Jamestown

Topics: Richmond, Virginia, Water, Water crisis Pages: 4 (1494 words) Published: December 1, 2013
Jamestown was one of the first attempts to establish a colony by the English settlers. The key word in the previous sentence: attempts. This word implies that the feat attempted was not a success, and in this case, the implication is quite correct. Jamestown failed because of severely strained Indian relations over resource supplies, an almost absolute lack of planning, which is a result of insufficient leadership, and environmental issues including lack of reliable water sources. Jamestown failed because of strained Indian relations, including conflicts over food, water, and land resources. Jamestown was settled on an island so that the colony could be fortified from Indian attacks. Also, none of the Powhatans, a strong confederacy of natives, were not settled there, so the English colonists thought it would be an ideal location. Despite their “ideal” choice, the colony still suffered Indian attacks, the first being by a group that did not trust the white settlers (Doc. E). Also, the settlers arrived right in the middle of a horrible drought. This drought was later called The Jamestown Drought, and it had severe effects on the Jamestown and the colony’s relations with the natives (Doc. B.). Most colonists did not farm and relied mostly on the Powhatans to trade food supplies. The drought lessened this vital trade. A drought brought crops that would have withered and died from the lack of rain essential to the plants. Another incident with natives included a man named Francis West. The colonists were starving because of the Jamestown Drought, and needed some source of food. Thus, West sailed to the Chesapeake Bay, and hoped to trade with the Patawomeke Indians for grain. This particular group of natives had not heard very much about the English, and were friendly. West loaded the boat with grain, but in the process he beheaded two of the Indians and cut off other extremities (Doc. D.) The ship returned to Jamestown, leaving the Patawomke stewing and furious...
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