First Hand Accounts

Letters and first-hand accounts allow us to see seventeenth-century society as no other record can.

These rare eyewitness writings place us in the position of a looking in on a dead past and seeing it come to life through the perspectives of those who recorded their experiences. We should not take these narratives at face value, but they are no less valuable, in fact can be even more revealing, when they reflect Eurocentric viewsor limitations of past knowledge and understanding.

They are best approached with the questions: what are the authors trying to tell us and what are their agendas? These materials do give us a sense of the contingencies, uncertainties,and dilemmas that surrounded choices and when read critically should lead to a better understanding of what factors shaped individual decisions.

newspapers A full-text searchable database (XML) gives us a powerful tool for tracing and comparing topics, ideas, concepts, motivations, and much more from vantage points of time, space, power, authority, race, class, gender, and ethnicity.

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First Hand Accounts

a) First Hand Accounts and Letters by Date

b) First Hand Accounts and Letters by Subject

c) Search First Hand Accounts and Letters

d) The Complete Works of John Smith

e) Records of the Virginia Company

f) Judicial Cases on Virginia Slavery

g) Voyage of the Hannibal

h) Runaway Slave & Indentured Servant Ads

Jamestown Resources

Jamestown Resources is a digital archive of images, artifacts, maps, rare documents, censuses, and other data for teachers, researchers, genealogists, students, and the general public who want to explore the meaning of Jamestown in the American experience.