Jamestown, the Truth Revealed (Chauncey Lecture 2017)

Time Period
16,000 BCE to 1622 CE
1623 to 1763
Media Type
Politics & Government
Science & Technology
Dr. William M. Kelso

On July 19, 2017, Dr. William M. Kelso delivered the Hazel and Fulton Chauncey Lecture entitled “Jamestown, the Truth Revealed.”

What was life really like for the band of adventurers who first set foot on the banks of the James River in 1607? Important as the accomplishments of these men and women were, the written records pertaining to them are scarce, ambiguous, and often conflicting. And those curious about the birthplace of the United States have had little to turn to except dramatic and often highly fictionalized reports. In Jamestown, the Truth Revealed, William Kelso takes us literally to the soil where the Jamestown colony began, unearthing footprints of a series of structures, beginning with the James Fort, to reveal fascinating evidence of the lives and deaths of the first settlers, of their endeavors and struggles, and new insight into their relationships with the Virginia Indians. He offers up a lively account, framed around a narrative of the archaeological team's exciting discoveries.

William M. Kelso is the Director of Archaeology for Jamestown Rediscovery at Historic Jamestowne. He holds a Masters Degree in Early American History from the College of William and Mary, a Ph.D. from Emory University, and he has been awarded an honorary degree of chivalry from Queen Elizabeth II: Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). He is the author and coauthor of several books, including Jamestown, the Buried Truth; Jamestown Rediscovery, 1994–2004; Kingsmill Plantation, 1619–1800: Archaeology of Country Life in Colonial Virginia; Archaeology at Monticello; and Jamestown, the Truth Revealed.

The content and opinions expressed in these presentations are solely those of the speaker and not necessarily of the Virginia Museum of History & Culture.

Want to listen to an audio-only version of this lecture? Listen now on Soundcloud.