Jamestown was the first permanent English Colony in America. Also known as James Forte, James Town,and James Cittie, the colony was founded on a peninsula of the James River on May 14, 1607. England gave permission to about 100 men, commanded by Captain Christopher Newport, to settle, explore, and govern limited parts of the New World. The settlers traveled in three ships, the Susan Constant, the Discovery, and the Godspeed. The main goals of the colonists were to settle Virginia, send gold back to England, and to find a new route to Asia. The settlers had been instructed to choose where they would settle with care, but they decided not to listen and choose randomly. The settlement was not safe and many colonists died upon arrival at Jamestown. The settlers feared the Native Americans and often had verbal arguments with them, leading to attacks. Within the first year, over half of the original settlers had died from either sicknesses or Indian attacks.
indians vs jamestown
The colonists had a rocky relationship with the Indians. They were apart of the Powhattan tribe, following Chief Powhattan as their leader. The two never had a smooth relationship until John Smith took power over the colony. One of the reasons they were never friends is one night the colonists captured the Chief and converted him into Christianity against his will. They began to trade with one another which also helped keep minimal peace between the groups. They often traded animals they had killed, handmade beads, tools, animals skins and furs, crops, and weaponry. The chief's favorite daughter, Pocahontas, and John Smith often communicated on how they could prevent more conflict in the future. Their relationship got much better with time and when chief pwhattan noticed the colonists struggling he sent them gifts of food to help. the Indians and colonists achieved total peace when the chief's favorite daughter, pocahontas, married john rolfe, a englishman helping jamestown grow tobacco. if the Native americans didn't help jamestown the settlement would have failed or the english would have starved.
in 1612, john rolfe began to grow tobacco, giving jamestown a chance at survival. john rolfe is actually credited with planting and selling the first tobacco crop in america. tobacco was their main cash crop and many believe that it was the key for jamestown to become a flourishing colony. tobacco was the colony's main source of income. later in life, john rolfe married a local indian, pocahontas.
eight months after arrival, a ship came bringing more people and they only found thirty-eight of the original 105 settlers alive. the ship also brought supplies and a new governor for the colony. upon the governors arrival he noticed some of the colonists trying to abandon the settlement but, it was short-lived as the new governor found them and ordered them back to jamestown. the ship also brought the first women of jamestown and they were sent to start families and make the colony more prominent.
everyday life in jamestown was very simple. although historians know little about how women and children spent their everyday lives, we can only assume they took care of their families. the men were hunting for food and watching over the fort while the women were most likely growing crops. the young, english boys were almost forced to learn a skill or trade by apprenticeship.
if you lived in colonial jamestown you had a good chance of getting sick. more than half of the colony perished from famine or disease. during the time of extreme food shortage know as the "starving time" records indicate sixty of the 500 or so colonists survived. the colonists also contracted diseases from the water of james river they ha been drinking.
the jamestown rediscovery project
the jamestown rediscovery project is using forensics to find clues and ancient artifacts. archaeologist dr. william kelso is the one who rediscovered the fort using the colonists handwriting to locate it. archaeologists have found over 1 million artifacts. in the fort they have found many indian artifacts proving the theory that they worked in the compound.
christopher newport was the main person incharge of the colony.
in 1624 jamestown became a royal colony.
jamestown house of burgesses was established in 1619 and ruled the colony.
jamestown was established thirteen years before the pilgrims came to plymouth rock.
in 1619 they had african american slaves come to be sold to the wealthier residents of jamestown.
the original fort was destroyed by a fire within the first year.
many people also came to jamestown for freedom of religion.
the fort was created to protect them from the spanish who did not want them to be successful in the new world.
jamestown had a second fire that was intentionally started by a prisoner awaiting execution.
the colonists were afraid to leave the fort so they would eat leather, various animals, or even deceased people.
the fort was built in nineteen days.
when williamsburg became the capital the settlement started to decline.
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