|Roots of a Nation: A Chesapeake Journey Submitted by Angela Shamp
Topic: Comparing/Contrasting New England and Tidewater Colonies
Grade Level: 8th Grade
Duration: 3-88 minute classes
What were some of the hardships that 17th century people faced in the New England and Jamestown Colonies? What were their food sources, settlement, Native American relations and weather like?
What settlement would you want to live in and why?
RH 6-8.7 Integrate visual information (eg: charts, graphs, photograph videos and maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
Identify and gather several specific types of primary sources-both textual (diaries, letters, census records, websites) and visual (paintings, photographs, maps, graphs) to be used in addressing a social studies problem or question.
Define relationships among gathered information identifying where information from different sources converges and where it differs.
Draw conclusions, citing evidence from both text and visual sources.
RH 6-8.9 Analyze the relationship between a primary and secondary source on the same topic
Draw conclusions about the purpose of opposing facts or interpretation of the facts.
Interpret primary and secondary sources for corroboration between and among ideas.
WHST 6-8.9 Draw evidence from informational text to support analysis reflection and research.
Write in response to grade-level print, non-print, and digital literacy or information texts with an emphasis on comparison and contrast cause and effect as well as contextual analysis in social studies disciplines.
Maps of Jamestown and Plymouth colonies.
Time line of each settlement
Narratives (of buildings, native American relations, food sources and climate)
Photograph (of building material, floor plans)
Charts and graphs of climate and weather
Video Clips (building, tribal relations, growing food and climate) Colonial House, History of US, Jamestown.
Poster and materials for travel pamphlet.
Warm Up: Compare and Contrast the two maps of Jamestown Colony and Plymouth Colony. Where are they located? What are the natural resources in each area?
Divide students into four groups. Each group will be assigned either Plymouth Colony or Jamestown colony. Each group will visit several centers to gather information on settlement of each colony, relationships of Native Americans, food sources and climate and weather.
Each group will spend 15 minutes at each center gathering information, using their note taking sheets.
Center #1: Settlement. Students will look at floor plans of each colonies house. Students will look how each house was constructed and their building materials. Using narratives, charts, photographs and short video clips. Colonial House.
Center #2: Native American Relations. Students will learn through secondary sources about why Native Americans lived close to each settlement. Students will use narratives to understand relations among the Native Americans.
Center #3: Food Sources. Students will learn through narratives and video clips and secondary sources what food the settlers would have access to and what they were able to trade. Students will also look at the “Starving Time”.
Center #4: Climate and Weather. Students will analyze how climate (the Little Ice Age) and weather would have impacted the settlers. Using graphs, charts and video clips.
Each group will complete a poster to endorse/promotional pamphlet of their colony to other perspective settlers. Giving the good points of their settlement.
Each group will have to present to the rest of the class why they should move to their settlement. While the rest of the classes are taking notes on the pros and cons of each settlement.
Students will debate the issue of why they should move to the perspective colony. Giving the pros and cons.
Opinion paper: In your opinion, which colony would be the best one to live in and why?
Students will write either a diary entry or a letter home to tell how life in their settlement is like. Using things that students learned from narratives, video clips and debates.
Center 1: Settlements
Slides from Architecture and Town Planning.
John Smith’s Chesapeake Voyage, 1607-1609
Jamestown living quarters were crude by the standards of later centuries. The English borrowed few building techniques from the Powhatans and then only later. Instead they erected an English-style stockade around a collection of houses that initially resembled the hovels f the poor back home. Before long, as the colony became better organized, they would build the post-in-the-ground, wattle and daub, half timbered house that tourist can see at Jamestown Settlements English Fort. Higher status persons had larger quarters with more furnishings in them, including a Bible and paper and quill pens. The second-largest building in town was the church. Unlike the temples of the Algonquian speakers, which were large but outside the towns and off limits to common folk, the English church was in town center, open to all. (page 56)
On December 21, 1620, the first landing party arrived at the site of what would later become the settlement of Plymouth Plans to immediately begin building houses, however, were delayed by inclement weather until December 23. As the building progressed, twenty men always remained ashore for security purposes, while the rest of the work crews returned each night to the Mayflower. Women, children, and the infirm remained on board the Mayflower; many had not left the ship for six months. The first structure, a "common house" of wattle and daub, took two weeks to complete in the harsh New England winter. In the following weeks, the rest of the settlement slowly took shape. The living and working structures were built on the relatively flat top of Cole's Hill, and a wooden platform was constructed to support the cannon that would defend the settlement from nearby Fort Hill.
