Nightmare at Jamestown

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Nightmare at Jamestown

  1. What are three ways that many of Jamestown’s early settlers died?

Many settlers were murdered, or they starved to death or died from disease.

  1. Before England began exploring the New World, what country was sending many explorers to the New World? What were they looking for?

Spanish explorers were in the New World searching for gold and riches.

  1. What were the two goals of the Virginia Company?

Their goal was to find gold and a safe passage to the Orient

  1. On what date did the first Jamestown settlers set sail from England?

December, 1606

  1. What was the first problem encountered at sea by the Jamestown settlers?

Windless seas turned a three month journey into four months

  1. How many men sailed to the New World to settle in Jamestown, and from what two social classes were they?

108 men – half were gentlemen, half were commoners

  1. What was the name of one of the commoners who really aggravated the gentlemen, and what was he accused of that landed him in shackles?

John Smith was accused of mutiny.

  1. What became history’s primary source for the Jamestown story?

John Smith’s journal

  1. What is the prophecy that Chief Powhatan hears shortly before the Jamestown settlers arrive in the New World?

He hears that a nation will rise from the Chesapeake Bay and overcome his empire.

  1. Approximately how many relics have been discovered by archeologists in Jamestown in recent years?

About a million relics have been found.

  1. When did the Jamestown colonists land in the New World?

April, 1607

  1. Who were the Jamestown colonists most afraid of, and who ended up being the greatest danger to the colonists?

The colonists were afraid of the Spanish, but the natives were their greatest danger.

  1. How many arrows can an Indian shoot in the 30 seconds it takes to reload an English musket (gun)?

An Indian can shoot 10 arrows in the 30 seconds.

  1. What was surprising about the cause of death of the first human skeleton found at Jamestown?

There was a musket ball in the leg of the skeleton.

  1. What was the colonists’ ultimate weapon?

The cannon was their ultimate weapon.

  1. After building the Jamestown Fort, what started happening to many of the men, and why?

Many men were dying from over exertion.

  1. What was wrong with the daily rations of wheat and barley given to each man?

The food was spoiled and filled with worms.

  1. What turned out to be one of the major sources of disease for the colonists?

The water being drunk from the James River had become brackish with salt water from the ocean causing dehydration, salt water poisoning, and eventually death.

  1. What made archeologists think that the skeleton found buried outside the fort was the skeleton of an important colonist?

There was a captain’s staff buried on top of the casket.

  1. After six months in Jamestown, how many of the original 108 men were still alive?

About 50 men were still alive.

  1. Which colonist decided that trading with the Natives would give the colonists their best chance to survive?

Captain John Smith went to meet with the Natives.

  1. Who was Chief Powhatan’s daughter?


  1. What happened to the colonist who was accused of being a Spanish spy?

He was executed.

  1. Why did Captain John Smith need to leave Jamestown to return to England?

He was injured from an explosion.

  1. What happened to the colony shortly after John Smith left Jamestown? What was the period of time called?

The colony was attacked by Natives. Men were starving. It became known as the Starving Time.

  1. What are some unusual things the colonists had to eat in order to survive?

The colonists resorted to eating horses, cats, dogs, poisonous snakes, and human corpses.

  1. As ships continued to arrive in Jamestown carrying more settlers and supplies, what disease was brought to the colonists from Europe?

The bubonic plague arrived in Jamestown.

  1. What was the name of the man whom historians believe was buried outside the Jamestown fort with a captain’s staff, and why was he important?

His name was Bartholomew Gosnold, and he is the person who founded the Virginia Company and planned the trip to Jamestown.

  1. What crop allowed Jamestown to thrive and prosper?


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