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					 Locating Jamestown

     TAKS Objective:            :1        The student will demonstrate an understanding of issues
                                          and events in US History
        TEKS Objective:         :8.1 c    Explain the significance of the following dates [1607],
                                          1776, 1787, [1803] and 1861 – 1865.
     TAKS Objective:            :5        The student will use critical thinking skills to analyze
                                          social studies information
        TEKS Objective:         :WG.21a   Applies critical-thinking skills to organize and use
                                          information acquired from a variety of sources including
                                          electronic technology. The student is expected to use
                                          historical, geographic and statistical information from a
                                          variety of sources to answer geographical questions.
                                :WG.21c   [construct and] interpret maps to answer geographic
                                          questions, infer geographic relationships, and analyze
                                          geographic change.

Overhead Transparency of Susan Constant and maps: Colonization of Virginia, Settlement of
Virginia, Jamestown 1607.
Computer with Internet access or documents and materials from the following web addresses:
     site for information about the ships bound for Plymouth
     History of Jamestown:
     Virtual Jamestown and Captain John Smith: Voyages of Exploration -

Display picture or overhead of the ship: Susan Constant. Ask students to write a paragraph to
describe the picture. Have them speculate on the date that the ship sailed and also the ship’s
purpose. Allow volunteers to share their answers. Explain that the name of the ship is the Susan
Constant and that she sailed from England almost 400 years ago (1607) The ship sailed with two
“companions,” the Discovery and Godspeed at the request of King James I. Distribute copies of
the following description:

London Company, corporation composed of stockholders residing in and about London, which,
together with the Plymouth Company), was granted (1606) a charter by King James I to found
colonies in America. The London Company was granted a tract of land fronting 100 mi (160 km)
on the sea and extending 100 mi inland, somewhere between lat. 34°N and lat. 41°N.
Government was vested in an English council, appointed by the king, which was to appoint a
local council for the colony.

Facilitation Questions:

         Why is the date of this particular voyage so important?
         Using an atlas, trace the lines of latitude to show the areas where this expedition could
          legally settle.
         Given the name of the country of origin and the name of the person responsible for the
          voyage, what would be the logical name of any settlement established by the crew?

Locating Jamestown – Grade 10                                                                         1
 Locating Jamestown
While evidence shows that many voyages set sail before this journey, none are as important in
American history. Using an overhead to project the map entitled, “Colonizing Virginia,” instruct
students to follow the following steps:
     Locate the area of settlement stipulated by the King’s land grant.
     Describe the journey using the map inset as a guide.
     Based on labels on the map, predict what geographic factors would influence the journey
        (i.e. Westerlies).

Using the following journal, have students check their predictions to determine if the geographic
influences were noted in the diaries of the settlers.

"On Saturday the twentieth of December in the yeere 1606, the fleet fell from London . . . ." -
George Percy, settler

On December 20, 1606, a fleet of three vessels set sail for the purpose of settling (or "planting")
the passengers ("adventurers") in Virginia. They arrived in Virginia on April 26, 1607. It wasn't
until May 14, 1607, that the passengers finally set foot on the soil of that wilderness, beginning
the settlement of "Jamestown", Virginia.

The vessels of the small fleet were:

        The Susan Constant, flagship (or admiral), Christopher Newport, Admiral.
        The Godspeed (or God Speed), Bartholomew Gosnold, Captain.
        The Discovery, John Ratcliffe, Captain.

Due to taking a longer route around the Canary Islands to the West Indies, and exceptionally
stormy weather, they didn't arrive at the "capes of Virginia" until April 26, 1607. (Dates of various
voyage events given below.) Driven by another storm into refuge in what is now Hampton Roads,
they sailed up a river they named the James. After exploration in a shallop, searching for a
proper site for settlement, they finally landed the settlers at "Jamestown island" on May 14,
1607. Thus did the first settlers arrive at Virginia.

Note that various dates of "arrival" are given in different sources. This depends on the particular
interpretation of "arrival", since the significant dates are well documented. In some cases the
date is that of arrival at the "capes", the first landing at "Cape Henry", and the opening of the
sealed box containing the names of the Councillors (all on April 26). Some refer to the setting up
of a cross at "Cape Henry" (April 29). Others give the date of arrival at James island (May 13) or
the disembarking of the passengers (May 14).

Similarly, the number of "planters" (settlers) is most often stated as being 104 men plus crews,
but there is considerable variation amongst source information. Gentlemen have been listed as
42 or 54, craftsmen as 28 or 31, and "others" as 18 or 38. The total ranges from 82 (from John
Smith's letter) to 144 (cit. 4 & 5, below). In some instances the mariners who returned to
England may have been included. (Some, such as Captain Newport, may be included as settlers,
since they were often present due to making various voyages. In others, some who died within a
short time of arrival may not have been included. It is doubtful that an actual count will ever be

Locating Jamestown – Grade 10                                                                         2
 Locating Jamestown

Have students create a timeline to show the important dates of the expedition using the following
journal entry:

Voyage Dates:

December 20, 1606 The first three ships ("104 men and the crews", cit. 1) departed London for

January 5, 1606/7, the ships of the Virginia expedition anchored at the Downs (England). They
were stormbound for about a month.

"About" February 8, 1606/7, the Virginia expedition left the coast of England. (cit. 1, pp. 9-10)

February 21, 1606/7*, they reached the Canary Islands. (cit. 6)

Because "the colonists went by way of the West Indies, they were four months on the voyage. ".
(cit. 1)
February 23, 1606/7*, they reached Martinique. (cit. 5)

* One of these dates is questionable since a voyage from the Canary Islands to Martinique would
certainly have taken more than two days. Having arrived at the Canary Islands on the 21st,
February 23 is likely to have been the date of departure from there.

