Historic Jamestowne Image

Historic Jamestowne

The first permanent English settlement in America.

On May 14, 1607 a group of more then 104 settlers from the Virginia Company of London landed on Jamestown Island. The main reason for choosing this location, was due in part to the James River, a large river with easy access to the Atlantic ocean. However the first settlement did not have it so easy, they were constantly under attack by indians, disease and harsh winters.

Many people know and relate to Historic Jamestowne due to the ever popular story of Captain John Smith and Pocahontas. However the importance of Jamestowne lies in the fact that it was the first settlement in the new world, without it America would have eventually been settled eventually by the Spanish.

To look upon the site of Historic Jamestowne today it is hard to believe that it could have ever been inhabited, the ground is made up of a mixture of sand and soil, and is mostly a swamp like island completely surrounded by the James River. However at the time, since traveling by sea was the main sort of transportation it would have been difficult for them to have settled anywhere else. Today visitors are given the priviledge of driving around Jamestown Island to view how the land was and still remains. Although nothing remains of any older structures, one can easily appreciate the sacrifice that was made by these colonists who settled here.

Decorative Element Online Video: "The Jamestown Colony"

Video by: TeacherTube

Things to think about -

Take some time and explore the links and media materials to the right, while doing your research try to answer some of the questions below.

  • 1. What was the real mission of the London Company voyage?
  • 2. Why did they choose to settle on Jamestown Island?
  • 3. What are some of the problems the settlers faced?
  • 4. Why was the union of Pocahontas and John Smith so important?
  • 5. Who did Pocahontas marry, and why was this so important?
  • 6. Why did Colonist abandon the first town?