Roanoke And Jamestown

Roanoke And Jamestown The first effort by the English to establish a colony in the New World was when Sir Walter Raleigh issued a charter to establish a colony at Roanoke. It was the responsibility of Raleigh to make the necessary provisions to complete the journeys to the New World and accomplish the goals of the charter. This entailed hiring ship captains and their crews, recruiting possible colonists, purchasing food and other supplies, and finding those who would invest capital in the missions. Raleigh however did not actively participate in the journeys to Roanoke Island; he was just the organizer and major financier. The purpose of the first few trips to Roanoke was to contact and establish friendly relations with native tribes in the area, fortify of the island, and search for an appropriate place for a permanent settlement. Another task included an attempt to leave a small force of men behind, while the ships returned to England for supplies, which were needed to finish fortifying the island, to continue the search for a permanent settlement sight, and to keep an English hold on the island. The effort failed due to the lack of supplies, weather conditions, and the strained relations with the native tribes, both violent and non-violent.

Just when the situation was becoming dire, a ship came to their rescue and took many of the men back to England. A reestablishment of the colony was attempted. It was decided that John White would be the governor. Unfortunately, Indians attacked the colonists numerous times and all their supplies ran out. They decided to send White to obtain supplies in England. He left behind his daughter and his granddaughter, Virginia Dare who was the first child of European decent born in America. When John White arrived in England, the country was involved with a war between Spain and themselves. When White finally was able to come back, 2 years later, there was no one to greet them on the shores of Roanoke Island.

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There was only an eerie silence. The entire colony was abandoned. As the ship’s crew inspected the city they had called Raleigh, one man found CROA carved on a tree. To this day the whereabouts of this colony is a mystery. Twenty years later, Bartholomew Gosnold finally convinced wealthy English investors that there was a need for colonists in the real world, and as a result, The Virginia Company was formed. The reason the English should have had to explore America was to evangelize the Indians, but that was pushed into the back of most people’s minds by the thought that gold could be found by whomever was adventurous enough to find it.

The ones who jumped at the opportunity to establish a settlement were not godly men and women who wanted to reach out, but men that only had one desire: to become wealthy. Almost immediately after the men left England terrible storms kept them anchored very near to England, for about six weeks. Perhaps God was trying to show them what was to come when they settled. The men began their bickering as soon as they reached the New World. Gosnold wanted to find a safer place to live, but it seemed everyone else was happy with just settling on the peninsula where they had landed.

Since the logical Gosnold was outnumbered, the men settled where they landed and called the establishment Jamestown. No one in Jamestown could seem to humble themselves and compromise. Because most of them were gentlemen that had not worked a day in their lives, no one wanted to work. They had, however, brought one man godly man along who was not afraid of working, Reverend Hunt. This man tried to make the lazy settlers turn back to God so that the settlement might have a chance at longevity, but no one ever wanted to listen to anyone else, the reverend included.

He was the one that took care of the sick colonists. Many of the men accepted Jesus Christ on their deathbeds, something that surely would never had happened if it wasn’t for this pilgrim sent by God. When he died the men missed him greatly, not only because he did more than his share of work, but they missed him because of his kind heart. Gosnold died soon after from fever, and things in Jamestown soon grew out of control. Food supplies were waning, so John Smith went to trade with the local Indians for some corn.

He decided to just steal some food, and ended up killing two of the tribe’s men. He was promptly hunted down, arrested and taken before the chief, Powhatan. He fabricated fabulous lies about how his people were going to come and save him, and later wrote in his diary about a young Indian girl that begged for her father, the chief, to let the white man to go. After Powhatan’s refusal, Pocahontas became desperate and laid her head on top of Smith’s so that her father would not decapitate him. He was let go. Six years later, John Smith was taken back to England due to a leg injury, and the greedy colonists saw an opportunity to make some easy money.

They kidnapped Pocahontas, who happened to be Powhatan’s favorite daughter and held her for ransom. While Sir Thomas Dale was negotiating the terms with Powhatan, another colonist, John Rolfe, took a liking to the Indian girl. He wrote Dale, asking him if he could marry Pocahontas. Both Sir Thomas Dale and Powhatan agreed to it, and the wedding was arranged. Though Powhatan himself did not attend the wedding, he sent some of his men from the tribe.

Pocahontas came to be known as Rebecca, and went to England with her husband. She loved England so much that she stayed in England permanently. Although after awhile she was scheduled to return to her homeland, she died before she got the chance. Back in England, suspicion was growing about Jamestown. It seemed that men were always dying from sicknesses or being murdered.

The men were relying solely on the hospitality of the Indians, rather than planting their own food. The men were somewhat ashamed of all of this, and stopped letters that contained the truth from being sent so that they would not be uncovered. Men who knew the truth of the sordid conditions in Jamestown kept quiet and it seemed that everyone exaggerated about the settlement, saying the settlers were doing well in the New World. Many people in England must have been praying for the welfare of the colonists because Powhatan kept supplying them with food. The prayer on the men’s behalf was probably the reason why God kept the debauchers alive.

The colonists were growing even greedier now. Desiring wealth and recognition, a man named Newport sailed for England with what he thought to be gold. Much to the chagrin of the partners in the Virginia Company, it turned out to be fool’s gold. They were shamed so much by the incident that they sent two refiners, two goldsmiths, and a jeweler back with Newport. The goldsmiths, supposedly experts in their field, were overwhelmed by the abundance of fool’s gold and mistook it for the real thing. The colonists set to work harvesting a ship full of gold.

The settlers were let down by the painful realization that it was all fake, because they had put all their hope into that ship. Ninety percent of the people that came to the New World died. The colonists were too lazy to move to a better location that would be less hot in the summer. They refused to trust God, or include him in anything. Newport returned from England with the news of their failure, and he brought along seventy new settlers. This, of course, meant smaller rations for all.

The people blamed John Smith for the colony’s problems. When Pocahontas died, Rolfe came back to America in mourning. He experimented with tobacco, and that was to be an extremely lucrative and profitable trade for America. God again and again gave grace and mercy to the selfish settlers of Virginia. He was the reason there were still people going to Virginia, and still people left standing.

The first settlers at Jamestown, though they were supposedly Christian, never wanted to trust God for anything. They chose to rely solely on themselves, even though they were extremely lazy. God was the only thing that saved Jamestown from destruction. History Essays.


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