Why were the Polish settlers
excluded from the Jamestown story?

For your information we are forwarding a letter written by the President of the Polish American Congress to the editor of the “U.S. News & World Report.” In response to the voiced concern, the journal is going to publish one more, corrected, story in the next issue. During personal communication, the editor assured President Spula that the forthcoming story would accurately present Polish contributions to the Jamestown settlement.

Polish Daily News, 9-11 February 2007, Nr 29 Rok (Vol.) C, pages 1, 3.

A letter from the President of the Polish American Congress and the Polish National Alliance, to the editor of the “U.S. News & World Report”. Why were the Polish settlers excluded from the Jamestown story?

[Polish American Congress Letterhead]

U.S. News & World report
Editorial Offices
Mr. Lewis Lord
1050 Thomas Jefferson Street NW
Washington, DC 20007


Dear Mr. Lord:

I have been an avid reader of U.S. News & World report since my days in college, which has been many years ago, reading many interesting articles over time.

Your recent edition of January 29th - February 5th, 2007 captured my attention with the picture and caption of The First Americans. I took great interest in reading the article and must admit to be appalled with the omission of historical facts by such a credible publisher with such tremendous resources of accessible data.

In your article you mentioned many ethnics groups: the Dutch, English, Germans, Scandinavians, French, Enslaved Africans. However, you neglected to refer to one equally important group of settlers and that was from Poland who according to history, arrived in Jamestown October 1, 1608. They were hired to make glass, tar, pitch and soap ashes. This is confirmed in the memories of Capitan John Smith.

Based on research by well-known authors, there is much evidence of the Poles' participation in Jamestown.

Your article is not an accurate description of facts and it is insulting to me personally, to our Polish forefathers, to the approximate twelve millions Polish Americans living in this country as well as the millions of citizens of Poland itself.

For your education, it was the Poles that ran the glass factory and exported the first products to Europe with the imprint “made in America”. Furthermore, it is noted in the annals of history that the Polish glassmakers, tar and pitch manufactures initiated the first strike for equal rights and won a speedy victory noted in the Records of the Virginia Company.

To further support my argument, president Dwight D, Eisenhower at the 350th anniversary celebration of Jamestown, sent a telegram to the president of the Polish American Congress, Charles Rozmarek which was read by Secretary of State Fred A. Seton, it read as follows: “It is a pleasure to send the greetings to the members of the Polish American Congress joined in the celebration of the 350th anniversary of the arrival of the first Poles to the shores of our continent.

Since the earliest days, Americans of Polish origin have contributed much of their rich culture, historical and spiritual heritage to this land. In the development and continuing promise of our country, Polish American citizens play a vital role. Best wishes for a fine celebration.”

Being that U.S. News and World Report is so widely read across the continent, I would appreciate your investigation the following sources and set the record straight.

Attached is a photo copy of the cover from the London edition of 1629 authored by Capitan John Smith, the history of Virginia the colonies and its people.

In addition, is a copy of a letter from the Jamestown Settlement Museum dated May 22, 1992 signed by Sara E. Paton, its Director confirming the arrival of Polish glassblowers who came to Jamestown in 1608.

Looking forward to hearing from you, I remain

Respectfully yours,

Frank J. Spula
President Polish American Congress &
Polish National Alliance

 
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