Nearly five hundred years ago, English settlers sailed their ships up the James River, hoping to establish the first permanent settlement in the New World (BG). The New World had many resources to offer such as gold and great land for crops. The settlement is called Jamestown, named after the King of England, James I (BG). As time went by, however, Jamestown started to fall apart since so many colonists were dying. Why were they dying? Three reasons why numerous colonists were killed are because of many enemies, poor health, and an unhealthy environment.
Although the English were expecting some attacks on Jamestown, the attacks were expected from Spanish warships (BG). However, most of the attacks seemed to have come from the Powhatan tribe (Source V). It was true that the English had more advanced weapons, but the Powhatan tribe knew the land better and they used the element of surprise. On May 26, 1607, two of the colonists died from Indian attacks on Fort James. Then, from June through August of the same year, three more colonists were killed from Indian ambushes (Doc E). The Indians were very persistent to get rid of the English. As more time went by, more colonists were killed. In fact, from August-October of 1609, Indians killed fifty of the one hundred men at Nansemond and also killed sixty of the one hundred twenty men stationed near the falls (Doc E). The English and Powhatan tribe had to compete for food and other resources, which strained their relationship. Fighting for food wasn’t easy for the English, and it eventually resulted in starvation and poor health.