Somers Isles Company
The Somers Isles Company was formed in 1615 to operate the English colony of the Somers Isles known as Bermuda, as a commercial venture. It held a royal charter for Bermuda until 1684, when it was dissolved, the Crown assumed responsibility for the administration of Bermuda as a royal colony. Bermuda had been settled, inadvertently, in 1609 by the Virginia Company when its flagship, Sea Venture, was wrecked on the reefs to its east; the Admiral of the Company, Sir George Somers, was at the helm as the ship fought a storm that had broken apart a relief fleet destined for Jamestown, the Virginian settlement established by the Company two years earlier. Somers had deliberately driven the ship onto the reefs to prevent its foundering, thereby saving all aboard; the settlers and seamen spent ten months in Bermuda while they built two new ships to continue the voyage to Jamestown. During the building, Sea Venture's longboat was sent to find Jamestown. Neither it, nor its crew, was seen again; when Deliverance and Patience set sail for Jamestown, they left several people behind, some to maintain Somers' claim to the islands for England, some dead.
Those aboard the two ships included Sir Thomas Gates, the military commander and future governor of Jamestown, William Strachey, whose account of the wrecking may have inspired Shakespeare's The Tempest, John Rolfe, who would found Virginia's tobacco industry, who left a wife and child buried in Bermuda. Rolfe would find a new bride in the Powhatan princess Pocahontas. Jamestown, the sixty survivors of its original five hundred settlers, were found in such a poor state that it was decided to abandon the Jamestown settlement and return everyone to England; the timely arrival of another relief fleet under Thomas West from England granted the colony a reprieve. However, the food shortage was made more critical by the new arrivals. Somers returned to Bermuda on Patience, captained by his nephew, Matthew, to gather provisions for the Jamestown colony, but died on Bermuda in 1610. Matthew Somers was keen to receive his inheritance, took Patience to Somers' hometown, Lyme Regis, not to Virginia; when news reached England of the adventures of Sea Venture's survivors, the royal charter of the Virginia Company was extended to include Bermuda, subsequently known as The Somers Isles and as Virgineola.
A Governor, Richard Moore, arrived in 1612 with settlers, aboard Plough, to join those left behind by Sea Venture and Patience. The new settlers were tenant farmers, who gave seven years of indentured servitude to the Company in exchange for the cost of transport. Although the primary industry was envisioned to be agriculture, the early Governors enthusiastically, if unsuccessfully, attempted to develop other industries also; these ambergris. The first two slaves to arrive in Bermuda, one black, one Native American, were brought in for their skills as pearl divers. Free of the endemic warfare and other hardships which plagued the continental settlement, Bermuda thrived from the beginning, though it was never to be profitable for its investors, its population surpassed that of Jamestown, consideration was given to abandoning the North American continent and evacuating its settlers to Bermuda. The Virginia Company ran Bermuda until 1614, when the Crown took over the Colony's administration; the adventurers of the Virginia Company formed a second company, the Somers Isles Company, to which Bermuda was transferred in 1615.
The Virginia Company was dissolved in 1622, with the administration of its continental colony passing to the Crown. The Somers Isles Company, with its separate charter, continued to administer Bermuda for another six decades. Most of Bermuda was subdivided into eight sized tribes called parishes; these were named for shareholders in the Company, were further divided into lots which equated to shares in the Company. The Company's return on investment came from cash crops raised on that land. A ninth subdivision, now the eastern-most parish, was Saint George's, comprising Saint George's Island, Saint David's Island, part of the Main Island, various smaller islands and islets around Castle Harbour and Saint George's Harbour; this area was held as common, or King's land, was not subdivided for exploitation by the Company. This was where Saint George's Town was located; the choice of this location followed the original settlement created by Sea Venture survivors, was determined by the two eastern harbours being the only ones readily accessible to shipping.
