will close a very important chapter in American history....


Okay, here's the project, it can fizzle here and now, or grow to completion...


In the year 2007, Jamestown will be celebrating it's 400th anniversity, and as they say, it's going to be one huge shin dig...

So, how can the O.A play a part in this? Simple, we bring Pocohantus home, she's buried in England at Gravesend..


So, who's interested?






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Good luck. I work with a historical association which wanted to bring the personal papers of Gen. William Davidson home from the UK. Davidson was a officer under Gen. Nathaniel Greene during the southern campaign of the American Revolution. He was killed in North Carolina and some of Cornwallis's troops "recovered" his wallet and papers during the battle.


Returning the materials to Davidson's descendants was not even up for discussion. They were, however willing to loan the papers and wallet for display at a historic site. The conditions of the loan were silly, including paying first class airfare and accommodations for an officer of the museum in the UK to hand deliver and pick up the wallet.


But I suppose the English have to be careful about returning artifacts to their rightful owners, less the collection of the British Museum be reduced to a few executioners' axes and some of Henry VIII's old turkey leg bones.


But other than that it sounds like fun. I'm in.(This message has been edited by Twocubdad)

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How on Earth would you get permission to dig up the grave, and who would you get that permission from? Family?




But I am in too, if you know the logistics. I have freinds in England that could do the leg work.

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This just in..........Maybe Deanna Beecham can help............




Powhatan's Tribal Village Found


GLOUCESTER, Va., May 7, 2003




Randolph Turner, of Virginia's Dept. of Historic Resources' Office, points to a map as he discusses the location of Werowocomoco, the village of Indian chief Powhatan, who was Pocahontas' father. (AP)




"Every day I had time, I would go walking and see what I could find. I have collected old bottles, crocks, dishes, buckles, thimbles - just laying on the surface, believe it or not."

Lynn Ripley



Pottery shards are some of the thousands of artifacts that Lynn Ripley found on her property. (AP)



Lynn and Robert Ripley walk on their property overlooking Purton Bay on the York River near Gloucester, Va., Tuesday, May 6, 2003. (AP)




(AP) When Lynn Ripley walks around her farm overlooking the York River, she ignores the lush scenery and keeps her eyes to the ground.


Her passion for spotting and collecting pottery shards, arrowheads and other artifacts has led scientists to identify what they believe is the location of the village of the powerful American Indian chief Powhatan, father of Pocahontas.


Researchers said Tuesday that thousands of Indian and European artifacts found, along with historical descriptions, suggest the farm was the site of Werowocomoco, the central village of Powhatan's 17th-century rule over 15,000 people from the tribes of coastal Virginia.


English Capt. John Smith, leader of the Jamestown colony, would have met Powhatan on the 50-acre site. It also is where he claimed that Pocahontas begged her father to spare Smith's life, although historians question the veracity of Smith's tale.


"We believe we have sufficient evidence to confirm that the property is indeed the village of Werowocomoco," said Randolph Turner, director of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources' Portsmouth Regional Office.


He said others have proposed that the village was in the same area, but archaeological research had not been done. Early colonial documents, including Smith's 1612 map of Virginia, also gave hints of the settlement's whereabouts, he said.


The site was "a landscape of power," likely chosen to convey Powhatan's important status, said Martin Gallivan, an assistant professor of anthropology at the College of William and Mary.


This June, the college and the historic resources department will do more research on the farm.


"It's a place that may help us to add the native side of early colonial history," Gallivan said.


Soon after Lynn and her husband, Bob, bought the 300-acre, wood-covered farm in 1996, she began finding ceramic pieces, arrowheads and other items while taking walks.


"It was a ritual for me," she said. "Every day I had time, I would go walking and see what I could find. I have collected old bottles, crocks, dishes, buckles, thimbles - just laying on the surface, believe it or not."


She saved them, filling up shoeboxes and even gluing together some pieces of crockery and bottles. Today, she has thousands of artifacts, which she keeps locked in two large gun safes.


