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Deep within the ancient lands of the Jamestown, Williamsburg, Yorktown triangle, rests a treasure of historic proportions.
Hidden somewhere near or by the ancient landmarks of our colonial forefathers, lies a trove of buried treasure. Golden treasure.
Resting within a bolted wooden chest are 400 solid gold coins with a value in the tens of thousands of dollars.
Whoever cracks the mystery of the Jamestown 400 becomes the sole owner of the treasure trove.
But to crack the code and find the 400 gold coins, you must take a journey through history that will reveal America’s greatest national treasure – the providential hand of God in the life of this nation.
So reads the introductory text to a mystery that was mailed to more than a half a million families and has captured the imagination of thousands of homeschoolers, college students and amateur sleuths, each of whom has tinkered at cracking the codes that would ultimately lead them to the buried treasure.
The mystery is called “The Jamestown 400: Our National Treasure Hunt,” and it is an antidote to the rantings of the political left that have attempted to turn America’s Jamestown Quadricentennial Celebration into an homage to revisionist history and national self-loathing.
Although the gold is very real, the hunt is not really about the gold at all.
The purpose of the hunt is to train Americans to unlock the golden treasure trove of historical evidences that point to the God-blessed and providential origins of this nation 400 years ago through our Jamestown forefathers.
One Alabama homeschool family said this of their son’s experience: “[Our son] is now absolutely hooked on American history. Mission accomplished.”
Beginning in the Vision Forum catalogue, sleuths tracked down clues that helped them work their way through a cyber maze of discovery, including numerous specialty websites that focus on different elements of a story that is filled with high adventure and Sherlock-Holmsian intrigue.
The hunt took sleuths to the fictitious website of Jack Bradford, a private eye intent on unlocking the true meaning of some important artifacts prepared for a future generation by Elias Boudinot, one of our great unsung Founding Fathers and a spymaster for George Washington during the War for American Independence.
To discern the true meaning of the artifacts, the hunt required sleuths to learn to crack more than a dozen different types of anagrams, ciphers and codes, to read Egyptian hieroglyphs – and even to speak a little Cherokee.
Rachel, a 16-year-old girl who will turn 17 the week of the Quadricintennial Celebration, observed:
I have learned so much through this Hunt – how to research well, learned about American History, countless technological bits and pieces. … I’ve learned about all sorts of cryptanalysis. I can translate hieroglyphs and Morse code. I even learned new words! But best of all, I learned about God’s Providence. … [This adventure] will not soon be forgotten.
In some ways, the Jamestown 400 is like a college course in historical apologetics and investigative reporting. Players got to go beyond the rhetoric that has too often politicized modern historical narrative. Instead, they learned history from the primary source writings of the men who actually participated in the events of the past.
They learned about John Smith’s faith from his own words, examined the Christian documents that gave legal sanction for the founding of America, and read sermons actually delivered by the political leaders who helped form the early years of our republic.
The documents help form the web of clues necessary to cracking the mystery. And the mystery required sleuths to develop a broad working knowledge of history extending beyond the story of Jamestown. Players traveled from the shores of the Lost Colony of Roanoke to the Egyptian Tomb of Seti I. They followed the trail of Gen. Edward Braddock in the French and Indian War, and they discovered the grave of Virginia Dare.
They not only learned about the great American Indian and European figures who helped to form the early days of American history, but they learned of the real villains that have corrupted our national legacy. Those individuals include Planned Parenthood visionary Margaret Sanger and white supremacist Ashby Plecker, both of whom helped to create a eugenic nightmare in the 1920s with their efforts to wipe out Indians, blacks and others deemed undesirable, through forced sterilization and reclassification. Their efforts would lead to the only real government-sponsored act of genocide in American history against the descendants of Chief Powhatan.
Now, after more than eight months of intensive research, historical readings and code-breaking, the cyber mystery reached its conclusion.
Earlier this week, the sleuths battled until the early hours of the morning for the top spots. One hundred people were preliminarily selected to travel to Jamestown for a physical search for the gold to take place during the week of the “Jamestown Quadricentennial: A Celebration of America’s Providential History.”
From those 100 people, one will go home with a treasure chest, and with a charge: “Use the gold as you see fit to advance the Kingdom of God, and never forget the mighty deeds of the Lord.”
Dana Patterson, mother of three, summarized her family’s experience with the Jamestown 400 Treasure Hunt this way:
Our family is looking forward to attending the Jamestown Quadricentennial Celebration … but whether [we win the gold or not], we have already found a treasure that is worth much more than a chest full of gold: increased knowledge of past and present events in our country, gratitude for our forefathers and Christian friendships that will last long after the celebration ends.
Although the hunt for the gold is closed, anyone can take advantage for free of this tremendous historical resource by playing the Jamestown 400: Our National Treasure Hunt. Obtain more information online.
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