The Early Jamestown colony is perhaps the most famous in American history. However, there was much more to the founding of the Jamestown colony than just building a home. And the Early Jamestown worksheet answers some of the questions that often arise when students want to learn about the colony and the other things that happened during the first few months.
Originally, Christopher Newport had decided that he wanted to sail around the world. On the way, he planned to visit the Bahamas and Jamaica, and if he could, he wanted to go to both places. He chose the Bahamas because it was known for the wild cats and monkeys, and he knew that the natives were comfortable with them, so he made a quick stop there. As soon as he arrived, he bought a ship, renamed it the Sir Francis Drake, and sailed away to Jamaica, a destination he had come up with on his own.
Unfortunately, Christopher Newport’s crew discovered that the natives of Jamaica and the other islands had no knowledge of sailing or guns. They had no idea what a ship was, much less a cannon, and they had never seen a ship before. They had no ships or weapons of their own, and their major weapon against the settlers was the macadam. (It is very similar to a cannon, but it fires metal balls, not bullets.)
After they landed in Jamaica, the settlers landed on a beach where many palms grew, some containing ripe figs and nuts, and there were no horses. The natives didn’t have horses either, so the settlers had to use their mules to haul the settlers’ animals to water and from place to place. The Indians also dug ditches to protect themselves from the guns that the settlers brought along.
The settlers also brought along poisonous plants and berries, hoping that they would be eaten by the natives. Unfortunately, the settlers didn’t realize that the natives wouldn’t eat poisonous plants and berries. As a result, the settlers ended up bringing poison to poison, and the natives grew sick and died.
All this happened in just three months, or only four years after the first settlers landed in Jamaica. Not long after they arrived, some English people made it a point to purchase slaves, and they kept them chained in the dark and the cold for several months until the owners found them. Even today, there are many descendants of those slaves in Jamaica, especially those who have Spanish names.
The story of the Jamestown colonists and the settlers who followed is the basis for most histories of the founding of the United States of America. It is also the source of many patriotic songs, including the famous ‘Stars and Stripes Forever’.
You can go back and read the worksheet that outlines these events and learn a lot more about the people who helped to establish America. And you can also take the help of other sources of information, such as historical documents and books, and even your family tree.