History: Jamestown settlers arrive in Virginia and why you should visit

Grave markers show the locations of gravesites from the original Jamestown settlement with the James River in the background.
Grave markers show the locations of gravesites from the original Jamestown settlement with the James River in the background. /

It was on this day, May 13th, way back in 1607 that English settlers arrived in what would later become Virginia as they began to settle in Jamestown.

100 English colonists arrived aboard the Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery ships after crossing the treacherous Atlantic Ocean with the hopes of establishing a new English commonwealth.

The legend of John Smith would begin as he was one of the top colonists and one of seven hand-picked council members chosen by King James I. The settlement, of course, was named after King James as was the James River that the settlers arrived on.

It was a couple of years before that the settlement was picked by explorers for its location and safety but on this day, it was time to establish the first permanent settlement in the new America.

Today, Jamestown is a popular tourist destination and the full-scale replicas of the three ships can be found at the museum on the James River. You can visit several museums, both living and historical near the Jamestown settlement’s original location. We have looked at the Jamestown area previously and you can read those by going here.

Jamestown Living musuem
A replica of the original Jamestown Settlement sits less than a mile from the original location. /

Jamestown is a perfect dive into pre-revolution American history when the British ruled and the colonists still clung to the Catholic religion of the empire.

In the months ahead, the colonists would work with Native Indians in the region and learn to cultivate the land. John Smith and the story of Pocahontas would become a legend and eventually, the dark cloud of history would bathe the area in blood.

light. Related Story. Should you go to Colonial Williamsburg? A review

Up the road from Jamestown now, you can visit the battle sites of Yorktown where the final skirmishes between American revolutionists and British soldiers would play out to end the Revolutionary War. You can visit Colonial Williamsburg, the first established home of the Virginia governor and a living museum of simpler times.

The trio of Yorktown, Jamestown, and Colonial Williamsburg stand to showcase early American history. It is an opportunity to learn about our history but it is also an entertaining trip into the past where you can interact with recreations of those early colonial days as you explore the first days of what would become America.