Jamestown

This essay has a total of 602 words and 3 pages.

Jamestown



In June of 1606, King James I granted a charter to a group of London entrepreneurs, the
Virginia Company, to establish a English settlement in the Chesapeake region of North
America. By December, 104 male settlers sailed from London instructed to settle Virginia,
and find gold and a water route to the Orient. According to a list published by Captain
John Smith, "Gentlemen" made up about half of the group, whose gentle birth suggests they
knew nothing of or thought it their personal duty to tame a wilderness. The rest were
artisans, artisans, and laborers.

On May 13, 1607, the Virginia Company explorers chose to settle on Jamestown Island, along
the James River 60 miles from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. By one account, they landed
there because the deep water channel let their ships ride close to shore; close enough, to
tie them to the trees. Almost immediately the colonists were under attack from the
Algonquian natives. In a little over a months' time, the newcomers managed to build a
wooden fort. Three contemporary accounts and a sketch of the fort agree that its wooden
palisade walls formed a triangle around a storehouse, church, and a number of houses.
While disease, famine and continuing attacks of neighboring Algonquians took a tremendous
toll on the population, the eventual structured leadership of Captain John Smith kept the
colony from dissolving. The "starving time" winter followed Smith's departure in 1609
during which only 60 of the original 500 settlers survived. That June, the survivors
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