Aboard the Godspeed

By June 4, 2006General

GodpseedThe NAM’s Larry Fineran who has devoted some time to the Jamestown 1607-2007 celebratory efforts, sent along this report about his experiences aboard the Godspeed. Enjoy.

I was fortunate enough to set sail for a juxtaposed journey between now and 400 years ago onboard a replica of the Godspeed today. The Godspeed was one of the three ships that brought the original settlers to Jamestown in 1607. (The other two were the Susan Constant and the Discovery.) The NAM has partnered with Jamestown 2007 to celebrate 400 years of manufacturing and exporting in America. Over the next year, you will be hearing more about this commemoration of our heritage.

It’s for more than personal whimsy that we write on it today. Many of this country’s most cherished features began with the successful settlement of Jamestown. First, unlike other exploration ventures, this was privately funded and not a government project. The Virginia Company was a stock-issuing corporation that intended to make a profit. One of the first things the settlers did at Jamestown was to use the vast quantities of trees (all the forests in England had been depleted by the early 17th Century) and sand to establish a glass factory and export their product back to the Mother Country. The hearty men (and they were all men at first) also elected their leaders and followed established English common law. So there you have it: 400 years of manufacturing and exporting, representative government and the rule of law. Four reasons why every manufacturer in every state should care about next year’s festivities in Virginia.

Editor’s Note: I went running last weekend down to Potomac near Old TOwn Alexandria and saw the Godspeed myself, its really impressive. Don’t miss an opportunity to see it. Here’s a link to the Godspeed’s Ports of Call.