Describe the geography, including the climate and landforms of Jamestown.

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beateach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jamestown, Virginia’s absolute location is 37.2267° N latitude, 76.7863° W longitude. It was established on a peninsula fifty miles up the James River from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. The colonists named the river after the King of England. The peninsula was situated so that the colonists were able to see ships approaching which made the location safe from a waterway attack. A piece of land in its northwest corner attached the peninsula to the mainland. Woodlands on the mainland provided natural resources for the colony. Unfortunately for the colonists, the area surrounding the peninsula was infested swampland, and the water was brackish from a mix of sea water in the river.

With hot tropical summers and frigid winters, the climate of early Jamestown was very different than what the colonists were accustomed to in England. They were ill prepared to survive the winters in the rudimentary dwellings they built. In addition, they did not understand the growing season of the area or the threat of illness from the insects that bred in the hot, humid conditions.

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