Letter about life in early colonies.

Essay by scion November 2005

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Dear Ms. xxx,

As you may know, the first permanent English settlement in America was Jamestown in the year of 1607. It was named after our great king, King James I. In 1619, the Jamestown colonist established the first representative legislature in America.

The actual place isn't the very best. Jamestown was established in a marshy area that happened to be infested with malaria-bearing mosquitoes. Almost half of the original colonists who died in the first two years died of malaria. Of course there has been a lot less damage done now.

However it is a good location because it is easy to defend. It is far up the James River; and is out of sight from the Spanish. It was difficult for outsides to reach Jamestown because the Island was protected on three sides by the river and marshes. Getting fresh water is a major problem in a swamp.

Water has to be purified, but it is suitable for cooking and limited drinking. This location will be very prosperous, even when the first colonists came; John Smith said it was "heaven."

In 1612, John Rolfe began growing tobacco. Two years later, tobacco from North America was introduced to the people of England. The first shipment of Virginia tobacco was sold in London during the year of 1612. Although our great King James I did not like tobacco, this product began to make the Virginia Company of London lots of money.

By 1619, Jamestown had exported 750 tons of tobacco. Tobacco was the American colonies' chief export. Jamestown is becoming a wealthy town. During this time, Jamestown imports two different products that allowed them to continue to be successful. They brought women and slaves into their colonies. The women allowed the colonists to begin families in the new world. African...