Jamestown – Fast Facts

The Establishment of Jamestown 1607 – Captain John Smith and Chief Powhatan

Jamestown was the first colony established by the Virginia Company of England after they landed on the shores of the New World.

It was officially established on May 14th, 1607.

The settlers were a diverse community of British Christian immigrants, including soldiers, a tailor, two surgeons, and a barber, with the rest being ‘gentlemen of the ton’. After eight months, only 60 out of the original 214 British immigrants survived.

Of the survivors left was Captain John Smith, an explorer and adventurer.

He led the colony for two years before finally moving onto bigger adventures.

Jamestown grew by 500 more settlers during his leadership.

After his departure, however, the colony faced increased challenges from the Natives, led by Chief Powhatan, who had grown tired of continuous expansion of the settlers into his lands.

Jamestown Fast Facts

  • Jamestown was located on the bank of the ‘James River’ from this it derived it’s name ‘Jamestown’.
  • The ‘James River’ was the European name, the Native Americans called it the ‘Powhatan River’.
  • Historians consider ‘Jamestown’ to be the first ever English Settlement in North America.
  • The famous ‘Virginia Company’ Founded Jamestown in 1607 which they called ‘James Fort’.
  • There were several failed attempts at creating a permanent colony before Jamestown was established.

  • The ‘Lost Colony of Roanoke’ was established before Jamestown in 1585 but had to be abandoned.
  • Jamestown was considered the first permanent and successful colony in North America.
  • Jamestown became the permanent capital of the colonies in the years 1616 – 1699.
  • The Settlement was established on the territory of the Powhatan Confederacy.
  • The Colonist became involved in a four year conflict with the Paspahegh tribe over control of their territory.

  • Only 20% of the original colonist survived the harsh conditions and died from disease and warfare.
  • Around the year 1610 there was a brief abandonment of Jamestown.
  • In 1676 Jamestown had to be re-built after it was destroyed during Bacon’s Rebellion.
  • Jamestown lost it’s status as the Colonial capital in 1699 when the honor was transferred to Williamsburg, Virginia.
  • Jamestown was abandoned as a settlement and does not exist today although it is still an important archaeological site.