Powhatan whose given name was Wahunsonacock saw no reason why he could not control the straggling Jamestown colonists and turn their presence to his own uses. Powhatan was prepared to allow the English to settle along the James River because Indians throughout the region valued the manufactured trade goods they brought from across the Atlantic. Metal tools that could hold an edge were especially highly prized; they enhanced farming, hunting, and warfare without dramatically changing traditional modes.
Copper kettles also made life easier. Glass beads had spiritual significance to Americans and were incorporated into native worship systems. They also showed up as status symbols among Indian elites. Just as aristocrats in Europe wanted American gold, pearls and furs for fine beaver hats to enhance their elegance and status, so American leaders wore glass beads and copper ornaments of European origins.
For chiefs like Powhatan the coming of Europeans and their trade goods meant becoming middlemen between the settlements on the coast and tribes farther inland, a role that offered greatly enhanced authority. For this reason, he wanted the English to settle where they would be dependent on him and he could keep a constant watch on them.
As he looked at Jamestown, Powhatan surely thought that the English would need American support perpetually. The hundred or so settlers in the first contingent knew little about farming and found the environment baffling. As Captain John Smith admitted, "Now although there be Deer in the woods, Fish in the rivers, and Fowls in abundance in their seasons; yet the woods are so wide, the rivers so broad, and the beasts so wild, and we so unskillful to catch them, we little troubled them nor they us.
The Virginia Company of London directed that military drill be conducted where the Indians could not witness it, "for if they See Your Learners miss what they aim at they will think the Weapon not so terrible. Despite their inexperience and weakness, the English expected to dominate the Indians.
From the beginning the Virginia Company wrote that the relationship would inevitably become hostile: Smith would seize a child hostage as his men entered a village because he believed that weakness led to bloodshed, and all leaders used threats to force reluctant tribes to provide food. Smith said these policies earned Powhatan's respect, and he certainly admired Powhatan's strategic and tactical acumen. The two men and the forces they commanded settled into a wary truce in the early years.
After Smith left the colony in , less experienced leaders took over and the relationship deteriorated into outright war punctuated by extreme acts of vengeance. Some people on both sides entered into different kinds of relationships.
Several English boys, including Henry Spelman, were left with Indian tribes in order to learn the language and the culture. Powhatan's young daughter Pocahontas often functioned as his go-between in the early years. These young emissaries forged strong affectionate relationships across the cultural divide that continued even after they returned to their own side.
And Pocahontas, who was later kidnapped and brought to Jamestown, ultimately converted to Christianity and married John Rolfe. Through their son Thomas many Virginians claimed a dual ancestry. A settler named William Claiborne founded a trading post on Kent Island in Chesapeake Bay from which he engaged in a trading partnership with the powerful Susquehannocks.
Some individuals on both sides melted into the others' populations. All these ties were tenuous, yet helped to create a web of mutual knowledge. Powhatan died in ; thus he did not live to see how dramatically he had misestimated the future when he allowed Jamestown's founding.
As his life was ending, various developments came together to encourage the colony's growth: The trickle of settlers became a flood and colonists spread over the land. Intensive land use, European-style, was incompatible with native systems of extensive and varied land use, and Pamunkeys and their clients found themselves pushed westward into the territories of their enemies. This quickly caused their food supplies to dwindle and many starved to death. The second mistake the settlers made is that the settlement was located in a swamp.
This soon led to diseases caused by parasites that were there and malaria caused by all the mosquitoes. Initially Captain John Smith saved the colony through his leadership by imposing order and military discipline.
However, certain settlers refused to follow his orders and believed their social status exempted them from manual labor. Just as bad was the failure of the colonists to work together for the common good, or indeed to work at all. The impending hardship was further compounded by the loss of Smith, who became injured in August of in a gunpowder accident, and was forced to return to England for medical attention in October This proved to be a major blow because he was most skillful in dealing with the Indians in trading for food.
For years there was hardship and suffering in Jamestown, but in three important developments occurred. The company began to tranport women to become the wives of the planters and intice them to stay in the colony. The same year the first Africans arrived in Virginia and soon became indentured servants. The last major happening was the company created the first legislative body in English America.
They were told to establish one equal and uniform government over all Virginia.
- The Jamestown Massacre men were sent to form Jamestown in 4 months after they arrived, 70 had died. Thousands were sent to take their place over the next 3 years, but they also died. Why. * Jamestown was founded on may 14 , by a small group led by Christopher Newport who was hired by the London company to transport .
Jamestown Essays, Timelines & Images; Jamestown Essays, Timelines & Images Choose essays, timelines & images from our large selection of Jamestown-related topics below. Essays. Cultures. Cultures at Jamestown – Explore the interactions of three cultures that came together in 17th-century Virginia.
Free Essay: Jamestown In June of , King James granted a charter to a group of London entrepreneurs, the Virginia Company, to establish an English. Dec 20, · Free Essays from Bartleby | “Jamestown and triumphs” Julie Atkinson Reconstructive US History Professor Brumbaugh December 20, Before the .
1 Life at Jamestown Introduction In May of , three small ships – the Discovery, Godspeed and Susan Constant – landed at what we know today as Jamestown. On board were men and boys, plus. Jamestown Essay essays Jamestown offered more opportunity to colonists than Massachusetts Bay Colony by allowing more than one religion, more workers rights, and freedom of speech. Jamestown settlers had a charter from England guaranteeing the rights of settlers, as they would have had it in England.