The Virginia Colony
Based on the primary sources we read on class I think that England’s colonization in Virginia was overall successful. According to the narrative of Arthur Barlowe in 1584 you can see that the natives were very nice. Barlowe talks about trading with them and how the king always kept his promise and gave them food. “He sent us every day a brace or two of fat bucks, conies, hares, fish, the best of the world”. Barlowe describes the land as very plentiful he even says the natives got better oaks that they do on England. In this narrative the impression of the natives is friendly and very kind to the English. On the contrary there are two more narratives one from Thomas Harriot and one from John Smith that show a very different encounter with the natives. In 1604 in the narrative from Thomas Harriot he talks about a disease that killed a lot of the natives. “The disease also so strange that they neither knew what it was, nor how to cure it, the like by report of the oldest men in the country never happened before, time out of mind”. The natives even believed that the English were some sort of God because none of them got the disease. He does not mention anything regarding the land but he said some of the natives were their friends so this means they still had a good relationship with the natives. Three years later in 1607 John Smith’s narrative talks only about the struggles they had with the natives. He mentions that they called this period “the starving time”. According to him there was not much food that even one man killed his wife and ate her. “As for corn, provision and contribution from the savages, we had nothing but mortal wounds, with clubs and arrows”. In this narrative you could see how the natives are no longer friendly and now they are fighting against the English. There is a big different from 1584 to 1607. At the beginning the natives started being friendly and kind but ended fighting and becoming the enemy. One thing that the...
Cited: Barlowe, Arthur. "Narrative of the 1584 Voyage." Letter. 1584. MS.
Harriot, Thomas. "From a Brief and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia." Letter. 1604. MS.
Smith, John. "Document 6." Letter. 1607. MS.
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