June 23, 2022
The first permanent settlement in North America made by Europeans from England was the city of Jamestown. Walter Raleigh was the original founder of the colony that built Jamestown. He was sent by the King of England to build it. The colony’s initial name was Roanoke, and while it was no great success, many other colonies began developing along the Atlantic coast of North America.
King James I established The London Company to create colonizations in North America. Just like the British West India Company colonized the Caribbean, the London Company colonized the costal U.S. The First colony of the London company was Jamestown.
Late in 1606, The London Company commissioned a fleet of three ships to establish the first colony. The names of the ships were, The Susan Constant, Godspeed, and The Discovery. They sailed to the American mainland to find a suitable location. These settlers first landed near the mouth of the Chesapeak Bay but traveled inland on the James River.
The settlement site for Jamestown was decided on May 21, 1607. Though there were years of hardship ahead, this was the first English colony to survive in North America. The site remains preserved with some of the original buildings to this day. Jamestown and many of the American settlements, were mostly populated by fortune seekers. These men were mostly idle, spent time looking for treasure, and did not help in the survival of the colony. As a result of their laziness two thirds of the colonists died in the first year.
In 1608, new colonists arrived from Germany and Poland and joined the Englishmen. Captain John Smith took over the colony as its third president, and helped the colonists work together. He insisted that if anyone would not work, neither would they eat. However, in 1609, he had to return to England to recover from a wound he incurred. Through 1609 and 1610 the starving days happened because of a lack of new food and supplies from England. However, in 1614, the colony was finally able to turn its first profit.
Settling new colonies in a new world was difficult in the 1600’s, which meant that the settlers went through lots of pain to expand England’s territory. By 1624, Jamestown could finally stand on its own and was a stable city in what became the future colony of Virginia.