Thursday, May 2, 2013

Why Jamestown Was Hell On Earth

Not Just Cannibalism: Seven Ways Colonial Jamestown Was a Living Hell

So we just heard the desperate colonists resorted to cannibalism. But that’s not the only reason the Virginia settlement was horrific. From the lack of women to the constant fighting, Nina Strochlic has six more reasons.


Three ships lie at anchor on the river as early settlers carry lumber and raise the walls of the stockade fort at Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in America, circa 1610. (Hulton Archive/Getty)

Were our esteemed forebears actually cannibals? New archeological evidence indicates a firm yes. According to Smithsonian magazine, a recent excavation in the Jamestown Colony in Virginia finally turned up evidence of what’s long been hinted at. During particularly harsh beginnings upon landing in the New World, desperate colonists resorted to human flesh for sustenance. But that’s not the only malady that befell early settlers. Here are some reasons to be thankful you arrived on this continent in the four centuries since.

It Was Originally All Men

Three shiploads of men docked at Chesapeake Bay on April 26, 1607. Three weeks later, they had settled Jamestown, an unused bit of land the Native Americans had deemed undesirable. The next year, two brave women set foot in the colony, but then it took another 13 years for a crop of young unmarried or widowed women to arrive.

For the rest of the story:

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