On this day in 1609, the English minister William Symonds published Virginia: a sermon preached at Whitechapel in the presence of … Adventurers and Planters for Virginia. In it, he compares God’s call to Abraham in Genesis 12 to England’s call to settle Virginia. As in, The Lord called Abraham to goe into another Countrey.
Symonds’s preaching came in the context of what today we might call a major rebranding effort on behalf of the settlement at Jamestown. Things weren’t going too well there, so the company, with permission from the king, had done a financial overhaul and now were baiting investors under the cover of God’s will. Not a bad plan, actually.
Above is a page from R. Crumb‘s excellent The Book of Genesis Illustrated (2009). For a more jaundiced take on the origins of Virginia, see Larry Gonick‘s The Cartoon History of the Modern World, Part I (2007), after the jump.
A version of this post was originally published on April 25, 2012.