Jamestown Colony Survives
Jamestown Fort built in 1607 along the James River
JAMESTOWN: After many years of suffering, the Jamestown Colony has finally succeeded. Mr. John Rolfe, husband of the famous Pocahontas, is responsible for saving the colony with the planting and cultivation of the tobacco plant. Since its introduction by Rolfe in 1614, the demand for the crop in England has steadily increased causing many colonists to work harder than ever before in the hopes of making as much money as possible.
First settled in 1607, the area of Virginia known as Chesapeake Bay saw the arrival of 104 men from England. Due to the surrounding swampy land, almost half of these men died before the end of the first year because of disease-carrying mosquitoes, and water which was too salty and unsuitable to drink.
Captain John Smith, the leader of the colony at the time, faced many challenges during those early years, especially during the years of 1609-1610 known as the “starving time.”
Despite his strong leadership, the colony did not thrive.
Now that the tobacco plant is reaping profits for many farmers, the colony of Jamestown is succeeding. With the arrival of many new settlers, it is predicted that Jamestown will continue to grow and prosper. John Rolfe will forever go down in history as saving the colony of Jamestown.
King James: “Tobacco
Is a Stinking Weed”
King James voices his opinion against smoking and the cultivation of the tobacco plant in Jamestown.
LONDON: Tobacco is now the most important crop in America and is being called a “cash crop.” More and more people in England are smoking so the demand for this crop has increased. King James of England is discouraging the use of tobacco calling it “a stinking weed.” He thinks smoking is “hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, and dangerous to the lungs.” Despite his warnings, many more farmers are planting the crop and making money, and turning the colony of Jamestown into a success.
An Interview with Captain John Smith
Captain John Smith, the leader of Jamestown, recently completed his book, “A General History of Virginia.” In it, he tells about his amazing experiences there. Recently, I spoke with him at his home in England.
Captain John Smith, the leader of Jamestown
What was the most difficult part of leading the colonists?
“The most difficult part was getting the colonists to do their work. We needed crops, of course, so that we could feed ourselves. They had this notion that they were going to find gold, and that is all they wanted to do-search for gold. I became disgusted with them, so I had to make a rule for which I am most famous-I said, “He that will not work shall not eat.”
How did that work out?
“Well, because these settlers weren’t used to working in England, they hated being forced to build houses, plant crops, and raise livestock. I think they loathed me, but that is what I had to do in order for the colony to survive.”
You wrote in your book about the time you were held captive by Chief Powhatan and that his daughter Pocahontas saved your life. Some people think your story is an exaggeration. What do you say to them?
“I say that my book is considered a very valuable source of information about the first permanent English settlement in America. My maps of Virginia are highly detailed and accurate. As far as the story goes, well, it is like I said; suddenly the Powhatans grabbed me, and stood over me with clubs as if they were going to beat my brains out. Thankfully, Pocahontas saved me by holding my head in her arms. I later learned that the Powhatans are known to perform this ritual when they want to make friends and admit members to the Powhatan tribe. It is part of their ceremony. My story is true, and from that point on, Pocahontas and I became good friends.
O B I T U A R Y
Pocahontas Dies From Small Pox
LONDON: Pocahontas, the famous Powhatan Native American, died of complications of the small pox disease. She was preparing to leave England when she became ill. Born with the name “Matoaka,” she took the Christian name of Rebecca after her marriage to John Rolfe, the English tobacco planter. She was only about 22 years of age. She gained fame and notoriety in England and was very well liked. Her marriage brought about the “Peace of Pocahontas” between the Native Americans and the English colonists, which lasted for about 8 years. She is survived by her father, Chief Powhatan, her husband, John Rolfe, and her son, Thomas Rolfe, age 2.