Author: William Throckmorton


“Ordinances Directions and Instructions to Captaine John Woodleefe” by Sir William Throckmorton, et al. (September 4, 1619)

In this letter, dated September 4, 1619, Sir William Throckmorton, Richard Bearkley, George Thorpe, and John Smyth give orders to Captain John Woodlief for the government of the newly established Berkeley Hundred plantation in Virginia, including instructions for the observance of religious ceremonies, the location of resources, the protection of colonists, and the management of household affairs. These instructions include reference to the celebration of what some twentieth-century Virginians claimed was the first Thanksgiving. Each numbered item on the list begins with “Impr,” or “I,” which likely is an abbreviation for “imprimatur,” or Latin for “let it be printed.”