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September 12, 2011

Discover What Led to the Burning of Jamestown in 1676 as Events of Bacon’s Rebellion Unfold

During two special programs at Historic Jamestowne on Saturday, Sept. 17, guests learn the events leading up to a major rebellion that flared across the colony of Virginia forcing citizens to choose between the crown’s representative, Sir William Berkeley, or rebel leader Nathaniel Bacon. The climax occurred on Sept. 19, 1676, when Bacon and his followers set fire to Jamestown, nearly destroying Virginia’s capital. These programs mark the 335th anniversary of the resistance.

During “Governor Berkeley Laments the Rebellion” at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., guests meet with Gov. William Berkeley as he recounts his time in Virginia and the unhappy circumstances that led to Bacon’s Rebellion and the burning of Virginia’s 17th-century capitol at Jamestown.

The one-hour special evening tour, “The Beginning, Progress and Conclusion of Bacon’s Rebellion,” at 7 p.m., takes visitors through the colonial town site and present the events leading to the burning of Jamestown. Details of this dramatic event unfold as visitors experience the conflict through the “eyewitness” account of Thomas Matthew, a Burgess in 1676. Controlled fires re-create the burning of Jamestown as it occurred on Sept. 19, 1676. The tour begins at the Tercentennial Monument overlooking the James River.

Visitors should wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a flashlight and insect repellent.

Carrot Tree Kitchens at the Dale House Café will be serving dinner until 7 p.m. on Saturday night.

These programs are presented jointly by The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and Historic Jamestowne.

These programs are free with paid admission to Historic Jamestowne. The admission fee of $10 per adult includes both Historic Jamestowne and Yorktown Battlefield. Children under age 16 are admitted free. America the Beautiful National Parks passes are accepted and Preservation Virginia members also are admitted free. For further information, call (757) 229-4997 or (757) 898-2410.

Historic Jamestowne is jointly administered by the National Park Service and The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (on behalf of Preservation Virginia) and preserves the original site of the first permanent English settlement in the New World.

Visitors to Historic Jamestowne share the moment of discovery with archaeologists and witness archaeology in action at the 1607 James Fort excavation April-October; learn about the Jamestown Rediscovery excavation at the Nathalie P. and Alan M. Voorhees Archaearium, the site's archaeology museum; tour the original 17th-century church tower and reconstructed 17th-century Jamestown Memorial Church; and take a walking tour with a Park Ranger through the New Towne area along the scenic James River. For further information, visit or call (757) 229-0412 or (757) 898-2410.

Preservation Virginia, a private non-profit organization and statewide historic preservation leader founded in 1889, is dedicated to perpetuating and revitalizing Virginia's cultural, architectural and historic heritage thereby ensuring that historic places are integral parts of the lives of present and future generations. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and presentation of the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia.

Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121