A surveyor, Richard Norwood, was hired to produce a survey of the colony, which served as a census. This was completed in 1616, although he made updates. In the process, he discovered that the total landmass of the eight commercial parishes was greater than estimated, his superior, Daniel Tucker, the Governor of Bermuda, appropriated a choice piece of land, equivalent to the excess, for himself. The Company continued to appoint governors until its dissolution in 1684. In 1620, however, a colonial parliament was created, the House of Assembly. Suffrage was restricted to male land owners, there was no upper house. An appointed council, composed from the leading merchant families of the Colony, came to fill a role similar to both an upper house, a cabinet, proved the true repository of power in Bermuda; the immediate concern of the first governors was for the colony's protection from a feared S
The Jamestown settlement in the Colony of Virginia was the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. It was located on the east bank of the James River about 2.5 mi southwest of the center of modern Williamsburg. It was established by the Virginia Company of London as "James Fort" on May 4, 1607 O. S.. It followed several failed attempts, including the Lost Colony of Roanoke, established in 1585 on Roanoke Island. Jamestown served as the capital of the colony of Virginia for 83 years, from 1616 until 1699; the settlement was located within the country of Tsenacommacah, which belonged to the Powhatan Confederacy, in that of the Paspahegh tribe. The natives welcomed and provided crucial provisions and support for the colonists, who were not agriculturally inclined. Relations soured early on, leading to the total annihilation of the Paspahegh in warfare within three years. Mortality was high at Jamestown itself due to disease and starvation, with over 80 percent of the colonists perishing in 1609–10 in what became known as the "Starving Time".
The Virginia Company brought eight Polish and German colonists in 1608 in the Second Supply, some of whom built a small glass factory—although the Germans and a few others soon defected to the Powhatans with weapons and supplies from the settlement. The Second Supply brought the first two European women to the settlement. In 1619, the first documented Africans came to Jamestown—about 50 men and children aboard a Portuguese slave ship, captured in the West Indies and brought to the Jamestown region, they most worked in the tobacco fields as indentured servants. The modern conception of slavery in the United States was formalized in 1640 and was entrenched in Virginia by 1660; the London Company's second settlement in Bermuda claims to be the site of the oldest town in the English New World, as St. George's, Bermuda was established in 1612 as New London, whereas James Fort in Virginia was not converted into James Towne until 1619, further did not survive to the present day. In 1676, Jamestown was deliberately burned during Bacon's Rebellion, though it was rebuilt.
In 1699, the capital was relocated from Jamestown to what is today Williamsburg, after which Jamestown ceased to exist as a settlement, existing today only as an archaeological site. Today, Jamestown is one of three locations composing the Historic Triangle of Colonial Virginia, along with Williamsburg and Yorktown, with two primary heritage sites. Historic Jamestowne is the archaeological site on Jamestown Island and is a cooperative effort by Jamestown National Historic Site and Preservation Virginia. Jamestown Settlement, a living history interpretive site, is operated by the Jamestown Yorktown Foundation, a state agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Spain and France moved to establish a presence in the New World, while other European countries moved more slowly; the English did not attempt to found colonies until many decades after the explorations of John Cabot, early efforts were failures—most notably the Roanoke Colony which vanished about 1590. Late in 1606, English colonizers set sail with a charter from the London Company to establish a colony in the New World.
The fleet consisted of the ships Susan Constant and Godspeed, all under the leadership of Captain Christopher Newport. They made a long voyage of four months, including a stop in the Canary Islands and subsequently Puerto Rico, departed for the American mainland on April 10, 1607; the expedition made landfall on April 1607 at a place which they named Cape Henry. Under orders to select a more secure location, they set about exploring what is now Hampton Roads and an outlet to the Chesapeake Bay which they named the James River in honor of King James I of England. Captain Edward Maria Wingfield was elected president of the governing council on April 25, 1607. On May 14, he selected a piece of land on a large peninsula some 40 miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean as a prime location for a fortified settlement; the river channel was a defensible strategic point due to a curve in the river, it was close to the land, making it navigable and offering enough land for piers or wharves to be built in the future.
