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What events saved Jamestown from destruction?

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The early settlers of Jamestown faced many hardships.  Their first winter (1609-1610) was a difficult one, and they faced cold, disease, and hunger.  Most of the settlers died during this time.  A drought earlier in the year 1609 had led to food shortages for the winter.  The remaining colonists decided to abandon Jamestown all together.  They were about to leave when supply ships arrived with food and other necessities from England.  If the ships had not arrived when they did, the Jamestown colony would have been completely abandoned.

Along with the fresh supplies, a new governor arrived.  Governor West was determined to revitalize the Jamestown settlement.  John Rolfe also arrived with a new type of tobacco to grow.  This tobacco became an important crop in Jamestown.  Settlers eventually expanded to areas outside of Jamestown.  Over time, more settlers arrived and the colony grew.

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What events saved Jamestown from destruction?

Jamestown, as with other early European colonies, suffered greatly at its inception. Disease, starvation, droughts, lack of agricultural skills, and intermittent Indian attacks made the colonists' existence precarious. Captain John Smith proved a decisive leader and was adept at trade, which kept the colony afloat in its early years. However, from its founding in 1607 through 1610, the colony was at risk, as attacks by Indians intensified, and starvation drove some to cannibalism. The colony would continue to suffer from food shortages and Indian attacks, although peace was established for several years through the marriage of colonist John Rolfe to Pocahontas, daughter of local Indian chief, Powhatan. 

If the population continued to drop, how could the population replenish itself? Although children were born at the colony, what really kept it afloat in its early years was its financial backer, The Virginia Company. The company was determined to make a profit and continuously resupplied the colony with material and people until its charter was revoked in 1624, when Jamestown became a crown colony. By this time, the colony had secured enough of a foothold that it expanded and eventually became self-sufficient.

There was no singular event that saved Jamestown. Yes, the actions of the colonists kept the colony from collapsing, particularly after 1610 when starvation and attacks by local Indians reduced the population sharply. But it was also the work of The Virginia Company to make sure that the colony survived through replenishing the population. And this latter point is often missed. To become a colonist was a huge gamble. The vast majority would never return and they were more than likely putting their lives at risk. However, people continued to take that risk. In the end, it was the work of colonists in Jamestown, as well as those willing to become colonists, that ensured the colony's survival.

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