April 26, 1607, they reached the "Capes of Virginia" and some landed at "Cape Henry". Captain
Gabriel Archer and Mathew Morton were wounded in a fierce attack by Indians. A sealed box,
containing the names of the appointed Councilmen, was opened that night.

The Councilmen named were:

Mr. Edward Maria Wingfield
Captain Bartholomew Gosnold
Captain Christopher Newport
Captain John Smith
Captain John Ratcliffe
Captain John Martin (Martine)
Captain George Kendall

April 29, they set up a cross at Cape Henry.

April 30, they visited the Indian town of Kecoughtan on the east side of the "Hampton River".

April 30 - May 12, some of the settlers explored the James River in a shallop under the command
of Captain Newport, going as far as the "Appomattox River". During their return, on May 12, they
found a point of land which they named Archer's Hope (for Captain Gabriel Archer): "if it had not
been disliked because the ships could not ride neare, we (would have) settled there to all the
colonies contentment."

On May 13 the ships reached the west end of a peninsula about 5-8 miles upriver from Archer's
Hope, in Paspahegh country, where they chose to settle and named it James Town in honor of
the king. (cit. 1)
("Arrival" date of May 13 in cit. 4)

Locating Jamestown – Grade 10                                                                       3
 Locating Jamestown

May 14, 1607, the passengers were landed on "Jamestown island".

Facilitation Questions:
    What are problems associated with the facts of this document?
    Are these problems typical of historic research? Explain.
    What information is missing?


The settlement of Virginia soon followed. Using the map entitled, “The Settlement of Virginia,”
describe the location of the Jamestown settlement. What makes the location an ideal settlement?
Examine the map of the Jamestown settlement; describe its location. What makes it an ideal

Facilitation Questions:

        Does the geographic location alone determine whether or not the settlement will be a
        What other factors would be important for the settlement to continue?
        What do you predict must happen in order for the people to survive?

Read the following passage to check your predictions:

 Former village, SE Va., first permanent English settlement in America; est. May 14, 1607, by the
 London Company on a marshy peninsula (now an island) in the James River and named for the
 reigning English monarch, James I. Disease, starvation, and Native American attacks wiped out
 most of the colony, but the London Company continually sent more men and supplies, and John
 Smith briefly provided efficient leadership (he returned to England in 1609 for treatment of an
 injury). After the severe winter of 1609–10 (the “starving time”), the survivors prepared to
 return to England but were stopped by the timely arrival of Lord De la Warr with supplies. John
 Rolfe cultivated the first tobacco there in 1612, introducing a successful source of livelihood; in
 1614 he assured peace with the local Native Americans by marrying Pocahontas, daughter of
 chief Powhatan. In 1619 the first representative government in the New World met at
 Jamestown, which remained the capital of Virginia throughout the 17th cent. The village was
 almost entirely destroyed during Bacon's Rebellion; it was partially rebuilt but fell into decay with
 the removal of the capital to Williamsburg (1698–1700).

 Of the 17th-century settlement, only the old church tower (built c.1639) and a few gravestones
 were visible when National Park Service excavations began in 1934. Today, most of Jamestown
 Island is owned by the U.S. government and is included in Colonial National Historical Park (see
 National Parks and Monuments, table); a small portion comprises the Jamestown National
 Historic Site, which is owned by the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities. A
 tercentenary celebration was held in 1907, and in 1957 the Jamestown Festival Park was built to
 commemorate the 350th anniversary. The park contains exhibit pavilions and replicas of the first
 fort, the three ships that brought the first settlers, and a Native American lodge.

See report by the Celebration Commission, The 350th Anniversary of Jamestown, 1607–1957
                          (1958); C. Bridenbaugh, Jamestown, 1544–1699 (1980).

Locating Jamestown – Grade 10                                                                        4
 Locating Jamestown

    1. Why is the year 1607 so significant in American history?

             A. It is the first date of the arrival of the Europeans on the North American
             B. It represents the first successful permanent European settlement in American
             C. It is the year that Pocahontas married an Englishman (John Rolfe).
             D. This date represents the date that the colonists shared grievances against the
                King of England.

Use the following map and your knowledge of social studies to answer the following questions.

Locating Jamestown – Grade 10                                                                    5
 Locating Jamestown

    2. The first European settlement in the United States is:

             A.   Jamestown
             B.   Plymouth
             C.   Boston
             D.   Charleston

    3. The settlement in 1607 is best described as located in

             A.   Northern colonies
             B.   Middle Colonies
             C.   New England Colonies
             D.   Southern colonies

    4. The original settlement of Jamestown is now located in this state.

             A.   South Carolina
             B.   Delaware
             C.   Maryland
             D.   Virginia

Performance Assessment

    You have been assigned to travel to an unexplored land to establish a settlement. Sketch a
    map of your new civilization. What physical features would be the most desired in order for
    the settlement to work? Make sure to name the features using the same methods used by
    the earliest settlers to America.

Locating Jamestown – Grade 10                                                                     6
 Locating Jamestown
    Picture of the Susan Constant

Locating Jamestown – Grade 10                                               7
 Locating Jamestown

        + The Church                                   5.   Bulwarks of Half-moon Shape
        1. Market Place                                6.   Principal Entrance, or "South Gate
        2. Storehouse and Court of Guard               7.   Other Gates
        3. Streets of "Settled" Houses (shown in rows) 8.   Trench or Moat around Palisade
        4. Palisades of Posts

         Approximation of the first fort based upon rare descriptions and the Zuniga Map.

           Source: Henry Chandlee Forman, Jamestown and St. Mary's, Buried Cities of Romance
                            (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1938), 39.

Locating Jamestown – Grade 10                                                                    8
 Locating Jamestown

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Locating Jamestown – Grade 10                                     11

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