upload image

Jamestown History

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: [unknown]
Surnames/tags: jamestown history colony
This page has been accessed 853 times.


Jamestown Colony History


NOTE:This link takes you directly to the digital model in a separate window]

List at Jamestown Rediscovery

Jamestown Colony History/Timeline

Jamestown Colony History/Timeline


Jamestown was named in honor of King James I of England and the location on a marshy peninsula in the James River (later Jamestown Island) . Since English stockholders of the Virginia Company wanted a profit based colony, Jamestown was to be the profit-based colony yielding profits such as that of tobacco. The first settlement looked like a palisade fort surrounded by the Indian settlements (Powhatan Confederacy). Women colonists did not arrive for 12 years). [1]

Virginia Company investors were composed of people who could pay their way to America as well as English Slaves (debtors) were sent over to work the fields. Most arrived not knowing how to plant or till the fields. Despite King James's disapproval of smoking ("a custom loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs") and tobacco ("a filthy novelty") it became Virginia's cash crop, as colonists measured their wealth in the number of acres or processed hogsheads of tobacco.

Jamestown was located on a peninsula, surrounded by an unhealthy marsh area, with mosquitos causing malaria. The colony began small, then disease and death reduced the small population. Malnutrition occurred along with dysentery (no chlorinated water), Colonists contracted malaria and yellow fever.[1]

Land erosion caused the peninsula to become an island. Due to the American plant being top harsh and bitter to suit English tastes, John Rolfe experimented to make it sweet scented. The town gained better foothold. Many smoked it in pipes.[1]


1606 - 1612 A severe drought occurred in Jamestown. When the settlers arrived, they faced droughts well as insufficient knowledge and tools to farm. This began their dependence upon the Indians. Supply Missions Captain Christopher Newport was tasked with the duty of leading the "first", "second", and "third" re-supply missions back to Jamestown.Supply Missions

1608 Capt. Christopher Newport arrived on the John and Frances with supplies and colonists. The new colonists accidentally started a fire that destroyed the colony's living quarters. Jamestown burned and was nearly abandoned by inhabitants [1]. The fire increased its dependency on the Indians for food. [2]Supply Missions </ref>

1609 -1610 - Winter was the the Starving Time. Captain John Smith, leader of council stipulated: ("He that will not work shall not eate") barely kept the colony alive.

1609 - May 24, 1611 Second supply with Captain Christopher Newport led by Sea Adventure, was separated from other ships by a hurricane, wrecked at Bermuda, Colonists rebuilt the 'ship, headed Christopher Newport carrying Sir Thomas Gates arrive Jamestown on Patience and Deliverance.

June 7, 1610 Three ships under Thomas West, 12th baron de la Warr arrived. West brought 150 new settlers, provisions for the colony and orders from the Virginia Company naming him governor and Captain general of Virginia. West brought with him 150 new settlers, ample provisions for the colony, and orders from the company naming him governor and captain-general of Virginia.[2]

May 12, 1611 Newport arrives Jamestown bringing Sir Thomas Dale. 12% of the original 500 colonists were still alive in 1611.[1]Supply Missions

1619 a Dutch ship and an English ship, Treasurer, captured a Spanish slave ship and its cargo of nearly one hundred African slaves. The Dutch ship immediately returned to Old Point Comfort near Jamestown with "20 and odd Negroes."

Late August, 1619 - The first African arrived (a year before the Pilgrims' arrival at Plymouth, Massachusetts on the Mayflower) [1]

1619 First white women (90 "younge, handsome and honestly educated maydes," were sent by the Virginia Company as wives for the bachelor colonists. After this each husband reimbursed the company in tobacco for his bride's passage. [1]

1622 Indian attack led by successor to Powhatan, Opechancanough almost obliterated most of the Virginia colonists (a friendly Indian gave a warning). The outlying plantations and other English outposts that now lined the James River suffered the most deaths as they had no warning.Approximately 347 to 400 colonists died. This was 1/4 to 1/3 colony’s population of 1,240.[2]

1624 King James made the struggling colony a first Royal colony in America. By now Jamestown had spread beyond the palisade fort, with nearly 130 colonists, twenty-two houses, three stores, and one church. .[1]

Jamestown and its "FIRSTS"

First capital of colonial Virginia,
First permanent settlement in British North America. It probably was the birthplace of American slavery and democracy.
First Anglican (Episcopal) church in North America (1607),
First English celebration of Christmas in the New World (1607),
First arrival of Africans (1619)
First distillation of corn whiskey,
First cultivation of tobacco as a cash crop, tobacco culturing began and potential for Lung cancer.

1618 The ship Diana arrived from Bermuda. Grace O'Neill, age 16, arrived from Bermuda. She married Lt. Edward Waters. The couple made their home in Elizabeth City (now called Hampton, Virginia.) [3] Grace's son, William Waters married Margaret Robins (dau of Obedience Robins)[4][5]

First royal colony in America

The Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (founded 1888 for the preservation of colonial and other state historical sites), made another conservation effort and the Army Corps of Engineers built a seawall, which halted the site's erosion. Publicity surrounding the April 1907 Jamestown Exposition, a celebration held in Norfolk marking the 300th anniversary of the founding of the first permanent English colony in America provided stimulus to preserve the site.The original fort was uncovered with excavations, revealing invaluable artifacts and structural traces of the original fort. The federal government declared Jamestown a National Historic Site in 1940. Jamestown Festival Park became part of a historical reservation triangle of approximately 15 sq. mi. on the peninsula between the York and James Rivers encompassing Cape Henry (site of the first English landing on 26 April 1607). Today Jamestown remains a popular tourist attraction.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=jimscott&id=I15070
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 https://www.britannica.com/place/Jamestown-Colony#ref849038
  3. Virginia Historical and General Magazine, vol I, pp 92, 93 and Vol II, pp 179.
  4. Virginia Historical and General Magazine, vol I, pp 92, 93 and Vol II, pp 179.
  5. Virginia Historical and General Magazine, vol. I, pp. 92, 93; vol. II, pp. 179.


  • Hecht, Irene W. D. "The Virginia Muster of 1624/5 As a Source for Demographic History." William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd. series, 30 (Jan. 1973): 65-92.
  • Palmer, William P. Calendar of Virginia State Papers and Other Manuscripts, 1652-1781, Preserved in the Capitol at Richmond. Volume 1. Richmond, 1875.
  • Salmon, Emily J. and Campbell, Edward D. C. Jr. The Hornbook of Virginia History. 4th ed. Richmond: Library of Virginia, 1994.
  • Thorndale, William. "The Virginia Census of 1619." Magazine of Virginia Genealogy 33 (Summer 1996): 155-170.
  • U. S. Congress. Senate. Jamestown Ter-Centennial Commission. Final Report of the Jamestown Ter-Centennial Commission. 60th Congress, 2d session, 1909, Document No. 735. Washington: GPO, 1909.
  • Virginia. General Assembly. Senate. Colonial Records of Virginia. Richmond: R. F. Walker, 1874.
  • Wilson, Charles Reagan and Ferris, William, eds. Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. Chapel Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press, 1989.
    • "Jamestown Island: An American Legacy," by Martha W. McCartney, a research historian, is a graduate of the College of William and Mary.



Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.