“Today, Virginia Dare seems to be vanishing from American education too. But she was a fixture for earlier generations. Even Franklin D. Roosevelt felt free to give a speech commemorating the 350th anniversary of her birth. At one point, I planned to pay homage by bestowing her name on the heroine of a projected fictional concluding chapter in Alien Nation, about the flight of the last white family in Los Angeles. It seemed . . . symmetrical.
“I was dissuaded.”
We’ve been meaning to do more on the subject of Virginia Dare, since it seems to annoy and confuse our critics. In 2002, Tamar Jacoby wrote an attack on immigration reformers in Commentary. Here’s what she said about Virginia Dare, and our reply at the time:
[Jacoby:] Virginia Dare is thought to have eventually married into a local Indian tribe, or to have been killed by it—almost equally unfortunate possibilities in the minds of VDARE’s writers, who make no secret of their concern about the way America’s original Anglo-Saxon stock is being transformed by immigration.
[Us:] If VDARE.com did champion what David Hackett Fisher
I probably should have said more about this when we answered Jacoby’s Commentary’s attack on VDARE.COM. When she says “almost equally unfortunate possibilities in the minds of VDARE’s writers,” she’s probably confusing VDARE.COM’s editorial collective with the John Wayne character, Ethan Edwards, in The Searchers, who really hates Indians, and thinks that his niece, after years of living with the Comanche, may be better off dead.
In fact some of my best friends are Indians. And no one in my family has been kidnapped or pointlessly slaughtered by Indians since 1885, so I’ve gotten over it.
But really, though all we have is legends, we’re talking about a girl who hasn’t been seen alive since she was three. Why wouldn’t we be horrified at the idea of a girl being kidnapped at the age of three from a civilized family and raised by an Indian tribe? Why wasn’t Tamar Jacoby horrified by that?
Virginia Dare was also mentioned in a Deutschebank Economic report that we discussed here, [PDF] but the author, Mieczyslaw Karczmar [Pronounced roughly Mee-etch-i-slav Kartch-mar], made so many of the same mistakes that Tamar Jacoby did, that I assume he was just, er, scalping her story.
“VDare is named after Virginia Dare, the first English child
Once again, we don’t know; the whole colony just vanished as if it had never been.
In 2003, Garrison Keillor mentioned Virginia Dare on NPR. [Garrison Keillor Says Happy Birthday, V. Dare!]
Keillor insisted on calling the Indians “Native Americans,” which many people, including some Indians, find annoying. That means that he misses the main point about Virginia Dare: that she was the first Native American—as the term American was understood until recently.
Indians were not the founders of the American nation. They did their warrior-like best to prevent it from being founded.
Today, it seems that there are people who want that American
nation to end. That is, they want Americans, both colonial stock and the immigrants
who subsequently assimilated with them, to be a minority in
That end doesn’t have to happen. Americans can get control of their destiny if they’ll fight back. All that’s need is the right spirit.
Ethan Edwards, in The Searchers, was a driven man, and it almost destroyed him. But whenever anyone suggested that he might surrender, or give up the search, he just kept saying “That’ll be the day!”
So if you see a protester carrying a sign saying “We are indigenous! The only owners of this continent!” remember that you’re indigenous, too—and say, in your best John Wayne voice: “That’ll be the day!”