Travelogue: Visiting Tidewater

Editor’s Note: This will be another long day on this blog. I will be working on this article throughout the day and the evening.

I recently had the chance to visit Virginia.

It was an unexpected development. I wasn’t planning a trip to the Old Dominion, but we are friends with a Southern Nationalist couple who needed us to give them a ride up there. My buddy’s girlfriend is from Virginia and we drove them to Richmond. Afterwards, I spent the next day with my wife touring Monument Avenue and we drove over to Tidewater to explore Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestowne. I didn’t get the chance to visit Yorktown Battlefield, but I had visited all three back in 2010. We didn’t have the time to stick around because we had to get back home to Alabama.

I’m not the typical tourist who visits “America’s Historic Triangle.” I’m an amateur historian and cultural archaeologist (a term inspired by reading too much Nietzsche and Foucault back in college) who enjoys thinking about the history, culture and evolution of places. So it was that I found myself in what used to be Powhatan’s country, Tsenacommacah (“densely inhabited land”) which fell under the control of my English ancestors way back in the decades after Jamestowne was founded in 1608.

I’ve studied this area for years because this peninsula and the surrounding region, which has been called “Tidewater” or “Chesapeake” by cultural geographers, is one of the great cultural hearths of Southern culture and really American culture in general. Actually, we know now that colonial America and the Early Republic was less like New England and much more like Virginia.

Everything that our progressive elite finds so abhorrent about the American past really got its start in the early 17th century in this peninsula that stretches from Richmond into Chesapeake Bay between the James and the York rivers: settler-colonialism, the plantation system, slavery, white supremacy, racism, the patriarchy, race war (literal RAHOWA). In that sense, we Southerners are all Virginians (often biologically and culturally) because this was their legacy to our region.

In the beginning, there were Englishmen, Indians and African servants. There were no Virginians yet. This would only evolve several generations later. At first, both Europeans and Africans had been transplanted to the New World and into a radically different environment.

It is nearly impossible for modern day progressives to step outside themselves in order to understand the past (they prefer to stand in judgement of it and puff themselves up with pride about their own non-existent virtues), but in this case we really have no choice. The men who created Virginia, which they named after their beloved “virgin queen,” Queen Elizabeth I, were Englishmen of Early Modern Europe. Their mental universe was the aftermath of the Renaissance and Reformation.

There is no such thing as political correctness at this time. There is no such thing as liberalism either which wouldn’t even begin to evolve until several generations later. James I (James VI of Scotland) is the king of England, Scotland, Ireland (and France!) For all you filthy anarchists who read this blog, this was the era of the Gunpowder Plot. Even though he never achieved his goal, King James I (in whose honor Jamestowne was named) aspired to be an absolute monarch.

I don’t really have the time to explain it all in a single blog post (this will take writing a book on the subject), but this privately owned plantation that was established on Jamestown island in Virginia under King James I, which eventually grew into a royal colony, which eventually grew into the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States, which eventually played a key role (read: not the only role) in spawning a culture that spread all over North America and created The Great Plantation that is the South wasn’t really a very pleasant place to live through most of the 17th century.

I mean … the people here were sick.

The English colonists died in enormous numbers in Jamestowne. They resorted to cannibalism and raids on neighboring Indian villages because they were starving. In contrast to New England, Early Virginia was an extremely unhealthy place for decades until later generations became “seasoned” and moved away from the filthy, malaria infested rivers of Tidewater to higher ground. There was constant fighting with Indians after the 1622 genocide which colored Southern racial attitudes for generations. It was at that point that Indians were EXPELLED from the peninsula which was walled off by English settlers.

Sorry, multiculturalists.

The truth about Virginia is that your model is a disingenuous, romanticization of what happened before the 1622 genocide. The subsequent history of Virginia was racial conflict during which the Indian tribes were pushed ever further north and west by expanding White settlers:

Speaking of White settlers, it was around the time that slavery started to take off in Virginia in the 1670s and 1680s and especially after the colony FINALLY began to stabilize and produce native born Virginians that our ancestors started thinking of themselves as White men.

