Horn, James. “Jamestown Hangs in the Balance.” American Heritage (2010): 26-27. (2)
James Horn’s retelling of Britain’s first permanent settlement illustrate the pure luck which must have been at the hands f the British throughout their conquering of North America. After the original landing of colonists to Jamestown in 1607 the colony did not prosper and after two long years of trying to get by beside the Powhatan, as well as through a war between the two groups, Gates landed on Jamestown to see the settlement practically disintegrated. After eventually calling it quits, Gates, his men and the remaining settlers (a measly sixty compared to the two-hundred which first settled) took ship and headed back to Europe. As Horn highlight though, one the way back home, Gates found that a boat was sent with more settlers to “rescue” the remains of the Jamestown settlement and was forced to turn around. Breathing new life into the once depilated settlement, “the colony now passed to some 375 settlers and a renewed leadership”.6
Only because of the circumstances of Europe and the new leadership abound in Britain did Jamestown thrive, eventually becoming, as Horn states, “the richest and most populous of the British mainland colonies”.7 This piece helps the audience contemplate the fact that the conquering of the Americas and the slaughtering of all its native peoples took more skill than sheer luck. Without the pure circumstance of the British colonists and homeland the colonies may not have thrived as much as they did – a simply infuriating thought.