Dear Friends – Members and Supporters of the Polish American Community: As Polish-Americans during 2007, we celebrate the 400th anniversary of the establishment of the first permanent colony in America and the beginning of a Nation. (Please See http://www.jamestown2007.org )
In 2008 we will commemorate the arrival of the first Poles, who came here, not as adventurers or mercenaries but desperately needed by the Colony as craftsmen and experienced soldiers, recruited in Europe by the Virginia Company, at the insistence of Captain John Smith.
We still do not have accurate historical data as to how many Poles were originally in Jamestown. As President Charles Rozmarek said in 1958, in the Preface to the PAC book titled “Jamestown Pioneers from Poland”: “scattered records, documents and accounts written by original Jamestowners indicate that the number of pioneers from Poland was of an extent to merit mention and their achievements and contributions to the welfare and growth of the Colony of a character to command deserved respect”.
It is accurate to say that the officials at the Jamestown and Yorktown Foundation still fail to fully admit and agree as to the role played by those first Pioneers. I am concerned, that even after all of the work involved in assembling data and materials for the 400th anniversary, the true picture will not evolve unless we the members of the American Polonia correct the record. I call here on our professionals, historians and researchers to increase their effort during the year 2007.
I am also inviting the leaders of our Polonia organizations to, throughout 2007, feature the accomplishments of those first Poles at every meeting and event. To inform and teach others why we commemorate the establishment of a Nation and the contribution of those first Polish pioneers and the beginning of an American Polonia. Our writers and media people could help by producing appropriate material. I ask for closer cooperation between all Polonia organizations.
I have designated our Washington DC office as recipient of all correspondence dealing with the Jamestown project. Contact information is: Polish American Congress, Inc., 1612 K. St., N.W., Suite 410, Washington, DC 20006-2802. Tel: 202-296-6955, Fax: 202-835-1565, E-mail: email@example.com and Web site: http://www.polamcon.org
Our Jamestown 2008 festivities will be arraigned by the PAC Vice President for Cultural Affairs. (Please also see http://www.polishcultureacpc.org )
Frank J. Spula
January 26, 2007