What Was the First Permanent English Settlement In America and How Did Jamestown, Virginia Get Its Name?

Captain John Smith led a group of English colonists to establish a permanent settlement in America in May 1607.

They chose a spot on a peninsula, which has since become an island, in the James River and named their community after King James I of England.

The settlers had a rough time from the start, and many died from disease and starvation in the first couple of years.

If Lord De La Warr, Thomas West, hadn’t arrived in nearby Hampton Roads in the nick of time in 1610, with plentiful supplies and a new group of settlers, Jamestown would have been abandoned.

Several years later, the Jamestown colonists set up a representative form of government, the first on the North American continent, and began to grow tobacco as a trade crop to support themselves.

Jamestown remained the seat of government in Virginia for almost ninety years, until Williamsburg took over the role in 1699.