West Wing Continuity Guide
path: Home / Queries * What Are Those Dates, Toby?

In #30 "Shibboleth" C.J. asks Toby and Sam:
"Have either of you heard of, I don't know, the something: Jamestown, Mayflower Daughters of the American Revolution Society?"
"The Jamestown, Mayflower Daughters?" Toby repeats increduously.
"I may have gotten the name wrong. They're inviting the White House to participate in some kind of , I don't know, Thanksgiving, Revolutionary War re-enactment."
"C.J., let's not torture American history completely to death."
"Who the hell. . . . "
"Jamestown was the 16th century. The Mayflower landed at Plymouth in the 17th century. The fathers of the daughters of the American Revolution fought in: the 18th century."
Well Michael Singer writes:
"In our world, Jamestown was in 1607 (the 17th century). according to Toby, Jamestown was in the 16th century would make it years before 1607. He might have been thinking of St. Augustine, Florida which was 1595 and was indeed 16th century."
We checked our Encyclopaedia Britannica for exact dates:
  • "Jamestown. . . was founded on May 14, 1607"
  • "Mayflower. . . carried the Pilgrims from England to Plymouth, Mass. where they established the first permanent New England colony in 1620."
  • "The War of Independence, also known as the American Revolution" is variously dated from around 1776 to the "preliminary Anglo-American peace treaty of 1782, which was included in the Treaty of Paris of 1783."
Comments: The trouble is when you are correcting someone or making fun of someone's lack of knowledge, you really do have to be right. That applies to Toby when he's talking to C.J. and to Aaron Sorkin when he is throwing information out to the audience of "The West Wing". In this website we try to stick to the world of "The West Wing", but we blame Sorkin for these kinds of mistakes more than Toby! Toby is speaking off the top of his head, but Sorkin could really have his facts checked before filming these episodes. People could believe what they hear on such an erudite show.

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