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by TatianaSp5
Last updated 6 years ago

Social Studies
American History

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In December of 1606, three small ships named Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery set sail from England on a course to the New World. After five months at sea, on May 14, 1607 the English men had officially landed on a peninsula in Virginia. In honor of King James 1 the settlers named their new home Jamestown. The Virginia Company who funded the trip named seven men that would lead the colony. One of the leaders was Captain John Smith who was an experienced soldier and knew how to live in the wilderness. He also knew how to negotiate with the Powhatan Indians. Under his leadership, they learned new skills like farming and trading with the Powhatan Indians. Pocahontas the Powhatan Chief's daughter was a dear friend to John Smith. Smith wrote,'' Pocahontas was the instrument to preserve this colony from death, famine, and utter confusion.'' In 1609 a bag of gunpowder exploded and John Smith was badly injured. Soon after, Smith sailed to England and never returned to Jamestown. Now without a leader, there were more fights with the Powhatan Indians. In the winter of 1609, the colonists faced even more hardship. During this time, they quickly realized that they didn’t store enough food. From 1609 to 1610 this was called the “starving time.” When they ran out of food, they were forced to eat their pets, horses, rats, and snakes, and sadly even dead human bodies. Most of the colonist died because of hunger or sicknesses. In spring of 1610, Sir Thomas Gates had arrived in Jamestown along with John Rolfe. At the beginning of summer, about 60 out of 400 settlers survived. The remaining settlers made a decision to abandon their colony and requested Sir Thomas Gates to sail them back to England. Since Sir Thomas Gates was unable to change their mind about staying in Jamestown, he gave in. When they were on their way down the James River, they met the new governor, Lord Delaware. He had arrived with ships full of supplies and 150 new settlers. The new governor convinced them to turn around and return to Jamestown. The governor set strict rules for the settlers. One of them was if you stole food or swore, the punishment could be death. Delaware put the colonists to work. They built/repaired the church and fort. He sent the rest of the men to go build new settlements along the James River. Originally the settlers had come to the New World in search of gold but all they found was pyrite, fool's gold. Later, Jamestown found another type of gold: tobacco. A good idea was to sell the tobacco that grew wild in Jamestown to England. The climate and the soil were perfect for planting. The settlers worked super hard to harvest the wild tobacco. However, the English did not like it because it was too rough and bitter. Two years later John Rolfe obtained some tobacco seeds from the Caribbean Islands. Rolfe started to experiment different ways to grow and harvest the tobacco and it produced a sweet mild tobacco taste. This taste became very popular in England and sold so well that the settlers used this as their source of income to become self-reliant. With the growing demand, there weren't enough people to work in the tobacco fields. This is when the people of Jamestown had introduced slavery. Tobacco became Jamestown's GOLD. There were still some conflict between Jamestown and the Indians. John Rolfe and Pocahontas fell in love and got married. As a result, this sealed a peace agreement between Jamestown and the Powhatan tribe. This is known as the ''Peace of Pocahontas'' which lasted for eight years. Before Pocahontas was married she was baptized and converted to Christianity. Having overcome many types of hardships, Jamestown became the first successful and PERMANENT Colony.

FUN FACTJamestown was 400 years old in 2007

''Those who don't work shall not eat''-John Smith

Citations/Sources:1. Wikipedia2. Google/google images3. Youtube4. Book: Jamestown, Virgina Subtitle: Turning Points in U.S. History; Author: Dennis Brindell Fradin5. Book: The Jamestown ColonySubtitle: Cornerstones of Freedom; Author: Gail Sakurai

Jamestown the First Successful and Permanent Colony

Tobacco: Jamestown's Gold


1607 Jamestown Colony: first permanent English settlement1609-1610 "Starving Time''1613 First tabacco shipped from Jamestown to England1619 House of Burgesses: first legistlature of California,meets inJamestown1776 Thirteen Colonies declare their independence from Great Britain.


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