The First Germans in America
By Gary Carl Grassl Revised edition with tour guide.
Eighty-two illustrations, most in full color.
Grassl received the Federal Cross of Merit from the hands of Ambassador Klaus Schariot for his contribution to German-American history.
The First Germans in America, which has just been published, is a revision of a book that was presented to participants in a banquet for German Ambassador Klaus Schariot. This was held in Colonial Williamsburg, VA, in 2008 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Germans at Jamestown, Virginia. These copies were distributed under the auspices of the German Embassy.
This revision incorporates additional illustrations plus a guide to German artifacts and sites at Historic Jamestowne. These include the National Park Service Visitors Center, James Fort on Jamestown Island, the Achaearium of the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities and the German Glasshouse. This book focuses mainly on the Germans at Jamestown—the first permanent English settlement in this country. They begin with Dr. Fleischer, who landed in 1607 with the first English settlers. However, the author reaches even further back in time. He tackles such questions as: Was a German here with Leif Ericson in 1000? Were Pining and Pothorst here before Columbus? Did Germans accompany Elizabethan explorers and settlers?
In authenticating who was German Grassl relies on more than a German-sounding name, as some have done. All assertions are validated in more than 15 pages of endnotes. Where the author differs with some American historians on the identity and loyalty of a few Jamestown settlers, he presents both sides in detail. However, this is not only a bit of meticulously researched history but also a story full of adventure and intrigue.
in the Creation of Our Nation
Jamestown, Virginia, was the first permanent English settlement and the birthplace of the United States.
Germans were there from the beginning.
v The first group of settlers to land on Jamestown Island in May 1607 included only one none British. He was Johannes Fleischer from Breslau. This German Lutheran landed in Jamestown 13 years before the Pilgrim Fathers landed in Plymouth, Mass.
v Fleischer was the first physician and university trained botanist in English America.
v Copper was gold for the Virginia Indians. The Jamestown settlers kept alive during the difficult first years by trading German-made copper for food.
v German glassmakers, who arrived in 1608, produced the first “industrial-type product” in British America.
v German woodworkers helped build a European-style house for Paramount Chief Powhatan in 1608 and lived in the same village as his daughter Pocahontas.
v German experts ran metallurgical experiments in James Fort.
v About a million objects have been catalogued by archaeologists who re-discovered long-lost James Fort. Less than 1 percent of these objects bear words; most are in German.
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total: $19.70 until 15 September 2010.
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