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The realization of Algonquian natives' existence was a no mean achievement for us as settlers. Our interactions with them led to the discovery of tobacco. Living with them brought about an experience which could not have been found in any other place. Exchanging ideas between the two cultures brought about advantages in both sides. However, there were some challenges in the way. In this document, I am going to highlight some of the memorable events of my life as a colonialist in Jamestown.
England came to this land in the year 1607. This was part of our mission to expand our nation's international territories. We first landed in Virginia and it became our first colony in America. The establishment of Jamestown sparked a number of cultural interactions that later played a major role in shaping the face of America and the world at large (Davidson, 2006).
Our settlement and colonization of Jamestown was facilitated by sponsorship from the renowned group of entrepreneurs based in London. King James I allowed these entrepreneurs in the name of Virginia Company to foster our nation's interests in America. The arrival of the entrepreneurs formed a firm foundation of our settlement. The first contingent comprised of highly skilled and competent group of gentlemen. Their main goal was to explore the new land and formulate ways of taming the wilderness. Technical prowess is evident in archaeological research findings that have been obtained from Jamestown. Their specialized skills were harnessed towards success of the colony.
Explorers from Virginia Company came to Jamestown Island to establish an English colony. The depths of water allowed the explorers to dock in the banks of River James. On arrival to the newly found colony, we were attacked by the natives. This nagging conflict with Algonquian residents was not as serious enough to stop us from establishing a place we could call headquarters. In a short while, we had collected enough material to build a wooden fort. The station comprised of few physical structures. To start with, we constructed a warehouse, worship center and several private houses (Berkin et al, 1998).
Newly found colony came with its own problems. We were faced with a number of challenges ranging from violent attacks from the natives, diseases and lack of food. Our suffering as a tiny English settlement in the vast territory of Algonquian-speaking Indians was further aggravated by powerful leadership of Powhatan. Strange climatic conditions were nightmare to most of us. We were totally unfamiliar with the land.
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One challenge which I will never forget is the prolonged drought which ended up taking the lives of some of us. The deadly drought resulted in acute shortage of much needed water and food. As time went by, opportunities to do business appeared to raise our hopes. Another problem that was so clear is the kind of colonists we were. Most of us were upper class. We lacked enough technical know how and sufficient labor force. The main mistake we made was failure to make our own harvest. Reliance up on Indian farmers threatened our lives. Lowest point of our overdependence on native farmers was the popular Starving Time. The result of this acute shortage of food was embarrassing cases of cannibalism experienced in Virginia.
Our anarchy is directly attributed to nothing else but our own undoing. The major contributor of our difficulties was the manner in which leaders were selected. Members of governing council focused on immaterial issues. They constantly fought against one another. Fighting within leadership was instigated by acts of individualism and selfishness. It is no doubt that the kind of leadership we had was directly responsible for our predicaments (Price, 2003).
Attempts by traders from Powhatan India brought reprieve to Jamestown suffering. These traders supplied food stuff in exchange for ornamental materials. A stable and long-lasting recovery of the newly found colony was realized through firm and structured stewardship of Captain John Smith. With his efforts we could not fail in running the colony. The time to time nuisance brought about by native Indians made our new captain to built good working relationships with them. The most challenging period of our adventure in to the new colony was the departure of Smith.
A horrible period of severe lack of food led to the death of several colonial settlers. Out of the two hundred and fourteen original settlers only sixty remained. Hopes of retaining the colony were revived by the arrival of new administrator called Lord De La Ware. He came with supply ships which played a major role in reinstatement of Jamestown. Even though his coming was beneficial, the problems of the land disappeared slowly. A resounding milestone of strengthening our presence in the new world was manifested in a marriage between a tobacco merchant named John Rolfe and a daughter of Algonquian chief.
To effectively manage and expand our presence in the New World, the first meeting of representatives was convened in a Jamestown church. This was as a result of instructions given by a Virginia Company. The company wanted us to establish a systematic and just form of leadership throughout Virginia. The new form of governance was going to bring a harmonious coexistence among inhabitants of Virginia.
Another boost to our endeavors in Jamestown was the arrival of able bodied Africans. One slave trader from Netherlands supplied the slaves in exchange for food. Newly found work force added up to the already existing group of Englishmen who had traded their labor for migration to America.
It reached a time when Algonquians could not bottle up their misery anymore. They organized an attack on the plantations managed by settlers. This attack and poor management of Virginia Company prompted the King to cancel its operations charter. For a long time Jamestown remained our capital.
Despite our challenges, I can confidently be proud because we played a role in the foundation of America. A lifetime experience of Jamestown cannot be erased from my memories. I have no regrets but rather quite a number of lessons to be learnt.