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The Cause of Jamestown’s Deaths

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The Cause of Jamestown’s Deaths

In early Jamestown lots of deaths occurred because of many reasons. In 1607, 3 ships with more than 100 passengers sailed into Chesapeake Bay. Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement, therefore giving high hopes. The settlers first came to Jamestown hoping to strike it rich on silver and gold. By 1611 80% of the population that arrived in Jamestown was dead. So why did so many colonists die in early Jamestown? Colonists died in early Jamestown because of three problems. These problems were dirty water, Indian attacks, and sickness not being treated.

The first reason Jamestown colonists died was from brackish, dirty water. In document A, it shows how the water level rose, and as that happened, the water became brackish. Fresh water became very scarce, so the English colonists dug shallow wells. This water wasn’t enough to support the colonists with the amount of fresh water they needed. Also during that time, a drought was occurring and making these small wells lose the little amount of fresh water they had. This evidence helps explain why so many colonists died because when people put their excrement into the water, it made the water brackish. Also, the water and drought caused so many of the colonists to die.

The second reason Jamestown colonists died was from Indian attacks. In document E and D, it showed how the first 3 months being in Jamestown colonists were killed by Indians. Then the diseases came and killed off half of the population. This evidence helps explain why so many colonists died because the Indians didn’t like it that new colonists were moving onto their land. They tried to get rid of them by killing them, which didn’t kill much people. The disease also spread really quickly, killing many people.

The third reason Jamestown colonists died was because of sickness. In document C it showed how the original settlers didn’t have any apothecaries to heal and give medicine to the sick. Also, there was only one surgeon so if multiple people got hurt, then only a few of them could’ve been treated at once. This evidence helps explain why so many colonists died because the colonists didn’t have enough people they needed to treat an injured or sick person. Only after the 1st resupply did they get a druggist, helping the colonists a little with the population. There were also no females which just made the situation worse.

Brackish water, Indian attacks, and sickness are all reasons why so many colonists died in Jamestown. Because of what the colonists did to the water, they made it dirty. The Indians didn’t like having new settlers on their land so they tried to kill them. They also needed more people to treat the sick and injured. It’s important to know why early colonists in Jamestown died because we need to know how the people in the old days didn’t have the supplies we have now and still survived. It matters today because we need to know about the struggle that the colonists had to go through.

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