The most favorable fact about the location was that it was uninhabited because the leaders of the nearby indigenous nations considered the site too poor and remote for agriculture. The island was swampy and isolated, it offered limited space, was plagued by mosquitoes, afforded only brackish tidal river water unsuitable for drinking; the Jamestown settlers arrived in Virginia during a severe drought, according to a research study conducted by the Jamestown Archaeological Assessment team in the 1990s. The JAA analyzed information from a study conducted in 1985 by David Stahle and others, who obtained borings of 800 year-old baldcypress trees along the Nottoway and Blackwater rivers; the lifespan of these trees is up to 1,000 years and their rings offer a good indication of an area's annual amount of rainfall. The borings revealed that the worst drought in 700 years occurred between 1606 and 1612; this severe drought affected the Jamestown colonists and Powhatan tribe's ability to produce food and obtain a safe supply of water.
The settlers arrived too late in the year to get crops planted. Many in the group were either gentlemen unused to work or their manservants, both unaccustomed to the hard labor demanded by the harsh task of carving out a viable colony. One of these was Robert Hunt, a former vicar of Reculver, England who
Plymouth Colony was an English colonial venture in North America from 1620 to 1691 at a location, surveyed and named by Captain John Smith. The settlement served as the capital of the colony and developed as the town of Plymouth, Massachusetts. At its height, Plymouth Colony occupied most of the southeastern portion of Massachusetts. Plymouth Colony was founded by a group of Puritan Separatists known as the Brownist Emigration, who came to be known as the Pilgrims, it was one of the earliest successful colonies to be founded by the English in America, along with Jamestown and other settlements in Virginia, was the first permanent English settlement in the New England region. The colony was able to establish a treaty with Wampanoag Chief Massasoit which helped to ensure its success. Plymouth played a central role in King Philip's War, one of several Indian Wars, but the colony was merged with the Massachusetts Bay Colony and other territories in 1691 to form the Province of Massachusetts Bay.
Despite the colony's short existence, Plymouth holds a special role in American history. A significant proportion of the citizens of Plymouth were fleeing religious persecution and searching for a place to worship as they saw fit, rather than being entrepreneurs like many of the settlers of Jamestown in Virginia; the social and legal systems of the colony became tied to their religious beliefs, as well as to English custom. Many of the people and events surrounding Plymouth Colony have become part of American folklore, including the American tradition of Thanksgiving and the monument of Plymouth Rock. Plymouth Colony was founded by a group of English Puritans who came to be known as the Pilgrims; the core group were part of a congregation led by William Bradford. They began to feel the pressures of religious persecution while still in the English village of Scrooby, near East Retford, Nottinghamshire. In 1607, Archbishop Tobias Matthew imprisoned several members of the congregation; the congregation left England in 1609 and emigrated to the Netherlands, settling first in Amsterdam and in Leiden.
In Leiden, the congregation gained the freedom to worship as they chose, but Dutch society was unfamiliar to them. Scrooby had been an agricultural community, whereas Leiden was a thriving industrial center, the Separatists found the pace of life difficult; the community remained close-knit, but their children began adopting the Dutch language and customs, some entered the Dutch Army. The Puritans were still not free from the persecutions of the English Crown. English authorities came to Leiden to arrest William Brewster in 1618, after he published comments critical of the King of England and the Anglican Church. Brewster escaped arrest; the congregation obtained a land patent from the Plymouth Company in June 1619. They had declined the opportunity to settle south of Cape Cod in New Netherland because of their desire to avoid the Dutch influence; this land patent allowed them to settle at the mouth of the Hudson River. They sought to finance their venture through the Merchant Adventurers, a group of businessmen who principally viewed the colony as a means of making a profit.
