Henricus to host ‘Colonial Trade and Tobacco’ event

Henricus Historical Park will continue its 400th commemoration with the fifth major event in a series called “The Year of Henricus” with “Colonial Trade & Tobacco – America’s First Successful Commercial Export” on July 23 and 24. Colonial trades such as tobacco, metal, woodworking, silk, grapes, fur and sassafras will be explored through family-friendly historical interpretations and educational activities. Visitors will learn about John Rolfe, who introduced Spanish tobacco at Henricus, and the cultural and economic factors which impacted colonial trade and resulted in tobacco becoming America’s first cash crop.
 
Virginia Indian activities will feature Powhatan trading procedures and the commodities they valued from colonists. English venues will explore attempts to make a profit from new commodities when gold and other precious metals were not found in Virginia. Interpreters will demonstrate how the successful cultivation of tobacco finally made the colony thrive economically.
 
Park educators will provide programming for children both days of the event. Trading with Virginia Indians provided colonists with goods such as furs, wood and sassafras to send back to England. Other colonial commercial experiments included grape and silk farming which will be demonstrated through hands-on activities. Children of all ages will be able to make-and-take crafts related to early English trade. 
 
 “We invite you to attend this event and learn how the Virginia colony became profitable at the Citie of Henricus,” said Charles Lewis Grant, acting executive director of Henricus Historical Park. “A successful commercial export contributed to the permanent colonization of America and the eventual establishment of the United States of America.”
 
“The Year of Henricus” began with Publick Days 2010 and will continue to lead up to the site’s 400th anniversary which will be commemorated in September 2011. Events will culminate with the arrival of 17th-century ship replica, Godspeed from Jamestown Settlement, at Publick Days this September. For more information about all events during “The Year of Henricus”, visit http://www.henricus.org or call (804) 748-1613.

Admission for Colonial Trade & Tobacco, which takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, is free for gift club patrons, $8 for adults and $6 for children ages 3-12. Henricus Historical Park is located on 32 acres along the James River and is surrounded by the 810-acre Dutch Gap Conservation Area. The park is located at 251 Henricus Park Road, Chester, Va. 23836.   
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