On 4 Dec. 1619, Capt. John Woodlief, a member of the Virginia Company, arrived aboard the ship Margaret with 35 men to take charge of Berkeley Hundred. An experienced former Jamestown settler, he became Berkeley's first governor. He bore instructions that the day of his ship’s arrival “be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to almighty God.” Beginning in 1958, the Virginia First Thanksgiving Festival commemorated this directive as the first English Thanksgiving in North America with an annual reenactment at Berkeley Plantation.
Date Approved by DHR: December 13, 2012
Date Installed-Dedicated: November 1, 2013
Year On Marker: 2012
Original Sponsor: H. Graham Woodlief, Virginia Thanksgiving Festival
Geographic Location: Charles City County
Physical Description of Location: 4800 John Tyler Memorial Highway, Charles City, VA 23030. Marker is on right when traveling east on Route 5 prior to entrance to Berkley and Westover.
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