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Pamiętnik handlowca ("A Mercantilist's memoir" or "Memoirs of a Merchant") is the name of a purported diary written by Polish merchant Zbigniew Stefanski in 1625. No copy of the original text is known to exist. 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.
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. 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. 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.
According to several sources, two of the craftsmen helped save the life of Captain John Smith "during a surprise attack from the local Indians" (also noted in "Smith's own journals"). Later, on June 30, 1619, the craftsmen conducted the first labor strike (first "in American history") for democratic rights ("No Vote, No Work") in Jamestown. When the British Crown overturned the legislation by the Virginia House of Burgesses and granted the workers equal voting rights on July 21, 1619, the labor strike was ended and work was resumed.
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