Establishment of First English Settlement in America-Jamestown, Virginia
May 14, 2024
An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 14 of May, repeating indefinitely
On this day in 1607, the first permanent English settlement in America – Jamestown, Virginia – was established under the orders of King James I. Early inhabitants struggled in Jamestown, facing disease, famine, and poor relations with Native Americans. Fatality rates were high – by January 1608, only 38 of the original 104 colonists remained.
Did you know? All of the original colonists were men and boys and it would be nine months before Englishwomen came to the colony. After hearing horror stories of the new colony, women were understandably not eager to make the journey. 🙅♀️🙅♀️🙅♀️ Men seeking wives created incentives by offering free transportation, land, and dowries. They also offered women their choice of a husband once they had arrived.
Deceased colonists were buried in unmarked graves to hide dwindling numbers and the settlement’s subsequent weakness. Jamestown is still an archaeological dig site today and investigators continue to learn more about the colonists from their graves, artifacts, and building remains.
Ruins of the Old Church at Jamestown, Virginia, Detroit Photographic Company, c. 1902