Movie Clip: Life in Jamestown
•Native American hostility
•Food shortages and lack of planning
•Diseases such as dysentery and typhoid fever
Center 2: Native Americans Relations
John Smith’s Chesapeake Voyage 1607-1609
The Native American groups living on those lands and using the bay were not carbon copies of one another. The people living near each other spoke similar dialects, but the farther apart people lived, the more difficulty they had understanding one another. The speech of the Algonquian speakers of North Carolina (Roanokes and others), the Maryland Eastern Shore (Nanticokes and others), and Virginia (collectively called Powhatans) may have differed enough that we can recognize at least three separate languages. The Spanish had already noticed the region’s linguistic diversity in the 1570’s. (page 27)
On March 16, 1621, the first formal contact with the Native Americans occurred. A Native American named Samoset walked boldly into the midst of the settlement and proclaimed, "Welcome, Englishmen!" He had learned some English from interacting with English fishermen and trappers (most probably from Bristol) operating in the region. It was during this meeting that the Pilgrims found out that the previous residents of the Native American village, Patuxet, had died of smallpox. They also discovered that the supreme leader of the region was a Wampanoag by the name of Massasoit and they learned of the existence of Squanto a Native American originally from Patuxet. Squanto had spent time in Europe and spoke English quite well.
Massasoit and Squanto were apprehensive about the Pilgrims. In Massasoit's first contact with the English, several men of his tribe had been killed in an unprovoked attack by English sailors. He also knew of the Pilgrims' theft of the corn stores in their landings at Provincetown. Squanto had been abducted in 1614 by the English explorer Thomas Hunt and had spent five years in Europe, first as a slave for a group of Spanish monks, then in England.
Samoset returned to Plymouth on March 22 with a delegation from Massasoit that included Squanto; Massasoit joined them shortly thereafter. After an exchange of gifts, Massasoit and Governor Martin established a formal treaty of peace. This treaty ensured that each people would not bring harm to the other, that Massasoit would send his allies to make peaceful negotiations with Plymouth, and that they would come to each other's aid in a time of war. Squanto remained in Plymouth to teach the Pilgrims how to survive in New England
This Powatan8 dwelleth 10 myles from vs, upon the River Pamaonche, wch lyeth North from vs. The Powatan in the former iornall9 menconed (a dwellar by Captn. Newport's faults10) ys a wyroaunce, and vnder this Great Powaton, wch before wee knew not.
July.--Th 3 of July, 7 or 8 Indians presented the President a dear from Pamaonke,11 a wyrouance, desiring our friendshipp. They enquired after our shipping; wch the President said was gon to Croutoon.12 They fear much our shipps; and therefore he would not haue them think it farr from us. Their wyrounce had a hatchet sent him. They wear well contented wth trifles. A little after this came a
dear to the President from the Great Powatan. He and his messingers were pleased wth the like trifles. The President likewise bought diuers tymes dear of the Indyans; beavers, and other flesh; wch he alwayes caused to be equally deuided among the Collonye.
About this tyme, diuers of our men fell sick. We myssed aboue fforty before September did see us;13 amongst whom was the worthy and religious gent. Captn. Bartholomew Gosnold,14 vpon whose liefs stood a great part of the good succes and fortune of our gouernment and Collony. In his sicknes tyme, the President did easily foretel his owne deposing from his comaund; so much differed the President and the other Councellors in mannaging the government of the Collonye.
Center #3: Food Sources
John Smith’s Chesapeake Voyages 1607-1609
Indian women cultivated several fields each year, staggering the planting across a three-month period. Most fields were a year or two old while other were newly cleared by the men. The women hd learned, from centuries of trial and error, where the best soils were for producing corn (a non-native plant) in eastern North America’s less-then-perfect climate. Such soils were ideally naturally fertile hough in reality they were confined to the alluvium of the floodplains of the James, york and Rappahannock rivers. Otherwise the favored soils were level or nearly so, fine-grained but easy to till, well drained but not too dry and possessing a low winter water table, a characteristic that allowed them to warm up quickly in the spring.
