Jamestown Tobacco

Jamestown Tobacco - John Moura Jamestown 1607-2007 Spring...

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John Moura Jamestown 1607-2007 Spring 2007 Prof. C. Townsend John Rolfe’s Tobacco Rush
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During the “Age of Discovery,” European countries like Portugal, Spain, Netherlands, France and Britain begin to sail across the uncharted Atlantic Ocean in search of new lands, precious metals and spices, and new routes. Newly found lands were commonly named after a king proclaiming the new lands were now rightfully theirs. The quest to explore new lands and routes was greatly due to the downturn of the European economy. During the 15 th century, many European countries were experiencing a shortage of bullion therefore the need to find additional gold or silver reserves were necessary. The quest to find new trade routes and trading partners were the aims of the hopeful voyagers. In order to justify these voyages, certain financial obligations depended on a successful return of ships loaded with gold. The Virginia Company of London was confident enough to allocate funds for an exploration to find New World lands. These explorations were commercial ventures, licensed by the King. There were high hopes in finding gold, a new route to the South Seas, and to find the lost colony of Roanoke as ordered by King James I. In 1606, three ships embarked for this trip: the Susan Constant, Godspeed and the Discovery. Captain Christopher Newport, who headed the exploration was on board the Susan Constant, they sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from England. It was on April 26, 1607, that they made their first landing. The land was then claimed and was named Cape Henry, in honor Henry Frederick who was the eldest son of King James. The explorers further explored the land in order to find a suitable site for their camp, which required a defensive position against rival explorers who were also in the height of finding new lands also. After agreeing on a site, they proclaimed the land after King James, which is presently known as Jamestown, on May 14, 1607. In June 1607, Christopher
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Newport sailed back to England to gather additional supplies for the settlement in the newly found land. He brought with him a ship full of pyrite, ‘fools gold’, which is a common mineral that consists of iron disulfide and has pale brass-yellow color and metallic luster. He would use the pyrite to convince the King and the Virginia Company that their voyage was a complete success. As a result, the said company sent additional supplies and funds for the trip back to Jamestown. During this time, several colonists were left behind to keep the new colony. The location was thought of to be an optimal site to setup a fort, although it had many downfalls due to the infestation of mosquitoes and other airborne pests. Tidal water in the James River was also not potable, giving additional worries for the new settlers. The voyage to the “New World” itself had already endangered the crew and its passengers. Adverse winds during the first phase of their journey delayed their voyage for six weeks resulting in a food shortage upon their arrival. The local inhabitants of the
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This note was uploaded on 04/05/2008 for the course HIST 410 taught by Professor Bonniesmith during the Spring '06 term at Rutgers.

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Jamestown Tobacco - John Moura Jamestown 1607-2007 Spring...

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