Unveiling of Monument for the Arrival Daniel DuVal's 300th Anniversary
Took Place at the 2001 Richmond, Virginia Reunion
Monument Chairman Joseph Hays' Comments
Ladies and Gentlemen:
It is indeed an honor to see this many faces gathered here today.
Today, we mark an anniversary that will not be seen again for another ten generations.
Hopefully, it will not be another 300 years before our descendants gather here again
as we have. I do not believe that Daniel, whom we honor here today, would have ever
envisioned such a gathering of his descendants, a gathering I feel he deserves and
would be proud of.
Some of you have traveled from very far away to witness
this event. It is not easy to make such a journey, but consider Daniel's journey,
the deprivation he must have endured and the sacrifices he must have made in order
to reach this new country.
As chairman of the Monument Committee, I was given the charge of overseeing the erection
and inscription of a memorial befitting our ancestor. The committee has tried not to
stray from we know to be factual and substantiated by the records that have been uncovered
We chose the Huguenot Cross; as we know Daniel was proud of his French ancestry and his
religious convictions. (Recently, I found a letter a grandson of Daniel's wrote to Thomas
Jefferson petitioning the government to implement a proposal he had drawn up to encourage
emigration, settlement and employment of his kinsmen in France so they could enjoy the
religious freedom Grandfather Daniel had provided for his progeny.)
Daniel prepared in the winter of 1700 in a section of London,
England near the well known shipping port of Blackwell to take passage aboard a ship
known as "Nassau of Poole." After many delays and under the command of Captain Tragian
they set sail and in March of 1701 Daniel had arrived upon the York River just to our South.
It was not until the year 1704 when we find Daniel established
here in Ware Parish of Gloucester County in the Colony of Virginia. He was an architect
and builder and I am certain as you today wander the streets of Gloucester Court House
and travel the County of Gloucester the results of his diligence and workmanship in
an effort to build for himself, others, and the future generations a new life in a
new world where he could enjoy religious freedom as we do today 300 years later.
This is what we chose to state to honor Daniel DuVal. It is through his hard work
and foresight we are gathered here today.
This is what we chose to state to honor Daniel DuVal. It is through his hard work and
foresight we are gather here today.
In 300 years maybe our descendants will not only gather to commemorate Daniel's coming to this
country but also they will commemorate our honoring him here today with this monument.