The leader of Jamestown, Captaim John Smith said of American Settlements:
"I call them my children for they have been my wife, my hawks, my hounds, my cards, my dice and in totall, my best content, as indifferent to my heart as my left hand to my right."
This quote gives an idea to the motivations of Smith and his fellow colonists.
After Smith was injured in an explosion, he was forced to return to England. Another prominent colonist arrived an stepped up: John Rolfe. He is famous for bringing tobacco to Jamestown and for marrying Pocahontas. He said:
"For the converting to the true knowledge of God and Jesus Christ, an unbeleeving creature, namely Pokahontas."
This quote from Rolfe goes to show that the colonists were religiously motivated to convert the natives.
Source: Historical Society of Southern England. Ship’s list of immigrants bound for Virginia
July 30, 1635
These underwritten names are to be transported to Virginia, embarked in the ship Merchant’s Hope, Hugh Weston, Master, per examination by the minister of Gravesend touching their conformity to the Church discipline of England, and have taken the oaths of allegiance and supremacy.
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This document shows the demographics of those going to Virginia and jamestown. As shown, they are young and mostly male.
Source: Jamestown Yorktown Foundation
This document portrays the rough relations between the settlers and the natives. They seem to be trading, but the settlers are holding knives.
Jamestown was founded in 1607 and was significant because it lasted longer than previously failed attempts to colonize the Americas, such as Roanoke. It served as the capital of the colony of Virginia.
Initially, natives helped the colonists by providing crucial items for survival. But early on, relations soured and a series of wars all but wiped out the local natives.
John Rolfe's marriage to Powhatan chief's daughter Pocahontas stabilized relations for a while. Pocahontas was viewed as the prime example for the fact that these natives could be "civilized" as per the definition of the European man.
John Rolfe came from Bermuda and brought with him several tobacco seeds. Jamestown began harvesting tobacco and made a lot of money off of it. But as they required more land for farming tobacco, relations with the natives soured.
In 1619 the first representative assembly in America convened in the Jamestown Church, and they were known as the virginia house of burgesses.
Life at Jamestown was tough because of salt marshes, mosquitoes, natives, and a lack of fresh water.