Essay on Jamestown: The First English Colony in America

Submitted By Last-Mohican
Words: 1970
Pages: 8

Victor Mai
10­14­13 All I have learned my whole life is that pilgrims were people who wore buckled top hats, baggy trousers, and came to America in the Mayflower and arrived at Plymouth Rock.
Everything that I knew was almost completely changed when i figured out that Plymouth Rock was not the first colony in America. The real first colony that gave England a foothold in
America was Jamestown. Unlike the classic tale of pilgrims settling in the New World these people had absolutely no women with them and did not have such an easy time settling down.
During this time spain had already taken control of everything from all of South America to modern day Florida. England saw how Spain had gained tons of money and land off their conquest of south America and saw an opportunity to gain wealth from the New World. After the English Sea Dogs defeated the Spanish Armada they gained the Atlantic waterways which allowed the movement of ships to and from North America. They also gained a strong feeling of nationalism and had the extreme drive to go out and explore in the name of the
England. What they were after in the New world was gold, silver, and a Northwest passage through America. In order for England to stop Spain’s expansion into North America England attempted to set up a colony named Roanoke which mysteriously disappeared and in turn was forgotten almost completely. The next colony to be attempted to establish was
Jamestown. The town itself was almost a complete disaster. On the boat they got stuck in the harbor for months due to bad storms and that caused them to lose so much food that many people starved on the way to Virginia. Also on the boat they had no captain because the note that told who to appoint captain was not to be opened until they arrived. It was chaos without a leader so a few people died, people fought, and people were thrown into the barracks as a makeshift jail. The place the chose was 40 miles from the Chesapeake Bay on a river, which was a place most historians today say was a harsh place in terms of healthiness but a great tactical location. The letter they opened named John Smith, a person actually locked in the barracks of the ship on the ride over, leader of the town. He ended up saving the town later on by making the people who were looking for just gold work for food. It was also saved by Rolfe, a man who learned how to cultivate the tobacco plant so that the colony had something to sell and they thrived. They established a triangle shaped fort for defense against the natives and
Spanish. The natives were not so friendly as they would try their best to kill the pilgrims with every chance they got. The first winter they started with 500 men and by the end there were only 60 left. These times are known as the starving times because for a long time most historians thought they died of mostly starvation and some diseases. Recently historians have found other possible cause that are arsenic poisoning and political unrest. From what i have learned and all the possible explanations and evidence that goes along with that, I believe the true cause of the deaths at the starving times was starvation and dehydration. Of the four theories on what truly caused the starving times, the least accepted one is the theory of political unrest. In the video
Secrets of the Dead: Death at Jamestown Bill Kelso finds a skeleton with a bullet in its leg. "The Indians didn't want them here most of the time.
There was nobody protecting you, covering your back. Even the people you're with could be a problem.” Bill Kelso said the last sentence in that because you could never trust anyone. After

further investigation the bullet wound had been inflicted by another colonist, and was indeed not an accident. This may sound very convincing that they were killing each other, but the only problem is that this was the only evidence of settlers killing each other. There were