The Ripleys met two local archaeologists, David Brown and Thane Harpole, who were working on an unrelated project, and Bob Ripley mentioned his wife's collection.


"We were blown away," Brown said. "We thought, 'This has got to be the place."'


The men contacted Turner. They also did initial surveys, digging 603 test holes, 12 to 16 inches deep and 50 feet apart. They found thousands more artifacts, including a blue bead that may have been made in Europe for trading.


The two archaeologists are part of the Werowocomoco Research Group, a newly formed team that includes researchers from William and Mary and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, and a representative of the Virginia American Indian community.


The group presented preliminary findings to representatives of Virginia's eight state-recognized American Indian tribes and the Virginia Council of Indians, inviting the organizations to work with the group.


Virginia Indians were pleased to be consulted about a site that is of enormous historical significance to them, said Deanna Beacham, a member of the Nansemond tribe and outreach coordinator to the tribal and state councils.


"Frankly, usually we hear about it after something has been done," Beacham said.


Werowocomoco was about 15 miles from Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in America, founded in 1607.


Smith claimed that in December 1607, Indians kidnapped him and that Powhatan was about to club him to death when Pocahontas threw her body over his to save him. Pocahontas was only 10 or 11 years old at the time, and some historians say Smith may have misunderstood what was an Indian adoption ritual. Smith didn't write about the event until 1624, after Pocahontas' death.


"The real story is Powhatan," who ruled one of the most complex political entities in eastern North America during the early 1600s, Turner said.


The Ripleys plan to keep the artifacts, perhaps loaning them to a museum or college. They also intend to continue living on the farm and to maintain as much privacy as possible while encouraging additional research.


"We just thought it would be a shame to deny this knowledge to the people of Virginia," Bob Ripley said.

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I have to admit to not being an expert on Pocahontas.

And while still a "Brit" I wish you nothing but the best.

Still it seems to me that by her marriage to John Rolfe, and their son Thomas being English, she too became a "Brit"

As I say I'm not sure what the laws were in 1616, when she went to England.

I do however think that if her son and husband are buried in England, we have no right to be undoing what has been done.

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Neither John, nor his son Thomas are buried in England. In 1617 on a return trip to the Virginia colony Rebecca Matoaka Rolfe (Pocahontus) was very ill with smallpox, being removed from the ship at Gravesend and dying alone there at the age of 21 (several reseachers suspect that she actually died from STD, being infected while held for nearly a year as a prisoner at Jamestown).

The major problem is the location of the grave, which in several reports suggest that it was destroyed during a church renovation project....

My feelings are, that since the British Government has done nothing to preserve the site, and in effect has abandoned it, then efforts should be made to have her remains returned to her native soil, she belongs here....

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I always heard it was Tuberculosis, but that may have been the 4th grade Virginia conservative history book version.


The idea intrigues me, but from a practical standpoint, after almost 400 years, will there be anything left to bring home? Also, from a Native American standpoint, what are the religious ramifications of disturbing a grave, albeit in England?

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I for one hope the OA has better sense than to get involved in a whacked out idea like this. I can only see bad things coming out of this idea. I would oppose any effort on the OA's part to participate.


Leave the dead where they are buried!

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You raise some very important questions....here's a site that may help




As for remains, that is a big question. To date I've failed to locate records on her burial. What I hope is that in their tradition of time that she whould would of been buried in a lead coffin, which would show up easily with ground scanning radar...




Thanks for your input, for the now this is just exploritory. It may go no place. In 1999 I presented this idea to the Chief of the Nansemonds but there was no interest. Later, about 2001 I presented the same ideal to our local O.A. Chapter, still no interest. But, if you would, please respect our culture and the way we honor our ancestors....thanks

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La Voyageur

I still think that is a VERY bad idea for any group, OA or otherwise to get into.


As for respecting your Culture, Well when the native americans start repecting deals that their anceastors made years ago, I will to!

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I've no problem with your role as the Devil's Advocate which is well and find, and most needed since I agree that caution is in order....but, I've sent you a pm directing you to another forum where we can discuss these generalizations outside of the historical that you have....

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