In June of 1606, King James I granted a charter to a group of London entrepreneurs, the Virginia Company, to establish a English settlement in the Chesapeake region of North America. By December, 104 male settlers sailed from London instructed to settle Virginia, and find gold and a water route to the Orient. According to a list published by Captain John Smith, "Gentlemen" made up about half of the group, whose gentle birth suggests they knew nothing of or thought it their personal duty to tame a wilderness. The rest were artisans, artisans, and laborers.
On May 13, 1607, the Virginia Company explorers chose to settle on Jamestown Island, along the James River 60 miles from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. By one account, they landed there because the deep water channel let their ships ride close to shore; close enough, to tie them to the trees. Almost immediately the colonists were under attack from the Algonquian natives. In a little over a months' time, the newcom...