John Smith’s Account of the Founding of Jamestown in 1607
The colony at Jamestown, the colonies at Plymouth, and the colony at Boston had different nature, goals, successes and failures. There was a cross of similarities and differences. One thing that remains obvious is each was looking for something that was lacking in their home land.
There was a perception and a picture that each group had when they left their homelands. Arrival in the new would prove to be an alternate reality from that which was envisioned. The new reality still provided a challenge for each settlement. This was to be a new start.This was an opportunity to establish something new. That would be a chance to be a part of something great. The New World offered opportunities to have success on a different level.
Jamestown was a joint venture. People joined their financed together to create a business organization called a stock company. Like any other business the ultimate goal was to produce a profit. The initial settlers basically worked for the benefit of the joint stock company. They would not be completely free to make their own rules and regulations.There were specific rules even on the voyage of the rationing of the food. The Settlement of Jamestown shows s the initial days of Jamestown from the point of view of Captain John Smith.
The very first impression of the New World gave foreshadowing of some of the doom and gloom in store for the travelers. As soon as they arrived on the shore they were attacked by travelers. That night a box was opened to give orders of how they were to organize and govern themselves according to the joint stock company.John Smith goes on to give an account of internal jealousy, trust, and greed issues of the group. That was compounded with the external sickness, disease, and multiple attacks by the savages that often resulted in death. He personally was on the verge of being killed when he was saved. Even the settlement was on the verge of dying out when God intervened and changed the hearts of the savages.
This resulted in the savages helping them. Captain John Smith acknowledges God’s hand in the survival of Jamestown.The settlement at Plymouth goes a little farther in establishing that God is one of the main reasons for the colony. Pilgrims were looking for religious liberty and anew way of life for their families. They were not crusaders out to change the world or gather riches. They were “humble English farmers” (Brands et al, 2009, p 42). Their first sight of land proved to be a joyous occasion.
It was important and natural for them to give God praise for a successful voyage. The Pilgrims governing structure came from the self created Mayflower Compact.It was democratic in nature. They were in agreement from the beginning of the voyage that there was to be no overseas ruler. They each had their freedom. The Pilgrims contact with the savages was less confrontational than that of Jamestown. The savages tended to run as opposed to attacking the settlers.
The Pilgrims had similar results in dealing with the sickness and diseases of the New World. John Winthrop and the Puritans had very ambitious ideas when they established the Boston colony. They had visions to what amounts to a utopian society.The goals were to show what Christian society could and should be. In A Model of Christian Charity, John Winthrop writes about what he envisioned as he traveled on the Arbella on his way to the New Word. Their life was to be based on scripture. The answer to how to deal with all situations would come from the Bible.
Two of their main principles would be justice and mercy. How to deal with the rich and poor, friend and enemies and forgiveness would be very important in their settlement. The law would be based on God’s laws.Success would be determined by how people lived. They did not have to deal with the same level of sickness and diseases as . If you asked the Puritans they would probably tell you that it is a direct result of their lifestyle and God’s presence. Captain John smith’s article seemed to present a dark mood as he described what he had to go through.
He did not seem to have a very favorable outlook toward his fellow man. He mentions the good, bad and very ugly side of what man is capable of.The Puritans contrastingly, focused on the potential greatness of mankind. The Pilgrims were somewhere in the middle. Each article gave praises to God. God and religion played an important role in each colony.Bibliography Bradford, William.
(1650). History of Plymouth Plantation. Brands, HWA, Breen, THH, Williams, R. Hal and Gross, A. J. (2009) American Stories: A History of the United States. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.
Smith, John. (1604). The Settlement of Jamestown. Winthrop, John. (1630). A Model of Christian Charity.