Welcome to Jamestown
On May 14, 1607, a group of 104 English men and boys settled on this swampy island, bearing a charter from the Virginia Company of London to search for gold and other riches. Instead they found starvation and disease. By January 1608, only about 40 colonists were still alive and had resorted to cannibalism to survive. The colony pulled through the 'Starving Time' with the leadership of Captain James Smith and help from Powhatan, a local Native American leader. In 1619, the elected House of Burgesses convened, forming the first democratic government in the Americas.
Today, two sites share the story of this early settlement.