Uncovering America's Heritage... Coin by Coin
2007 Jamestown Commemorative Five-Dollar Coin
My coin for March is a brand-new coin. It's a collectible coin marked "$5" that commemorates the founding of Jamestown, Virginia. A one-dollar collectible coin is also being made as part of this commemoration. What's so special about Jamestown? Let me tell you!
Jamestown was the first English settlement in America that lasted more than just a few years. The city was founded in 1607, four hundred years ago, by settlers sent from England to find gold and a water route across the continent.
One of the first things the settlers had to do was make friends with the American Indians who lived in the area. The front of the coin shows an Englishman talking with an American Indian who is holding corn, a food then new to the English.
The Jamestown settlers also had to build a fort to protect themselves. At first, the whole Virginia colony was within the fort's wooden walls. By the 1620s, the colony had spread along the James River, with Jamestown as its capital.
The back of the Jamestown five-dollar coin shows a church whose foundation dates back to Jamestown's first century. In this building, people who were sent by their communities met to make rules for the colony. This could be called the first meeting of governing representatives in the New World.
Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the New World, served as Virginia's major port and seat of government and law. Jamestown never grew to become the city its leaders had planned on paper, but it was the capital of Virginia for 92 years.