The Founding of Jamestown

By Jeff

Jamestown was founded in 1607. King James of England wanted a colony so he gave a charter for land in 1606. Captain Christopher Newport took leadership of 100 men on May 14, 1607. In seven months, half of the colony was wiped out with disease and infection. The winter of 1609 - 10 was known as the "starving time." The colonists were running out of food and water because they never planted corn and vegetable crops, they also had no livestock. The colony had grown to 700 people, but by the fall there were only 400 survivors. The people starved to death because they had very little food.

In 1609, Governor Lord De La Ware came to Jamestown with food, medical supplies, and more men to prevent the settlers from leaving Jamestown. The founding of Jamestown was important because it was the first permanent English colony. After the settlers were settled, they discovered that the land was perfect for cultivating tobacco crops. In 1611, John Rolfe started planting tobacco seeds. He mixed different tobacco seeds from the tobacco the Indians of Jamestown used, which had a bitter taste, with the tobacco seeds from the West Indies, which had a sweet taste. He sent the mixture of seeds back to England and Europe. Everyone loved it. Jamestown then had a product that it could grow and sell.

The first government in Jamestown was called the House of Burgesses. It was formed in 1619. The House of Burgesses was in charge of taxes and laws in the colony. The House of Burgesses was also responsible for slavery in Jamestown because they needed people to harvest the tobacco crops. The colonists did not want to work in the fields, so in 1619, the first boat load of Africans was brought to Jamestown to work as slaves. A famous person in Jamestown was Pocahontas. She was famous in Jamestown because her father was Powhaten, chief of the Powhaten Confederacy, which was an Indian tribe in Jamestown. There were many Indian attacks, but the worst one took place on March 22, 1622. The attack was led by the Openchancaough, one of the thirty tribes of the Powhaten Confederacy. 347 people were massacred during this attack. This upset the Royals because they felt they were losing control of the colony, and no longer wanted Governor Lord De La Ward in charge. They took away the London Company's charter in 1624. Jamestown and the entire colony of Virginia came under Royal control in 1624.

Before Jamestown was founded, Roanoke was discovered. It never became a permanent colony because the colonists fled and nobody knows what happened to them. Virginia became a colony in 1624, which was after Jamestown was discovered. The colony of Jamestown was burned to the ground on September 19, 1676.

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