A Brief Early History of the Jamestown Colony

     In 1606, the Virginia Company of London received a charter from the King of England to establish a colony between the Potomac River and North Carolina.  A charter is a document that gives a person or company permission from the king to set up a new colony.  The Virginia Company is a joint stock company, and has raised money by having people buy shares and invest in the colony.  It was hoped that gold and other riches could be found near the colony in order to make money for the colonies investors.

     The Virginia Company sponsored three ships full of settlers in 1607.  These ships crossed the Atlantic Ocean and established a colony known as Jamestown near the James River, which the settles named after King James I of England.  The settlers built homes and other structures from the surrounding forests with expectations of finding unimaginable riches.  As more settlers arrived over the years, they spread out into the colony known as Virginia.  However, the settlers in Virginia found that simply surviving could be more difficult than they had possibly imagined.  In the first twenty years, the death rate in Virginia was more than twice as high as those in other colonies and even exceeded the death rate of Europe during the Back Plague. (Proceed to the Jamestown Mystery)