Cannibalistic History of Jamestown


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A look at the settlement of Jamestown and its hardships with a focus on the acts of cannibalism that have been brought to light recently. It has been adapted from another previous presentation.

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Cannibalistic History of Jamestown

  1. 1. Adapted from: jamestown?qid=5903f209-ce4c-4e53-83c5- d8d01412b71f&v=default&b=&from_search=3
  2. 2. King James I  Was king of Scotland beginning in 1567  Became king of England and Ireland in 1603  Son of Mary, Queen of Scots  James believed that colonies could prove profitable to the Crown  Viewed North America as the most likely place for settlements  Only one problem…
  3. 3. The Treaty of Tordesillas
  4. 4. Virginia Company  Collection of businessmen and investors  Granted a charter by King James I in 1606  Charter was for 6 million acres (Vermont: 5.9 million square acres, Massachusetts: 5 million)  Purpose: To establish colonies in North America that would prove financially beneficial to the Crown  London and Plymouth Companies
  5. 5. Plymouth Company  Colony is placed at the mouth of Kennebec River in Maine, near present day Bath  Survives for one year before being abandoned  Area is ignored as a colonization target until 1620
  6. 6. Jamestown Settlement  First colonists arrive April 1607  104 men and boys  Combination of gentry, military men, craftsmen/ artisans, unskilled laborers  Upon arrival, secret orders from the Virginia Company listing who was in charge were opened. Mix of gentry and military men.
  7. 7. Jamestown: After the Arrival  Attacked by Algonquian Indians, led by Powhatan, on first night  Sought refuge onboard ships  Construction of a fort begins after a month  An Algonquian attack exposes vulnerabilities & leads to construction of a second, stronger fort  Why did they settle at the Jamestown location? 1. Water depth (good for ships to access inland) 2. Defendable
  8. 8. Jamestown: After the Arrival (cont.)  Captain Newport returns to England for supplies one week after fort is finished  The Colony started to slide towards extinction  Why?
  9. 9. Problems at Jamestown  Famine  Less than 50% of population was still alive less than six months later  Lack of farmers  Lack of proper equipment  Disease 1. Typhoid (fever, usually caused by the ingestion of food or water contaminated by the feces of an infected person) 2. Dysentery (gastro infection that causes diarrhea and more, lack of nourishment)  Indian attacks
  10. 10. Divine Intervention…or Pure Dumb Luck?  Powhatan intervenes  January 1607: Captain Newport returns  Brings supplies AND 120 colonists  Only 38 members from the original group are still alive (36.5%)  Colonists accidentally burn fort, spend winter months living in the ruins  High death rate continues for decades
  11. 11. Jamestown (non)Survivability Rate  First colonists: 38 of 104  1609: Population declines from 600 to 60 in SIX MONTHS.  WHAT HAPPENED?  1619-1622: Virginia Company sends 3570 people to Jamestown to join 700 already there. 3000 die.  1607-1625: Virginia Company sends 6000 people to Virginia. By 1625, only 1200 remain.
  12. 12. Jamestown Jane
  13. 13. Detail of cut marks found on the girl’s jaw, or lower mandible in a stereo-microscopic photo. (Smithsonian Institution / Don Hurlbert)
  14. 14. 0ebhA0
  15. 15. John Smith: Savior of Jamestown  Adventurer (aka: mercenary)  Captured and sold as slave to Turkish nobleman  Escapes, returns to England. Joins Jamestown expedition  Clashes with shipmates, clapped in irons, threatened with execution  Named by Virginia Company to Jamestown Council
  16. 16. James Smith (cont.)  Explores and maps Virginia  Captured by Algonquians during exploring trip  Disappearance allows Captain Newport and another colonist to assume control of colony  Summer 1608: Leaves settlement to further explore Virginia  Reelected to the colony council in September
  17. 17. John Smith (cont.)  Captain Newport returns to England (Fall 1608)  Colony still struggling to survive  Smith emerges as leader of the settlement  Pressures Powhatan  No work, or food to eat  Newport returns in 1609 with supplies and colonists  Smith loses power struggle, departs colony October 1609, dies in 1631
  18. 18. John Rolfe  Departed England for Jamestown in May 1609  Onboard is his pregnant wife, Sara  Sea Venture was captained by Captain Newport.  John Smith’s angry letter to the Virginia Company leads them to make their third supply mission their biggest and best equipped
  19. 19. John Rolfe (cont.)  Rolfe and other survivors are shipwrecked for 9 months  Using the remains of the Sea Venture, the survivors build two ships, Deliverance and Patience in May 1610  Rolfe’s wife and infant daughter die in Bermuda
  20. 20. John Rolfe (cont.)  Does not begin growing tobacco until 1611  By 1617, Virginia colony produces 20,000 pounds of tobacco annually  In 1618, tobacco exports jump to 40,000 pounds  Rolfe marries Pocahontas in 1614
  21. 21. End of the Virginia Company  Rolfe’s marriage to Pocahontas results in uneasy peace between Algonquian and the English settlers  Death of Powhatan in 1618 ends peace  1622: Slaughter of settlers by Indians. Loss of more than 25% of the settlers results  Investigation by Crown places blame for deaths of colonists on mismanagement
  22. 22. End of the Virginia Company(cont.)  Charter is revoked  Virginia colony survives. Why?
  23. 23. Year Colonial Tobacco Imports to England (includes Virginia from 1612 and Bermuda from 1615) European Tobacco Imports to England 1616 2,300 52,673 1617 19,388 50,906 1618 41,728 42,871 1623 134,607 66,877 1624 202,962 63,497
  24. 24. A Counterblaste to Tobacco  King James hated the use of tobacco by subjects. Forbids use of it in his presence.  Issues a treatise in 1604 “A custome lothsome to the eye, hatefull to the Nose, harmefull to the braine, dangerous to the Lungs, and in the blacke stinking fume thereof, neerest resembling the horrible Stigian smoke of the pit that is bottomelesse.” Due to its popularity and the ability to tax it, tobacco continued to be a cash crop for the British
  25. 25. 1620: Women Arrive in Jamestown