Upon arriving in America, the Pilgrims began working to repay their debts. Using the financing secured from the Merchant Adventurers, the Colonists bought provisions and obtained passage on two ships: the Mayflower and the Speedwell, they had intended to leave early in 1620, but they were delayed several months due to difficulties in dealing with the Merchant Adventurers, including several changes in plans for the voyage and in financing. The congregation and the other colonists boarded the Speedwell in July 1620 in the Dutch port of Delfshaven. Speedwell was re-rigged with larger masts before leaving Holland and setting out to meet Mayflower in Southampton, around the end of July 1620; the Mayflower was purchased in London. The original captains were Captain Reynolds for Speedwell and Captain Christopher Jones for Mayflower. Other passengers joined the group in Southampton, including William Brewster, in hiding for the better part of a year, a group of people known to the Leiden congregation as "The Strangers."
This group was made up of people recruited by the Merchant Adventurers to provide practical assistance to the colony and additional hands to work for the colony's ventures. The term was used for many of the indentured servants. Among the Strangers were Myles Standish, the colony's military leader; the group who became the Leiden Leaders after the merging of ships included John Carver, William Bradford, Edward Winslow, William Brewster, Isaac Allerton. The departure of the Mayflower and Speedwell for America was beset by delays. Further disagreements with the Merchant Adventurers held up the departure in Southampton. A total of 120 passengers departed on August 5—90 on the Mayflower and 30 on the Speedwell. Leaving Southampton, the Speedwell suffered significant leakage, which required the ships to put in at Dartmouth; the leakage was caused by being overmasted and being pressed too much with sail. Repairs were completed, a further delay ensued as they awaited favorable winds; the two ships set sail on August 23.
History of Bermuda
Bermuda was discovered in 1503 by Spanish explorer Juan de Bermúdez. In 1609, the English Virginia Company, which had established Jamestown in Virginia two years earlier, permanently settled Bermuda in the aftermath of a hurricane, when the crew and passengers of Sea Venture steered the ship onto the surrounding reef to prevent it from sinking landed ashore. Bermuda's first capital, St. George's, was established in 1612; the Virginia Company administered the island as an extension of Virginia until 1614. Following the 1707 unification of the parliaments of Scotland and England, which created the Kingdom of Great Britain, the islands of Bermuda became a British Crown Colony; when Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949, Bermuda became the oldest remaining British colony. It has been the most populous remaining dependent territory since the return of Hong Kong to China in 1997. Bermuda became known as a "British Overseas Territory" in 2002, as a result of the British Overseas Territories Act 2002; the earliest depiction of the island is the inclusion of "La Bermuda" in the map of Pedro Martyr's 1511 Legatio Babylonica.
The earliest description of the island was Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés' account of his 1515 visit with Juan de Bermudez aboard La Garza. Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas in 1527 affirms the island was named after the captain who discovered it. Henry Harrisse documents earlier voyages by Juan Bermúdez in 1498, 1502, 1503, though John Henry Lefroy noted Bermúdez left no account of visiting the island. Samuel Eliot Morison lists a 1505 discovery by Juan Bermúdez, citing the investigation into the Archivo de Indias by Roberto Barreiro-Meiro. Compounding the confusion is the record of a Francisco Bermudez accompanying Christopher Columbus on his first voyage, a Diego Bermudez accompanying Columbus on his fourth voyage, Juan's brother Diego Bermudez accompanying Ponce de León in a 1513 voyage. Thus, the only documented account is of Juan Bermudez visiting the island in 1515, with the implication he had discovered the island on an earlier voyage; the island was on the homeward course for returning Spaniards, as they followed the Gulf Stream north followed by the Westerlies just north of Bermuda.
