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    A Short History of Jamestown

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    NPS.govPark HomeLearn About the ParkHistory & CultureStoriesA Short History of Jamestown

    A Short History of Jamestown

    The English arrive at Jamestown.

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    On December 6, 1606, the journey to Virginia began on three ships: the Susan Constant, the Godspeed, and the Discovery. In 1607, 104 English men and boys arrived in North America to start a settlement. On May 13 they picked Jamestown, Virginia for their settlement, which was named after their King, James I. The settlement became the first permanent English settlement in North America.

    The site for Jamestown was picked for several reasons, all of which met criteria the Virginia Company, who funded the settlement, said to follow in picking a spot for the settlement. The site was surrounded by water on three sides (it was not fully an island yet) and was far inland; both meant it was easily defensible against possible Spanish attacks. The water was also deep enough that the English could tie their ships at the shoreline - good parking! The site was also not inhabited by the Native population.

    Once the spot was chosen the instructions sent by the Virginia Company, with the list of the council members (chosen by officials in England), was read. The names were kept in a sealed box on the ship (each ship had a sealed copy). The first President of the new Virginia colony was to be Edward Maria Winfield. The other six council members were: Bartholomew Gosnold, Christopher Newport, John Martin, John Ratcliffe, George Kendall, and John Smith.

    By June 15, the fort was completed. It was triangle shaped with a bulwark at each corner, holding four or five pieces of artillery. The settlers were now protected against any attacks that might occur from the local Powhatan Indians, whose hunting land they were living on. Relations had already been mixed between the newcomers and the Powhatan Indians. On June 22, Captain Newport left for England to get more supplies for the new settlement.

    Not long after Captain Newport left, the settlers began to succumb to a variety of diseases. They were drinking water from the salty or slimy river, which was one of several things that caused the death of many. The death tolls were high. They were dying from swellings, fluxes, fevers, by famine, and sometimes by wars. Food was running low, though then Chief Powhatan starting to send gifts of food to help the English. If not for the Powhatan Indians help in the early years, the settlement would most likely have failed, as the English would have died from the various diseases or simply starved.

    By late 1609, the relationship between the Powhatan Indians and the English had soured as the English were demanding too much food during a drought. That winter of 1609-10 is known as the "Starving Time." During that winter the English were afraid to leave the fort, due to a legitimate fear of being killed by the Powhatan Indians. As a result they ate anything they could: various animals, leather from their shoes and belts, and sometimes fellow settlers who had already died. By early 1610 most of the settlers, 80-90% according to William Strachey, had died due to starvation and disease.

    In May 1610, shipwrecked settlers who had been stranded in Bermuda finally arrived at Jamestown. Part of a fleet sent the previous fall, the survivors used two boats built on Bermuda to get to Jamestown. Sir Thomas Gates, the newly named governor, found Jamestown in shambles with the palisades of the fort torn down, gates off their hinges, and food stores running low. The decision was made to abandon the settlement. Less than a day after leaving, however, Gates and those with him, including the survivors of the "Starving Time," were met by news of an incoming fleet. The fleet was bringing the new governor for life, Lord Delaware. Gates and his party returned to Jamestown.

    Harvesting Tobacco. NPS Image

    In 1612, John Rolfe, one of many shipwrecked on Bermuda, helped turn the settlement into a profitable venture. He introduced a new strain of tobacco from seeds he brought from elsewhere. Tobacco became the long awaited cash crop for the Virginia Company, who wanted to make money off their investment in Jamestown.

    Source : www.nps.gov

    History of New England

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    History of New England

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    See also: Colonial history of the United States and Timeline of Colonial America

    New England is the oldest clearly defined region of the United States, being settled more than 150 years before the American Revolution. The first English colony in New England, Plymouth Colony, was established in 1620 by Pilgrims fleeing religious persecution in England; a French colony established in 1604 on Saint Croix Island, Maine had failed. Plymouth was the second English colony in America, after Jamestown. A large influx of Puritans populated the greater region during the Puritan migration to New England (1620–1640), largely in the Boston and Salem area. Farming, fishing, and lumbering prospered, as did whaling and sea trading.

