Famine and Doc

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Sean Mullany
10/14/12
US I
Period 1
Jamestown: Why Did So Many Colonists Die?

“Who died this time?” could have been one of the most spoken questions in the early colonies of Jamestown. In 1607 about 110 Englishmen arrived at a bay of the coast of Virginia. This bay was considered Jamestown. Early Jamestown: Why did so many colonists die? Jamestown was founded in 1607 by John Smith and 110 English settlers. Out of the original 110 settlers, only 40 survived, which mean that about 65% of the people remained. What caused all of these deaths? The three main problems were diseases, Indian attacks, and starvation and droughts. Diseases wreaked havoc among early Jamestown, with wide spread diseases of “Burning Fever” and even plain, dirty water affecting many. First the water that the Englishmen drank was brackish which made many of them sick and even die. (Doc A) The water also had their waste, and when high tide came around the water was full of diseases from the brackish water and the waste. There were not many doctors that could help all of the people, and with the amount of people and lack of sanitation, it was easy for germs to spread. (Doc C). Diseases were a significant problem in early Jamestown. Another reason many colonists died was the hostility of some of the Natives. Five people died in the first attack of the Natives. (Doc E) After this the Englishmen and some of the Powhatans had made peace. But two years after a man named Francis West killed some of the Powhatans for their corn, when it happened the Indians wanted revenge. (Doc D) The colonists had taken the trust of the Indians and used it against them, which led to the Indians wanting revenge on all of the colonists. A third possible reason as to why so many colonists died was because of starvation and droughts. It is known that humans cannot live without water for any more than a few days. This was a problem, because everyone shared the water, which was...
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