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.


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


  1. Dowdy, Clifford. The Great Plantation: A Profile of Berkeley Hundred and Plantation Virginia from Jamestown to Appomattox. Charles City, VA: Berkeley Plantation, 1957.
  2. Gethyn-Jones, Eric. George Thorpe and the Berkeley Company: A Gloucestershire Enterprise in Virginia. Gloucester, England: Sutton, Publishing, 1982
  3. Hatch, Charles. The First Seventeen Years: Virginia 1607-1624. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 1991.
  4. Smyth of Nibley Papers. New York Public Library Digital Collections.
  5. Tyler, Lyon Gardiner. The Cradle of the Republic: Jamestown and the James River. Richmond, VA: The Hermitage Press, 1906.
  6. Woodlief, H. Graham. History of the First Thanksgiving found at Berkeley Plantation Website


  1. Berkeley Plantation
  2. First Thanksgiving Festival
  3. Commemoration 2019
  4. WCVE: First Official Thanksgiving
  5. 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.

Special Halloween Episode – Grace Sherwood: The Witch of Pungo

Virginia never succumbed to the hysteria that plagued Salem, Massachusetts, but she does have an infamous witch trial in her history.

Grace Sherwood’s story is one of a kind. She was the only woman to be tried and convicted for being a witch in Virginia.

In this special episode, I am joined by the historical re-enactors that form the group Shades of Our Past, who travel Virginia re-enacting various historical events and personages. We discussed the events surrounding Grace Sherwood and her life.

It’s a story that we only know in part, but what we do know has influenced the local landscape to this day. Take a moment, and learn about this fascinating woman who endured so much during her lifetime.



  1. Dalton, Michael. The Country Justice: Containing the Practice, Duty and Power of the Justices of the Peace, As Well in As Out of Their Sessions. 1618.
  2. Hudson, Carson O. These Detestable Slaves of the Devill: A Concise Guide to Witchcraft in Virgnia. Infinity Publishing, 2013.
  3. Ferry Plantation House
  4. Virginia Beach History Museums
  5. Shades of Our Past Facebook Page


Grace Sherwood Statue, Virginia Beach




All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author. The Featured Image is the Grace Sherwood Statue in Virginia Beach.

Music used for this episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on iTunes, and Kevin MacLeod “Vanished” found on Soundcloud.