U.S. Battleship Virginia (with the Susan Constant, Godspeed & Discovery)

Ter-Centennial of 1607 Jamestown settlement


On December 6, 1606, the journey to Virginia began on three ships: the Susan Constant, the Godspeed, and the Discovery. In 1607, 104 English men and boys arrived in North America to start a settlement. On May 13 they picked Jamestown, Virginia for their settlement, which was named after their King, James I. The settlement became the first permanent English settlement in North America.

The site for Jamestown was picked for several reasons, all of which met criteria the Virginia Company, who funded the settlement, said to follow in picking a spot for the settlement. The site was surrounded by water on three sides (it was not fully an island yet) and was far inland; both meant it was easily defensible against possible Spanish attacks. The water was also deep enough that the English could tie their ships at the shoreline – good parking! The site was also not inhabited by the Native population.

Once the spot was chosen the instructions sent by the Virginia Company, with the list of the council members (chosen by officials in England), was read. The names were kept in a sealed box on the ship (each ship had a sealed copy). The first President of the new Virginia colony was to be Edward Maria Winfield. The other six council members were: Bartholomew Gosnold, Christopher Newport, John Martin, John Ratcliffe, George Kendall, and John Smith.