The Spanish avoided the uninhabited island's hurricanes, calling it Demoniorum Insulam. Yet, Spanish Rock bears the date of 1543, but little further details. A Frenchman called Russell was wrecked there in 1570, followed by the Englishman Henry May in 1593, but both managed to escape. Spanish Capt. Diego Ramirez was stranded on the rocks of Bermuda after a storm in 1603, when he discovered the "devils reported to be about Bermuda" were the outcry of the cahow, he did. In late August 1585, an English ship Tiger commanded by Richard Grenville on his return from the Roanoke Colony and captured a larger Spanish ship Santa Maria de San Vicente off the shores of Bermuda. On 2 June 1609, Sir George Somers set sail aboard Sea Venture, the new flagship of the Virginia Company, leading a fleet of nine vessels, loaded with several hundred settlers and supplies for the new English colony of Jamestown, in Virginia. Somers had previous experience sailing with both Sir Francis Sir Walter Raleigh; the fleet was caught in a storm on 24 July, Sea Venture was separated and began to founder.
When the reefs to the East of Bermuda were spotted, the ship was deliberately driven on them to prevent its sinking, thereby saving all aboard, 150 sailors and settlers, one dog. William Shakespeare's play The Tempest, in which the character Ariel refers to the "still-vex'd Bermoothes", is thought to have been inspired by William Strachey's account of this shipwreck; the survivors spent nine months on Bermuda. The master's mate was lost at sea when Sea Venture's longboat was rigged with a mast and sent in search of Jamestown, he was not seen again. The remainder built two new ships: Deliverance at 40 feet and 80 tons, Patience at 29 feet and 30 tons from Bermuda cedar; when the two new vessels were complete, most of the survivors set sail on 10 May, completing their journey to Jamestown on 8 June 1610. Christopher Carter and Edward Waters remained, the latter being accused of murder, while four others had died, including John Rolfe's infant daughter. In Jamestown, Rolfe's wife died and he married Pocahontas, daughter of Chief Powhatan.
They arrived only to find the colony's population annihilated by the Starving Time, which had left only sixty survivors. According to Sir William Monson, the "swine brought from Bermuda" saved Virginia until the timely arrival of Lord De La Warre. Somers found Carter and Waters alive. Somers soon died and while his heart was buried at Saint Georges, his nephew, Captain Matthew Somers, returned his embalmed body to England for burial at Dorset. Two years in 1612, the Virginia Company's Royal Charter was extended to include the island, a party of sixty settlers was sent on Plough, under the command of Sir Richard Moore, the island's first governor. Joining the three men left behind by Deliverance and Patience, they founded and commenced construction of the town of St. George, designated as Bermuda's first capital, the oldest continually inhabited English town in the New World. Bermuda struggled throughout the following seven decades to develop a viable economy; the Virginia Company, finding the colony unprofitable handed its administration to the Crown in 1614.
The following year, 1615
New England is a region composed of six states of the northeastern United States: Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut. It is bordered by the state of New York to the west and by the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec to the northeast and north, respectively; the Atlantic Ocean is to the east and southeast, Long Island Sound is to the south. Boston is New England's largest city as well as the capital of Massachusetts; the largest metropolitan area is Greater Boston with nearly a third of the entire region's population, which includes Worcester, Manchester, New Hampshire, Providence, Rhode Island. In 1620, Puritan Separatist Pilgrims from England established Plymouth Colony, the second successful English settlement in America, following the Jamestown Settlement in Virginia founded in 1607. Ten years more Puritans established Massachusetts Bay Colony north of Plymouth Colony. Over the next 126 years, people in the region fought in four French and Indian Wars, until the English colonists and their Iroquois allies defeated the French and their Algonquian allies in America.
In 1692, the town of Salem and surrounding areas experienced the Salem witch trials, one of the most infamous cases of mass hysteria in history. In the late 18th century, political leaders from the New England colonies initiated resistance to Britain's taxes without the consent of the colonists. Residents of Rhode Island captured and burned a British ship, enforcing unpopular trade restrictions, residents of Boston threw British tea into the harbor. Britain responded with a series of punitive laws stripping Massachusetts of self-government which were termed the "Intolerable Acts" by the colonists; these confrontations led to the first battles of the American Revolutionary War in 1775 and the expulsion of the British authorities from the region in spring 1776. The region played a prominent role in the movement to abolish slavery in the United States, was the first region of the U. S. transformed by the Industrial Revolution, centered on the Merrimack river valleys. The physical geography of New England is diverse for such a small area.
