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The Jamestown Colony

18 Jan 2017History Essays

Abstract

This analytical essay presents a book review of the book “The Jamestown Colony”, which was written by Gail Sakurai. The book review presents the strengths and weaknesses of the book. The bibliography appends two sources in Turabian format.

Introduction

The book under consideration is known as “The Jamestown Colony” and has been written by Gail Sakurai. Jamestown was the first eternal English settlement located in North America and was named after King James I in the year 1607. Basically, the book, The Jamestown Colony, is related the first English colony in the United States. It illustrates the reasons as to why the early settlers went away from the settlement as well as all the difficulties that were faced by them when they had first arrived at the settlement. The book is extremely interesting and anyone interested in learning about the colonial times of the United States of America must consider reading this book.

Book Review

“On December 20, 1606, three small wooden ships set sail from England. Their names were Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery. The ships carried 144 men and boys bound for North America. These travelers had one main goal – to establish the first permanent English Colony in North America” -- Gail Sakurai(1997)

The aforementioned paragraph has been taken from the book under consideration and is the opening sentence of the book. "The Jamestown Colony" as said by historians was the third endeavor by the English to set up a protectorate in the New World. As mentioned in the above paragraph, in the year 1606 about three ships sailed into and arrived at the entrance of an extensive river that lead on to the way to Chesapeake Bay. Considering the fact that it was King James who had allowed the colonists to move on to this part of the world and set up a colony so as to look for gold, the colony was named Jamestown. As is said by the author, “England claimed all the land in North America between Canada, which belonged to the French, and Florida, which was Spanish territory. The English called their entire territory Virginia” (Sakurai, 1997).

In the area back then, nearly 10,000 Indians of the Powhatan Confederacy were settled down, out of which not many were too friendly with anyone, which made it necessary for the colonists to find a protected setting to build a fortress and harbor the ships they came in. It was this time when the name Jamestown was officially taken up for the settlement and in her book, Gail Sakurai presents much information about this first lasting English colony in the Americas, even though it was cast off by the end of the century.

Through the book, the author presents such information to us, particularly the children which would definitely not be read by us in American History textbooks. By going through the book we learn the reasons as to why more than half of the new settlers passed away by the last part of their first summer, the factual narrative of Captain John Smith and Pocahontas, how the first of the women arrived in to Jamestown, as well as the brutal winter of the year 1609-1610, which came to be known as the "Starving Time," as well as the onset of the new governor by the name of Lord Delaware, who put a stop to the settlers from deserting the settlement in the year 1610.

The strength of the book under consideration is the fact that it puts forward information about both the positive and the negative aspects of the settlement. The author presents information about how much the settlers worked in order to settle themselves down, but as luck would have it, we learn that this renowned settlement was an economic breakdown, which makes clear why eventually in the book the author talks more about the collision Pocahontas made on her trip to England as to what was going on at Jamestown, where slavery was initiated but mass murder, ailments, fires along with a vast number of other disasters destroyed the colony, which was smoldered to the ground subsequent to an ineffective insurrection. A vast number of new colonizers came to Virginia, but did not visit Jamestown, which was reinstated as capital of the protectorate by Williamsburg.

On the positive end, the author of the book tells us that these new settlers were helped greatly by Native Americans, and basically the new settlers learnt how to live because of these Native Americans. But on the other hand the Americans were put off due to the fact that the settlers were greedy. Keep an open-minded perspective, the author tells us that even though the geographical location of the colony was perfect, the place was, “plagued with malaria-carrying mosquitoes and terrible winters. Of the original 144 men and boys, more than half had died after only six months. Two years later, 500 colonists lived here, but a year later; only 60 remained (some having returned to England)” (Jamestown Settlement, 2000).

The author has made a perfect note that it was not easy for the colonizers to settle down fresh at a new place. For this she has provided proof as well of all the hardships they had faced. What is even more interesting is that the book provides pictures and illustrations as well so as to make the book even more interesting for the children, which is yet another positive aspect of the book, but on the other hand focusing more on the hardships and struggles of the settlers might make it a bit grotesque for the children as well as certain adults.

Conclusion

In the light of the above discussion we can hereby culminate that the book under consideration known as “The Jamestown Colony” written by Gail Sakurai, is written for the knowledge of children. The book presents in-depth information about Jamestown, beginning from its history to its destruction.

Bibliography

  • Jamestown Settlement. (2000). Retrieved on February 9, 2008
  • Sakurai, G. (1997). The Jamestown Colony. United States of America. Children’s Press. ISBN-10: 051626138X .

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