Saturday, May 14, 2005

Bartholomew Gosnold

At Jamestown, Virginia, America's "cradle of civilization", great preparations are underway for 2007, when they will celebrate the 400th anniversary of the first permanent English settlement in America. In order to extract a piece of DNA for analysis, the Church of England has agreed, for the first time in history, to allow excavation under the floor of a parish church where lay the remains of Bartholomew Gosnold's sister. Who was Bartholomew Gosnold, you ask? Even the director of archaeology for the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, William Kelso, had never heard of Gosnold before 2002.
"He is the person without which Jamestown would not have happened. People talk about American history as if it started with Washington and Jefferson. But Gosnold was our founding grandfather. He's a lost part of American history."
If tests prove that the bones are Gosnold's, American history will be rewritten. Bartholomew Gosnold is unknown in both the United States and in Britain because history belongs to those who write it, rather than those who create it. The now famous Jamestown colonist John Smith, returned to England and spent the rest of his life writing about his leadership exploits in the Virginia colony. Overlooking the historic James River, in the center of the Jamestown fort, there now stands John Smith's statue. There is nothing to commemorate Gosnold. The excavation of the gravesite of "an important person" at Jamestown, Virginia may change the written history of America's founding.
U.K. Excavation May Rewrite U.S. History

Washington Post, JAMESTOWN, Va.
Bartholomew Gosnold might have been the founding father of what we now know as the United States, though his name and place in history have been buried in the passage of time and the importance that the swaggering adventurer John Smith attached to himself.

That could change soon. Two years after stumbling across a grave site holding the bones of a middle-aged man of high rank, archaeologists at the Jamestown settlement are about to learn whether the skeletal remains are Gosnold's.

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