Southeastern New England is covered by a narrow coastal plain, while the western and northern regions are dominated by the rolling hills and worn-down peaks of the northern end of the Appalachian Mountains. The Atlantic fall line lies close to the coast, which enabled numerous cities to take advantage of water power along the many rivers, such as the Connecticut River, which bisects the region from north to south; each state is subdivided into small incorporated municipalities known as towns, many of which are governed by town meetings. The only unincorporated areas exist in the sparsely populated northern regions of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont. New England is one of the Census Bureau's nine regional divisions and the only multi-state region with clear, consistent boundaries, it maintains a strong sense of cultural identity, although the terms of this identity are contrasted, combining Puritanism with liberalism, agrarian life with industry, isolation with immigration. The earliest known inhabitants of New England were American Indians who spoke a variety of the Eastern Algonquian languages.
Prominent tribes included the Abenakis, Mi'kmaq, Pequots, Narragansetts and Wampanoag. Prior to the arrival of European settlers, the Western Abenakis inhabited New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, as well as parts of Quebec and western Maine, their principal town was Norridgewock in Maine. The Penobscot lived along the Penobscot River in Maine; the Narragansetts and smaller tribes under their sovereignty lived in Rhode Island, west of Narragansett Bay, including Block Island. The Wampanoag occupied southeastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island, the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket; the Pocumtucks lived in Western Massachusetts, the Mohegan and Pequot tribes lived in the Connecticut region. The Connecticut River Valley linked numerous tribes culturally and politically; as early as 1600, French and English traders began exploring the New World, trading metal and cloth for local beaver pelts. On April 10, 1606, King James I of England issued a charter for the Virginia Company, which comprised the London Company and the Plymouth Company.
These two funded ventures were intended to claim land for England, to conduct trade, to return a profit. In 1620, the Pilgrims arrived on the Mayflower and established Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts, beginning the history of permanent European settlement in New England. In 1616, English explorer John Smith named the region "New England"; the name was sanctioned on November 3, 1620 when the charter of the Virginia Company of Plymouth was replaced by a royal charter for the Plymouth Council for New England, a joint-stock company established to colonize and govern the region. The Pilgrims wrote and signed the Mayflower Compact before leaving the ship, it became their first governing document; the Massachusetts Bay Colony came to dominate the area and was established by royal charter in 1629 with its major town and port of Boston established in 1630. Massachusetts Puritans began to settle in Connecticut as early as 1633. Roger Williams was banished from Massachusetts for heresy, led a group south, founded Providence Plantation in the area that became the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in 1636.
At this time, Vermont was yet unsettled, the territories of New Hampshire and Maine were claimed and governed by Massachusetts. Relationships between colonists and local Indian tribes alter
John Smith (explorer)
John Smith was an English soldier, colonial governor, Admiral of New England, author. He played an important role in the establishment of the Jamestown colony, the first permanent English settlement in North America, in the early 17th century. Smith was a leader of the Virginia Colony based at Jamestown between September 1608 and August 1609, led an exploration along the rivers of Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay, during which he became the first English explorer to map the Chesapeake Bay area, he explored and mapped the coast of New England. He was knighted for his services to Sigismund Báthory, Prince of Transylvania, his friend Mózes Székely; when Jamestown was established in 1607, Smith trained the first settlers to farm and work, thus saving the colony from early devastation. He publicly stated "He that will not work, shall not eat", equivalent to the 2nd Thessalonians 3:10 in the Bible. Harsh weather, lack of food and water, the surrounding swampy wilderness, attacks from local Indians destroyed the colony.
