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A website dedicated to the original Polish settlers in Jamestown, VA 1608

[dot] [space] Grant [space] [picture] [space] Resources [space] [picture] [space] Marker [space] [picture] [space] Readings [space] [picture] [space] Medallion [space] [picture] [space] Bibliography [space] [picture]

Mission statement: to obtain proposals and encourage serious research on the Poles of Jamestown


Records indicate that the Jamestown Colony included immigrants from England, but few people know that among the residents were also "Polonians." Research on these Polonians is limited and this project hopes to expand scholarly research on the Polonians themselves, their role in the Jamestown Colony, how they came to be in Jamestown, and the work they did there, focusing in particular on the work stoppage in 1619.

Research based on untapped original resources which results in a well written and properly documented paper on the Polonians of Jamestown will add to the historic fact base for our original colony and answer many questions about the Polonians.

[picture] Please see attachment for submitting a project proposal.

Address all inquiries to Aurelia Pucinski


[picture] Link to: Library of Congress online copy -
Court Book A, Virginia Company of London, 1619-22, (July 21, 1619)
view page 29
[picture] view page 32 (last paragraph - text reads as follows:)

Upon some dispute of the Polonians resident in Virginia, it was now agreed (notwithstanding any former order to the contrary) that they shall be enfranchised and made as free as any inhabitant there whatsoever and because their skill in making pitch & tarr & sopeashes shall not die with them, it is agreed that some young men, shalbe put into them to learn their skill & knowledge therein for the benefit of the country hereafter.
[picture] ........ Collingwood

[picture] Jamestown's 400th Anniversary by James S. Pula

[picture] Identity of the 1608 Jamestown Craftsmen by Richard J. Orli

[picture] Fact vs. Fiction: What Do We Really Know About the Polish Presence in Early Jamestown
[picture] by James S. Pula

Historical Marker at Jamestown

Skilled craftsmen of Polish origin recruited by the Virginia Company began arriving in Jamestown aboard the Mary and Margaret about 1 Oct. 1608. Poles contributed to the development of a glass factory and the production of potash, naval stores, and wood products. Soon samples of their work were shipped back to England. The workers were so highly prized that they were assigned apprentices so that their skill "shall not dye with them." Capt. John Smith praised their work ethic in his writings. Court records indicate that as a result of a dispute, Poles were granted full voting rights on 21 July 1619.

[picture] Official Virginia Commonwealth Historical Marker

Interesting Reading

[picture] Jamestown Pioneers from Poland - 1958 Jamestown Anniversary Book
[picture] by Polish American Congress (text only)

This book was published for the 350th Anniversary of the Polish arrival in Jamestown by the Polish American Congress (1958) when Charles Rozmarek was president. It features commentaries, photographs, and reproductions of original documents. Unfortunately, the on-line version has only the text contained in the book.
[picture] The Polish Pioneers in Virginia by Sigmund H. Uminski
Uminski wrote a great summary book which gathers all the existing theories (with critique of some of the methods used) and his own original research about the Jamestown Poles. There is a lengthy discussion of the probability whether the "Merchant's Memoir" actually exists, and what is actually known about the Jamestown Polish settlers from sources outside this mysterious missing book.
[picture] True Heroes of Jamestown by Arthur L. Waldo
Waldo wrote this book in order to familiarize people with the Poles' contributions to Jamestown. He believes that without the Polish, Jamestown would have fallen apart as a colony much sooner than it had. He looks at the research of many historians as well as performs his own. Waldo uses Zbigniew Stefanski's memoir Pamietnik Handlowca a.k.a. Memorialium Commercatoris (Merchant's Memoir) published in Amsterdam, Holland, ca. 1625 as a source, however there are some questions as to its credibility.
[picture] Bibliography - Listing of related books and websites