Previously, Virginia had taken a very different course from New England. Everyone was fresh off the boat from England until around 1700. There was a massive gender imbalance. There were large numbers of White men who were indentured servants and too few women. The couples who had families in this period saw their children die due to the disease environment in the colony.

Life improved after 1700.

Virginia became more and more like England which was also dominated at that time by the gentry class who controlled Parliament after the Glorious Revolution.

Anyway, I could continue in this vein for the next five years, and it is simply impossible to summarize the broad sweep of Southern history from colonial Virgina to the 21st century.

It eventually produced this guy:

… who founded this university near his home in the Piedmont near Charlottesville. President Thomas Jefferson was a man of the Enlightenment and a native Virginian:

This travelogue has a happy ending.

We live in the 21st century now, not the 17th century or 19th century, and the Virginia Tidewater is a very different place than it used to be. I made the trip from Richmond to Williamsburg in about 30 minutes in my automobile traveling down Interstate 64.

Williamsburg is now a bustling, vibrant little city which appears to be thriving and packed with throngs of tourists from Europe and Asia. I saw a couple speaking German when I was there on Wednesday. No one is a slave anymore. No one is a sharecropper. No one is dying of malaria. The speed at which we can travel around Virginia these days would have astonished our ancestors. I was able to drive all the way from Williamsburg back home to Montgomery, AL in about half a day.

We went and took a look at Jamestowne which is now a National Park like Yorktown Battlefield. Back when this country was sane, we spent much of the 20th century trying to preserve both our heritage and conserve our environment (Yellowstone? Yosemite?) instead of fighting over it. There is a restaurant in Williamsburg which has great philly cheesesteaks. We ate lunch there and there were two groups of Asian girls in the restaurant enjoying their lunch.

It appears there are a lot of Chinese students who attend William & Mary in Williamsburg. I didn’t engage with them because I couldn’t understand what they were staying. They appeared to be happier than the two White girls who were sitting next to us. This White girl who seemed to have a Northern accent was bitterly complaining about the state of men in 21st century America. She had tried dating a sailor from down in Norfolk who had recently dumped her. Apparently, the great issue which put an end to their romance was that she was convinced he wanted her to be a modern day slave!

It took everything that I had in me not to burst out laughing at that. I had just come from Jamestowne where REAL SLAVERY had been introduced to America … and this chick was comparing her plight which is a product of her indoctrination at William & Mary in feminism and political correctness to chattel slavery. We have lots of problems in the 21st century, but SLAVERY isn’t one of them!

My god … the realization hit me that the problem isn’t slavery anymore. It is political correctness. It is political correctness which is poisoning our culture.

Note: I enjoy learning about history in large part simply to escape from the awfulness of the present. You should try to enjoy learning about history too without getting so offended about it. Seriously, I think many of you have been transformed into oversensitive crybabies. We can’t change history. We can only study and learn from it.

About Hunter Wallace 12382 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent


  1. Born and raised in the tidewater of VA (other side of the Bay, though) Just recently moved due to lack of jobs and skyrocketing vibrancy over here on the Eastern Shore. The govt murdered the crabbing business, which was the only major job field that doesn’t involve factory farming . The good news is there’s more Confederate Flags up here in what used to be Yankeeland than I ever remember seeing back home.

  2. People forget the Spanish were already in Florida before any of this. People also forget that the Spanish allowed safe haven for slaves in Florida as long as the converted to Christianity. Apparently this is where most of the mixed african indio blacks come from.

  3. Great post! I got a real sense of time and place in a short read about a place I knew very little about.

    Death to the cursed modern day Inquisition of Political Correctness and its hysterical Witch hunt !

  4. Coincidentally: received a postcard from Williamsburg today (Saturday, April 6). From a neighbor of a relative.

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