Abandoned fields, in various stages of regrowth, proveded a great varioety of wild foods. On newly fallow plots grew not only cordage plants but also many deible greens like wild plantains and wil lettece (all of which most people considered weeds today). Some meadows grew grain producing little barley, and ground into flour for bread. The old fields would begin to sprout the low thorny bushes that produce rasperries, blackberries and the like. These fruits would attract berry loving animals such as raccoons and opossums, which could be hunted. Thus, ‘abandoned; fields were not really abandoned by people once they ceased to be cultivated.
Men provied the deer carcasses and carcasses of wild turkeys and other fowl and anmls that yielded meat for the stewpot, hides for clothing and bones for tool making. (pg 47)
Planting began in the spring. With gratefulness for the gifts from Mother Earth, the Wampanoag caught fish called herring as they ran up the rivers and used them to help fertilize the planting lands. Corn seeds were put into soft earth mounds covering the herring. Around the time the corn plants were the height of a human hand, it was time to plant the beans and squashes (including pumpkins) around the base of the corn. As the corn grew, the beans climbed and wound around the corn stalks. Since the 1600s, we have discovered that beans add nitrogen, an important nutrient the corn uses up, to the soil. It is clear to Wampanoag people that their grandparents followed the Creator’s instructions for growing these plants together. Melons, smaller versions of modern watermelons, were part of the Wampanoag gardens and offered a sweet treat. As the squash and melon leaves grew large enough, they helped to keep the weeds down and the ground moist around the mounds during the warmest time of year.
The colonists at Plymouth called their town a “plantation,” a word that comes from the word “plant.” Farming was a major part of the Pilgrims’ lives. They grew crops in large open fields. Women planted and tended vegetables and herbs in small gardens behind their houses. Because many of them had come from cities or towns in England with markets, many of the colonists had never farmed or gardened before coming to Plymouth. They were learning to feed themselves.
In the minds of English people, the perfect diet was one of meat or fish, bread or grain-based porridges, and beer. Dairy products and vegetables were eaten but were not considered essential for health. In England, however, only wealthy people could afford to eat in this way. Poorer families ate meals of vegetables, dairy products and, when they could afford them, meat. Since hunting and trapping were the privileges of landowners, wildfowl (like turkeys) and game (like deer) were not a major part of the common person’s diet.
In Plymouth Colony, however, the colonists’ diet was more varied. In New England, supplies of fish and shellfish were plentiful. Without hunting restrictions, deer, wild fowl, rabbits and other small animals were available to anyone who wanted to hunt them. The Pilgrims also brought farm animals with them, including pigs, chickens, goats, and later, sheep and cows. These animals provided meat, eggs and dairy products for the colonists
Center #4: Climate/Weather
John Smith’s Chesapeake Voyage 1607-1609
The region’s climate reflected major world patterns. After a “medieval warm period” characterized by somewhat dryer and warmer conditions that the present, with resultant wildfires, the weather reversed itself and turned somewhat colder than modern conditions in the Northern Hemisphere. This “Little Ice Age” extended from the 1400’s through the 1700’s with repercussions on both sides of the Atlantic.
Ironically for both Native Americans and English, the mid-Atlantic region was less hospitable than usual when Europeans came calling Tree Ring Analysis suggests that multiyear droughts were in progress during the first three colonizing efforts: 1570 (Spanish on the York River), 1585-87 (English on the Outer Banks), and 1608-12 (English at Jamestown). When these ill-supplied colonies started trying to secure food from the native people already suffering from the drought, the result was disaster. (page 3)
The First Winter at Plymouth:
The Mayflower remained in New England with the colonists throughout the terrible first winter. Although the ship was cold, damp and unheated, it did provide a defense against the rigorous New England winter until houses could be completed ashore. Nevertheless, exposure, malnutrition and illness led to the death of half the group, both passengers and crewmen. There were four deaths (and one birth - Peregrine White) during the month they spent at the tip of Cape Cod. The remainder of the winter saw the deaths of another 40 or 41 colonists. At the lowest ebb, only seven people were healthy enough to tend the sick. On January 14, a fire destroyed the thatched roof on their first structure or "rendezvous" but fortunately none of the sick people that lay within were hurt. A second fire a month later was put out without incident. Despite all of the tragedies and hardships, the Pilgrims persevered in building their new settlement. The Village street was laid out with two rows of plots for their houses and gardens. A platform was erected on the top of the hill above the village, and six cannon installed for defense.
