Irony challenged, as ever, today Trump gave a speech celebrating the first meeting of an elected legislature in the Jamestown colony.
One of my ancestors was among that 144 illegal immigrants who arrived in Jamestown on May 13, 1607. A few years later, there came a time when the American Dream just wasn’t workin’ out for him. So he joined a party of raiders, aiming to beg, borrow, or steal—with a strong preference for stealing—food from the Native Americans.
The latter were not best pleased. Illegal immigrants, they might reluctantly tolerate. Illegal immigrants committing crimes, not so much. Illegal immigrants committing crimes against their property? That crossed a line.
They left one of my ancestor’s party alive, to carry this account back to Jamestown:
[The chief] caused [my ancestor] to be bound unto a tree naked with a fire before, and by women his flesh was scraped from his bones with mussel shells, and, before his face, thrown into the fire, and so for want of circumspection [he] miserably perished.
According to an oral tradition, the Natives also said the following, in words or substance, to the witness as he was just leaving the village: “Ttell your confederates that illegal aliens who commit crimes must suffer condign punishment. So the adult criminals had better watch out. But we don’t put kids in cages. What do you think we are? Savages?”
200 Years Later: Migrant Caravans of Illegals Without Visas
During the first decade of the nineteenth century, a migrant caravan of illegal immigrants traveled along the Old Federal Road from South Carolina into the Creek Nation. At that time legal entry into the Creek Nation required a visa. These folks didn’t have no stinkin’ visas. They were, you might say, sin paperless.
Finding a spot they liked, the caravan of immigrants sin papeles settled down and started to build farms. Two of the young people found a preacher and decided to tie the knot in 1809. That is how I come to be sitting at this computer today, blogging away.
All of this illegal immigration was just too much for the Natives. They became decidedly restless. The illegal immigrants assembled in stockades, which they called “forts.” There were quite a number of them. Fortunately, my ancestors did not pick Fort Mims.