Public invited to Commemorative 1666 Day at Patawomeck Museum  

by | Apr 19, 2024 | ALLFFP, Events, Fredericksburg, History

Celebrate the Patowomeck people and a new book by tribe member and author Lora Chilton at the Patawomeck Museum and Cultural Center  in Fredericksburg, April 20. Chilton’s book “1666: A Novel” imagines the legendary story behind the tribe’s survival based on written colonial records and tribal oral tradition, told from the fictionalized point of view of the two women who lived it.
In 1666, in their efforts to steal the land of the Patawomeck people in what is now Virginia, colonists massacred the men of the tribe and took the women and children as slaves, marching them to the coast to slave ships that would take most of them to their deaths in the brutal sugar fields of the Barbados.

Chilton’s book tour honors the women who suffered this horrible ordeal and pays tribute to the two women who escaped by following their imagined route from Fredericksburg through Richmond and Williamsburg to Hampton.

Ceremonies and festivities run 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. and include demonstrations of the Patawomeck traditions and culture, interviews with elders, speeches from those who are introducing the new bill recognizing the tribe, a book talk and signing with Chilton, access to the museum, and more. U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger, sponsor of H.R. 5553, The Patawomeck Indian Tribe of Virginia Federal Recognition Act, has been invited to participateThis event is free and open to all.

Chilton’s appearance at the Patawomeck Museum and Cultural Center kicks off The Historic 1666 Route of the Patawomeck Women Book Tour. At each event, she will share how she came to write this story, how she studied the Patawomeck language, interviewed the elders of her tribe who kept the story alive through oral tradition, as well as conducted her own research. Chilton tells a powerful story of discovering her own heritage and then uncovering this story that up until now has only been known within the tribe.

Learn more here.

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