Jamestown and the
planting of Virginia
The 1st Permanent English Colony in the New
Goals of Jamestown (Target Answer)
The colony was sponsored by the Virginia
Company of London to make a profit
Company supported English goals of
counterbalancing the expansion of other
European nations abroad,
Seeking a northwest passage to the Orient,
Converting the Virginia Indians to the
Anglican religion.
The 1st Settlers
108 settlers sail from London and land in
Virginia May 14, 1607
All men and many of them “gentleman”
unaccustomed to work
1st permanent English settlement in New
Replicas of the Susan Constant, the
Godspeed, and the Discovery,
Susan Constant
Susan Constant
Year Commissioned: 1991
Sparred Length: 116’
Length on Deck: 82’
Beam (width): 24’10”
Draft: 11’9”
Mainmast Height: 95’
Sail Area: 3,902 sq. ft.
Burden Tonnage: 120 tons
Year Commissioned: 2006
Sparred Length: 88’
Length on Deck: 65’ 5”
Beam (width): 17’
Draft: 7’
Mainmast Height: 71’6”
Sail Area: 2,420 sq. ft.
Burden Tonnage: 40 tons
Year Commissioned: 2007
Sparred Length: 66’
Length on Deck: 50’10”
Beam (width): 14’
Draft: 6’6”
Mainmast Height: 59’
Sail Area: 1,160 sq. ft.
Burden Tonnage: 20 tons
Colonists Construct a Fort
The Jamestown Fort
By June 15, 1607
the settlers had
constructed a fort
shaped in the form
of a triangle and
made of wooden
posts which were
placed in the
ground, upright
and side by side.
Problems from the Start
Located in the midst of a chiefdom of about 14,000
Algonquian-speaking Indians ruled by the powerful
leader Powhatan. (Target Answer)
Relations with the Powhatan Indians were tenuous,
An unfamiliar climate, as well as brackish water supply and
lack of food, conditions possibly aggravated by a prolonged
drought, led to disease and death.
Many of the original colonists were upper-class Englishmen,
and the colony lacked sufficient laborers and skilled
Captain John Smith (Target Answer)
His leadership kept the
colony from dissolving.
Instituted “no work, no
eat” policy
Injured by gunpowder burn
in accident, and returned to
England October 1609 for
His departure was
followed by a “starving
time” winter 1609. Only
60 of 219 survive.
Starvin’ Time Winter of 1609
Smith’s departure was followed by the
“starving time,” a period of warfare
between the colonists and Indians and the
deaths of many English men and women
from starvation and disease.
Just when the colonists decided to abandon
Jamestown in Spring 1610, settlers with
supplies arrived from England, eager to find
wealth in Virginia.
Convergence of Cultures
Trade Between the Two Cultures
Trade for food with
the Powhatans enabled
the colonists to
survive during the
early years of the
settlement’s history.
English trade goods
consisted of: copper,
blue-glass beads,
various iron tools,
and even toys.
Pocahontas (Target Answer)
Daughter of Powhatan
Helped the Jamestown
Her marriage to John
Rolfe brought relative
peace and prosperity to
the colony.
Married April 1614, died in
England in March 21,
Key Developments in
Three Key Ideas Take Hold
1.“Headright system” of land
Get 50 acres of land per head
Dream of landed independence in the New
World coming true.
Other colonies adopt the pattern
2. Representative Government
1619 onwards a General Assembly of the
colony or House of Burgess meets.
Representatives of the settlers met to discuss
affairs of the people.
Idea of representation and some machinery
for the consent of the people established in
Indentured Servants
Individuals would bind themselves to service for
a certain number of years in exchange for
passage to new world.
Typically 5 years
Be provided room and board
Might be given a “stake” at end of service.
About 40% complete term of service
Women Harassed
Never came in sufficient numbers
Pair Share
Read the primary source letter of an
indentured servant
Discuss with your shoulder partner why you
would not want to be an “Indentured
3. Arrival of Africans to Jamestown.
A Dutch slave trader exchanged his cargo of
Africans for food in 1619.
The Africans became indentured servants, similar in
legal position to many poor Englishmen who traded
several years labor in exchange for passage to
The popular conception of a race-based slave
system did not fully develop until the 1680's.
This was the labor source needed to sustain an
agriculturally based economy.
The Tale of Two Paths
1st Colony in America diverges down two
 1. Representative Institutions and Freedom
 2. Use of slave labor and the lack of
 Exit Question. “What is the irony in the
fact that the Colony of Virginia travels
these two divergent paths simultaneously?”