The River Where America Began: A Journey Along the James
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The River Where America Began: A Journey Along the James

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  45 ratings  ·  7 reviews
From the establishment of the first permanent English colony at Jamestown in 1607 to the fall of Richmond in 1865, the James River has been instrumental in the formation of modern America. It was along the James that British and Native American cultures collided and, in a twisted paradox, the seeds of democracy and slavery were sown side by side. The culture crafted by Vir...more
Hardcover, 319 pages
Published February 23rd 2007 by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (first published January 1st 2007)
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Chris
Just over a hundred years ago, a scrappy band of Englishmen sailed across the Atlantic under a charter from the Virgina Company of London. They found a river, which they promptly named for their king, James I - the James River. They went up the river a ways and founded Jamestown, the first English settlement in North America, with a very simple mission - find gold and silver, and find a passage to the Pacific Ocean.

They accomplished none of that.

What they did manage was to give European coloniza...more
Elizabeth
Deans focuses on three pivotal events/periods of American history that have a connection to the James River. Sometimes the connection is a bit thin, but it is an enjoyable read never-the-less. The events are the Jamestown settlement, the development of the political thinking that lead the Virginia contingent to advocate separation from England and the capture of Richmond by Union forces at the end of the Civil War. While he does manage in most cases to show how the nature of the James as a navig...more
David
Not just a regional history. From the 1607 colony at Jameston the the end of the civil war, Mr Deans tells an American story. The evolution of American values of freedom and equality and struggles to fulfill their promise are reflected in the history of the James River area. Great story telling with fascinating characters. John Smith, Pocahantos, Thomas Jefferson and more. When you've finished this wonderful narrative take a few more minutes to read the epilogue. It will make you reflect on Amer...more
Deanna
I read this since we're celebrating the 400 year anniversary of the founding of Jamestown (very big in the Hampton Roads area). It mainly deals with people and events around the James river and how it has shaped America. Starts from when a meteor fell to earth to create the Chesapeake Bay (news to me) and ends with the Civil War. The author does a really nice job tying all the side stories back to the James river. A good read for this historic year.
Diane
This history of America focuses on the James River in Virginia. It covers the founding of Jamestown and associated plantations, the Revolutionary War era, and the Civil War. The author focuses on what was happening in the greater James River area (also known as the Virginia Tidewater) to illustrate the events happening throughout the country. An interesting read as either American history or Virginia history.
bennett
pretty sweet history of Virginia as told through the history of the James River. Must read for all you Virginia history buffs out there...
Haley
Incredibly well written and well researched. A great use of imagery.
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