The Jamestown Adventure: Accounts of the Virginia Colony, 1605-1614 

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This volume collects contemporary accounts of the first successful colony in what would become the first thirteen United States. The earliest text dates from 1605, two years before the first landing; the last describes events up to 1614, when the marriage of Pocahontas and John Rolfe secured a brief measure of peace for the beleaguered colony. Most of the accounts were written by the colonists themselves; others reflect the perceptions and expectations of investors and observers back in England, while two reveal the keen and hostile interest taken in the colony by Englands chief rival, Spain. Several of them were written for widespread publication; others were either private letters or reports meant only for certain audiences. These narratives take the reader from the London stage to Powhatans lodge, from the halls of royal power to the derelict hovels of the Starving Time. They speak of unimaginable suffering, cruelty, hope, and perseverance. They show the modern reader what an adventure the founding of English America wasthe desperate battles and fraught negotiations with Powhatan and his warriors, the political intrigues in Europe and Virginia, the shipwreck that inspired William Shakespeares The Tempest, the captures and escapes, the discoveries that thrilled the colonists, and the discoveries that broke their hearts.

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