The Jamestown Settlement

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The Jamestown Settlement

A group of Europeans, headed by Bartholomew Gosnold, began planning a possible business venture that would send a group of colonists to what was already known as Virginia. Gosnold was apparently the driving force behind getting this operation in place. Gosnold was referred to as "the first mover of this plantation" by Captain John Smith."(Ward) Merchants from London, Bristol and Plymouth sponsored the voyage and persuaded King James to grant a charter and letters of patent to create the Virginia Company. A strange twist to the story was that the man who worked so hard to get this Company started, Gosnold, was unable to become a member but he did manage to become appointed to the resident council. Their job was to work with Virginia associates and be involved in local affairs for the new colony.

The Susan Constant, Discovery, and Godspeed were the three ships that set sail for Virginia, from England in February of 1606. The commander of the three ships was Christopher Newport and not John Smith. "In the early evening of May 13, the expedition reached a narrow pear-shaped peninsula about sixty miles up the river, here on the 1500-acre peninsula, it was decided to erect a fortified town to be called Jamestown."(Ward) They decided to give it the name Jamestown in honor of their king. As soon as they landed they began to build a fort in the form of a triangle. They constructed the fort in this manner for purposes of safety against the natives. A triangular fort gave them one less side that they could get attacked from.

The land that they decided to build Jamestown on came with many problems. "They could hardly have made a worse selection. The situation was extremely unhealthful, being low and expos...

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...uperior weapons.

In 1644, Opechancanough organized another mass attack, which would be his last attempt to drive the English away. 500 settlers were killed but the English, in effect won the war. Opechancanough was captured and killed. The Powhatan villages were literally whipped out. "By 1700, the Powhatan tribesman numbered only 1200 when in 1607 their population was estimated at 9000"(Ward)

Works Cited:

Pryor, Roger. (1907). The Birth of the Nation. New York, New York. The MacMillan Company.

Ward, Harry. (1991). Colonial America, 1607-1763. Englewood, New Jersey. Prentice Hall, Inc.

Bridenbaugh, Carl. (1980). Jamestown 1544-1699. Oxford. Oxford University Press.

Wertenbaker, Thomas. (1929). The First Americans. New York, New York. The MacMillan Company.

Eggleston, Edward. (1930). Pocahontas. New York, New York. Dodd, Mead and Company.
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