Jamestown Lecture Three: Economic Success, Strife, and Supremacy (1634-1699)
History of Jamestown: England’s First Permanent Colony in North America
The history of Jamestown is characterized by death, suffering, hardship, love, hate, treachery, betrayal, and heroism. This talk divided into three periods will explore its history in context to international rivalries, the quest for supremacy, and its economy.
Economic Success, Strife, and Supremacy (1634-1699)
The Headright System began in 1618 to incentivize immigration to Jamestown by awarding existing landowners with 50 acres of land for each person whose transport from England had been sponsored. Most of those English immigrants arrived under contract for seven years of indentured servitude. With the success of tobacco, indentured servitude could not meet the increased labor demands. The importation of enslaved Africans began in 1619 to slowly supplement the labor, but accelerated after 1670. Civil unrest (Bacon’s Rebellion) and sporadic conflicts with Powhatan Indians were major challenges. Williamsburg replaced Jamestown as the capital of the Virginia colony in 1699.
John Delano, Ph.D. held the rank of Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University at Albany, State University of New York, in the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences. Following retirement in November 2016, John and his wife, Susan, moved to Williamsburg, VA. He has continued to give invited talks to public audiences, is a tour guide at Colonial Williamsburg, and does trail maintenance at a nearby 2,700-acre park. John has published two professional papers on topics that he has pursued since retirement.