The Jamestown Times


Meet the New Governor

As of April, George Yeardley has arrived from England to claim his position as governor. After suffering from a rough start, people are eager to put past hardships behind them. Wanting to forget confrontational encounters with native peoples, disease, and near starvation, Governor Yeardley is planning to set new political workings into action. It has been understood that these plans include such efforts as reworking activities of the Virginia Company around the area and implementing ambitions aimed at settlement and land reform. He has also announced that the Virginia Company voted to discontinue the martial law. It is also being asked if the governor has plans to look towards establishing a legislative assembly. This endeavor would be the first of its kind on this new land.

Introducing the House of Burgesses

Governor George Yeardley has announced that the first legislative assembly to be seen in the new land will be held in Virginia. This assembly, to be known as the House of Burgesses, will be modeled after the English Parliament. Members of this house will hold responsibilities to assist in the governing of the Virginia people. They will also be meeting with the royal governor annually at a minimum. Members will make decisions surrounding local laws and local taxation. Burgesses, the title of the members, will be elected representitives. Those eligible to participate in the voting must be white males who hold claim to a specified amount of property.

The First Meeting of the House of Burgesses

On Tuesday, July 30th, 1619, the 22 members of the House of Burgesses meet at the Jamestown Church. Governor Yeardley was in attendance as the members all took to their formal business including passing the House's first law which stands to regulate the sale of tobacco. We learned of a detailed account of the proceedings of the meeting from John Pory. ( At the start of the meeting, Mr. Bucke, the Minister, led a prayer. At this time it was asked that God guide the assembly and let its success be for His glory and that of this plantation. The Speaker then lead the way into the rest of the meeting's happenings. The responsibilities of the assembly were addressed for all to know. It is envisioned that this purposeful governing system be beneficial for all of those across Virginia.

The African Arrival

As Jamestown farmers work hard to successfully farm their tobacco there will be a change in how some see their work be completed. A Dutch ship has just unloaded a group of approximately 20 Africans onto the coast of Jamestown. Some saw potential in this group to be able to assist with their work. With intentions of them serving to make a profit in the near future, these Africans were purchased to remain in this area and provide needed work for labor intensive jobs. This increase of a working population should assist plantation owners. This is especially true because of the decline in population that folks here have suffered from due to previous conflicts with surrounding tribes and disease. At this time, little is known of what life will entail outside of labor for these Africans.

Works Cited:

"America's First Cash Crop: Tobacco - Modern Farmer." Modern Farmer. N.p., 12 May 2014. Web. 03 Sept. 2015.

"First African Slaves Arrive In Jamestown On This Day In 1619." News One RSS. N.p., 20 Aug. 2012. Web. 03 Sept. 2015.

"The House of Burgesses." Independence Hall Association, n.d. Web. 03 Sept. 2015.

"The Jamestown Chronicles Timeline." The Jamestown Chronicles Timeline. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Sept. 2015.

"The Virginia House of Burgesses." The Virginia House of Burgesses. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Sept. 2015.