Why Did So Many Colonists Die In Jamestown? by Eli W.

    In the Spring of 1607, three English ships carrying more than 100 colonists arrived in Jamestown to start a new life.  From 1607-1611 English colonists worked tirelessly to create a place where they could live debt free.  They settled in Jamestown,Virginia near the Chesapeake Bay. This was the first permanent English settlement.  In the first six months, 60 out of 100 would be dead. There are three reasons why so many colonists died in Jamestown from 1607 to 1611, they are bad relations with the Native Americans, bad water, and poor settling skills.

    The first reason why so many colonists died in Jamestown from 1607 to 1611 is bad relations with the Native Americans. According to Document D, there was mistrust between the colonists and the Native Americans. There was mistrust because the Natives were forced to trade goods with the colonists. In my opinion, the Native Americans and the English settlers couldn’t get along, and because this happened, this led to war, which led to death. Seven colonists were killed by the Powhatans (Document E).

    The second reason as to why so many colonists died in Jamestown was brackish water. According to Document A, historian Carville V Earle said: “waste dumped in the James River by the colonists tended to fester rather than flush away.” When Carville V Earle said that, he meant that waste was always dumped in the river instead of being flushed away. Brackish water is also called salt water, and drinking salt water is bad and disgusting. In my opinion, because Jamestown had very bad water due to waste, it made people sick and also caused death.

    The last reason as to why so many colonists died was poor settling skills. According to Document E, in 1607-1608, 84 people died due to disease. When this happened, the settlers did not have gentlemen, because gentlemen did not need to work. Also, according to Document C, of the first 110 settlers that arrived in May 1607, nearly 70 were dead by December. This shows that settlers did not know how to take care of themselves. In my opinion, because a lot of settlers died, Jamestown was very untrustworthy.

    I believe these are the reasons many colonists died in Jamestown, VA from 1607-1611, and they are, once again, bad relations with the Native Americans, bad water, and poor settling skills.

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