Jamestown Established

Jamestown was a settlement in the Colony of Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. Established by the Virginia Company of London as "James Fort" on May 4, 1607 (O.S., May 14, 1607 N.S.), and considered permanent after brief abandonment in 1610, it followed several earlier failed attempts, including the Lost Colony of Roanoke. Jamestown was founded for the purposes of a quick profit from gold mining for its investors while also establishing a permanent foothold in North America for England.Jamestown served as the capital of the colony for 83 years, from 1616 until 1699.

The settlement was located within Tsenacommacah, the territory of the Powhatan Confederacy, and specifically in that of the Paspahegh tribe. The natives initially welcomed and provided crucial provisions and support for the colonists, who were not agriculturally inclined. Relations with the newcomers soured fairly early on, leading to the total annihilation of the Paspahegh in warfare within 3 years. Mortality at Jamestown itself was very high due to disease and starvation, with over 80% of the colonists perishing in 1609-1610 in what became known as the "Starving Time".

Today, Jamestown is one of three locations comprising the Historic Triangle of Colonial Virginia, along with Williamsburg and Yorktown, with two primary heritage sites. Historic Jamestowne, the archaeological site on Jamestown Island, is a cooperative effort by Jamestown National Historic Site (part of Colonial National Historical Park), and Preservation Virginia. Jamestown Settlement, a living history interpretive site, is operated by the Jamestown Yorktown Foundation in conjunction with the Commonwealth of Virginia.