Jamestown Facts

Jamestown Facts
Jamestown, Virginia, is an island that was the home of the first permanent English settlement in America, which was part of the Colony of Virginia. It was originally established as 'James Fort' by the Virginia Company of London on May 4th, 1607. It was briefly abandoned in 1610 but became permanent shortly afterwards. Jamestown served as the Colony of Virginia's capital from 1616 to 1699. Between 1609 and 1610 approximately 80% of the colonists at Jamestown died from starvation and disease. Although Jamestown was the first successful permanent English settlement in the United States, it wasn't the first permanent settlement. The Spanish founded St. Augustine in Florida in 1565.
Interesting Jamestown Facts:
King James I of England supported the founding of Jamestown it was the Virginia Company that financed the settlement and ran it.
The ships that arrived to establish the Jamestown Colony were the Discovery, the Godspeed, and the Susan Constant.
The Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts 13 years after Jamestown was established.
Most of the settlers that arrived at Jamestown were looking for gold. These men didn't know much about surviving by fishing, farming, or hunting, and had a very difficult time in the first several years adapting to the new way of life. A resupply ship brought much needed supplies the first January, and the local Powhatan Native Americans helped them as well.
The Virginia Company was financed by private investors who expected a return on their money. This return was expected to come from a commodity - which was found in 1612 when John Rolfe, a colonist, discovered the value in tobacco.
John Rolfe married Pocahontas which brought peace between the Jamestown colonists and local Native American tribes.
Between 1608 and 1624 approximately 6,000 people made Jamestown their home. Only 3,400 of them survived.
Virginia became a royal colony in 1624 when King James revoked the Virginia Company's charter.
In 1634 King Charles I divided the Colony of Virginia into eight counties. Jamestown became part of James City Shire.
In 1676 Jamestown burned during Bacon's Rebellion. It was rebuilt but the Virginia legislature had to move elsewhere until it was ready.
In 1699 the Virginia's colony's capitol was moved to Williamsburg, following another fire at the statehouse in Jamestown.
Once the capitol moved from Jamestown to Williamsburg Jamestown started to disappear.
Much of Jamestown was farmed by the Ambler and Travis families in the mid-1700s.
David Bullock bought Jamestown from the families Travis and Ambler in 1831.
During the American Civil War much of Jamestown was destroyed.
Jamestown was purchased in 1892 by Edward Barney and his wife. They donated more than 22 acres of land to Preservation Virginia, including the church tower built in 1639.
In 2007 Jamestown celebrated the 400 year anniversary of the settlement. President George W. Bush and Queen Elizabeth II visited the site.
The museum at Jamestown is called the Nathalie P. and Allan M. Voorhees Archaerium and contains artefacts of the original colonists.
The Smithsonian Institution also featured an exhibition of artefacts from James Fort. The exhibition is called Written in Bone: Forensic Files of the 17th-Century Chesapeake.


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