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First English Colonies: 1566–1619


cash crop

crop cultivated for sale, not personal use, by the grower

chattel slavery

practice of buying, trading, and selling people for lifelong servitude. Chattel slavery is an inheritable status and so may be passed down to offspring.

Elizabeth I

queen of England from 1558 to 1603

indentured servant

individual who agreed to work for a set number of years in exchange for passage to the Americas as well as food, shelter, and clothing during their period of service


first successful and enduring English colony in North America, established in 1607

John Rolfe

Jamestown colonist who turned tobacco into the colony's first cash crop

John White

explorer, artist, and governor of the second Roanoke Colony

martial law

enforcement of law by armed forces

patriarchal society

social system in which men are the head of the household


daughter of Powhatan taken hostage in an effort to end the First Anglo-Powhatan War. She married John Rolfe in 1614.


great chief of 30 Tsenacomoco Indian tribes, which sometimes are referred to as the Powhatans


private individual who earns their living chartering their ship and lending their services for profit to governments during times of war

Roanoke Island

one of the barrier islands off present-day North Carolina's coast and site of the first official English colony in North America, established in 1585

royal charter

written grant of rights issued by a monarch for the creation of an organization, such as a settlement, a company, or a university

Sir Walter Raleigh

English explorer who financed the Roanoke Colony

Virginia Assembly

Jamestown's legislative body; organized in 1619 and the first democratically elected governing body formed in America

Virginia Company

business chartered by King James I to colonize the Atlantic coast of North America between present-day New York and North Carolina