Many colonists died in early Jamestown, was it because of the environmental problems, the lack of settler skills, or maybe it was the bad relationship the colonist had with the Indians? The lack of skills by the settlers played a huge role in the many deaths of the colonists. In May 1607, 110 settlers arrived in Jamestown. Of the 110, only 82 had known occupations, and 47 out of the 82 were gentlemen (a gentlemen was a person of wealth who was not used to working with his hands)(Doc. C).
The first couple of years were not easy for the settlers. The question is Why did so many colonist die? To start off with, one of the problems they faced was environmental problems. Many of Jamestown’s colonist died because of brackish water which was some salty water due to the mixture of fresh and salt water, because of the tides that would happen twice daily. Also, they would dump their human waste into the water and make it even more contaminated so when the people of Jamestown would drink or use the water it would make them ill and even to the point that they died.
In 1605-1612, the colonists experienced the longest drought (Doc B). Because of the lack of rain, they weren’t able to grow crops (Doc B). The seasons also caused diseases to spread (Doc E). The occupations of the colonists contributed to the colonist dying. They brought gentlemen, rich men that didn’t work with their hands, and they wanted other people to build their houses and hunt for their food (Doc C).
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.
Many hoped to get wealthy. But little did they know that for the most, this adventurous trip would come to a sad end. By 1611, out of the 500 settlers that came here to make a new life, 400 were dead. The tragedy of Jamestown could not have been prevented because of the rigorous climate and lack of fresh food and water. The tough climate made it very difficult for the colonists to survive.
The Starving Time In the year 1608, the colonists of Jamestown faced a disastrous winter known as the “starving time.”(The starving time pg.1) During this particular winter countless colonists died. the starving time occured due to the fact that the colonists were only interasted in finding gold, they had little agricultural knowlege, and the Indians were not happy with the colonists. These three factors dug the bariles of the colonists. Jamestown was funded in 1607 by the Virgina Company of London. The inverstors had one thing in mind, gold.
This is the period when they were surrounded and trapped by the Powhatan Indians. During this time the colonists were forced to eat horses, cats, dogs and rats. Many were sickened also from dirty drinking water that came from the river or contaminated wells. Lots of the colonists died before the spring of 1610, when new colonists arrived with fresh
The population of the natives was lowered to an amount they left them without enough people to sustains their lifestyles, they didn’t have enough people to hunt, gather, and farm, and they didn’t have the elders to keep their traditions and values alive. With the fast spread of disease the natives had almost no choice but to join other tribes for protection and to sustain their way of life to even a small extent. The article also spoke about how the natives had become too reliant on the settlers for trade and had slowly become too twisted into the trade. “Liquor, for example,
The Jamestown settlers’ motivation for coming to America was one similar to that of the Roanoke settlers. They hoped to find gold, a water route to Asia, and make money for the shareholders in England. The status of the settlers varied dramatically. About half of them were of the English gentry, while the rest were tradesmen. Subsequently, the settlement became highly dysfunctional since the English gentleman refused to do work that was necessary to the colonies survival.
Large numbers of the West Indies simply never saw a doctor. Most doctors did not want to live in the rural districts. Even in the towns labourers could not afford their fees. Only the ones who had no chance of earning anything at all were given any medical help. Transport however was another factor.