Pamiętnik handlowca

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Pamiętnik handlowca ("A Mercantilist's memoir" or "Memoirs of a Merchant") is the name of a purported diary[1][2] written by Polish merchant Zbigniew Stefanski in 1625. No copy of the original text is known to exist.[1] The diary was to have been written in "old polish" and contain a first-hand account of the Jamestown Colony in Virginia. It was claimed to be the only extant primary source from the Jamestown Colony from the perspective of the Polish artisans brought in by Captain John Smith in 1608.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10]

The memoir is said to have surfaced in Chicago, Illinois in 1947 when a person offered to sell it to Mieczyslaw Haiman, then director of the Polish Museum of America.[1][11] The memoir is to have revealed much about the Jamestown colony, and to have presented details about how Polish settlers taught the pioneers how to dig wells for drinking water, fought a strike for their right to vote, and introduced the settlers to baseball.[1] The book also was to have confirmed the names of the six Polish settlers in Jamestown, which had previously been known only from secondary sources, often written over 100 years later. The purported existence of the diary may have helped change the perception of Jamestown history; it is known from primary English sources that the Poles were hired as skilled artisans, but in Stefanski's memoir, the six men were to have been presented as merchants (or at least trading officials) in Poland.[12]

According to several sources, two of the craftsmen helped save the life of Captain John Smith[2] "during a surprise attack from the local Indians"[6][7][13] (also noted in "Smith's own journals").[1][14] Later, on June 30, 1619, the craftsmen conducted the first labor strike[1] (first "in American history"[7]) for democratic rights ("No Vote, No Work")[7][14] in Jamestown.[14][15] When the British Crown overturned the legislation by the Virginia House of Burgesses and granted the workers equal voting rights on July 21, 1619,[11] the labor strike was ended and work was resumed.[1][15][16][17][18]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Pula, James S. (2008). "Fact vs. Fiction: What Do We Really Know About The Polish Presence In Early Jamestown?". The Polish Review. 53 (4): 477–493. JSTOR 25779776. 
  2. ^ a b Barbour, Philip L. (January 1964). "The Identity of the First Poles in America". The William and Mary Quarterly. 21 (1): 77–92. JSTOR 1923357. 
  3. ^ Congressional Record (July 5, 1956). "Congressional Record - 1956". Congressional Record. pp. 11905–11906. Retrieved October 1, 2014. 
  4. ^ Congressional Record (1975). "Congressional Record 1975". Congressional Record. Retrieved October 1, 2014. 
  5. ^ Congressional Record (1976). "Congressional Record 1976". Congressional Record. Retrieved October 1, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Staff (September 28, 1958). "Jamestown Pioneers From Poland". Polish American Congress. Retrieved November 30, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c d Holshouser, Joshua D.; Brylinsk-Padnbey, Lucyna; Kielbasa, Katarzyna (July 2007). "Jamestown: The Birth of American Polonia 1608–2008 (The Role and Accomplishments of Polish Pioneers in the Jamestown Colony)". Polish American Congress. Retrieved October 3, 2014. 
  8. ^ Henderson, George; Olasij, Thompson Dele (January 10, 1995). Migrants, Immigrants, and Slaves: Racial and Ethnic Groups in America. University Press of America. p. 116. ISBN 978-0819197382. 
  9. ^ Robertson, Patrick (November 8, 2011). Robertson's Book of Firsts: Who Did What for the First Time. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 978-1596915794. 
  10. ^ Uminski, Sigmund H. (1974). The Polish pioneers in Virginia. Polish Publication Society of America. p. 8. ASIN B0006CA8QI. 
  11. ^ a b Obst, Peter J. (July 20, 2012). "Dedication of Historical Marker to Honor Jamestown Poles of 1608 - The First Poles in Jamestown". Retrieved October 7, 2014. 
  12. ^ Waldo. True Heroes of Jamestown. p. 210.
  13. ^ Ogredowski, Melvin R. (1975). The First hundred years, 1875-1975. Toldeo, Ohio: St. Hedwig Parish. p. 60. ASIN B007RQ3E76. 
  14. ^ a b c Odrowaz-Sypniewska, Margaret (Jun 29, 2007). "Poles and Powhatans in Jamestown, Virginia (1606-1617)". Bibliography Sources. Retrieved October 3, 2014.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  15. ^ a b Badaczewski, Dennis (February 28, 2002). Poles in Michigan. Michigan State University Press. ISBN 978-0870136184. 
  16. ^ Smith, John (1624). "VII". The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles-The generall historie of Virginia, New England & the Summer Isles, together with The true travels, adventures and observations. 1. American Memory. pp. 150–184. Retrieved October 3, 2014. 
  17. ^ Staff. "Spuscizna - History of Poles in the USA". The Spuscizna Group. Retrieved October 3, 2014. 
  18. ^ Seroczynski, Felix Thomas (1911). Poles in the United States. XII. Catholic Encyclopedia. Retrieved October 3, 2014. 

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