With Smith's leadership, Jamestown survived and flourished. Smith was forced to return to England after being injured by an accidental explosion of gunpowder in a canoe. Smith's books and maps were important in encouraging and supporting English colonization of the New World, he gave the name New England to the region, now the Northeastern United States and noted: "Here every man may be master and owner of his owne labour and land... If he have nothing but his hands, he may... by industries grow rich." Smith died in London in 1631. The exact birth date of John Smith is unclear, he was baptized on 6 January 1580 at Willoughby, near Alford, where his parents rented a farm from Lord Willoughby. He claimed descent from the ancient Smith family of Cuerdley and was educated at King Edward VI Grammar School, Louth from 1592 to 1595. After his father died, Smith set off to sea, he served as a mercenary in the army of Henry IV of France against the Spaniards, fighting for Dutch independence from King Philip II of Spain.
He set off for the Mediterranean. There he engaged in both trade and piracy, fought against the Ottoman Turks in the Long Turkish War. Smith was promoted to a cavalry captain while fighting for the Austrian Habsburgs in Hungary in the campaign of Michael the Brave in 1600 and 1601. After the death of Michael the Brave, he fought for Radu Șerban in Wallachia against Ottoman vassal Ieremia Movilă. Smith is reputed to have killed and beheaded three Ottoman challengers in single-combat duels, for which he was knighted by the Prince of Transylvania and given a horse and a coat of arms showing three Turks' heads. However, in 1602, he was wounded in a skirmish with the Crimean Tatars and sold as a slave; as Smith describes it: "we all sold for slaves, like beasts in a market". Smith claimed that his master, a Turkish nobleman, sent him as a gift to his Greek mistress in Constantinople, who fell in love with Smith, he was taken to the Crimea, where he escaped from Ottoman lands into Muscovy on to the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth before traveling through Europe and North Africa, returning to England in 1604.
In 1606, Smith became involved with the Virginia Company of London's plan to colonize Virginia for profit. The expedition set sail in three small ships, the Discovery, the Susan Constant, the Godspeed, on 20 December 1606, his page was a 12-year-old boy named Samuel Collier. During the voyage, Smith was charged with mutiny, Captain Christopher Newport had planned to execute him; these events happened when the expedition stopped in the Canary Islands for resupply of water and provisions. Smith was under arrest for most of the trip. However, upon first landing at what is now Cape Henry on 26 April 1607, unsealed orders from the Virginia Company designated Smith as one of the leaders of the new colony, thus sparing Smith from the gallows. By the summer of 1607, the English colonists were still living in temporary housing; the search for a suitable site ended on 14 May 1607 when Captain Edward Maria Wingfield, president of the council, chose the Jamestown site as the location for the colony. After the four-month ocean trip, their food stores were sufficient only for each to have a cup or two of grain-meal per day.
Due to swampy conditions and widespread disease, someone died every day. By September, more than 60 of the 104 brought by Newport were dead; the men may well have died from poor nutrition. In early January 1608, nearly 100 new settlers arrived with Captain Newport on the First Supply, through carelessness the village was set on fire; that winter the James River froze over, the settlers were forced to live in the burnt ruins. During this time, they wasted much of the three months that Newport and his crew were in port loading their ships with iron pyrite. Food supplies ran low, although the Native Americans brought some food, Smith wrote that "more than half of us died". In 1608, Smith spent that summer exploring Chesapeake Bay waterways and produced a map, of great value to Virginia explorers for more than a century. In October 1608, Newport brought a second shipment of supplies along with 70 new settlers, including the first women; some German and Slovak craftsmen arrived, but they brought no food supplies.
