JAMESTOWN : WHY DID SO MANY COLONIST DIE? by Bryanna Anderson

“Along the river banks, one could see freshwater streams, faire meadows and goodly tall trees.” “Ahead lay possible riches a Native population be taught the ways of Jesus Christ.” Jamestown was hoped to be the best place on earth, but was it really? Over one hundred men from the mother country of English ships sailed to Jamestown in 1607. With a blessing from the king of England, James the second. They believed that Jamestown would be the land of new life. Only in time, the Colonists would soon find out the truth behind Jamestown.  Colonists died in early Jamestown because of three problems.These problems were bad relations with Native Americans, bad water, and poor settler skills.

       The first reason Jamestown colonists died was bad relations with the Native Americans. The English would force the Natives to trade their grain with them (Doc D). Also, seven settlers were killed by Powhatans (Doc E). This evidence shows that so many colonists died because  the English thought they were  somewhat better than the Native Americans. So colonist threatened the lives of the Natives. The Native Americans killed seven settlers out of fear for their own lives. It also most likely led to war between the English colonists and the Powhatans. I personal believe that there was more mortality from colonists killing the Powhatans than the other way around.

       The second reason Jamestown colonists died was the bad water in Jamestown,Virginia. The human waste was getting dumped into rivers that were used by many other settlers (Doc A). Most used these rivers for bathing, drinking water, and many other things. Jamestown suffered from the longest drought during 1606 to 1612 (Doc B). During this time one hundred ten colonists died from famine and disease. About thirty-three were slain and thirty-seven deserted. This evidence helps explain why so many colonists died. Because of the water being brackish and the drought in 1606 to 1612, it made the water even more scarce.

      The third reason Jamestown colonists died was from poor settler skills. There was very little settlers that had useful skills to survive in the settlement (Doc C). The period called the ¨Starving Times “killed about 110 colonists in 1610 (Doc E). This evidence helps explain why so many colonists died because most of the settlers had unuseful jobs like a Jeweler.  The settlements in Jamestown needed farmers to start planting crops. Without farmers, there was no way to put food on the table. Also, there was a very little percent of doctors or people in the medical field.

      Three reason of why so many colonists died was bad relations with Native Americans, bad water, and poor settlers skills. I believe most colonists died from poor settler skills. Since some of the colonists didn’t know how to farm and decide to just steal what they called trading with the Native Americans. Since there were no farmers with crops the colonists truly shouldn’t have made it. This is important to know why early English colonists died in Jamestown so that we can learn from the English settlers mistakes. It matters today so we can plan what to do if someone was to find new land.

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