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Discover_our_World_Yellow / Lesson 18: The First English Colonies Part II: Jamestown

The First English Colonies Part II: Jamestown


The second English colony

  • Sixteen years after Roanoke, in 1606, a group of English merchants from London, England decided to create a company; so they put together all of their money, like the Dutch, to have expeditions and to colonize the New World in the Americax

  • The company was called the Virginia Company-named after Queen Elizabeth, who was the Virgin Queen

  • This company sold stock-or shares of ownership in it-any profits from the colony would be divided by those who had bought stock in their company

The second English colony

  • In 1607, The Virginia Company had raised enough money to send over a brand new colony to the New World-the first group of colonists were all men and boys

  • The colonists did not settle on the islands off the coast this time, but rather on the mainland

  • The colonists called the place Virginia, after their beloved Queen Elizabeth

  • They then began to build up their homes and colonize a village called Jamestown, which they named after England's King James I and they named the river close by "The James River"


  • The Jamestown colony was on a swampy peninsula on the Chesapeake Bay-the water was salty and dangerous to drink

  • Also there were many disease carrying mosquitoes in the area

  • The first summer in 1607, half of the colonists died

  • More colonists would have died without the help of Captain John Smith

Captain John Smith

  • He was a strong leader that was sent by the company to protect the colonists

  • Many colonists were spending time looking for gold rather than planting crops

  • Smith said "He that will not work shall not eat"

  • He forced the colonists to plant crops and build houses and this kept the colonists alive

The Powhatan Indians

  • The colonists often fought with the near by Native American tribe called the Powhatans

  • The Powhatans had lived in this area for 1000 years, and they called their homeland, TSENACOMACOH; and they did not want strangers moving into their territory

  • The chief who was named, Wahunsonacock, was nicknamed "Chief Powhatan" by the English colonists

  • He ruled over hundreds of Indian tribes, and he was well respected with deerskins, pearls and corn

The Starving Time

  • Smith had to leave the colony in 1609 to get supplies from England

  • In 1609 through 1610 the colonists almost starved to death, but the Powhatan Chief sent the colonists food to help them survive, they called this period "the starving time"

  • A colonist named John Rolfe fell in love with Chief Powhatan's daughter who was named, Pocahontas

  • Pocahantas married John Rolfe in 1614 and she became Mrs. John Rolfe

  • This marriage between a white colonist and the Powhatan Indians helped keep peace


  • Pocahantas Rolfe decided to become a christian and she took the English name, Rebecca

  • For Eight years her marriage to the colonists kept peace between Native Americans and colonists in Jamestown

  • Her husband, John Rolfe, harvested an Indian crop called Tobacco---he took it over to England and sold it as a cash crop, or a crop that brought in a lot of money

Tobacco crops

  • King James the new ruler of England, called the tobacco crop "a stinking weed"

  • Tobacco crops became one of the biggest money makers for the English

  • The Colonists sold the tobacco crop to English people in England to smoke

  • It brought in a lot of money to the Virginia company, and the colonists began to get rich

  • They could now buy other things from England to take back to their colony in Jamestown

The Rolfes

  • In 1617 John Rolfe brought his wife, Pocahantas (Rebecca) to England

  • She toured and learned of things she had never seen before

  • She had her portrait painted

  • On her return trip back to Virginia, she got sick and died

The Clash between Colonists and Indians

  • The English colonists realized that planting tobacco made them rich, so they started taking more and more of the Powhatan people's land to plant tobacco crops to sell in England

  • The Powhatan people were angry with their land being taken

  • Pocahantas's Uncle, Openchancanough, became the new chief of the Powhatan people when her dad, the former chief, died

  • Now that his niece was gone and colonists were taking his lands---he wanted the colonists to leave Virginia

The attack

  • In 1622 The new Powhatan chief gathered his tribes and they attacked the colonists

  • The Indians killed 350 colonists

  • King James then decided to take over the colony in Virginia and he set up a governor and a

  • The Native Americans were then not able to rid themselves of the English colonists

  • Jamestown, Virginia became the first permanent English colony

The Jamestown Colony Grows

  • Men in the colony paid for women to be sent over to them

  • They married the women and had families with them

  • Also a governing party called "The House of Burgesses" began in Jamestown as a law making government---This was a group of men that met together regularly to set up laws for Jamestown


  • Eventually the colonists began to need help planting tobacco crops because the Europeans wanted tobacco and they could not do it by themselves

  • The English then began to pay "indentured servants" to come over to Virginia to work for 5-7 years at a time-after they worked they could own land

  • Soon the English found a way to avoid paying people and giving them land-they brought in African slaves to work for just food and shelter

  • Virginia began to develop into larger place which extended beyond the colony of Jamestown