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Sunday, October 18, 2020

Jamestown Settlement

 Jamestown Settlement

5/13/1607, Jamestown founded in Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in North America. In 1608 a 2nd supply ship arrived carrying Thomas (11552). “The Second Supplie was a ship called the Mary Margett, which arrived here nine months after, about the time of Michaelmas, in her sixty persons, most gentlemen, few or no tradesmen, except some Polanders to make pitch, tarre, potashes, & etc., to be returned for perfect gaine, foe meanly likewise were there furnished forth for victualles, that in lesse than two monthes after their arrivall, want compelled us to imploye our time abroad in trading with the Indians for corne...”. (S) Colonial Records of Virginia, State Paper Office, V3, No.21-I. 

1609-1610 all but 60 of the 500 settlers died in the “Starving Winter”. In 1611 a small settlement was made as far up the north bank of the James River opposite the mouth of the Appomattox River. In 1617 the Virginia Company, hoping to expand population and agricultural production in the colony, encouraged private or voluntary associations organized on a joint stock basis to establish settlements in the area of the Company's patent. The Society of Smith's Hundred (later called Southampton Hundred) was organized in 1617. A painting based on archealogical evidence is the oldest know settlement, the Martin Hundred, depicts what these “Hundred’s” looked like. In succeeding years, small enclaves were established on the south side of the lower James River, on the northern end of The Peninsula at the mouth of the York River (then known as Charles River), and across the Chesapeake Bay on the Eastern Shore. In March of 1622 there was an Indian massacre. On the day prior to the attack, the Indians came bringing gifts of meats and fruits and shared them with the settlers, thereby disguising their intentions. The following morning they circulated freely and socialized with the settlers before suddenly seizing their own work tools to attack them. The Indians killed families in the plantation houses and them moved on to kill servants and workers in the fields. The Powhatans killed 347 settlers. The settlers immediately withdrew to the fort and to other easily defensible locations. In addition to the loss of life, the colonists also lost valuable crops and supplies necessary to survive the winter. 

During the winter of 1622-23 the colonists were forced to trade with the Indians for corn and supplies and even with these provisions many went hungry, over four hundred settlers died. News of the killings did not reach England until mid-June. The Virginia Company responded by sending more supplies and weapons. The colonists in Jamestown retaliated with treachery of their own and numerous attacks to avenge the losses. They used the massacre as an excuse to wreak havoc on Indians wherever they found them. They feigned peaceful relations, let the Indians plant their corn wherever they chose, and then, just before the crop was ready for harvest they attacked, killing as many as they could and burning their crops. English armies destroyed entire villages. Within a couple of years, they had avenged the 347 deaths many times over. By 1634, the population of the colony was slightly less than 5,000, almost all of whom, except those on the Eastern Shore, still lived within about a 30-mile radius of Jamestown. 

In 1634, the colony was divided into eight "shires," or counties, to facilitate administration. These were: Henrico, Charles City, James City [all on the Peninsula], Elizabeth City, Warwick River, Charles River, Warrosquoake [on the south side of the mouth of the James River], Accomack [on the Eastern Shore]. Hungars Parish was made soon after the county was established, and the first minister was Rev. Francis Bolton, who was succeeded by Rev. William Cotton. The first vestry was appointed in 1635. The old Hungars Episcopal Church is located about seven miles north of Eastville, on the north side of Hungars Creek.

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