Mirabilis Member Years
There shall be initially 410 Mirabilis Members. Mirabilis is latin for miracle. The Mirabilis Members will each be unique in that they will adopt a year in the great American story.
150 English settlers aboard the Sea Venture suffer shipwreck, stranded on what later would be known as St. George’s Island in Bermuda, on the way to relieve the dying colony of Virginia at Jamestown. After an ordeal of nine months, the survivors built two new ships out of the wreckage, and sailed to Jamestown, arriving in the nick of time to save the colony.
Lord Delaware left Jamestown for England, having arrived the year previous in June and kept the colonists from abandoning Jamestown. Under his brief leadership, management and industry were restored, respect for the leaders instilled, and religious observances encouraged. His replacement, Thomas Dale increased the size, safety, and wealth of the settlement.
Virginia Company was granted a new charter from the King James I of England to include Bermuda as a part of the colony. Again, the situation improved because the new laws enabled the Company to punish those who failed to fulfill contracts.
A Sermon by the Rev. Alexander Whitaker, missionary-pastor in Virginia is published in England, entitled “Good News from Virginia.” He cites multiple providential deliverances by God of the settlers at Jamestown and describes the plantation in lush terms. He passionately pleads for more immigrants and for the spread of the Gospel in the New World to the heathen folk who dwell there.
Jamestown settler John Rolfe successfully harvested the first tobacco crop from seeds brought from Bermuda. The industry became so profitable that laws were passed requiring colonists to grow it in the streets of Jamestown for sale in England. The entire economy of Virginia became dependent on tobacco, the first great and most profitable industry in North America.
The colony of Virginia prospers like never before as it becomes the great producer and exporter of tobacco, naval stores, and other like products, but not gold and silver, the original source of wealth expected by the investors.
John Smith publishes one of the most important books of the century A Description of New England, written aboard a French pirate ship where he was held prisoner. In it he declared what would become the American dream: “Here every man may be master and owner of his owne labour and land . . .If hee have nothing but his hands, he may . . .by industrie quickly grow rich.”
Pocahontas having been presented to the King and Queen, was treated with great respect and honored with an invitation to a Twelfth Night masque written by Ben Jonson for the Monarch. Uttomatomakkin, Chief Powhatan’s counselor, assigned to accompany Pocahontas, did not think the wobbly legged, slobbering King James up to the royal standards of the American native king.
Chief of the Powhatans, Wahunsunacock, died and was replaced by his brother Opechancanough. The colonists may not have survived if they had not been able to make commercial deals, especially for food, with Wahunsunacock, or had his daughter Pocahontas not been permitted to deal with the settlers.
A ship docked in Jamestown, Virginia colony, bringing the first group of single women as brides for the men of the colony, thus insuring its perpetuity, and establishing the family as the basis of growth and permanence of English society in the New World. Further ships with single women arrive in 1620 and 1621.