The colonists had observed Native Americans near the settlement in mid-February, but it wasn't until Friday, March 16, that the two peoples actually met. It was then that the famous encounter occurred when Samoset, an Abenaki Sagamore from what is now Maine, and another man entered the little village and said "Welcome, Englishmen." Samoset had learned English from the English fishermen who crossed the North Atlantic each year to fish for cod. He told the Pilgrims of the great plague which had killed all of the Patuxet people who had previously occupied the cleared farmland where the new colony sat, and of the ill-feeling the local Native Americans had towards the English following some kidnapping by Thomas Hunt, an English captain who had visited the area a few years before. During Samoset's visit, the colonists were busy planting their garden seeds.
On March 22nd, Samoset returned with another Native American, Squanto, who was one of the men who had been captured by Hunt. His adventures abroad, from slavery in Spain, escape to London and return to America as a guide in the employ of Sir Ferdinando Gorges, had taught him well about the ways of the Europeans. Squanto, or Tisquantum, became the little colony's chief interpreter and agent in their interaction with the Native Peoples. His arrival paved the way for a visitation by Massasoit, the regional leader among the native people, the Wampanoag. After an exchange of greetings and gifts, the two peoples signed a treaty of peace which would last over fifty years.
Jamestown and Plymouth: Compare and Contrast
Traveling aboard the Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery, 104 men landed in Virginia in 1607 at a place they named Jamestown. This was the first permanent English settlement in the New World.
Thirteen years later, 102 settlers aboard the Mayflower landed in Massachusetts at a place they named Plymouth. With these two colonies, English settlement in North America was born.
LOCATION OF THE SETTLEMENTS
Jamestown offered anchorage and a good defensive position. Warm climate and fertile soil allowed large plantations to prosper.
Plymouth provided good anchorage and an excellent harbor. Cold climate and thin, rocky soil limited farm size. New Englanders turned to lumbering, shipbuilding, fishing and trade.
REASONS FOR THE COLONIES
Economic motives prompted colonization in Virginia. The Virginia Company of London, organized in 1606, sponsored the Virginia Colony. Organizers of the company wanted to expand English trade and obtain a wider market for English manufactured goods. They naturally hoped for financial profit from their investment in shares of company stock.
Freedom from religious persecution motivated the Pilgrims to leave England and settle in Holland, where there was more religious freedom. However, after a number of years the Pilgrims felt that their children were being corrupted by the liberal Dutch lifestyle and were losing their English heritage. News of the English Colony in Virginia motivated them to leave Holland and settle in the New World.
Inexperience, unwillingness to work, and the lack of wilderness survival skills led to bickering, disagreements, and inaction at Jamestown. Poor Indian relations, disease, and the initial absence of the family unit compounded the problems.
Cooperation and hard work were part of the Pilgrim's lifestyle. Nevertheless, they too were plagued with hunger, disease, and environmental hazards.
The settlers at Jamestown were members of the Anglican faith, the official Church of England.
The Pilgrims were dissenters from the Church of England and established the Puritan or Congregational Church.
In 1619, the first representative legislative assembly in the New World met at the Jamestown church. It was here that our American heritage of representative government was born. Since New England was outside the jurisdiction of Virginia's government, the Pilgrims established a self-governing agreement of their own, the "Mayflower Compact."
The Virginia colonists settled in the territory of a strong Indian empire or chiefdom. English relations with the Powhatan Indians were unstable from the beginning. Vast differences in culture, philosophies, and the English desire for dominance were obstacles too great to overcome. After the Indian uprising in 1622, the colonists gave up attempts to christianize and live peacefully with the Powhatans.
Prior to the Pilgrims' arrival, an epidemic wiped out the majority of the New England Indians. Several survivors befriended and assisted the colonists. Good relations ended in 1636 when the Massachusetts Bay Puritans declared war on the Pequot Tribe and Plymouth was dragged into the conflict.
