Transformation of Colonial Virginia

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According to The Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery, carrying 105 passengers, one of whom died during the voyage, departed from England in December 1606 and reached the Virginia coast in late April 1607. The expedition was led by Captain Christopher Newport. On May 13, after two weeks of exploration, the ships arrived at a site on the James River selected for its deep water anchorage and good defensive position. The passengers came ashore the next day, and work began on the settlement; creating the foundation of Jamestown, America’s first permanent English colony. Initially, the colony was governed by a council of seven, with one member serving as president. This sparked a series of cultural encounters that helped shape the nation and the world. The government, language, customs, beliefs and aspirations of these early Virginians are all part of the United States’ heritage today. According to document A, the challenges the Virginians faced when they landed and settled were disease, war, and famine. According to document D, there were only two small areas containing either food or supplies while the rest of the ship was filled with passengers. The amount of food stored on that ship wasn’t enough to feed the passengers to both last the ship ride and an unknown amount of time on land, till they found more nourishment there. Serious problems soon emerged in the small English outpost, which was located in the midst of a chiefdom of about 14,000 Algonquian-speaking Indians ruled by the powerful leader Powhatan. Relations with the Powhatan Indians were tenuous, although trading opportunities were established. An unfamiliar climate, as well as brackish water supply and lack of food, conditions possibly aggravated by a prolonged drought; led to disease and death. Many of the original colonists were upper-class Englishmen, and the colony lacked
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