    New England writers and events in the region helped launch and sustain the American War of Independence, which began when fighting erupted between British troops and Massachusetts militia in the Battles of Lexington and Concord. The region later became a stronghold of the conservative Federalist Party.

    By the 1840s, New England was the center of the American anti-slavery movement and was the leading force in American literature and higher education. It was at the center of the Industrial Revolution in America, with many textile mills and machine shops operating by 1830. The region was the manufacturing center of the entire United States for much of the nineteenth century, and it played an important role during and after the American Civil War as a fervent intellectual, political, and cultural promoter of abolitionism and civil rights.

    Manufacturing in the United States began to shift south and west during the 20th century, and New England experienced a sustained period of economic decline and de-industrialization. By the beginning of the 21st century, however, the region had become a center for technology, weapons manufacturing, scientific research, and financial services.


    1 Pre-Colonial 2 Colonial era

    2.1 Early British settlement (1607–1620)

    2.2 Plymouth Colony (1620–1643)

    2.3 Massachusetts Bay

    2.4 Rhode Island and Connecticut

    2.5 The Dominion of New England (1686–1689)

    2.6 Government of the colonies

    2.7 Population and demographics

    2.8 Economics 2.9 Education 3 1764-1900

    3.1 American Revolution

    3.2 Early national period

    3.3 Industrialization

    3.3.1 Agriculture

    3.4 New England and political thought

    3.5 French Canadians

    4 Since 1900 4.1 Railroads 4.2 Weather 4.3 Economy 5 Famous leaders 6 Notes 7 Bibliography

    7.1 Environment and land use

    7.2 Primary sources 8 External links


    Main article: Prehistory of New England

    New England was inhabited by the Iroquois civilization from the 12th century to the 18th century. European settlers referred to the region as Norumbega, named for a fabled city that was supposed to exist there.

    Before the arrival of colonists, the Western Abenakis inhabited New Hampshire and Vermont, as well as parts of Quebec and western Maine.[1] Their principal town was Norridgewock in Maine.[2] The Penobscots were settled along the Penobscot River in Maine. The Wampanoags occupied southeastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket; the Pocumtucks were in Western Massachusetts. The Narragansetts occupied most of Rhode Island, particularly around Narragansett Bay.

    The Connecticut region was inhabited by the Mohegan and Pequot tribes before colonization. The Connecticut River Valley linked different tribes in cultural, linguistic, and political ways.[3] The tribes grew maize, tobacco, kidney beans, squash, and Jerusalem artichoke.

    The first European to visit the area was the Portuguese explorer Estêvão Gomes in 1525. Gomes, who worked for the Spanish Empire, reached the shores of Maine and mapped them. After that, Gomes sailed along the coast of North America (including New England). The first European settlement in New England was a French colony established by Samuel de Champlain on Saint Croix Island, Maine in 1604.[4] As early as 1600, French, Dutch, and English traders began to trade metal, glass, and cloth for local beaver pelts.[3][5]

    Colonial era[edit]

    Early British settlement (1607–1620)[edit]

    Further information: Popham Colony

    A 17th-century map shows New England as a coastal enclave extending from Cape Cod to New France

    On April 10, 1606, King James I of England issued two charters, one each for the Virginia Company of London (often referred to as the London Company) and the Virginia Company of Plymouth, England (often referred to as the Plymouth Company).[6][7] The two companies were required to maintain a separation of 100 miles (160 km), even where the two charters overlapped.[8][9][10] The London Company was authorized to make settlements from North Carolina to New York (31 to 41 degrees North Latitude), provided that there was no conflict with the Plymouth Company's charter. The purpose of both was to claim land for England and to establish trade.

    Source : en.wikipedia.org

    New England Colonies

    The New England Colonies were the settlements established by English religious dissenters along the coast of the north-east of North America between 1620-1640...

