Why is Jamestown Significant?
In April 1606 King James I of England granted the Virginia Company a charter to establish colonies in Virginia. The Virginia Company of London established the colony at Jamestown.
When did the voyage to Jamestown begin?
Three ships left London on December 20, 1606.
The ships used an established southerly route in order to catch favorable trade winds and ocean currents.
They then turned west to the Caribbean, making several stops. Finally, the ships sailed north, parallel to the coast of North America, ending in Virginia. The entire trip was more than 6,000 miles.
The Virginia Company was in search of economic opportunity.
They expected to profit from mineral wealth such as gold and iron ore, timber and wood products and other natural resources. They also hoped to find a Northwest Passage or sailing route to Asia, and to convert the native inhabitants to Catholicism.
Why did the colonists choose the site they did for the Jamestown colony?
The charter of 1606 gave the Company rights to the area of the North American Atlantic coast between 34 and 41 degrees latitude; fifty miles inland and all islands up to one hundred miles out to sea. The 1609 charter extended Virginia’s boundaries to 200 miles north and south of Jamestown and from sea to sea.
When did the first English women arrive at Jamestown?
The first two women arrived in October 1608. They were Mistress Forrest and her maid, Ann Burras. Most women who followed came to be with their husbands, or to serve as personal servants to other women. In 1620, approximately 90 women arrived to supplement those already in the colony and to serve as wives for the planters. About 50 more would arrive in 1621.