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TENACITY: Women in Jamestown and Early Virginia

AE Curator Feb 15
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In the early years of Jamestown and Virginia, several women emerged as powerful forces, taking charge and imparting change in their respective communities.

Women like Cockacoeske, Anne Burras Laydon and Mistress Alice Proctor challenged the status quo. In the New World, they weren’t willing to settle for old roles.

Over the last 400 years, we’ve seen that same tenacity from women all over the Commonwealth.
Women like Elizabeth Key Grinstead and Maggie L. Walker.
Women who risked everything, refused to take no for an answer, and helped Virginia to grow.

And now, we’d like to hear from and about more contemporary heroines of Virginia like Jessi who traveled to Italy to walk in her ancestors’ footsteps or Heidi who co-founded an innovative platform designed to democratize the lobbying process.

We want to hear from our most reliable source. You. Here’s your chance to talk about yourself or the women in your life who inspire you with their tenacity. Share your story here.

Get inspired at the “TENACITY: Women in Jamestown and Early Virginia” exhibit, located at the original Jamestown Settlement. Here, you’ll see captivating and untold stories of the women of Jamestown and the Virginia colony–where they fought, where they won, and where they changed Virginia forever.

Suggested prompts

Tell us about an experience where you or a woman you know challenged the status quo.

Tell us about a woman in your family who played a role in a Virginia or national historical event.

Helpful Tips

Video/Audio story

Use your smartphone to film or record a 2-3 minute video or audio recording answering one of the prompts listed above. Think of your story — outline the key points on paper, and rehearse telling it a couple of times before recording. Make sure you have good lighting and hold the phone about one foot away so your head and shoulders fill the frame.

Text story

Take 30-60 minutes to draft a 200-500 word text story answering one of the prompts listed above. Your story should take a narrative approach detailing your experiences and the emotions you felt along the way.


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