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The Jamestown Massacre

Uploaded by ashchap on Nov 24, 2002

104 men were sent to form Jamestown in 1607. 4 months after they arrived, 70 had died. Thousands were sent to take their place over the next 3 years, but they also died. Why?

  • Jamestown was founded on may 14 1607, by a small group led by Christopher Newport who was hired by the London company to transport colonists.
  • Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement in America.
  • Many settlers died in the winter of 1609-1610.
  • Survivors were encouraged to stay by more settlers and supplies which came the following June
  • In 1612 tobacco farming was started
  • Native Americans often attacked the village.
  • Jamestown was burned down in 1676

Could the reason that so many died have been starvation?

It seems that the winter of 1609 was so bad that the many of the colonists died of starvation. They were made to eat their own excrement and flesh. They ate Indians and animals from the colony, including horses, dogs and rats, or anything they could find. But this was hard to believe, as the island was full of food. Maybe the cause of death was drought. Scientists have discovered that the worst drought in many years was between 1604 and 1609. They can tell this because of the tree samples that have been taken. No water meant that crops wouldn’t grow, and animals would die, as well as humans. The problem with this theory is that down river, there was excess food. The men could have been too weak to gather food. Why?

Maybe the colonists died because of disease?

The men could have got diseases from the water that they drank. The position of the settlement was not ideal, although it was very good military position. The water that the settlers drank was out of the river, but the water around the island was stagnant, it didn’t move. All the sewage from the island was poured straight into the river, this meant that the men were drinking raw sewage. A lot of men died of 'Bloody Flux' and typhoid, these are typical sewage related diseases. The colonists knew about the risks of drinking the water, but they had no choice, they had to drink something.

Internal Politics could have played a part in the unexplained deaths at Jamestown.

Before Christmas in 1606 there was a dispute over who would lead the expedition to colonise Jamestown. Some members disagreed about having the settlement on an island 50 miles from the coast.

So was it...

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Uploaded by:   ashchap

Date:   11/24/2002

Category:   History

Length:   3 pages (780 words)

Views:   2209

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