When did the English settlers arrive in Jamestown?
The English settlers arrived on the west bank of the James River in Virginia on May 14th, 1607. The approximately 100 settlers were members of a joint venture called The Virginia Company and named their new settlement "Jamestown" after King James I. Although the Spanish already had colonies in North and South America, Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement and marked the beginning of England’s expansion throughout North America. The colonists arrived in three ships: the Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery. A council was set up after the colony's founding and included Captain John Smith and Edward Wingfield, who was chosen by the council to be its first president.
Shortly after the settlers’ arrival, the colony was attacked by the Powhatan Indians (also known as Virginia Algonquians). However, the colonists were well armed and were able to repel the raiders. This event, happening so soon after the colony’s founding, has led some historians to conclude that this may have set the tone for the lasting distrust between Europeans and Indians in North America.
Over the next two years the colony’s population was depleted through illness, starvation, and continued strife with the Powhatans. However, The Virginia Company was determined to make the colony succeed and regularly sent out new colonists and provisions to keep it running. The colony was nearly wiped out several times due to starvation and warfare but finally managed to maintain a firm footing after several military campaigns against the Powhatans. By 1646, the expanding colony had pacified local tribes and became the stepping stone for the eventual colonization of eastern North America.