Lee Hall Mansion tour takes people back to 1619

Staff writer

The world of 1619 in Virginia is yours to explore as part of Lee Hall Mansion’s History Van Tour series on April 20.

Historian Michael Moore will lead a tour focused on pivotal events that happened 400 years ago in Virginia, such as the arrival of the first enslaved African in English North America as well as the first meeting of a representative legislature in English North America.

The year 1619 was the year English women were first recruited in large numbers to colonize Virginia, as well as the first Thanksgiving held by Englishmen in North America.

And a lot of those events happened near Lee Hall Mansion, a historic home that’s one of the Peninsula’s last antebellum houses. Though it generally is focused on the Civil War era, the anniversary calls for some special programming.

“We weren’t going to let 1619 go by without a passing shot,” Moore said.

The tour’s itinerary isn’t finalized, but participants can expect to hit sites throughout the region relevant to 1619 events, places like Old Point Comfort, where Fort Monroe sits now but was where the first enslaved Africans arrived in Virginia.

Moore plans to discuss major events on the grounds they took place and connect their significance to American history. Wear comfortable shoes, because there will be plenty of walking. Participants should bring a bag lunch, small cooler and drink.

The tour is $50 per person. Make checks payable to the City of Newport News, mail to Lee Hall Mansion, Attn: J. Michael Moore, 163 Yorktown Road, Newport News, VA 23603.

Want to go?

When: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 20.

Where: Lee Hall Mansion, 163 Yorktown Road.

Cost: $50.

For more information, call 757-888-3371, extension 306.

Jack Jacobs, 757-298-6007, jojacobs@vagazette.com, @jajacobs_

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