Graham Woodlief Interview – The 400th Anniversary of the First Thanksgiving


Next year marks the 400th Anniversary of the First Thanksgiving in the English speaking New World.

In this episode I had the special opportunity to discuss details surrounding Berkeley’s upcoming celebration of that 400th Anniversary with H. Graham Woodlief. If you have the chance to attend next year’s event, it promises to be spectacular, a celebration 400 years in the making!

Before you listen to this interview, let me express my gratitude to Berkeley Plantation for setting up space for Mr. Woodlief and I to record this interview. Specifically, Melissa Back, your hospitality is second to none!

Also thanks to Commemoration 2019 for once again coordinating the opportunity to interview Mr. Woodlief, who is a fountain of information concerning Berkeley’s history.

One final note, Berkeley Plantation is an active tourist destination. That being the case, please do mind the occasional background chatter as guests came to tour the mansion and grounds.



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Mr. H. Graham Woodlief, descendant of Captain John Woodlief, who led the original Berkeley Hundred expedition.


Dowdy, Clifford. The Great Plantation: A Profile of Berkeley Hundred and Plantation Virginia from Jamestown to Appomattox. Charles City, VA: Berkeley Plantation, 1957.

Gethyn-Jones, Eric. George Thorpe and the Berkeley Company: A Gloucestershire Enterprise in Virginia. Gloucester, England: Sutton, Publishing, 1982

Hatch, Charles. The First Seventeen Years: Virginia 1607-1624. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 1991.

Smyth of Nibley Papers. New York Public Library Digital Collections.

Tyler, Lyon Gardiner. The Cradle of the Republic: Jamestown and the James River. Richmond, VA: The Hermitage Press, 1906.

Woodlief, H. Graham. History of the First Thanksgiving found at Berkeley Plantation Website

Additional Links:

Berkeley Plantation

First Thanksgiving Festival

Commemoration 2019

WCVE: First Official Thanksgiving

Special Episode – The First Thanksgiving, Virginia 1619.






All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted. The Featured Image is of Berkeley Plantation’s Carriage Entrance.

Music used for this episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on iTunes, and selection from “Symphony 9: From the New World – 2nd Movement, Largo” by Antonin Dvorak, also available on iTunes.

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