Who married Pocahontas? Some erroneously believe John Smith did. In actuality, she married John Rolfe, an Englishman who started the tobacco industry in Virginia. The John Smith connection stems from Smith's later writings relating an incidence of Pocahontas saving his life.
According to Longfellow's epic, The Courtship of Miles Standish, John Alden proposed to Priscilla Mullins on behalf of Standish and she replied, "Why don't you speak for yourself, John?" Priscilla did in fact marry John Alden at Plymouth. The records do not mention Standish ever courting Priscilla.
On December 4, 1619 settlers stepped ashore at Berkeley Hundred along the James River and, in accordance with the proprietor's instruction that "the day of our ship's arrival ... shall be yearly and perpetually kept as a day of thanksgiving," celebrated the first official Thanksgiving Day.
In the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims held a celebration to give thanks to God for his bounty and blessings. This occasion was the origin of the traditional Thanksgiving as we know it today.
The growth and development of these two English colonies, though geographically separated, contributed much to our present American heritage of law, religion, government, custom and language. As Governor Bradford of Plymouth stated,
"Thus out of small beginnings greater things have been produced by His hand that made all things of nothing, and gives being to all things that are; and as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shown unto many, yea, in some sort, to our whole Nation."
The charter of the Virginia Company stated,
"Lastly and chiefly the way to prosper and achieve good success is to make yourselves all of one mind for the good of your country and your own, and to serve and fear God the giver of all goodness, for every plantation which our father hath not planted shall be rooted out."
Bradford, William. Bradford's History. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1908.
Breen, T. H. Puritans and Adventurers. New York: Oxford University Press, 1980.
Hatch, Charles. The First 17 Years. Virginia 350th Anniversary Celebration Corporation, 1957.
Jennings, Francis. The Invasion of America. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1975.
Robbins, Roland W. Pilgrim John Alden's Progress. Plymouth, Massachusetts: Pilgrim Society, 1969.
Types of Settlements
Relations with Native Americans
Which Settlement would you live in?
Why did you pick this settlement?
1585-1590 Three separate voyages sent English settlers to Roanoke, Virginia (now
North Carolina). On the last voyage, John White could not locate the
1603 Queen Elizabeth I died; James VI of Scotland became James I of
Early Settlement Years
1606, April James I of England granted a charter to the Virginia Company to
establish colonies in Virginia. The charter named two branches of the
Company, the Virginia Company of London and the Virginia Company
1606, December 20 Three ships – Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery - left
London with 105 men and boys to establish a colony in Virginia
between 34 and 41 degrees latitude.
1607, April 26 The three ships sighted the land of Virginia, landed at Cape Henry
(present day Virginia Beach) and were attacked by Indians. Back on
board, Captain Christopher Newport opened the box containing the
names of the seven-man council – Captain Christopher Newport,
Edward Maria Wingfield, Captain Bartholomew Gosnold, Captain John
Ratcliffe, Captain John Martin, Captain George Kendall, and John
Smith. Wingfield was elected president of the council.
A few days later they moved into the James River and stopped at
Kecoughtan (present day Hampton) where the Indians welcomed them.
1607, May 1-14 Exploring parties sailed up the James River in search of a suitable place
to settle, following the instructions given to them by Company officials in
1607, May 13-14 On May 13 the colonists chose Jamestown Island as the site for
settlement, because it met the London Company’s instructions and it
had a deep river channel nearby. On May 14 they stepped ashore and
began fortifying the area against Spaniards and Indians.
1607, May About a week after establishing Jamestown, Captain Newport led a
group of 23 men, including John Smith, George Percy, and Gabriel
Archer on an exploration up the James River. They discovered rocks
and shoals in the area of present-day Richmond. They met Powhatan
Indians who were eager to trade and enjoyed their hospitality. They
learned of the existence of Chief Powhatan.
1607, May 26 The colonists set about building a more substantial fortification after
experiencing an Indian attack. This second fort has been described as
triangular with a bulwark at each corner containing four or five pieces of
1607, June 21 Reverend Robert Hunt held the first Anglican communion in Jamestown
under a sail used for protection.
