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Jamestown and the Virginia Company

            In 1607 the Virginia Company sponsored the voyage which carried 104 colonists from England to the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. All 104 colonists that made the trip from England to Virginia were men. Although their original goal in coming to Virginia was to search for gold and find other natural resources their site would come to be known as Jamestown, the widely regarded first permanent English settlement in America. The crucial task of establishing a society in a new and foreign land did not go without its fair share of tribulations. The settlers faced many challenges on the road to establishing stability and success, such as disease and starvation. Coming over to a new country, not knowing what to expect or what supplies they needed many of the original 104 colonists died off. The leadership of the colony constantly changed and the town as a whole wasn't stable. In 1608 a new group of colonists including the first two women to arrive in Jamestown greatly increased the population. Because of this John Smith emerged as an autocratic authority figure. He taught the colonists the importance of farming, building homes and creating community. Once Smith was injured in an accident he was sent back to England. .
             After Smith left the Virginia Company realized that the colony couldn't survive on the hopes of finding gold. The colony as a whole needed to grow food and find things they could sell to make a profit. In order to bring more people to the colony the Virginia Company introduced the Headright System to the colony. The system promised fifty acres of land to any colonist who paid for his own passage. This really appealed to men with large families and servants because each family member got land. This system also allowed people that couldn't afford to pay for the passage to come over and work as an indentured servant for seven years. Unlike African slavery indentured servants that survived the seven years of work were set free and were able to live their lives in the "new world.

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