Newport brought with him a list of counterfeit Virginia Company orders which angered John Smith greatly. He wrote an angry letter in response. One of the orders was to crown the Native American leader Powhatan emperor and give him a fancy bedstead. The
The London Company was an English joint-stock company established in 1606 by royal charter by King James I with the purpose of establishing colonial settlements in North America. The territory granted to the London Company included the eastern coast of America from the 34th parallel north to the 41st parallel; as part of the Virginia Company and Colony, the London Company owned a large portion of Atlantic and Inland Canada. The company was permitted by its charter to establish a 100-square-mile settlement within this area; the portion of the company's territory north of the 38th parallel was shared with the Plymouth Company, with the stipulation that neither company found a colony within 100 miles of each other. The London Company made landfall on 26 April 1607, at the southern edge of the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, which they named Cape Henry, near present-day Virginia Beach. Deciding to move the encampment, on 4 May 1607, they established the Jamestown Settlement on the James River about 40 miles upstream from its mouth at the Chesapeake Bay.
In 1607, the Plymouth Company established its Popham Colony in present-day Maine, but it was abandoned after about a year. By 1609, the Plymouth Company had dissolved; as a result, the charter for the London Company was adjusted with a new grant that extended from "sea to sea" of the previously-shared area between the 38th and 40th parallel. It was amended in 1612; the London Company struggled financially with labour shortages in its Virginia colony. Its profits improved after sweeter strains of tobacco than the native variety were cultivated and exported from Virginia as a cash crop beginning in 1612. By 1619 a system of indentured service was developed in the colony. In 1624, the company lost its charter, Virginia became a royal colony. A spin-off, The London Company of The Somers Isles, operated until 1684. In Renaissance England, wealthy merchants were eager to find investment opportunities, so they established a number of companies to trade in various parts of the world; each company was made up of investors, known as "adventurers", who purchased shares of company stock.
The Crown granted a charter to each company with a monopoly to explore, settle, or trade with a particular region of the world. Profits were shared among the investors according to the amount of stock. More than 6,300 Englishmen invested in joint stock companies between 1585 and 1630, trading in Russia, Africa, the East Indies, the Mediterranean, North America. Investors in the Virginia Company hoped to profit from the natural resources of the New World. In 1606 Captain Bartholomew Gosnold obtained of King James I a charter for two companies; the first, the Virginia Company of London, covered what are now Maryland and Carolina, between Latitude 34° and Latitude 41° North. Gosnold's principal backers were Sir Thomas Gates, Sir George Somers, Edward Wingfield and Richard Hakluyt; the second company, the Plymouth Company of London, was empowered to settle as far as 45° North, encompassing what are present day Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, New England. The Company paid all the costs of establishing each colony, in return controlled all land and resources there, requiring all settlers to work for the Company.
The first leader of the Virginia Company in England was its treasurer, Sir Thomas Smythe, who arranged the 1609 charter. He had been governor of the East India Company since 1603 and continued with one break until 1620. In an extensive publicity campaign, Gosnold and a few others, circulated pamphlets, plays and broadsides throughout England to raise interest in New World investments. Investors could buy stock individually or in groups. 1,700 people purchased shares, including men of different occupations and classes, wealthy women, representatives of institutions such as trade guilds and cities. Proceedes from the sale of stock was used to help finance the costs of establishing overseas settlements, including paying for ships and supplies and recruiting and outfitng laborers. A single share of stock in the Virginia Company cost 12 pounds 10 shillings, the equivalent of more than six months' wages for an ordinary working man; the largest single investor was Thomas West, Lord de la Warre, who served as the first governor of Virginia between 1610 and 1618.
The business of the company was the settlement of the Virginia colony, supported by a labour force of voluntary transportees under the customary indenture system. In exchange for 7 years of labor for the company, the company provided passage, food and land ownership. In December 1606, the Virginia Company's three ships, containing 105 men and boys as passengers and 39 crew members, set sail from Blackwall and made landfall on 26 April 1607 at the southern edge of the mouth of what they named the James River on the Chesapeake Bay, they named this shore as Cape Henry. They were attacked by Native Americans, the settlers moved north. On 14 May 1607, these first settlers selected the site of Jamestown Island, further upriver and on the northern shore, as the place to build their fort. In addition to survival, the early colonists were expected to make a profit for the owners of the Virginia Company. Although the settlers were disappointed that gold did not wash up on the beach and gems did not grow in the tr