1607, June 22 Captain Christopher Newport returned to England on the Susan
Constant, loaded with wood and other natural resources for sale in
1607, September Charges were brought against Edward Maria Wingfield, president of
the Jamestown council. He was deposed and replaced by John
1607, Fall Over half the colonists died, most from disease and starvation, a few
from wounds caused by Indians.
1607, December Captain John Smith, on an exploring and trading expedition, was
captured by a Powhatan hunting party and eventually taken before
Chief Powhatan, who by this time had become chief of about 32
Tidewater Virginia tribes. During this encounter, Smith thought
Powhatan threatened his life, and Powhatan’s daughter, Pocahontas,
saved his life. Many historians today believe that Smith was part of test
1608, January 2 John Smith was released by Powhatan and returned to Jamestown.
Captain Christopher Newport arrived with the first Jamestown resupply
including provisions and more men. They found 38 settlers
remaining at Jamestown.
1608, February Fire broke out in James Fort, causing much destruction. By spring,
repairs had begun.
Smith took Newport to Werowocomoco on the York River to meet
Powhatan. Chief Powhatan pronounced the English to be his people.
Thirteen-year old Thomas Savage was presented to Powhatan, and in
return, Powhatan gave the English his servant, Namontack. The English
traded copper and tools for corn.
1608, June John Smith left Jamestown to explore the Chesapeake Bay, meeting
Indian groups along the way and mapping the bay and its tributary
1608, September 10 Smith was elected to be president of the Virginia Council. He
established a set of rules, one of which required men to work if they
wanted to eat.
1608, September / October Christopher Newport arrived in Virginia with the second re-supply of
goods and settlers, including the first two women, Mistress Forrest and
her maid, Ann Burras.
1608, Fall Ann Burras and John Laydon, laborer, were married. This was the first
English marriage at Jamestown.
1608 John Smith’s True Relation, a description of events in Virginia
1609 February- May Progress occurred in Jamestown - 40 acres were cleared, a well was
dug, the church re-roofed, 20 cabins built, a blockhouse built at the
isthmus, and a new fort erected across the river from Jamestown.
Leadership adopted a more aggressive policy towards the Powhatan
1609, Spring Due to a shortage of food resources, John Smith scattered the settlers
to get oysters and other foods.
1609, August A fleet with more than 300 new settlers arrived in Virginia. These men,
women and children arrived tired and hungry. Their flagship, Sea
Venture, carrying acting governor Sir Thomas Gates and other newly
appointed colonial leaders, had shipwrecked in Bermuda.
1609, September John Smith was injured in a gunpowder explosion, and returned to
England in October, never to return to the Chesapeake area of Virginia.
1610, Winter This winter is often called the “starving time,” when the population of
Virginia shrank from about 300 to 90 (60 left at Jamestown). The
Powhatan Indians placed the settlement under siege at this time. The
siege warfare lasted about four years.
1610, May Acting governor Sir Thomas Gates and the other survivors of the Sea
Venture arrived at Jamestown from Bermuda. He found the fort in
ruins and the remaining 60 colonists there “famished at the point of
death.” Thirty others at Point Comfort fared much better. Gates
established martial law to maintain order.
1610, June Due to lack of supplies, Gates decided to abandon the settlement at
Jamestown and return to England. While sailing down the James River
he heard that Lord de la Warr was arriving with new settlers and
supplies from England.
1610, Summer De la Warr set about rebuilding the colony. He expanded the strict
code of laws established by Gates. These became known as “Lawes
Divine, Morall, and Martiall.” He rebuilt the triangular palisade, with a
marketplace, storehouse and chapel occupying the interior.
1610, August English soldiers, at the command of Lord de la Warr, raided the
Chickahominy and Paspahegh villages, killing the wife of the Paspahegh
chief and her children.
1610-1611 John Rolfe, who arrived with the group from Bermuda, began
experimenting with tobacco seeds he somehow acquired from the West
Indies. He tried to find a tobacco more pleasing to English tastes than
the bitter native tobacco that the Powhatans grew.
1611, March De la Warr became ill and returned to England with Dr. Lawrence
Bohun, who experimented with New World plants and herbs. George
Percy was left in charge in Virginia.
1611, May Sir Thomas Dale arrived in Virginia to assume leadership as deputy
governor. With him were 300 new settlers and soldiers, as well as
provisions, supplies, livestock and seeds to grow garden crops. He
strengthened the rule of martial law.