    New England Colonies

    New England Colonies Definition

    by Joshua J. Mark

    published on 02 February 2021

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    Available in other languages: Spanish

    New England, 1665 CE

    Norman B. Leventhal Map Center (CC BY)

    The New England Colonies were the settlements established by English religious dissenters along the coast of the north-east of North America between 1620-1640 CE. The original colonies were:

    Plymouth Colony (1620 CE)

    New Hampshire Colony (1622 CE)

    Massachusetts Bay Colony (1630 CE)

    Providence Colony (1636 CE)

    Connecticut Colony (1636 CE)

    New Haven Colony (1638 CE)

    Prior to the arrival of the English colonists, the land had been inhabited by Native Americans for over 10,000 years. The tribes still occupying the region c. 1607 CE were the Abenakis, Assonet, Chappaquiddick, Mashpee, Mi'kmaq, Mohegan, Narragansett, Nantucket, Nauset, Patuxet, Penobscot, Pequot, Pocumtuck, and Pokanoket. These tribes would reduced by disease, military action, enslavement, and deportation, or assimilation by 1680 CE, and survivors moved either onto reservations or left the region to join other tribes elsewhere after the colonial victory in King Philip's War (1675-1678 CE). The colonies then occupied the vacated Native American land and flourished.



    Plymouth Colony would be absorbed by Massachusetts Bay into the larger colony of Massachusetts in 1691 CE while New Haven Colony joined Connecticut in 1664 CE. Providence Colony was officially recognized as the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in 1790 CE. Land grants given by the Province of New Hampshire, contested by their southern neighbor, the Province of New York, would eventually become Vermont in 1777 CE. The northern part of Massachusetts became the State of Maine in 1820 CE, establishing the region of modern-day New England as the states of:

    Massachusetts New Hampshire Rhode Island Connecticut Vermont Maine

    England had first attempted colonization of the region in 1607 CE with the Popham Colony (1607-1608 CE) which failed after 14 months. The success of Plymouth Colony (1620-1691 CE) encouraged the establishment of the New Hampshire Colony and Massachusetts Bay Colony while Providence Colony, Connecticut Colony, and New Haven Colony were founded by dissenters from Massachusetts Bay. All of these settlements were established by Puritans, separatists, or others seeking freedom of religion and personal liberty for themselves while, with the exception of Providence, denying the same to others. The colonies would continue this model not only in their Native American policies but through the institution of slavery, establishing a pattern of systemic racism still evident in the policies and practices of the nation they helped establish.



    Native American New England


    Before the arrival of European settlers, the land was inhabited by the people who had occupied it going back at least 10,000 years. The indigenous people were semi-nomadic with seasonal settlements along the coast and more permanent villages in the interior (though there were exceptions to this model). The land was considered a gift from the Great Spirit (most often designated as Manitou), and the people had no concept of private ownership of the land, although different tribes regularly used specific areas and there were wars over resources when one tribe infringed on another's established right to a region.

    The natives observed a matrilineal cultural system in which the family name and tribal status was passed down through the woman's side, and women were active in the government of the tribe, as elders especially, who chose the next sachem (chief). Native Americans subsisted on agriculture, growing beans, maize, and squash (the “three sisters”), on hunting, fishing, and foraging. By the 17th century CE, a number of these tribes had formed themselves into the Wampanoag Confederacy to protect themselves and their resources from others. The sachem of the Pokanoket tribe presided over the others who each had a lesser sachem and paid tribute to the Pokanoket.

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    English Colonization in North America

    European colonization of the Americas began with the arrival of Christopher Columbus (l. 1451-1506 CE) in the West Indies in 1492 CE, claiming the land for Spain. Spain then expanded their claims throughout South and Central America (except for Brazil which was claimed by Portugal in 1500 CE) up through areas of lower North America. France claimed Canada and established the first settlement in what would become New England on the island of St. Croix (off the coast of Maine) in 1604 CE. Over half the settlers died the first winter, however, and the colony was abandoned. The Dutch claimed lands to the south, establishing themselves in the area of the Hudson River Valley by 1614 CE and other European nations made their own claims to other regions at this time.

    England, therefore, was a latecomer to North American colonization. The first attempt, Roanoke Colony, was established in 1585 CE and had failed twice by 1590 CE. Under King James I of England (r. 1603-1625 CE), a more concentrated effort was made and two companies formed for the express purpose of colonizing North America for profit: the Virginia Company and the Plymouth Company. Virginia Company was given permission to colonize the region from just above modern-day Florida to the lower Hudson Valley while the Plymouth Company was granted the area from present-day northern Maine down to the upper Hudson Valley.

    Source : www.worldhistory.org

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