Dbq Early Jamestown: Why Did So Many Colonists Die Essay

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With hopes that an American colony would solve their debt problems, over 100 passengers were sent by the Virginia Company. Three English ships carried the sailors through the waters of the Chesapeake Bay to Jamestown, Virginia. On May 13, 1607, they arrived with the hope of building a life in America, teaching Christianity, and finding a new route to China. What they didn’t realize was the hardships they would have to suffer in order to establish the first permanent English settlement in America. Adversity such as starvation, disease, and conflicts with the Indians awaited them.
        When the colonists first arrived, their food supply ran out, and they believed that the Indians would help them. However, they did not because they were they were angered by the actions of Francis West’s actions while he was trying to trade corn with the Patawomeke Indians. (Document D) The colonists soon realized that they would need to grow their own crops in order to endure; however, they were soon faced with what the settlers called “starving time.” During the winter of 1609 through 1610, Jamestown was faced with a drought. (Document B) Without water, the crops were unable to grow which led to hunger, starvation, and death. When there where crops to tend to, the water levels were too weak to do so. (Document B) Moreover, the rivers and lakes became brackish which means that they started to fill with salt. Therefore, their dependable sources of fresh water became limited. (Document A) Since there was a short supply of fresh water, many colonists died of dehydration. Additionally, the document stated that waste in early Jamestown tended to cluster instead of flush away. These mishaps caused disease which eventually led to death.

Another hardship the colonists had to endure was their exposure to new deadly diseases. Nearly 70 out of the 110 original colonists lost their lives by that December. (Document E) From May 1607 to May 1610, 210 colonists died from sickness. (Document...

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