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Jamestown, Virginia

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Ships such as these might have landed in Jamestown. These ships are reconstructions of the original ships.

Jamestown is a town in the United States. It was founded on May 13, 1607, by over 100 men and boys who came to Virginia from London, England. They named the town Jamestown after King James. These men hoped to find gold and silver in order to become rich. Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement in what would become the United States. The town was built on Jamestown Island along the James River. This location was selected because the local Native American tribes did not live on the island and it was a good place to defend themselves from other European colonists.

The people of Jamestown had many problems. They built their town near a swamp. The water was bad for drinking. Many insects lived around the swampy land. The insects gave the people who lived there diseases. The leader, Captain John Smith, made the rules for the men. One of the rules was, "You don't work, you don´t eat." The settlers traded with the Powhatan Indians. They gave the Powhatans tools, pots, and knives, in return for corn and vegetables. More supplies were eventually brought over from England on a ship. There was no cure for the disease the insects gave to the people. Most of the people of Jamestown ended up dying. During the harsh winter of 1609, the starving settlers resorted to cannibalism.[1]

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