Jamestown: Reasons Why Colonists Died

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Even though Jamestown was the first permanent English colony in the United States located in Virginia, but during their time there they had trouble and many ended up dying, but why did so many settlers end up dying? The reason why so many Colonist died at Jamestown was due to the Types of Settlers, Environmental reasons, and Violence of the Natives.

Firstly, One reason why so many colonists died at Jamestown, is because of The Types of Settlers. According to Document C, the chart states that there were 47 Gentlemen of the first ship, Gentlemen were men of wealth and were not used to working with there hands. This shows that they brought an unnecessary amount of settlers that can’t really help them with building a colony in Jamestown. Also According to Document C the chart shows that they only brought one surgeon on the first ship. This shows that due to the types of settlers they brought more of the settlers could have survived if there were more surgeons on the ship. But what was the Environment of Jamestown like and how did it kill them?

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Next, Another reason why so many colonists died is because of Environmental reasons. According to Document A it states “Also, historian Carville V. Earle attributed… disease in the early years to Jamestown’s position at the salt-fresh water transition, where filth introduced into the river tended to fester rather than flush away.”. This shows how the environment affected their health and lead to diseases. According to the Document B, the chart shows the Jamestown drought this happened around 1606-1612. This shows that when they were first entering Jamestown they were experiencing the drought, which affected them not being able to grow crops, and not being able to drink water. But were the Powhatans a big part of so many settlers dying?

Lastly, One last reason why so many colonists died is because of the Violence of the Natives. According to Document D, it states, that they had traded with the Powhatans for Grain but used but according to the article they use ‘some harshe and [cruel] dealings by cutting of two of the Savages heads and other extremities.’. This shows how violence had occured due to the extremities of the Settlers. According to Document D, there is a chart that shows how many Colonists died, from 1607 – 1608 their relationship is getting worse and from 1609 – 1610, so many Colonists are killed by the Powhatens.  


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