Jamestown, Virginia

1607

Disease and Famine Causing Early Problems

Around 100 people came to Jamestown hoping for fortune and a new life, once they got there they were struck with diseases and famine. They settled in an area covered in marshy lands that had a hot and humid climate with mosquitoes roaming everywhere. The mosquitoes carried malaria which the settlers had never seen so they had no immunity to the disease and many settlers were infected. Malaria decimated the colony causing the settlers to become weak with burning fevers and sores and sometimes brought death to settlers. Famine also caused a major problem in the colony causing many deaths and struggles. When settlers first arrived to Jamestown everything was different and they did not know how to survive. The settlers crops did not work in the marshy lands so they were quickly famine struck. The settlers ran out of food fast causing many people to become weak and much more susceptible to diseases. The settlers ate very little but what they did eat was nutritionally sufficient making them weak and sick either way. Jamestown was struck hard at the beginning with new diseases that devastated the settlers and the new land causing old crops to not grow which lead to famine.

Relationship whith Native Americans

When the settlers first arrived the New World Indians first reaction was hostility based on previous experiences with the Spanish explores on their coastline. Indians soon began to offer food and hospitality to the settlers. At first Powhatan( leader of a confederation of tribes around the Chesapeake bay) hoped to absorb the settlers through hospitality and offerings of food. As the settlers searched for instant wealth they became more and more in need of the Indians food causing relationships with the Indians to deteriorate. Captain John Smith finally set the colony straight and started trade with the Indians. The Indians later capture john smith and spared his life showing he wanted peace. John Smith later married his daughter Pocahontas which lead to peace between the settlers and Indians for a while. The Indians taught the settlers farming techniques and how to hunt and survive while the settlers traded guns and other goods with the Indians. The Indians and settlers had a bad relationship at the beginning but once the settlers were set straight they began trade with the Indians and a peaceful relationship.

The Starving Time

John Smith got the colony back on track with the no work no food policy but was injured in an accidental gunpowder explosion and had to go back to England. This caused Jamestown to have no leader and the settlers began to not follow the no work no food policy so settlers became short on food as they did not work to plant and care for new crops. A new boatload of colonist and supplies sank off the coast of Bermuda which caused the situation to become worse. That winter Disease and hunger ravaged the colony causing hundreds to die. People went to extreme measures to acquire food one man even took to cannibalism, eating his own wife. Once the Starving Time ended only 60 settlers remained out of the 400. The "Starving Time" was a period of hardships as settlers ran out of food and diseases ravaged the colony causing many to die.
Jamestown Settlement 1607