1611, August Thomas Gates returned to Virginia and assumed control from Dale.
Dale then went with workmen to build a new settlement at Henrico,
near the fall line (present day Richmond), marking the beginning of
expansion away from Jamestown. A settlement at Kecoughtan (later
Elizabeth City / Hampton) also was established as settlers sought
healthier places to live.
1613, April On a trading expedition to the Potomac River, Captain Samuel Argall
kidnapped Pocahontas and brought her to Jamestown, hoping her
father, Powhatan, would return stolen English settlers, tools and
weapons. When her father did not fully comply, Pocahontas was sent
to Henrico under the care of the Reverend Alexander Whitaker.
1613 The fourth Virginia Company “city” was established at Bermuda
Hundred (later Charles City), following Jamestown, Henrico, and
1614 By 1614, John Rolfe had sent his first shipment of tobacco to England
Pocahontas was baptized and given the Christian name Rebecca. In
April, she married John Rolfe, probably at Jamestown. Peaceful
relations were established temporarily between the Powhatan Indians
and the English.
Plymouth Time Line
August 5, 1620 • The Speedwell and Mayflower set sail for the “northern parts of Virginia.”
August 13, 1620 • The Speedwell proves leaky and the two ships put into Dartmouth.
August 23, 1620 • After repairing the Speedwell, the two ships set sail. The ship continues leaking, and they both put back into Plymouth.
September 6, 1620 • The Speedwell and some of the passengers are left in Plymouth, and the Mayflower sails on alone.
November 9, 1620 • They spot the tip of Cape Cod, north of the land authorized in their patent. They attempt to sail south, but are defeated by treacherous shoals.
November 11, 1620 • The Mayflower anchors in Provincetown Harbor. The document now known as the Mayflower Compact is drawn up and signed by most of the men. This establishes a provisional governmental structure until a new patent can be obtained
November 15 to December 7, 1620 • Parties of men go exploring in search of a good site for settlement.
December 8, 1620 • A party of explorers encounter Wampanoag for the first time on Cape Cod. Although shots are exchanged, no one is hurt in this “first encounter.” In the evening the men arrive in Plymouth Harbor.
December 11, 1620 • The shallop party lands in Plymouth and explores the coast.
December 16, 1620 • The Mayflower drops anchor in Plymouth Harbor.
December 20, 1620 • The colonists choose an abandoned Wampanoag village called Patuxet for their new home. The former inhabitants had died or been scattered in an outbreak of European disease four years before.
December 23, 1620 • Men go ashore and begin gathering building materials. Work continues as weather and health permit. During the winter, about half of the colonists die of scurvy and other diseases.
March 16, 1620/1 • Samoset, a Monhegan (Maine) Native, arrives in the colony and greets them in English.
March 17, 1620/1 • Samoset returns, bringing Tisquantum (Squanto) and announces the imminent arrival of the Wampanoag leader, Massasoit. Governor Carver and Massasoit conclude a treaty of peace. Squanto stays with the colonists.
April 5, 1621 • The Mayflower returns to England.
Mid-April, 1621 • Governor Carver sickens and dies. William Bradford is elected governor.
Late September/early October, 1621 • The colonists hold a harvest celebration. Massasoit and a number of Natives participate.
Initial Growth, 1621-1627
November 9, 1621 • The ship Fortune arrives, bringing 35 new colonists, mostly men.
July/August, 1623 • Two more ships, Anne and Little James, arrive bringing almost 100 more colonists. Together with the passengers of the Mayflower and Fortune, they comprise the “Old Comers.” These early colonists often received preferential treatment in later colony transactions.
1623 • The colonists receive their own land on which to plant crops.
November, 1623 • A fire destroys several buildings in Plymouth. An unknown number of colonists, having lost the homes and possessions, return to England.
1624 • A religious controversy centering around the Reverend John Lyford results in many leaving Plymouth for England or other areas of New England.
1626 • Plymouth builds its first trading house at Aptucxet on the southwestern side of Cape Cod. There they trade with the Natives of both Cape Cod and Narragansett Bay.
May 22, 1627 • The colony begins to divide its major assets, beginning with livestock. The resultant document lists most of the Plymouth inhabitants by name.
from the New England Company